Missy M’s Sin of Omission 146

Ambitious SNP Westminster hopeful Gillian Martin seeks to bolster her standing within the party by a peculiarly snide attack on me, in which she continually reiterates how much she likes me but…

Among the buts is this story about the Yes campaign meeting Gillian and I both addressed in Insch:

One thing that jarred very much with me as we took questions from our very mixed audience of Yesses Nos and Undecideds on that night of the panel we shared, was the way Craig responded to a genuine question from an undecided person in the audience. He effectively called her and her question ignorant. She left straight afterwards. I know this because she is a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in ages and had wanted to say hello after. But she was gone. She had been rubbished and presumably left angry and humiliated. Given a kinder response she may have stayed and may even have been persuaded to vote yes. I don’t know if she did, but no matter.

I actually recall the incident very well. The questioner asked how an independent Scotland could possibly afford all the infrastructure of central government that currently existed in London, by way of ministries etc.

I replied that Scotland was already paying for 10% of all that infrastructure in London. With that same money, we could pay for the infrastructure of central government in Edinburgh, the difference being that the net drain on the economy as our taxes left for London would be stopped, and that this money would now be spent in Scotland. Undoubtedly there would be initial start-up costs on infrastructure but these should be seen as capital spending stimulating demand in the economy, not as loss. The view that such spending was a loss was the ridiculous Thatcherite fallacy of economics.

Gillian Martin may consider that “I effectively called her and her question ignorant”, and I suppose that is one possible analysis. But I promise you the question and answer were as I just related. I had no doubt the question was asked as a unionist sneer and if my answer rubbished it, so be it.

But here is the important point. As the young lady did indeed rather ostentatiously leave the meeting after my response, I asked some of the meeting organisers what that had been about. They told me that she was very well known in the community as an active Conservative and that an immediate family member of hers held some position in the Tories.

Now Gillian Martin claims the woman was a friend of hers whom she had wanted to greet. In which case Gillian Martin must know that she was a Tory. In which case, her omission of this most relevant of facts from her account of the event is a deliberate ploy aimed at discrediting me.

I don’t think I have met Gillian Martin apart from that meeting, and she struck me as perfectly nice. But ambition does unfortunate things to people. I do hope the brownie points were worth it, Gillian.

May I offer as an antidote this conversation I had yesterday with that most thoughtful and perceptive of Scottish interviewers, Derek Bateman.

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146 thoughts on “Missy M’s Sin of Omission

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  • Ishmael

    I’v two ideas for this blog, to take or leave.

    One I imagined some time ago but never said. That is the idea of a short rolling deletion of all past comments or whole posts. We all have so much information being collected. I don’t see the need aside from those who want to nose through past stuff, i’d say a mounth would be ok for that.

    I asked the Guardian to do similar with expectedly zero results, rigid corporate rules some, etc.

    The second, more significant, crystallized just now. It would be that all who regulatory contribute could compose a post up top, regularly. A new kind of blog perhaps.

    I don’t mean it as any kind of disrespect, but I can’t see myself wanting to contribute much longer, as is.

  • yesindyref2

    Sorry about that, you’re completely right, Gillian IS the subject.

    Paul “pure and utter bollocks” – I’m very pleased for you, congrats.

    Happy New Year all!

  • Mary

    That dreadful Hopkins woman is still making the news.

    Should police REALLY be probing TV star’s ‘sweaty Jocks’ tweets?
    Force under fire for ‘waste of time’ investigation into Katie Hopkins’ comments about Ebola nurse
    Katie Hopkins caused offence with comments about Scottish Ebola nurse
    Launched outburst after medic was moved to London for specialist care
    TV personality called Scots ‘sweaty jocks… sending us Ebola bombs’
    More than 12,000 sign petition demanding Hopkins is arrested over tweets
    Police Scotland say they are investigating if there has been criminality
    31 December 2014


  • Melissa Murray

    Craig Murray,

    I think I have gone from having great respect for you to finding you a rather sore loser who seems to be in dire need of attention.
    Let it go and quit trying to rubbish others in the process.

  • Johnstone

    I’d say both onw word answers were fails – but a more detailed, explanatory and provisional answer, showing an understanding of the ethics but pragmatism – and team work – involved.

    uum do you mean dodging the issue or fudging it?

  • Vronsky


    “No voters were evil, stupid or cowardly.”

    If true, it seems a bit Manichaean – these appear immutable things. You can’t make evil people good, stupid people clever or cowardly people brave. So where is a future Yes vote going to come from?

    Luckily people are complicated. Each of us has done a wicked, stupid, or cowardly thing in our lives, but also had moments of decency, insight or courage.

    The problem is that you can make decent, intelligent, brave people do bad, silly, cowardly things. That was (as ever) the job of the BBC and the mainstream media. They succeeded, but you are blaming the victims instead of the perpetrators.

    “Let it go and quit trying to rubbish others in the process.”
    Take your own advice, girl. You’re waaaaay out of your depth.

  • Vronsky

    “I don’t share some people’s conspiracy theories about her going for the Falkirk candidacy being the real reason for Craig’s rejection, though.”

    You do realise that calling it a ‘conspiracy theory’ is nowadays such a routine establishment dismissal as to suggest that it’s true?

  • yesindyref2

    Until we have such a thing as an honest and competent MSM, quoting politicians in context and exploring their real intentions and meaning, rather than twisting their words to make it appear totally otherwise to their actual intents, then sadly, yes, particularly in Westminster 🙁

    It took the Referendum campaign to understand that it is very rare a politician can afford to give a straight, one-word, honest answer.

  • yesindyref2

    Yes, the media always allowed the negative spin, well, bluntly outright lies, to come over “Scotland will be at the back of the queue for … EU, NATO; there will be no currency union, mortgages will rise by £5,000 per year for every household, food prices WILL rise, banks WILL move all their operations, blah blah blah”.

    But beneath these was indeed uncertainty, and hence risk. I read postings from “Unionists” before the ref who said, sometimes genuinely, that if the uncertainties had been recognised by YES and even some quantification or assessment, they would be far more likely to vote YES, rather than just being always comforted by the “it’ll be all right on the night”. I think YES and the ScotGov had no choice for the first Ref, but there’s work to be done for next time.

    As for Melissa “You’re waaaaay out of your depth.” I disagree. She made her comment, had the courage and openness to go onto Craig’s blog (as he did on hers), and made the minimum comment needed to refute and counter. Often the less said, the soonest mended – and the less to be attacked!

  • Carlyle Moulton

    Craig you should take the nasty comments from the SNP for the flattery it is. SNP insiders believe that you are a person of principle who would break party solidarity if the party did something against your and its stated beliefs. The strident criticism is an acknowledgement that the SNP’s exclusion of you makes the SNP look bad. It may be Scottish and Nationalist but at the core it is just another political party populated mainly by self serving apparatchiks who will be more concerned with the perks they can get than with Scottishness or Nationalism.

    Don’t join any political party, you are built to be a critic of all political parties and all of us including your blog readers need you as such.

  • Herbie

    What’s worse of course is that the SNP look every bit the very outfit that will ensure the bolshie Scots learn to love austerity.

    Karma, eh.

  • technicolour

    Yesindyref2: I agree about this,

    if the uncertainties had been recognised by YES and even some quantification or assessment, they would be far more likely to vote YES, rather than just being always comforted by the “it’ll be all right on the night”.

    from an observer. A solution would have been for a simple forward plan on behalf of ‘Yes’ which would have seen those uncertainties put back to the electorate, after the main vote. “Would you like an independent currency? These are the potential problems and solutions” and so on. To which all relevant parties could have committed, before the referendum itself.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    i was at the Insch meeting. the first speaker(woman
    -fair haired-not sure of name)
    was very poor.
    Not sure who she was. Had a very rudimentary understanding of the deeper politics of the referendum.seemed to be some kind of minor academic but without any intellectual heft, and somewhat naive.
    Craig was a fluent speaker with a rather louche style, slightly amused manner, occasionally veering slightly into pompous.
    The other speaker-a woman-I think some kind of academic was a much better speaker than the first speaker. I think she was Muslim. altogether a much more impressive speaker and possibly the one with the most impact.
    I thought that Craig was someone I would have liked to engage in conversation before getting the best from him. The speech style was rather ‘unpolitical’ i.e. t like a conventional political speech, more personal and more focussed on personal experience that the often detached hectoring of politicos.
    I am racking my brain t remember the incident. with the woman but I can’t quite recall in detail , although I remember it I in a very general sense. I don’t remember any sharp intakes of breath due to some undiplomatic riposte from Craig. I was not aware of any reason to be offended by some patronising or grandiose comment from Craig. The answers were relatively straight forward and I had no sense that the woman had any great reason to be offended. It was politics after all and that involves, oftentimes, robust questions and responses.
    One observation: if Gillian Martin is the first person who spoke, then it is alarming that that is the calibre of individual being accepted for the SNP candidate list.She really had a very poor grasp of the higher level issues although she presented some statistics and diagrams that really left me disappointed -low level- and a techy college manner and style.
    I make these comments without remembering the names of the people and I must assure everyone that I am not making a partisan comment favourable to Craig. Craig was quite an effective speaker but he adopted too cosy and affable a manner for the event. Many of the questions afterwards were poor and closed, and revealed, simply, the questioners prejudices and sympathies without the questioner managing to adopt a tone that was appropriate for initiating engaging and enlightening debate. I wanted to speak but decided against as I thought the audience were not very sophisticated, in the main part.

  • Georgie Farron

    I saw this post by Missy M through a Facebook share by Perth and Kinross Women for Independence. This woman’s hysterical ranting was apparently endorsed by the admin for the page, which describes itself as an ‘open and diverse’ forum for women for independence. I have since ‘unliked’ this page as it turns out it’s not about independence, diversity or openness at all. If Missy M and her coterie of mutually self-interested gals fail to make it to Westminster in May, I suspect that the cause of independence will be no worse off.

  • Paul Barbara

    I tried to put the following comment on the Newsnet Derek Bateman comment site: I don’t know if they will print it:

    ‘Well, ‘Tony’, I’m sure most of your compatriots didn’t give a toss about prisoners being boiled alive in Uzbekistan (yes, I have met Craig, campaigned for him in Blackburn, and read both his books). As a Human Rights campaigner since the 70’s, I have the greatest respect for him. His private morality is not all it should be, but whose is?
    Save that sort of attack for the sleazeballs in Parliament, the Lords and Bucks Palace, with their carefully-covered up paedophilia and even child sacrifice. Leon Brittan, given extremely damning files on VIP paedophiles whilst Home Secretary, just ‘loses’ them, and can’t even remember the contents?
    And Craig refusing to say he would vote for the ‘Bedroom Tax’, the question he was asked which sealed his fate when he replied ‘No’? Perhaps YOU may think that Politics is a ‘Team Effort’, where politicians assure their place at the ‘Public Trough’ by going against their true feelings and by going against the people’s interest who elected them, but personally, and I’m sure a lot of working-class people agree, would support his principled stand.
    Banksters and Corporations tell politicians what to do; they don’t care diddley-squat where the people’s best interests lie, and you find that ‘tickety-boo’. Many of us do not; we need principalled people like Craig Murray to represent OUR interests, not the Banksters, Corporations and War-Mongers.’

  • Paul Barbara

    Well, well! They did print my reply to ‘Tony’! When I returned to my inbox, I found a confirmation link I had to send, so I sent it, checked the Newsnet site again, and my ‘reply’ was up. Helps even the comments out.

  • Tony

    Well hello Craig I am afraid some people seam to go out of their way to misunderstand and take offence on your behalf. and you have said people like me who comment on social media do not have the decency to speak to you direct. a few facts up until your non selection came to my attention via newsnet I was vaguely aware of you as one of a number of hard working YES folks. I made comment based on the story. but I then went away and did a bit of research, which did not add anything of value to my conclusions, that in simple terms I thought you were wrong to go public with your conclusion as to why you were not selected, and yes I think it makes you look like a self publisist with an ego problem, I may be wrong but, its how it looks from where I am standing. and your friend Paul Barbara has posted in your defence on newsnet, to which I have replied, in a nutshell, it is not what you are or are no, that would be the problem, but how the media and other political parties would exploited your perceived faults. But as for the speech you made in Tashkent, as an experienced FCO warrior you must have know it would be the end of your career with the FCO and would probably do nothing to change the Uzbek government’s use of torture
    I am sure our paths must have crossed at sometime in the FCO but honestly can not remember you, and I rarely forget a face, but if you remember a bolshy allegedly red clydsider who seemed out of place among the mainly oxbridge types in the FCO it was likely me, stepping on toes and putting noses out of joint as I wended my way round the globe for HMG. I wish you good fortune with your new political future, but step lightly round the hazards or they will destroy you before you are even off the starting blocks.

  • Tony M

    (assuredly not the same person, as ‘Tony’ posting above at 2:55am)

    We have for years many, lived in a political climate, as a result of the controlled-media, where any party member expressing a view which is not in word perfect accord with the official party line on some hardly significant minute detail is seized upon by the media with cries of “Split”, and its variations, divided, torn apart, chasm, abyss, shredded, shattered, splintered and so on. This is unquestionably not a good thing. If a party is prepared to conduct itself in order to accomodate and bend to this silly trivialising absurdist media climate, then the tail is wagging the dog and the parties are submitting subtly but insidiously to control by that media. It’s cowering.

    I find the line that the SNP would be at the mercy of the unionist parties and press, if Craig Murray or another independent-minded (and uncompromisingly independence-minded) candidate, member or supporter, so much as uttered a honest opinion, or deviated from the immutable sacrosanct party song-sheet slightly off-key, it is not only tiresome and unconvincing but is coming from the a tiny but vocal, minority, with disproportionate power within the party, thanks to which they over-estimate and over-state their importance. Can someone from the party loyalist keyboard dragoons please come up with some reasoned or event half-coherent objection to Craig’s candidacy or justification for his rejection and the manner in which it was made public, too, if you’re inclined or permitted, that doesn’t involve “loose cannons”, or the stereotypical nonsense “Unionist press would have a field day”, as it’s all looking rather a bit contrived and uniform to be a genuine expression of beliefs, but instead an unimaginative groundless and bogus organised smear, the origins and form of which are instantly recognisable to those who have observed this smear from the earliest beginnings as it started to take wings.

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Well this thread has turned over an interesting discussion. i think the issues here include the nature of party politics.
    At the Insch meeting, which is a satellite of the epicentre of the ‘argument’ here, an ex-serviceman spoke up and put forward the view that party politics had to be reformed-and if I understood correctly- essentially dismissed, as a a means of arriving at collective decisions. This took me a little by surprise, as it seems inconceivable that we could dispense with party politics as it represents a rather natural tendency to form alliances and groups in pursuit of something that, for want of a better word, can only be called the power to make decisions based on one’s own particular ‘incompetencies’. i.e. we don’t know what we don’t know.
    OK I agree that is a crude representation of politics, which I am sure has an enlightening dimension but it chimes with my gut impression of the first speaker at Insch-who I now know to have been Gillian Martin.
    It also chimes with my understanding from discussions and knowledge with quite high ranking civil servants, that the majority, if not all, politicians, require considerable support to get their heads around their ministerial or cabinet remits.
    One senses that the qualities that enable an individual to raise themselves to the upper levels of party politics are not ones which are morally ‘admirable’ or, only coincidentally, intellectually admirable. I need to be cautious here as unlikely activities sometimes have hidden moral and
    practical and even essential purpose.
    Nevertheless, the ex-soldier’s deep disquiet at the ways that decisions had been arrived by a party political process that had directly impacted on his own moral welfare certainly resonated with me. He was saying, in effect, that he had killed other human beings for not good reason, at the request of people who he had subsequently come to see as morally degenerate and inadequate, and who had made decisions based on maintaining and furthering material, financial and political benefits to a relatively small group of privileged individuals operating in a world structured in such a way as to inhibit change. i.e.party politics.
    Of course there is a huge dilemma here but since listening to the ex-soldier I have dared to contemplate politics structured in some other ways.
    Then there is Tony’s comment here worth deconstructing a little. Tony thinks Craig is a self-publicist and has a bit of an ego problem. Well in some respects don’t we all-in one way or another. We all act on self-delusion as to our qualities and significance. However I am a little bit sympathetic to that observation about Craig.
    Here, however, is the more important comment.

    But as for the speech you made in Tashkent, as an experienced FCO warrior you must have know it would be the end of your career with the FCO and would probably do nothing to change the Uzbek government’s use of torture

    There seems to me to be a suggestion here from Tony that moral decisions-the decision to speak out-regardless of the impact on personal circumstances(career) or the practical utility of the decision (not stopping Uzbek torture on behalf of other people/groups) are wrong . Such a view, from Tony is a utilitarian perspective.Tony clearly makes the decision that he would preserve his career, and his notion of a moral and practical efficacy equivalence . But I rather think that Craig’s basic revulsion and reaction to murder and torture is essentially the normal one, and Tony’s notion of an equivalence of morality and practicalities (only justified when personal circumstances allow), is the very cynical type of thinking that dominates our party politics, and is the very issue that has drawn so many people to follow Craig’s career and commentary- confronting as it does, some of the dilemmas felt by so many people in the current world.

  • Tony M

    Great post DGP. I’ve always considered that we need do what it takes to evolve a fully participatory democracy, I favoured post-independence far more frequent referenda to resolve some of the contentious immediate issues, such as monarchy, NATO, currency, EU, industrial, economic and social policies, but also continuing into the the future, not just in the interim, as a new way of doing politics, with elected MSPs role becoming transient, not entrenched watchdogs of the civil service’s implementation of the electorate’s choices. If the referendum had not gone as it did, we could now be discussing these issues in earnest and preparing to cast our ‘votes’. I hesitate more than I once did, to suggest technology could easily streamline the costs; spontaneity; effectiveness; uptake of participation, possibly incentivised -by some direct web-based voting technology, secure against fraud and abuse, assuming all could access a minimal necessary internet connection –but revelations of the NSA and friends’ capabilities malevolence have diminished trust in that infrastructure. Desiring now that a tangible document and audit chain, always accessible, continue under-pinning our exercise of democracy, even as we move to a far more participatory collective decision making process.

  • Tony

    Looks like I am the bogeyman today, Let me be clear I don not know Craig I made off the cuff comment on a story on newsnet. yes part of it it may have seemed harsh but I am always suspicious of sudden conversions to a “moral cause?” if that is the correct description I am all for human rights, but my biggest problem with the way Craig comited career suicide without any hope of his doing so having any useful effect on the human rights in fact it likely it had the reverse effect in the short term anyway. but when Deepgreenpuddock says of me

    There seems to me to be a suggestion here from Tony that moral decisions-the decision to speak out-regardless of the impact on personal circumstances(career) or the practical utility of the decision (not stopping Uzbek torture on behalf of other people/groups) are wrong . Such a view, from Tony is a utilitarian perspective.Tony clearly makes the decision that he would preserve his career, and his notion of a moral and practical efficacy equivalence .

    Is so far removed from the truth of what I think as I have said, I think it was a mistake because the result in the short term at least would be negative for human rights. I have seen many things that I found objectionable but I had to ask myself what is the best way to deal with this in a way that will gain the outcome I desire and I have never thought that going public was going to help. and if you think I take torture lightly I do not for one very good reason, and this is something that I have never revealed publicly and will not enter into discusion about and which is partly to blame for my current health problems including an inability to sleep. I have in the course of my duties been held and tortured twice once was scary and painful but apart from few cracked ribs, fractured cheekbone and losing a few teeth and being bruised from head to toe and some internal bleeding. as it was basicaly a few days of severe beatings, cold water dips and no sleep, the second one well it was a lot longer I think about 10 days but these guys were pro’s and they knew how to inflict max pain and distress, had I spoken one word of English they would have killed me on the spot so I stayed, not exactly silent but never spoke a word, eventualy they got bored and I think probably thought I was insane and chucked me out in a ditch after that I got home via a very long and painful route, and quite to be frank I was lucky to stay alive. So no I do not take these things lightly, I have been there, but if you are to stop these abuses there are better ways than Craig utilized
    I will be totaly honest here the more I read about Craig the more I am convinced that his motives were well intended but misguided.

  • Paul Barbara

    Tony, ‘…but if you are to stop these abuses there are better ways than Craig utilized..’: pray tell what these ‘better ways’ would have been?
    Your best bet would be to at least read Craig’s ‘Murder In Samarkand’. That will clarify a lot.

  • Tony

    Paul Barbara you say “pray tell what these ‘better ways’ would have been?”

    Simple, education and persuasion, I have had to try and educate and persuade, some very entrenched views round to the fact that torture is not as useful as they think, and it is a painfuly slow process and it is never going to give overnight results. But it is better than doing nothing, or screaming from the rooftops about the abuses. if it takes 20 years to end human rights abuses is better than never.

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