The Gould Werritty Investigation Continues 175

An MP has been refused by the Commons Table Office when they tried to table a question asking how many meetings Gould had held with Werritty and/or Fox. The Table Office say the question has already been answered – even though we know for certain that the answer given was untrue.

This was the untrue – or at the very least radically unfull – answer cited by the Table Office:

Adam Werritty
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what meetings HM ambassador to Israel has had with the Secretary of State for Defence (a) in Israel, (b) in the UK and (c)
31 Oct 2011 : Column 374W
elsewhere since May 2010; whether Mr Adam Werritty was present on any such occasion; and which (i) other officials and (ii) other people were present on each occasion. [76970]
Alistair Burt: All meetings which our ambassador to Israel has had with the former Secretary of State for Defence, my right hon. Friend the Member for North Somerset (Dr Fox) since May 2010 are set out in the Cabinet Secretary’s report of 18 October 2011. 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.

It is remarkable rule of parliament that apparently once a minister lies about something, parliamentarians are never allowed to ask about it again.

Meantime I have submitted a Freedom of Information request about a Freedom of Information request! I have asked for any notes, minutes, emails or correspondence relating to the handling of my FOI request for the Gould-Werritty correspondence. You may recall that my request was declined on grounds of cost, and dealt with in the remarkable time of just 76 minutes, the answer ebing received at 11.31 pm!

Finally the editor of the Jewish Chronicle has declined to publish the following article, which I submitted to him as a comment piece covering the JC’s promotion of the charges of anti-semitism against Paul Flynn for pursuing the Gould/Werritty issue. This is a shame, because the JC used to give space to liberal views, and because I believe a serious percentage of their readership would have been interested in the other side of the story.

There is a genuine argument that it was not wise to appoint Matthew Gould as Ambassador to Israel, and the accusations of anti-Semitism levelled at MP Paul Flynn MP by Dennis McShane, and reported by Martin Bright in the JC, do not address that argument.

Of course being Jewish does not in any way disqualify Matthew Gould from being a British ambassador. We are fortunate in the UK to have many brilliant Jewish diplomats. Jon Benjamin in Santiago is an example of an absolutely first rate ambassador with whom I was once privileged to work.

But Israel/Palestine remains, beyond dispute, a scene of unresolved conflict. The Israeli government, for example, recognises that conflict by invoking the San Remo Agreement to justify its naval embargo of Gaza. The San Remo agreement only applies in times of armed conflict. The dispute is also witnessed not just by events on the ground, but in diplomatic terms by the whole paraphernalia of Middle East peace negotiation, including the post of Quartet envoy occupied by Tony Blair.

So the situation surrounding Israel is not normal and involves conflict. That is, of course, by no means unique. Nearby Cyprus is subject to a dispute that has many parallels. I was Head of the FCO Cyprus section for three years, and tried hard but failed to make progress in resolving the “Cyprus question”. Winning trust was extremely difficult; it would have been well nigh impossible had I been ethnically Greek or Turkish. For the Head of the FCO Cyprus section, or for our Ambassador in Nicosia, to be ethnically Greek, Turkish or either shade of Cypriot just would not be practically useful. I hope nobody will accuse me of being anti-Greek or anti-Turk for saying so.

Similarly, it is just not helpful to have an Ambassador in Tel-Aviv who is Jewish or Palestinian. It just isn’t practically wise. This is not a matter of high policy. There may be Jews or Palestinians of such exceptional personal qualities they could rise above any suspicion of partisanship and be effective. But Matthew Gould has proven himself not to be that talented.

Matthew’s frequent declarations to the Israeli media of his personal commitment to zionism are neither helpful nor necessary for a diplomat. Take for example this from the Jerusalem Post of 29 May:

“British Ambassador Matthew Gould declared his commitment to Israel and the principles of Zionism on Thursday”
That really is a very peculiar thing for a diplomat, who is supposed to have just the one national commitment, to say. I was dismissed as an Ambassador – by FCO ministers including Dennis McShane – for too strong a personal commitment to human rights. A personal commitment to zionism is by comparison a good thing, apparently.

We also cannot pretend that in 2011 to declare oneself a “zionist” in political terms merely has its 19th century meaning of somebody who believes in the existence of a state of Israel. The readership of the JC knows that the term “zionist” has accrued baggage of support for settlements and a greater Israel, for the annexation of the whole of Jerusalem, and of links with the non-Jewish foreign policy neo-Cons both sides of the Atlantic. who also declare themselves ardent zionists at every opportunity.

It is also worth noting that, of the entertained guests who have passed into Gould’s Tel Aviv residence, a disgruntled British Embassy source tells me that well less than 5% of invites have been to Israeli Arabs who constitute 20% of the population.

Finally, we have to consider the extraordinary relationship of Gould with Adam Fox and Liam Werritty. It has been shown that the trio met at least seven times, including several meetings before the election, according to Gus O’Donnell’s replies to Paul Flynn at the Public Administration Committee. The FCO refuses point-blank to say how many times Gould met Werritty without Fox, and refused within the hour (at nearly midnight!) my emailed Freedom of Information request for the Gould/Werritty correspondence.

No other official was ever present at any of the Fox-Gould-Werritty meetings – one of many strange facts about them. Gus O’Donnell’s report mentions only two of what we now know was a much larger series of meetings. We really need to know what Gould, the “committed zionist”, was doing with the two extreme Atlanticist neo-cons – and why the government is so anxious to hide it..

That is a genuine question, and to scream “anti-semite” at anyone who asks it devalues the term.

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175 thoughts on “The Gould Werritty Investigation Continues

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  • Alec Ward

    “charges of anti-semitism against Paul Flynn for pursuing the Gould/Werritty issue.”

    This is the pathetic state of affairs we have now reached when anyone dares to suggest that a Jew or Israel might be wrong or unjustified in something they have said or done. Out comes the accusations from Zionists and their supporters of anti-semitism. No one is allowed to disagree or question anything about the Israeli policy on Palestine or Palestinians without being labelled an anti-semite. No one is allowed to question anything full stop. Do Zionists and Israel not realise how sick to death we liberals are of this stupid accusation. If liberals in 1930’s Germany had publicly criticised the policies and activities of the Nazis, would they have been anti-German, or anti-aryan. Hind sight has shown that had the liberals in 1930’s Germany had a forum and organisation to enable meaningful and effective opposition to the Nazi state activities the dreadful atrocities might, just might have never happened. It’s always the same with the right in any form and time in history, debate is not allowed, they have the monopoly on intelligent thinking, they have to be applauded and totally supported in everything they say or do, discussion, compromise, is not tolerated. Pathetic.

  • Ken

    Alec Ward…[charges of anti-semitism against Paul Flynn for pursuing the Gould/Werritty issue.”

    This is the pathetic state of affairs we have now reached when anyone dares to suggest that a Jew or Israel might be wrong or unjustified in something they have said or done. Out comes the accusations from Zionists and their supporters of anti-semitism. No one is allowed to disagree or question anything about the Israeli policy on Palestine or Palestinians without being labelled an anti-semite]

    Yes it certainly is pathetic and what is even more pathetic is that the Media never really questions it,like with Paul Flynn,there was no one commenting on what he said was right. It was just all bout demonising him and obviously it worked as he had to back down and apologise,which is sad because what he said is true.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    I agree Alec Ward and such accusations only serve to stifle and suffocate intelligent debate or weaken any argument based on reason, logic and humanitarian advancement. For the gutless press the strategy of avoidance is clear when addressing biased and discriminatory issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Which returns me to ‘Jives’ link in which Robert Fisk says:
    “It reminds me so much of the equally craven way that so many American reporters cover the Middle East, eerily avoiding any direct criticism of Israel, abetted by an army of pro-Likud lobbyists to explain to viewers why American “peacemaking” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can be trusted, why the good guys are “moderates”, the bad guys “terrorists”.
    That ridiculous and senseless bias can be observed in the flaky war criminal Antony Blair in his role as Middle East Peace Envoy. His ‘Bush’ imprint has cast an incredulous shadow over the position and even when we lob a cursory glance at this man’s history we immediately realise he was responsible for appointing Michael Abraham Levy (Lord Levy) as his own Special Envoy to The Middle East. This post lasted for nine year until Blair’s own appointment (!) and achieved absolutely zilch for the Palestinians. Remarkably or not Levy’s son Daniel has in fact served as an assistant to the former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, so he was in a post that could hardly be described as supportive of Palestinian aspirations! Lord Levy praised Blair in the Jerusalem Post for his “solid and committed support of the State of Israel.”
    Yes indeed pathetic and systemic or built into the system of modern British politics. It makes one want to set the heart on a sustained metamorphosis, an ‘about face’ away from 30 yrs of British foreign policy stagnation, corruption and deception. The British public have finally woken up to this ruse. Silence and obfuscation is no longer an option.

  • nuid

    Jusus Christ, Crab, will you let it go. This has been going on on another thread also, with multiple people attacking Ken. And then when he defends himself he’s told to “let it go.” Well, LET IT GO.

  • ph

    It all makes sense now..

    It’s not the Twilight Zone.
    It’s not the Outer Limits.
    Nope, it’s not even the Bermuda Triangle.

    It’s much more (ha ha) existential than any of those.

    It was never born nor ever dies.

    It’s the Yehuda Triangle..

  • anno

    In words of one syllable, Judaism, original Unitarian Christinity and Islam were all founded in the Middle East. Trinitarian Christianity and Zionism and many other false religions like Sikhism were invented in the West for dividing and ruling purposes.
    Why is this important? Because in the current heating conflict between Islam and the West you have to take into account that the West historically has been prepared to use religion as a weapon, for economic and political gain through its divisive force.
    Most of you here bury your heads in the sand and say that religion is irrelevant. That’s like saying tax is irrelevant even though we pay VAT at 20% on everything we purchase.
    Similarly we are paying a heavy price in human terms for the divisions that cynical politicians have created through religion.
    I banged my head on a pipe this week. I might just as well have banged it on a brick wall instead. 1/ It would have been blunter and 2/ nobody on this blog ever reads a word I write.

    all analysis of world politics that starts with the economics, the manoevering for power and resoiurces

  • Komodo

    Anno, I hate to disagree with you, but I often (not always) read your comments. Any hierarchical religion is constructed to give the lucky hierarchy power over mens’ minds, agreed. But whether they are founded with that in mind is perhaps another matter. Christianity beagn among a pretty powerless group of people, who were regarded as outcast heretics from Judaism – we can date the rot from St. Paul – and by the time of Claudius Christians had become a damn nuisance to the ruling class. Which was very tolerant of religious and racial differences, and very little else. Islam is not in itself hierarchical. Only when someone has the bright idea of having an Islamic Republic or a Wahhabi State does it become so; normally there is no Grand High Panjandrum Imam (unlike the small-c catholic Churches with their Pope or Archbishop of Canterbury), and the political effectiveness of modern Islam is perhaps better seen in the utterly ineffective Arab League than in the autocracy-with-a clerical face currently running Iran with a nod and a wink to what we call democracy.
    Sikhism, invented in the West? Wasn’t its intention to unify Hinduism and Islam? Pity it didn’t work, say I.

  • Leonard

    Following on from the excellent Fisk article :- A prime example of the ability of banksters to seamlessly revolve around the spiv merry-go-round is Howard Davies, former director of the LSE who recently resigned after accepting donations from Libya into the LSE’s bank account. Prior to this Davies was a banker, a UK treasury advisor, a director of the CBI, even a foreign diplomat, then became the first chief of the Financial Services Authority at exactly the time the FSA drew up its NON regulation of the city which opened the floodgates of city corruption, fraud and bent mortgages, pensions, loans and derivatives. Under Davies’s watch (1997-2003) the FSA stood by while the banks, and with the approval of their pals the “ratings” agencies, conceived a plan to gamble the nation’s savings away on dodgy loans and sub prime mortgages, leading to the loss of hundreds of billions which now the tax payer is burdened with paying off for years to come.

    Davies’s reward for doing precisely NOTHING at the FSA to stem the tide of banking profligacy was a knighthood. He even had a stint at the Audit Commission. His circular route through every imaginable institution left largely a trail of either financial or morally corrupt destruction, yet earning greater salaries and more bonuses at each stage of a lamentable career that was high on ambition and exceedingly low on performance or of any perceivable use.

    He is a classic example of Fisk’s references to those men who spend a lifetime circulating around the exclusive clubs of insider spivs and who wander aimlessly between universities, government, banks, “regulation” and vested interests, sometimes doing two complete rounds of the whole funfair, and at each stop leaving chaos in their wake only to be re-employed at vast salaries to play repeated havoc without hindrance in yet another club branch of the inner circle of greed.

    Once any member of these societies for dysfunctional toads take hold, they seem to be imbude with an unstoppable ability to invade ANY area of public life without ever being held to account for their utter lack of self-reflection, regret or behaviour. Indeed, Mr Davies regularly appears in broadcasting and printed media for his respected “wisdom” and considered views on the debacles which currently afflict our economy, while somehow his own history of complete incompetence, and his direct influence on those disasters has been magically ignored.

    It would be unfair just to pick on him though. There are hundreds of MPs, peers, business tycoons, regulators and officials who have spent their entire careers doing the rounds of available institutions, and as they go, screwing up the economy or ruining formerly democratic institutions in their insatiable greed for cash, honours, power and influence, and whose legacy has left a long wake of disastrous consequences for those whom they have absolutely no regard, chiefly the naive and gullible electorate that is unwilling to take a properly sceptical view of their motives.

    And this is not helped by a press and broadcast media who parade these ghastly spivs onto their pages and studios, inviting their views, while ignoring those whose antennae are more critical and discerning, such as Craig’s or indeed anyone else who bothers to intelligently examine what is really going on. The result is a farcical and kafka-esque obsequious pandering to those very people who are actually destroying the very institutions they claim to be concerned about, and the principle sycophant in this regard is the BBC, whose news broadcasts on financial matters reaches a level of complicity, complacency, ignorance and sheer naivity that is breathtaking to behold.

  • John Goss

    Komodo, the Mail is no longer taking messages on Fox’s claim that the Russians are going to use the Olympics as a cover to ‘import’ unsavoury characters. There can be none so unsavoury as those already here, who Fox is probably already acquainted with, but then they are super-rich: Berezovsky, Abramovich et al.

    Was Werritty there with him at Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative Party? Probably waiting in the car. How can anyone entertain such a nasty little man who is trying to take us into another war? Pass me the sick bucket!

  • Jives

    @ Leonard,
    Holy smoke my good man! That’s an even better post than Fisk’s!

  • John Goss

    Rehmat, Mark_Golding, Komodo. Ron Paul, although a Tea-Party Republican, has consistently talked about how damaging US wars are to its economy. That he claims Bush was happy after 9/11 is no surprise. Everybody saw Bush use it as an excuse for invading Iraq, followed by other countries. There are many conspiracy theories about what happened with 9/11. I started watching this documentary about Dr Judy Cook’s analysis of what happened to the twin towers yesterday – and although the programme is 1 hour 40 minutes long watched it to the end. There were details in the documentary of which I was unaware. She has been threatened. But she took out proceedings against the government version of what happened to the twin towers and other buildings. But the Supreme Court would not hear the case. Who knew about the scorched cars not in the actual ground zero area? Who knew there was a hurricane off New York on that day. Whatever conclusion you reach if you watch this documentary it is unlikely to be the same as before you watched it.

  • crab

    Also, that is a very poor quality nine-etc info link, and this is definitely not the time to get into.

    My apologies and thanks to the great readers and the amazing man.

  • nuid

    “She did not make any charges or defense to any past argument, only that she had been ‘flamed’.”
    Mary had already posted on 8 Dec, 2011 at 10:35 pm here:
    where she had her say about ‘the troll’ and ‘smears’. There was no need to bring it up again now, and anyway, she was not the only one who was “flamed”. The ‘group mauling’ that went on initially when Ken appeared here was reminiscent of the treatment I’ve received on Tea Party blogs, and I would hate to see that standard applied here.
    Komodo might be better engaged in using his ever-ready tongue to sniff out the ‘sockpuppets’ he hasn’t recognised yet, than pronouncing on who is a troll or who should be banned. I’d leave all that to Craig and/or Jon.
    I might add that there is a tendency on blogs for certain “long timers” to begin to think they own the comment section. They don’t. The only one who owns anything here is Craig Murray.
    Au revoir

  • John Goss

    Rehmat, your post is different from the interview with Dr Judy Cook, which relates to nothing but evidence and little in way of speculation about how the evidence came about. 4000 Jews never stayed away from work at the World Trade Centre, 130 Jews were killed in the attack, together with Christians, Muslims, other faiths, and people without faith.
    Dr Cook makes no conspiratorial theory as to who was behind the 9/11 attacks, just that great slabs of concrete disintegrated into dust, thousand of tons of steel girders vanished into thin air. Any conspiracy would evolve from speculation as to which power had the capability to do such a thing. She avoided that.

  • Mary

    Off topic. These phenomenal figures are on the National Debt.

    USA – Foreign debt $14 trillion (trillion = 1,000,000,000,000) and rising. They get away with it because they are armed to the teeth.
    The UK – Qw have our very stable sensible government with an impeccable financial services ‘industry’. You know, they make ‘products’ like HSBC selling of long term care insurance to poor old dears well past their likely longevity.
    Net debt including bailouts was £2266.3 billion (148.0 % of GDP) That is worse than Spain and Greece.
    Now when did we hear Peston and Landale telling us this?
    We are captive to terrible liars. We need to riot.

    The US debt is $14 trillion. 1 trillion = 1,000,000,000,000 They get away with it because they are armed to the teeth.

  • Rob Roytston

    @ John Goss,

    The heroines name is Dr Judy Wood, not Cook. I’ve been reading her theories for some time and she is the only person who seems to have a joined up explanation of what actually happened, but even she cannot fully understand it all. I just struggle to believe that such power and technology could be kept secret for so long.

  • Mary

    David Beetham examines the growing dominance of unaccountable corporate and financial interests




    The dominance of private interests at the very heart of government, of which Rupert Murdoch has been only one example, seriously challenges the idea that we live under anything resembling democratic rule. Instead of the public sphere constituting an independent domain, with its distinctive values, relationships and ways of operating, it has become an extension of the private market, permeated by the market’s logic and interests.
    Instead of popular control we have subordination to interconnected groups of the wealthy and economically powerful. Instead of everyone counting for one, we have the easy purchase of political influence and the well-oiled revolving door between government and the corporate sector. In sum, we have more an unelected oligarchy than a true democracy.

  • John Goss

    Rob Royston, thanks for the correction. It’s one of the problems when you’re getting older, if you rely too much on memory it will find you out. I have to check a lot more now in the short-term range. Still I got her first name right! Her observations make a lot of sense to me too. Of all the commentators on 9/11 she has been more convincing than any. Also she is a very brave woman. The judge who asked her if she had a death wish did so clandestinely, but I believe her account. Somebody, some of the powers that be, are covering something up.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Good comment – Thank-you.
    Maybe a valuable mission in life consists not in having great power and possessions, but in having few wants.
    Those who spend their entire life with an insatiable greed for cash, honours, power and influence really do end up with having miscarried on what life really has to offer.
    Tell that to a banker or politician and you will notice the lights are on however nobody is at home.

  • crab


    I think it is wanting for others Mark, the more you do that the less pointless and solitary life is. But wanting only for your closest, is only a little better than being entirely self involved.

    Lots of modern jobtypes -involving finance, trade, disproportionate care and neglect, oppose our finest instincts.

  • arsalan

    In the past Israel was able to kill, torture and rape as many Arabs as they like free from the fear that anyone would say a word against them. Knowing for a fact that they would be able to stop all criticism by simple shouting it down with one word.
    Just one word, ‘anti-Semitism!’

    No Israel can freely spy on this country and openly manipulate the parliament, to use to use the British Army to fight its proxie wars.
    Knowing that if this fact is ever mentioned, all they need to do, is shout Anti Semitism.

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