Jack Straw Responds to Alex Salmond with Blatant Lie 203

Jack Straw continues to lie about his involvement with torture. On Sunday, Alex Salmond told Alex Marr on the BBC that an inquiry must discover what Straw and Blair knew. On Monday Straw responded in the Guardian:

Straw said Salmond’s comments were completely untrue. “The British government was never complicit nor condoned torture or other ill-treatment of detainees wherever they were held,” he said.

I can offer absolute and definitive proof that Straw is lying (redactions made by FCO):



The Foreign Secretary was Jack Straw. Simon MacDonald was his Private Secretary in the FCO.


It has been a source of astonishment to me that journalists are prepared to continue to publish Straw’s denials of involvement in torture, when there is indisputable documentary proof that he is lying. I offered these documents to the Guardian years ago, but was not surprised when that Blairite rag refused to publish.

I was however surprised by this. When Straw criticised Salmond on Monday, I immediately offered these documents to the National as proof that Straw was lying. The National too refused to publish. Firstly they said that they had to consult their lawyers about whether the government would sue them. Then they said they could not work out how to condense the information into a short article (which begs the question why it had to be short). They then said they were too busy.

The reason I did not post for a week was that I was extremely dejected to receive an instant rejection, without interview, for the post of Chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission. This is an appointment of the Scottish Parliament and the decision is made by a committee of Scottish MSPs. It is a job for which I undoubtedly meet all the published requirements. I lecture regularly on human rights all round the world, and have been called to give evidence in person to the UK Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights, the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. I have a great deal of senior level public sector management experience, also a requirement.

When I published a few weeks ago that I had been considering my future while in Ghana, it was because I was considering applying for the job on the Scottish human rights commission. That would have entailed going back to being a public servant and ceasing political activity, including giving up this blog. I certainly can do this – for the 21 years I was in the FCO, nobody except those close to me knew my political views. I decided eventually that the chance to work on human rights in a positive way might enable me to do more good in the world than I am achieving as a campaigner. I definitely did not expect to get the job, but could not apply honestly without interrogating myself as to whether I really was prepared to meet the conditions.

I did not however expect an out of hand rejection for a position for which I was not only qualified but which was also junior and less well paid than previous public appointments I had held.

I did not necessarily expect to get the job, but to be refused without being interviewed is not something I expected, and it hit me hard. As a whistleblower you become a non-person. That is why the media publishes Straw’s denials of all knowledge of torture despite the existence of these documents. It is unpleasant to be a non-person, who cannot even be interviewed for a job for which they are abundantly qualified.

The SNP plainly have a major problem with me as a member. Before the SNP Conference in Aberdeen, I was approached by the Embassy of Ecuador. They wished to have a meeting with the SNP on behalf of the alliance of seven South American states including Ecuador, Venezuela, Cuba and Bolivia who have a broadly anti-imperialist stance and were interested in learning about the Scottish independence movement with a view to possible cooperation in international fora. It so happened the Spanish acronym of this group is ALBA! The Embassy know me through Julian Assange and I was their only contact in the SNP, so they asked me to arrange the meeting. I emailed every suitable SNP contact I could think of, and made a number of phone calls, over a four week period. I eventually received a one line rejection, and had to host the Ambassador myself (apart from a short reception the SNP hosted for the diplomatic corps, to which I was refused entry).

Taking all these things together – my repeated rejection as a candidate, the refusal to meet ALBA, my out of hand rejection (by a SNP led committee) for the human rights job, the National’s refusal to run my evidence of Jack Straw lying, I feel not just rejected but despised by the hierarchy of the Independence movement. As I have moved back to Scotland with the sole motive of carrying on the campaign for Scottish independence, I really have this last week been looking hard at myself and considering what the future may hold. I suppose I was naïve to imagine that the hospitality and exclusion shown to whistleblowers in Whitehall would not be mirrored in Holyrood.

Which leads me back to the minutes above. When I objected to, and tried to stop, the policy of getting intelligence from torture, I knew I was probably blighting my future in the FCO. But I did not fully appreciate that it would lead on to me being backlisted by the establishment – including the Holyrood establishment – for my entire life. It is rather a hard cross to bear. Fortunately I have much else in life to be thankful for.

203 thoughts on “Jack Straw Responds to Alex Salmond with Blatant Lie

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  • BrianFujisan

    Aww.. I was very sad to read of this latest rejection of your services Craig.

    I know one can take heart from all the words of support shown on this thread.. it may take a wee bit of time too.

    i hold SNP under much suspicion just now.

    try to relax and have a settled xmas..with the Family.


  • Ted

    Sadly, Craig what your are experiencing is typical for all whistle blowers. Companies claim to have a “whistle blowers policy” but whenever anyone tries to bring attention to bad or downright illegal practices they are excluded and shunned. Health and Social care are rife with brave individuals who highlight awful things and they have to leave instead of those committing the misdeeds. The malpractice is covered up.

  • Anon1

    Craig –

    Reality check for you. The SNP has no interest in independence as long as it can keep milking the English taxpayer from the Westminster gravy train. As a principled man who genuinely believes in Scotch independence at the earliest opportunity, you are about as welcome in Scotland as a dog dragging its arse along the carpet.

    Second,it appears you have spent your entire life in state employ and no longer know what to do with yourself.  “Chairman of the Scottish Human Rights Commission” sounds like a job for the boys. If you want to get on in the real world, I can find you work for a tenner an hour bricklaying.

    Harsh but fair I’m afraid. Pick yourself up, get on, and stop fucking moaning. You clearly have no idea what life is like for ordinary working people.

  • RobG

    16 Dec, 2015 – 8:33 pm

    The Fed aren’t testing the water. They have no choice but to raise interest rates (even by a tiny amount), because the western economic system has been on the point of collapse (yet again) during 2015. It’s the old ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ syndrome.

    I linked earlier to today’s PMQs. Cameron looked even more shifty and off-foot than normal. I would hazard a guess that it’s because the second-hand car salesman knows that it’s about to all go belly-up.

    Cameron is the most corrupt/venal PM in British history.

  • craig Post author


    I have been earning a living in the private sector for a decade now. In fact taking the human rights job would have involved a fall in income. You are quite wrong to think I wanted the post because I need employment.

  • Anon1


    If the establishment doesn’t want you, why do you keep trying to crawl up to it for a job? You’re a popular blogger and an excellent and original writer (who even makes this ‘establishment troll’ think from time to time), so why not carry on doing what you do so well? You’ll compromise yourself in any job with the SNP.

  • fred

    “I have been earning a living in the private sector for a decade now. In fact taking the human rights job would have involved a fall in income. You are quite wrong to think I wanted the post because I need employment.”

    Seventy grand a year a fall in income?

  • Republicofscotland

    “You’re a popular blogger and an excellent and original writer (who even makes this ‘establishment troll’ think from time to time”


    You can think? Are you sure?

    I mean you’ve kept that a well guarded secret.

  • Macky

    @Ishmael, Craig readily admits that he is a man of many flaws, but rather than try to curtail them, he does seem to sometimes actually revel in them !

    The reason why most of us are draw to his blog is because of the insights that only an Establishment ex-insider can provide, and whetever he is motivated solely because he has a personal vendetta against those that treated him badly, or because he’s a principled champion against all injustices per se, is sometimes ambiguous at best, especially given some of his rather peculiar views for a self-declared “Human Rights Activist”, but the end result is that he, as some Posters also do, provide good useful knowledge against tptb.

    Presumably like you, I find it embarrassing to receive adoring praise for just being a decent person, (nevermind encourage & lap it up) and I also find it unwarranted & slighlty degrading to offer it to anybody in anything other than the truly exceptional circumstances that would warrant it. In fact I remember Suhayl Saadi trying to pull me up for never posting to praise, but posting only to disagree/ criticize, and I explained that I took it for granted that most of us here are basically on the same page, so not much point really in posting “Hear, Hear” to everything I agreed with !

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Who is the somewhat animated person in the picture that is your ‘handle’, Anon 1? I’ve been meaning to ask. is it Christopher Hitchens, or some other luminary? Or is it you? I’m probably missing something obvious, I know.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “I remember Suhayl Saadi trying to pull me up for never posting to praise… I took it for granted that most of us here are basically on the same page…” Macky

    Yes, thanks, Macky, I remember you saying that we were on the same page and it was very welcome to hear at the time and since.

    It was not so much to praise, you know, it was more occasionally to acknowledge another person might have a point, or on occasion, to acknowledge agreement (rather than to suggest that they were ‘backtracking’), to not always impute negative motives. Because no-one really knows that we all are on the same page unless from time-to-time we actually say so. And I also think that whistleblowers do need to be encouraged as what they are up against is immense. It’s good also to be critical, though.

  • craig Post author


    Yes, £70,000 would be a fall in income. My occasional financial difficulties are not caused by a lack of income, but by excessive open-handedness 🙂

  • mike

    This post proves exactly why your blog is so important, Craig. And also why it is so widely read, unlike most of “our” newspapers.

  • Anon1

    Unpaid Spanish aid workers today collecting Muslim refugees from the Mediterranean. You have to wonder whether it would happen the other way round.

    For anyone interested in the RoP website, it carries a picture today of some of the 100,000 air-conditioned tents in Saudi Arabia, which can accommodate up to 3 million pilgrims, sitting empty while Europe takes the refugees.

  • giyane

    £70000 would be about 10 x my income, and my principles have lost me more than one valued career. Divorce splits families up and men are usually the losers.

    So what exactly are you complaining about Craig, if you don’t mind me asking? You have recently said that New Labour MPs should not think they are not entitled to a life-time sinecure.

    If the role of ambassador did not provide you with a respected platform for plain truth telling, why would a position as a part of Scottish government? I’m not sure that what you are saying is not the polar bear problem viz that you are unable to accept that there is an increasing gap between the summer ice and the land of Alaska and there are no seals to be hunted that far off-shore.

    i.e. there is such a thing as global warming in relation to politics. Truth is being driven to extinction and it’s no good pointing to the past and saying that truth-speaking was possible by politicians before.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Incidentally, Anon1, a large minority of the Syrian population is Christian and many Syrian refugees too are Christian. Same thing with Iraq, some years ago.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Excellent link, Macky, thanks.

    When, in 2013, I questioned the ‘official’ narrative wrt the gas attacks in Syria on social media, I was jumped on by people, including by a prominent and seemingly well-respected Syrian-English journalist/writer who informed me that, “I know who you are…”. He meant of course, that he was contending that I was a mouthpiece for the Baathist regime or similar. He had been pushing for war on Syria right from the start, in 2011.


  • fedup

    If you want to get on in the real world, I can find you work for a tenner an hour bricklaying.

    What an absolute crap!!!

    Obviously has no idea about the labour rates either!

    No less that sixteen quid an hour unless (minimum) you want the wall to be as straight as the zionist convention on truth!!

    Tenner an hour, where is this work at, Nigeria?

  • Martin

    Hello Craig, I feel some of your pain.
    I for one would like to donate towards your time and effort for writing this blog.

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