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.

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234 thoughts on “Our Enemies Lie Before Us

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  • Leslie

    Craig, a mark on a ballot paper does not absolve sins. It’s civic act. To imbue it with ‘sacramental’ significance is disproportionate and dotty. It is also dangerous. It sets the scene for firing squads. It gives credence to the fears felt by the ‘no’ campaign.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node


    So you concede that the BBC flouted impartiality rules during the referendum and should have been investigated by the Electoral Commission.

  • fred

    “So you concede that the BBC flouted impartiality rules during the referendum and should have been investigated by the Electoral Commission.”

    I don’t recall saying that.

  • fred

    One of the Scottish governments named persons, those they give access to our children whether we like it or not, those allowed access to information about children the parents are denied, has been found guilty of child sex offences and placed on the sex offenders register.


  • Mary

    Ratcliffe of Ineos acquires 12 North Sea gas fields (8% of UK production) previously owned by RWE and sold to a Russian oligarch, Mikhail Fridman. Fridman was ordered to sell by Davey in the coalition.

    Grangemouth operator Ineos buys North Sea fields
    4 hours ago
    From the section Scotland business

    *Mikhail Fridman https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Fridman owns LetterOne with $25billion in assets https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LetterOne

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mervyn_Davies,_Baron_Davies_of_Abersoch is on the LetterOne board. He was a minister in Cameron’s first government and a Standard Chartered banker.

    Carl Bildt is an advisor to the board.

    *’He (Fridman) is a member of the Board of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations (USA). Mikhail is an active supporter of Jewish initiatives worldwide.’

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    “I don’t recall saying that.”

    I don’t recall you disputing it.

  • Republicofscotland

    “People keep posting links to Wings or The National without it being pointed out they are thoroughly well and truly biassed every time. How come whenever I post a link to a reputable mainstream newspaper somebody always tries to ”

    Bias, that’s a good one Fred, for more than two years every single national newspaper and tv station aired biased lying propaganda against Scottish independence

    All the time Yes supporters had a few social media sites and some grass roots movements to promote their views.

    Here we are more than a year after the indy vote, and Yes has two newspapers for indy and still the same social media sites. The No camp still has 98% of the national newspapers and all the tv channels.

    If anything it’s the pro-indy group of people who should be screaming bias, not you Fred.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Since Lord Howe has conveniently died, I hope that Craig will reopen the thread on Willie McRae or start a new one so that more light can be shred on Howe’s underlings who apparently murdered Willie, and probably Hilda too.

  • glenn

    Mary: “Tower blocks demolished.

    Hot diggety! Those Magic Muslims have been at it again!

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Two tower blocks still standing after demolition attempt. They should have just ignited some aviation fuel on the top floors.

  • Tony M

    They were previously stripped bare, all that was being demolished was the steel superstructure. Several buildings, what were called the ‘slab’ blocks went cleanly, two others, known as the ‘point’ blocks are the ones which are still standing to about 12 storeys and leaning at a dangerous angle. Residents still evacuated.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    3RD/Tony M- Healey has been saying, at least since his autobiography was published in 1989, that the Treasury figures which formed the basis of his loan request to the IMF were incorrect, but he has never AFAIK stated that the Treasury willfully deceived him- they just ballsed up their calculations on the size of the PSBR.”


    I can confirm the above (from OldMark).

    (BTW, the autobiography referenced was entitled “The Time of my Life”)

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “No I am pointing out your lie about marketization being a demand of the IMF in 1976”

    The above – from Resident Dissident in reply to some candidate Original Troll whose name I couldn’t be bothered to recall – is also correct. Marketisation was no part of the IMF conditions.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Tony M

    “Lobster #61 says the crisis was ‘manufactured’ by the Treasury, I think the lead villain at the Treasury was Harold Lever. No doubt sir or lord now.”


    Harold Lever’s been dead for 20 years – so your last sentence above is bollocks.


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “*’He (Fridman) is a member of the Board of Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the International Advisory Board of the Council on Foreign Relations (USA). Mikhail is an active supporter of Jewish initiatives worldwide.’”


    Thanks for telling us he’s Jewish, Mary – highly relevant.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    I wonder how many so-called ‘suicide attacks’ actually involve a suicide bomber. . . . 50% ? . . . . 25% ? . . . . Who knows. My guess is less than 10%.

  • Ben-Humps the anti-hemp Nations

    “In a move that would have been unthinkable ten years ago, police snipers were spotted on the rooftops of Manchester last weekend as thousands of people marched through the streets to protest against the Conservative government.

    A week of action was organized by community groups to coincide with David Cameron’s ‘Tory’ party conference which took place in Manchester between 3rd-7th October. This included a large demonstration last Sunday, where an estimated 85,000 British citizens gathered in the city to show their anger at the Tories and everything they stand for. Our sources claim that some agent provocateurs were present to cause trouble and ensure negative coverage of the event. Those entering the conference were called ‘Scum’; many were spat on and several eggs were thrown at politicians and journalists. However, taking into account such a large attendance, the protest was very peaceful on the whole.”


    Surely it was just a coinky-dinky.

  • KingOfWelshNoir

    I’m disappointed to see the BBC only managed to report the collapse of the towers after it happened rather than before. It’s the precognition I pay my licence fee for.

  • Herbie

    Craig’s fellow winner of The Sam Adams Award, a Turkish native and former FBI linguist, Sibel Edmonds, tells what she discovered:

    “Sources familiar with this testimony say that, in addition to her allegations about the Dickersons, she reported hearing Turkish wiretap targets boast that they had a covert relationship with a very senior politician indeed—Dennis Hastert, Republican congressman from Illinois and Speaker of the House since 1999. The targets reportedly discussed giving Hastert tens of thousands of dollars in surreptitious payments in exchange for political favors and information. “The Dickersons,” says one official familiar with the case, “are only the tip of the iceberg.” ”


    Relevant to the current Dennis Hastert case, but it’s much bigger than that:


    Americans should know, eh.

  • Tony M

    The sell-off of BP WAS part of the IMF conditions, a myriad of sources confirm this.

    A raw nerve has been exposed, there must be more to this, given the damage limitation.

    Lever, Healey and Callaghan’s Chief Economics Adviser, was one of those ‘Old Lithuanians”


  • Ben-Humps the anti-hemp Nations


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    More rubbish, this time from “Bevin”:

    “The real problems for the UK were, firstly the commitment to pay off the wartime debt to the US…”


    Outstanding Lend-Lease debt was discounted to 10 cents in the dollar and the repayable sum was subsumed into the Anglo-American loan of 15 July 1946.

    So “Bevin” is presumably talking about the Anglo-American loan.

    The Anglo-American loan was for 3,75 bn USD (1946 dollars) at 2% interest, to be repaid in 50 annual installments commencing in 1950.

    The loan was finally repaid in 2006, 6 years late (no repayments were made in 1956, 1957, 1964, 1965, 1968 and 1976 because of exchange rate considerations).

    Total repayments, including interest, amounted to 7,5 bn USD; this gives an average annual repayment of 150 million USD – or, at the exchange rate prevailing between 1950 and 1967, around 53 million GBP per annum, hardly the back-breaking burden suggested by “Bevin”.


    UK debt to the USA from the First World War was, of course, never repaid.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Tony M

    “The sell-off of BP WAS part of the IMF conditions, a myriad of sources confirm this.”


    If a “myriad” of sources confirm that, then you should have no problem identifying a couple of them for our benefit, should you.

    Off you go. We await your reply.

  • Resident Dissident

    “17% of BP went in 1977 under Callaghan and Healey as part of the IMF conditions for a loan they didn’t need, or want, taken as a result of a stunt pulled by the Treasury. I don’t know why I wasted my time replying to you RD, my re-collections were substantially correct.”

    I am not denying the 17% sale of BP, and there is support that the sale was agreed as part of the conditions for the IMG loan together with public spending cuts. However, I was very specific about the false statements you made, and you haven’t produced a shred of evidence to support your original statements. This is I’m afraid a technique you frequently employ whereby you feel it is ok to exaggerate or distort what actually happen in order to support your particular viewpoint – and yet again you have been caught with trousers around your ankles.

  • Why be ordinary?

    It is true that selling BP shares was one of the measures agreed between HMG and the IMF to reduce the PSBR http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1976/dec/15/sale-of-bp-shares

    But Tony M is omitting the fact that until 1974 the government owned only 48% of BP. It then acquired 20% as part of being the controversial rescue of Burmah Oil. HMG never owned the whole company. By selling 17%, at a profit, the government reduced what it would otherwise have had to pay holders of government bonds while retaining a majority stake in the company.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Lever, Healey and Callaghan’s Chief Economics Adviser, was one of those ‘Old Lithuanians””

    Leaving aside the casual anti-Semitism (he was born in Manchester and his father and mother fled Lithuania from the Tsarist police) – Lever was not Healey or Callaghan’s economic adviser.

  • Mary

    More of Resolute Support Mission that I linked to this morning.

    ‘Helicopter crash in Afghanistan kills two RAF staff
    9 minutes ago

    Breaking News image
    Two RAF personnel have been killed in a helicopter crash in Kabul, Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.

    A spokesman said an investigation was under way but confirmed it was “an accident and not the result of insurgent activity”.

    The Puma Mk2 helicopter crashed as it was landing at Nato’s Resolute Support mission headquarters on Sunday.

    The families of the victims have been informed and asked for a period of grace before their names are released.’

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