Monthly Archives: April 2014


The Apartheid Israel Poison Is Out

That Israel has become an apartheid state is so self-evident that it is impossible to put the fact back in the box.  Sky News’ Sam Kiley said it a year ago, and that was almost as surprising as Kerry’s rush of honesty.  A state which has hundreds of laws defining the rights and obligations of its different groups of citizens by their ethnicity, enforcing zoning and separate education and public service provisio, and even limiting the right of defined ethnic groups to live with their spouses, is a state which can be characterized by no other word than Apartheid.  Israel’s claims to be a democracy exactly echo the similar claim of apartheid South Africa.

I am however delighted if the neo-con plan for a “two state” solution is now dead, because that plan was precisely the same plan that South Africa had for its “Bantustan” reserves for black people.  The only difference being that Israel has been much more vicious, herded the indigenous population into much smaller and less viable areas than was allowed to the “Bantustans”, subjected them to appalling economic blockade and then continually ripped away more and more of their small amount of land on a daily basis.

The difference between apartheid South Africa’s Bantustans and the “two state solution”, is that the Israel version is, incredibly, even worse, even more evil.

As in South Africa, the ONLY acceptable solution for Israel/Palestine is freedom and majority rule. People of goodwill should never again be sidetracked into pursuing the kind of apartheid solutions being pushed by Tony Blair.

View with comments

Freemasonry and Empire

Five years ago I knew almost nothing about Freemasonry except that it is believed to be often a vehicle for corrupt fixes between businesses and the various arms of government, which I suspect is very probably true.  But what Freemasons did, or believed in, I had really very little idea.  Writing my book on Alexander Burnes required me to learn a great deal, because the Burnes family were not just very active Freemasons but had a profound international influence on the organization.

My conclusion about Freemasonry is that it became widely established as part of the spirit of rational enquiry that informed the eighteenth century enlightenment.  It had the same motivation as Unitarianism, which thrived around the same time  – it was striving towards a form of Deism that allowed people to move towards a belief in God while abandoning the obvious irrational mumbo-jumbo of Christian miracles and the divinity of Christ.  There are obvious parallels with the French revolutionary cult of the Supreme Being.  It was therefore very friendly to other monotheistic religions and looked to provide a kind of lowest common denominator religious synthesis.  The whole project was then dressed up in a great deal of “secret” ritual borrowed from crafts guilds.  That Freemasonry was so successful in aristocratic and educated circles was simple because it was they who also propelled the Enlightenment.

As time went on, for most members it became just a club to make good business contacts – the commitment of “brothers” to help each other in a secret society including a lot of the wealthy was originally well-intended but obviously bound to become a conduit of corruption. Most members would probably, from about 1820 on, have been very surprised by my analysis of its intellectual and religious origins.  They probably still would be today.  It’s just a club for most.

But what I was surprised to find, and of this I am certain, is that Freemasonry’s insistence that all members were equal, of whatever colour and creed, played a very important role as a counterweight to the increasing nineteenth century British Empire philosophy of racial superiority and religious and cultural arrogance.  Freemasonry actively helped turn the tide among the governing classes and directly impacted the increasing anti-colonial beliefs of the British governing classes from the 1920’s on.  A very high proportion indeed of British colonial administrators and officers were Freemasons.

We have a caricature view of Rudyard Kipling now; he was by no means the apostle of Imperialism he has somehow become in popular belief.  I know his soldier’s dialect writing is annoying.  I find it helps to speak it out loud.  But although it is sentimental, his poem The Mother Lodge does contain the germ of a very real truth about the impact of Freemasonry on the British view of race in India.  We’d say ’twas ‘ighly curious, An’ we’d all ride ‘ome to bed,
With Mo’ammed, God, an’ Shiva, Changin’ pickets in our ‘ead.  The same was true in Egypt, at least.  Remember many lodges operated on a far higher social level than the one described in this poem, and those too were mixed.

I appreciate this posting is going to annoy pretty well everyone.  Oh well.  No, I am not a Mason.

Humour me and read it out loud:

The Mother Lodge

There was Rundle, Station Master,
An’ Beazeley of the Rail,
An’ ‘Ackman, Commissariat,
An’ Donkin’ o’ the Jail;
An’ Blake, Conductor-Sargent,
Our Master twice was ‘e,
With ‘im that kept the Europe-shop,
Old Framjee Eduljee.

Outside — “Sergeant!  Sir!  Salute!  Salaam!”
Inside — “Brother”, an’ it doesn’t do no ‘arm.
We met upon the Level an’ we parted on the Square,
An’ I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

We’d Bola Nath, Accountant,
An’ Saul the Aden Jew,
An’ Din Mohammed, draughtsman
Of the Survey Office too;
There was Babu Chuckerbutty,
An’ Amir Singh the Sikh,
An’ Castro from the fittin’-sheds,
The Roman Catholick!

We ‘adn’t good regalia,
An’ our Lodge was old an’ bare,
But we knew the Ancient Landmarks,
An’ we kep’ ’em to a hair;
An’ lookin’ on it backwards
It often strikes me thus,
There ain’t such things as infidels,
Excep’, per’aps, it’s us.

For monthly, after Labour,
We’d all sit down and smoke
(We dursn’t give no banquits,
Lest a Brother’s caste were broke),
An’ man on man got talkin’
Religion an’ the rest,
An’ every man comparin’
Of the God ‘e knew the best.

So man on man got talkin’,
An’ not a Brother stirred
Till mornin’ waked the parrots
An’ that dam’ brain-fever-bird;
We’d say ’twas ‘ighly curious,
An’ we’d all ride ‘ome to bed,
With Mo’ammed, God, an’ Shiva
Changin’ pickets in our ‘ead.

Full oft on Guv’ment service
This rovin’ foot ‘ath pressed,
An’ bore fraternal greetin’s
To the Lodges east an’ west,
Accordin’ as commanded
From Kohat to Singapore,
But I wish that I might see them
In my Mother-Lodge once more!

I wish that I might see them,
My Brethren black an’ brown,
With the trichies smellin’ pleasant
An’ the hog-darn passin’ down;
An’ the old khansamah snorin’
On the bottle-khana floor,
Like a Master in good standing
With my Mother-Lodge once more!

Outside — “Sergeant!  Sir!  Salute!  Salaam!”
Inside — “Brother”, an’ it doesn’t do no ‘arm.
We met upon the Level an’ we parted on the Square,
An’ I was Junior Deacon in my Mother-Lodge out there!

I might add in clarity that I honour the various  peoples who struggled against the Empire, and who still struggle against Empires today.  I by no means denigrate their achievement.  But there is no doubt at all that the demise of most of the British Empire (sadly it hasn’t all gone yet) was hastened by the fact that the majority of the British governing classes had come themselves to believe the colonies should be free, certainly by 1945 and arguably sooner.

Unfortunately since about 1975 public opinion has been moulded into a rigid neo-conservative mindset, and neo-imperialism increasingly looks like the old variety.  If you didn’t live through it, it must be hard now to believe that the British “elite” once held quite left wing opinions, and of course some ideologically motivated would wish to deny it as not fitting their model of society.  But it was so,

 

View with comments

Corruption and Fear in the UK

When I stood against Jack Straw in 2005, I wanted to confront him with open debate about my eye witness to torture and extraordinary rendition, after he lied to parliament continually and repeatedly about it.  I was however, despite being a candidate, not allowed to participate in any of the candidate’s debates, including that broadcast by BBC Radio 4, and the debate hosted by the joint churches in Blackburn cathedral.

I went to see the Dean of the Cathedral about my exclusion.  He said something quite extraordinary – “Look, Craig, you are leaving after the election.  We have to live in this town.”  He was scared of retribution. That sounds wildly improbable, but it was supported by much other experience.  I agreed to short term lets of two shops for my campaign headquarters (there is no shortage of shops to let in Blackburn).  Both cancelled when they discovered I wished to campaign against Jack Straw – one specifically told me that they would like to help, but feared trouble from the council.  When I eventually succeeded, the landlords made the point that they lived and had their businesses outside Blackburn and this was their only asset there, so they couldn’t come to much harm.

Under electoral law a candidate is entitled to the use of schools and community centres free of charge for electoral meetings, but despite dozens of efforts I was never once allowed this.  It is a serious and specific electoral offence for a candidate to provide free food and drink at public meetings – “treating” – but the Straw campaign did this on a very large scale, and both the police and returning officer took no action when I complained with sworn affidavits of evidence from eye-witnesses.  Postal ballot fraud was extraordinarily blatant, with the same authorities determinedly looking the other way.  I could not even get them to look at why thirteen postal ballots were cast from one single unoccupied flat.

The point of which is – I know how Cyril Smith did it.  It was a different category of crime he was committing, but I have seen how in these Lancashire towns like Blackburn and Rochdale the authorities collude together so comfortably to cover up the crimes of the local big man, be it Cyril Smith or Jack Straw.  It may seem quite incredible that everybody knew in Rochdale and nothing was done, but having tried to challenge Straw in Blackburn, I know precisely how it worked.  The entire political culture of industrial Lancashire is deeply rotten, and ought to be a source of deep shame.

Cyril Smith was merely a symptom, not the cause.

 

View with comments

Farage Boost to Yes

I have maintained ever since the independence referendum date was announced, that the EU election results would boost Yes support into the lead.  I am very confident that will prove a good prediction.

Today’s Sunday Times opinion poll on European election voting intentions gives:

UKIP 31

New Lab 28

Cons 19

Ldem 9

Green 8

A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism.  It will also make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland.  No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland, even though a tiny minority of European politicians occasionally like to threaten it would, for their own domestic purposes.

A massively greater risk is the crazed Little Englanders dragging the UK into leaving the EU.  UKIP are rampant.  The Tories are terrified of them, and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum.  In fact there really is no chance that all the other member states will unanimously agree to Cameron’s demand for changes in treaties that were excruciatingly difficult to gain unanimity for in the first place.  In several instances EU states would be unable to agree without a referendum, a can of worms nobody wants to open.  Cameron’s renegotiated settlement can never happen, so the Tories’ European figleaf only has a couple more years to go before expiry date.  Then the English will want to leave.  A majority of English voters already do want to leave.

The difference between English and Scottish voters on the EU is not a myth.  Lord Ashcroft regularly commissions polling data for the Conservative party on a much greater scale than anything the newspapers do.  Newspaper samples are typically around 1,000.  Ashcroft’s are around 20,000. His first quarter survey in 2014

All things considered, do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union? (Sample 20,058)  (excluding don’t knows etc)

Wales England Northern Ireland (WENI)

Yes 49

No 51

Scotland

Yes 60

No 40

That is a huge difference, and shows one clear reason why Scotland needs to be an independent state with its own foreign policy.

I trace this strong popular support for the EU in Scotland back to the early 1980’s.  Thatcherism was devastating the economy, there was negative public investment from Westminster, and the only available jobs were on EU regional development funded projects like the A9 upgrade and Dundee City airport.  I remember the big blue EU hoardings at those sites, and it was like a breath of sanity amidst the English Conservative wreaked havoc.

Scottish EU support is also part of our open, internationalist outlook.  We have no desire to rebuild barriers between ourselves and the vast European cultural social and economic space.  We are not fearful or resentful of those foreigners.  We want the EU itself to be more outward looking and porous too.

New Labour are not going to win the next UK general election.  In the last six UK general elections, the governing party has gained an average of 6.5 percentage points in the twelve months preceding the general election.  New Labour are at their polling zenith – which is not at all high – and about to decline.  The Tory/Clegg disaster is coming back to the UK in 2015.

Though when New Labour are committed to cut benefits more than the Tories, and given their record on bank bailouts, NHS privatization, academy schools, PFI, university tuition fees and the numerous other disasters New Labour visited upon us – not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan and extraordinary rendition – I cannot understand the brainless tribal loyalty that makes anybody believe New Labour would be any better anyway.

View with comments

Mark Ruffalo

About eight years ago, a young actor bought me lunch in New York while I was on a speaking tour of American universities.  He wanted me to tell him about torture and extraordinary rendition,and in particular precisely what I had witnessed personally.  He wished to get authentic, first hand, hard information.  He was interested in the characters and motivations of the people who supported and administered the torture policy, and I recall he was struck by my telling him that some of them were nice people who I had known for years.  He had a very gentle persona.  His name was Mark Ruffalo.  I am sorry to say that, having been living in Uzbekistan and Ghana, I had never heard of him.

I have no recollection of how that lunch came about or who organized it.  I think it was just on the itinerary my American publisher gave me.  My impression was that Ruffalo’s purpose was to inform himself politically, rather than prepare for a role or anything professionally oriented.  I had almost forgotten about it until I read today’s profile in the Guardian.  There is often much scepticism about the sincerity, roots and durability of celebrity activism. I merely wish to point out that in Ruffalo’s case, his is very genuine and very well grounded.

View with comments

Oops – can anyone help?

Can anyone work out how to find the rest of this article?  Am I being particularly dense today?

https://archive.org/details/jstor-110439

Incidentally the date of January 1 1830 in the listing is entirely erroneous.  Yes, I know I can go to the British Library of Royal Society and look at the print version, but I don’t live in London and am trying to avoid that,

 

View with comments

Simon Ostrovsky

I am pleased that Simon Ostrovsky has been released.  He is a decent journalist, who back on 30 October 2007 did a very good piece on Newsnight about the terrible child slavery compelled by the state in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.  They had done some secret filming in Uzbekistan, which took much courage.

There was however one strange thing about Ostrovsky’s film.  I was called in to the Newsnight studio in the morning to do a pre-record piece on what I had witnessed of this terrible system of cruel forced labour.  I also recounted how I had reported it to government while I was Ambassador there from 2002 to 2004, but the British government had refused to take any action, as had the EU.

But none of my interview was shown in the programme, nor was I mentioned.  Instead a New Labour minister was interviewed and he was allowed to say, unchallenged, that the film was absolutely shocking and the British government had no prior idea this was happening; they would now look into it etc.  Needless to say they still did nothing, nor has anything ever been done to have child slave cotton banned from the UK.  Why do you think Primark is so cheap?

I do not know whether Ostrovsky had any editorial control over the decision to cut the interview which proved the New Labour minister was lying through his teeth.

View with comments

Netanyahu Continues Vicious

I should start by saying that I deeply regret, and have always regretted, the support for Hamas amongst Palestinians.  I view Hamas as a nasty organization espousing an unpleasant and narrow version of Islam, and far too ready to turn to violence.  I regret the passing of the secular minded and sophisticated wide culture of the urbane Palestinian elite of my youth.

I understand that Palestinian willingness to embrace the limiting certainties of Hamas is due to the appalling pressure caused by decades of unspeakable violence and repression by Israel, the squeezing of Palestinians into ever-shrinking over-crowded reservations, the killings, the continual unrelenting humiliation, the deliberate destruction of all economic base.  I understand Hamas won support through social programmes.  I understand the extreme corruption of the Fatah leadership, where some seemed to do very nicely out of the disaster that repressed everybody else.  I understand the role of Israel and the US in promoting the initial growth of Hamas to weaken the Palestinian cause.  My regret is that they succeeded.

Personally I doubt that this latest Hamas/Fatah rapprochement will last any longer than the previous ones.  Even for a people in the direst situation, there will always be self-seeking sociopaths emerging as leaders.

But even with all that, the appalling smug reaction of Netanyahu is sickening.  Israel at no stage had the slightest intention of entering any meaningful peace process, stopping settlement building, or reducing the dispossession and discrimination suffered by Arabs of all sorts within Israel itself.  The World’s most vicious and unrelenting theological and racist state continues to be just that.  The United States was not in any sense genuinely involved in abetting a peace process; it was managing the process of genocide of the Palestinians, drawn out over decades, just conducted with enough disguise to allow the mainstream media to pretend it is not happening.

I do not like Hamas, but they remain morally superior to Netanyahu on every conceivable measure.

View with comments

The Aaronovitch Scandal

The Wayback machine has shown that there is a scintilla of truth to Aaronovitch’ claim, in that one single one star review was posted before his procured five star reviews arrived.  But it also shows that four one star reviews, which arrived no earlier than a larger number of five star reviews and appear equally genuine, were deleted by Amazon. No five star reviews were deleted.

I therefore contacted Amazon’s press office to ask for their reaction to Aaronovitch’s admission of posting fake reviews, and asked who initiated the deletion of his poor reviews.  They asked me to put my questions in writing by email.  This I have done.  Answer came there none.

To [email protected]

Re: Voodoo Histories

I refer you to these comments by David Aaronovitch published recently in The Times newspaper:

Something like half of all book sales are now made through Amazon, and when you find a book on Amazon it is accompanied by reviews from “readers” who give it a 1 (lowest) to 5 star rating.  So, almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.

There is only one thing you can do in this situation. You ask every friend and family member to go onsite PDQ and 5-star your baby. You get your frauds to balance off their frauds. Ce n’est pas magnifique, mais (grâce à Amazon) c’est la guerre.”

These are my questions:

1) Do you agree it is a reasonable practice for authors to persuade friends and family to post favorable reviews on Amazon? Do you agree with Mr Aaronovitch’s implication that Amazon’s policy forces authors to do this?

2)  A wayback archive search shows that in fact a number of poor reviews of Voodoo Histories were deleted by Amazon.  Did Mr Aaronovitch  contact Amazon to initiate these deletions?

3)  In fact, the poor reviews deleted were not, with a single exception, posted any earlier than similar quantities of five star reviews.  Why was it decided to delete several one star reviews and no five star reviews?  Who took this decision? Was it in any way motivated by Amazon’s own political sympathies? Was it motivated by a desire to boost sales?

4) Now Amazon has been informed by Mr Aaronovitch that the five star reviews were procured, will it be taking action to delete these early five star reviews, particularly those posted on the very day of publication?

5) Do you agree that Mr Aaronovitch’s boasting in the Times of his action in procuring false reviews for Voodoo Histories may, if Amazon will not decry it, encourage other authors to do the same?

I would point out to you that Mr Aaronvitch has himself put these matters into the public domain by publishing his actions in The Times.  It therefore makes no sense for Amazon to refuse to answer any of these questions on the grounds of Mr Aaronovitch’s privacy.

Craig Murray

 

View with comments

Overpaid Yet Happily Forgotten

The greatest boost ever received by Islamic fundamentalism was the invasion of Iraq.  Closely followed by extraordinary rendition, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and drones, and Israeli bombings of Gaza.  All of those things lead some Muslims to believe a violent response by terrorism is required to defend themselves.  So for Tony Blair, who has promoted huge hatred and caused unnumbered deaths through a career of deceit and self-enrichment, to warn about the dangers of Islamic terrorism is something nobody but a few Guardian and Murdoch acolytes wish to hear.

Blair of course has many tens of millions stuffed into his capacious back-pocket by oligarchs from the ex-Soviet space, so it is unsurprising to hear him call for understanding between Russia and the West.  It is even more to form that this understanding should be based on joint hatred of Muslims.

There is an alarming failure by many in the UK to understand that Russia is an Empire.  Russia’s Asian possessions were taken  by invasion from their indigenous and Muslim populations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, at precisely the same time Britain was taking its own colonies.  The Russian conquests were no less colonial from the accident of geography that they were contiguous.  Dagestan and Chechnya were only conquered in the 1830’s.  Most of Tartarstan later.  The “Islamic fundamentalist threat” Russia faces jointly with the UK, is actually the struggle of colonized peoples for their freedom.

Blair includes China, which likewise is the colonial occupier of the Uighurs and other suppressed Muslim populations.  To conflate the struggle for freedom from colonial occupation of these people with an over-reaching monster of “Islamic terrorism” is part of Blair’s trick.  His examples in Africa are again born of despair from the consequences of centuries of colonial and now neo-liberal exploitation.  I find his pronouncements on Boko Haram ironic, given that Blair’s single biggest legacy is to move the United Kingdom close to Nigerian standards of equality of wealth distribution.

The extraordinary thing is that Blair is somebody so hate-filled he wants to see yet more hatred, killing and violence.  It is worrying that the establishment media are so happy to promote his view without providing any balancing opinion. I comfort myself that the real motive of this silly speech was that, other than his media acolytes, absolutely nobody cares what he is saying.  It wasn’t so much a speech as a public display of ADD.

 

 

View with comments

Pyongyang Style Unionist Propaganda

460x

 

 

The unionists were worried that the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn might remind Scots of their national history.  So they brilliantly have co-opted the MOD to counter any possible effect on popular perception, by holding British Armed Forces Day in the same location on the same date as the celebrations of Bannockburn (28-9 June 2014).

Armed Forces Day is held every year at Edinburgh.  It has never been held on the site outside Stirling before.  Suddenly to move it there, on the same day as a long-planned event already attracting tens of thousands of people, can hardly be a coincidence.  I just watched a live broadcast of a session of a committee of  the Scottish Parliament where officials of Stirling Council refused to answer questions as to who took the decision to hold the same events on the same day.  They did so on the grounds there will be an independent audit of this ludicrous decision.  Evidence given to the committee said that the late addition of the MOD event had caused ticket numbers for the Bannockburn event to be cut by over half.

STIRLING COUNCIL IS RUN BY A NEW LABOUR AND CONSERVATIVE COALITION of unionists aimed to keep the largest party – the SNP – out of power. A more interesting question is the decision making process in the MOD that led to this gross abuse of the army for political propaganda purposes.

This demeaning of the commemoration of Bannockburn is yet another Bitter Together initiative that will backfire spectacularly.  Nobody in Scotland was going to base their vote on a battle that happened seven hundred years ago.  But the banding together of Labour and Tories to attempt to downplay the sacrifice and cause, to offer a gross and deliberate insult to the memory of those who fought and died for their country, is going to upset an awful lot of people.

View with comments

David Aaronovitch Posts Fake Book Reviews and Lies About Why

David Aaronovitch entered into a conspiracy with others to post fake 5 star reviews of his last shoddy book on Amazon.  He now lies about why.  He has attempted to defuse the row by coming clean and making light, courtesy of his Murdoch employer.

But his explanation is a plain lie.  Aaronovitch claims that :

“almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.”

In fact, the very first eight reviews on Amazon were all five star – which by his own argument must be “from people who had never read it”.  That is very probably true, as the first two five star reviews were posted on the very day the book was released, 7 May 2009. In fact the average rating of the first reviews is very much higher than the average rating he gets from the general public overall, extremely suspiciously so.  (One remote possibility is he was getting Amazon to delete critical reviews, but that also would negate his justification for procuring the fake positive reviews).

He claims “After a week even I wouldn’t have bought it”.  In fact, after a week it was averaging a literally unbelievable five stars.  It was a full month before the first one star review arrived. Then it was from an amazon real name verified customer who Aaronovitch plainly does not think should be entitled to their opinion.

His excuse for this attempt to defraud the public by planting false reviews of his product is, quite simply, a lie.  Aaronovitch is a liar.  Which makes you worry a little about his journalistic standards otherwise, does it not? It is an interesting glimpse into the dark mind of one of the leading propagandists for the Iraq War.

It seems that Aaronovitch with others entered a conspiracy to boost book sales through fraudulent reviews.  Which as his book in question argues that pro-establishment conspiracies never have existed, is rather ironic. I do not regard this as a minor dereliction.  I believe it opens serious questions about a journalist’s integrity.  In the days when the Times was a respectable newspaper, it would have led to Aaronovitch’s dismissal.

I should say I have never asked anybody to post a positive review of one of my books on Amazon.  I am happy to say that Murder in Samarkand has a much higher star review rating than Voodoo Histories, and unlike Aaronovitch I did not have to cheat to get it.  Only one of my 49 reviews by “Biodiplomacy” is actually from a friend but I did not ask him to do it, and I am sure in any circumstances he would give his honest opinion. He often disagrees with me in comments here!

I am conscious that one probable consequence of this posting is that neo-con trolls will now bomb Murder in Samarkand with bad reviews.  I very much welcome reviews, good, bad, or indifferent, from anybody who has honestly read the book and is giving their genuine opinion.

This is an extract from the article in the Times where Aaronovitch admits to his fraud, and lies about the cause. I can’t link to it because it was behind a paywall.  To Mr Murdoch’s copyright lawyers, I am quoting a brief extract for the purpose of legitimate analysis and debate.  If you have any sense, you would realize I am also doing you a favour by exposing your star columnist as a cheat and a fraud:

Something like half of all book sales are now made through Amazon, and when you find a book on Amazon it is accompanied by reviews from “readers” who give it a 1 (lowest) to 5 star rating.  So, almost before my book was published, the first 1-star reviews started to appear, from people who had never read it. After a week, even I wouldn’t have bought it.

There is only one thing you can do in this situation. You ask every friend and family member to go onsite PDQ and 5-star your baby. You get your frauds to balance off their frauds. Ce n’est pas magnifique, mais (grâce à Amazon) c’est la guerre.

Actually, David, ce n’est pas la guerre.  La guerre is what you supported so enthusiastically in Iraq, and involves the blasting to pieces of young children, the rape of countless women, the end of hundreds of thousands of lives and the wrecking of millions more.  It involves the destruction of the infrastructure of countries and the loss of decades of economic development, and a ruinous expense to our own economy.  It involves the bombing of densely packed urban areas in Gaza, for which you are an enthusiast, and from which the terror and suffering is something you will never understand.  For you just sit here in the highly paid heart of the warmongering Murdoch establishment, and indulge in lies and cheats to further your income and your grubby little career.

 

 

 

 

View with comments

Positive Headlines

The Guardian will still do anything to oblige the war criminals who invaded Iraq.  The Bitter Together campaign has crashed in the polls.  It has done so because people are not stupid, and they can work out that the cold logic of the unionist argument boils down to an assertion that Scots are too stupid, work-shy and poor to make a success of running their own nation.

The Bitter Together campaign therefore sees a need to be getting over a “positive” message.  How do you do that?  Well you get that brilliant economist Gordon Brown, the man who gave the bankers years of your and my earnings so they can gamble and snort cocaine again, to make a speech.  The speech says that Scots are too stupid, work-shy and poor – and Gordon added unhealthy – to pay their own pensions.  Then, at the last moment, you tack on a paragraph at the end about “five positive reasons” to support the union.  Then you get a pisspoor, press release regurgitating, salary pocketing mainstream media lickspittle like Severin Carrell to promote it under the heading “Scotland has ‘five big positives’ to staying in UK, Gordon Brown says.”

Despite the fact that the exact same paper ran the story about the exact same speech yesterday, but using the old “warns” meme.  It is so obvious it is laughable.

I analyzed a few months ago the BBC’s state propaganda linking the words “independence” and “warning”. I can guarantee you, now that one backfired, that one month from today, I am going to be able to present a similar table of BBC stories which link the words “union”, “UK” and “positive”.

Brown was at Glasgow University   I also object fundamentally to the hosting by universities of closed political rallies.  Universities certainly should host political debate – that is a function of a university.  But for a university to host a political function where nobody – including members of the University – who holds a contrary view is allowed near, is absolutely wrong and the antithesis of the function of a university.  The fact that the public are not allowed in to key Bitter Together meetings, and that Brown is scared to accept questions other than from handpicked cronies, should alert people to the fact that his arguments do not stand much scrutiny.

 

View with comments

Darling Thanked For Honesty And Hard Work

After seven months of appalling results, Alistair Darling was today thanked for his “hard work and honesty” in a brusque dismissal.  Fans were quick to point out that in his previous job he had won no trophies, in fact rather the opposite.  A whole series of dismal results had led to confidence ebbing away, and the recent disastrous performances by Gordon Brown and George Robertson were the last straw.

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 15_32_27

 

A key factor in the dismissal was the dissatisfaction of the wealthy shareholders in the City of London, banks and in the United States who are the owners.  It was pointed out that some of the major players in the campaign, like the entire journalistic staff of BBC Scotland, had not been achieving the results expected.

The news was broken by a smug fat git

untitled

 

 

Speculation is now rife about who will lead the team for the rest of the campaign.  Odds-on is John Reid, who supporters believe could increase the intensity of threat and violence which is now needed.  There is some worry however whether his associations will appeal to the core fan base.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmGjiokfQ2A

One possibility being seriously considered by the owners is to look abroad for new management.  One well-placed source told the BBC  “When the entire campaign is predicated on the idea that the Scots are incapable of running anything, it looks a bit odd to have a Scot in charge.”

 

 

View with comments

A Key Test for International Law

The ethnic cleansing by the British of an entire small population and culture – the Chagos Islanders – is probably the most despicable act by Britain of my lifetime.  As if the Iraq War and Extraordinary Rendition were not enough, New Labour’s moral dereliction – or more properly evil – was confirmed by the breathtaking cynicism of David Miliband’s proclamation of a Marine Protected Zone around the islands, designed to protect the American base on Diego Garcia and make it impossible for the Chagos Islanders to return to their living as native fishermen, and keep away any eyes that might see the secret prison inmates.

Extraordinarily and to their eternal shame, a number of prominent British environmentalists and conservationists lent their support to the Diego Garcia marine protected zone.  These purblind fools, obsessed with a single cause and blind to wider policy and justice, are in the same category as the ridiculous “feminists” who were co-opted by the neo-conservatives agents (be they propaganda media or secret service or both) to frustrate the aims of Julian Assange and Tommy Sheridan.

In truth, if colonial conquest and force majeure are legitimate grounds of sovereignty, and if extermination of a population can wipe out the legal right to self-determination, then in international law Britain has the right to Diego Garcia and to give it as tribute to their US overlords.  But if international law has any relationship of any kind to principles of justice, then Britain should not be permitted to reap the dubious benefit of genocide.  What international law actually is in the neo-conservative era is the real question before the UN tribunal now looking at the Diego Garcia question.

The UK is represented by Sir Michael Wood.  He is the man who overruled my objection inside the FCO to the use of “intelligence” gained from torture, and argued that British cooperation with extraordinary rendition was legal.

If anybody in Scotland can read through this and read through the links, and does not want to take the chance to leave the stinking cesspit of international shame that is the United Kingdom, they are severely deficient in moral sense.

 

View with comments

UK Moves to Block US Senate Report to Protect Blair, Straw and Dearlove

From a British diplomatic source I learn that Britain has lobbied the United States against the publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture and extraordinary rendition.  The lobbying has been carried out “at all levels” – White House, State Department and CIA.  The British have argued that at the very least the report must be emasculated before publication.

The British argument is that in a number of court cases including the Belhadj case, the British government has successfully blocked legal action by victims on the grounds that this would weaken the US/UK intelligence relationship and thus vitally damage national security, by revealing facts the American intelligence service wish hidden.  [We will leave aside for the moment the utter shame of our servile groveling judges accepting such an argument].  The British Government are now pointing out to the Americans that this argument could be fatally weakened if major detail of the full horror and scope of torture and extraordinary rendition is revealed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.  The argument runs that this could in turn lead to further revelations in the courts and block the major defence against prosecutions of Blair, Straw and Dearlove, among others, potentially unleashing a transatlantic wave of judicial activism.

The unabashed collusion of two torturing security states in concealing the truth of their despicable acts – including complicity in the torture of women and minors – and blocking criminal prosecution of the guilty is a sign of how low public ethics have sunk.  Fortunately there are still a few people in the British Foreign Office disgusted enough to leak it.

 

View with comments

The Feminist Defence of Blowing Out the Brains of Small Children

The number of people still prepared to defend the Iraq War in public is tiny.  The interesting thing is the very strong correlation between those people, and those prepared to pretend to give credence to the farcical sexual allegations about Julian Assange.  Zoe Williams Guardian piece about what a jolly good chap Blair is I find breathtaking.  War crimes like Blair’s result in terrible anguish for millions.  I am prepared for purposes of argument to believe that Williams’ anguish for female victims of crime is genuine; why she can’t extend that to the tens of thousands of women who were raped because of Blair’s Iraq War, or had the still worse agony of seeing their children killed and mutilated I don’t know.  Nick Cohen is just very, very sad.  I just hold up these two in the hope that those deceived by feminist political correctness into following their lead against Assange will see to what they are subscribing.

Rather a side issue, but even if we accept Zoe Williams view that dead Iraqi children don’t matter, she appears not to have noticed that Blair introduced tuition fees, academies, kick-started NHS privatization, allowed the banksters’ bonanza leading to worldwide economic crash and oversaw the greatest widening of the gap between rich and poor in British history.

 

View with comments