On Being a Dissenting Voice in 2018 863


The site is just back up at 16.42 on 21 March having managed to slip like the Tardis into another dimension and thus dodge the massive DOS attack we are under. over 50,000 separate IP addresses simultaneously throwing up millions of hits. The attack has not actually stopped and does seem to have a human intelligence changing terms and directing it, which could make for an interesting afternoon. Once our excellent techs get a minute from fighting it, we will post the cloudfare graphs as evidence.

I just thought I might give you a little taste of what it means to your personal life to express dissent from the government line in the UK in 2018. Let me start with this combined effort from the UK’s most popular website, Guido Fawkes, which fanatically supports the government, and the Blairite crew at “The Guardian”.

The red ink is original.

Now it is true that, when I was sacked as Ambassador by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for blowing the whistle on extraordinary rendition and the Blair government’s misuse of intelligence from torture, I went into a terrible depression and voluntarily spent ten days or so in St Thomas Hospital (not a mental illness facility) for treatment. I have never tried to keep this secret, indeed it is a major part of my memoir “Murder in Samarkand”. It is also true, as I have always acknowledged, that I have had other less serious depressive episodes treated at home and been diagnosed as bipolar since I was 20.

That we stigmatise anybody who has ever had a mental illness, write them off and view their views, on anything, as invalid, is an attitude I had hoped we had moved past last century. Indeed, if this hatchet job was done on anybody writing within the Overton window, then the Guardian would be dedicating editorials to condemning it. We have in fact moved to the old Soviet position, where disagreement with the official line equals mental illness. I quite confess this sort of thing does in fact hurt me – if you cut me, do I not bleed?

The use of the term “conspiracy theorist” has been used to denigrate my views, ever since Jack Straw as Foreign Secretary lied to Parliament denying that the UK ever obtained intelligence from torture and denying the existence of the extraordinary rendition programme, which I was supposed to have fantasised. Anyone interested in this history can watch this series of videos of my evidence to a Parliamentary Committee on the subject. It explains why I start nowadays from a position of being so hated by the British state and its acolytes, and also of course enables you to judge for yourself whether I should be ignored as insane.

Ever since then, the state and corporate media have described me as a “conspiracy theorist”. Even though there is now acceptance that extraordinary rendition did happen and presumably they, somewhere inside, know I was telling the truth. I find people are taken aback to discover, for example, that I broadly accept that there was no US government involvement in 9/11 (other than minimising the Saudi role) and 9/11 discussion is banned on this blog – [warning it still is].

I cannot in fact conceive of a more outlandish conspiracy theory than that the Russian government secretly manufactured and stockpiled novichoks, hidden from the OPCW, and secretly trained assassins, only to blow the whole operation on a retired spy they let out of jail ages ago. Yet nobody calls Boris Johnson a “conspiracy theorist” for positing that.

But the abuse is not confined to what people publish about me. I receive some extremely unpleasant emails of which this is an example:

I do hope Mr Temis can get money back on his anger management sessions. But there has been rather a lot of this, including some by old fashioned mail. which I find myself prodding suspiciously before opening :-).

There is of course an open effort to extend the term “anti-semitic” to embrace any criticism of Israel. It is also particularly used by Blairites to attack anybody taking any position seen as supportive of Jeremy Corbyn. I am not in the least anti-semitic. Jewish people have made a disproportionate, indeed magnificent, contribution to the world in the fields of science, music, literature, commerce and others. That does not alter the fact that Israel is a rogue state when it comes to chemical weapons, the subject currently under discussion. It refuses to ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroy its chemical weapons stocks, and refuses to join the OPCW.

Plainly someone attacked the Skripals. In stating that it is not the case that Russia was the only state who could have done it, I have included Israel amongst other possibilities. Israel might wish to frame Russia for the deed, as Russian actions in Syria have severely conflicted with Israeli ambitions in Syria and Lebanon. But I have never said it was, or was most likely to be, Israel – it could be the CIA framing Russia, it could be a non-state actor entirely (which I am inclined to think most likely – this could come from those close to a victim of Skripal’s treachery, though I still think the Orbis intelligence connection has been overlooked).

Some of the most vitriolic abuse has come from state and corporate media journalists. Falsely categorising me as an insane racist allows them to ignore any challenge to the establishment line on Salisbury and absolves them, in their own minds, from any dereliction of duty in not questioning it.

In a chilling example of the way they move to crush dissent, here a prominent Blairite corporate media journalist, James Bloodworth, attempts to ensure that consideration of other possibilities than the government line is not carried even in the private domain. He harasses and bullies an individual attempting to force him to accept Mr Bloodworth’s version of what I had said, rather than what I had actually said. When Mr Law (who as a lecturer in philosophy presumably has an attachment to intellectual honesty) refuses, Bloodworth sanctions him by pulling out of his literary festival.

It is very difficult to understand what is happening in the UK today, but when the BBC on its flagship news programme holds a discussion of the Salisbury attack under a huge photo-shopped picture of the leader of the opposition in a Russian hat standing outside the Kremlin, it is plain a fundamental shift has happened in society. The Salisbury attack has perhaps taught us something massively more important than any of the stuff about chemical weapons, and that is that Britain is further along the road to becoming an authoritarian state than we had realised.

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863 thoughts on “On Being a Dissenting Voice in 2018

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  • Sebastian

    In our post truth world, conspiracy theory debuncked by being written into history books as conspiracy fact (rendition, mocking bird, gladio….) remains conspiracy theory ! The stigma is indelible.
    It’s not possible to “win” in discussion on those terms. Its about Humpty Dumpty’s question of whose is to be Master: Boris “Juggalo” Johnson has most masterfully traded in his clowns soap box for a pulpit of apparently huge height and moral authority. I’ve an idea that the only thing he really knows with absolute certainty about it all is that an almighty distraction from the fiasco of brexit is worth almost any price, to him. He’s run so far ahead of the evidence in his haste to escalate the tone of ritual defamation he fully deserves a place in the dock at the Hague. Clowns do have this reputation of having a sinister side…

  • Mary Paul

    So far no-one has come up with a reasonable motive for anyone doing this. Los of outlandish motives yes: The British themselves, to divert attention from Brexit? The Russians because that’s what they do to anyone who upsets them? The Israelis, because they don’t like the Russians? The Ukrainians because they don’t like the Russians? The CiA to frame the Russians? I mean this is crazy talk, next thing we shall be told Craig stole some Nivichok when he visited the development site and has now planted on. Russian to get his own back on the British government. Of course it is crazy, frankly it is all crazy. None of the motivations above is enough to use military strength nerve gas on the British High Stre

    Do you know what this reminds me of? Not Iraq but poor young Jean Charles de Menzeez being shot on the London underground by badly briefed policemen in the course of acted first attack on London and the subsequent attempts by the Met police to cover their tracks? Same sort of febrile
    atmosphere; the same apparent use of eye witness quotes which turn out to be unsubstantiated and later untraceable to anyone, is typical of the Met PR machine at this sort of incident . As Londoner I find the general behaviour of the police here very dispiriting! They seem to be staffed at senior levels either by dull career nonentities (“a safe pair of hands” ) or by political appointments where ability takes a back seat to ticking the right boxes, post MacPherson. Some appear to be both.

    What do we actually know?. Skripal and his daugter were poisoned, so was the first policeman on the scene. The Skripals current condition ? No one knows. The policeman, apparently better but never seen since. However the poison has been identified by staff Porton Down as one of the most deadly nerve agents in existence, first developed in secret by the Russians in the late 1990s. I’m with Putin on this why aren’t they all dead? Mmaybe they are. Certainly we are not bring told anything and what we are is confusing and contradictory. The woman doctor who examined Yulia, (we are told) wouldn’t send isolated under closed watch at first? Or the other day we were told the cab which drove Yulia from the airport had been impounded. Now we are told it was the silver pick up of a friend which collected her and has been confiscated. Was it even a Novichok nerve agent?

    The press seems to know nothing not even in the States.The only doubt I have about the Russian involvement is that Mrs Merkel seems to believe it and she is notorious for not making up her mind without requiring facts. I do think by the way that Skripal could have been working his old contacts and annoyed the Russians but to kill him with nerve gas on the British streets simply does not make any sense, even by Putin’s standards, why not an assassination in the night like Glushkov? They know the British police will rubber stamp it at the inquest?

    Now has anyone got a sensible theory for what happened.?

  • Mary Paul

    Sorry some typos seem to have crept in and cannot see an edit button. so think it still makes sense. 😉

  • Dumb Unicorn

    “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”


  • Phil Espin

    Guido who? James Bludger who is he? Non entities compared to you Craig, you are the man!

  • Sharp Ears

    The gangsters-in-charge have successfully removed the 23 Russian Embassy staff (Q why was it 23?) but they will have more difficulty in deporting other humans secretly from this country.

    Vanessa Redgrave wrote:
    Can I add my support to the letter on deportations (17 March). They are worse than shocking; they break international UN law which the UK is signatory to, and the European convention. The cuts to legal aid and the private security companies exist side by side with the deportations. Under the present and previous governments Britain has become a sordid, cruel, lawless country which has demolished the most precious and necessary elements of a democracy.
    Vanessa Redgrave

    in reply to this joint letter

    Secret deportation flights must stop
    David Ramsbotham, Caroline Lucas, Naomi Klein and Philip Pullman are among those calling for charges against the Stansted 15 activists to be dropped and for the Home Office to cease chartering flights for deportation
    ‘Last March, 15 people chained themselves around a deportation charter flight for 10 hours to prevent it taking off. The Stansted 15 were subsequently charged with a terrorism-related offence and their trial starts on Monday. If found guilty, they could serve many years in prison. Secret deportation flights take thousands of people from our communities every year. Parents, friends and neighbours are targeted on the basis of their perceived nationality and snatched to fill a flight that the Home Office has chartered. Many critics have argued that like Trump’s “Muslim ban”, these deportations are unjust and racist. Violence and abuse from security contractors have been documented on these flights. Most people would be horrified if they were aware of the nature of this process.

    The Stansted action was the first time a deportation flight has been grounded in the UK by people protesting against the immigration system. People who would have been forced on to the flight were able to stay in the UK because of the action, as it gave them time to have their applications heard. People across the UK are standing together to stop the Home Office breaking up families and tearing communities apart. We call for all charges against the Stansted 15 to be dropped and for the Home Office to immediately cease chartering flights for deportation.’
    17 March 2018

    • Ba'al Zevul

      23? Probably because they were all being undiplomatic in their activities. And protocol has been observed by Russia returning 23 of ours. Probably as well that this one doesn’t escalate – as the UK’s Ambassador to Moscow said, following a similar exchange of shady personnel:
      “Never engage in a pissing match with a skunk: he possesses important natural advantages”.

      • MJ

        Indeed. If this goes pear-shaped from the UK’s point of view we’re in big trouble.

      • KMG

        Why 23, you ask. Why indeed. Do you remember Mr Murray’s post on the last time these expulsions happened? —

        “There is a fascinating precedent for Putin’s refusal to retaliate for the expulsion of 32 Russian diplomats by Obama, an easy diplomatic win on the international stage. In 1985, my first year in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Margaret Thatcher expelled 25 Soviet diplomats identified as spies by a defector (from memory Gordievsky), and later a further six.

        In return, the Soviets expelled 25 British diplomats – all of whom were not spies. This was a brilliant move which caught the British government completely on the hop. Such a high percentage of our “diplomats” in Moscow were spies, that it was a practical impossibility to accidentally expel 25 who were not. In other words the Soviets had just informed us that they knew exactly who our spies in Russia were. That sent such a juddering shock though the FCO it even reached this bewildered new entrant. Secondly, spies of course do nothing useful or practical, and expelling 25 actual diplomats was a much more crippling blow to the work of the Embassy. The FCO does not have lots of Russian speakers standing around doing nothing, ready to step in and replace.

        I don’t claim any great reason for retelling this, except it is interesting and I have never seen it published elsewhere.”

        • reel guid

          In 1971 British Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home expelled 105 Soviet diplomatic staff for alleged spying. Yet the following week Douglas-Home was holding talks with his opposite number Andrei Gromyko about disarmament.

  • reel guid

    Prince Harry and Meghan have chosen an organic lemon and elderflower wedding cake. Nicholas Witchell will have this very important story covered for us all. And the BBC promises not to show a photoshopped pic of Jeremy Corbyn with a bakery product on his head.

    In other cake news, Ruth Davidson is to take time out from trying to scupper devolution to appear tonight on Celebrity Bake Off. But it’s all in a cause very dear to her………….. The advancement of Ruth Davidson.

    David ‘Boo Radley’ Mundell is still in hiding.


    Hello Craig,
    I grew up with this kind of accusations and blaming…( behind the Iron curtain, in east germany)
    Back then one got called an agent of imperialsts or fascists.
    Not that it might be any consolation, but it gets easier after a while, by now this only slightly bemuses me…
    All the best Julia

  • John

    Real dissenters living under quasi-fascist, authoritarian regimes tend to end up economically ruined, injured, imprisoned, dead or invited to leave the country speedily. Mr Murray draws the generous civil service pension he’s entitled to and continues to lash out about anything and everything that takes his fancy without let or hindrance.

  • MJ

    “What do we actually know?. Skripal and his daugter were poisoned”

    Not sure we even know that. If a nerve agent was used the victims were not taken to a hospital within the Salisbury NHS Trust. We do know that. The entire novichok story may be just (what Hitchcock used to call) a “McGuffin”.

  • Elizabeth Thomsen

    God bless you Craig for your dilligent and skilled work. You were never never never the least bit out of balance or dillussional. To be sane and seeing in the current climate is a massive show of strength. Do always remember 🙂

  • Thoughtful Semite

    As a “semite” myself, I can’t help but find the reflexive viciousness of Mr. Temis’ reaction to your perceived antisemitism as being deeply ironic. If, as he implies, Jews’ reaction is to kill anyone they perceive as antisemites, then perhaps it’s not so far-fetched to think Mossad poisoned Skripal to punish Putin for his stymieing Likud policies in MENA.

  • Graham Lester George

    Stay with it Craig. You are one of an important minority. A voice of measure and sanity in this criminally crazy farrago that May and Co have cooked up to serve to the country by the ladleful. Whatever the truth turns out to be, your close eye on the known facts is helping to prevent the country being further railroaded into conflict on the basis of lies. I support and applaud your efforts, and am following your every post with great interest.

  • Emanuel

    Having witnessed several episodes of successive Governments “benevolence” towards countries like Iraq, Libya and Syria out of alleged concern for the welfare of their people, I would have though it must have become common knowledge that “bringing democracy” to these countries is a euphemism for destruction for no reason other than complying with directives for the benefit and at the behest of some entity.

  • Harry Law

    Craig Murray you are being given dog’s abuse for trying to stop the Government and braying Journalists from betraying the fundamental and first principal of Natural Justice ‘hear the other side’. The right to a fair hearing requires that individuals should not be penalized by decisions affecting their rights or legitimate expectations unless they have been given prior notice of the case, a fair opportunity to answer it, and the opportunity to present their own case. The mere fact that a decision affects rights or interests is sufficient to subject the decision to the procedures required by natural justice. In Europe, the right to a fair hearing is guaranteed by Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. In this case the UK Government have breached Article 1X of the OPCW . “Without prejudice to the right of any State Party to request a challenge inspection, States Parties should, whenever possible, first make every effort to clarify and resolve, through exchange of information and consultations among themselves, any matter which may cause doubt about compliance with this Convention”,
    Until all the evidence is in [could be months] nobody can know who did it, you have not accused anyone yet, and quite right too, unlike that smirking human scum Boris Johnson.
    Everyday you can look in the mirror and say I acted according to the facts, and in line with natural justice, and sleep soundly.

  • mogabee

    Allow me to add my voice to those others who cannot watch the MSM or press without thinking they are holding the T May government line and wish to have no part of it.

    Never mind “I am Spartacus “… “I am a dissenting voice”

  • Loony

    Here is a Russian view of the West


    It would be nice to write this off as simple propaganda – and so I am sure it will be. But, here is the thing: You could replace the word Russia with the phrase “British working classes” and it would all make perfect sense.

    The mass of the population are preparing themselves to resist the lies and idiocy and there are some who understand this. Hence the race is on to implement a fully fledged police state prior to the genie getting out of the bottle.

  • Durak

    It is extremely worrying how the narrative has emerged and controlled and would be suspicious no matter.

    I worked in Pathogen storage in many CIS countries until 2007 and the lack of security was scary then, in Uzbekistan the NCDC in Tashkent was a crumbling complex with no security and extremely poorly paid (but dedicated) Scientists. Same story in Georgia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan. Poor facilities, lax security. Coupled with (common) weak software controls for tracking (written in Visual Basic!).

    If this happened even ten years ago or so (as in Litvinenko. itself a murky case) dissent could be brushed aside as it would be unlikely to see the light of day through such media as social and blogs.

    That the power of the masses through the internet must scare the elites, petrify them, shows jow the emergence of “fake news” offering alternative Neoliberal narratives came about.

    I think this time they completely underestimated the response of the public – who are in many cases sick to the teeth of being lied to daily.

    Well done Craig.

    • Agent Green

      Agree. If Craig was just talking nonsense they would ignore it.

      They attack because he is closer to the truth than they can stand. They hate people who don’t follow the narrative that they create. Hence the hatred for RT and other less mainstream places.

  • Durak

    Was once approached by the British Military attache in Moscow in a dodgy Moscow bar (Boarhouse)….. after handing him my business card (BioWeapons Prevention Programme Deputy Manager on prominent display)… his card had a huge Union jack on it… looked kind of tacky…

    Thankfully didn’t return his calls as the less I had to deal with fellow Brits the better (and no wish to be on Russian radar).

    Don’t trust the fuckers an inch.

  • Bob Apposite

    Craig Murray accused Theresa May of being a “liar”.

    The woman who literally walked all of Britain through the 5 considerations that British intelligence used in constructing their probability assessment of “highly likely”.

    She was both 1. honest, and 2. extremely transparent.

    • MAB

      Theresa May once attributed her failure to deport a foreign criminal to the fact he had a pet cat, rather than her own inability to follow international law.

      She is the very definition of a liar.

      She is also repeating the exact same mistake.

    • John

      This has been commented on many times in (I think) all the threads over the last few days.

    • Republicofscotland

      From the link.

      “It was published in the Salisbury Journal – Dr Stephen Davis is the A&E Consultant at Salisbury Hospital – no retraction has been subsequently printed.”

      Looks like the MSM are ignoring it hoping it will go away.

  • Republicofscotland

    London is not providing Moscow with a sample of the substance that poisoned former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, because the Russian experts are able to quickly determine that it was not manufactured in Russia, Leonid Rink, one of the developers of the А-234, also known as the Novichok chemical weapons system

  • bevin

    You ought to feel exhilarated. The honest work that you are doing on this important question earns you the admiration of all fair minded people. You put the cowards and time servers, the careerists and the courtiers to shame. Of course they hate you far that, that hatred- in place of the contempt that they have for their gulls and victims- is a badge that you are privileged to wear. Your name and your record will be remembered long after the names of your enemies have been forgotten.
    That won’t buy you a cup of coffee but it is something.

  • KMG

    If our only source of news was the rabble-rousing MSM and the insane ramblings of Her Majesty’s Court Jester Bojo the Clown, and of She-Who-Would-Be-Queen Mrs May, then we would all be walking in circles wide-eyed and witless or queueing up at the doctor’s for happy pills. Thank you, Mr Murray for a most informative, rational analysis of the situation.

  • Republicofscotland

    London is not providing Moscow with a sample of the substance that poisoned former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal, because the Russian experts are able to quickly determine that it was not manufactured in Russia, Leonid Rink, one of the developers of the А-234, also known as the Novichok chemical weapons system.

    “Why do you think the British refuse to give a nerve agent sample to Moscow? Because no matter how hard the specialists try, the manufacturing technology always differs a little. It’s a kind of a ‘handwriting sample.’ It will immediately become clear that this is not a Russian technology.

    Sems reasonable to me, hand over a sample and have independent experts there when the sample is examined.

    “It [the Novichok-type technology] is commonly available for professionals…Any pharmaceutical corporation, any chemical corporation is capable of manufacturing it in their laboratories,”

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that the deadly substance may have originated from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

  • John Daniels

    Dear Craig,

    I have followed your statements with interest over the last few years and admire the brave stance you have taken on the issue of torture in Uzbekistan and the complicity of the western politicians with their attempts to muzzle those who speak out. I think also you have adopted the right attitude taken to the present imbroglio with Russia. We must stand with you to combat both the unthinking drift to authoritarianism and not to rush into the present hysterical condemnation of Russia without adequate or any proof. You are not alone Craig.

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