UK Intelligence Services Attack SNP 101

The fake FCO memo has MI5 written all over it. This is the worst example of British security services influencing an election campaign since the Zinoviev letter.

For those whose history is a bit shaky:

The Zinoviev letter – one of the greatest British political scandals of this century – was forged by a MI6 agent’s source and almost certainly leaked by MI6 or MI5 officers to the Conservative Party, according to an official report published today.[4 Feb 1999]
New light on the scandal which triggered the fall of the first Labour government in 1924 is shed in a study by Gill Bennett, chief historian at the Foreign Office, commissioned by Robin Cook

Ever since Treasury Permanent Secretary Nicholas MacPherson stated that civil service impartiality rules do not apply in the case of Scottish independence, I have been warning the SNP that we are going to be the target of active subversion by the UK and US security services. We are seen as a danger to the British state and thus a legitimate target. I spelled this out in my talk to the Edinburgh SNP Club on 6 March, of which more below.

The FCO “memo” reporting that Nicola Sturgeon would rather have a Tory government, is a remarkable document. Firstly, its provenance is very strange. It has been leaked ostensibly by the FCO to the Telegraph. According to the Guardian:

“The leaked document was drafted by a Whitehall official after Coffinier called the FCO, as protocol requires, to pass on a confidential account of several of the ambassador’s meetings in Edinburgh, which included a meeting with Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish secretary.”

The extraordinary thing is, this is just a lie. As someone who worked in the FCO for over twenty years and was an Ambassador myself, I can assure you there is absolutely no protocol requirement on the French Ambassador to give the FCO the content of the meetings she, her Consul-General or anybody else from the French Embassy held in Edinburgh. That claim is absolute nonsense.

Look at it from the Embassy’s point of view. If you repeated everything Nicola Sturgeon told you to the FCO, do you not think she would shortly stop telling you anything at all interesting? That is why diplomats absolutely do not retail such conversations to their host governments.

The second quite extraordinary thing is that both sides of the alleged conversation categorically deny it was said. Nicola Sturgeon denies she said it and the French Embassy deny she said it. So we have a leaked account of a conversation which all the participants say is untrue, yet the unionist media all feel this evidently untrue account is worth splashing as their lead story? The collusion of security services and corporate media is terrifying.

Timing is all. I was wondering how the security services would react to the seemingly unstoppable SNP momentum, following Nicola Sturgeon’s brilliant performance in the leaders’ debate. When I gave that talk to the SNP club, I warned that, as the main threat to the British state, we would suffer the full panoply of dirty tricks from MI5 and CIA. This would include increased penetration, communication interception, agent provocateur activities, forgeries and eventually might include false flag violence blamed on nationalists.

We are at a crisis in our constitutional history. I believe the momentum towards a Scottish exit from the UK is unstoppable. The British state is seeking to appear on the surface to agree to give Scots a free and democratic choice, while using every dirty trick to subvert that choice. Those tricks range from complete control of state and corporate media to the darker arts of the security services.

As I also stated to the SNP club, the USA has decided it is in their interest for the Unionists to prevail, not least so Scotland remains a base for the American controlled Trident missiles the UK taxpayer so obligingly funds. A large part of the CIA’s existence has been and is dedicated to covert activity to keep the forms of government it wants in power in the world. It does not want the SNP.

That the attempt to destabilise Nicola Sturgeon originates with the UK government and the Telegraph should give everyone pause. It is very obviously a security service effort. How otherwise is an account which the French Embassy says is completely false, contained in an official memo to be leaked?

This episode raises very serious questions. But they are not questions about Nicola Sturgeon. They are questions about the subversion of democracy by the security services, and the willing complicity of the corporate media.

101 thoughts on “UK Intelligence Services Attack SNP

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  • Resident Dissident

    So lets get it right MI5 is leaking stories that are helpful to the Labour Party and Nicola Sturgeon did chop down the cherry tree.

  • Liz

    Well, The Telegraph strategy just got one of my friends to join SNP. I am sure he won’t be the only one who is disgusted by the transparent propaganda machine.

  • Effel

    I know for a fact that the double registration to vote thing happened. I needled a Tory from East Anglia into telling me this on Twitter months before indyref. He was quite proud of himself too. I reported it to the police but heard nothing. Now there’s a surprise. I’m sure that’ scenario accounts for at least some of the extra voters.

  • MBC

    Effel, thanks for that. Scotsman is now reporting that the electoral register has fallen by 4.5% since indyref. Only some of that is accounted for by 16-17 year olds not being eligible to vote in GE2015.

    But my guess is that not all double registrations will have pulled back. Some rUK based people will continue to be double registered and use postal votes to vote against SNP in May.

  • David Agnew

    Its already falling apart. But they are in snide aside mode. The story is probably false – but is it? There are questions to answer etc etc. The more they back track, the more they will start to suffer an odd phenomenon called the reverse Streisand effect. Instead of the SNP being the victim of a whispering campaign, it blows back and starts to hit the rumor mongers themselves. In effect, what they are doing (and at the moment seem oblivious to) is to smear themselves. The more obvious it is a smear and the more they keep trying to push it back on to the SNP, the more damage they do to themselves.

    If this was a plan to protect the conservatives, it has already failed. If it was plan to shore up Scottish labour…well, considering this sort of nonsense is what drove many to back the SNP in the first place, its clear to me that the establishment and logic are not on talking terms.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Information requests

    I see that people are able to post here in italics, underlinings, etc. Can anyone please tell me how this is achieved? If I write a posting in Microsoft Word and copy and paste it here, it all seems to come out in the same text.

    Also I see that people post links to specific earlier comments on here sometimes, instead of copying and pasting the comment. How is this done?

    I could experiment, but I don’t want to fill the forum up with a lot of meaningless test material.

    Many thanks,


    PS It is really good to see so many people posting on this thread who do not post very often, if at all. If it’s your first time, welcome! J

  • fred


    At the bottom of the page under the Submit button is a list of Tags, if you put your text inside a pair of tags it will conform to that formatting.

    If you click on the date and time under someone’s Username on an entry it will open that entry on a new page, you can then copy the address from the address bar in your browser.

  • Iain Orr

    The comments on the Telegraphs own website are extraordinary in their contempt for this obvious pack of lies being published.

    As an 1 April story it would have been quickly recognised as over the top, especially the patently untrue statement: “It is a common diplomatic courtesy if an ambassador to the UK visits one of the three devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland for the British Government to be given an official readout of the conversation although the SNP leader, who has only been in position since the autumn, may have been unaware of this formality.”

    I wonder if the Telegraph’s on-line editor is using these comments to expose the idiocy and venality of those who wrote the story, commissioned it, and allowed it to be printed. Gooey Easter egg all over Barclay Brothers faces; and of those who have happily used the story to reinforce their own smear campaigns against an outstandingly able and honest politician.

    When will the Telegraph be forced to publish a retraction (and/or admit that they were spooked by the spooks)? Let’s see how effective the newspaper industry’s self-regulatory system is in redressing such a shocking scam.

  • John Spencer-Davis


    That is really good of you, thank you. I never noticed those formatting instructions even though they are right under my nose.

    Kind regards,


  • John Spencer-Davis


    Lol is that so? Thanks for that. It gets the blog a wider readership does it not.

    Kind regards,


  • RobG

    As Oscar Wilde once said, the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.

    Whatever alliances are formed after the General Election, I don’t think it will fundamentally change the fact that England wants to be the 51st state of America.

    I almost wish that the Conservatives do get a majority, because it will rapidly hasten the divorce between Scotland and England.

  • Kempe

    ” Did you know that the electorate (entitled residents) in Scotland increased by 342,000 in the 3 years before the referendum… whereas in the previous 10 years it only fluctuated by +/- 2000? Anybody know where they came from and where they’re living now? ”

    People stay off the Electoral Roll, easy enough to do, as a way of avoiding Council Tax. It seems some of these evaders signed up to vote on the referendum and have now tried to disappear again.

  • Hieroglyph

    Oh dear God, Ed has weighed in, ‘damning allegations’ apparently. The guy is hopeless. What a bizarre spectacle this all is: an obviously untrue story, called out by everyone, is now the lead news, and the leader of the opposition is talking about it. Perhaps it was ever thus.

  • Tom Lines

    Luke, 4 Apr, 8:24 am
    “Craig, I’m interested in what you think, do you reckon there is a chance of rigging at the polls?”

    It’s always done much more subtly than that in this country. The Establishment has so many centuries of experience to draw on.

    For example, the coalition government introduced individual voter registration, which seems more liberal on the face of it. But in consequence, the electoral register is hundreds of thousands of names shorter now than in 2010. Middle-class Tory voters will all have registered, but not the most marginal people. Universities used to register their students but students aren’t doing so individually now, which poses a difficulty for the candidates they would be voting for.

    At last year’s European elections, British residents who were citizens of other EU countries turned up to vote and found they couldn’t, although they thought they had registered – as is their right under EU law. The government had introduced a small bureaucratic change in the registration procedure for them, which hardly anyone knew about, and so they were disenfranchised without warning.

    In the 1983 general election I was a member of the Labour Party, which had a policy of nuclear disarmament. On polling day at the “committee rooms” in a member’s house in my ward, the telephone mysteriously failed to work all day but was all right the next day. (There were no mobile phones or e-mail then, and BT was state-owned.) In Labour Weekly afterwards, party members all round the country reported similar strange disruptions on polling day.

    It is with bureaucratic tricks like these that votes get rigged in the UK.

  • Feuderali

    When the snp announced it one of their main policies to abolish the house of lords the establishment’s gloves came off.

  • Sara

    Looks to me as if it’s win win for Sturgeon, if Tories get in at General Election their will be a huge majority in Scotland wanting independence, if Labour get in SNP will have a large amount of control at Westminster as they will probably needed to prop them up. The leak can therefore be read in several ways, Labour discredited if leak proven to be bogus, Tories discredited if shown to emanate from them. Either way, this leak benefits………?

  • Purina

    The Cameron’s hubris in referring to a “purring” Queen in conversation with NY mugabe bloomberg, coupled with his vague allusions to 911,7/7 conspiracy theory knowledge leads me to believe, the election is a done deal. Even if there is no help from NOTW hacking into mobile fone inboxes of labour leaders this time round. Really the only remaining bit of the puzzle among the SoS/Neocons is whether crypto wellby will come on board for the strike/war on Iran in 2016. The neocons know a new US Administration after the 2016 POTUS election will lead to an at least two years further delay and Milliband already has a track record of not having gone along with their al-Ghouta sarin false flag on Syria. And, underlying it all we have the shameless wannabee eretzer,a deluded bibli chomping at the biblical bit, urged on by the 70m US evangelists. Its going to be a very interesting run up to the 2016 US election, even a world war,mazel tov !

  • C Pipe

    I don’t understand Brian McHugh’s logic: “This pressures an increasingly desperate Labour to move to the Left, in turn freeing up the English Marginals for the Tory’s to win the GE in England.”

    There’s no chance I’ll be voting Labour in this election, but if it had shifted to the left I might well have changed my mind. Labour’s biggest weakness is that it’s lost its social vision.

  • Clydebuilt

    Craig……. You think the men in suits didn’t get involved in rigging the referendum vote…..because they didn’t have……aye ok. With the polls pointing to a resounding SNP victory seems reasonable to expect a dose of vote rigging in May. And what can be done to stop it

  • Clydebuilt

    2 pm news on Radio Scotland told us that Sturgeon denies the story…..BUT dropped reference to the French denial……. Labour and their state funded helpers are going to let this run.

  • Purina

    @Siobhan – we are all going to be right Charlie Hebdos, unless we catch them red-handed.

  • Aim Here

    @Resident Dissident

    >“Look at it from the Embassy’s point of view. If you repeated everything Nicola Sturgeon told you to the FCO, do you not think she would shortly stop telling you anything at all interesting? That is why diplomats absolutely do not retail such conversations to their host governments.”

    >You obviously didn’t read much of the contents of WikiLeaks which are full of just such stuff.

    The difference is that the famous Wikileaks cables are from US diplomats reporting back to their home country. They’re not reporting to the host government what citizens from the host country were saying to them.

  • Bugger (the Panda)

    @ YouKnowMyName

    That is why we need a written constitution and a the force of law to control these bastards, the shadows.

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