Corruption and Fear in the UK

by craig on April 28, 2014 10:44 am in Uncategorized

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.


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  1. Chee Bai Charlie

    28 Apr, 2014 - 10:53 am

    Craig, Are you as concerned about the potential for abuse at the Scottish referendum? Should we fear the security services involvement in electoral fraud?

  2. Clegg was very good at hauling David Ward and Jenny Tonge over the coals for speaking out about Israel, but the LD record is poor in neglecting to deal with the likes of Rennard, Huhne, Laws and Smith, way back in Steel’s time, for their crimes and misdemeanours, alleged in Rennard’s case.

    Also remember Smith was a Labourite from 1952-1966. Wilson was in power 1964-70.

    Well done Simon Danczuk and the social worker for speaking out, although it’s years too late for the children that were abused.

    For reference,_Baron_Rennard

  3. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    28 Apr, 2014 - 11:18 am


    “The entire political culture of industrial Lancashire is deeply rotten, and ought to be a source of deep shame.”

    Interesting. Not trying to make a party political point, but I wonder if you’d comment on the thought that this sort of hanky-panky (1)is specially prevalent in Midlands and Northern towns run, in general, by Labour councils, (2) is of long standing in those towns, and (3) might be facilitated to some extent by the heavy presence of electorates coming from countries with rather different political traditions (cf the “treats” you mention)?

  4. The Dean is still there. Doesn’t seem to have made it to Bishop yet.

    There is a Victorian hymn called ‘Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus’. Not sung in Blackburn Cathedral apparently.

  5. Charlie

    The huge weakness in the British electoral system is having the local authority appoint the Returning officer – usually the chief exec of the local authority – rather than it being an independent electoral commission appointment. These chief execs are generally party men. I certainly wouldn’t trust to their honesty an inch in the Labour council areas. For example, in Stirling do you trust the people who overlay Armed Forces Day on the Bannockburn commemoration to organise the counting of the votes? I don’t.

    It would be technically pretty hard to organize widespread fraud without the connivance of returning officers. But there is a weakness there. It is going to be hard for the security services to be organized in fraud without it being leaked, I would think. There is a lot of sympathy for Scottish independence in all kinds of quarters.

  6. “It was a different category of crime”

    It is easy to understand the muscling out of a political opponent, an outsider, a troublemaker. Some crimes ignored are beyond my simple understanding.

    I have, several times in my life, known perfectly nice people to not notice evident child abuse. Our ability to turn a blind eye is deeply shocking.

    Unfortunately your incredible suggestion rings true.

  7. Maybe you should write a book about this sort of thing? Perhaps an allegory that could cover both like Animal Farm 2 or something?

  8. “The entire political culture of industrial Lancashire is deeply rotten, and ought to be a source of deep shame.”
    I think that remark could apply to the whole UK Establishment:

  9. Inquiry Into Cyril Smith Sex Abuse ‘Cover-Up’

    Police say they have identified new victims and as many as 11 new suspects in the Sir Cyril Smith child sex abuse investigation.

  10. Just had a post taken down, complaining about Britain doing USA bidding even in The Guardian.

    Wonder if this shows the level of corruption by its intelligence services in its governance.

  11. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    28 Apr, 2014 - 1:01 pm

    You link back to an earlier post in which you also link back, to this:

    Error 404. Page not found. Do we engage paranoia, or is there an innocent explanation?

    I have the strong impression, from casual acquaintances and hearsay, that Rochdale was and may still be something of a sink of iniquity on the child abuse front, and that Smith was part of an ongoing culture. And, yes, a symptom.

    That said, during the 60’s at any rate, were paedophile teachers in boarding establishments a great rarity? Certainly my own alma mater had one, and his interests were generally regarded as nasty, frightening and something you just had to deal with yourself. As I remember, complaining about him would have come under the same general category as sneaking, and no-one ever did.

  12. Trowbridge

    It shows that, if I had wanted to start a thread where nutters could post that the South Korean government had sunk the ferry with the schoolchildren, I would have started such a thread.

  13. Hope you reminded that Dean of the Old Testament prophets. That really is shameful. When even the Church is not willing to give a voice to dissent well its time to be a dissenter. Maybe Clegg has a point on disestablishment.

  14. Thanks for showing that you are part of the problem, Craig, since you took down my post – only to then volunteer a part of what I claimed – while admitting that you want no discussion of what caused the tragedy.

    And I never even implied that the South Korean government sank the ferry, only that its President covered up the apparent American sabotage.

  15. And guess what, the NSA has called again, first thing on Monday morning, to get me yet again to reply to a request to call a debt collector at a toll-free number to apparently entrap me in some data-mining operation.

    I have no loans outstanding, though, so, of course, I did not fall for this latest entreaty.

    These are the nutters who are ruining the world.

  16. ‘Blackburn Masonic Hall has been the home of Blackburn Masonic Club for over 85 years. It is a private members club for the Freemasons of Blackburn and the surrounding areas.’


  17. Trowbridge

    I am happy to leave that up as evidence that you are nuts.

  18. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    28 Apr, 2014 - 2:44 pm

    Still, it has been nice to see that at least one passenger, Philip Wood, survived the cataclysmic effects of the Acme Super Wizzo Handheld Laser ™ on Flight MH370, and landed, presumably by teleportation*, and with an Ipad up his arse, on Diego Garcia.

    * Or maybe with the help of the Rothschilds. They can do anything.

  19. Don’t know why you are now contradicting yourself by saying that you are happy to leave up whatever evidence I post when you have started the rumpus by deleting what I first did, but still prefer working with leakers like Snowden and Gareth Williams than the nutters in charge.

  20. Blackburn, Rochdale, Liverpool, Hull, Sheffield, most of Devon and Cornwall, and the list can go on and on.

    Jack Straw is a gangster and he even talks like one.

    When he won against your electoral challenge, Craig, he didn’t say that Labour was the most popular party in the area. Oh no. What he snarled was that this shows that Labour is the strongest force in this town.

    A revealing choice of words, I thought.

    Straw is heavily involved in organised crime. He spoke like a thug too when he was Minister of Justice.

    His network could easily give the Barbara Mills/David Mills/Tessa Jowell nexus a run for its money. His wife used to run the office which was responsible for the most senior appointments in the civil service.

    There’s a lot of drug abuse in those northern ex-industrial English towns. Ditto other ‘ex’ places including in the south, such as Margate.

    Heroin. Ecstasy. Local council? Backhanders from nightclubs? Never! :)

    Jack Straw does loads of advertising locally for Marks and Spencer – including letting them advertise in his propaganda photos. He has been doing so for nearly 20 years.

    When he talks about the location in Blackburn where he does his soapbox bit, he always mentions the company name. I wasn’t surprised that he is making an effort to create a ‘Speaker’s Corner’ on that very same pitch outside the Marks and Spencer store in Blackburn.

    Behind the soft surface, Marks and Spencer are a company which packs a very nasty punch – and I don’t mean just against their suppliers in the notorious ‘St Michael system’. Have a look some time at their involvement

    * in car parkss
    * in local traders’ organisations
    * in motorway service stations
    * at airports
    * at railway stations

    I hope if there are any honest people in MI5 they will take a fucking good look at that company and its premises with a view to keeping tabs on the activities of sayanim. Never mind what your bosses tell you, boys and girls.

    When Woolworth’s and MFI went bust, the PR guy who responded for Marks and Spencer used the same kind of language as Jack Straw (and, incidentally, Rahm ‘never let a crisis go to waste’ Emanuel). He said they welcomed upheaval, because in upheaval the strong get stronger.

    Toodle pip!

  21. The ‘St Michael system’ of exerting maximum pressure on suppliers existing under a different name since the name was dropped in 2000 of course.

    Lest anyone not realise, my reference to honest people in MI5 was tongue in cheek. When she left the top job at MI5, Stella Rimington turned up as a non-executive director at … Marks and Spencer. Thanks Stella for all your help. Here’s a nice ‘job’.

  22. Re Craig’s comment – “The entire political culture of industrial Lancashire is deeply rotten”. I think the problem is across the UK, and not confined to just one county. Indeed it seems to me that the problem is constitutional. The Westminster system of government was designed in a bygone age when government was small and very decentralised, and dosn’t function well in an era of highly centralised big government. Power elites have taken advantage of this lack of functionality to ride rough shod over the rule of law whenever they choose, and our security services are doing their best to morph into a secret police. Your experiences in Blackburn indicate to me that democracy and the law were just not functioniong properly. Honesty in politics is seen as a threat to the current system. And as for fair play from the cathederal and the BBC – well there was none of that.

    What is so shocking about the Cyril Smith disclosures is not just that MI5 and Special Branch seem to have been involved in the cover up, but that the bar for “protecting” establishment criminals is set so low as to protect one of 600 backbench PM’s, who was never enen a junior minister. Indeed nothing is more reprehensible than abusing children in care.

    The problem with this ‘who you know” system is not just that it is undemocratic, but that too often decisions are made for the wrong reason, and by the wrong people, so that they damage the people’s standard of living as well as their freedom. It is time that our pretend democracy became a real one and that the UK made an honest committment to rule of law even where the establishment are involved – this can only happen with constitutional change.

  23. How do you look at the latest comments on those threads that run into thousands? I can’t see any way to do it?

  24. Having campaigned for Craig in Blackburn in 2005 I can vouch for Craig’s account of local corruption. At the time I circulated the following note on some incidents during the campaign. “Fool” (at 1.25 pm) will not be surprised that when I followed this up with an email to the Dean of Blackburn Cathedral, there was no reply. Pace David Cameron, Britain is neither a Christian nor a democratic country, especially in its churches during elections. I also had to protest and walk out in protest during the last London Mayoral election when a “hustings” was held in St James’s Church, Piccadilly from which BNP, UKIP and Independent candidates were excluded. (I had a walk on anonymous part in Tanya Gold’s account of the incident

    – she was not to know that my badges were RSPB lapel pins of endemic birds in the UK’s Overseas Territories)

    Blackburn Cathedral and Returning Officer Disrespect Democracy

    Blackburn 2 May 2005 from our Special Correspondent – The story waiting to be told in this part of the election battleground is how Jack Straw may well be sacked by the British Ambassador whom he shut up for telling the truth about the uses of torture that are connived at by the British Government.

    Craig Murray, the former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan is standing as an Independent against the Foreign Secretary in a town which is riddled with local corruption of which its former MP, Barbara Castle would be ashamed. One Labour councillor was convicted of voting fraud. During this election, the bias displayed by the Blackburn and Darwen Council and by the constituency’s returning officer against Jack Straw’s most dangerous opponent would shock the people of Blackburn more if it was not so typical of what happens when a local council and constituency becomes the private fiefdom of the leaders of one party and their cronies.

    Two incidents during this campaign show how traditional British fair play is becoming as rare as some footballers not diving. The first and worst is that the requirement under electoral law for the council to maintain a record of places where election candidates may hold public meetings has not been maintained and the council said that no place could be found on 1 May where Craig Murray could hold an election meeting. The reason given was that they could not, out of their whole workforce, supply a single person to open up the doors for a meeting. That did not, however, prevent the returning officer for the constituency from coming personally to ask that the Craig Murray campaign posters be taken down because they did not bear the words “produced and printed by”. What is more extraordinary is that the posters did carry the words (at the side, not on the bottom). There could hardly be a better example of physical and moral short-sightedness going hand in hand.

    The second show of contempt for democracy came, however, from a far more surprising direction – Blackburn Cathedral. Yesterday an Election Hustings meeting was arranged to which only three of the seven candidates (Labour, Conservative and LibDem) were invited. The meeting was told that the local churches’ council had decided this because one party (unnamed but clearly the BNP) held policies which the churches considered socially divisive; and that they had taken legal advice which showed that it was within the law not to invite all participants to take part. None of the four parties that were not invited and who asked to take part in the hustings were invited. A supplementary explanation was that with each candidate being given 12 minutes to express their views, the meeting would have left no time for questions if there had been more participants. In fact, each of the three candidates was asked to set out their key policies in 5 minutes. Anyway, politicians are so adept at sound bites that one minute each would have been perfectly adequate with further time when answering questions. This correspondent asked the first question. Even accepting that legal advice, did the candidates think is was morally or politically acceptable for this meeting to exclude the other candidates. Pathetically, none of them was willing to answer the question asked: they all said that they were always willing to debate with opponents (a claim that should have led to at least one red nose growing three feet long). This correspondent then said that only those candidates unwilling to continue to take part in the meeting on this basis would deserve anyone’s vote. He demonstrated how to walk out of a meeting. None of them followed, showing no moral courage and considerable political ineptitude since any of the three candidates would have won credit and votes for doing so.

    At the end of the meeting this correspondent expressed disgust at the behaviour of these three candidates, but reserved stronger criticism for the church leaders who had failed to follow Jesus’s advice to “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar” [when he was asked if taxes should be paid to the Romans]. A senior prelate seemed genuinely puzzled and asked “How is that?” The reply was: “This election is Caesar’s business. The date of the general election was decided by Caesar Augustus Blair. The legislation concerning postal balloting was drafted by his government.” Great sorrow was expressed that this fine cathedral was being used in a profoundly undemocratic way: the churchmen who decided to engage with the fallen world of politics in this way were showing moral cowardice and were spiritually barren. None of them attempted to reply.

    The electors of Blackburn are showing every sign of greater judgement and more moral courage than their local political and Christian leaders. Perhaps they will listen then.

  25. Talking of polling stations, it seems that the staff are recruited from council offices. Given that councils are usually run by political groups is this wise?
    I know of a case where a person selected for polling duty was approached by another member of staff who begged that he give him the slot, as his family needed the extra money for holidays.
    The whole thing is open to abuse.

    Postal voting was introduced so that people that work away from home could vote. I have a postal vote for this reason but quite often the voting papers do not arrive until a few days prior to the election when I have no chance of getting them sent to me, filled in and returned. What makes it worse is thinking of all these “ghost” voters in flats like Craig mentions above.

  26. All I tried to do was connect data to NSA’s meta-data mining – what John Oliver did so cleverly while questioning former NSA Director General Keith Alexander on his show, Last Week tonight.

    Guess Oliver is jet another nut.

  27. A very interesting post Mr Murray.

    “not allowed to participate in any of the candidate’s debates”
    I think it would be better to put the apostrophe after the ‘s’ here (candidates’).

  28. @Roderick – You are probably already aware of this, but just in case you aren’t: Cyril Smith was a crook who represented, among other interests, the killer asbestos company Turner and Newall. To see just how unrepentant this disgusting man was, click here for a video of him blaming the workers for dying of asbestos poisoning. After all, this vile creature said, nobody made the workers go anywhere near an asbestos factory, did they?

  29. @Iain – A word to the wise: when writing a press release, get a juicy bit in the first sentence. Or if you can’t, don’t leave it later than the second. Journalists have very short attention spans.

    And there’s no need to start with such almost content-free padding as “The story waiting to be told in this part of the election battleground is…” Cut to the chase.

    Here’s the title I would have written, and probably then tinkered with:

    Returning Officer in Jack Straw’s Constituency Accused of ‘Outrageous and Criminal Bias’

    Take a look at Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals for further basics.

    (I’m not meaning to be rude. I just haven’t got time today to amend the above for politeness. This is all meant as constructive criticism.)

  30. Sorry for following up to my own comment, but one lesson that is utterly indispensable in that kind of propaganda conflict is this: PROVOKE A RESPONSE.

  31. Not forgetting Straw’s part in this country’s offensive bloody wars, the lies and the cover ups.

  32. Long before the ’97 government I always suspected that Straw was an unpleasant piece of work and I remember Peter Hitchens writing about him and calling him a “crocodile”. Nevertheless, having read the above post I’m still shocked.

  33. Craig; I misunderstood your question above repeated on the anne ardin thread.

    Do you mean ; ‘how do you follow the thread when it is so vast’ ?

    I find it daunting to follow unless there from beginning, like the ‘Disappear..’ thread, which I have been following. I go to Anne Ardin mainly to see arbed’s updates. I repeat; if you can handle the bandwidth, it is worthwhile.

  34. The problem in England is sadly not enough people care about blatant acts of corruption. Distain only appears to last a few weeks, and all is totally forgotten after the customary white wash.

  35. Private Eye reported on Cyril Smith’s ‘activities’ for decades. Once or twice the rumours even made into the MSM, but were emphatically denied, though smith never sued.
    It is nevertheless another example of our corrupt system of justice that mainly makes sure that nobody who matters gets hurt. Only once deceased can the truth begin to come out.
    The Elm House scandal is another case in point – expect it to be fixed to find ‘no evidence of wrongdoing’ since some of the perpetrators are still alive…

  36. doug scorgie

    28 Apr, 2014 - 8:02 pm

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !
    28 Apr, 2014 – 11:18 am

    Habbakuk making a political point:

    “Interesting. Not trying to make a party political point, but…”

    Also Habbabkuk, your right-wing and thinly veiled racist points are noted.

  37. BrianFujisan

    28 Apr, 2014 - 8:23 pm

    O.t i know…but anyone in London on May 1st…here’s a worth while rally.Honouring Tony Benn and Bob Crow …

    Thursday May 1st. The 2014 May Day march and rally will be held in honour of the late Tony Benn and Bob Crow

  38. Craig, 3:53 pm; there are two sets of page buttons; one above the comment form, and one below the original post. Click the highest page number and then scroll to the bottom of the comment thread.

    The rest of you lot; just ignore our host, why don’t you?

  39. Another crackerjack pce, Craig.

    The problem for all serious researchers in this area is telling the rotten from the opportunistic. That’s to say, spotting the agendas and the flags.

    Lancashire isn’t especially local government rotten: but rotten to the core are (a) a materialist nightmare where people will pose as victims for money; and(b)a privileged elite desperate to protect itself against any and all critiques of disgracefully perfidious perversion.

    Don’t give up, never despair, stick it to them.

  40. Clark I did not know that Craig was referring to comments on threads on this blog.

  41. There is another reason why Cyril Smith ‘got away with it’, not just small town corruption. It has to do with the Zeitgeist. All the stuff about Smith and Savile had been knocking around for years but those who promulgated it were dismissed as conspiracy theorists. Then something changed and it became acceptable to subscribe to such views. Now everybody’s banging on about it.

  42. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    28 Apr, 2014 - 9:16 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    Well, if you could refer me to some Conservative constituencies where postal voting fraud has been identified (or even suspected), I’d be very interested to hear from you.

    Off you go!

  43. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    28 Apr, 2014 - 9:17 pm


    BTW, I’m flattered you should wish to comment on my comment, but do you have anything to say on Craig’s post? Anything to contribute there?

    Off you go!

  44. Gerrymandering districts is a common tactic for Republicans in the US. Voter suppression also quite common. It’s the afterglow of Jim Crow.

  45. Scrap ‘on demand’ postal voting to curb fraud, says judge

    Postal voting is open to fraud on an “industrial scale” and is “unviable” in its current form, a top judge has said.

    Richard Mawrey QC, who tries cases of electoral fraud, told the BBC that people should not be able to apply for postal votes as a matter of course.

    “On demand” postal voting had not boosted turnout or simplified the process for the vulnerable, he said.

    But the Electoral Commission said it would not be “proportionate” to end postal voting altogether.

    The government also said it had no plans to abolish the current system, saying it had made it easier for many people to vote.

    Since 2001, anyone on the electoral roll has been able to apply for a postal ballot.

  46. 29 July 2013

    Woking election candidate used illegal practices, judge rules
    A by election will now be held

    The winning candidate in elections in Surrey committed corrupt and illegal practices by himself and with agents, a judge has ruled.

    Liberal Democrat Mohammed Bashir defeated Labour candidate Mohammad Ali by 16 votes in Woking’s Maybury and Sheerwater ward in May 2012.

    Judge Richard Mawrey ruled corrupt and illegal practices had been committed with the purpose of procuring Bashir’s election.

    Bashir will be ordered to pay costs.

    A by-election will be held in the ward and the judge ruled Bashir would be banned from standing in it.


  47. Ashford Conservative council candidate jailed for electoral fraud

    A Kent landlord who stood as a Conservative councillor in a local election has been sentenced to 12 months in prison for electoral fraud.

    Dozens more examples of electoral fraud by ALL parties.

    Crime is not restricted to any particular political Huhne, MacShane, Archer, etc. etc.

  48. The British electoral system is organized to ensure continued two-party control of the rubber-stamp House of Commons and prevent any effective challenge to the power system. It’s undemocratic, unrepresentative and illegitimate.

    Above the local level, the British legal system is controlled by the two-party bosses and is used to frustrate and, more often than not, prevent challenges to authority. It’s unaffordable, unfair and unjust.

    It’s not just industrial Lancashire. Behind the glittering façade, the pomp and pageantry, the polished manners and civilized smiles, the whole system is rotten.

  49. Don’t know why I spelt party like that. Perhaps aiming for ‘partei’.

    I now have a list of the candidates for the European elections for the SE Region. Dozens of them.

    Other regions in the RH margin.

    The present incumbents.

  50. Who you know may have a large part in Craig’s own survival. ( and maybe mine? )

    Politics is sport for those who enjoy it and getting away with murder is part of the thrill of the game. No sincerity, no sensitivity, no honesty, no faith. Just a nasty lttle peronality boosting game, using slogans to feed off the gullibility of the caring, the truthful, the believing. That is why political Islam is a contradiction in terms so far as I’m concerned.

    To the political mind, we are baah-ing sheep to be fooled and used. Baah. Baaah Baaaaah. We are the guilty ones for being stupid enough to believe the political minds.

  51. It gets worse. The EU golden goodbye scheme for those getting off the gravy train knocks that for departing British MPs into a cocked hat.

    MEPs leaving Brussels after European elections to receive ‘golden goodbyes’ of up to £157k

  52. “I bridle every time I see this word used with respect to the boundary changes. The boundaries in the UK have become so distorted over decades that there are some constituencies with only just over 50,000 voters and some with double that number. The idea that the current boundaries are somehow “fair” is nonsense. The equalisation was intended to ensure that constituencies had roughly the same number of voters (within a tolerance of about 5% around the average).”

  53. Resident Dissident

    28 Apr, 2014 - 10:41 pm


    This is a case that I know not a little about and have been pushing for rather long time, as well as Cyril’s Smith’s promotion of the asbestos industry (if anyone wishes to Google my postings as toryboysnevergrowup the evidence is there for all to see). Yes there were probably some officials (and even the Labour politicians who I suspect left with Smith) who covered up for Smith in the early years and these may have carried on doing so in later years but when Smith left the Labour Party I can assure you that the divorce was extremely acrimonious and continued to be so for many years even beyond his death. Nearly everyone in the Rochdale Labour Party and the left in Rochdale would quite happily have taken every opportunity they could to expose Smith – and there were almost weekly revelations about him in Rochdale’s Alternative Paper (RAP) which at the time had a reasonably large circulation within the town – and some of these were picked up many years later by Private Eye. RAP and those making the accusations were remorsely pursued by the Smith and his cronies in the Rochdale Liberal Party (most of whom are quite unfit to bear the mantle of John Bright who was the town’s MP for many years) aided and often abetted by legal threats and worse and the main local paper the Rochdale Observer (now owned by the Guardian) was often a willing accomplice.

    Cyril Smith was also very close to “tory” business interests within the town e.g. Fred Ratcliffe and Turner Brothers the asbestos manufacturers (whose practices led to many many deaths from asbestosis) and owned his own small factory. Those that followed his politics will know that he was almost Thatcherite in his economic views and he was a fierce opponent of the Labour PArty and in particular the Lib Lab pact – there have been rumours for many years about how MI5/Senior Tory politicians intervened to stop a prosecution, particularly given that the Tories were looking to enter into an electoral pact with the Liberals after the 1974 elections. There have also been not a few comments about how Smith seemed to be doing the work of the Tories within the Liberal Party for a number of years – and he was particularly close personally to a number of their MPs e.g. David Waddington.

    Yes there was an awful lot wrong here – but I don’t think it is right to make such a broad generalisation about the political nature of politics in Lancashire towns – all unhappy families tend to be unhappy in different ways.

    BTW has Craig any thoughts on Salmond expressing his personal admiration for Mr Putin.

  54. Local councils are as bent as nine bob notes. Its an open secret that jobs are handed out to friends and relatives. That’s my direct experience, but its probably all over the country. Contracts are awarded, assets are sold off for a fraction of their value… And the more power is passed downwards, the more corrupt things get.

  55. Resident Dissident

    28 Apr, 2014 - 10:58 pm


    I think you are right that an awful lot goes on in local councils that shouldn’t – but the real question what should be done about it. In my view sunlight is usually the best disinfectant – but local press, being heavily dependent on advertising, and not resourced enough to do through research or to offend those handing out much of their news is nearly always unwilling to perform that role. Perhaps given its relatively low cost the best solution would be an internet equivalent of the Rochdale Alternative Paper I referred to earlier relying on volunteer input – this could perhaps be done through a network, which set some editorial standards (i.e stuff that is genuinely interesting to normal people, rather than those with political axes to grind, neutrality and fairness, removal of fairly obvious defamation , decent graphics, understandable presentation etc.)

    I should also say that there are councillors and supporters of all parties that do genuinely support genuine local government and have a genuine public service ethic – and they do deserve praise rather than tarring with the same brush.

  56. Resident Dissident

    28 Apr, 2014 - 11:08 pm

    “The equalisation was intended to ensure that constituencies had roughly the same number of voters”

    What Mark Thompson doesn’t mention is that there are wide variations in the levels of voter registration within the UK – and other proposals in respect of registration are likely to lead to even lower levels and more variation. Needless to say these changes will lead to more representation in areas with wealthier and more stable populations – not a few of which are represented by Mark Thompson’s party. Craig is absolutely right such matters should not be allowed anywhere near political parties – who by definition are incapable of neutrality – the only problem we have is that we have an Electoral Commission that doesn’t understand politics, largely because it is not allowed to employ anyone who is a member of a political party (even if only to share their knowledge).

  57. Yes politicians are corrupt, some more than others. But not just in Lancashire, they are corrupt everywhere. Why anyone would want to be part of their sordid world I can’t imagine.

    Yes there are bad people, not in any particular place, not in any particular party, there are bad people everywhere.

    Bears shit in the woods as well.

  58. Resident Dissident – nobody should be a law unto themselves in anything. There should always be a third party with oversight to complain to. Where they are a law unto themselves that’s when they can blatantly dismiss any complaint. They’ll have a so called “investigation” which consists of going to the person you’ve complained about, getting their denials and – that’s it. They just become a front for them. Anyone else would call it a cover up – but that’s how they do things. If there is a third party to complain to – and their lies don’t hold – that’s when they get forced to admit things. That’s when they’ll declare it to have been an “honest mistake”.

  59. When they’re all buddies and they’ve all scratched each others backs, or at the minimum looked the other way…

  60. “Rochdale’s Alternative Paper (RAP) which at the time had a reasonably large circulation within the town – and some of these were picked up many years later by Private Eye. ”

    The ‘Eye ran a detailed account of Smith’s activities in May 1979 (issue 454). Response from Smith came there none.

  61. @Guano-you omitted conscience. An essential qualification for being a politician which otherwise demands none, is lack of conscience.

    @Roderick Russell-the problem is universal. Read Aangirfan, where I learned for my self that what I experienced of crime, sleaze and corruption in my little backwater in a common-wealth country and at the time believed ‘it’ was because ‘it’ was a backwater, is in fact, appallingly and chillingly universal.

  62. Resident Dissident, thanks for your comments at 10:41pm and 10:58 pm.

  63. Clark @28 Apr, 2014 – 8:38 pm: I’m glad at least someone else understood the question!


    29 Apr, 2014 - 1:40 am

    Glenn; that’s kind of a cheap shot. Craig’s query was less than clear to me so I’m what, an idiot?

    Totally unnecessary shit, is what your comment was.

  65. @ Donald S @ 28 April -5:08. I looked at the video. Cyril Smith was indeed a revolting character in many different ways.

    But what really bothered me was the fact that so many children were sexually abused by him because he was able to get away with his pedophilia since, according to mainstream media reports, he was being protected from justice by MI5 and Special Branch.

    Now I am no stranger to Stasi style abuse from MI5/6 as anybody who clicks on my signature can see. I just didn’t realize quite how low the bar was for these organizations to be prepared to start committing serious criminal offenses against innocent citizens. After all a backbencher like Cyril Smith is hardly high in the establishment, and one can’t get crimes that are much worse than serial pedophilia.

    And Babushka @ 12.09 – The problem may, as you say, be universal. All the more reason for citizens to fight back. We should hold our MP’s and Media to account. Why do they tolerate cover-ups. Too often these people have their heads deep in the sand and we need to challenge these incidents of willful blindness.

  66. Ba’al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)
    @28 Apr, 2014 – 1:01 pm

    “You link back to an earlier post in which you also link back, to this:
    Error 404. Page not found. Do we engage paranoia, or is there an innocent explanation?”

    the latter ba’al. just take a slash & replace: .html


  67. Kelly ben Maimon

    29 Apr, 2014 - 3:21 am


    I’m curious to know if you would consider standing again, for general election?

  68. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Mary (21h31 and 21h38)

    Ah, the perils of not making myself absolutely clear……

    Although I was asking specifically about postal voting fraud (and therefore Mary’s mention of criminal activity by Mac Shane, Archer and Huhne, while correct, is irrelevant), I should have made it clear that I was asking about parliamentary elections.

    The two examples of electoral offences committed by a LD and a Conservative concern local elections. So I’ll repeat my question, amended accordingly:

    “Mr Scorgie

    Well, if you could refer me to some Conservative or Liberal Democrat parliamentary constituencies where postal voting fraud has been identified (or even suspected), I’d be very interested to hear from you.”


    Re postal voting in general, the UK system is amazingly lax (and, as it was introduced in its current form by NuLabour, probably deliberately so); postal voting exists in most continental European countries but the eligibility criteria are much stricter. It should not be beyond the wit of the UK authorities to do likewise

  69. Straw is still raking in the shekels.

    Consultant to ED & F MAN Holdings Ltd; commodity traders, advising the group and its senior executives on the international and national environment in which it operates and on other specific matters. Address: Cottons Centre, Hays Lane, London SE1 2QE (£55,001-£60,000) Payment received on a quarterly basis.

    8 April 2013, received £15,000 consultancy fee for quarter 1 January to 31 March 2013. Hours: approx 45 hrs. (Registered 15 April 2013)

    plus £3,000 – £5,5000 for speeches.
    Money from Murdoch, Rothermere, Barclay Bros., Lebedev, Guardian for articles.
    Advances for book and video publishing.
    Trips to Turkey, Iran, Israel, Nigeria. Sweden….

    and all this on the opening page of his register.

    Yards more of it on the historical entry

  70. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 8:18 am

    Thanks, Ozwry. That’s a lot better. *washes hands*

  71. And he is also fully engaged in the ‘Hice’. What a busy chap. He will be such a great loss to the nation when he retires in 2015. :)

  72. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 8:22 am

    what I experienced of crime, sleaze and corruption in my little backwater in a common-wealth country and at the time believed ‘it’ was because ‘it’ was a backwater, is in fact, appallingly and chillingly universal.

    Isn’t it just. Just been reading ‘Hard Times’ and impressed by the resonances with today. Though we seem to be less afflicted by Gradgrind’s facts, now, and more by marketing fantasies, admittedly.

  73. The Resident Interrogator seems desperate to prove a point, whatever that may be. Has he/she not heard of Google?

    Electoral offences since 2010 – Parliament‎

    17 Mar 2014 – chronology includes details of the allegations of electoral fraud in Tower …… 1 March 2011 John Spellar MP said that in light of the Electoral …

    Postal voting and electoral fraud 2001-09 – Commons … › … › Research publications › Research briefings
    MPs, Lords & offices. In this section. MPs · Members of … Postal voting and electoral fraud 2001-09 – Commons Library Standard Note. Published 14 March 2012

  74. Craig could have used the title ‘Trick or Treat’.

    ‘On 24 April 2005, in an election rally in Jack Straw’s Blackburn Constituency, over one hundred Blackburn electors were given a full free meal by the Labour party, with Jack Straw present, having just made an election speech to the lucky partakers of this generosity.

    Every reader involved in electoral politics will know that this is a criminal offence under the Representation of the People Act, formally known as “Treating” – the provision of free food and drink to electors in an attempt to influence their vote. Conviction leads to forfeiture of the election, banning from public office and a prison sentence of up to two years.

    It is also an offence of strict liability – a candidate is liable even if it was organised by someone else on his behalf. A candidate is viewed in law as responsible for his campaign. But in this instance, Jack Straw was actually present.’

  75. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 9:20 am

    As any honest local councillor (there are some!) will tell you, they’re in it for power and influence rather than the official pay, which isn’t generally excessive – though these are part-time positions:

    They may also be in it because they can’t do anything else. It’s a sublimely boring job, and the coffee is generally terrible. But it’s good for making connections. Particularly with the police and the construction industry. I don’t see any way of reforming local councils without destroying their democratic content, but I do think it might be an idea to insist that all elected councillors undergo a three-month course in local government. This might reduce their tendency to leave stuff they don’t understand to the (immensely well paid, often very fly and well-connected) executive officer. And it would perhaps weed out the candidates whose time is fully occupied with tendering for council-sponsored building projects.

  76. Jack Straw successfully put Richard Armitage up for an Honorary Knighthood. 2 rather nasty pieces of work !

  77. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 9:45 am

    Cf. bankers who would be ruined if their bonuses were a little smaller….

    Coketown in the distance was suggestive of itself, though not a brick of it could be seen.

    The wonder was, it was there at all. It had been ruined so often, that it was amazing how it had borne so many shocks. Surely there never was such fragile china-ware as that of which the millers of Coketown were made. Handle them never so lightly, and they fell to pieces with such ease that you might suspect them of having been flawed before. They were ruined, when they were required to send labouring children to school; they were ruined when inspectors were appointed to look into their works; they were ruined, when such inspectors considered it doubtful whether they were quite justified in chopping people up with their machinery; they were utterly undone, when it was hinted that perhaps they need not always make quite so much smoke. Besides Mr. Bounderby’s gold spoon which was generally received in Coketown, another prevalent fiction was very popular there. It took the form of a threat. Whenever a Coketowner felt he was ill-used—that is to say, whenever he was not left entirely alone, and it was proposed to hold him accountable for the consequences of any of his acts—he was sure to come out with the awful menace, that he would ‘sooner pitch his property into the Atlantic.’ This had terrified the Home Secretary within an inch of his life, on several occasions.

    However, the Coketowners were so patriotic after all, that they never had pitched their property into the Atlantic yet, but, on the contrary, had been kind enough to take mighty good care of it.

    Charles Dickens: Hard Times

  78. Ba’al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)
    29 Apr, 2014 – 8:18 am

    “Thanks, Ozwry. That’s a lot better. *washes hands*”

    excellent, b.z.
    personal hygiene is both necessary & sufficient…

    as a reward, a couple of words from [the lesser] marx:
    ‘time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.’

  79. Resident Dissident 28 Apr, 2014 – 10:41 pm

    It is pleasing to be able to agree with you again over this revelation from RAP (Rochdale Alternative Paper). Alternative newspapers are usually the best source of real information until, or more usually if, they become big enough for the powermongers to take an interest in them. Then money takes over and the editorial integrity is compromised by the bulging wallet.

    As one who has written for alternative newspapers I believe they also give writers a voice which might otherwise go unheard. They are also ground-breaking on occasion. Some of the older contributors might remember OZ which made legal history. Oz tried to make nudity acceptable but was unsuccessfully prosecuted for obscenity. During the US invasion and devastation of Vietnam it published a photograph of a Yankee GI soldier holding a gun to the head of a baby while the baby’s Vietcong mother was forced to give the GI a blow job. The establishment, instead of being concerned with the torture and degradation of the mother seemed as much concerned with the fact that the GI had his flies undone.

    So I urge all to get their real news from the real newspapers. There are some good sources. News Junkie Post is one. There are others like Global Research and NSNBC which published the article below.

    “Today, the mayor of the city of Kharkov, Gennady Kernes, was shot in the back and has been brought to hospital where surgeons are working to save his life. According to some reports, the mayor was shot in the back while bicycling. Other reports state he was jogging. What is certain is that he was shot and is in critical condition.”

    So thanks RD for promoting the alternative press.

  80. Another crooked politician to watch from the NW of England – in her case, closely linked to demolition and construction interests – is Esther McVey.

    She’s the one who declared she wanted to model herself on William Lever, also from the NW, who rose to the ‘heights’ of owning a slave empire in Congo, in which millions of people were killed. No shit! Nice lady, eh!

    I thought I’d mention her, because people have mentioned Jack Straw (Labour) and Cyril Smith (Liberal). McVey is a Tory.

    As in local government, so also in central government: this dirt, this criminality, this corruption dominate all political parties.

    Parties are networks of their own, of course, but as often as not party affiliation is irrelevant, just as it usually is with, ahem, matters concerning ‘planning’ and ‘development’ at the town hall.

    If anyone can help, I’d be bloody interested to know which bunch of crooks are ruining municipal libraries in this country. Since so many changed to ‘discovery centres’ at the same time, I suspect a single source. You’re lucky to find any good books in there nowadays with the DVDs and multiple copies of whatever the big publishers are hyping most. Talk about dumbing down!

    What irks me is that Britain and Scandinavia are about the only regions in the world where there isn’t widespread recognition of the fact that government is first and foremost about contracts between public offices and private interests; of the fact that the key to the whole game is that private interests own those public offices, that the idea of the state serving public interests is a dirty smelly lie.

  81. Possibly off topic. Depends on whether there is any corruption.

    I’m guessing the Russians will be blamed for the forthcoming election in the future People’s Republic of Donetsk which declared itself independent and for which 3.2 million ballot papers have been printed to match the number of the voting electorate. The referendum in accordance with Ukranian law will take place on May 11. Don’t expect any upsets.

  82. @John – I hadn’t heard that about Oz before. Was the GI photo in the ‘schoolkids’ issue (28)?

    Felix Dennis…recuperation…

  83. What we have here is separate issues. There is the issue of irregularities in a Blackburn election which affected Craig directly and no doubt he still feels aggrieved about. Politics is a dirty business.

    Then there is the issue of paedophilia among the powerful, that is a monster, something which can ruins the lives of the most innocent in society just to satisfy the power lust of the psychopath few. It is also a subject which instils strong emotions in people, feelings of outrage, hatred and fear among all who have children.

    They are separate issues, to attempt to marry the two and say the first is responsible for the second just diminishes the second. There have been outrages in all walks of life, among TV stars, among the clergy, among teachers, among the social services as well as politicians all over the country.

  84. N_ I think so. I got it second-hand myself, I think from a Guardian piece. But a long time ago so not certain.

  85. Sofia Kibo Noh

    29 Apr, 2014 - 10:31 am


    Don’t beleive everything the man said.

    Fine words in 1843.

    “We develop new principles for the world out of the world’s own principles. We do not say to the world: Cease your struggles, they are foolish; we will give you the true slogan of struggle. We merely show the world what it is really fighting for, and consciousness is something that it has to acquire, even if it does not want to.”

    But by 1933 I reckon he had lost his way.

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

  86. YouKnowMyName

    29 Apr, 2014 - 10:56 am

    it’s reported in the EU-Observer that a former Prime Minister is about to be jailed,

    nope – not him ,

    but Janez Janša of nice Slovenia – for a failed corruption attempt involving planned purchase of tanky things from Finnish/EADS-Patria

  87. Ba’al Z please forgive my spelling (of your name) limitations.
    Some years ago when I discovered the horrid truth re the so-called ‘west’s’ financial structures, a blogger A M Deist on a US web site wrote precisely of what we are now discussing.

    AM Deist predicted precisely the scenarios some of us have read about in A Tale of Two Cities. His comments resonated with me then, and I shudder when I mention these things to people around me and they look at me as tho I’ve dropped in from another planet. From there they mock me etc etc etc. Hence, Craig’g experiences also resonate with me. I KNOW just how much the ‘afraid’ defend the disgusting status quo.

    Worse, I know that people get ‘disappeared’ for fear of losing something they hold dear, no matter how much they are told what they defend is to the detriment of the ‘greater good’, if you know what I mean.

  88. John I remember the furore and controversy over that publication, but I NEVER heard ONE word about the article you described above.
    Typical of the sicko psycho ‘authorities’.

  89. Sofia Kibo Noh
    29 Apr, 2014 – 10:31 am

    Don’t beleive everything the man said.

    Fine words in 1843.

    But by 1933 I reckon he had lost his way.

    sofia: [dialectically] methinks someone has lost their way…

  90. @Craig “I went to see the Dean of the Cathedral about my exclusion..He was scared of retribution.”
    Just a question that occurred to me: did you ask the Dean exactly what retribution he had in mind? What could the local council do to his or other churches in Blackburn, exactly?

  91. Having been digging all day yesterday I did not read Craigs excellent post about the takeover and corrupting of British society until this morning.Party politics has killed democracy as they have pulled the Electoral Commissions teeth, and tinkered with the voting system, postal votes, etc. so they could best manipulate it.

    Even though election coordinators eventually retire, In South Norfolk DC for example, he’s wheeled out as he knows everything about the elections, nudge nudge…

    As campaigns and election coordinator to the first ever female Independent Muslim candidate in Blackburn 2010, I can vouch that the whole town of Blackburn, Police, council, local businesses, especially the media are thouroughly corrupted. We had to fight and argue to be included on the panel at every election meeting and debate that was arranged. In Blackburn Cathedral I was assaulted, pushed against one of the pillars by the sacrister who was irate at the suggestion that we would not leave the church until we are included on the panel. This was a foot away from one of Jack Straws private police, whop obviously had not seen or heard anything.

    Jack Straw was heard in a Ummah TV debate with the liberal candidate, said that he organised Nick Cleggs leadership campaign within the Lib Dems, a story that sounds wonderous, but in the politics of the North east, is not so uncommon. Being a local politicians means that you are in charge and the Lib Dems, on someone’s behalf, took the candidature away from Bushra Irfan, so she had to stand as an Independent. It is my believe that Jack SAtraw was behind her loosing the candidature because she was a local lawyer he did not like, a feisty woman who could speak up and hold her own in debate.

    Despite visiting the police station and giving evidence regards the assault on me, deswpite the afidavit delivered by Craig, the police let him wait for three hours before finally taking it, nothing ever happened.

    We had our 4x8foot posters ripped from the trailers, we had the police round for puny parking issues at least twice/week and the electoral count was the most pathetic sham I have ever witnessed. On the day of the election Labour’s elders, long term supporters of Jack and his dog Patel, long coats, beards and much talking in Urdu to the voters going to the polling stations along the lines of ‘don’t forget who employs you/your husband’
    Three polling stations featured profuse Labour advertising posters within 200 yards of the polling station, prohibited on election day, and the Chief executive of the council,Graham Burgess, when asked by myself as whether ‘he thought that these posters were legitamitely placed’ said ‘ yes, he thought so’, the end of that debate.

    Party politics has corrupted and infiltrated all institutions, despite their unpopularity, only a few bother with elections for these reasons and the lack of proportionality, these scoundrels manage to get their messages into the media, but

    if unpopular celebrities try to get their views accross the media declines???
    so why is our media not amplifying people politics? Is the BBC so dependent on their franchise that they feel obliged to suck up to these crooks? the professional election gangs?

    here is one from the Days Craig was still asked to write stuff for the Grauniad.

  92. The entire political culture is rotten – both inside and outside Lancashire. In fact, all social institutions have also become corrupted.

    Most depressing, however, is to hear that “I went to see the Dean of the Cathedral about my exclusion..He was scared of retribution.” Whatever happened to “For God has not given us the spirit of fear”.

  93. As regards election fraud one of the biggest fraudsters is Karl Rove who engineered a turnaround in the result which saw war-criminal George W. Bush wrongfully elected. One of the crimes of the century. Rove is currently working in support of the Prime Minister of Sweden, Fredrik Reinfeldt. The party Reinfelt represents is called The Moderate Party but it is in fact extremely right wing. Hopefully the Swedish people will have had enough of this tool of America and the new government will hopefully make sure the prosecution team question Julian Assange in London. The policemen who stand outside the Ecuador embassy cost the taxpayer millions.

    John Goss 29 Apr, 2014 – 10:07 am

    As an addendum to The Hindu article about elections in Donetsk, I have seen a photograph of the already printed ballot papers stacked in boxes ready for distribution.

  94. Off topic but important. I’ve just got this through. The “OSCE observers” are soldiers not members of OSCE.

    ‘Accusations, that “pro-Russian separatists” have captured “OSCE observers” are false.’ says the article.

  95. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    Fred is again expecting to be disagreed with –

    They are separate issues, to attempt to marry the two and say the first is responsible for the second just diminishes the second.

    I thought the connection between the institutional protection of prominent people engaged in corrupt commercial transactions, and the protection of prominent people with an unhealthy interest in children, in areas noted for both, was far from tenuous, myself. Silly me.

    Not sure if Bournemouth is a hotbed for this sort of thing, but currently:

    You have to wonder what a 22-year-old who works in an engineering company is doing on a council, anyway. OK, I’m nasty. Nobody likes me and I don’t care….but this would be a logical connection in terms of what councillors find interesting…just supposing…

  96. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 1:04 pm

    …for ‘commercial’, above, read ‘politico-commercial’. Thanks.

  97. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 1:50 pm

    Sane looking site, created for a specific council. Note: effective immunity of councillors, and deep involvement (often as initiators of corrupt practices) of council officials.

    The present and alarming unaccountability of this local authority, amongst many others in this country, is leaving the taxpayer staggered and bewildered, especially where central government refuses to act on behalf of the electorate, who they are allegedly supposed to represent. The only way to control local authority corruption is to introduce new legislation by statute to criminalize such acts. This will empower the Police to react to allegations and treat such crimes as high priority.

    Planning crime is rampant and uncontrolled within this local authority. As one would expect, in the old adage, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’, therefore, where possible, we have included evidence in the form of correspondence and documentation to allow the reader to confirm our opinions, beliefs and concerns. We understand that many of our readers will recognize the methods employed by this mendacious Council and welcome any comments by our readers, or share their experiences with us.

  98. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    O/T (?)

    Kerry obliged to withdraw slur on digging implement – admits ‘not a spade’.


    29 Apr, 2014 - 2:57 pm

    Ba’al; Kerry is an unenviable wanker. He got that apartheid bell rung, then as usual he tries to unring it. It was a perfectly appropriate comparison. What’s the problem?

  100. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    I’m getting the feeling that Kerry is the fall guy for the usual suspects. Whom he probably doesn’t even like. Even so, they made sure Indyk was there – probably talking to Bibi all the time. I’m rather sorry for Kerry. He thought he could speak truth to power, and then the power* slapped him down. So it goes. Did you notice our Blair’s part in the latest talks? No, neither did I. He knew it was a setup.


  101. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 4:04 pm

    PS -In any event, what Kerry actually said was even less offensive than the version he’s being humiliated for. He didn’t say Israel was an apartheid state. He said that if a two-state solution didn’t happen, it would be. And that can be confirmed completely from available evidence.

  102. Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    29 Apr, 2014 - 4:43 pm

    Straw’s replacement as MP for Blackburn will be the current leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Kate Hollern. (His son will be standing next door) She works in Blackburn College’s training department as Skills Funding Agency and Job Centre Plus Contracts Manager. Naturally, the economy being what it is, she has to chop 500 council jobs this year and make other savings, so you’d think she’d be up for managing some Job Centre contracts. Here’s a recent snapshot of her present patch, Wensley Fold Ward. Apologies: this seems to be an Express article and induces nausea. But the last par is interesting:

    ” The leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, Labour’s Kate Hollern, has represented the Wensley Fold Ward since May 1995.

    The Scots-born politician works just a quarter of a mile from The Wrangling at Blackburn College as “employer responsive contracts manager”.

    Unfortunately, numerous attempts by the Sunday Express to speak to her about our findings proved unsuccessful.

    (Ultimate) source:

    A champion of the people, then.

  103. Do you remember Clark telling us about his visit to a job centre? Touch screens and clipboards and thugs hovering.

    PS The Wiltshire policeman who fired a laser onto the unclothed body of a drunk occupant of a cell has been found not guilty of misconduct and bringing a public office into disrepute.

    In 2012, a Wiltshire police custody sergeant was convicted of assaulting a 60yr old woman in a cell. He got his job back after having been sacked.

    Avoid Wiltshire.

  104. All these connections
    Member’s Details/Kate M Hollern

    yet a virtually blank sheet
    Register of Member’s Interests

  105. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 5:42 pm

    From Donald S.

    “Jack Straw is a gangster”


    “Straw is heavily involved in organised crime.”


    Perhaps memory fails, but isn’t that the sort of post that caused the previous Mods and/or Craig to close down the blog for a while a few months ago?

  106. I would have thought by his egregious flouting of the relevant Acts concerning election law, Straw had hoped to be pulled up and punished plus being kicked/banned from holding or standing for public office now and in the future. Though if his psychopathy is so severe he may be incapable of recognising that he has done anything wrong, his and New Labour’s moral compasses coming from that notorious bad batch that was never recalled. Even a system so intrinsically corrupt and corrupting, so tuned to deliver exactly the evils it’s raison d’être forbids must now and again approximate the illusion of delivering on its putative aim.

    We must give Straw more rope, or a confession to sign. At least for Straw, Blair, Milibands and friends, it is all about money and power, there are no troubling ideological issues to deal with in understanding such creatures. No principle priced is too high.

  107. doug scorgie

    29 Apr, 2014 - 7:17 pm

  108. @Abe Rene – You asked what kind of retribution the Dean might have been afraid of. Good question. I know of two examples where those who run C of E cathedrals run them as ruthlessly commercial operations. Many maintenance and other services are highly specialised and highly masonic with it. There are also events such as Christmas fairs which bring in loads of moolah. Well-favoured artists or craftsmen who ‘know how to hold a knife and fork’ can get can get their artwork shown in the crypts, and so on. It’s all a matter of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours – and whatever you do, don’t let the wrong sort of people in, and if you do, turn them upside-down and shake money out of the dirty oiks’ pockets. They’re run as snot-nosed business rackets, in short.

    I don’t know the answer to your question, but am just pointing out that Cathedrals are fairly weighty commercial players in many cities, on both sides of the balance-sheet. If they got sent to Coventry, they’d feel it all right.

    Most of their specialised suppliers are as masonic as fuck.

    Meanwhile, as I hinted above: Craig should have responded powerfully at the time, not several years later. A missed opportunity, sadly.

    Craig: serious advice: don’t give anybody on your team PR responsibilities unless they’ve read Saul Alinsky.

  109. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 7:28 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    Great post at 19h17, congratulations and well done.

    Now that you’re back with us, perhaps you could take a minute or two to answer the (amended) question I asked you yesterday? It was :

    “Well, if you could refer me to some Conservative-held parliamentary seats where postal voting fraud has been identified (or even suspected), I’d be very interested to hear from you.”

  110. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 7:44 pm

    Mary (re postal voting fraud in parliamentary elections)

    “The Resident Interrogator seems desperate to prove a point, whatever that may be. Has he/she not heard of Google?

    Electoral offences since 2010 – Parliament‎

    Not trying to prove a point so much as asking a question.

    But anyway, many thanks for the link you provided.

    Although your link you supplied (despite the misleading title “Parliament”) in fact covers not only Parliamentary but also local govt elections, and covers all offences (not just postal voting fraud), I was nevertheless interested to note one of the report’s conclusions, namely

    “Action should be taken now to protect the integrity of elections in all areas but particularly in higher risk areas. The Commission identified these areas as being: Birmingham, Bradford, Calderdale, Derby, Kirklees, Pendle, Slough, Walsall, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Coventry, Hyndburn, Oldham, Peterborough, Tower Hamlets and Woking”

    Would you care to tell us how many of the above-mentioned higher-risk areas are represented by Conservative MPs and/or run by Conservative councils at the local level?

    And how many by NoooLabour and/or the Liberal Democrats?


  111. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 8:06 pm


    On second thoughts, I’m guessing you’ll try and ignore my request for info, so I’ve looked it up myself.

    Of the 16 areas mentioned as being at “higher risk” of electoral fraud:

    ** all but 2 (Peterborough and Woking)are Labour seats at Westminster (MPs)

    ** at the local govt level, all but 6 of the areas are run by Labour (2 of the 6 are Conservative run and there is no overall control in the other 4)?


    The conclusion must be that electoral fraud and irregularities occur mainly in Labour areas.


    Thank you again, Mary, for providing that very interesting link!

  112. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 8:12 pm

    For the sale of completenesss, I should have added that the 2 out of 16 Parliamentary seats NOT held by Labour are held by the Conservatives.

  113. “despite the misleading title “Parliament””

    That particular document is a summary made specifically to inform members of parliament which is why they called it Parliament.

  114. You asked what kind of retribution the Dean might have been afraid of. Good question. I know of two examples where those who run C of E cathedrals run them as ruthlessly commercial operations. Many maintenance and other services are highly specialised and highly masonic with it. There are also events such as Christmas fairs which bring in loads of moolah. Well-favoured artists or craftsmen who ‘know how to hold a knife and fork’ can get can get their artwork shown in the crypts, and so on. It’s all a matter of you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours – and whatever you do, don’t let the wrong sort of people in, and if you do, turn them upside-down and shake money out of the dirty oiks’ pockets. They’re run as snot-nosed business rackets, in short.I don’t know the answer to your question, but am just pointing out that Cathedrals are fairly weighty commercial players in many cities, on both sides of the balance-sheet. If they got sent to Coventry, they’d feel it all right. Most of their specialised suppliers are as masonic as fuck.

    Another loon.

    Cathedrals are extremely expensive to maintain. Walls require masons, so on.

  115. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 9:03 pm


    The title of the briefing paper is “Electoral offences since 2010″.

    Mary slid the word Parliament into the title – pehaps because my original question concerned postal voting fraud in Parliamentary elections. The briefing paper, however, covers fraud and offences in all elections.


    Anything to say about the briefing paper’s conclusion which I quoted, Freddie?

  116. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 9:06 pm

    And my findings that almost all but 2 of the “higher risk” areas elected Labour MPs and that most are run by Labour Councils?

  117. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 9:07 pm


    Could it be that Cathedrals are all a conspiracy?

    Masonic this time, of course, not CIA!

  118. Craig, it looks like you got the full Ron Paul treatment

  119. Full house again from UNoWho!


    Anyway there is one less Tory boy, ex Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. Son of a Bishop. Full welly. The whole kit and caboodle.

    ‘E’s gorn!

    Oh sorry. Correction. He was a ‘Former Tory’. The BBC have just changed the headline from ‘Ex Tory’ to ‘Former Tory’.

    Former Tory MP Mercer resigns after Commons suspension

  120. More of the ZBC NuSpeak.

    News headline – George Osborne says economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter.

    They followed that by saying that the economy is back to the same level that it was at ‘when the ‘recession hit’. They meant to say ‘when the City spivs and gangsters crashed the banks’. They also missed out referring to the massive bail out in £billions which is ongoing to this day.

  121. I guess a person could take the broader view and accept that the subconscious desire of the majority of electorate is to keep those sorts as far away as is possible,thus the most dangerous freak and weirdo who share a social circle are usually sent away to a foreign country which happens to have been created in London.

    If a person understands that then it’s easy to see that all voting in elections is erroneous,they should be sent to prison as cost effective for the tax-payer.

  122. Your link to ‘rotten’ was very difficult to display Ba’al. Wonder why? :)

    I saw the poll on the home page.

    Rotten Council Poll
    Planning Corruption
    Do you believe your council’s planning department is corrupt?
    Yes – ( 267 votes )
    No – ( 11 votes )
    Don’t know – ( 7 votes )
    Total Answers 285
    Total Votes 285

    Enough said.

  123. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 10:15 pm


    Thanks once more for supplying that link which identified the electoral areas at “higher risk” of electoral fraud. (*)

    In return, you can thank me for pointing out that most of them are Labour-run at the local level and have returned Labour MPs. The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats appear to emerge as the clean parties, don’t they. :)

    No surprises there, I guess!


    (*) I bet you now wish you hadn’t, eh? Moral – always read your links carefully before posting them!

  124. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    29 Apr, 2014 - 10:21 pm

    “News headline – George Osborne says economy grew by 0.8% in the last quarter.”

    Encouraging news indeed, Mary, and I share your pleasure.

    Moreoever, it appears that growth is strong in all areas of the economy, with the growth in manufacturing outstripping growth in services (incl. financials)and thus demonstrating that a certain rebalancing of the economy is thankfully underway.


    “Rejoice!” (M. Thatcher, ca. 1982)

  125. ‘Rejoice’ was the witch’s command for the retaking of South Georgia. Living in the EmPyre’s past aren’t you.

  126. Ben: Oh come on, my comment was surely playful rather than insulting? Why on Earth would I want to insult you? Sorry for the offence, since you perceived it as one. Unintended. Christ almighty, I should post here less often.

  127. It’s not always been the case,if we look into various stories with some slight cultural significance we find the same sorts stoned to death.

    Now if stoning was still practiced then what of many of the inhuman evils visited upon humanity?

    There are no statistics for this what if,but common sense suggests if we stoned all the MP’s in Parliament tomorrow then perhaps a million lives would be spared from suffering their hubris over the next decade.

    If your business is murdering tens of thousands to millions as a group activity for whatever it is you find gratifying about such an endeavour then from time to time one must surely expect to find disenchantment among those given nothing but the right to approve of your organisation.

  128. Big deal Lord Steel.

    Lord Steel says he quizzed Cyril Smith over sex claims

  129. Now if a candidate came to your door and manifested genuine ectoplasm from his head in the form of a dead relative who spoke and suggested profitable investment opportunities you may well be struck dumb but candidates only ever offer a vague bribe in exchange for your support of their lifestyle.

  130. To my own amazement, I have decided in the course of my recent research into the Burnes that Freemasonry played a very positive role in hastening the dismantling of the British Empire, by undermining the belief in racial superiority and religious mission among the ruling classes. I can promise you I was surprised by that conclusion as you are.

  131. Fascinating, Craig – I look forward to hearing about it. This negative effect was entirely unintended, I take it?


    29 Apr, 2014 - 11:31 pm


    OK, Glenn. Let’s move on.

  133. Craig

    A similar point seems to have been made in this book:

    Builders of Empire: Freemasons and British Imperialism, 1717-1927, Jessica Harland Jacobs

    Haven’t read it but this review alludes to it:

    “Harland-Jacobs concludes her history with the Empire’s dissolution looming on the horizon. She quotes Indian Mason and writer K.R. Cama as reminiscing, “One of the happy results attainted by introducing natives into Masonry has been that of bringing them to closely associate, socially, with their European brethren – I was almost going to say, masters.” That Masonry continues in India and other former colonies to this day, despite such conflicted feelings, is a testament to its true universalism and the gifts it offers worthy brethren.”

    I suppose it goes from empire to international elite.

  134. Ben, sorry for the unintended slight; you hadn’t ignored Craig’s question.

  135. Craig, while I believe that freemasonry has in its ranks many good men and that there has always been an acceptance of natives into lodges in countries in which imperialists planted their flags, these were predominantly the educated and wealthy natives, or those who could be of service in one way or another like policemen, postal workers or messengers. Most of the passing on of information is done electronically today and the number of Freemasons has declined considerably over recent decades, though whether there is a connection I am not sure. What I am sure of is that the inclusion of anybody into masonic lodges is something each candidate goes into blindly. My understanding is that favours are initially bestowed through the three degrees to master mason, and then continued later in an environment of mutual fraternity on those who chose this elitist path. Once compromised in this way the return of a favour when called for can easily be achieved by reminding the mason of how he was helped by other brothers. Like the armed forces masonry takes away certain freedoms but less blatantly. There are many lodges in the armed forces and police. The elitism is extended to, for example, Masonic charity schools, for example, were for the sons and daughters of Freemasons. So, yes, they were not overtly racist, but they were elitist, sexist, (no women), ageist, nobody under the age of 21 (nonage) and nobody starting to lose their marbles (dotage). No jokes now about why I’m not one.

    Masons are always pleased to laud those of their ranks who were talented, like Kipling and Mozart, and a whole load more but give very little attention to those who were manipulatively useful at the time, like Lenin and Kerensky (the majority of Kerensky’s ministers were Masons). Chicherin was an important mason who negotiated a secret agreement at Rapallo with his German brother, Walther Rathenau, while the Genoa conference (full of masons) was going on in April, 1922. Power is important to Freemasonry. It is what it was set up for to see perpetuated with itself at the helm. So whether it comes to the control of governments, or a county cricket club, there will be masons there to guide the decision-making.

    Freemasonry is based on the mystical side of Judaism, with, especially in the nineteenth century some rather severe and ritualistic punishments meted out to those who revealed the “so-called” secrets. The ritual murder of William Morgan is denied by masons, but when the whole judiciary is riddled with masons, ordinary souls would never really know, would they? News outlets control information. It’s the same kind of thing and mutually compatible.

    Having said that there is a moral obligation upon masons to be dignified and upstanding and most of them are.

    I used to play golf with a man whose family were masons and he said as a child he wanted to go into the lodge and was warned off. “Be careful the goat doesn’t get you.” Anyway Brian, wherever you are in the hereafter, I’m sure you won’t mind me passing on that little anecdote. There is perhaps a lesson for us all there.

  136. No debate. Just appointed.

    Soham murder trial judge Sir Alan Moses to head new Press regulator IPSO
    Court of Appeal judge previously jailed Ian Huntley over murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman
    IPSO replaces Press Complaints Commission in wake of Leveson inquiry
    Sir Alan says he will ‘protect the public’ and ‘encourage a free and fearless Press’

    ‘Mr Javid said: ‘The work has been done, and it is now a decision for the Press what they want to do next. I don’t see any further role for Government in this.

    ‘Notwithstanding the fact that any industry has its bad apples, I think our Press is the best in the world. It is fearless without favour.’

    I think Mr Javid’s superlative is laughable. Recall Iraq and all the rest. The Westminster bubble – filled with foul odours – the new Culture Secretary the most obvious emitter.

    Also should there be a connection between the press and the judiciary also Judge Moses seems to be upstanding, he is establishment.

  137. @Anon 8.48pm – Try not to be so insulting – there’s a dear! I wasn’t making a terminological argument based on two meanings of the word “mason”. You really should have understood that. Someone who insults someone without understanding what the person has said doesn’t half look a fool.

  138. Kate Holden has been offered the Blackburn seat for services rendered to Jack Straw, without City Hall collaborators in his game, playing off ethnic and tribal differences between ethnic minorities in his town.

    Jack Straws age old promise to make Blackburn a City has failed, first he tried by building some sort of university were there never was one, then he strenuously pointed out that Blackburns cathedral was a sign of a city, doooh. Kate Hollern knows a lot about Jack and his past, just as he was chosen for his ‘guile and cunning’ she is stepping into his footsteps, knowing full well that he stood in a pile of shit.

    She will carry on the same subdefuge and sham that has kept Blackburn and its multi ethnic population down in the past.

  139. A very moving review by Gary Corseri of Kathy Kelly’s book.

    Kathy Kelly’s Challenge
    Witness, Courage, Compassion, Becoming

    April 30th, 2014

    What does the Lord require… but to act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
    — The Book of Micah

    Grant us your forgiveness, Lord. And unto you be our becoming.
    — The Salaat, the final Muslim prayer of the day

    About 90 pages into Other Lands Have Dreams, Kathy Kelly’s extraordinary book of recollections and reflections, we’re immersed again in the immediacy of her amazing life…


    Other Lands Have Dreams: From Baghdad to Pekin Prison

  140. ….Should there be a connection between the press and the judiciary? Although Judge Moses appears to be upstanding, he is establishment after all.

  141. Various insinuations that there is a high-level paedophile ring seem to be coming to the boil:

    I have read allegations about two big hitters in Scottish Labour before. I wonder if this is one of them, the unnamed ex-minister?

    Meanwhile, what has happened to the Patrick Rock investigation and the suggestions that Downing Street covered it up? He advised Cameron on internet porn policy. You couldn’t fuckin script it. I wonder what he was advising Cameron to do?

  142. Nevermind…

    Thanks for the wee inside… insight on that episode…depressing as fuck..that good people are trodden on by the establishment bullies…

    Nevermind –

    ” As campaigns and election coordinator to the first ever female Independent Muslim candidate in Blackburn 2010, I can vouch that the whole town of Blackburn, Police, council, local businesses, especially the media are thouroughly corrupted. We had to fight and argue to be included on the panel at every election meeting and debate that was arranged. In Blackburn Cathedral I was assaulted, pushed against one of the pillars by the sacrister who was irate at the suggestion that we would not leave the church until we are included on the panel. This was a foot away from one of Jack Straws private police, whop obviously had not seen or heard anything.

    “Despite visiting the police station and giving evidence regards the assault on me, deswpite the afidavit delivered by Craig, the police let him wait for three hours before finally taking it, nothing ever happened.”

    See ya soon

  143. Ba'al Zevul (Canaan for the Canaanites)

    1 May, 2014 - 10:06 am

  144. Andrew Ison

    1 May, 2014 - 5:41 pm

    So what can be drawn from this?

    The cult of celebrity is a big ol’ Paedophile ring with Masonic Judges in Oxfordshire exhibiting telling leniency on the less well connected of their kind so as to set precedent in law.

    Say it ain’t so!

  145. Ba'al Zevul (Ba'ali Nomates)

    2 May, 2014 - 11:05 am

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