Scared of my Own Thoughts 351

In Doha last week I watched on TV an utterly contemptible speech by Theresa May in which she grasped for ideas to shore up the increasingly eroded Establishment control of the political zeitgeist. Yet more pressure would be put on the social media companies to curtail the circulation of unauthorised truths as “fake news”. Disrespectful questioning of the political class will be a new crime of “intimidation of candidates”. The government would look for new ways to boost the unwanted and failing purveyors of the official line by some potential aid to newspapers and their paid liars.

In short I did not merely disagree with what she was saying, I found it an extraordinary example of Orwellian doublespeak in which she even referenced John Stuart Mill and her commitment to freedom of speech as she outlined plans to restrict it further. I found myself viewing this dull, plodding agent of repression as representing a political philosophy which is completely alien to me.

I had a similar epiphany the week before watching the gathering at Davos. I have often been sceptical of the philosophy and motivation of the neo-liberal elite, but I have never before looked at them and seen them as the enemy. Yet after the super wealthy were rewarded for the financial collapse of 2008, by the largest diversion of ordinary people’s money to the rich in human history, as bailouts and QE, the steady but unspectacular economic growth of the ensuing decade has resulted in no significant real wage increases for the working person across the entire developed world, while the wealth of the 1% has more than doubled. There has been a curious but matching phenomenon whereby even the “third sector” representatives at Davos – the heads of universities and charities or the senior presenters from the BBC, for example – are themselves on over £300,000 a year and completely divorced from the lifestyle of working people, due to the abandonment of their institutions to corporate philosophy.

In short, as with Theresa May, I found myself looking at the inhabitants of Davos with utter contempt, as people whose philosophy and lifestyle I detest.

Then a couple of days ago I watched an uncritical BBC report of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria based entirely on film provided by the White Helmets, which plainly had zero evidential value. Given that the origins and motivations of the White Helmets are today known to anyone with an internet connection, the continued retailing of this repetitive propaganda is extraordinary. I felt contempt for the BBC journalists who were retailing it. In the last 24 hours Israel has carried out large scale bombing attacks on Syria which are undeniably illegal, and for once has acknowledged them brazenly. There has been very little media reporting of this. In a two sentence report on BBC News as I type, the second sentence was that the attack followed the downing of an Israel fighter, without mentioning that plane was itself illegally attacking Syria. The Israeli statement was given verbatim and no balancing view from Syria was given.

I am not comfortable with thoughts of contempt, disgust or hatred towards anyone. I have always held the view that people are entitled to their political views, and having different views to mine in no way makes you a bad person. I have been known to suggest that anyone who has all the same views as me must be in dubious mental health. I have tried to acknowledge common ground with people where it exists – for example I have always admired David Davis’ commitment to civil liberties. It is not the case that some of my best friends are Tories, but I do have Tory friends.

I was for most of my working life a fully paid up member of the Establishment, and reasonably comfortable with that. Even bad governments do some good. I was a Liberal and fairly well on board with the prescriptions of the party in the time of Charlie Kennedy. I am, I hope, a naturally friendly person and have always considered myself gentle and kind. It is certainly true my political views are driven more by empathy with the suffering than by rigid systems of thought.

I therefore am not comfortable being so stridently opposed to everything that is happening in the UK political mainstream. I am scared by the prospect of being the extremist nutter who mutters on about a worldview entirely at odds with the accepted narrative.

Yet I look at the world with disbelief. I see an economy that gives little opportunity for secure and fulfilling lives to millions of young people. I see the obscene lifestyle of the super rich. And I perceive that, contrary to neo-liberal propaganda, that is not the natural order of things but a direct result of the operation of institutions created by government and their use to channel the flow of wealth to a tiny minority.I marvel at the continuing Ponzi scheme of the UK property market. I see Africa plundered for its commodities and deliberately kept poor.

The panic-inducing correction in the world’s stock markets this week was triggered by news that unemployment was falling rapidly in the USA. That was “bad news” for the markets because it might result in workers getting better pay. There could not be a better illustration of the madness of the system. The world is suffering from a failure of imagination. Corporate ownership structure has developed in certain ways because of social conditions prevailing in the UK and Europe from the 16th century onwards. The development consists of the overlaid accretions of accumulated accidents of history. There is nothing natural or inevitable about current stock market models. The rational alternative – worker ownership of enterprises – is, however, not on any mainstream accepted political agenda.

Jeremy Corbyn and John MacDonnell are doing their best within the awful constraints of the Labour Party they inherited, but their economic proposals are nowhere near the radical change required. In Scotland, the SNP have put in place some commendable but very modest social democratic measures to increase taxes on the wealthy. But the SNP appears to have been seized by crippling timidity on the subject of Independence. There are worrying signs that Sturgeon’s evident lack of serious intent to push for Independence, is finally damping down grassroots activism, including on social media. Meanwhile virtually the entire political class of Europe has united behind the vicious suppression of Catalonia, with peaceful campaigners facing lengthy years as political prisoners. Those events, more than any, crystallise my understanding that a “liberal” political Establishment no longer exists.

In conclusion, either I am barking mad or the world is becoming a much darker place. As the position of the vast majority of people as helots to the super wealthy is further consolidated, the manufacturing of consent by the control of information becomes ever more crucial to the elite. I have never desired to stand outside society barking unheeded warnings. You have probably gathered that the last few months I have been inclined to succumb to the fact that my own life would be more comfortable if I stopped barking. But I shall continue – please feel free to warn me when I get over-bitter.

351 thoughts on “Scared of my Own Thoughts

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  • Smiling Through

    One of the things that draws me to your work, Craig, is precisely that you have been “a fully paid member of the Establishment”.

    I know that many who have never been part of that milieu also find encouragement in your insights and actions: you speak with knowledge, act with courage and fortify others in the uphill struggle for a better world.

    In so doing you also encourage me to seek out others who riskily step out of structures and positions of orthodoxy and reward to inform the wider world on important matters.

    This past week, for example, I much admired Jewish Chronicle editor Stephen Pollard and his staff for these revelations about someone who has been an important figure in the “Labour antisemitism” story that has been running since Jeremy Corbyn became leader:

    These revelations and Pollard’s powerful editorial – – could not have come easily to an editor in his key community role, but he took them and many of us are wiser as a result.

    Keep up the good work, Craig. We all need each other at times like these.

  • Xavi

    You’re just commenting on the world as it actually exists, Craig. To do otherwise, to start echoing the Orwellian chorus of the neolib, neocon establishment would just render you a complete ****.

    Btw, this Theresa May who’s calling for an end to the “abuse” of politicians, is she the same one who’s done everything in her power to ensure that politicians who sexually abuse kids evade any punishment?

  • Chrestomathy

    Please keep up the good work, Craig. I am one of very many who rely on you for insight into what is really going on.

  • reel guid

    I don’t think the SNP are really being timid about independence, although it has at times sounded like that.
    Sturgeon knows she is First Minister of a country whose people voted 55% No in 2014 and 62% Remain in 2016. She has articulated in interviews before that it’s her duty to explore all avenues on behalf of all the people of Scotland and I think she is a democrat who sincerely believes that.

    Once hard brexit is foisted on Scotland with no chance of anything better, then indyref2 will be called.

    Northern Ireland getting a far better deal and Scotland being walked over despite both voting Remain. Plans by the Tories to make the Scottish Secretary the de facto power in Scotland from a colonial HQ in Leith. These two things alone can provide the extra 5% Yes needs.

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Paul Sweeney Labour MP, attended George Sq demo, over equal pay for women. Sweeney’s party spent twelve years in the courts (the GCC) fighting against equal pay for women in Scotland.

      When the SNP took (GCC) they decided to give women the same wage as men, which will cost at least £500 million pounds, but it’s the right thing to do.

      • reel guid

        Yes Ros. Yet again Scottish Labour makes a mess and then sanctimoniously pretends that someone else did it.

    • Squeeth (formerly K. Crosby)

      Oh no, not the “bipartisan approach” cop-out. Either she’s a Snat or she isn’t.

    • fred

      Then again the headlines this morning regarding the SNPs child care minister and number one named person could well lose them 5%.

      “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      • JOML

        Fred, the link you provided isn’t “regarding the SNPs child care minister”. It concerns the former minister, who stepped down from the post after being suspended by the SNP last November. I suspect you knew that but weren’t thinking straight, with you salivating at the Sunday Post’s front page. That said, if the guy is found guilty, I hope he gets the punishment such a crime merits.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well Craig it’s good to see that what’s going on and not just in Britain makes you angry. It’s not a sign of madness or losing the plot or even a indicator that you’re somehow an oddball, no your anger is a sign that you realise what’s going on and it stirs your emotions because you care, which is perfectly normal, oh and you’re definitely not alone.

  • Bill Laing

    Craig you are not barking mad. You are expressing the fears that many have that the UK is sleepwalking into a downward spiral in standards of living, health care, and workers rights. The problem is that many of the electorate have got used to the government bye and large doing a passable job, and therefore don’t take an interest in politics, but now we have a bunch of lunatics in WM. “lead” by Theresa May, whose prime objective seems to be to keep her job regardless of the cost to the country, determined to push through BREXIT which will turn out to be the greatest act of folly perpetrated by any government in modern times.

    I sincerely hope that there are enough political aware individuals and groups in Scotland who can put a stop to this madness at least for Scotland, although I don’t wan’t our nearest neighbour to end up little better than a third world country either.

  • Nick Godwin

    Craig Murray’s observations echo very much my own thoughts and forebodings about this country. We are being led by the nose by a cynically inhumane regime, in hock to largely hidden dark powers, into social ‘kettles’ to act as investment fodder for the ‘establishment’ which is entirely self serving and determined to preserve and further its own material and social advantages completely indifferent to the wider well being of the community. The demolition of the NHS is a glaring example of the treacherous duplicity of the Conservative party, which has worked tirelessly and deliberately since Thatcher’s time to unravel the public health scheme. The evidence has been obvious to those paying attention, since at least the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, and before. We have been betrayed by the BBC particularly and much else of mainstream media. There are pockets of courageous and determined resistance, e.g. the anti fracking movement, Gina Murray, junior doctors and others. I speak as a now retired joiner cum teacher of 70 years old who never dreamt that we would see the present descent towards British neo- fascism.

  • Dr John O'Dowd

    Good to see you back and in form, Craig. Sadly, I think your assessment is accurate, fair and perceptive. I don’t think there is a single point with which I disagree. I don’t think either you or I have ‘dubious mental health’ rather the opposite. To have a clear-minded contempt for the present ruling order is a marker of sound judgement and clear sanity. The insanity lies elsewhere.

    You are an important voice in the present social and political wilderness. I would put you on the same plateau of sound judgment and inspired writing, as the likes of the great Chris Hedges.

    I do hope that you continue to observe, assess, analyse and write. A turn is coming. The world cannot continue as it is now – although the seeds of this were planted, as you say, a long time ago.

    I believe a crucial crossroads was reached in the First World War -the point of no-return was 100 years ago. I am currently reading the important new book by Jim MacGregor and Gerry Doherty (a follow up to their “Hidden History: the Secret Origins of the First World War.

    The new book “Prolonging the Agony: How the Anglo-American Establishment Deliberately Extended WWI by Three-And-A-Half Years”. is a truly eye-opening account of the nefarious activities whose continuation at Davos, you describe above.

    Dr Jim is a retired GP who worked in Alloa and Gerry is a former High School principal in Central Scotland – both men sane, lucid, douce Scots professionals of the old kind, who have performed an amazing feat of dogged research to discover truths our masters (and mistresses) do not want us to know, and present them in a highly readable form:

    Twenty years I would have dismissed their findings as ‘conspiracy theory’, but everything we know now – and can openly disseminate and discuss without Establishment editorial filters (censorship) through the internet, tells me that we are just scraping the tip of an iceberg of the utmost perfidy. That is why this medium is now under attack.

    Like you I received my Scottish higher education in the 70’s/80s – and at least received some training in the critical appraisal of facts, and a message that we must question everything and challenge all so called facts (Why is that lying bastard lying to me?)

    Universities are falling short in that mission – having been run over by the neoliberal juggernaut. Blogs such as your own, and other internet sources like Truthdig are our new university.

    You must keep going Craig. Believe me, your writing is some of the most accurate and rational around.

  • Mark Harper

    Thank you for confirming my own views about the course of humanity. One thing I do take heart from is that technology may unexpectedly lead to the downfall of the current corporate system with the end of money. Perhaps AI will develop to the point where someone sensible can at last take over.

  • reel guid

    The Herald reports that Davie McLachlan, a Corbyn supporter and Labour group leader on South Lanarkshire Council represented his party at a public event recently despite being suspended over alleged racist remarks to Anas Sarwar.

    McLachlan sat alongside party colleagues at the Labour Party table at a charity Burns Supper in Lanarkshire even though he is suspended from the party pending investigation.

  • Ian Coyne

    Just on your pessimism regarding Corbyn & McDonnell & measures towards worker ownership – Bob Cannell from UK worker co-operatives reported very favourably on their meeting with Rebecca Long-Davies last week. Said there was a keenness he had never experienced before in meetings with government or opposition representatives.

  • Alexander Harper

    For God’s sake don’t give up, Craig, being a voice crying in the wilderness is not much fun but actually there are many people like you in the wilderness, who cannot articulate their feelings or analyses of the situation as well as you can and who count on hearing from you.

  • Republicofscotland

    With the state Britain’s in just now, the NHS, low wage economy, armed forces slashed, the poor and disabled vicitimised, and of course the Tory government in complete dissary. Due to infighting and squabbling over Brexit.

    Well you’d have thought that Corbyn and the Labour party would find it a veritable walk in the park, to come surging up the polls, and be a hot favourite for the next government, but no.

    This latest poll puts Labour and Corbyn behind the Tories, even though the Tories in my opinion are toxic to the core. Could it be the voters don’t see Corbyn as their knight in shining armour?

    Or is this polls just a matter of little importance in a sea of polls?

    • reel guid

      If Corbyn had opposed hard brexit, tried to offer an olive branch to the party’s right wing and shown respect for democracy in Catalonia and Scotland then Labour would be doing far better in opinion polls than they are. His political skills are fairly minimal.

      • Xavi

        His political skills are what got him the largest labour vote since 1945, when we were told that labour was 30% behind in the polls. Two thirds of Labour constituencies voted to leave the eu. If he’d pushed the strategy the liberal media were demanding he’d have haemmorhaged seats throughout the north, Midlands and Wales, lost his job, and labour would likely be where the anti-Brexit lib Dems are .. 6% in the latest national polling.

        Btw, how many seats did the anti-Brexit SNP gain back in June?

        • reel guid

          The recent Survation poll had 66% of Scots wanting to stay in the EU. So it’s unlikely that the SNP’s pro-EU policy was a serious factor in their loss of seats last year.

          Corbyn’s certainly been tenacious to hold on to the leadership of Labour. But shrewd? No, I don’t reckon so. Going for a hard brexit policy was a major mistake.

          There’s a council by-election in Bonnybridge & Larbert ward for Falkirk Council next week. That will be very interesting.

        • Republicofscotland

          “His political skills are what got him the largest labour vote since 1945, ”

          More like, Tory policies got him the vote rather than his skills. Corbyn wasn’t even aware that Scots have a separate law, of that to England, he’s a fish out of water north of the border.

          As for Labour in Wales well, they must be at least neck and neck over policies, over student fees the NHS etc.

          As for the North (Eng) the Midlands and Wales, didn’t they vote to leave the EU? In doing so and voting for Labour, of which Corbyn is against EU membership, at least his job whether it be backbencher or leader will be safe eitherway.

          Those area’s that you cite however, highlighted in the Brexit Assessment Report, will see mass job losses.

          As for the SNP, who have their faults, they’ve been in power for eleven years, and are still popular, and are the largest party at Holyrood, where it matters.

        • reel guid


          Labour’s showing in 2017 was only the 10th largest percentage share of the popular vote they’ve had in a general election since 1945.

          • Xavi

            It was the second largest increase in labour’s share of the vote in the party’s history. My point being, that if he’d done what you wanted and allowed his policies to be dictated by the party’s right wing, labour would now be an electoral irrelevance.

          • reel guid

            Who said anything about him being dictated to by his party’s right wing? If he’d used the leader position to try and unite Labour then they would be a united party with a left wing leader. Surely something you would prefer.

            Or do you think Momentum is going to deselect each and every one of those Blairites and then a party with a slate totally full of left wing candidates is going to win over middle England?

          • Republicofscotland

            “My point being, that if he’d done what you wanted and allowed his policies to be dictated by the party’s right wing, labour would now be an electoral irrelevance.”

            Xavi, Corbyn still lost, what does that say? Attlee and Blair won with similar gains.

          • Xavi

            What does it say to you? That the swing to labour would have been even larger if the party continued offering up the same austerity-lite policies and a lib dem-type message re Brexit?

          • J

            “Xavi, Corbyn still lost, what does that say? Attlee and Blair won with similar gains.”

            What does it say? I’m surprised you haven’t actually followed the reasoning of your question to it’s logical conclusion. How does someone garner massive support yet not win an election? What has to happen for that to happen? To put it another way, how are some votes made to count less than other votes?

  • Paul Anderson

    I have found when I have been losing the battle against the absurdity of much of modern political that I have to focus on human resilience. Consciousness lags development and that has been a source of great pain for progressive or socialist minded people. Knowledge eventually overtakes the ignorant phenomenon that has such power today. Keep the faith.

  • Chris

    Hi Craig, please can you elaborate on the what you think are the origins and motivations of the White Helmets?

    Many thanks for all your hard work.

  • Sharp Ears

    I disagree about the Liberals. I have said this before. Yes Charles Kennedy was originally opposed to the war but later fell in and supported Blair. ‘We have to support our troops’ etc.

    As for their collaboration with Cameron in the coalition, well. All of that neoliberal legislation was enacted with LSD support including Lansley’s Health & Social Care Act, 2012 which has led to the privatisation and ultimate destruction of the National Health Service. Lansley even had an LD junior minister, Paul Burstow, who was previously the LD chief whip. Simon Burns and Anne Milton were the two Tories. Burns has left the scene. Milton is now an Ed-U-Ka-Shun minister, G*d help us

    PS Milton’s husband, a doctor, worked for Branson as Medical Director of Surrey’s NHS Community Services.. Branson lost the contract which ran for 5 years and took legal action against the local CCGs for ‘compensation’. YCNMIU. Branson went off with a large sum in £hundreds of thousands to add to his fortune.

      • Shatnersrug

        Sharp ears,

        Yes, the question of “what would the LDs ever be like in actual government” was answered loudly and clearly when the votes through Osbourne’d first budget, from then on it obvious that they would be the exact opposite of everything they claimed to be.

        Liberals live in a fluffy world of principal and freedom of thought until they see something that might effect their comfy surrounds and then something of the authoritarian suddenly appear. Even Craig, bless him has had moments of illiberality when his belief system has been challenged.

        Those of us on the left did not reach our political stance because we were born that way, it comes from years of seeing just how callous a supposedly noble liberal establishment can be when they think no one is looking.

        The Liberal is the worst of all hypocrites because he believes that his intellect will prevent him from ever doing the wrong thing, whilst using it to deceive himself from things he knows should not be. It’s why all liberal journalists end up alcoholics, to damp out their consciences. I say he because it is, after all, a very male philosophy.

        Craig is much better than that, I hope he comes to see that the system cannot be repaired and must be torn down if humanity is to continue.

  • nevermind

    Your own thoughts are shared with many more people than new posters here could possibly describe, Craig.
    The mainstream fake news providers are shrinking and more and more people are amalgamating from various directions to oppose this neo liberal charade that is being presented as Government.

    Just looking at the discourse one maintains with anti fracking groups around the country shows that environmental detriments put upon us and far more, on to our children galvanises people opening them up for related issues they never considered supporting before.

    We have much to give as a united people, stepping out of this rotten yellowed tent. Time to reconsider much of our energy policies, our agricultural policies and the relations with trading partners that has been present for a long time, has outlasted many Governments.

    I’ll second JSD warm welcome to long term readers/first time posters, expressing
    similarity of thought with Craig. Please take part, you are an essential part of the change we all want to see. I very much hope that one day the spirit of the Suffragetes will take hold over us to demand a fair and proportional voting system fit for the 21st century.

    • John A

      There is also the example of United Airlines. After waves of bad publicity including the video of the doctor being forcibly bumped off a flight after he had boarded, the United CEO decided to boost moral by giving the employees a pay rise – apparently United had been one of the worst payers in the airline industry and staff morale was rock bottom. Immediately Wall Street analysts reacted in horror saying to the effect that giving employees more money was ‘stealing’ from the shareholders, and therefore recommended United shares as a ‘Sell’.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Babak Fakhamzadeh,

      What stock market crash? The value of companies is measured in Fiat currencies, and like unemployment figures are exceedingly vulnerable to manipulation. The fact of the matter, is that most people whether employed or not, don’t actually produce work of any value. It’s as if they are on a hamsterwheel. The people who do work of any value, tend to get paid the least.

      If there has been a stock market crash, does that mean the value of these currencies has gone up? Is the pound in my pocket worth more than it was last week? Not according to the price of a pint I paid last night.


    • Geoffrey

      They did ,it is said,though not for the reasons Craig gave (that workers would be paid more) but because the market expected interest rates would have to rise.

  • CameronB Brodie

    The odd couple: Margaret Archer, Anthony Giddens and British social theory

    In her monographs on human agency (Archer 2000; 2003), Archer frames her analysis from two basic assumptions. She affirms the validity of the morphogenetic-realist ontology. Despite numerous criticisms, she reproduces her three-phase model of morphogenesis without revision to emphasize that the agent is always situated in an irreducible social context. Social reality exists
    independently of the individual. However, at the same time, she affirms not merely the existence of self-conscious human agency but its very dignity. She rejects the anti-humanist claims of many contemporary philosophers like Foucault, Baudrillard or Rorty that the ‘self does not amount to much’ (Lyotard 1984).2

    ‘As a social realist, I would seek to rescue social theory from both the postmodernists and their charitable humanistic defenders’ (Archer 2000: 21). For Archer, that rescue of social theory is synonymous with the rescue of the individual, although her individual is explicitly not the debased agent of Rational Choice Theory (Modernity’s Man) or the cipher of social norms (Society’s Being) (Archer 2000: 51–85, 86–117). In her later work, Archer maintains that in the first instance, practice is the central means by which the self is created;
    ‘the self emerges, meaning someone with a sense of the self formed through our embodied relations with the natural world’ (Archer 2000: 152). For Archer, practice is ‘pivotal’ (Archer 2000: 184). Plausibly, she claims that ‘what is central to human beings are not meanings, but doings’ (Archer 2000: 189). Of course, other animals are involved in ‘doing’ as well. For Archer, humans are
    distinctive because implicit in their doings are conscious intention and, in the course of their activities from birth onwards, they begin to develop self-consciousness; they become reflexive. As they engage in practice, humans develop emotions and a personal identity. This personal identity is not forced on them from outside, however. It is an emergent property of individual
    human action. Decisively, in this process of self-creation, humans are able to engage eventually in an internal conversation. As they develop a conscious ‘I’ who acts and a self-conscious ‘Me’ who experiences that action, it is possible for selves to consider the society around them, their place in and their actions.

    Selves are not simply the dupes of social groups, therefore; they are able to judge for themselves and adapt their perspectives and practices. Signally, Archer asserts that ‘social identity is necessarily a sub-set of personal identity’ (Archer 2003: 120). For her, personal identity has a priority and authority over group identity. Significantly, precisely because personal identity – the product
    of an internal reflexive conversation – is independent of social circumstances, it is a vital to the transformation of society.

  • Martinned

    I’ll leave you to your own thoughts about the British press, but if you’re so poisoned by Russian propaganda that you’re going to slander the white helmets, who did nothing but risk their lives to look after the victims of a civil war that no one else seems to care about, you deserve whatever hell you end up in, in this life or the next.

    • nevermind

      Martinned, it would not be for the first time that your neo liberal uncle stance here has given the impression of superior sour grapes. Whatever did the White Helmets need 100 million for?, when their caring sacrificial support for for civil war victims was the only philanthropic reason behind their existence?

      And how was it possible that their expertise on how to make bad movies had the BBC enthralled forever, with no critique or investigation into their claims/fake news?
      What of their military expertise, their knowledge and expert use of stolen chemical weapons?
      Maybe your gullible support from Holland would be better served on the ground.

    • Republicofscotland

      The White Helmets founded by a British army officer and private military contractor. He’s a product of Sandhurst he served in various UK military/NATO military deployments over the past three decades, specifically Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Lebanon.

      The White Helmets have a budget of $70 million dollars. They were and might still be an important propaganda machine against Assad.

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Martinned, In support of what Craig wrote…

      ” I watched an uncritical BBC report of alleged chemical weapons attacks in Syria based entirely on film provided by the White Helmets, which plainly had zero evidential value. Given that the origins and motivations of the White Helmets are today known to anyone with an internet connection, the continued retailing of this repetitive propaganda is extraordinary. I felt contempt for the BBC journalists who were retailing it.”

      …You should read this. The evidence with regards to the White Helmets is overwhelming, and extremely well documented. I am amazed you didn’t realise you were being lied to.

      “WHITE HELMETS: Channel 4, BBC, The Guardian – Architects of ‘Humanitarian’ War”
      February 1, 2018 By Vanessa Beeley


    • Squeeth (formerly K. Crosby)

      Tell me about the Syrians who sacrifice their lives in front of US head-chopping, heart-eating, raping, slaving, firing-squads so that the black helmets can clear away the corpses.

    • Kempe

      You should know by now that any anti-west anti-establishment conspiracy theory has traction with the denizens of this blog no matter how obviously bonkers it is to everyone else. The white helmets have been the target of a sustained smear campaign by Putin’s propaganda factory and various fellow travellers which is believed, not because of the weight of evidence, there is none, but because certain people want to believe it.

      This dissection of some of the key evidence was carried out by C4 News. “Evidence” which is in the same league as that used to prove the presence of crisis actors at Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, Manchester etc; but then the same people no doubt believe that too.

      and they have the nerve to call the rest of us gullible. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.

      • knuckles

        Kempe – You don’t write for the guardian under the name Olivia Solon by any chance? Your positions sound vaguely familiar…

        Either way, when you state ”not because of the weight of evidence, there is none,” could you elaborate on what this ”none existent evidence” is in relation to? What are the charges against the accused?

        Also, could you explain to the unenlightened why the white helmets;civil defense are not allowed operate in Kurdish/SDF zones of control? Only FSA/AQ/AlSham controlled zones in Idlib and eastern Damascus. And why was the leader of the WH denied entry to the USA twice recently?

        Maybe if you also have the time Kempe; why are ”fact checks” from a British government owned, funded and controlled news organ a more trustworthy and reliable source of information regarding conflict in the Middle East than say a Russian government owned, funded and controlled news organ in your humble opinion? Is it that their propaganda is more relatable to you or something else?

        Many thanks.

        • Kempe

          If you’re talking about C4 they’re no longer government funded.

          Having read the C4 news article do you still believe Bartlett’s claims that those three girls are one and the same person?

          The White Helmet’s leader was allowed in the USA after the visa problems had been sorted out.

      • SA

        Do you ever ask yourself why the BBC and channel four always present anything to do with the White helmets purely in terms of their (mostly staged) rescue operations of civilians without discussing the context of a supposed civil war in which the party they side with is always rebels associated with Al Qaeda? The BBC rarely get the SAG point of view on any reports.

        • Kempe

          Always “the White Helmets operate in rebel held areas therefore must be in league with the devil”. They operate in rebel held areas because they are there to replace the Syrian government civil defence force which for fairly obvious reasons can’t operate in areas not under government control.

          “Mostly staged”. Why do you need to believe that?

          • SA

            I do not ‘need’ to believe that. I believe what I see. I have seen enough of these events to understand how people behave in situations that are depicted and how clearly they do not behave in the same way in the WH ‘docupropoganda’
            The Red Cross, I believe, works across both fronts. It is not only the coincidence of where the WH work but also the close proximity of thier activity to AQ and the lack of attempt to distance themselves from the fighters, in fact evidence abounds in social media of thier affiliation with all firms of Jihadis. Plus of course thier source of funding. On the other hand the same governments that so lavishly subsidise the WH, have, in thier wisdom imposed sanctions on the SAG with serious consequences to similar operations in Syria under government controlled areas and on healthcare and economic well-being.

          • Neil Youngson

            Have you ever asked yourself why no other first responder groups anywhere in the world have the time to make videos of their rescues? Obviously not. The reason is simple, they are too busy and focussed on saving the people who need help. There are on the ground video interviews with ordinary Syrians who say that the moment the cameras are turned off the white helmets walk away.

  • Jan coppinger

    Dear Craig, keep going. From a very ordinary mother and grandmother who is sick to death of the lies, manipulations, disregard and stupidity of our so called leaders.
    Best wishes

  • Brian Forrest

    Craig…the world is, indeed, becoming a much darker place…rapidly. And I, for one, welcome your barking and am happy to be among your pack.

  • reel guid

    Davie Mundell still hasn’t appeared to talk about his government’s brexit assessment report. It says Scotland will be whammied, just as the recent Scottish Government report did. Yet Mundell dismissed the SNP report. Now he won’t publicly comment on the Tory one.

    He’s tweeted nothing about his government’s report. His few tweets in recent days have been about wholly unconnected matters. Including a tweet from Davie where he laments the trillions of pieces of plastic in the world’s seas.

    There you have it. A Scottish Secretary of State who can’t comment on a major report by his own government that forecasts economic disaster for Scotland. Oh, but he can publicly worry about empty Pepsi litre bottles bobbing about in the Indian Ocean.

  • Joost

    The world is ruled by criminals of the worst sort, of that I have no doubt whatsoever. The question is: how do we get rid of these evil psychopaths? How can we take our power back? They have us fighting amongst ourselves, or paralysed by apathy. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! TAKE DOWN THESE SO CALLED ‘LEADERS’! ACKNOWLEDGE NO AUTHORITY OUTSIDE YOURSELF!!!

    • fredi

      Indeed,we do live in darker times .

      However this bit is plain wrong
      ” The panic-inducing correction in the world’s stock markets this week was triggered by news that unemployment was falling rapidly in the USA.”

      The stock market is (still) at eye watering highs, that’s why it has fallen, more sellers then buyers, it’s rarely ‘news’ (noise) that moves it, just mass psychology, fear and greed playing out. Expect more falls, fear has finally made a well over due appearance.

  • Elaine S

    No you aren’t barking mad Craig, I despair daily as to what the world has become and how much the people have given up the fight for all that is good, instead grumbling then lying down to it. The path we are following will be one so constricted that by time it hits people of the UK that we live under an authoritarian Government, robbed of our human rights and will be no better than any other oppressive 3rd world country, being jailed for daring to speak out at the UKGovernment, which folk who aren’t asleep, know that Tories have every intention of controlling the masses for decades to come through any form of corruption to win. No one who commits crimes, breaks rules in Tory party seem to be punished yet a starving woman who was handed a short jail sentence a few years back for stealing a mars bar. The world is sick and the lack of stand up against the corrupt and nasty Governments around the world will just mean it gets sicker and darker till the planet dies in hate. I have lived through many tough times, especially during Thatcher but unless Scotland gets the hell out of this union,every moral value and principle that we stood for and were handed down will be swallowed up in the world of Tories and all the future generations will know is a world full of hate and lies and authoritarianism. The limp and flacid people of Scotland is handing this future down to our Scots generations due to their inertia and lack of values and principles. We had them in abundance during Thatcher years when we fought back and fought back hard, Scotland apart from the pro Indy supporters, seem to have no moral backbone that they know the unionist parties and media are lying to them yet so many are I’m Alright Jacks that as long as they can pay their bills, have holidays and eat well, what happens around them to others is of no interest……until they themselves have lost their security and jobs but by then it will be too late. Brexit is just round the corner, dissolving our ScotParly is definitely on the cards when we have no longer the EU to protect it. I can’t even imagine a Scotland if unionists lost Scotland our only escape route and we’re trapped in the union from hell back under 100% Tory Authoritarianism and angry as hell. I foresee a Scotland at war within itself, no forgiveness towards unionists that inflict the hell we know is coming for Scotland and when there are 47% at least wanting Indy, no way will we shrug our shoulders and lie down and accept what Brexit will abuse us with. I was a unionist and Lab for decades, I look back and free of the Labour brainwashing I see they were and are as much an enemy to Scotland as the Tories, they just blamed everyone else for their failures like PFI/pension robbery etc. I wish I’d joined SNP a lot of years ago, they ARE the people’s party, not Labour, never have been Labour. I actually fear Brexit under these Tories more than anything I have ever feared in my life, I fear the future of this cold hearted world and I never thought that Bad would win over Good but we are getting there, Good is losing the battle unless these inertia people stand up with those that fight against it and turn it around for our future generations.

    • Mochyn69

      @Elaine S February 11, 2018 at 16:17

      Did you ever hear of paragraphs?

      I only say so because what you write seems sound, but it’s so difficult to read and thus negatively affects the impact of your message.

      Anyway, let’s all keep on barking, especially Craig! The time will come when it needs to be actions, not just words. That tinme is not too far away I feel.


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