Save Craig Murray 352


UPDATE 07/09 12:00 The Craig Murray defence fund has just sailed serenely past £50,000 in electronic donations in almost precisely 24 hours, even before any of the cheques have arrived. It is a perfect illustration of the grossly disproportionate threat to freedom of speech that is the English libel system, that this is not sufficient and we have to persevere with the appeal.

2,080 people have donated an average of £24. The largest single donation is £4,000. There are also hundreds of £3 and £5 donations which do really add up. I am absolutely stunned by the outpouring of kindness I have experienced – though in fairness I should mention the significant minority who say they are motivated by despisal of the Daily Mail.

ORIGINAL POST
I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of the Daily Mail Online. Mr Wallis Simons is demanding £40,000 in damages and the High Court has approved over £100,000 in costs for Mark Lewis, Mr Wallis Simons’ lawyer. I may become liable for all of this should I lose the case, and furthermore I have no money to pay for my defence. I am currently a defendant in person. This case has the potential to bankrupt me and blight the lives of my wife and children. I have specifically been threatened by Mr Lewis with bankruptcy.

Mr Wallis Simons boasts on his website:

In 2015, I published a series of articles exposing Jeremy Corbyn’s links with anti-Semitic figures, and this led to what is now known as the “Labour anti-Semitism scandal.”

It was my Sky TV appearance on this subject which led to this libel action against me.

It is my view that English libel law remains an international disgrace, a device by which the wealthy and those with wealthy backers, and only they, can stifle freedom of speech. Contempt of Court laws – with a penalty of two years imprisonment – even prevent poor defendants like me from putting their case openly before the public in order to appeal for a public defence fund. I am extremely limited in what I can tell you.

How can it cost just one party six times the average annual national wage to litigate a five minute TV broadcast? The libel system, with its in-built advantage to the wealthy and those backed by the wealthy, is a complete disgrace. Andy Wightman, the brilliant Scottish land reform campaigner, has been going through the same Hell.

I find I am obliged to beg you for funds to help me defend the case. I need to ask every single person who reads this blog to find it in their heart to make at least some contribution, as much as you can afford. The scale of this thing is such that I need to ask those of you who are comfortably off to make a far larger donation than you might normally consider. In practice we are going to need to include some four figure donations to make the ludicrous amounts required. But every single penny mounts up and please do give something.

If you have ever enjoyed this blog – join the fight. If you dislike this blog but support freedom of speech – join the fight. If you support the right to defend Palestine without being labelled ant-Semitic – join the fight. If you despised the anti-Corbyn media campaign – join the fight. If the Daily Mail sickens you – join the fight.

Every donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully received. The case will be heard in the High Court on 7 November. In the event of victory, after costs are met (even a costs award does not cover all actual costs) excess donations will be returned pro-rata unless you specify they should be applied to the future of maintaining the blog.

This is a question not only of the continued existence of this blog, but of the future well-being of my young family. It is unfair on you for me to place all of that in your hands, but that is the situation into which I am forced.





UPDATE 06/09 20:00 In just 8 hours we have received £21,790 in donations to the fighting fund. This is a fantastic start. 836 individuals have donated, making the average donation £26. The largest donation received is £1,000 and the smallest are £3. I am incredibly humbled and grateful that we are starting to have a chance. There have been so many kind messages, of which “you cast a lot of bread upon the waters helping others, Craig” made me greet for a bit. I have particularly enjoyed those from people who declare they agree with almost nothing I say but support free speech! About 60% of donations are from Scotland, but so far we have 22 different countries.

I really cannot express my gratitude enough.

On a practical point, a number of people have said they are not members of Paypal so could not donate. After clicking on “Donate”, just below and left of the “Log In” button is a small “continue” link which enables you to pay by card without logging in. For those who prefer not to pay online, you can send a cheque made out to me to Craig Murray, 89/14 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8BA. As regular readers know, it is a matter of pride to me that I never hide my address. A surprising number of people have asked for a Bitcoin option and we are working on it.

I found this interview by the lawyer who is suing me to be particularly interesting. I may say no more than that without danger of contempt of court.


352 thoughts on “Save Craig Murray

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  • Timbo

    Take Lewis and Wallis Simons to the cleaners please. Their threats are not wanted on this planet

  • Monteverdi

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/uks-foremost-libel-lawyer-sets-his-sights-on-israels-enemies/

    It’s interesting the title of this article in the Israeli Press explicitly states he’s targeting ” Israel’s enemies ” NOT ‘ alleged antisemitism in the UK. The paper deliberately conflating the two between its title and sub heading. Are we to assume this lawyer has taken it upon himself to be employed on behalf of a foreign power defending its brutal excesses as the newspaper implies ?
    This case is vitally important, as if successful its use of the easy libel laws for the rich and powerful will ensure a self-imposed, self censorship for all those advocating Palestinian rights. I have made my donation and more will follow. If you value free speech I trust you’ll give as much or little as you can afford. ( you don’t have to always agree with Craig to realize this is not just an attempt to close down this blog, but an attempt to personally bankrupt Craig Murray as a warning to others.)

    • SA

      That rule only applies to them not us. Thanks for this link, very revealing about countries who uphold the Rule of Law.

  • One_Scot

    Delighted for you Craig. I am honoured to be part of a group of people that are prepared to stand up and be counted when friends are in trouble.

  • Ishmael

    I have made a small donation.

    After quitting another of my more harmful vices recently I will also add tobacco to the list, so i’ll make another donation of that money soon.

    Heartfelt regards to you and your family Craig.

  • shugsrug

    I have contributed to the fund and will do again if needed. Apart from the issue of free speech, and skewed libel laws, it is utterly bizarre that effectively the Daily Mail is suing an individual who is honestly trying to tell the truth. Contrast this with the ethos of the rags. It is vital for our democracy that this be fought. The British establishment’s treatment of whistleblowers, as in the USA, is to treat them as traitorous, rather than what they are, the unpaid police safeguarding our norms and values.

  • Kev

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for many years Craig. It’s my first time posting a comment, but I wanted to express how delighted I am to help out and to give something back to you for the rewarding hours I have spent here

  • shugsrug

    Craig

    Another thought as opposed to crowd funding, which is in itself a good idea, might be this. Collect what is possible from your supporters as you are doing. In a week or two, establish the extent of that fund and close. Then ask if supporters will agree to indemnify you pro rata for your costs should you loose or win. That is, how many people support your cause would pay an equal share of any additional costs. This would give you unlimited funds to fight the swine, but a bit open ended for your supporters.
    Another idea would be to put that out as a crowd funding proposal. You might have unlimited support. You could restrict the proposal in many ways to limit contributors exposure. So 10,000 participants would say have a maximum liability of £10. You are then protected. Not my field but someone must know how these schemes can be made to work.
    I think you could muscle up another 10,000 followers, and give yourself some protection.

  • ash

    [Mod: Offer communicated to Craig by text / email.]

    Craig
    I’m a QC and I would like to represent you free of charge

  • RHill

    A useful idiot, who it would appear is in the employ of a particularly vicious foreign power attempting to silence free speech in the UK. Donation sent.

  • Mike alderson

    Hi Craig chucked a tenner into the pot and will add later. Don’t let the bastards grind you down. On an urelated issue there’s been a flurry of puff pieces In the
    Gruaniad last few days praising Mitchell and Webb. Stuck a comment on a thread relating to the Ambassador series in the hope that a few more will follow your website. God luck.
    Mike Alderson

  • Sharp Ears

    For information

    “The Labour right is planning a cull of Corbyn supporters through a vote at the party’s conference in Brighton later this month.

    7th September 2017

    The amendment could introduce ‘life bans’ for those, like Corbyn, who criticise the state of Israel.

    The witch hunt

    A motion has been put forward by the pro-Israel Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), supported by several Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs). It calls for the ‘life ban’ of any party member deemed to have engaged in antisemitic language or behaviour. On the surface of it, a positive move to tackle bigotry.

    But the Labour right’s new definition of antisemitism expands to include any and all criticism of the state of Israel. This is unhealthy, and dangerous. JLM National Secretary and Labour councillor Peter Mason explained the move in a column for the Labour List website. Originally entitled: “Let’s introduce life bans for the minority of bigots who shame the Labour party” it was later amended to something more subtle. ”
    /..
    https://www.thecanary.co/2017/09/07/labour-blairites-planning-cull-corbyn-supporters-surprise-witch-hunt-party-conference-editorial/

  • Andrea Klein

    We need truth and not the ministry of truth!
    Craig Murray is truth!
    We are losing our voices after we have lost our votes!

  • Node

    Spare a thought for Courtenay Barnett who regularly posts on this blog from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Hurricane Irma is imminent.

    • fwl

      Second that. Don’t know what your dispute is, but sorry to hear of the stress and expense.

      Also, shame to hear also about Andy Wightman’s difficulties. I am reading his book The Poor Had No Lawyers: Who owns Scotland (and how they got it). Definitely worth reading. Again though the sad lesson appears that idealists plan change, but to get it they need elite support. Then there is a switch eg John Knox reformation campaigner in Scotland found his ideals discarded. The nobles were only in it for the land grab.

  • John Goss

    After looking at Mr Wallis Simons’ Twitter account, and many of the articles he has written (I had frankly never heard of him before this blogpost) he appears to have an exalted view of Israel as being a paragon of all that is good. He may have forgotten, or chosen to forget, that on the same day Ukraine shot passenger plane MH17 out of the sky Israel waged genocide on the poor people of Palestine.

    Only a few years back Peter Oborne wrote this:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9740044/The-cowardice-at-the-heart-of-our-relationship-with-Israel.html

    Israel, not the people but the theocratic dogma and assumed superiority which propels the Israeli government, has no morals in its apartheid demolition of any who stand in its path to Middle Eastern control (I dare not use the Z-word for fear of moderator censorship and I sometimes wonder who controls comment content on this blog). Unfortunately this assumed superiority continues to this day. Israel is not pleased that a legitimately elected government in Syria is (with Russian support) fighting back the ISIS terrorists.

    http://theduran.com/syrian-victory-terrorists-deir-al-zour-horrifying-israel-israeli-tv-reported-israeli-concerns-advances-syiran-army-east-syria-deir-al-zour-one/

    And Mr Wallis Simons has the audacity to say what a great and progressive government Israel is in its support for LGBT rights without any mention of what is wrong with this apartheid regime.

  • Adel Amoura

    Never give up the good fight! God bless you for defending the freedom of speech. Expose the real enemies of the country and people.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I think this thread needs some comic relief. I just caught this on BBC (sign of cross) Radio 4. Absolutely brilliant (if not wholly accurate – he’d have found his pomegranate in the riverside Tesco)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b041yjp2

    Literally a laugh a minute. And I don’t laugh easily.

    • John Spencer-Davis

      Need some comic relief? Go and look at @ActivateBritain, which is not the parody account but the actual account of this supposed Conservative youth movement, on Twitter. They have currently pinned a Tweet up imploring Twitter to tell them how to delete the account, as it has been played with all evening by someone called “Joshua” who has tweeted ridiculous memes including an admonition to vote Liberal Democrat, and who responded to a tweet begging him to stop and saying “What do you want?” with “Your mum in the bath”, among much else.

      Total public meltdown, it has been very entertaining.

    • Peter Beswick

      Trump’s contribution in the satire section

      https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/09/07/remarks-president-trump-and-emir-sabah-al-ahmed-al-jaber-al-sabah-kuwait

      “During my trip to Saudi Arabia, I spoke to the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations about the need to confront our shared enemies — murderous terror groups that threaten all civilized people. Every responsible nation must work together to strip these groups of their territory, their financing, and the false allure of their evil ideology. “

  • Jim Matheson

    Although my view has changed because of the change if leadership in the Labour Party, I had an interesting and enjoyable conversation with you when returning from an Indy meeting at a church venue in Kirkcaldy. I was returning to Glasgow. I had read your book some year’s previously which told of your time serving as a diplomat during the build up to the Iraq war. If the book didn’t show me you where a morally driven person, our conversation on the train did. I don’t know the details of your case, nor the Sky interview that has led to the case brought against you. I am aware, however, that anyone who criticises the State of Israel, particularly those with a high public profile, then the knifes come out. I wish you every success in your present battle.

  • Paul Barbara

    I had a word in the ear of Geoffrey Roberston QC (who is representing Lula in Brazil in a rediculously bised legal system (circa 1820 ‘Inquisition’ system), who was speaking at Unite Union building in Theobalds Rd. tonight re Brazil, and after ascertaining he knew Craig, I informed him Craig was being sued, and asked him to check Craig’s blog.
    Hopefully he will get in touch, as he was interested; if not, Craig should get in touch himself.

  • Azzam Khan

    Reading this on Moazzem Beggs Facebook about to board a plane after a testing 12 hour departure process form Hajj.

    One of my first good deeds upon completing Hajj
    God bless your stance.

  • Peter wright

    Hi Craig send your account nr and sort code to me privately [email protected] if you win keep the money as security for the next we der who tries to urinate on your free speaking leg , I think so with crowd funding it’s possible to give people like yourself security in a world that is totally fu…. up hang in their guy and remember we have a date for a beer sometime when I return from Thailand to the UK for your actions in Uzbekistan you are for me a hero eu working document nr 13 is all I have to say

    • Disinterested Bystander

      The editor of Inside Croydon, Steven Downes, got threatened with legal action a few months back by the owner of the Boxpark development. The complaint was completely without foundation but nevertheless Mr. Downes incurred legal costs for which he had to set up a crowdfunding appeal to pay because, like yourself, he’s not a rich man.

      https://insidecroydon.com/2017/05/01/may-day-please-help-our-appeal-against-boxpark-legal-threat/

      It’s a disgrace when the rich and the powerful are allowed to abuse the libel system in this way to threaten people like yourself, Craig. I don’t always agree with what you say but I admire your decency and honesty so I’ve donated a tenner towards your fund.

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