Monthly archives: November 2011

The People Are Not Stupid

I have been most impressed today by the ordinary strikers who have been interviewed on all broadcast news media. While some of them have been very low paid, they have not just been talking about their own problems and their own pensions. They have rather continually referred to the fact that they are suffering so much because hundreds of billions of public money have been given to the bankers, who continue to give themselves massive salaries and bonuses. There have also been many references to tax evasion by the wealthy and their massive income increases.

Plainly this is not just a strike about specific pension issues; in the mind of the ordinary people, this is action against the sickening levels of inequality in society.

I have also been struck by the horrible braying Tories, who to a man have stripped off their masks of social decency. How long will the Lib Dems go along with it?

Unfortunately, much of the detail on pensions is, just as the difference between Osborne’s and Balls’ spending plans, is irrelevant. The effects of the inevitable collapse of the South Sea Bubble model of western economy, are only just starting to be felt. They are not rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Ed Balls is suggesting there should be a few more deck chairs, and special chairs for the old and sick, and better pay and conditions for the crew. But the ship is still going down.

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Paul Staines Grandstands for Blair and Murdoch

The neo-con Blair and Cameron regimes are very comfortable with each other. War criminal Alistair Campbell’s “evidence” to the Leveson inquiry is risible.

“Only a few people in number 10 knew Cherie was pregnant, so it must have been phone hacking that led the Mirror to it” is a statement that would not stand ten seconds thought, if it were not ramped by being given the status of a leak.

Campbell’s statement ignores the range of explanations as to how the Mirror could have learned from the “small number of people in No. 10” that Cherie was pregnant. These include:

a) gossip
b) No 10’s motive to get the news out to boost Tony’s popularity
c) the hospital
d) phone hacking

Phone hacking is the least possible explanation. My money is on b)

No, this is a rather pathetic attempt by the Blair camp to divert attention from Murdoch onto Piers Morgan, who the war criminals have never forgiven for his opposition to the War in Iraq. It is so blatant a ploy that it needs an extra boost to the story as a daring “leak” by the Tory neo-con PR man Paul Staines, to be a succesful diversionary tactic.

Blairites and Tories get together to manufacture an incident to take the heat off Murdoch at Leveson Inquiry. That is the real story.

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Gould-Werritty Plot Finally Mainstream

The Independent on Sunday have bitten the bullet and openly questioned what Matthew Gould was doing in all those meetings with Adam Werritty, and why Gus O’Donnell lied about them.

They have an interesting new line from an FCO spokesman:

“The FCO has total confidence that Matthew Gould has acted appropriately at all times and at no stage was he acting independently, or out of line with government policy,” a spokesman said yesterday.

So “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday” – Jerusalem Post 29 May 2011 is therefore a statement of official British government policy. Good to know.

We have not only at last made the mainstream media, we have made the mainstream counter-media:

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The Third Man

This is the link for the video recording of the Public Administration Committee meeting at which Paul Flynn MP was prevented from asking questions about the role of the third man, Matthew Gould, in the Fox-Werritty plot to promote a war with Iran.

The key action starts 1 hour and thirty minutes in (use the slider). The actions of long term paid zionist shill Robert Halfon – whose whole career has been bought and paid for by Werritty’s main sponsor Poju Zabludowicz – and the neo-con committee chairman, Bernard Jenkin, in suppressing free speech by an MP are despicable. Anyone who does not believe there is a fierce Tory cover-up of Gould’s role must watch this. Anyone who believes parliamentary democracy is still more than a sham should watch it too.

Which brings me to the extraordinary refusal of my freedom of information request for the Gould/Werritty correspondence. The refusal of my request came back in just one hour and fifteen minutes – about three weeks shorter than usual – and astonishingly at 11.31pm. The FCO refuses to meet its Freedom of Information Act obligation to provide the Gould/Werritty correspondence because it would be “too costly” to do so.

But did not Sir Gus O’Donnell just conduct a full and thorough investigation into the role of Adam Werritty in association with Liam Fox? And would not such a full and thorough investigation have gathered together all the relevant documentation, and particularly correspondence between Werritty and senior British diplomats?

There are two alternatives. Either the material is already collected, in which case there is no cost to collecting it, and the response to my Freedom of Information request is both illegal and a deliberate lie. Or the documentation was never collected and the Gus O’Donnell investigation was a complete sham.

Either is not good. Yet there is no other possible explanation.

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Gould-Werritty: A Real Conspiracy, Not a Theory

There is a huge government cover-up in progress over the Werritty connection to Mossad and the role of British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould, and their neo-con plan to start a war with Iran.

Yesterday at 22.15pm I submitted by email a Freedom of Information request for:

All communications in either direction ever made between Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty, specifically including communications made outside government systems.

At 23.31pm I was astonished to get a reply from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The request was refused as it was

“likely to exceed the cost limit”.

Now it is plainly nonsense that to gather correspondence between two named individuals would be too expensive. They could just ask Gould.

And a reply at nearly midnight? The Freedom of Information team in the FCO is not a 24 hour unit. Plainly not only are they hiding the Gould/Werritty correspondence, they are primed and on alert for this cover-up operation.

Even more blatant was the obstruction of MP Paul Flynn, when he attempted to question Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell on the Gould-Werritty connection at the House of Commons Public Administration Committee. These are the minutes: anybody who believes in democracy should feel their blood boil as you read them:

Publc Admininstration Committee 24/11/2011

Q<369> Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew Gould has been the subject of a very serious complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this case at all—that he was serving the interest of the Israeli Government, and not the interests of two British citizens. This has been the subject of correspondence.

In your report, you suggest that there were two meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in fact, six such meetings took place. There are a number of issues around this. I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty is a self-proclaimed—

Robert Halfon: Point of order, Chairman. What is the point of this?

Paul Flynn:> Let me get to it. Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran.

Chair:> I have to take a point of order.

Robert Halfon:> Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.

Paul Flynn:> I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made several visits. He has also met senior Israeli officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.

Chair:> I am going to rule on a point of order. Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing in these allegations, but it is important to have put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase questions.

Paul Flynn:> Indeed. The two worst decisions taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion of Helmand province. We know now that there were things going on in the background while that built up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in the early years, there was another—

Chair:> Order. I must ask you to move to a question that is relevant to the inquiry.

Q<370> Paul Flynn:> Okay. The question is, are you satisfied that you missed out on the extra four meetings that took place, and does this not mean that those meetings should have been investigated because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I think if you look at some of those meetings, some people are referring to meetings that took place before the election.

Q<371> Paul Flynn:> Indeed, which is even more worrying.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I am afraid they were not the subject—what members of the Opposition do is not something that the Cabinet Secretary should look into. It is not relevant.

But these meetings were held—

Chair:> Mr Flynn, would you let him answer please?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I really do not think that was within my context, because they were not Ministers of the Government and what they were up to was not something I should get into at all.

Chair:> Final question, Mr Flynn.

Q<372> Paul Flynn:> No, it is not a final question. I am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have important things to raise. I have stayed silent throughout this meeting so far.

You state in the report—on the meeting held between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present. Are you following the line taken by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who says that he can eat with lobbyists or people applying to his Department because, on occasions, he eats privately, and on other occasions he eats ministerially? Are you accepting the idea? It is possibly a source of great national interest—the eating habits of their Secretary of State. It appears that he might well have a number of stomachs, it has been suggested, if he can divide his time this way. It does seem to be a way of getting round the ministerial code, if people can announce that what they are doing is private rather than ministerial.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> The important point here was that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting, he had an official with him—namely, in this case, the ambassador. That is very important, and I should stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think that you should infer anything from that about the individual’s biases. That is what ambassadors do. Our ambassador in Pakistan will have exactly the same set of wide contacts.

Q<373> Paul Flynn:> I have good reason, as I said, from constituency matters, to be unhappy about the ambassador. Other criticisms have been made about the ambassador; he is unique in some ways in the role he is performing. There have been suggestions that he is too close to a foreign power.

Robert Halfon:> On a point of order, Chair, this is not about the ambassador to Israel. This is supposed to be about the Werritty affair.

Paul Flynn:> It is absolutely crucial to this report. If neo-cons such as yourself, Robert, are plotting a war in Iran, we should know about it.

Chair:> Order. I think the line of questioning is very involved. I have given you quite a lot of time, Mr Flynn. If you have further inquiries to make of this, they could be pursued in correspondence. May I ask you to ask one final question before we move on?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> One thing I would stress: we are talking about the ambassador and I think he has a right of reply. Mr Chairman, I know there is an interesting question of words regarding Head of the Civil Service versus Head of the Home Civil Service, but this is the Diplomatic Service, not the Civil Service.

Q<374> Chair:> So he is not in your jurisdiction at all.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> No.

Q<375> Paul Flynn:> But you are happy that your report is final; it does not need to go the manager it would have gone to originally, and that is the end of the affair. Is that your view?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> As I said, some issues arose where I wanted to be sure that what the Secretary of State was doing had been discussed with the Foreign Secretary. I felt reassured by what the Foreign Secretary told me.

Q<376> Chair:> I think what Mr Flynn is asking is that your report and the affair raise other issues, but you are saying that that does not fall within the remit of your report and that, indeed, the conduct of an ambassador does not fall within your remit at all.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> That is absolutely correct.

Paul Flynn:> The charge laid by Lord Turnbull in his evidence with regard to Dr Fox and the ministerial code was his failure to observe collective responsibility, in that case about Sri Lanka. Isn’t the same charge there about our policies to Iran and Israel?

Chair:> We have dealt with that, Mr Flynn.

Paul Flynn:> We haven’t dealt with it as far as it applies—

Chair:> Mr Flynn, we are moving on.

Paul Flynn:> You may well move on, but I remain very unhappy about the fact that you will not allow me to finish the questioning I wanted to give on a matter of great importance.

It is shocking but true that Robert Halfon MP, who disrupted Flynn with repeated points of order, receives funding from precisely the same Israeli sources as Werritty, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz. He also formerly had a full time paid job as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of Israel.

But despite the evasiveness of O’Donnell and the obstruction of paid zionist puppet Halfon, O’Donnell confirms vital parts of my investigation. In particular he agrees that the Fox-Werritty-Gould “private dinner” in Tel Aviv was with Mossad, and that Gould met Werritty many times more than the twice that O’Donnell listed in his “investigation” into this affair.

Of the six meetings of Fox-Gould-Werritty together which I discovered, five were while Fox was Secretary of State for Defence. Only one was while Fox was in opposition. But O’Donnell has now let the cat much further out of the bag, with the astonishing admission to Paul Flynn’s above questioning that Gould, Fox and Werritty held “meetings that took place before the election.” He also refers to “some of those meetings” as being before the election. Both are plainly in the plural.

It is now evident that not only did Fox, Gould and Werritty have at least five meetings while Fox was in power – with never another British official present – they had several meetings while Fox was shadow Foreign Secretary. O’Donnell is right that what Fox and Werritty were up to in opposition is not his concern. But what Gould was doing with them – a senior official – most definitely is.

A senior British diplomat cannot just hold a series of meetings with the opposition shadow Defence Secretary and a paid zionist lobbyist. What on earth was happening?

The absolutely astonishing cover-up and lack of honesty from the government about the Fox-Gould-Werritty relationship is being maintained with cast-iron resolve. Not only is Gould a self-declared fervent zionist, he was born in the same year as Chancellor George Osborne and attended the same private school – St Paul’s. At least some of the time he was meeting Fox and Werrity while they were in opposition, Gould was Private Secretary to New Labour Foreign Secretary David Milliband. That opens up the question of whether David Milliband, another fervent zionist, was part of the discussions with Mossad and US neo-cons on how to engineer war with Iran, for which Werritty was the conduit.

That would help explain the completeness of the cover-up. The government appears able with total impunity to refuse to answer MPs’ questions on Gould/Fox/Werritty, and they will not respond to Freedom of Information requests. It is now proven without doubt that O’Donnell lied blatantly about the number of Gould-Fox-Werritty meetings, and that Mossad was involved. And yet every single British mainstream media outlet still refuses to mention it.

I know from a mole that the plot involves a plan to attack Iran. For the cover-up to be so blatant and yet so comprehensively maintained, the secret at the heart of this conspiracy must be great, and those complicit must include a very large swathe of the British political and media establishment.

UPDATE: access to this blog is now blocked from FCO and Cabinet Office terminals. Very wise – truth can be contagious.

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I have no excuse for not blogging the last couple of days, other than that I have been taking long walks over the beach and cliffs with my family. I feel wonderful for it.

There has been much well deserved publicity for the report of the Low Pay Commission, which stated that we are fast returning to Victorian levels of inequality as the gap between rich and poor grows wider at an extraordinary pace. The reaction of talking heads all over the broadcast media has been that it must be for shareholders to set executive remuneration.

Plainly this does not work. Thomas Cook is going under, and it paid its chief executive, who resigned last year, £7 million in four years.

JJB Sports is also going under. It has huge debts, but these are less than its founder, the appalling Dave Whelan, took out of the company himself. Whelan characterised a brief strike against terrible labour conditions at the company’s depot as “communism”. He is a big donor to the Tory party. He is chairman of Wigan Athletic, and his view on racial abuse on the pitch is that “black players have just got to get on with it”.

I am not a fan of Polly Toynbee. She supported Blair tirelessly, appearing not to notice that it was in fact the Blair years, not the Thatcher years, that saw the huge acceleration in the gap between rich and poor. She continued to support New Labour war criminals on the grounds that a tiny improvement in the conditions of poor children in the UK was more important than the lives of hundreds of thousands of children killed or mutilated abroad in Blair’s Wars – a view tantamount, in my view, to racism.

But the blinkered old bat got something right when she scathingly dismissed the notion that it was shareholders who should control excessive wages. The shareholders of major corporations, she said, are often many thousands of miles away, and are fund managers who hold and dump shares fleetingly as short term speculation. They have no more say in running the company than a punter who bets on a racehorse has in running the stable. An excellent analogy.

Governmental regulation is needed to stop ridiculous inequality. Transparency is important, as the government seems prepared to admit, but will not solve the problem. Nor will employee representation on remuneration committees. These employees will be senior “trusties”, and if not, will be subject to all the threat implicit in the government drive – the most energetically pursued of all government policies – to end employees’ rights and protection from unfair dismissal. That loss of employee rights will undoubtedly increase the wealth gap. If you make it easier to sack people, it is a lie that companies will hire more people. They will sack more people.

I maintain that the law should state that net total reward for the highest earner in a company or organisation should not be more than four times the rate of reward per hour for the lowest paid employee. So if a cleaner gets £320 per week for a 40 hour week, the boss should be able to get up to £2240 per week if he works a 70 hour week.

This would have one very good effect – you would in short time find the cleaners getting paid a lot more so the boss can get more. It would need to be plain that agency or sub-contractors working within the company count – so Goldman Sachs can’t just get someone else to clean their toilets. The idea would work particularly well in the public sector, where a whole new raft of super-rich public employees were deliberately created by New Labour.

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Petrol on the Flames

Nick Clegg today is proudly announcing a coalition housing policy which is perhaps the maddest thing the government has come up with yet (though that is a tough competition). Apparently the answer to housing problems is to find ways to enable people to take on yet more debt, being helped by government to find deposits which they will however ultimately have to repay in addition to the ordinary mortgage.

In effect the government thinks that the only problem with the housing market, is that it is not as it was in early 2008. The government supports ludicrous inflated house prices, giving the economy an entirely fictional huge monetary value asset base, sustained by mortgages of 100% or more on the inflated value, amounting to many multiples of the debtor’s income.

The answer to housing availability is not for the government to find ways to enable young people to take on unrealistic amounts of debt so they can afford fake prices. The answer in the owned sector is for house prices to crash down to realistic levels which people can actually afford.

These government proposals are the precise opposite of what is needed.

The primary answer in the rented sector is for local councils to build public housing and rent it to people at genuinely affordable prices. There are a huge number of brownfield sites which can be utilised and a huge number of empty buildings ripe for conversion – including many of those empty shops. 50% of the “printed” money created by the Bank of England in the last round of Quantitative Easing exercise, and given to the banks, would have built 400,000 family homes if given to local authorities for that purpose. Think of the employment that would have created.

The UK is every bit as indebted as Greece, both as a per capita absolute and as a percentage of GDP. The difference is that Britain has more private and Greece more individual debt. But it is equally impossible to pay it back in the long term. That incredible mountain of personal debt is what has sustained Britain’s ludicrous house prices. Just as the bamks have had to take a 50% haircut on Greek debt, so also they are going, in the end, to have to take a massive haircut on their UK mortgage portfolios.

The extraordinary thing is, that those mortgages – based on totally unreasonable house valuations – constitute not liabilities but “assets” on a bank’s balance sheet, and the banksters have been able to “leverage” those assets to make speculative financial transactions – or bets – to the valuse of 12 times the “asset”.

These are some my policy prescriptions:

Give local authorities money to build 400,000 new council houses for truly social rent levels, using cash from quantitative easing
nationalise all housing association property and give to local councils as council housing
wipe off 50% of all outstanding mortgages
watch house prices crash, and cheer!

That may sound extreme to some of you. But I promise you it is infinitely more sensible than the incredible folly the government has just produced.

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Death in Kabul

I contribute to this BBC Radio Scotland programme which goes out at 14.05 today. It tells the story of Alexander Burnes, of whom I am currently writing a biography. It will hopefully give you some idea of why I am so devoted to the project. I presume that outside Scotland you can listen to it online – can anyone give a link?

Given the appalling level of recent fatalities in our current doomed and pointless occupation of Kabul, I think you will find the story quite haunting.


I think you should be able to hear it live here

or on Sky channel 0116

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Having through military force assisted in the overthrow of Colonel Gadaffi, the British government cannot absolve itself of responsibility for the fate of Seif al-Islam, and for ensuring that he is neither tortured nor killed. The government of Libya is legally within its rights in trying him in Libya rather than at ICC, provided the trial covers the charges before the ICC. The evidence of Seif al-Islam’s guilt of war crimes is not immediately apparent. Certainly the charge of hiring mercenaries on one side of the civil war rather pales in comparison to the devastation wreaked by NATO in bombing cities on the other.

But Gadaffi’s son is just one man. There are many who must be held accountable for torture, rape and murder, and at the moment there is no compelling evidence that these crimes were more prevalent from one faction in the civil war than another. You will not ehar that from a British government spokesman. Their view of responsibility for what happens next in Libya focuses on ensuring that the owners of British corporations and banks benefit.

Which brings me back to the question of the Malyshevs, deported by the British government as failed asylum seekers back to the hideous regime in Tashkent.

Six weeks later, the British government has still not given any substantive response to the public and MPs who wrote to them expressing concern at their disappearance. The last news that we had was that Nina’s daughter Helena, who remains legally in the UK, contacted her local MP in great distress asking that all campaigning stop and no more questions be asked. I am afraid that is almost certainly a sign that Nina and Mikel – who nobody has yet sighted – are still under great threat from the Uzbek authorities and the usual means of pressure are being applied.

I am told that three more deportations to Uzbekistan are in the pipeline. The British government cannot demonstrate that deportees will be safe – because they will not be. It is completely irresponsible, indeed deeply shameful, to deport people back to Karimov in these circumstances.

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More Fashionable Left Stupidity

The fashionable left continues its attempt to co-opt and elevate gangsters and violent thieves by an extremely poor article in the Guardian on the Duggan shooting. The Guardian acknowledge that Duggan had a gun, and that it was loaded, but call him “unarmed” on the basis that it was in a shoebox. The police, incidentally, deny that.

It is still completely beyond me why so many commenters on this blog seek to conflate the genuine problems police confront as they are increasingly faced with violent armed criminals, with the genuinely indefensible police actions in cases like their killing of Jean Charles De Menezes. Refusal to acknowledge the difference devalues the arguments around what is and is not reasonable for the police to do. Duggan is not De Menezes. The police were quite right to believe that Duggan was armed. Something went wrong in that Duggan was shot – but it was not an action without reason.

At a banal level, I had a really horrible journey down from St Andrews yesterday on a very overcrowded East Coast train, with the now routine problem of people sitting on the floor between coaches. In the coach which I was in, two tables of young people were listening to extremely loud music on a boombox. It really was very unpleasant, and prevented others from sleeping, reading etc. Two or three passengers asked them to turn it down, which they would do for perhaps thirty seconds and then turn it right up again. One notably old lady who had the misfortune to be seated back to back with them was called a “stupid old cow”. The train staff seemed cowed and resorted to treating it all as a big joke. I tried to reason with them and got “Fuck off fat man” for my pains.

They were wearing sportswear. I pondered what a pity it was that they did not kick the old lady to death and go out and smash some more shop windows and steal some more sportswear. Then commenters on this blog could have explained to me they were an enlightened part of the revolutionary vanguard.

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St Andrews Iran Debate

I am happy to report that at St Andrews the motion “This House Would Resort to War to Prevent a Nuclear Iran” was defeated by about 90% to 10%. More down to the students good sense than to my speech, I think. As St Andrews is not exactly a bastion of left liberalism, I was rather pleased by this. Particularly as the debate took place not far from the Werritty parental home…

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Executed Britons

The two British men executed by US drone attacks in Pakistan were not killed in combat. They were assassinated while going about normal life. This is a most barbarous practice, which amounts not just to execution without trial, but to inaccurate execution killing many who were never accused in the first place.

Being British does not make these particular victims more important than the thousands of others – including numerous women and children – that the US has assassinated in this way. But it does give the British government a standing to protest. Sadly there is no chance that the neo-cons in power will do anything about it. If there was one area where you might have expected the Lib-Dem presence in government to give it a slightly more liberal tinge, it was foreign affairs. In fact, there has been no evidence of that whatsoever.

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Patriotism Cloaks the Scoundrels

It is very sickening to see Cameron, Osborne and Johnson dressing up their opposition to a financial transaction tax as a defence of the UK against Europeans. Reducing the attraction of multiple financial speculative transactions is an obvious step in reforming the crazed world of fantasy finance. If it did reduce the concentration of speculative centres in the City of London that would in the long term be good thing – our economy is over-dependent on servicing a system which cannot last anyway.

The Tories see Britain as the world capital of spivs, with unlimited free amounts of cash raining down on their friends and family in the city who devise ever more elaborate financial speculations on every one of which they take a margin. Free lolly forever. Hooray!

But it is probably too late anyway. The establishment seems oblivious to the extent to which the system is unravelling. Almost all European governments face increasing demands for real interest on the money they borrow from banks and financial institutions – increased bond yields – but that only increases debt, which countries largely service by new borrowing in this never-never land. Banks demand higher interest because they fear the risk of not being repaid, and the higher interest makes it more and more certain they won’t be repaid. It is only one of a number of ways the logic of the system has collapsed.

So the Tories posture while the system sinks deeper and deeper, and meantime people around the world have noticed that the elite are screwing them. These really are the most interesting times of my lifetime.

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Bibi’s Official Genocide Policy

Much is made in the rush to war with Iran of Ahmadinejad’s alleged saying that Israel should be “wiped off the map”. I am not an Iranian speaker and not qualified to enter the debate as to whether that is, or is not, an accurate statement. I view Ahmadinejad as a thug anyway, irrespective of any linguistic quibble.

But it is quite astonishing that Netanyahu’s decalred, published and open intention to wipe the Palestinians from the map gets nil publicity in the west. The source for this is impeccable: Likud’s party platform as presented on the website of the Knesset.

This is absolutely compulsory reading for anybody who was taken in by the opposition to Palestinain statehood “without negotiation” as explained by the Israeli stooges in western governments. This is the actual, official Israeli policy:

The Jordan Valley and the territories that dominate it shall be under Israeli sovereignty. The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.

So Likud says all of the West Bank belongs to Israel

The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.

This clearly claims all of Gaza – and Judea and Samaria – as land to which Israeli people have an “inalienable right”. It is the apotheosis of religious fanatic claims to a “Greater Israel”, elevated into the policy of the ruling party.

Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem, including the plan to divide the city presented to the Knesset by the Arab factions and supported by many members of Labor and Meretz.

So all of Jerusalem is to be taken too.

Likud specifically lays claim to absolutely all of the lands under at least semi-autonomous Palestinian control, and they say these claims are inalienable. There is no hint of any room for negotiation in the language of these statements. The UK and US governments who pretend that it is the Palestinians who are blocking negotiations, do so knowing they are lying, and because the majority of our politicians are tied in to the Israeli lobby with golden cords.

Netanyahu’s platform, claiming every inch occupied by Palestinians, is a programme for genocide. It can be described as nothing else.

There is absolutely no room left to argue that Netanyahu does not intend to wipe the Palestinians off the map.

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Iran War Debate

I may not be able to post tomorrow as I am travelling all day from Ramsgate up to St Andrews to take part in a debate, speaking against the motion that “This House Would Resort to War to Prevent a Nuclear Iran”.

The debate will be in Lower Parliament Hall in St Andrews, starting at 19.30 on 17 November. I am sorry I can’t tell you yet who else is participating, because as with all highly topical debates it has been put together as short notice. I view campaigning to prevent the terrible death toll that a war would bring as my top priority at the moment.

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Will Sir Peter Gibson Live to Inquire?

William Hague today is giving a speech saying that he wishes to “Draw a line” under the question of UK complicity in torture. It is hard to do that when the intelligence services remain today complicit in torture. The British government still gets intelligence from torture from Uzbekistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Jordan, Gambia, Afghanistan and numrous other spots. It remains their contention that it is not illegal to do so provided that three conditions are met: they do not do the torture themselves, they do not ask for the torture to be done, and they do not use the resulting “intelligence” in court proceedings – rather than to assassinate people, detain them without trial, hand them over to another country for more torture or ruin their lives through control orders.

I have written before about the farce of having Sir Peter Gibson, the former Commissioner of the Intelligence Services, conduct an “independent” investigation into UK complicity in torture, while Gus O’Donnell, the biggest liar in the country, will decide what can and what cannot be published. Now the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, has added his voice to the many condemnations of this farcial procedure.

I am going to give evidence to the inquiry, but a key part of the government’s plan is for the inquiry never to actually happen. It has been decided that numerous legal cases and pretend police investigations have to conclude before the inquiry can start – for no real reason I can see. There is, quite literally, no timescale and I am told not necessarily in this parliament. I worry in case Sir Peter Gibson, who was born in 1935, doesn’t live long enough actually to get going. I was born in 1958, and given the glacial rate of progress – indeed absolutely none is visible to the naked eye – I may not live long enough either.

Yet another total betrayal by the coalition government.

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John Bright, Hero

When I give talks I often try to explain myself by listing my political influences: Byron, Hazlitt, Bright, John Stuart Mill. I see the audiences’ eyes rather glaze over. What do they teach them at school nowadays?

Anyway I am delighted to see there is a conference on John Bright in Birmingham on Saturday. Just been sent it, so doubt I shall make it, but sounds great.

Celebrating John Bright

Rather confused about Bill Cash, who from the little I know of him has the opposite view on everything to John Bright. But maybe there is more to him than I realised.

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Whiteman is the Villain: May is Lazy and Callous

Today’s televised select committee proceedings showed us clearly what had happened in the UK Border Agency. It is typical of what is happening throughout the Civil Service. A massively overpaid “Chief Executive”, Rob Whiteman, is parachuted in on £240,000 a year. He has never had a day’s experience as an immigration officer in his life.

He is placed over Brodie Clark, a man with over 30 years experience, who is head of the Border Force. Whiteman needs to stamp his authority on a force which probably at many levels resents a total outsider being brought in. Was Whiteman, of Barking and Dagenham local council, really that much more capable than all of the thousands of existing Border Force people who actually knows the work? Absolutely anybody could predict Whiteman’s next move – he gets rid of Clark.

He does it by conflating two things. The longstanding fact that at peak times border controls have to be relaxed or airports would overflow in sewerage and planes drop off the sky. And a targeted pilot scheme, that sounds rather sensible, to relax certain controls on certain people to allow better targeting.

Getting rid of Clark necessitates exaggerating the problems, something which an immigrant demonising media is ready to help with. But this causes problems for May as Home Secretary. Not caring about anything but her own career, she reacts by heaping huge loads of manure on Clark’s head.

Whiteman managed, in appearing before a select committee today, to come across as even more horrible than the Murdochs. That you and I are paying his huge salary is appalling. Almost appalling is that the “independent investigation” into what happened is being conducted by John Vine, who was a party to the decision to sack Clark, and a party to some of the correspondence and minutes which Whiteman refused to give the Select Commitee because he was giving it to Vine’s investigation.

Read that last sentence again. Yes, incredible but true. Yet another new low for government whitewash?

This thing stinks.

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Simple Questions A Real Democracy Would Answer

The government could clear up the issue of Fox Gould and Werritty if it answered these very simple questions. They are questions to which in any real democracy we would be entitled to expect an answer, concerning officials paid by us. I have put these questions to them. Consider why the government refuses to answer these simple and obvious questions.

But the truly terrifying thing is not just that the government refuses to answer these questions from me, it is that the mainstream media refuses even to ask them:

How many times in total did Gould, Werritty and Fox meet?
How many of these are listed in O’Donnell’s official investigation?
Why the discrepancy?

Did the meeting between Fox, Gould and Werritty while Fox was Shadow Defence Secretary follow official rules concerning briefing of opposition front bench spokesmen by officials?
Where did it take place?

When did Gould first meet Werritty?
How many times did Gould meet Werritty without Fox present?
How many communications of all sorts have there ever been between Gould and Werritty?

Where precisely was the “Pre-posting briefing meeting” for Gould with Werritty and Fox held?
Why was it not held in the Secretary of State’s office?
Why was no MOD official present?

Who paid for the “Private dinner” between Fox, Gould and Werritty and “Senior Israelis” in Tel Aviv in February 2011?
Who was present?
Was any note subsequently made of the discussion?

Who paid for the “social engagement” to which Fox invited Gould and Werritty in summer 2010?
Who was present?

Was the possibility of an attack on Iran discussed in any of the above meetings, events or communications?

These really are very simple questions and I will happily report any answer in full. Every media outlet should be asking these questions. Remember Werritty had no security clearance. It is therefore not possible that the answers to these questions is classified information.

If the explanations are innocent, why should these questions not be answered?

ACTION Please send reasoned communications to mainstream media journalists and editors, asking them if they will put these questions to the government. You may also like to contact your MP or any other politician you find reasonable, to ask them whether they are not interested to know the answers.

The answer to these questions would not be hidden in a democracy.

Please post in comments all responses you get, including from journalists.

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Matthew Gould and the Plot to Attack Iran

This is Matthew Gould, second from right, British Ambassador to Israel, who was pictured speaking at a meeting of the Leeds Zionist Federation that was also the opening of the Leeds Hasbarah Centre. The Leeds Zionist Federation is part of the Zionist Federation of Great Britain and Ireland, motto “Speaking Up for Israel.” A collection was made at the meeting to send packages to members of the Israeli Defence Force.

On 29 May 2011 The Jerusalem Post reported: “British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”.

Remember this background, it is unusual behaviour for a diplomat, and it is important.

The six meetings between British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould and Minister of Defence Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together – only two of which were revealed by Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell in his “investigation” into Werritty’s unauthorised role in the Ministry of Defence – raise vital concerns about a secret agenda for war at the core of government, comparable to Blair’s determination to drive through a war on Iraq..

This is a detective story. It begins a few weeks ago, when the Fox-Werritty scandal was first breaking in the media. I had a contact from an old friend from my Foreign Office days. This friend had access to the Gus O’Donnell investigation. He had given a message for me to a trusted third party.

Whistleblowing in the surveillance state is a difficult activity. I left through a neighbour’s garden, not carrying a mobile phone, puffed and panted by bicycle to an unmonitored but busy stretch of road, hitched a lift much of the way, then ordered a minicab on a payphone from a country pub to my final destination, a farm far from CCTV. There the intermediary gave me the message: what really was worrying senior civil servants in the Cabinet Office was that the Fox-Werritty link related to plans involving Mossad and the British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould.

Since I became a notorious whistleblower, several of my ex-friends and contacts have used me to get out information they wanted to leak, via my blog. A good recent example was a senior friend at the UN who tipped me off in advance on the deal by which the US agreed to the Saudi attack on pro-democracy demonstrators in Bahrain, in return for Arab League support for the NATO attack on Libya. But this was rather different, not least in the apparent implication that our Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, was engaged in something with Werritty which went beyond official FCO policy.

I was particularly concerned by this because I knew slightly and liked Matthew Gould, from the time he wrote speeches for Robin Cook. I hoped there was nothing much in it. But then Gould’s name started to come up as professional journalists dug into the story, and reported Werritty’s funding by pro-Israeli lobby groups.

I decided that the best approach was for me to write to Matthew Gould. I did so, asking him when he had first met Werritty, how many times he had met him, and how many communications of every kind there had been between them. I received the reply that these questions would be answered in Gus O’Donnell’s report.

But Gus O’Donnell’s report in fact answered none of these questions. It only mentioned two meetings at which Fox, Gould and Werritty were all three present. It did not mention Gould-Werritty bilateral meetings and contacts at all. To an ex-Ambassador like me, there was also something very fishy about the two trilateral meetings O’Donnell did mention and his characterisation of them.

This led me to dig further, and I was shocked to find that O’Donnell was, at the most charitable interpretation, economical with the truth. In fact there were at least six Fox-Werritty-Gould meetings, not the two given by O’Donnell. Why did GOD lie? I now had no doubt that my informant had pointed me towards something very real and very important indeed.

Matthew Gould was the only British Ambassador who Fox and Werrity met together. They met him six times. Why?

The first meeting to which O’Donnell admits, took place in September 2010. O’Donnell says this was

“a general discussion of international defence and security matters to enable Mr Gould better to understand MOD’s perspective.”

O’Donnell says Werritty should not have been present. An FCO spokesman told me on 21 October that

“Mr Gould’s meeting with the Defence Secretary was arranged by his office as part of his pre-posting briefing calls.”

All Ambassadors make pre-posting briefing calls around Whitehall before taking up their job, as you would expect. But even for our most senior Ambassadors, outside the Foreign Office those calls are not at Secretary of State level. Senior officials are quite capable of explaining policy to outgoing Ambassadors; Secretaries of State have many other things to do.

For this meeting to happen at all was not routine, and Werritty’s presence made it still more strange. Why was this meeting happening? I dug further, and learnt from a senior MOD source that there were two more very strange things about this meeting, neither noted by O’Donnell. There was no private secretary or MOD official present to take note of action points, and the meeting took place not in Fox’s office, but in the MOD dining room.

O’Donnell may have been able to fox the media, but to a former Ambassador this whole meeting stunk. I bombarded the FCO with more questions, and discovered an amazing fact left out by O’Donnell. The FCO spokesman replied to me on 21 October 2011 that:

“Mr Werritty was also present at an earlier meeting Mr Gould had with Dr Fox in the latter’s capacity as shadow Defence Secretary.”

So Gould, Fox and Werritty had got together before Gould was Ambassador, while Fox was still in opposition and while Werritty was – what, exactly? This opened far more questions than it answered. I put them to the FCO. When, where and why had this meeting happened? We only knew it was before May 2010, when Fox took office. What was discussed? There are very strict protocols for senior officials briefing opposition front bench spokesman. Had they been followed?

The FCO refused point blank to answer any further questions. I turned to an independent-minded MP, Jeremy Corbyn, who put down a parliamentary question to William Hague. The reply quite deliberately ignored almost all of Corbyn’s question, but it did throw up an extraordinary bit of information – yet another meeting between Fox, Werritty and Gould, which had not been previously admitted.

Hague replied to Corbyn that:

“Our ambassador to Israel was also invited by the former Defence Secretary to a private social engagement in summer 2010 at which Adam Werritty was present.”

Getting to the truth was like drawing teeth, but the picture was building. O’Donnell had completely mischaracterised the “Briefing meeting” between Fox, Werritty and O’Donnell by hiding the fact that the three had met up at least twice before – once for a meeting when Fox was in opposition, and once for “a social engagement.” The FCO did not answer Corbyn’s question as to who else was present at this “social engagement”.

This was also key because Gould’s other meetings with Fox and Werritty were being characterised – albeit falsely – as simply routine, something Gould had to do in the course of his ambassadorial duties. But this attendance at “a private social engagement” was a voluntary act by Gould, indubitable proof that, at the least, the three were happy in each other’s company, but given that all three were very active in zionist causes, it was a definite indication of something more than that.

That furtive meeting between Fox, Werritty and Gould in the MOD dining room, deliberately held away from Fox’s office where it should have taken place, and away from the MOD officials who should have been there, now looks less like briefing and more like plotting.

My existing doubts about the second and only other meeting to which O’Donnell does admit make plain why that question is very important.

O’Donnell had said that Gould, Fox and Werritty had met on 6 February 2011:

“in Tel Aviv. This was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK Ambassador was present.”

There was something very wrong here. Any ex-Ambassador knows that any dinner with senior figures from your host country, at which the British Ambassador to that country and a British Secretary of State are both present, and at which international affairs are discussed, can never be “private”. You are always representing the UK government in that circumstance. The only explanation I could think of for O’Donnell’s astonishing description of this as a “private” dinner was that the discussion was far from being official UK policy.

I therefore asked the FCO who was at this dinner, what was discussed, and who was paying for it? I viewed the last as my trump card – if either Gould or Fox was receiving hospitality, they are obliged to declare it. To my astonishment the FCO refused to say who was present or who paid. Corbyn’s parliamentary question also covered the issue of who was at this dinner, to which he received no reply.

Plainly something was very wrong. I therefore again asked how often Gould had met or communicated with Werritty without Fox being present. Again the FCO refused to reply. But one piece of information that had been found by other journalists was that, prior to the Tel Aviv dinner, Fox, Gould and Werritty had together attended the Herzilya conference in Israel. The programme of this is freely available. It is an unabashedly staunch zionist annual conference on “Israel’s security”, which makes no pretence at a balanced approach to Palestinian questions and attracts a strong US neo-conservative following. Fox, Gould and Werritty sat together at this event.

Yet again, the liar O’Donnell does not mention it.

I then learnt of yet another, a sixth meeting between Fox, Gould and Werritty. This time my infomrant was another old friend, a jewish diplomat for another country, based at an Embassy in London. They had met Gould, Fox and Werritty together at the “We believe in Israel” conference in London in May 2011. Here is a photo of Gould and Fox together at that conference.

I had no doubt about the direction this information was leading, but I now needed to go back to my original source. Sometimes the best way to hide something is to put it right under the noses of those looking for it, and on Wednesday I picked up the information in a tent at the Occupy London camp outside St Paul’s cathedral.

This is the story I was given.

Matthew Gould was Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Iran, a country which Werritty frequently visited, and where Werritty claimed to have British government support for plots against Ahmadinejad. Gould worked at the British Embassy in Washington; the Fox-Werritty Atlantic Bridge fake charity was active in building links between British and American neo-conservatives and particularly ultra-zionists. Gould’s responsibilities at the Embassy included co-ordination on US policy towards Iran. The first meeting of all three, which the FCO refuses to date, probably stems from this period.

According to my source, there is a long history of contact between Gould and Werritty. The FCO refuse to give any information on Gould-Werritty meetings or communications except those meetings where Fox was present – and those have only been admitted gradually, one by one. We may not have them all even yet.

My source says that co-ordinating with Israel and the US on diplomatic preparation for an attack on Iran was the subject of all these meetings. That absolutely fits with the jobs Gould held at the relevant times. The FCO refuses to say what was discussed. My source says that, most crucially, Iran was discussed at the Tel Aviv dinner, and the others present represented Mossad. The FCO again refuses to say who was present or what was discussed.

On Wednesday 2 November it was revealed in the press that under Fox the MOD had prepared secret and detailed contingency plans for British participation in an attack on Iran.

There are very important questions here. Was Gould really discussing neo-con plans for attacking Iran with Werritty and eventually with Fox before the Conservatives were even in government? Why did O’Donnell’s report so carefully mislead on the Fox-Gould-Werritty axis? How far was the FCO aware of MOD preparations for attacking Iran? Is there a neo-con cell of senior ministers and officials, co-ordinating with Israel and the United States, and keeping their designs hidden from the Conservative’s coalition partners?

The government could clear up these matters if it answered some of the questions it refuses to answer, even when asked formally by a member of parliament. The media have largely moved on from the Fox-Werritty affair, but have barely skimmed the surface of the key questions it raises. They relate to secrecy, democratic accountabilty and preparations to launch a war, preparations which bypass the safeguards of good government. The refusal to give straight answers to simple questions by a member of perliament strikes at the very root of our democracy.

Is this not precisely the situation we were in with Blair and Iraq? Have no lessons been learnt?

There is a further question which arises. Ever since the creation of the state of Israel, the UK had a policy of not appointing a jewish Briton as Ambassador, for fear of conflict of interest. As a similar policy of not appointing a catholic Ambassador to the Vatican. New Labour overturned both longstanding policies as discriminatory. Matthew Gould is therefore the first jewish British Ambassador to Israel.

Matthew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as “Not just an ambassador who is jewish, but a jewish ambassador”. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.

It is thus most unfortunate that it is Gould who is the only British Ambassador to have met Fox and Werritty together, who met them six times, and who now stands suspected of long term participation with them in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel. This makes it even more imperative that the FCO answers now the numerous outstanding questions about the Gould/Werritty relationship and the purpose of all those meetings with Fox.

There is no doubt that the O’Donnell report’s deceitful non-reporting of so many Fox-Gould-Werritty meetings, the FCO’s blunt refusal to list Gould-Werritty, meetings and contacts without Fox, and the refusal to say who else was present at any of these occasions, amounts to irrefutable evidence that something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government. I have no doubt that my informant is telling the truth, and the secret is the plan to attack Iran. It fits all the above facts. What else does?

Please feel free to re-use and republish this article anywhere, commercially or otherwise. It has been blocked by the mainstream media. I write regularly for the mainstream media and this is the first article of mine I have ever been unable to publish. People have risked a huge amount by leaking me information in an effort to stop the government machinery from ramping up a war with Iran. There are many good people in government who do not want to see another Iraq. Please do all you can to publish and redistribute this information.

UPDATE A commenter has already pointed me to this bit of invaluable evidence:

“My government absolutely agrees with your conception of the Iranian threat and the importance of your determination to battle it.” Dealing with the Iranian threat will be a large part of my work here.” Gould said.

From Israel National News. It also says that he will be trying to promote a positive atmosphere between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority, but the shallowest or the deepest search shows the same picture; an entirely biased indeed fanatical zionist who must give no confidence at all to the Palestinian Authority. He must be recalled.

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