Our Enemies Lie Before Us 234

William Wallace did not turn to Andrew Murray at Stirling Bridge and say “I am not fighting alongside you, I hear you’re hard on your tenants.”

A declaration of interest. At the SNP conference in Glasgow in March I was feeling very down. Having been rejected at candidate vetting by the SNP leadership, and the fact leaked to the press with resulting brouhaha, I was effectively cold-shouldered at what was a very managed loyalist mass rally. I spent a lot of time on my own and people I knew were positively walking away to avoid me.

As regular readers know I am bipolar, and I know that when I am severely depressed my perception can be wrong. But in the SNP club a few weeks later a very sensible gentleman told me he and his wife had been appalled at the way I was treated at the conference. I am pretty confident it was not a distorted perception.

Anyway, I was sitting on my own in the conference hall when Michelle Thomson came and sought me out, sat with me and chatted to me. I have no doubt that her motive was simple personal kindness. I should add that the next day Chris Law did much the same.

In Scotland we have had five days of Michelle being treated by the media as though she were the Yorkshire Ripper. The BBC, who never once managed to ask Jim Murphy about the Henry Jackson Society, have been on 24 hour Thomsonwatch, including aggressive doorstepping a la Sky News.

I am not going to set out the detail of the case here, but highly recommend that you read Wings on the distortion of the issues, and Lallands on the legal position. Both are excellent, but to me neither quite clearly delineates the most essential point.

To preface that point, let me restate that Michelle is not under investigation, and her own role is unclear.

The key point is that at no time was any vendor selling their house ripped off. This is not a case of distressed people dispossessed, and the attempts by media and politicians to make it appear that way are tendentious.

The worst that allegedly happened is this. A and B are in cahoots. Mr Smith sells his property to A for an agreed market price. A then sells to B for market price plus 20 grand. The bank gives a mortgage for this, but A quietly gives the extra 20 grand back to B under the table.

The fraud is on the mortgage company which has been tricked into giving a higher mortgage than it otherwise would have. The fraud in no way harms the original vendor. The fraud does not even harm the mortgage company provided the mortgage is paid – and there is no accusation of default. What the mortgage company has lost is that it has as security an interest over a property with a false value.

But again, unless there were a default, it has actually helped the mortgage company too as in the weird world of banking its larger loan is an asset not a liability on its books.

So it is a fraud, but not one perpetrated on poor vendors. It is a trick played on the ludicrous banking system. Clever, dishonest but not morally outrageous. I repeat again, there is no evidence or even legal accusation that Michelle Thomson was involved in any of this. But in any case it is nowhere near as immoral as starting an illegal war with consequent deaths of millions of people. Lets get a grip.

I have never claimed to be perfect. All of us have done things wrong in our past. For me the Independence referendum campaign transcended all that. It was a millenarian movement, a time when people envisaged a world renewed and more just. That phrase about living in the first days of a better nation carried enormous resonance. It was the defining moment of my own life despite coming in its Autumn. Those of us in the frontline of the Yes campaign underwent a kind of emotional rebirth. Sins were wiped clean. It was a sacramental experience, and will lead on to that better world in an Independent Scotland in short time.

It sparked England’s chance for change with Corbyn.

I don’t care what mistakes people made before the Yes campaign. By dedicating themselves to that social movement, they wiped the slate clean.

Which leads me on to Tommy Sheridan. Neither Tommy nor Michelle will thank me for lumping them together, given the very different circumstances. But the continued shunning of Sheridan by pro-Independence organisations from Rise to the SNP is ludicrous.

Most ludicrous of all is the language parroted by the left about Sheridan, that “A space containing Tommy Sheridan is not a safe space for women.” You find it here in the comment by Edward Bonobo. You find it in this article by Tommy Ball. I have had it repeated to me several times.

One answer to this is that it is even more dangerous to be in organisations that teach members to parrot catchphrases, as opposed to think.

In what way precisely is proximity to Tommy Sheridan dangerous to women? If it were true that he has a Svengali like irresistible sexual appeal – which appears to be the nub of the accusation as far as I can make out any sense from Tommy Ball’s article – then surely there is not a woman in Scottish politics not warned against it by now? Is it not rather demeaning to women to argue they would not be capable of protecting themselves from Tommy Sheridan? What precisely about being in the same “space” as Tommy Sheridan is unsafe for women? What does “space” mean in this context? Room, meeting, city? The argument about “safe space” is clearly a nonsense.

I do not know the truth about the sexual shenanigans of which Tommy was accused by Murdoch. Nor do I in the least care if they were true. I have done all that kind of stuff. Often before tea. I do know that Sheridan was jailed for perjury, and that Coulson lied in court at the same trial but the judges ruled that it was OK for Coulson to lie, but not for Sheridan. I know there are allegations that Sheridan pressured other people to lie for him. I do not know if it is true, but I have had so many friends – of both sexes – ask me over the years to give them an alibi for marital infidelity I am not shocked by that. I am afraid to say that in my younger days I have asked that myself.

None of which explains the sheer hatred and bile poured out at Sheridan. This is a man who liberated poor families from the destitution and humiliation of warrant sales, who led the anti-poll tax campaign, who sparked the Murdoch phone-hacking revelations and has been repeatedly arrested and even jailed outside Faslane – trying to make the world a “safer space” for everyone. This tribute is undoubtedly true:

You supported individuals in the community; both in parliament and in the street, you were able to use your undoubted powers of oratory to press home your cause; you led the Scottish Socialist Party to considerable electoral success; and your contributions to the anti-poll tax campaign and the abolition of warrant sales will become part of the fabric of Scottish social and political history.

It was said by Lord Bracadale as he sentenced him to three years in prison for perjury in the Murdoch case.

Tommy Sheridan proclaims his innocence, but in any event he has undoubtedly made mistakes in life. But his achievements are very important, and the continued vindictiveness of the sex-negative feminists and their followers on the Left is extreme. Tommy has been to jail. Is offender rehabilitation only something the political classes claim to believe in because they don’t actually expect to meet any ex-convicts in their sphere of life? The attempt to dress the vicious vindictiveness up as warding off a present danger to women from Tommy Sheridan is intellectually ludicrous.

I shared a platform with Tommy Sheridan at Caird Square, Dundee on Sunday. I was not asked to speak until the gloaming, when 95% of those attending had gone home, but I accepted that and got on with it because I will do anything, anywhere to promote the cause of Independence. The SNP boycott of the event because Tommy was there cannot possibly be helpful if Independence is really the aim.

The Independence movement has a vast and powerful army arraigned against us. The entire British state, their corporate masters, the transatlantic neo-cons, both state and corporate media, the security services. For God’s sake, we need to be absolutely united if we are to reach our goal.

We need all of us. We must value all of us; as people, not robots. We should not be trying to project some corporate media image of a totally fake and hypocritical groomed perfection.

We have tremendously powerful enemies. We only have each other.

Our enemies lie before us. We should not look askance at our allies.

234 thoughts on “Our Enemies Lie Before Us

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  • Robert Crawford


    Alcohol is a known depressant and is full of sugar. Better not to make matters worse.

  • Mary

    Geoffrey Howe has died within days of Denis Healey’s death.

    ‘One Denis Healey story I can contribute is that I was stood right behind Denis when the Labour benches were emptying down towards the Speakers Chair to vote in the Yes Lobby, which is a right old scrummage when it happens because the Conservatives, although in power have to cross over in the opposite direction to vote in the No Lobby.

    This was on the very day in 1990 when Geoffrey Howe had made his historic “broken cricket bat” speech, which brought about Margaret Thatcher’s fall from power.

    Denis had famously pooh-poohed Geoffrey Howe’s attacks as being akin to “being savaged by a dead sheep”.

    Nevertheless on that day, Geoffrey Howe had come up with a knock-out punch.

    Amazingly coming up the gangway steps towards Denis, myself and dozens of other MPs was none other than Geoffrey Howe.

    As we all came within touching distance, us going down, Tories coming up.

    Denis said: “Geoffrey, I didn’t know you had it in you!”

    Geoffrey just smiled his shy little half smile and wedged his way past, knowing that on that day his place in history was secure.’



    Howe’s resignation speech. I see Aitken, Fowler and Lawson there. Sitting with Thatcher are Major and Kenneth Baker, the then chairman of the Con ‘partei’.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DHzv6LQRxU (the broken cricket bat metaphor at about 17 mins. Gales of laughter.)

    That was 25 years ago and it is still the EU causing Con divisions.

  • Republicofscotland

    Regarding Michelle Thomson, and the relentless media coverage.

    This Labour fiasco has bern going on for 18 months yet it hasn’t received even a modicum of media coverage, a ideal example of unionist media bias.

    Activists have called in police after getting fed-up waiting for party bosses to investigate how £10,000 went missing from local Labour party coffers.

    The Evening News revealed in July last year how Labour had launched an inquiry into the Edinburgh Eastern constituency party after the cash disappeared.

    The seat is the one where Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale is due to stand in next year’s Scottish Parliament elections.

    Local party treasurer Karen Rennie was suspended from the party while the inquiry was carried out and remains suspended today.

    But the investigation has dragged on without any result and now a group of local members has approached the police.


    Furthermore I haven’t heard the Tories or the LibDems pose one single question on the matter to Kezia Dugdale at FMQ’s……oh the hypocrisy of it all.

  • Republicofscotland

    “William Wallace did not turn to Andrew Murray at Stirling Bridge and say “I am not fighting alongside you, I hear you’re hard on your tenants.”

    Wallace did however say, as he arrived at Stirling Bridge.

    “I’ve brought you to the ring, now dance if you can.”

  • Robert Crawford

    Everything starts and ends in our heads. The head is the fuse box in your house. Blow a fuse (circuit breaker if you will) then something does not work.

    A kind word shows you care, it shows support. Criticism is destructive and does no good whatsoever.

    We all need “cheer leaders”.

    Are you going to lift someone up, or, are you going to destroy?

    Words are weapons that can be used for ill our good.

    Look at the wonderful support I got on this blog when I told you about the cancer in my left kidney, and the recommendations to try this and that. Fabulous!!!.

    Look at the wonderful good positive wishes when I was waiting for the results of a CT scan to ascertain whether the cancer had spread or not. Ultra fabulous!!!

    I thank you all again wholeheartedly. Your good wishes, made all the difference!!!

  • Tony M

    Craig stay away from the pharmaceuticals, the chemical cosh, most of the people I’ve known gone down that route turned into emotionless zombies, their decision making became faulty, they became more aggressive, argumentative, risk taking and impulsive and became strangers and many of them are no longer around and would still be without them. If however on them now or in the past, withdrawal from SSRIs and stuff is equally hell, and it can be as long as a year or two after stopping these that the real depths of despair, even self-harm can result. Better never to go down that route. Stay away from ECT too if you don’t fancy frying your fine brain or for many resultant enduring risk of and attacks of epilepsy thereafter.

    Some people are just at times depressed and moody, tetchy, but still brilliant and lovable. It’s who you are, and not a malfunction, though trying for those close to you.

    I’d could go on, but a) I’m not a doctor, though I don’t rate many of them that highly from personal and occupational experience and b) this isn’t the place. But …

    Snack regularly through the day, rather than having big and heavy meals, and avoid or have a nap through the post-prandial dip which can cause you to feel cold, weak and tired in an instant and starve the brain of the glucose it runs on, which impacts mood.

    Reading the Bella thread you linked, clearly class snobbery, jealousy and prudishness are at least some of the factors in the unhealthy vehemence of the attacks on Tommy Sheridan.

  • lawrenceab

    Craig, I read you very regularly but rarely post. However, this is truly excellent and moving. You have an admirable heart and soul combined with acute insight into the devious, never ending power games of our adversaries. Like that other Craig across the Atlantic, Paul Craig Roberts, you are the more dangerous to them because you have been an insider – you have witnessed at close range and you know!

    I am sorry to read of your bi-polar condition, which has led to great tragedy within my own family. I wish you well and continue to read you great admiration. LAB

  • David McCann

    Great post as always Craig.
    Keep the faith. I have known you a while and remain your friend. Hope to see you in Aberdeen on Friday

  • glenn

    Mary – I didn’t know Dennis Healey had died, that escaped me probably because I was away for a few days. Met the fellow once, he seemed very courteous. Met “Cosy” Jim Callaghan that same day. Healey was probably one of the better PMs we never had – shame he never had a run against the hated Thatcher, instead of allowing Kinnock to flail away in such an inordinately protracted fashion.

  • Wile E Coyote

    Bad news

    There is a huge 350 metre thick oil deposit under the captured Golan Heights, the secret has come out after four years, both murdoch and blair have a stake in the company granted exclusive rights apart from the usual suspects.

    Now the al-Ghouta sarin 8200 false flag,etc all make sense, a failed state Syria is required. What is really worrying is mielikowskys recent trip to London, something needed to be discussed with the crypto de tutti crypti that could not even be done in writing or otherwise, only by way of a face to face.

    Alarm bells ought to be ringing, the hubris of the devil was plain to see for 40 seconds at UNGA, it must be a very gigantic oil deposit?!

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Since we have now gotten round to Geoffrey Howe’s convenient demise, we should note that he approved the MI6 plot which the UK was using to confuse Gorbachev, the new Soviet leader, about what it was up to in manipulating CND about what it was planning to do with its nuclear-armed missiles.

    The plot was intended to catch Moscow by surprise with a non-nuclear war with the Soviets, and apparently caused the murders of Sweden’s PM Olof Palme, and CND leaders Willie McRae and Hilda Murrell.

    Howe had finally figured out why he was sacked as Foreign Secretary in July 1989, and his death makes getting to the bottom of all this dirty business much more difficult, as he was at least a leader who would tell the truth as best he knew it.

  • Tony M

    Healey started as a Communist, moved steadily throughout his career further and further to the right. He was a devious sod. It was he who took the loan from the IMF, knowing it wasn’t needed in order to conceal and downplay the coming revenues from North Sea oil and justify public sector pay restraint amongst some of the lowest-paid workers in the country such as hospital cleaners and porters. With that loan secretly repaid in full while Healey was still Chancellor, came conditions including marketisation i.e. sell-off of public services which Thatcher and the Tories later would claim to be still bound by, with which lie the Labour right to a man acquiesced in. Rotten to the core and a mendacious liar was Denis Healey.

    Howe’s role in Thatcher’s departure was more nuanced than many think, as by then Thatcher had realised that the banks were taking over more and more of the country and economy and dictating policy and she had begun to oppose them, thus she had to go. She from the earliest days of her governments tried many times but could not get rid of the pair of them, she didn’t want them but they were fixtures in her governments installed and controlled by the banks, either of them were more powerful and more destructive than ten Margaret Thatchers. Lamont would continue their looting agenda.

  • nevermind

    Excellent, warm and understanding what you have written here, thank you Craig. I do not know Michelle nor Tommy Sheridan but he seems to stand up for his beliefs.
    Those who want to judge him, judge yourself first, remember when you were in your late teens early twenties and what you once did, how your views have been altered by facts over the years, how more rounded and experienced you have become.

    Whiley this was known for a while, there are pirates at work in the Golan, as with the marine reserve

    Sorry for being OT,
    Here is what Europe is up for behind our backs. Today Wikileaks has published a copy of the current and last TPP agreement taken up and signed with 11 other countries.
    If the commissioners sign up to this deal many will want out of the EU and every country that adopts these laws/ regulations/ rules.

    this from electronic fronteer.


  • Tony M

    The pair of them being Lawson and Howe. See various Lobsters (a magazine) and the ROBOT project. Heath got wise to the project and threw everything into reverse to try stop it, but done too little late and the capital flight was already colossal. Thatcher was a kept and powerless creature caught in their web, clueless until almost the end.

  • N_

    @Tony M

    I think you’re a bit of a fantasist where gangs and knives are concerned, this isn’t the first time you’ve come out with that rubbish on here.

    It’s just information you’re ill-equipped to deal with, preferring to insult the person who’s trying to help you.

    Did you bother clicking on the video showing Sheridan calling for informers against poll tax rioters?

    The politicians lost control. Militant thought they were in such a strong position, owning the Fed, but people who didn’t need politicians of any stripe to lead them rose up. I’m going to quit spelling this out soon.

    Do you know who Paul Ferris is? (God help me if you find the Wikipedia page and come back and explain to me that he’s a “writer”.)

    Do you know where Pollok is?

    If you don’t know that Militant in Glasgow functioned largely as a gang of thugs from Pollok, well I’ve told you, so insult me if you want.


    Militant and Red Action both used threats of violence to intimidate other left-wing people, and could both rightly be characterised as red fascist.

    Doesn’t gangsterism always involve posturing? But that’s not the only thing it involves.

    If the property is not worth as the sale value, then why should the banksters loan the money?

    Moneylenders lend money on the basis of how much they can get back. That depends

    a) on whether the poor debtor can pay it back, given what they know about him (they don’t care where he gets the money from)

    and b) if they decide to repossess the house, on whether they can sell it to get whatever amount they’ve increased the outstanding amount to – or at least rent it to justify not marking down the asset on their books, which the government allows them to use as a basis for creating more credit to sting some other fucker with.

    That’s what house loans are about.

    If it is worth as the value of the loan then what in hades has it got with the banksters how the money is handled and who gets what?

    Be aware that it’s demand from DEBTORS, using BORROWED MONEY, that has pushed house prices so high in this country – way higher, relative to average wages, than they are in most comparable countries.

    I’ve told many people that who just don’t understand it.

    The value of a house is what some schmuck will pay for it, which nowadays often means with borrowed money.

    (The reason why top-bracket houses have gone up so much in price too is somewhat different – it’s because the rich keep getting richer.)

    You could build a decent 3-bedroom house in Britain, if you were allowed to, probably for about £80,000 in materials and labour, or less.

    If someone’s reading this and that doesn’t make sense, please can they think about it.


    There was no riot. People were defending themselves from police attack.

    If you are talking about the poll tax riot, then yes there was a riot.


    When Thatcher resigned, I remember a cartoon, possibly by Steve Bell, showing a sheep that had savaged her so that all that was left was her handbag!

    Elspeth Howe, Geoffrey’s wife, fired him up, so they say. She is related to the royal family.


    Never mind William Wallace, shall we?

  • lysias

    After prescription drugs had done no good, I got myself out of depression with a lot of exercise. Apparently exercise is a very effective treatment, at least for mild depression.

  • Jon

    Good thoughts KOWN, I mostly agree. I’ve had relatively mild depression, and even that’s awful – and I’ve experienced the we’ll-fix-you-in-a-jiffy drive-by optimism too, which can compound the experience of feeling a great lack of understanding.

    That said, for people connected to depression sufferers, is the best approach not to offer any advice at all? I wonder if that would not be helpful – as Craig says, depressives tend towards thinking the worst of their circumstances. Thus even a stream of amateur (and possibly useless) solutions demonstrate that people care, and if they were to consciously avoid helping, that might just deepen the sufferer’s inaccurate view that no-one is concerned about their plight.

  • ben

    Brillant article. God damn it Craig you’re seriously the best political writer out there right now. on the fuckin money, day in, day out.

  • Alcyone


    “It is also completely unacceptable to prescribe medication to someone via the comment section of a blog.”

    First of all, please stop your self-pity on an open forum. Depression, or no depression, every one tends to think their problems are greater than others. FACT is suffering is a normal condition of human life. Have you ever studied your own, and REAL-ISED that. Or are you too busy living in fantasy land writing yet one more ‘novel’ when 10,000 new ones are written every week? Reading fiction is essentially just one more fantasy escape from the travail of daily life. Do you feel great for helping people ESCAPE rather than look into the CONTENT of their own LIVES, and the CONTENT of their OWN RELATIONSHIPS and SOLVE them with REAL 7 TRUE UNDERSTANDING rather than something written by some KLOWN?

    Btw, in sharing some information with CRAIG, I was addressing a HIGHLY INTELLIGENT man, something you can only aspire to, given the crap you wrote in your comment’. Do you think one needs to use legal language here and warn them that they should consult a suggestion made, on a friendly basis, wither GP first?

    Please STOP being DAFT.

    PS I am surprised you made no observation of the part of the comment that relates to exercise, not even a negative one. There’s little point in doing negation my friend if you can’t arrive at the positive. Chew on it and widen up.

  • RobG

    Lysias, I’ve suffered from anxiety attacks all my life (which is perhaps not surprising, living in the 20th and 21st centuries), and I can say that keeping an extremely high level of fitness is a good cure.

    That, of course, is very different from people who suffer from acute depression; the “black dog”, as Churchill called it; and referencing Churchill, at the outbreak of World War Two the psychiatrist’s waiting rooms emptied. Maybe they all embraced suicide on the battlefields of Europe?

  • Alcyone

    Jon, very well said, as ‘King’ seems to have put himself forth as some kind of legitimate *representative* and authorised to present the consolidated view of the depressive world.

  • RobG

    Anon1, funny how the media are reporting that a charge against Leon Brittan has been dropped, whilst not reporting that numerous other charges against him are still being investigated.

    More on this shortly…

  • John Spencer-Davis

    10/10/2015 9:25pm

    I do not think that can be given a general answer.

    Within my experience and knowledge, the most important thing is simply to “be with” the person, or to be available to them as much as possible. Companionship and relationship are far more important than the offering of solutions.

    If the person is ready to talk and discuss, listen carefully and respectfully. Try not to share your own problems – that is not often helpful. Sharing your own experience is usually okay, but should be done quite sparingly, and always emphasising that the person is different to you and what works or worked for you may not work for them, but might be worth trying.

    If the person says they regard themselves as worthless et al, calmly stating that you appreciate that that is how they feel but that you yourself feel differently about it is usually a lot better than trying to jolly them along by saying they are obviously mistaken.

    Try asking them what they would say to their best friend, if their best friend were to say the things they are saying to you.

    Gently make them aware that they have been here before (if they have) and that they did in fact get through it before and felt better again. Ask them what worked for them, before, and wonder with them if it would work again.

    Saying honestly that you do not have easy answers for their circumstances, but that you care enough just to be with them while they are experiencing what they are, and willing to wait until they start to climb out, is probably going to be a good deal better than ready-made solutions.

    I hope that gives a sense of my own approach – which is doubtless not perfect, but do please give it consideration.

    Kind regards,


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