Daily Archives: November 11, 2011


The Hottest Potato

Taking on the Zionist lobby head-on is well nigh impossible.

I have written a stunning piece on Werritty, Israel and a neo-con plot to attack Iran. It contains information not published anywhere, even here. I have circulated it to several national newspapers, for each of which I have written many times. I have never had a piece refused before.

Several national papers have checked out my story factually and nobody has found a single hole in it. But nobody will publish it. I reproduce below every email I have received from any of these papers in reply. They show what a hot potato a serious anti-Zionist is – and I strongly suspect that the repeated inability of editors to make decisions which emerges from these emails shows they need on this subject to consult their proprietors.

The emails are given with the source removed and which is from which paper disguised, because I don’t wish to attack anyone in particular for this generic fear of the Israeli lobby, and also because I hope I may one day work for them again. In fact I still have not received an actual “no” from anybody – just a repeated batting off of the hot potato. The story is so good nobody can actually think of an excuse to refuse it, but they dare not accept it.

I think some of the individuals involved are ashamed. Each of the papers have had the article between five and ten days – which when you consider how the newspaper industry works, is an astonishing period in which nobody is able to make a decision.

“Sorry. … is the editor.”

“Just back in after being out most of day. Jury (i.e. editor) is still out on this one. I’ve spoken to …, and emailed him your copy. Will report back in the morning.”

“Dear Craig, sorry to have been slow back, but I’m on holiday. I’ve looked at your earlier email and can’t find the attachment you mention (of the long piece), but think I’ve got the basic idea. I’m no longer comment editor and don’t commission pieces, but would recommend getting in touch with …(who is comment editor, currently editing …) if you’re thinking of a comment piece. If it’s more news, then … worth talking to, or maybe one of the reporters who’s worked on the Werrity case. Let me know how you get on, all best,”

“Hi Craig OK, had some feedback from the editor. We can’t do anything on this this week, for various reasons. In an ideal world, we would like to hold on to it for another week. We would then have our politics team make some inquiries and then run your piece – or a version of it – alongside a news story on this particular issue (providing of course that our team can come up with one). Obviously there are quite a few ifs and buts here – we can’t guarantee that we will run the piece – so I completely understand if you feel that this is unsatisfactory and that you want to cut your losses and take it elsewhere. In that case, we’ll simply pay you the £200 we’ve already agreed and hope you will consider us again the next time you have something.”

“OK, thanks Craig. Will give you a call or drop you a line tomorrow.”

“I’m temporarily out of action- deal w …?”

“Well, we can pay £200 to hang on to it until tomorrow and then I’ll have to talk to the editor about what he wants to pay to run it but if we ran it at the length you sent it, it would be a minimum of, say, £1,500”

“Yes, there was talk of it on the Today programme as well.”

“Yes, sorry for delay in replying. The answer is we are interested in your piece. It’s too early in the week to say that we’re definitely going to run it. Can we sit on it for the time being and talk again late tomorrow? Naturally, we’ll pay you for the piece”

“Good stuff.”

“Hi Craig. Thanks for your email. This other meeting might allow us to take the story on and reprise a lot of the material which was left out of our original story. What do you think?”

“Hello Craig Thanks for this. Let me have a read and a think about it and then I’ll get back to you. Cheers”

“Craig Having now had a look at your piece, let me have a bit more time to think about it, would you? best wishes”

“Craig I’ve been out of town and offline until this morning. But I’m no longer comment editor, so I don’t commission any articles anyhow best wishes”

“Craig. As I mentioned, I am off this week. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you on Saturday. I have handed your piece over to …, the Foreign editor, and recommended it to him. He is extremely experienced and will have its best wishes at heart as well as the knowhow to secure its place in the paper. I do hope he and you can make it work. With good wishes”

“Craig.. Thank you. I have read it and have now shown it to the editor. He is having a think. I’ll get back to you as soon as I know anything … ”

UPDATE

The banned article can now be read here

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The Day Democracy Died in Europe

11 November is rightly a poignant day. I wear a red poppy, always have, for the reasons I used to 40 years ago, ignoring the overlay of militaristic propaganda, which was always there but has been hyper-amplified of late.

But this is the day the music died for European democracy. It is of course a mistake to choose a single day or event as the day any historical grand process unfolds. But a single day can symbolise it, like the fall of the Bastille.

I didn’t notice it at the time, but democracy actually stopped meaning anything in England some years ago as all the main English political parties were bought for the neo-con agenda.

In Europe, today is one of those symbolic days as the former Vice President of the European Central Bank is imposed on the Greeks by the Germans as their Prime Minister, and as former EU Commissioner Mario Monti is forced upon the Italians, in neither case with any voter having a chance to do anything about it.

15 years ago, as First Secretary of the British Embassy in Warsaw, my main job was to help move Poland into the European Union. I attended many conferences organised by the EU – and some organised by me – to promote this. At one Konrad Adenauer Foundation organised conference, speaker after speaker outlined what they called “the role of elites” in promoting EU integration. That was the title of one of the sessions. The thesis was put forward, quite openly, that European Union was a great and noble idea which had always been moved forward by great visionaries among the elite, and that popular opinion may be relied on to catch up eventually, but should not be allowed to stop the project.

If you haven’t seen and felt it from the insde, you cannot understand the reverence the eurocrats feel towards the names of their founding fathers, like Schumann and Monnet and Spinelli and a host of others you and I have never heard of. Participants at conferences like the one I was at in Poland, run by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, are made very much to feel that they are a part of this elite, a kind of superman with a superior knowledge and insight to the ordinary pleb. It was heady stuff for ambitious young Polish politicians of the mid 1990s.

I made a speech at that conference in which I warned against the elitist model and spoke of the need for informed consent in a democracy. This was viewed as rather quaint, though I did make a great many rather good jokes. I remain broadly in favour of European integration in principle, and entirely in favour of Europe’s open internal borders, but still very mindful that those driving the European project do not really believe in democracy if it means that common people can tell great minds like them what to do.

11 November may go down in history as the day that helped the ordinary people of Europe realise that.

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