Daily Archives: August 11, 2014


Orange Blackout

My mole at Pacific Quay tells me that there will be no BBC coverage of the Orange Order No campaign march in Edinburgh on 13 September. It has been decided that this would “present an unfairly negative image of the No campaign.” I find that fascinating, as the BBC has certainly never shirked from portraying an unfairly negative image of the Yes campaign. Apparently BBC Scotland have taken the decision “in consultation with” their bosses in England.

The proposed Orange for No march appears plainly to be in contravention of the Public Order Act 1936. This act makes it illegal to wear a uniform to promote a political cause:

Section 1 (i)

Subject as hereinafter provided, any person
who in any public place or at any public meeting wears
uniform signifying his association with any political
organisation or with, the promotion of any political
object shall be guilty of an offence :

For the Orange order to march through Edinburgh in uniform to support the No referendum campaign seems to me as blatant a contravention of the Act as can possibly be imagined. The Act remains in force, this section has not been modified by subsequent legislation and it does apply to Scotland. The specific provisions for Scotland at Section 8 relate solely to the mechanics of administration.

Orange marches in Scotland are not normally prosecuted on the (frankly weak) grounds that they are a cultural not a political manifestation. But that cannot be said of the September 13 March which is being undertaken by the Grand Orange Lodge as a registered participant in the referendum campaign. If they march in uniform they are very plainly indeed in breach of the Public Order Act.

The Act is not a dead letter from the 1930s. It was used to arrest and convict Irish Republicans in the 1980s demonstrating at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park for wearing black berets. Its breach of the peace provisions were used against pickets in the miners’ strike.

There is therefore a key question here – is the law applied impartially, or is it only applied against political demonstrations opposed to the Westminster Establishment? Is the law ignored for political demonstrations in support of the Westminster Establishment?

It is not a case of whether you support the existence of this particular law. It is an essential attribute of a democracy that where the law exists it is applied impartially. That appears not to be the case in Scotland.

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Rusbridger – Handmaiden to Power

Rusbridger’s Guardian has become an unrepentant unionist, zionist, and neo-con New Labour propaganda vehicle. Particularly deceitful is their attitude to the security services and the “war on terror”, where Rusbridger stands revealed as a handmaiden to power. He was, a very senior Guardian source told me, particularly upset when I described him as “Tony Blair’s catamite”. Let me say it again.

Let me give you a specific case to illustrate my point.

On 2 August the Guardian published a piece by Jamie Doward and Ian Cobain which, on the face of it, exposed the British Foreign Office for lobbying against the publication of the US Senate report on extraordinary rendition, lest details of British complicity become public.

On the face of it, a worthy piece of journalism exposing deeply shady government behaviour.

Except that I had published precisely the same story a full 15 weeks earlier, on April 14 2014, having been urgently contacted by a whistleblower.

What is more, immediately I heard from the whistleblower I made several urgent phone calls to Ian Cobain. He neither took nor returned my calls. I therefore left detailed messages, referring to the story which I had now published on my website.

In fact, the Guardian only published this story after William Hague had written to Reprieve to confirm that this lobbying had happened. In other words the Guardian published only after disclosure had been authorised by Government.

Furthermore, in publishing the government authorised story, the Guardian omitted the absolutely key point – that the purpose of the UK lobbying was to affect court cases under way and in prospect in the UK. Both in civil cases of compensation for victims, and in potential criminal cases for complicity in torture against Blair, Straw et al, British judges have (disgracefully) accepted the argument that evidence of the torture cannot be used because the American do not want it revealed, and may curtail future intelligence sharing. Obviously, if the Americans publish the material themselves, this defence falls.

As this defence is the major factor keeping Blair, Straw and numerous still senior civil servants out of the dock, this sparked the crucial British lobbying to suppress the Feinstein report – which has indeed succeeded in causing a huge amount of redaction by the White House.

My mole was absolutely adamant this was what was happening, and it is what I published. Yet Cobain in publishing the government authorised version does not refer to the impact on trials at all – despite the fact that this was 100% the subject of the letter from Reprieve to which Hague was replying, and that the letter from Reprieve mentioned me and my blog by name.

Instead of giving the true story, the government authorised version published by Cobain misdirects the entire subject towards Diego Garcia. The truth is that Diego Garcia is pretty incidental in the whole rendition story. On UK soil there was actually a great deal more done at Wick airport (yes, I do mean Wick, not Prestwick). That is something the government is still keeping tight closed, so don’t expect a mention from Cobain.

I was fooled by Cobain for a long time. What I now realise is that his role is to codify and render safe information which had already leaked. He packages it and sends it off in a useless direction – away from Blair and Straw in this instance. He rigorously excludes material which is too hot for the establishment to handle. The great trick is, that the Guardian persuades its loyal readers that it is keeping tabs on the security services when in fact it is sweeping up after them.

Which is a precise description of why the Guardian fell out with Assange and WikiLeaks.

I suppose I should expect no better of the newspaper which happily sent the extremely noble Sara Tisdall to prison, but we should have learnt a lot from Rusbridger’s agreement with the security services to smash the Snowden hard drives. The Guardian argues that other copies of the drives existed. That is scarcely the point. Would you participate in a book-burning because other copies of books exist? The Guardian never stands up to the security services or the establishment. It just wants you to believe that it does.

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