Monthly Archives: February 2016


Honest, Guv, I Didn’t See Nuffin’

Jimmy Savile met the Royal family not just on many official occasions, but frequently socially. He was a private Hogmanay guest of the Prime Minister on seven occasions. Of course not only on 31 December, I just think that fact illustrates how close he was.

I do not believe that all of these people knew nothing about his persistent and repeated behaviour.

It is not only that I do not believe they could fail to notice. It is that anyone with that level of frequent access to the Prime Minister, other ministers and Royal family would be checked out by the security services. He would not have experienced full positive vetting (now called direct vetting), but a level of vetting would have been carried out on Savile himself. And many of his friends were subject to frequent direct vetting and it is impossible that a picture of Savile would not have built up tangentially. MI5, Special Branch (now also renamed) and GCHQ have tens of thousands of employees. What do you think these people do all day?

When I passed my last direct vetting, the interviewing officer had spent four months of his life doing nothing but investigate me full time. He noted that I continued to have a rather extensive love life, but as it involved only consenting adults and I did not appear open to blackmail, it was no reason to fail me. We discussed this openly. He concluded by saying – and this may not be 100% his words but it is damn close and the sentiment was certainly this:

“Makes a change to be looking at relationships with women in a Foreign Office case. It’s usually small boys!”

We both laughed. Now I swear to you, at the time I really did think he was just joking. I must have been very naïve.

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A New Low for the International Criminal Court

The ICC really has plumbed new depths in the current trial of ex-Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo. I do urge you to read the analysis I wrote at the time of his overthrow. Gbagbo certainly was guilty of crimes, but much more killing and violence was done by current Ivory Coast President, and former Deputy MD of the IMF, Alassane Ouattara. My article was written at the time to counter an extremely misleading one written by Thalia Griffiths, editor of African Energy, and published in the Guardian. I have since discovered more about the role of Trafigura in funding Ouattara’s forces, and the picture becomes ever clearer.

Ouattara killed more than Gbagbo but now sits in the Presidential palace, secure with his French and CIA backers, and confines Gbagbo to the International Criminal Court. That institution shames itself by making itself a simple instrument of victor’s justice, or of prosecuting the side that the major western powers were fighting against. To underline the hypocrisy of this, yesterday Ouattara granted Ivorian citizenship to his ally Blaise Compaore, former President of Burkina Faso, to help him avoid an international arrest warrant for crimes including the murder of his predecessor. Compaore had helped Ouattara fix his election.

Please note, it is very important to avoid the fallacy of “goodies” and “baddies” in African politics. The Ivorien election was extremely unsafe and characterised by cheating on all sides. I am in no sense defending Gbagbo as an innocent.

Yesterday I met with a Western diplomat who told me they are in fact well aware that Campaore’s hand was behind the attacks in Ougadougou a month ago that were blamed on Al Qaida. It would be unfair to say that any Western security service planned or even approved of it. But it benefits their narrative in a number of ways to go along with it. Re-establishing Compaore in Burkina Faso remains a French objective, and the CIA are happy to play ball.

I am in West Africa until Saturday.

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Why I Love Scotland – and Despair of my Once-Loved England

In general I deplore violence. But I do know that if a braying Etonian bully wandered round this country telling people how to dress, it would be very bad for their health. As someone who lived almost half of my life in England, I cannot understand the right wing intolerance, xenophobia and contempt for liberty that now characterises that nation.

And I cannot understand the degree of cringing servility that causes English people to want to be ruled – and told how to dress – by this.

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Scotland’s Anti-Colonial Struggle

I have a meeting today in London with the Ambassadors of Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador to brief them on Scotland’s continuing struggle for Independence. These nations have been at the forefront of the international movement against colonialism, and know all about the sharp end of neo-Imperialism and the evil-doing of the CIA and other western security agencies.

The test of the Independence of a state is nothing to do with domestic or regional government, or even with bilateral arrangements with the state from which it secedes. The test of Independence is, purely and simply, whether or not you are recognised by other states as independent. That is the very clear cut position in international law. For this reason, it is essential that Scotland reaches out, not just within the EU but to the entire international community. Ultimately we need these people to vote and lobby for us in the United Nations and other international institutions.

Frankly, the SNP is rubbish at this. I am doing this meeting because the hierarchy of the SNP spurned the approach from the Ambassadors, as previously detailed on this blog. This reluctance seems part of the hierarchy’s effort to be NATO friendly and thus CIA friendly. The Ambassadors would far rather be meeting with an official SNP representative than a nobody like me. Unfortunately the SNP won’t do it. That is a disgrace.

I can increasingly foresee, as Westminster governments move ever further to the right and encroach more and more on civil liberties, a situation arising where Scotland wishes to claim its independence without the consent of Westminster. In that situation, we will need all the international support we can get, just as the Palestinians have been making headway in UN institutions. Work needs to be put now into laying the foundations for that support. Personally I would characterise Scottish Independence as an anti-colonial struggle; use of Scots as British cannon fodder and integration of the Scots elite into the Metropolitan elite does not make Scotland any less a colony. Rome had san African Emperor, but still her African possessions were colonies.

But even for those who do not accept that analysis, there is no doubt that Scottish Independence would have a highly beneficial impact on the global balance of power. The weakening of the USA’s most powerful sidekick; the lessening of the UK’s ability to participate in illegal neo-imperial invasions and to host weapons of mass destruction; the re-opening of the question of the undemocratic Security Council structure at the UN.

Then there is also the positive role Scotland can play as a major contributor to UN Peacekeeping Forces, and a voice for sanity, reason, human rights and the pre-eminence of international law. An independent Scotland as a state party will be able to request the International Criminal Court to lay war crime charges against Blair and Straw for the illegal invasion of Iraq, which would be a powerful deterrent to future aggressive war.

I am but one man and a private individual. Everything I can do, I shall.

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Fixing Society

Much too little thought is given to fundamental ways of fixing society’s most pressing problem, which is massive inequality of wealth. Banking regulation is an important part of the problem. But to attack the root cause of corporatism, you need to look at the make-up of corporations.

Two simple measures can make a radical improvement. The first is share ownership by workers. This appears to have gone completely out of political discussion.

Whatever the legal basis of a company – private, public limited, partnership etc – a substantial share in it should be given to all those who work in it and actually create the wealth. This share should come with full voting and distribution rights. I would advocate that 40% of the ownership of every company should be given to those who work in it. The distribution of that 40% should be adjusted annually according to the number of man hours put in, on the basis that everyone’s man hours are equal. Retired and ex-employees would retain rights until death, with all hours ever worked in that company included.

Thus if Jane were one of four people working in a start-up and they all worked equal hours, after one year she would own ten percent of the company. If the next year four more staff joined, and they all continued to work the same hours, Jane’s share would fall but she would still own more than those who joined later. If eventually there were thousands of staff, her percentage would become very small, but of a very large company, and she would still own significantly more than people who had put in far less accumulated hours over the years. On retirement, in addition to her pension, she would still own a share in the company, but this would diminish as other people built up their own contribution to the enterprise.

It would make no difference if Jane were the cleaner or the MD, and if she owned or not other kinds of non-worker shares in the company,

The other major difficulty in society’s relationship to remuneration is the ludicrous over-valuation of “management” work. The gulf in salary and remuneration between higher and lower paid employees of a company has grown enormously in the last thirty years. This is an easy fix. There should be a limit on the multiple of total remuneration (including all benefits) between the highest and lowest paid person in a single company or other body, including government department, agency or authority. I should suggest a multiple of six as appropriate. So if the cleaner is on £18,000, the CEO can get no more than £108,000.

This measure would solve the low wage problem overnight, as the CEO’s prime drive becomes increasing the cleaner’s remuneration. Attempts to evade (ie management by separate consultancy company) should be a criminal offence.

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Referendum Free Zone

I declare this blog an EU referendum free zone. There are several reasons for this:

a) I gave my views in the broadest possible manner a couple of days ago.

b) I live in Edinburgh. I am entirely confident I shall be remaining in the EU, one way or another

c) I refuse to campaign alongside the Tories, even if other Tories are campaigning the other way

d) Incredibly, the appalling Will Straw has been appointed to head the Remain campaign, his sole qualification being that he is the child of the UK’s second most famous war criminal and shyster.

That is my last word on the subject till 24 June.

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The Unionist/Zionist Media Nexus In Action

For those of you who believe that we have a diverse media, I present without much comment these tweets between Murdoch, Guardian and Independent television employees. It is interesting that their two less famous sympathisers who are included in these exchanges are both primarily motivated by support for Israel. Simon Myerson’s twitter ID self-describes him as “Ocean_Going Zionist QC”. Tomas Doran’s twitter ID self-describes him as “Friend of the Jews.” Of course Freeman, Daisley and Cohen have all been specifically cited on this blog in the past for their dreadful anti-Palestinian propaganda. All of these people are also fierce opponents of Scottish independence.

It is not the content of the twitter spat that is important – it is the links between these mainstream journos who pretend to represent opposing views, but combine to attack anybody who actually does so.

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Cameron Fights to Make the EU Worse

Every one of the changes for which Cameron is arguing in Europe will make both the UK and the EU worse. It is undoubtedly true that these reforms are marginal, and not in any sense worth the drama with which Cameron seeks to imbue them in the run-up to a pre-cooked mainstream media acclamation of significant victory. But even though Cameron’s proposals are highly marginal, and all possible without treaty amendment, insofar as there is any effect, it is a bad effect.

Cameron’s primary focus is on preventing much needed regulation of banking and financial services. He wants a veto in what is currently recognised as a qualified majority area. The banking system is at the heart of the channelling of most wealth to a tiny elite. 70% of all the money in the world is tied up in derivatives markets, which is terrifying. Deutsche Bank holds derivatives equivalent to 21 times German GDP, to give a striking example. There have been continued attempts by the EU to introduce a transaction tax on every derivatives bet, as a move towards calming this market. Cameron is determined to make sure the City of London remains a great casino, safe for his banker mates. That is the primary question at issue today.

The other issues involve Cameron’s attempts to pander to xenophobes by putting a brake on in-work benefits and child benefit to migrants. This is economically insignificant. It affects less than 40,000 people in the UK, and in the case of child benefit would only bring a marginal reduction anyway. It is simply an effort to join the Duncan Smith stigmatisation of the low-paid to racist sentiment.

I wish to state loudly that I believe that the existence of the European Union with a common citizenship, where we all enjoy the common rights of citizens, from Bucharest to Dublin, is a marvellous thing. It is undeniably the greatest political advance of my lifetime. As a continent with a free flow not only of people, but of trade and capital as well, it is a fantastic field of economic potential. As the political expression of the wonderful civilisations of the European nations, it has the capacity to be a force for good in the world, and is so more often than not.

I look forward to ever closer union becoming a reality, and the day when the EU encompasses all of Europe, including Russia. I look forward to Scotland being one of the nations within a federal European structure, contributing to a common foreign and defence policy. I fully expect these things to come to pass, while Cameron and his charade of renegotiation will be long forgotten.

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Eric Lubbock

I want to mark briefly the death of a man for whom I had enormous respect, Eric Lubbock, Lord Avebury. I knew him on and off since 1976 and he was an inspirational man. He devoted fairly well his every waking moment to attempting to fight injustice all over the world, with his focus often falling on deeply unfashionable human rights causes, including the Uzbeks, the Uighurs and the majority population of Bahrain. He was an unstinting opponent of specifically British injustices, and a dedicated campaigner for the Chagos islanders.

He never fell for the neo-imperialism of Blair and the astonishing claim that to improve other countries we should invade them. He opposed all Blair’s interventions, most notably in Sierra Leone where he saw through the propaganda of “victory”, and as I recount in The Catholic Orangemen he was the catalyst for revealing the Arms to Africa scandal and the Blairite involvement with mercenaries.

In the days when the UK had a political culture of respect for opposition parliamentarians and of public service, FCO ministers feared Avebury’s extraordinary persistent and acute questioning, to which they gave evasive answers at their peril. Sadly nowadays this culture of accountability has been abolished by the armies of taxpayer paid party PR men.

Eric Lubbock’s involvement in public life was motivated purely by a desire to make the world a better place for other people. I believe the concept of personal gain was alien to him and he certainly gave a great deal more than he ever got back, in terms either of finance or of public appreciation. The world may not esteem him a great man in terms of achievement; but the world was a much better place for his being in it.

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Hillary Clinton IS The Guardian

Hillary Clinton is American, owned by financial interests to whom she is completely in thrall, a rabid neo-conservative warmonger, completely uncritical of Israel and focused for any claim to be progressive entirely on identity politics. Which is also a precise description of today’s Guardian newspaper. The once august and intellectual title is now a shrill cheerleader for far right Blairites and wealthy American feminists.

The Guardian is as unabashed in its support for Clinton as in its support for the Blairites. The stream of “feminist” articles about why it would advance the cause of women to have a deeply corrupt right winger in the White House is steadily growing into a torrent. It is a perfect example of what I wrote of a month ago, the cause of feminism being hijacked to neo-conservative ends.

Bernie Sanders is not perfect – nobody is. But he understands that obscene and still burgeoning wealth inequality is the greatest problem of western society, and that the state framework supporting crazed banking structures is the root cause of this. The support for him is a sign of the inevitable popular reaction to the extreme inequality of society. Sanders is channelling that reaction effectively.

The establishment therefore circles its wagons around Hillary Clinton. The hope is that women can be persuaded it is an act of misogyny simply to stand in her way. The other great establishment hope is that the Democrat party machinery is so strong in black communities, that black Americans can be in effect ordered to vote for a woman who epitomises the system which disadvantages them, rather than an apostle of genuine change in the economic order. I retain hope the establishment may find that black Americans are cleverer than that.

The machinery used to manipulate identity politics – racial and gender – is all that Clinton has. If Clinton beats Sanders, it will be the perfect demonstration of the fact that identity politics has become the enemy of progress in society.

In the field of identity, Bernie Sanders would be the first non-Christian President of the United States. Would that not be wonderful in a country whose politicians feel the need to genuflect to swarms of religious evolution-denying nutters who believe foreign wars are good because they presage the Rapture?

And would it not be great if the first President since Carter not in thrall to Israel were Jewish?

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Uber-Unionist Deutsche Bank Tanks

Deutsche Bank led the bankers’ charge against Scottish independence, claiming that an independent Scotland would enter “a great depression” that would blight generations of Scots. This dire prediction was made by Chief Economist David Folkerts-Landau, who owns several personal homes with a value of tens of millions and is a friend of the Camerons.

Deutsche Bank was the central pivot of the LIBOR fixing scandal. In the great banking crash it wrote off 92 billion dollars of junk assets that Folkerts-Landau had failed to notice was a liability. Today its share price has fallen even below the 2008 levels it reached after that write-off, and the German Finance Minister has just announced his full confidence in the bank and that there is nothing to worry about. Deutsche Bank shares have fallen 40% in a month.

Who the crooks and shysters at Deutsche Bank think they are to tell an entire nation of hard working and talented people that they are inadequate is beyond me. As for Scotland, this week a new natural gas facility came into production which by itself can supply all of Scotland’s natural gas needs for the next sixty years.

Deutsche Bank, feel my schadenfreude. No matter how badly we do post independence, was cannot possibly be as economically incompetent as you.

Doubtless Folkerts-Landau has a lifestyle and finances well-protected from the fate of the bank he has been skimming for decades. Should banks actually start collapsing again, I shall advocate immediate revolution as the only possible ethical stance if the politicians again move to bail them out with ordinary taxpayers’ money.

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Anguish as North Korea Marches Into 1955

By nearly having an intercontinental ballistic missile and not quite nearly having a nuclear warhead and detonator small enough to fit on it, North Korea has brought its military technology almost to the point of being just sixty years out of date.

The panic this has caused is not unjustified, as nuclear weapons are a terrible thing. Hundreds of thousands of column inches have been deployed by mainstream media all round the world. This from the Economist is a fine example of the top intellectual thinking upon which the elite consensus prides itself.

It is also a perfect exemplar as it illustrates a defining characteristic of all this week’s analysis following the North Korean missile test. Nowhere at all does it mention Trident missiles. Nobody does, because they are obviously a total irrelevance and in no sense enter the calculations of Kim Jong Un.

When the establishment writes serious stuff about North Korea, they never ever mention Trident, because they would look stupid.

Yet strangely, when they write about Trident, they always mention North Korea. We need Trident, they say, to deter rogue nuclear states like North Korea.

Extraordinary, isn’t it. Apparently we have no need at all to worry about nuclear attack from North Korea, because we have the perfect deterrent by spending an astonishing amount of our national income on Trident missiles.

Except when people actually think about North Korea, when they realise that Trident is as much use as a chocolate teapot.

It is exactly the same with ISIS/Daesh. Nobody writing any of the millions of articles about ISIS/Daesh has ever written “but you don’t have to worry about them because we have Trident missiles.” Because they would look very, very, stupid.

But when Trident is under discussion, we hear it defends us against, err, North Korea and ISIS.

Now they throw in Russia. In all the reams of analysis of Putin’s Russia, nobody has ever been crazy enough to argue that nuclear attack on the UK (or even conventional invasion of the UK) is something Putin would wish to do. Because to claim that would look absolutely stupid. Plainly the desire of Russia to attack with nuclear weapons is at absolute zero. Anybody writing otherwise would rightly be written off as crazed.

Yet the Trident argument takes place in an entirely isolated political bubble, in perfect quarantine, in isolation from reality, where the elite are allowed to stand there and say it protects us from North Korea, ISIS and Russia and the mainstream media pretends this is not absurd.

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Karimov: “Homosexuality A Vile Western Phenomenon”

The appalling President Karimov of Uzbekistan does not mellow in old age. He has just given a speech in which he describes homosexuality as a “vile western phenomenon.” The only news report I can find adds that he said:

“If a man lives with a man, or a woman with a woman, I think that something there isn’t quite right, or some change has happened,”

I am told by someone who was present that he went on to order a still harsher clampdown on gays by the authorities. I have personal friends who were taken in by police and severely tortured for being gay in Uzbekistan. Yet the British Home Office still routinely refuses claims by gay Uzbek asylum seekers.

Homosexuality was in fact an accepted feature of Uzbek society until colonial occupation by European Russians (something which many other of my Uzbek friends find hard to accept, but undoubtedly true). Karimov’s assertion is therefore the diametric opposite of the truth.

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Guardian and STV journos Congratulate Murdoch Lackey on Blatant Lies About Me

For anybody who doubts the reactionary single voice the UK media has become, it should be obvious from what you see on the surface, eg the unanimity of attack on Corbyn, the SNP or Assange. But if that doesn’t help, look below the surface.

Ex-Hedge Fund manager, now Murdoch leader writer Oliver Kamm published a disgusting and blatant lie and smear about me. Very quickly, Nick Cohen, Hadley Freeman and Marina Hyde of the Guardian and Stephen Daisley of ITV were popping up sending him personal tweets to congratulate him on it.

Usually it is best to ignore the lies of far right Murdoch employee Oliver Kamm, but there is one lie about me which he has been spreading so assiduously I feel I have to counter it. In Prospect Magazine Kamm states that:

“Craig Murray, a former diplomat who’s imaginatively reinvented himself as a “human rights campaigner,” claims that the charges against Assange are founded on political correctness.”

This is absolutely untrue. I have said no such thing. What I actually said in an interview with Kamm was “Due to a mistaken kind of political correctness the British media refuses to publish all the details of the case.” You can hear it here.

There is a massive difference between saying that the media refuses to publish the facts due to political correctness, and saying that rape itself is a matter of political correctness. I abhor the latter view. As Nadira has asked me to remind you, my partner is herself a rape victim.

In this interview with LBC Oliver Kamm went on to insult and lambast me and say that I claimed that the rape charges were founded on political correctness. I tried to point out that I said no such thing, but LBC had cut me off. LBC later put up the version you hear on that link in which Kamm’s remarks are given in full and my own are edited. But it is very plain indeed that I did not say what Kamm goes on to accuse me of saying.

Kamm then tweeted that I had stated that rape is political correctness. Though this was plainly untrue to anybody who listened to the LBC link which he attached, he started to receive congratulatory messages from his friends on twitter. To anybody who has yet to catch on that the mainstream media functions in collusion, it should come as no surprise to learn that this Murdoch employee received personal tweets attacking me from Nick Cohen, Hadley Freeman and Marina Hyde, all of the Guardian, and from Stephen Daisley of STV.

Rape is an appalling crime. Any sex without consent constitutes rape.

But I do not hold that the truth or falsity of an allegation of rape may not be subject to scrutiny. Anybody who does hold that is handing unchecked power to the state to eliminate opponents. I do think it is deplorable that the British media has not published the detail of the case. Then people could learn this.

Kamm’s reactionary friends can congratulate him all they like. What he is doing is spreading a deliberate lie about me. But it may just lead to a few more people researching what is really happening in the Assange case, and that would be karma.

UPDATE

I contacted Prospect magazine and they have now changed the Kamm article to state what I actually said. It is still of course surrounded by Kamm’s ultra right wing mendacious interpretations, but at least it no longer says that I said something which I did not say. For the rest, Mr Kamm is entitled to spew the vile nonsense he is so well paid for by Murdoch, and his mates at the Guardian love him for.

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Why the Assange Allegation is a Stitch-up

I am slightly updating and reposting this from 2012 because the mainstream media have ensured very few people know the detail of the “case” against Julian Assange in Sweden. The UN Working Group ruled that Assange ought never to have been arrested in the UK in the first place because there is no genuine investigation are and no charges. Read this and you will know why.

The other thing not widely understood is there is NO JURY in a rape trial in Sweden and it is a SECRET TRIAL. All of the evidence, all of the witnesses, are heard in secret. No public, no jury, no media. The only public part is the charging and the verdict. There is a judge and two advisers directly appointed by political parties. So you never would get to understand how plainly the case is a stitch-up. Unless you read this.

The original post with all the links functioning and some 2,000 comments is here.

There are so many inconsistencies in Anna Ardin’s accusation of sexual assault against Julian Assange. Before ever meeting Assange, she had been expelled from Cuba by its government as a suspected CIA agent. But the key question which leaps out at me – and which strangely I have not seen asked anywhere else – is this:

Why did Anna Ardin not warn Sofia Wilen?

On 16 August, Julian Assange had sex with Sofia Wilen. Sofia had become known in the Swedish group around Assange for the shocking pink cashmere sweater she had worn in the front row of Assange’s press conference. Anna Ardin knew Assange was planning to have sex with Sofia Wilen. On 17 August, Ardin texted a friend who was looking for Assange:

“He’s not here. He’s planned to have sex with the cashmere girl every evening, but not made it. Maybe he finally found time yesterday?”

Yet Ardin later testified that just three days earlier, on 13 August, she had been sexually assaulted by Assange; an assault so serious she was willing to try (with great success) to ruin Julian Assange’s entire life. She was also to state that this assault involved enforced unprotected sex and she was concerned about HIV.

If Ardin really believed that on 13 August Assange had forced unprotected sex on her and this could have transmitted HIV, why did she make no attempt to warn Sofia Wilen that Wilen was in danger of her life? And why was Ardin discussing with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and texting about it to friends, with no evident disapproval or discouragement?

Ardin had Wilen’s contact details and indeed had organised her registration for the press conference. She could have warned her. But she didn’t.

Let us fit that into a very brief survey of the whole Ardin/Assange relationship. .

11 August: Assange arrives in Stockholm for a press conference organised by a branch of the Social Democratic Party.
Anna Ardin has offered her one bed flat for him to stay in as she will be away.

13 August: Ardin comes back early. She has dinner with Assange and they have consensual sex, on the first day of meeting. Ardin subsequently alleges this turned into assault by surreptitious mutilation of the condom.

14 August: Anna volunteers to act as Julian’s press secretary. She sits next to him on the dais at his press conference. Assange meets Sofia Wilen there.

Anna tweets at 14.00:

‘Julian wants to go to a crayfish party, anyone have a couple of available seats tonight or tomorrow? #fb’

This attempt to find a crayfish party fails, so Ardin organises one herself for him, in a garden outside her flat. Anna and Julian seem good together. One guest hears Anna rib Assange that she thought “you had dumped me” when he got up from bed early that morning. Another offers to Anna that Julian can leave her flat and come stay with them. She replies:
“He can stay with me.”

15 August Still at the crayfish party with Julian, Anna tweets:

‘Sitting outdoors at 02:00 and hardly freezing with the world’s coolest smartest people, it’s amazing! #fb’

Julian and Anna, according to both their police testimonies, sleep again in the same single bed, and continue to do so for the next few days. Assange tells police they continue to have sex; Anna tells police they do not. That evening, Anna and Julian go together to, and leave together from, a dinner with the leadership of the Pirate Party. They again sleep in the same bed.

16 August: Julian goes to have sex with Sofia Wilen: Ardin does not warn her of potential sexual assault.
Another friend offers Anna to take over housing Julian. Anna again refuses.

20 August: After Sofia Wilen contacts her to say she is worried about STD’s including HIV after unprotected sex with Julian, Anna takes her to see Anna’s friend, fellow Social Democrat member, former colleague on the same ballot in a council election, and campaigning feminist police officer, Irmeli Krans. Ardin tells Wilen the police can compel Assange to take an HIV test. Ardin sits in throughout Wilen’s unrecorded – in breach of procedure – police interview. Krans prepares a statement accusing Assange of rape. Wilen refuses to sign it.

21 August Having heard Wilen’s interview and Krans’ statement from it, Ardin makes her own police statement alleging Assange has surreptiously had unprotected sex with her eight days previously.

Some days later: Ardin produces a broken condom to the police as evidence; but a forensic examination finds no traces of Assange’s – or anyone else’s – DNA on it, and indeed it is apparently unused.

No witness has come forward to say that Ardin complained of sexual assault by Assange before Wilen’s Ardin-arranged interview with Krans – and Wilen came forward not to complain of an assault, but enquire about STDs. Wilen refused to sign the statement alleging rape, which was drawn up by Ardin’s friend Krans in Ardin’s presence.

It is therefore plain that one of two things happened:

Either

Ardin was sexually assaulted with unprotected sex, but failed to warn Wilen when she knew Assange was going to see her in hope of sex.

Ardin also continued to host Assange, help him, appear in public and private with him, act as his press secretary, and sleep in the same bed with him, refusing repeated offers to accommodate him elsewhere, all after he assaulted her.

Or

Ardin wanted sex with Assange – from whatever motive.. She “unexpectedly” returned home early after offering him the use of her one bed flat while she was away. By her own admission, she had consensual sex with him, within hours of meeting him.

She discussed with Assange his desire for sex with Wilen, and appears at least not to have been discouraging. Hearing of Wilen’s concern about HIV after unprotected sex, she took Wilen to her campaigning feminist friend, policewoman Irmeli Krans, in order to twist Wilen’s story into a sexual assault – very easy given Sweden’s astonishing “second-wave feminism” rape laws. Wilen refused to sign.

At the police station on 20 August, Wilen texted a friend at 14.25 “did not want to put any charges against JA but the police wanted to get a grip on him.”

At 17.26 she texted that she was “shocked when they arrested JA because I only wanted him to take a test”.

The next evening at 22.22 she texted “it was the police who fabricated the charges”.

Ardin then made up her own story of sexual assault. As so many friends knew she was having sex with Assange, she could not claim non-consensual sex. So she manufactured her story to fit in with Wilen’s concerns by alleging the affair of the torn condom. But the torn condom she produced has no trace of Assange on it. It is impossible to wear a condom and not leave a DNA trace.

Conclusion

I have no difficulty in saying that I firmly believe Ardin to be a liar. For her story to be true involves acceptance of behaviour which is, in the literal sense, incredible.

Ardin’s story is of course incredibly weak, but that does not matter. Firstly, you were never supposed to see all this detail. Rape trials in Sweden are held entirely in secret. There is no jury, and the government appointed judge is flanked by assessors appointed directly by political parties. If Assange goes to Sweden, he will disappear into jail, the trial will be secret, and the next thing you will hear is that he is guilty and a rapist.

Secondly, of course, it does not matter the evidence is so weak, as just to cry rape is to tarnish a man’s reputation forever. Anna Ardin has already succeeded in ruining much of the work and life of Assange. The details of the story being pathetic is unimportant.

By crying rape, politically correct opinion falls in behind the line that it is wrong even to look at the evidence. If you are not allowed to know who the accuser is, how can you find out that she worked with CIA-funded anti-Castro groups in Havana and Miami?

Finally, to those useful idiots who claim that the way to test these matters is in court, I would say of course, you are right, we should trust the state always, fit-ups never happen, and we should absolutely condemn the disgraceful behaviour of those who campaigned for the Birmingham Six.

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Kafka 2016

To my astonishment, the FCO Official Spokesman has just confirmed to me that the FCO stands by Phillip Hammond’s statement that the members of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are lay persons, and not lawyers. Even though every single one of them is an extremely distinguished lawyer.

I confess I am utterly astonished. I know there is nothing more dull than an old buffer like me droning on about falling standards in public life. But when I was in the FCO, the vast majority of colleagues would have refused to advance what is a total and outright lie, about which it cannot be argued there is an area of interpretation, doubt or nuance.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office officially states that the members of the UN Working Group are all lay people, and not lawyers. Given a chance to retract, they confirm to me that this is their official position.

I repeat again the cvs of all the Working Group.

Sètondji Adjovi (Benin, Second Vice-Chair) Adjovi, an academic and practitioner specialising in international criminal procedure and judicial reform, worked at the International Criminal Court and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before his appointment to the UN WGAD.

Mads Andenas (Norway, Chair and member until mid-2015) Chair of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention until mid-2015. Has previously held positions as Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London. Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.

Mr. José Guevara (Mexico, First Vice-Chair) Guevara is a legal academic and practitioner who focuses on Human Rights Protection and International Criminal Law. Prior to joining the WGAD, worked in the NGO sector, Mexico City’s Ombudsman’s office and in government in the area of human rights. Guevara is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s New Executives Fund leading the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.

Seong-Phil Hong (Chair-Rapporteur, Republic of Korea) An expert member of the Asian Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum and legal academic, Seong-Phil Hong has specialised in the case for reparations regarding Japan’s Enforced Sex Slavery during the Second World War and accountability for human rights violations by the North Korean regime.

Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine) A legal academic and practitioner whose expertise lies in international criminal justice and procedure. Tochilovsky was part of the Preparatory Committee and Commission that drafted the guidelines on criminal procedure for the International Criminal Court.

I honestly don’t know what to say, or to think, any more. When you have a government which believes it does not even have to pretend that its words and actions have even the remotest relationship to truth, I cannot conceive how society can continue to function in any direction other than fascist.

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Philip Hammond’s Astonishing Lie

The official statement by the UK Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond:

“I reject the decision of this working group. It is a group made up of lay people and not lawyers. Julian Assange is a fugitive from justice. He is hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian embassy.”

These are the cvs of the group (including the ex-chair who started the work). Hammond’s statement that they are lay people and not lawyers is a blatant, a massive, an enormous, a completely astonishing lie. Yet nowhere has the media called him on this lie.

Sètondji Adjovi (Benin, Second Vice-Chair) Adjovi, an academic and practitioner specialising in international criminal procedure and judicial reform, worked at the International Criminal Court and at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda before his appointment to the UN WGAD.

Mads Andenas (Norway, Chair and member until mid-2015) Chair of UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention until mid-2015. Has previously held positions as Director of the Centre of European Law at King’s College, University of London and Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London. Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Oslo.

Mr. José Guevara (Mexico, First Vice-Chair) Guevara is a legal academic and practitioner who focuses on Human Rights Protection and International Criminal Law. Prior to joining the WGAD, worked in the NGO sector, Mexico City’s Ombudsman’s office and in government in the area of human rights. Guevara is the recipient of the Open Society Foundation’s New Executives Fund leading the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights.

Seong-Phil Hong (Chair-Rapporteur, Republic of Korea) An expert member of the Asian Council of Jurists of the Asia Pacific Forum and legal academic, Seong-Phil Hong has specialised in the case for reparations regarding Japan’s Enforced Sex Slavery during the Second World War and accountability for human rights violations by the North Korean regime.

Vladimir Tochilovsky (Ukraine) A legal academic and practitioner whose expertise lies in international criminal justice and procedure. Tochilovsky was part of the Preparatory Committee and Commission that drafted the guidelines on criminal procedure for the International Criminal Court.

Leigh Toomey (Australia) An expert in the UN Human Rights system, Toomey has taught at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and has served as a UN human rights expert both in the capacity as an NGO representative and as a representative for Australia at the UN General Assembly and Commission for Human Rights.

It is worth noting that the UN decision accords very closely with the minority verdicts of the two dissenting UK Supreme Court judges in the deeply split UK Supreme Court decision on the case. So by calling the UN panel “ridiculous”, Hammond is saying the same of two UK Supreme Court justices.

You will not recall much media coverage of the dissenting verdicts in the UK Supreme Court decision. There was almost none. By contrast, the media are showing an obsessive interest in the dissenting Ukrainian member’s opinion in this UN decision.

Norwegian Professor Mats Andenas, the chair of the Working Group who started the work, has today stated that the UK and US put enormous political pressure on the members of the UN working group, which they had resisted courageously. Can anybody think of a reason why the dissenting Ukrainian member might have been less able to resist enormous pressure from the UK and US governments?

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Establishment Family Values

There has been a touching display of family values in the establishment’s full-throated attempt to roar down the United Nations today.

Joanna Gosling of BBC News won my prize for the news presenter who exuded the highest level of shrill indignation that the UN should dare to query the actions of the British Government. There was not, of course, any acknowledgement by the BBC that she is married to Craig Oliver, Cameron’s spin doctor in chief.

Meanwhile, over at Sky, Joan Smith of London Women against Violence was allowed a mind-numbingly long and uninterrupted interview in order to express her unmitigated certainty of Assange’s guilt. Nobody mentioned that at the time of the war crimes WikiLeaks revealed, she was the long-term partner of the Foreign Office minister, Dennis McShane (subsequently convicted and imprisoned for expenses fraud). Nor that she was appointed to her right-on sounding position by Boris Johnson, to whom she has been close.

To complete the picture Joshua Rozenberg writes as the Guardian’s legal expert. His piece is full of outright lies, including the remarkable one that Assange’s case was predicated on a claim of diplomatic immunity. The Guardian does not mention that Rozenberg is married to Melanie Phillips, the most barkingly right wing columnist in Britain (she still believes, you may recall, that Iraqi WMD lurk in a secret chamber under the Euphrates). Rozenberg shares with her the most ultra of Zionist beliefs.

Neo-con family values. You have to love them.

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Assange – A Fundamental Vindication

Julian Assange has never been charged with any offence. His detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. There has never been any genuine attempt by the Swedish authorities to investigate the allegations against him. Those are the findings of the United Nations.

The UK and Swedish governments both participated fully, and at great expense to their taxpayers, in this UN process which is a mechanism that both recognise. States including Iran, Burma and Russia have released prisoners following determination by this UN panel, which consists not of politicians or diplomats but of some of the world’s most respected lawyers, who are not representing their national governments.

Countries who have ignored rulings by this UN panel are rare. No democracy has ever done so. Recent examples are Egypt and Uzbekistan. The UK is putting itself in pretty company.

It would be an act of extraordinary dereliction by the UK and Swedish governments to accept the authority of the tribunal, participate fully in the process, and then refuse to accept the outcome.

It is worth noting that the UN judgement vindicates precisely the arguments advanced by Assange’s lawyers before the UK supreme court, that there was no genuine judicial process in train against Assange in Sweden. I cannot express this better than John Pilger:

The Assange case has never been primarily about allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden – where the Stockholm Chief Prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the case, saying, “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape”, and one of the women involved accused the police of fabricating evidence and “railroading” her, protesting she “did not want to accuse JA of anything” – and a second prosecutor mysteriously re-opened the case after political intervention, then stalled it.

The British mainstream media has never fairly reported the ludicrous nature of the allegations against Assange. The establishment is very keen that the public do not know. It is worth noting that the only notice this blog has ever received from Google, that an article has been removed from search results, referred to the article in which I detailed and demolished the allegations against Assange. The UK mainstream media today are reporting with astonishment the UN decision and still refuse to report the details of the allegations against him, or the fact that they were dismissed by Sweden’s most senior prosecutor before being taken up (as Swedish law permits) by an openly politically motivated prosecutor from another region.

It is absolutely normal procedure, all around the world, for regime opponents to be charged with trumped up criminal charges rather than with political dissent. And not just in China or Russia. They tried it on me when I blew the whistle on torture and extraordinary rendition, with eighteen formal allegations against me, several of them criminal. Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, the most senior woman in the US Army, testified that Donald Rumsfeld personally approved the torture techniques used at Abu Ghraib and the very next day she was “caught shoplifting”. Scott Ritter, US Marine officer and WMD inspector in Iraq, was convicted of engaging, just after going public on absence of WMD, in online paedophile activity. We don’t know for certain what they did to David Kelly.

Anybody who believes the neo-con countries do not persecute dissidents is naïve in the extreme. The indignation at the UN calling them on it is both hilarious and chilling.

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