Belated Self-Congratulation

by craig on March 14, 2014 3:58 pm in Uncategorized

In January, in the lengthy period when I was not posting this blog received its 5 millionth unique visitor.  That really is quite a lot of people.  Despite having been dark for most of the last twelve months, remarkably after just three weeks comeback it is back in the top 30 UK political blogs, and well on the way back to its former position of being the second most influential UK blog of any kind.

Interestingly this page has been seen by over four hundred thousand people.  Glancing through the locations of the last 100 to look at it, 90% of them were in Scotland.  I might therefore humbly claim to have a small impact on the referendum campaign.  I would stress I am extremely willing to speak at campaign meetings at any time, and will absolutely prioritise any such invites over the next six months.

I should express my enormous gratitude to all those who have helped keep this site going, designers, hosts, technicians and moderators, who have not only put in a huge amount of unpaid time but in some cases contributed from their own pockets to the costs over many years. I am not naming names as some specifically wish to be anonymous, but I am very well aware of who each one is – even though, in an extraordinary number of cases, we have never met in the non-virtual world!

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  1. Craig Murray – Scotland’s soon-to-be ambassador to what remains of the UK. I can’t wait.

  2. CameraOn promises tax autonomy.

    14 March 2014
    Scottish Tory conference: Cameron in tax power pledge to No vote Scotland
    By Andrew Black
    Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Q How many Tory MPs in Scotland? Answers on a postcard please.

  3. Time to get a few ads up.

  4. It’s a proud record. Well done.

  5. bookies offering 4-1 on a yes vote for independence.

  6. BrianFujisan

    14 Mar, 2014 - 6:05 pm

    Congratulations indeed Craig…. Some justice in the Fugazi world… Keep up the great work.

    At the time, i put your post about the English/Scottish maritime boundary… up on my Facebook page… perhaps with your kind permission i should put it up again…and again.

  7. The Scottish public are desperate for the truth, Craig.
    The whole media in Scotland is London owned. The internet is the only source of London free information.

  8. Nice one.

  9. doug scorgie

    14 Mar, 2014 - 6:40 pm

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said it would be “extremely difficult, if not impossible” for an independent Scotland to join the European Union.

    “French Socialist MP Axelle Lemaire, whose unique constituency role covers all French people living in Northern Europe, joined her conservative UMP counterpart, Joëlle Garriaud-Maylam, in saying President Barroso’s comments were nothing more than a manoeuvre to earn political capital ahead of a rumoured campaign to become NATO secretary general.”

    “In order to become that, he needs the support of the United Kingdom and David Cameron, so, clearly he did that for reasons that probably aren’t as legitimate as they appear…”

  10. John Spencer-Davis

    14 Mar, 2014 - 7:15 pm

    I am not in the least surprised to hear it. But I am very glad to see you finally taking a bow. Why not take a print of these statistics and carry them in your pocket for consultation during the dark times?

    Warm regards, John

  11. “bookies offering 4-1 on a yes vote for independence.”

    Ie it’s seriously unlikely.

  12. I think the bookies offered similar odds against a SNP win at the last Scottish elections.
    Bookies offer odds to protect their investment, not the actual result.

  13. BrianFujisan

    14 Mar, 2014 - 7:51 pm

    Why Gamble at all When Nato is your Pal…. you just could not make this shit up –

    A group of men who identified themselves as the ‘Warriors of Narnia’, one of Kiev’s ‘self-defense’ squads, have been released from custody after convincing authorities that their armed assault on a bank was merely a measure to “protect” it.

  14. Well done – world would be a better place if more people read it!

  15. OK, Craig, put up or shut up: how many followers have you got on ‘Twitter’?


  16. Twitter is sadly overated, just because one partakes will not make it less of a celebrity Haiku.

  17. You deserve the space you occupy, Craig, because your discussions and articles are relevant, honest and informed, whatever the twatting tweeties in the MSM may think.

  18. You welcome!

    Richard Kastelein
    Hosting in Netherlands for a few years

  19. Resident Dissident

    14 Mar, 2014 - 8:33 pm

    Good to see you back and in good thought provoking form, but I wouldn’t read too much into those statistics – No 28 in the list of political blogs is one that closed 2 and a half years ago.

  20. Craig,

    We keep coming back because it’s a haven of truth, common sense and honest values.

    Keep up the good work

  21. Congratulations Craig, and thanks for the thanks; I’m pleased and proud to have had the chance to contribute.

    Richard Kastelein, thanks for all your effort over the years.

    Jon and Tim Ireland, thanks to you both, too.

    And thanks to everyone who submits informative comments, links, and thought provoking arguments, or who has linked to this blog on other parts of the Web. It’s a community enterprise, and the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.

  22. Craig,

    Congrats, and also, thanks for your generosity in sharing your thoughts with us.

  23. Patrick Haseldine, Craig isn’t much of a Twitterer; the articles are just re-posted as Tweets by a WordPress plugin called the ‘Twitter Feed’. But Craig’s Twitter page says it has 5745 followers.

    Your Wikipedia page says that you opened a cafe in Ongar, which is just up the road from me; do you still run it? If so, I’d like to drop in for breakfast and a chat some time.

  24. Craig,

    Any thoughts on Edward Snowden’s election as rector of Glasgow University? Apologies if I’ve overlooked a previous comment.

  25. “At the time, i put your post about the English/Scottish maritime boundary… up on my Facebook page… perhaps with your kind permission i should put it up again…and again.”

    If you had read my posts to the comments you would know that what Craig said isn’t actually true.

    In fact there is no maritime boundary between England and Scotland to move.

    It was almost entirely Nationalist propaganda.

    I hope Craig will clarify this matter as he should have at the time.

  26. Fred

    Sometimes you are plain crazy. The thing is enshrined in (albeit secondary) legislation. Of course it is not an international boundary – yet.
    John Seal, I was conflicted about Edward Snowden’s election. I absolutely support him as a whistleblower, but the position of Rector is important for students, especially at Glasgow where he actually chairs university court. As universities get ever more commercialized, I rather feel it is important Rectors are in a position to do the job.

  27. “Sometimes you are plain crazy. The thing is enshrined in (albeit secondary) legislation. Of course it is not an international boundary – yet.”

    I consider myself rational.

    So there is no national maritime boundary between Scotland and England. No national maritime boundary has been moved. If there comes a time when a maritime boundary is needed then both parties will negotiate it’s position at that time.

    You know that is not the impression you gave people in your blog entry.

  28. Congratulations. Keep up the good work.

  29. Fred,

    Fascinating analysis. If the line is meaningless, why do you think Blair and Dewar went to so much trouble to move it, actually with the force of legislation? Do you think it was a party game of some kind?

    It is, incidentally, currently used to calculate allocation of oil revenue to England and Scotland for purposes like the GERS report – and of course make Scotland look worse and England look better.

  30. @Craig

    Nothing has been moved. The original boundary deciding legal jurisdiction is still in force. If you take a look at the oil fields in question you will find that most of them, being the first in service, are now abandoned and the others make very little difference at all.

    Personally I believe that the boundary, delimiting fishery protection areas, would be the natural boundary being equidistant to both countries. However if the time comes both parties would be able to negotiate and if agreement is not reached then it can be decided by international court.

    I think there is more than enough hatred of the English among certain sectors of Scottish society already without trying to incite more by leading them to believe England has stolen part of Scotland.

  31. Fred

    That is the actual legislation. It is patently untrue that it moved nothing. I ask you again – what do you think was the purpose of this legislation? There is a lot of work involved here – why do you think Blair did it if it is meaningless?

    I am afraid you very probably don’t know much about the Law of the Sea. The provisions of the Convention specifically allow the drawing of straight baselines across heavily indented coastlines to prevent such fluke results as this being produced by very local coastline angles. There is a very striking difference between the UK’s attitude to baselines it has drawn on the East and West coasts. Scotland could close off its coastline with a straight baseline because of the effect of the Forth and Tay estuaries. That would change this line completely. It is done on the West where it doesn’t affect England (only Ireland).

  32. I don’t have a view particularly on Scottish independence…however..

    Just watching the London controlled media drip drip tactics i’d imagine it’d be almost impossible for any small country to vote for independence when so many vested and concerted interests pull out the propaganda artillery.

    A genuine shame that proper debate has been squashed by the Goebbelsian machinery.

    Seems like Scottish independence never stood a chance against such synchronised agit-prop/utter bullshit.

  33. We will find out if 300 years of colonisation have turned the bravehearts into bravefarts, its tough to even contemplate breathing in a different atmosphere, let alone making the actual leap into the unknown. Salmond should reduce the price of alcohol towards the referendum date, it might help some make the leap.

  34. Special thanks to Craig and capable moderators for having kept the “not forgetting the al hillis” blog open for comments for as long as it has. Few are the blogs that can be said to fulfill a public service purpose, but that one does, as do many other posts by Craig (saying so although I don’t agree with every one!). Some day, somehow, we’ll know what happened to the Al Hilli family, mowed down mercilessly in the prime of lives and leaving two orphans behind. Commenters weave tales and theories, go over every bit of information scrap released, and diverge into many a conspiracy theory that may be tangential, but still informative. Some fiercely disagreeing but still united around one theme – it is wrong and heartbreaking to see justice denied, whoever the perpetrators were.

    In gratitude, I have wherever I could, spread the word about this blog far across the ocean, where Craig’s name is not [yet] household name (yes, i admit, the posts I agree with, but that’s life). Not knowing much about Scotland issues with England, on a gut level, I think they should go their own way. I always loved the stories and legends about Robert de Bruce, and what scots i got to know, I liked. So there, I am all for independence of them who want to be independent and let the chips fall where they may.


  35. I second Clark’s comment last night at 9.25pm.

  36. This is being heavily trailed on BBC Radio 4. Tomorrow at 13.30

    The revelations from Edward Snowden that British and American spies have been working to break encryption have generated fierce debate. Privacy advocates argue that the NSA and GCHQ have undermined the internet by weakening the security on which we rely to keep our communications and transactions secure. At issue is whether people should be able to encrypt their messages so that they are entirely private – which would mean that governments wouldn’t be able to read them. But this latest fight is just the latest chapter in a battle going back decades.

    In the 1970s, a group of academics and scientists in America came up with a means of providing encryption for the masses. The NSA, the US spy agency, went into battle with them – doing its best to suppress and control the emerging technology of public encryption. It even tried to prosecute some of the proponents. At its heart is a culture clash between two sides: libertarian techies on the West Coast and East Coast government spies. BBC Security Correspondent Gordon Corera meets the engaging characters from both sides of the divide and finds out what it means for us today.
    Producer: Mark Savage

  37. Clarence et al

    15 Mar, 2014 - 7:59 am

    Congratulations, Craig. A magnificent achievement. And thoroughly well deserved.

  38. Indeed congrats & thanks to all involved; I think it goes to show, even after all the problems that have affected this Blog in the past year, that there is a general thirst to access opinions & viewpoints excluded by the santised MSM.

  39. @Craig

    That act covers fishery limits not national boundaries as anyone who follows the link and reads it will see. It was done because the EU wanted to know exactly which area of fishing was governed by which country and there was no existing legislation, I expect before devolution none were needed.

    Your jiggery pokery with the line would have no affect whatsoever on the oil fields you claim were stolen, they would still be closer to England than to Scotland. Anyone can take a map and a ruler and measure them. The closest points are nowhere near the Tay as are none of the other points once you get a short way out. There is a map at the end of the link you posted, take a ruler and measure it. Anyone who doubts I am right can take a ruler and measure it.

    But this is all irrelevant because the line is not a national boundary.

    Fact: At present all the waters around both Scotland and England are UK territorial waters.

    Fact: Should Scotland become independent then which waters became Scottish territory and which remained UK territory would be decided at that time.

    Those are the facts that matter, those facts are irrefutable.

  40. Mary, 7:50 am: thanks for the BBC link; I’ll have to watch that programme so I can assess its degree of propaganda content. I wonder if they dare to explain that “hacker” originally meant “self-motivated programmer” before the corporate media corrupted the term:

    There is a community, a shared culture, of expert programmers and networking wizards that traces its history back through decades to the first time-sharing minicomputers and the earliest ARPAnet experiments. The members of this culture originated the term ‘hacker’. Hackers built the Internet. Hackers made the Unix operating system what it is today. Hackers make the World Wide Web work. If you are part of this culture, if you have contributed to it and other people in it know who you are and call you a hacker, you’re a hacker.

    Can they report honestly that the “free” in “free software” refers to freedom rather than price? Can they honestly report Phil Zimmermann’s story of how he had to fight the US government in court to assert his right under the US Constitution to set his encryption algorithm free for all people to use?

    This is what is at stake; nothing less than our Right to Read:

  41. OK Clark. It’s BBC Radio 4 btw. Bound to be corporate prop.

  42. Fred, 11:00 am:

    “That act covers fishery limits not national boundaries…”

    The act is concerned with “Boundaries – internal waters and territorial sea” and “Boundaries – sea within British fishery limits”. Both matters are referred to twice; in each case, territorial sea is referred to before fishery limits.

  43. Craig, I don’t think that your web server logs indicate 5M individual people, rather 5M individual IP addresses. My visits must account for a couple of hundred of those; then you have all of those messianic followers changing ISPs and with that, the range of dynamic IP addresses … Ok, you get what i mean.

    Congratulations on the 5000th visitor!

    PS – I don’t think any reasonable person would begrudge you a *little* advertising revenue.

  44. Jemmand, I believe the statistics are compiled from data based upon cookies, not IP addresses. That would still lead to an over-count due to visitors who periodically clear cookies; it is possible that a correction may be factored in to adjust for this, but I don’t know whether it is or not. But such an over-count would be a proportion of the total, not a factor of hundreds as you suggested.

  45. “The act is concerned with “Boundaries – internal waters and territorial sea” and “Boundaries – sea within British fishery limits”. Both matters are referred to twice; in each case, territorial sea is referred to before fishery limits.”

    Yes, the territory referred to is UK territory, neither Scotland nor England have a territorial sea it is all UK territory.

  46. more congratulations from me, Craig……….you call a spade a spade…..

  47. “more congratulations from me, Craig……….you call a spade a spade…..”

    So what do other people call spades then?

    I’ve always called spades spades, I’ve never known anybody call them anything else. Didn’t know there was another name for them.

  48. @Fred – shovels!

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