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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  • Alcyone

    Craig, the Universe is guiding you away from a nine-to-five job so that you can carry on your good work in total Freedom.

    Other than your blog, where you really should have a contribute button, you would do well to have a continuing niche spot in the media. Why not something like RT, provided you are satisfied with the editorial policy and control?

    Stay well and all good wishes.

  • Alcyone

    Afterthought Craig: Although, I fully understand and agree with your stance on Russia as a whole.

    Having said that, it is gratifying to see greater dialogue and possible cooperation between the US and Russia.

  • Marco

    Dear Craig,

    You are an outstanding person that I have the utmost respect for. Please know this while you try to deal with rejection from your peers.

    I mean nothing in your world, but I’m a fellow human being and feel your isolation. You are not alone, dear Craig. You make people like me feel our plight is being represented honestly and competently.

    Thank you.

  • Johnstone

    Craig sorry about your let down..but is it possible that its an issue of your membership of the SNP.. a political party? The SHRC are independent of government and Scottish parliament, so wouldn’t they be looking for at the very least an overtly apolitical commissioner?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Are you being harsh about the SNP leadership? I don’t disagree with the idea that the SNP leadership are consolidating their presence in the establishment and that this is probably happening with the tacit consent of the London establishment as a means of drawing their sting. However the fact is that there is not much option after the 2014 referendum. all they can do is consolidate a distinctive national (UK) presence, and catch and absorb the experience of government in Scotland. One worries however about the status of Holyrood. (It reminds me of the joke about the complaint about the accoustics of the concert hall, where the culture secretary gets up to say he has referred the matter to the pest control section).
    There will be a moment of reckoning when some crisis arises. The most likely focus of conflict will be the EU referendum however I wonder if there will be a no result in that. My guess is that there will not be a Brexit.
    The other point of obvious division is Trident, and perhaps also energy policy. Scotland has a lower density population and different demographics which are not served well by policies developed for the high density south east of england.
    I am not actually particularly happy about having the expensive chinese nuclear plant foisted on us.
    At the moment a test of the sincerity of the SNP is the extent to which they try to develop their thinking around any monetary arrangements, post independence. That was the point that was most telling in the run-up to the referendum.
    One point -in the event of a Brexit, and a new referendum on independence, would there be pressure on a newly declared independent Scotland to adopt the Euro? That would be quite a sticky point to sell. That is why it is so important to be working on this matter and developing a credible strategy, if there is t be any chance of independence.
    The other point of interest will be the Holyrood elections. That will force some of the incumbents to start to state their positions and that might become inteesting.

  • Old Mark

    ‘Scotland has a lower density population and different demographics which are not served well by policies developed for the high density south east of england.’

    Deepgreenpuddock- sparsely populated Scotland (and rural Wales) actually do pretty well when compared to SE England on a whole range of per capita subsidies, subsides to our faux privatised rail companies, for example-


    Note than 2012/13 only £700,000 of this massive subsidy was ponied up by the ‘Scottish government’, the bulk of it was dispensed by the DoT in London.

    ‘There will be a moment of reckoning when some crisis arises. The most likely focus of conflict will be the EU referendum however I wonder if there will be a no result in that. My guess is that there will not be a Brexit.’

    Reluctantly I concur with that last observation- I anticipate a high turnout 70/30 pro EU vote in NI, and a 55/45 pro EU vote in Scotland, will outnumber narrow majorities on a lower % turnout in England and Wales in favour of Brexit.

  • John

    I did send you a text proposing a pint as I had some [sensible, I think] suggestions. Reading the above I remain of the view they are sensible. Check your text messages and get back to me

  • Giyane


    The moral high ground in the world is currently occupied by Russia over its intervention against USUKIS terror in Syria. This may be because of the special friendship between Lavrov and Kerry in a world of swivel-eyed nutcases like oil-smuggler Cameron and Daesh leader Erdogan.

    The swivellers certainly know how to destroy but that is not in fact power. Power is knowing how to sort things out again.

  • Alcyone


    Thanks, I don’t fundamentally disagree with you but using ‘moral high ground’ in the context of War is a bit of a contradiction in my book. Though, I get your drift.

  • MJ

    “any rational party would be able to unite behind its leader to challenge the party in power, the internecine feuding continues, regardless of the wishes of the vast majority of party members”

    Things will probably change after next year’s party conference, when all the new/returning party members will be able to vote on party policy (they weren’t eligible this year).

    The rump of neo-lib MPs, so keen to oust Corbyn, will then have to decide whether they’re prepared to stand on party policy or not. Expect an appropriate shadow cabinet reshuffle next autumn.

  • Macky

    @Craig, I see you are keen to prove Ishmael’s criticism of you correct; you can delete comments as fast you can, but each time you do, there will be people who have seen what you are doing, and will be thinking less & less of you for it.

  • Alcyone

    O/T but on Life and Death, literally

    “Nine in 10 cancers caused by lifestyle”


    I have been told off previously (probably due to misunderstanding and not making very clear myself). But, the latest research shows that we ourselves, yes, are responsible for the very large majority of cancers that arise.


    “The 116 things that can give you cancer”. And again, yes, alcohol is on that list.


    Good health to everybody!

    Worth bearing in mind the concept of mindbody psychsomatics also. And the etymology of the word ‘individual’ being shared with that of ‘indivisible’ ie we are supposed to be holistically ‘All One’. (Not the insane, fragmented, cracked up human beings that we are.)

  • Ken

    The SNP members should be able to chose who they want to represent them. That is the Party rules. To keep on criticising that is to damage the cause of Independence. Even those it doesn’t suit some people or it is not in keeping with some individual opinion. The cause is greater than the individual. It’s altruistic. Many admire you stance and your voice, which is absolutely welcome. Please continue. There has never been a greater struggle for proper governance for Scotland, which the majority agree is a great improvement. Please lay aside any difference for the greater good. Your voice is extremely important.

    Mary come back.

  • Alcyone

    ^ Macky, what utter nonsense.

    Ishmael is a Cuckoo in the Nest here. Mother him all you want–you deserve each other.

    You’ve obviously not read the thread where scores have expressed their appreciation of his sanity and, general affection, beyond.

    Carry on making an ass, in your case jenny, of yourself.

  • Jeremy Stocks

    ““Nine in 10 cancers caused by lifestyle”


    I have been told off previously (probably due to misunderstanding and not making very clear myself). But, the latest research shows that we ourselves, yes, are responsible for the very large majority of cancers that arise.”

    My mother had cancer and I spent a long time figuring out why. She had been a shift worker in a mental hospital 28 years so that it seems messed up her metabolism. Her in Germany they are passing laws to safeguard shiftworkers I believe (proper country).

    Many illnesses are preventable by paying attention to nutrition. I watched that now-famous Robert Lustig “Sugar” video and dropped carbs to lower levels. Whaddya know? My weight dropped a kilo a week almost to a healthy level.

    “Worth bearing in mind the concept of mindbody psychsomatics also. And the etymology of the word ‘individual’ being shared with that of ‘indivisible’ ie we are supposed to be holistically ‘All One’. (Not the insane, fragmented, cracked up human beings that we are.)”

    I indulge 30 minutes a day in Qi Gong. “Doin’ time in the Universal Mind” is an awe inspiring experience. I am never ill!

  • Fredi

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

    That’s more like the black economy rate, cash in hand, no documentation etc.
    The wall will be shoddy, far better going with a professional.

    Not this one, defiantly not this one..

    “The brick he’s just laid..is back to front, upside down and flawed”


    Someone better suited to least £100 an hour destroying the British economy.

  • Ken

    The SNP is working with the restriction that 5% voted NO. The 5% voted for the cuts to the Holyrood budget, for illegal wars. £170Billion for Trident. Oil sector 50% take + 25% tax. = 75%. Costing thousands of jobs. The one’s complaining the most are those who voted NO. Total hypocrites. They are dispicable.

    The SNP have done everything to bring Independence. Organised a Referendum. 5% voted NO. The Unionist Political Parties who supported the NO vote are now criticising the cuts. They support £Billions being spent on Trident/illegal wars, banking fraud, massive tax evasion and the vulnerable being sanctioned and starved to death.

    Scotland was promised FFS, Home Rule, Federalism. It got tax raising powers to fund Westminster corruption,criminality and lies. Evil. Until the next Referendum.

  • Macky

    @Alcyone, that Craig tolerates/encourages kowtowing clowns as yourself, but censors intelligent critics, is a damning indictment that you personify so well.

  • Tony M

    Craig you do, really seriously do underestimate and under-appreciate the malign influence of freemasonry in Scotland. It permeates every imaginable aspect, from police, judiciary, civil servants, trade unions at every level from shop-stewards to executive personnel, Labour and Tory parties and LibDems, council officialdom and more. I’ve emailed you a pdf document some time ago about employees in BAE facilites being relentlessly and on an organised gang-like basis bullied in the workplace, in some cases driven to drink and to ending their lives or to many quitting their jobs, and the cover-ups involving unions, senior management, MPs, even press and lawyers. Because at every level from the day to day perpetrators, to the company management with a duty of care, to the union officialdom supposed to represent their ordinary members all were freemasons going to extraordinary lengths, slander and libel and intimidation, even drugging people involuntarily, terrifying incidents with cars, criminal lengths, themselves to protect one or more of their own from the prospect of their thuggery and sectarianism being exposed, and to ensure those responsible were never held to account and were free to carry on in this way. Someone mentioned freemasonry already in this thread, this stuff is not nonsensical lizards and illuminati crap, but very real damaging and destroying real people’s lives every day.

  • Republicofscotland

    “What I do actually perceive is the SNP hierarchy settling quite happily into a new position of power and prestige within the UK state. I do not see them actually campaigning for independence. I asked for examples of campaigning for independence to prove me wrong. a constitution written decades ago does not answer my point.”


    I can’t quite agree with your above comment Craig, just yet anyway.

    What’s the point of pushing for independence right now when several big questions still need to be answered, such as currency pensions and the EU.

    Yes the SNP can put credible answers forward for the above questions, they did so last year. But the giant media machine and the UK government, will just rerun their lying campaign again and the chance for change will be lost.

    I completely understand the SNP’s position on waiting for a majority support for independence around the 60% mark. However I am also sympathetic to your frustration over the whole affair, as are many Scots, we must get it right this time around.

  • Johnstone

    Jeremy.. I’m not convinced
    It was once taboo to mention the C word and it seems that even this article describing new research finally recognizing extrinsic causes of cancer avoids mention of the gross pollution of food stuffs, water, soil and the air we breath. Such articles only serve to cover up and protect the unregulated corporate producers of the poisonous products and byproducts that are the main causes of the cancer epidemic of consumerism that no lifestyle change could ever mitigate against..
    ‘lifestyle changes’…yet another a myth??

  • Ishmael


    And that makes him right? Bet Hitler felt the same.

    “Cuckoo in the Nest” ? (whatever that means) Or disallowed person who tried to Change this usury blog maintained for personal political furtherance of himself.

    You’ll get yours Alcyone, when the time comes, when he’s moved on to his next set of pick-me-up’s. Don’t expect any caring from me, I won’t be here. Mainly just made this to defy my ban with Tor. See if it work’s.

    🙂 it’s the little things that make all the difference.

    Quick, delete him. The blog must remain pure.

  • Jeremy Stocks

    ” Such articles only serve to cover up and protect the unregulated corporate producers of the poisonous products and byproducts that are the main causes of the cancer epidemic of consumerism that no lifestyle change could ever mitigate against..
    ‘lifestyle changes’…yet another a myth??”

    You have a point Johnstone. For me it was the sugar which was the game changer. However I also go onto the wheat as detrimental to health also. Now I may be wrong but the ancient varieties of wheat were a metre/yard tall and the agronomist Norman Borlaug developed dwarf wheat which was easier to harvest funded by the Rockefeller Foundation. I think I read that in either Grain Brain or Wheat Belly.

  • Pete

    @ Bryan Hemming: “Jack Straw’s early history as a student activist with links to the Communist Party points to him having been recruited – or having been pressurised – to act as a mole for MI5”

    This is very interesting, and very believable, but do you have any links or printed sources for this idea? I’m sure there’s a lot we don;t know about Jack Straw, and his autobiography is certainly about the most un-illuminating that I’ve ever glanced through.

    Although, given Straw’s subsequent behaviour, I doubt that much “pressure” would have been needed. As with Blair, the prospect of personal advancement would have been sufficient. I recommend Sandy Mitchell’s book “Saudi Babylon” for more insight into Straw’s character (Mitchell was the British health worker who was fitted up by the Saudis for some Al Qaida bombings, spent two years in prison there after being tortured into false confessions).

    @Craig, I suspect that you do more good by writing this blog than you’d ever have achieved through this Scottish Human Rights Commission. You obviously read a lot of newspapers- so you maybe underestimate how many intelligent people nowadays don’t read any paper, nor listen to the BBC, but get their news from internet sources such as your blog. In any case I think that, like myself, you are temperamentally unsuited to being an employee of any bureaucracy. It’s in the nature of such bodies that they prefer conformist mediocrity to creative excellence. It took me 18 years in the NHS to realise this.

  • Republicofscotland

    “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.”


    Apologies Rob-G, I missed your comment yesterday, but yes I have to agree with you their. A new country to invade will need to be sought soon to redress the financial deficit.

  • Republicofscotland

    Fred mentions “health and bridges falling down”

    The reason there isn’t already a second road bridge at Queensferry is the Labour Party. When they came to power at Westminster in 1997 one of their first acts was to cancel the building of a new bridge planned by the previous Conservative government, claiming that building it would cause traffic congestion in Edinburgh.

    When the Scottish Parliament was restored in 1999 and Labour ran it for eight years, they continued to stall and delay and oppose the building of a second bridge, despite the increasingly urgent warnings of the Forth Estuary Transport Authority (FETA) that one was needed as soon as possible due to traffic load on the old bridge.



    Labour’s PFI drains NHS of vital cash.


  • Ishmael

    Think about it.

    “I don’t mind a little inconvenience”, “I don’t mind some of my comments going. I don’t mind etc, etc.

    You do a disservice to the aims your profess to stand for, and you stand FOR IT so obediently.

    I don’t know the perfects system, but one where those clearly on board have an input?. But No, your worthless here. Your comments can go anytime and for any reason. Why the hell would anyone stay in a place like this? “fighting for human rights”..

    The sacrifice is worth it? Freedom within limits is control. He could publish many places. He could not have comments at all. Better in many ways. Though I suspect some vary insensitive articles would still be up if others could not point out such things.

    But i’m the bad guy here? fine. Think what you want. You demonstrate what that’s worth in your actions.

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