Living in Goebbels Land 819

So a tiny independent radio station in Ireland managed to interview Robert Fisk on the ground in Douma, but none of the British mainstream broadcast media today has him on, despite the political fallout from our Syria bombing attacks being the main news story everywhere? Meantime MSM propagandists including Richard Hall (BBC), Dan Hodges (Mail) and Brian Whitaker (Guardian) and many more queue up to denounce Fisk on twitter from their cosy armchairs.

It bears repeating that the information on the alleged gas attacks – which raises great doubt but which Fisk himself does not claim as definitive – is not the most important part of Fisk’s article. The Hell of rule under the jihadists that we in the West are arming, funding, training, “military advising” and giving air support, alongside Saudi Arabia and Israel, is the indisputable and much more important element of Fisk’s report, as is the clear evidence he provides that the White Helmets are part of the jihadist factions.

To return to Scotland, I am sorry I shocked many of those who wish me well with the vehemence of my attack on Ian Blackford and the SNP for accepting MI6′ version of events, together with a renewed expression of my outrage at Nicola Sturgeon for having instantly supported Boris Johnson’s anti-Russian rhetoric over Salisbury without waiting for evidence.

My anger is not synthetic and there is a fundamental point here.

The question is this: whether Scotland wishes to become truly a different kind of state to the UK, or whether it is simply a case of a management buyout of the local NATO franchise. As the UK enters enthusiastically into a new cold war, that question is now a much sharper one.

The UK security services are Scotland’s enemy. The next effort at Independence is not going to look like 2014 – the British Establishment only allowed that because at the outset they did not believe there was a hope in Hell we could win. Now they are rattled. Our next effort at Independence will look much more like Catalonia. All the signs are that the current leadership of the SNP, who are so comfy having little chats with MI6 in their career break from investment banking, or who want to be an inclusive, unionist-friendly “Queen Mum” figure rather than campaign for Independence, do not have the stomach for the fight. What they do have is comfy, very highly paid, billets as a pocket of token opposition and diversity within the United Kingdom.

Nicola buying into the Johnson story of the new cold war is not a small thing. It is huge, momentous, epoch-defining in Scotland. And a fundamental betrayal of her voters.

A Fully Paid Up Member of the British Establishment

In the next street to where I am writing was born the great James Connolly. He wrote:

When it is said that we ought to unite to protect our shores against the ‘foreign enemy’, I confess to be unable to follow that line of reasoning, as I know of no foreign enemy of this country except the British Government

Note the British government are the enemy – not in any way the people of England. Anybody who cannot repeat Connolly’s statement with conviction is only pretending to be part of the Scottish Independence movement, and will falter as soon as Westminster says no.

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819 thoughts on “Living in Goebbels Land

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        • Rhys Jaggar

          I am half Welsh, 7/16ths English and 1/16th French and I agree too. But I did play on my Gaelic name and ancestry when moving to Glasgow in 1986….terribly unprincipled, but hugely pragmatic when 4pts into an evening at the Partick Tavern, as my steadily disappearing understanding of gutteral- and increasingly slurred Glaswegian could have put my jawline into the line of fire….

      • N_

        Three points. First, you must appreciate the extent to which some of us English people despise the caste of privately-“educated” Tory poshboy filth who hate us with a vengeance (Social Darwinism remains their real ideology), who hate the Scots, and who hate everyone who isn’t themselves, apart from (tactically) a few billionaire-bracket foreigners whom they are willing to invite to Mayfair parties, royal enclosures at sporting events, weapons fairs, and even in a few cases up their daughters’ fannies. As far as I am concerned, these filth are the enemy. No buts.

        Second, I am 100% anti-“UK” and it annoys me every time I hear someone on BBC radio utter the syllables “Yoo Kay” whether in the Nazi truth-dentist intonation of a member of the said caste or in the administrative or technical slang of a manager or middle-ranker. The UK is not Britain; it is the monarchist regime in Britain. France is not the Fifth Republic. I am pro-Union because nationalism always means class alliances (no exceptions) and the Union is in fact the least nationalist option but the Union is absolutely not the same as the UK. Moreover, my opposition to nuclear obliteration is stronger than my unionism and if in a future Scottish independence referendum the independence option involves Scotland being outside of NATO and not in military alliance with any other country I will probably vote for it. That will never happen. Prove me wrong.

        Third, the majority of Scottish nationalists are irrational and many are chauvinist. They like to think they are in the tradition of “common sense” but refuse to recognise for example that a country cannot be in a customs union and single market with two sets of countries that are not in such an arrangement with each other. Tell them this and you will soon hear that you are talking Scotland down, being a moaning minny, engaging in Project Fear, etc., and you will get the impression that you are conversing with a moronic Tartan Trumper stamping its foot.

        • Susan Smith

          Re your third point – It looks if the situation you describe may well come to pass after Brexit. Unless the Westminster government comes up with a plan to achieve “regulatory alignment” across the border between Northern Ireland, which would not be in the EU and Ireland, which would be, the default arrangement would be Northern Ireland remaining in the single market and customs union.However, as the rest of the UK would not, then there would be a hard border between it and the Northern Ireland. For my part, if Scotland managed to remain in the single market and customs union, I’d be quite willing to accept a hard border between Scotland and and England/Wales.

          • N_

            You are right about Ireland. The two governments will not be able to square the circle.

            If Scotland becomes independent, why would you rather it be in a single market and customs union with a set of countries with which it trades little, as opposed to being in that kind of arrangement with the rest of Britain (or whatever the union of England, Wales and Northern Ireland is called), with which it does the vast majority of its trade?

    • BarrieJ

      Agreed, culturally all Welsh but genetically half, the government is certainly my enemy and our police and security services doubly so.
      Every office and function of state has been corrupted.

  • quasi_verbatim

    The previous two referenda have put the wind up our political classes — have given them the fright of their lives — and I doubt there will another one on any subject for fifty years.

    Your only hope resides in Unilateral Declaration of Independence, in closing the border and in the imposition of a far-ranging cordon sanitaire.

    But beware, the EAWs are already made out in London. Only the names remain to be filled in.

  • Charles

    “The UK security services are Scotland’s enemy.”

    They are the enemy of the UK people. Do you think that enemy will go away if you get your pipe dream?

    • craig Post author

      That is the point of the article. Do we want an independent Scotland to replicate the bad features of the UK, or be a different kind of state? If you argue that improvement is impossible, neither you not I should be wasting our time writing.

      • Charles

        Ridiculous hyperbole, I didn’t argue that improvement was impossible,

        I might argue, if I was half Scots, that Independence will not solve all problems and will certainly introduce others.

        I suspect that your concept on how improvement can come about is flawed by imperatives. The same reason that things turned tits in the first (+ n !) place(s)

    • Shatnersrug

      I just can’t help seeing another referendum as an exercise in putting the horse before the cart. Unless the power structures in Britain’s are reformed and the corruption removed I cannot see how an ‘independant’ Scotland would be anything other than a vassal state with potentially less protections for its poor. The big egalitarian project seems to be snuffed out for now, and fighting for a “plastic” independent Scotland might actually be detrimental to future freedoms.

      • Jacobite Malcolm

        Quite. I’m sitting about five miles west of where my father was born in London. That doesn’t make me English.

          • Jacobite Malcolm

            Oh do calm down, son – I’m not attacking your hero.

            Being Scottish means being born in Scotland. Obviously, since there is no ‘Scottish’ passport, then one can’t (as yet) be naturalised Scottish. Maybe one day. I hope so.

            But in the meantime, claiming ‘Scottishness’ on the basis of living in Scotland and having a Scottish parent, just makes one a wannabe.

          • glenn_nl

            With all due respect, you’re being rather silly. Smacks of desperation, to be honest, if that’s the best you’ve got.

          • Jacobite Malcolm

            Oh, don’t get me wrong. When it comes to this whole sorry affair, I find that Mr Murray is spot-on. Indeed, he usually is (as long as he keeps away from his obsession). But really, asking why someone thinks he’s Scottish because he lives there is ‘desperate’, but claiming to *be* Scottish because you live there … isn’t?

            Fancy that.

          • glenn_nl

            Actually, it was you who claimed CM has no business identifying himself with the Scottish. No, any _True_ Scotsman has to satisfy a set of criteria which you – apparently – feel entitled to apply.

          • N_

            @Jacobite Malcolm – Stop talking rubbish. A person is Scottish if they feel they are.

          • Jacobite Malcolm

            @glenn_nl I think that at the very least, someone claiming to be ‘Scottish’ has to be born there. Or – post independence, we hope – to have been naturalised. Maybe one day, that will happen and Mr Murray can get naturalised and all will be hunky dory.

        • Jacobite Malcolm

          @N_ Oh really? Brill! I’ve always wanted to be French. Ooh la la and all that. This is amazing. Call yourself anything and others are obliged to accept it!

          • N_

            There’s a strong correlation between the habitual use of utterly crap quality sarcasm and the absence of a habit of reading and thinking properly. Acknowledge the difference between feeling that you are something and calling yourself something. And blush.

          • Dennis Revell


            Why not? As far as I know, you can NATURALISE to pretty much ANY nationality – though achieving that is most likely much more difficult in some countries than others.

            American action movie (film ;-)) star and Martial arts master Steven Segal naturalised RUSSIAN not that long ago, as I believe have a few other AMERICAN celebrities. Segal though IS a pal of Putin.

            Food for thought?



          • John O'Dowd

            Great Catch 22 Malcolm. A majority of Scots (by birth and self-identification – like Craig) voted YES in the referendum.

            We were defeated by incomers who do not identify as Scots. So in order to get to the point where we can ‘naturalise’ those who wish to be Scots, ‘post-independence’ we must first ensure that non-Scots do not defeat our self-determination. So how do we get past that one, Malcolm? What does ‘self’ mean in this context?

        • Dennis Revell


          I’m born & bred 100% InGRRRLish (as far as I know), and I’m 100% Scottish in attitude and outlook, and more ardently in favour of Scottish Independence than many Scots; in my experience too many of my “fellow” InGRRRlish-folk are twats.

          The late famous Indigenous American activist Russell Means described:

          “It is possible for an American Indian to share European values, A European worldview. We have a term for these people; we call them “apples” — red on the outside (genetics) and white on the inside (their values). Other groups have similar terms: Black have their “oreos;” Hispanos have “coconuts” and so on. And, as I said before, there are exceptions to the white norm: people who are white on the outside, but not white inside. I’m not sure what term should be applied to them other than “human beings.”

          – – – I might be in my native climate* pasty white English ‘on the outside’, but InGRRRlishness feels completely foreign to me ON THE INSIDE, as do seem the attitudes of most English people.

          * I haven’t resided in my ‘native climate’ for a long time, so a little less pasty … may be … 😉 … ?

      • Shatnersrug

        This is a very silly debate, I chose to call myself English because I was born here and live here. I do however feel a deep connection with my Scottish family and ancestry were I to live in Scotland maybe I would feel that I were more Scottish ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        There is no reason to ever be aggressive about it. Malcolm might want to consider seeing the world in terms of allies rather than enemies.

        • Tom Welsh

          Although many of the comments so far have been silly, rude and superficial, the thread does touch on a very important question indeed. One of the gravest of our time

          Namely: what DOES it mean to be British, English, Scottish, American…?

          The issue has been enormously confused by masses of special pleading. From sports fans and British chauvinists who like to have Mo Farah running for the UK to “progressives” who want to abolish the very concept of the nation-state.

          Both my parents were Scottish, and born in Scotland. My father was a British Council officer, so I happened to be born in Rosario, Argentina. (Same place as Messi and Che Guevara, although I never became a revolutionary as my parents were not as wealthy as Che’s). I was educated in four countries (England, Scotland, Argentina and Portugal) and have lived in England since 1972.

          So according to some people I am not Scottish – or indeed even British. An odd result of my father having been chosen to represent his country abroad, after spending four years fighting from India to Italy. While apparently if a Chinese couple happen to be Scotland when they have a baby, the child is Scottish! (As well as Chinese, presumably).

          It’s a very big, intractable mess – which is exactly what some people want.

          • N_

            @Tom – What do you feel? British followed by Scottish, and with a special connection with England too? I’m guessing.

          • N_

            I feel English followed by British, with a special connection with Scotland. But all nationalism stinks.

          • Phil Espin

            I thought my family was as English as anyone. My fathers family have lived in my part of Lincolnshire for over 250, my mothers in Lincolnshire and Norfolk. I had an Ancestry test as a Xmas gift. Turns out I am 40% North/Eastern English, 20% Scandinavian, 11% Scots/Irish/Welsh, 11% West European, 9% East European, 5% south European and 3% Jewish. A true mongrel and I suspect most of us are the same. It was a real eye opener and has made me feel more European. But I would vote for Brexit again and would be happy to see UK dismantled. Do away with monarchy, the security service, introduce a citizens army like Switzerland and let’s have a green socialist England with Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister and Ken Livingston as President.

          • Radar O’Reilly


            DNA, sigh. Yes
            I’d quite like to know my genetic makeup too, I just get this sinking feeling when I look at articles on Prüm, which has nothing to do with the EU or exiting*, and rather a lot to do with terrrrrizm , allegedly. Another Göbbels or STASI-land component? How hard would it be for all the ancestry bunch , to leave a USB, lying around, each week, DNA?


            *The Convention was adopted outside of the European Union framework, UK is IN.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    What strikes me is how completely the roles have been reversed in this, the second ‘Cold War’
    In the first, we used to laugh at the ludicrous posturing of the Soviet leaders in comparison to the grave seriousness of our own.

    And we laughed at the crude propaganda of Pravda compared to the BBC. (Although, of course, hardly anyone who mocked Pravda then had actually ever read it.)

    Now, our politicians appear delusional and unhinged compared to Putin, who has been calm and measured. Now it is the BBC that pumps out crude propaganda.

    Watching RT after the BBC is like being at a kids’ birthday party and walking into the kitchen to talk with the adults.

    • Michael McNulty

      And under the insistence of the Americans NATO forces are right up against Russia’s borders so America has become the Iron Curtain.

    • Martinned

      Euh, have you been reading this blog lately? How much more crude do you want your Russian propaganda? (Actually, seriously, I’m sure you could find it a lot cruder still on Twitter, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.)

      • glenn_nl

        This blog has been giving some pushback against the relentless anti-Russian, ask-no-questions propaganda driven by the State, and you’ve got a problem with that?

      • King of Welsh Noir

        If I understand your reply correctly, you are claiming this blog is a conduit of crude Russian propaganda, is that right?

        That really is quite an outlandish claim. Perhaps you can furnish some examples?

        This is what I have seen. I have seen Craig comprehensively dismantling the lies of the Government over the Skripal affair and subsequently the Syria attack. And I have seen the mainstream media make not the slightest effort to expose said lies, but instead act in lock-step to churn out pro-government, pro-war garbage.

        And I have seen a load of new faces appear here over the past two weeks. Despite the predictable attempts from some to portray them as ‘West-haters’, they are clearly anything but. Instead they seem to evince a genuine mixture of shock, disgust and bafflement at what is going on, at the gaping chasm between the facts and their presentation both in Parliament and the media. And they come here in the same spirit that the boy who pointed out the Emperor was naked might attend a convention of other such boys.

  • Shatnersrug

    Think about it for a minute, the referendum is lost, then a bunch of snp politicians become Westminster MPs? How convenient, after the election could someone high up have thought “let’s bring them into the fold, join the establishment, keep the Labour out of Scotland and snuff out any real chance of independence”

    I’m affraid I think the SNP have been nobbled. Just like Scottish Labour and the Liberals before them. I’m a Corbyn supporter, and a labour member of 20 years. I realised I am completely biased, but had Corbyn it won I was considering finally giving up my membership. Because I believed democracy over. I still do, however the Corbyn movement is the one tiny chink in the armour of an otherwise bleak totalitarian future and that why I support it, and bang on about it here, not because I have unremitting faith (although having met JC a number of times I do have complete faith in his beliefs) but because it’s is all we have left and I will lend muscle to it.

    In the (not) words of Gramsci, Pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.

    • N_

      I think the SNP have been nobbled.
      Some of us on the left will never forget what the SNP did in 1979, when they brought down the Labour government and paved the way for Thatcher.

      • Shatnersrug

        You have to remember that the Labour government of the time were of the right, they secured a bullshit loan from the IMF which we never needed and indeed paid back in full within 6 months, this was a rouse to ‘demonstrate’ just how broke the UK was and therefor justify the rearranging of the economic order to neoliberalism. Milton Friedman was given a three part TV documentary to present his bogus theory with televised debates afterwards, a number of LSE economists completely destroyed his arguments, however in the public mind the damage was done.

        The Labour right were all to happy to allow an unpopular Tory government to implement the ‘needed’ changes, we all know where that went. Of course come 1983 when Labour we’re back on their feet the Labour right so absolutely incensed by a Labour Party who would ‘acquiesce to the soviets(Sound familiar) did their supposed duty and split the party. That’s when we saw fake Labour members like Poly Toynbee actually stand as SDP in a Labour safe seat and split the vote meaning the Tory candidate won. If ever there was a case of The Establishment at work….

      • Gordie

        The voted against the labour because of the 40% rule. That is the shafting of an entire country to say nothing about the two years prior to the vote where the labour party ground away and ground away at what was proposed for that parliament. They then brought in an amendment that allowed them to go back to parliament and over rule what was a majority for an assembly. The SNP did the right thing and the British labour party deserved it..

        • The OneEyedBuddha

          Jim Callaghan pretty much said the same afterwards, wasn’t the SNP, it was his own party that caused Labours downfall

  • Chris Rogers


    I’m sick and tired of the Indy Moaners and just wish that those running the show would show some backbone and just get on with Independence by means of UDI, which as you have already explained is legal to do – instead it seems many are happy taking English coin. We have the very same issue in Wales with far too many happy with the Status Quo.

    With regards Fisk’s report being all but ignored by the MSM, well, its to be expected given that anything that undermines their propaganda narrative is either attacked or ignored/undermined. Fisk by the way is a member of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club and well respected in my neck of the woods. My Chinese overlords will no doubt be taking a keen interest in his findings.

    • N_

      UDI in a country where a majority oppose independence. You want to go down like Connolly, right? Following the Catalan path is idiotic and seriously you should not need me to explain why. But I will. It didn’t work.

  • Ophelia Ball

    I am not Scots – and consequently have either a dog in that particular race, nor any real interest in it – but I can understand how it must grate to hear the May Junta being applauded and supported by Volks-Englisch sycophants such as Sturgeon.

    Frankly, whilst the English don’t necessarily have too much to thank the Scots for on the political front, I too would be interested in hearing more about the prospects for unilaterally declaring my own independence from these charlatans

  • Ottomanboi

    Today is عيد الجلاء or Evacuation day in Syria. The day in 1946 the French occupiers were kicked out. May it be a happy day and a warning to all those who meddle with impunity in the affairs of Syria.
    Mr Murray you talk such sense. Truly, the British state cannot be trusted. The National party needs to remove those cozy, rosy spex.

  • Salford Lad

    For those who wish to underststand the reasons for the rabid Russophobia and visceral hatred of their President VV Putin by the Western Media and the Kakastocracy ,the following transcript of a conversation with William Engdahl rregarding his Book, ‘ The Rape of Russia , is essential reading.
    It is an eye-popping revelation and fills in many of the details regarding the ascent of Yeltsin and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Oligarchs and the Phoenix- like resurgence of Russia under Putin and his associates. are all explained. As always the main lesson is uncontrollable lust for money and power.but mainly money by a cabal of Vultues and bandits.

    • Salford Lad

      There are always some positives to take away from adversity. The recent madness to rush to War in Syria ,has revealed who the Real enemies of Truth and democracy really are.
      The weasel collaborators in the print and TV media , the supine politicians on both sides of the aisle in Parliament, the talking heads of great and good gving their seal of approval.
      All have been noted by us, the small but now vociferous minority of the Resistance. We have been proven right, despite the full might of the Western Propaganda machine being arraigned against us.
      Kudos to our host for his courageous expose of the machinations of our Govt and the hidden hand behind them. He does not mention it ,but I am sure he has faced much pressure and vituperation for his revelations.
      To speak truth to Power in times of Tyranny is a brave and revolutionary act.
      A small victory has been won ,but the propaganda war continues on the perceptions of the masses.
      Congrats on your reference to James Connolly, a Great Scotsman /Irishman man who fought on the ramparts and faced a British firing squad, for his belief in Freedom and Socialism, He would turn in his grave ,to see Ireland now as a capitalist colony, with only a veneer of Independence.

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        I hardly think James Connolly would have been surprised.Disappointed ,yes..Perhaps his best-known quote runs”If you remove the English army tomorrow and hoist the green flag over Dublin Castle unless you set about the organisation of the Socialist Republic,your efforts will be in vain. England will still rule you. ……”Or “..the warrant turning you out on the roadside will be stamped with the arms of the Irish Republic.Now isn’t that worth fighting for?”

      • Canexpat

        @Martinned. You don’t seem to have listened to the interview. The point made is that Putin dismantled the Oligarch network who were stealing Russian state resources. Even if Engdarl is telling a narrative that you find conflicts with the Russiaphobic and Putin-bashing line of the MSM, it is worth listening to as an alternative perspective, It also in my view has one of the best explanations for the Ukraine/Syria actions of the Neocons and their visceral hatred of Putin.

        • Martinned

          The point made is that Putin dismantled the Oligarch network who were stealing Russian state resources

          Did he now? Say hi to Roman Abramovich next time you go see Chelsea play…

        • Jo Dominich

          Martinned, I think you are perhaps not educated enough on this topic. Russia is fighting a rearguard action from the USA in terms of NordStream 2, the Petroyuan, the recent sanctions by the USA – all to ensure that the Petrodollar and the US$ as reserve are maintained. If they are not, and both are beginning to slide, it will cause serious dents in the USA economy. I don’t see Russia has any uncontrollable lust for money or power, it is the USA that honour belongs to. It wants to stop Nordstream 2 and is going to impose sanctions on any company involved in it because the want to pipe USA LSN gas through the Ukraine at three times the cost. In other words, it wants to gain a monopoly on Europe’s energy supply. The Europeans will probably lied down and let them do it – shame on them.

  • Ahimsa

    Your anger towards the SNP’s stance in relation to all of this is natural and justified Craig, as far as i’m concerned.

    I was an ardent supporter of Scottish Independence and for the first time in many years i felt an enthusiasm for politics, with the momentum of creative energy we all shared in, through the almost daily public debates across the country…. It was a paradigm shift, away from the corrupt institutionalised politics i’d come to loathe.

    The movement for me was always about the Spirit of Scotland and so many people tasted that collective Spirit throughout the campaigns and debates, up until the day of voting… The energy in the ether was so wholesome and vibrant, i certainly didn’t want it to end and i’m sure so many people felt the same…… A deeper victory, beyond independence being declared had been tasted in the way that people were coming together to share in the things which mattered in society, instead of leaving it all to unnacountable politicians, and sitting in the house shouting out in frustration at the television propaganda.

    It was never about the SNP taking the country forward as far as i was concerned… I always celebrated and honoured the fact that they had worked hard, so as to allow for the people to have their say, but i knew that they lacked the necessary consciousness and all embracing, attitudinal motivation to truly manifest what the Spirit of the nation was expressing, as it began to awaken through the hearts of the people who felt the stirring of the sleeping giant deep within.

    It’s not just some fantasy i entertain, and i reckon that you and others have a sense of this… What we all shared in, amidst a barrage of demonic bullshit from the imperialist politicians, was a liberating force, and given more time it would have washed through the entire nation so as to initiate deeply constructive, political and social change in every nation of the UK… That’s why the power freaks shat themselves so much, and that ripple continues to shake the foundations of their crumbling empire.

    For me, it was never a movement against the people of England or elsewhere… It was a constructive uprising against westminster and the upholders of the city of london, who hold millions of people to ransom.

    The narrow defeat we experienced, thrust a rusty sword into the belly.

    The pure unadulterated anger can help us to withdraw that sword and use it to cut through the bullshit and reclaim an even clearer discriminatory wisdom and compassion for the way ahead, through the dark challenges which are mounting…

    We may never claim independence as a nation, but we can reside in a deeper state of independence within ourselves, and invite other people to do the same.

    Keep the fire burning.

  • FatCandy


    Firstly, I will always believe and always work for an independent Scottish state.

    Secondly, I ended my membership of the SNP following concern at the way they pursued their 2017 General Election campaign and their subsequent actions after the EU referendum.

    Here is my original mail voicing my concerns (sent to Bruce Crawford, Nicola Sturgeon and Steven Paterson on 25 April 2017):

    “…I have been a lifelong SNP voter and a dues paying member since 2014.
    Pre-indyref both my family and I leafleted and canvassed on behalf of the Yes campaign and post Indyref we’ve done the same for the SNP, and will continue to do so.
    I’m writing to you today for clarification on what exactly the SNP’s position is on Scottish independence. I’m dismayed at statements being made in the press alluding to the fact that the SNP will not stand on a manifesto of independence at the 2017 General Election. As a SNP supporter I feel that having taken a previously unthinkable majority in the English parliament, a majority of the Scottish MEPs and a working pro-independence majority in Holyrood that the message to the SNP should be clear – the biggest majority of the Scottish electorate want independence and, more importantly, are prepared to vote for it.
    I appreciate you probably receive a great deal of correspondence concerning strategy from supporters all the time, please don’t mistake this for one of those. I genuinely seek to understand what our party’s position on independence is as I’m honestly confused about it.
    Is the SNP truly the party for Scottish independence or have we become the party of devolution?”

    I received a wishwashy response stating that Steven Paterson could not respond due to being a candidate in the 2017GE. Nothing from either of the other recipients.

    After the GE and after the EU referendum it became apparent to me that the SNP was, much like you say, a token opposition sitting pretty and riding the gravy train.

    When I ended my membership around the 16th of August 2017 I was asked for a reason, here’s my response:

    “My reason for wishing to end my membership of the party is simple: I feel the SNP lacks the power of its convictions.
    On the day after the EU referendum, Nicola Sturgeon stated that EU citizens were welcome in Scotland. Since that statement nothing has been done by the Scottish Government to secure the rights or status of EU nationals living in Scotland. There has, however, been much discussion about the possibility of a second Independence Referendum but no concrete assurances from the Scottish Government over citizens’ rights.
    Given my family has both Swedish and British citizenship I am appalled at the lack of clarity from the Scottish Government over this issue. One expects this type of nonsense from the current British government as it’s not exactly renowned for clarity or sound decision making and, after all, it’s its fault that we’re in this mess in the first place. However, being a Scot, I’ve always believed the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament would protect us from the worst excesses of the Westminster elite, yet here we are. The future fate of my family being put to a possible plebiscite where nothing has effectively changed since the last vote except that xenophobia is now accepted in British public discourse.
    This is a position I am not willing to endorse and I am most certainly not willing to pay for. Whether it knows it or not, the time has come for the Scottish Government to make hard decisions, irrespective of whether it has the legal authority to do so, to protect the people (all of them) in Scotland. However, the Scottish Government appears to be more concerned with its image in the Union owned media than it is with performing its primary function.
    Unfortunately for Scottish society, people like my wife and I who are both highly skilled and educated and work within IT are mobile. It’s (relatively) easy to move our jobs wherever we like. Given the repugnant state of both Scottish and British politics it seems if we want to live somewhere that EU citizens are welcome we need to relocate to another EU member state.
    Hopefully this clarifies my thinking somewhat.”

    No response received to this mail.

    As it stands politically there is currently no other serious option for independence supporting voters and I will continue to vote for the SNP until another party presents itself which fulfils this function.

    I don’t really wish to jump on the SNP bashing bandwagon here but demonstrate that Craig is not alone in his scepticism and the party would do well to heed it sooner rather than later.

  • Independent Woman

    I first joined the SNP in the mid 60’s. I am becoming seriously concerned about the SNP desire to be just like the Westminster government. When questioned over legitimate concerns on issues such as NHS, education and police they produce bland, stonewalling answers which avoid the question and provide no real answers – government speak.

    I was shocked when the First Minister supported the UK government response to the Salisbury issues. She jumped on the ‘respectable’ bandwagon with no apparant thought. I expected condemnation from her over the bombing of Syria over alleged gas attack. No such action from her.

    I do meet SNP MPs from time to time and I fear that they have, indeed, been swallowed up by the Old Boys Club atmosphere of Westminster. What, also, is the problem with local associations that seem to want to ignore the wider Yes movement? I cite the decision to hold the hustings for the deputy leadership in Glasgow on 5th May – the same day as the long-planned Yes march and rally. I cannot go to both, so I will be going to the rally.

    What is the problem at the top end of the SNP? What is the agenda of those setting policy responses to legitimate questions? I am still an active member of the SNP and I know the grassroots are still keen and eager to set up a Scotland that is better than the rancid Westminster model.

    I have asked more questions than solutions because I seriously do not know what has happened to the SNP in recent years.

    • craig Post author

      The SNP has been actively discouraging campaigning for Independence by its members. I have spoken at scores of pro-Indy rallies and meetings this last three years. Only once have I hear an SNP MP or MSP speak for Indy..

      • Aslangeo

        Is this a long game ? quietly build up momentum, build from the ground up, following the narrow defeat in 2014. Grow support among the young generation, seem reasonable to the older frightened folks.
        Gain incremental powers by stealth

        Then canny pro independence politicians gain and Scotland becomes irs own country?

        • Alan

          I think quite possibly the case. But of course you cannot openly state that can you. By at times seeming to be mainstream and therefore “legit” in the minds of the doibters, they may well win enough over to get past the post next time. If radical methods and views are predominant, then the doubters will not budge

  • reel guid

    The SNP great result in 2015 in winning 56 Westminster seats was in retrospect not so great for the independence quest. It refocused the SNP on the House of Commons. It created a large group of MPs who became gradually beguiled by the atmosphere of the Westminster village. The result. Ian Blackford. Who was thrown out the job of SNP Treasurer in 2000 by Alex Salmond. And they shouldn’t have bothered to rehabilitate him.

    Another unfortunate effect of the 56 seats win was that the reduction to 35 in 2017 gave the SNP leadership an excuse to soft pedal on independence. In contrast to the feisty attitude Sturgeon had shown about it in March of 2017. Retreat gets to be a habit.

    The SNP rank and file need to stop being deferential and polite to their party’s elected representatives if they favour letting the SG’s referendum mandate run out.

    There almost certainly is a de facto existing majority for independence if you add the very soft NOs who will be persuaded to change to YES during a referendum campaign. Waiting and hoping ain’t a strategy. There is a mandate for an independence referendum. Use it.

    The UK state is launching all out war on devolution in the Celtic nations. Their goal is a militaristic unitary British state with union jacks perennially festooning the streets and buildings. If they don’t succeed the first time they’ll simply try again if the SNP has indefinitely stood everyone down from the independence battle.

  • Karen

    Thank you for continuing to provide analysis of this. I thought 2014 had opened my eyes to the dealings of the British State but I was unprepared for all that’s been unearthed recently.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    I suppose the ultimate question for you Mr Murray is whether you want independence no matter what, or whether a UK wide revolution would see a devolved Uk with a proper Constitution, a neutered City of London Corporation etc acceptable to folks like you.

    Clearly Scots may feel that a Scottish Referendum could be won, but maybe a Uk revolution is impossible…but equally some might want rid of England no discussion….

    • Abulhaq

      For my part the UK, reformed or not, is not an option. Genuine Scottish independence could not be accommodated within a further devolved system, some sort of Austria-Hungary clone. International matters must be for Scots and Scots alone to determine. The UKGB has had 300years and counting to sort its constitution. Can we be bothered waiting another century or two while England makes up its mind on something not essentially to its advantage?
      Independence, by any means, is the logical option. Many are just growing weary of the plodding National party. It is completely out of sync with the BritNat political culture of the time. Scottish nationalism could do with a rebrand.


    I think that the Scots would be far better off voting for Jeremy Corbyn. I also think that if the establishment had ever been concerned about Nicola Sturgeon, she would have got A British version of the treatment of the Catalonian politicians. Splitting the Labour vote was the game. A Jeremy Corbyn government would deliver at least a maximum devolution as he is a passionate democrat. The most important effect however, would be socialism re-visited and Keynesian re-construction.

    • reel guid

      Bilge. Corbyn’s done nothing for the people of Catalonia and looks away as the Francoist government destroys democracy. Passionate democrat? No way.

      He’s against a second indyref. He’s said next to nothing about the Tories Holyrood and Senedd power grabs.

      Scotland, unlike England, has a clear majority of progressive people already. We don’t need a big dose of London delivered socialism. We need a big dose of freedom.

    • Hatuey

      Yes, utter bilge. Scotland will never trust those bastards (Labour) ever again and in that respect and so many others Scotland is way ahead of England.

      • Tom Welsh

        Unfortunately the present UK political system is so constituted (quite deliberately) that no one except bastards can ever attain power. Same as in the USA and the other “Western” countries.

        “Democracy” is essentially a filter that reliably strains out anyone decent, honest and with a conscience. Just as it strained out Craig (after some delay). One gets put in situations that no decent, honest person can tolerate.

    • Abulhaq

      Corbyn handing down more devolution largesse from Mount Socialism?
      Scotland is a species of colony then? Better to just crush that foul thing called UK and have an end of it.

    • Independent Woman

      Mr Corbyn doesn’t know where Scotland is. I have spent quite a lot of time in ‘hand to hand combat’ with Labour activists in Scotland over the past few years. I don’t know, even now, what they actually support. They would rather support the Tories than give any thought to an independent Scotland despite the evidence of what the Tories are doing and intend to keep doing more of it. Vote Labour? Despite being the ideal Labour supporter – working class, educated, West of Scotland – I now class them as traitors to the people they say they represent. From Corbyn ditching his lifelong opposition to nuclear weapons to Labour MPs voting to implement the Tory war on the people who most need support, it will be a long time before I support any incarnation of Labour.

      • Stu

        “Corbyn ditching his lifelong opposition to nuclear weapons” This is a lie.

        Corbyn still opposes nuclear weapons but the Labour policy decided at conference is to maintain Trident. The leader does not get to set the policy single-handedly.

        Nuclear weapons like the royals are not the issue right now. We are in a long period of reaction. Labour needs to sort the housing crisis, rebuild public services and legislate for job security and dignity. To have any chance of enacting a progressive program it needs the support of a population freed from the neoliberal wheel which is designed to exhaust working class people and prevent them acting as a class.

    • Gordie

      The Labour party abstained on an emergency debate on Syria last night Sandra. The SNP forced a vote and voted against the government’s actions. They, the Labour party have form for abstaining. They have done a mixture of abstaining and voted for all the tory austerity bills and on a dozen other important issues in the H of C. As for voting for them in Scotland? They are nothing more than agents of the British state in Scotland. Nicola Sturgeon is too close to the government line this time and I share Craig Murray’s frustration but to describe Sturgeon and the SNP in the terms Craig Murray has chosen to is to distort the truth every bit as much as the mainstream distorts the truth on issues such as Scottish Independence and Syria. She doesn’t share Craig’s or my opinion neither she nor the SNP are stooges of the British Establishment.

      Another final point before I delete this blog from my favourites – people who become hysterical when the facts of the situation are not clear and then lash out wildly when people take another point of view have past their time.

      Finally The comments on this blog a rife with anti Scottish prejudice and arrogance. The attitudes expressed towards Scotland and its right to be an independent country range between arrogant ignorance to outright chauvinism on here.


    I listened with despair to Parliament last night. Thankfully I had a trip to the cinema booked – a live streaming of Julius Caeser from the National Theatre. Sense of de ja vu really. Lying conniving back stabbing politicians who speak for effect and really are not fit for purpose. Do they never read anything? Do they never see fit to make sure they have evidence? Are 90% of them deranged? I think they are.

    • Smiling Through

      Perhaps a few are deranged, Sandra, but I suspect, having seen a lot of Labour MPs close up, it’s mostly the result of the closed-mind strategy of the career minded we see in many other walks of life.
      To get into Parliament the ambitious have to fit the template of those running the show.
      In the New Labour years the party machine was able to select, impose and then promote those who fitted its priorities.
      Many of them were young — Cooper, Balls, the Milibands — who spent a post-Oxford year in the US imbibing neoliberalism and neoconservatism, and then were parachuted into safe seats for life and ministerial positions with little or no elected/activist/union/community/life experience.
      They may develop some Whitehall managerial skills in government, but the ways and means of effective opposition in Parliament and campaigning outside are largely unknown to them.
      They and many others I know in Parliament inhabit a fairly small circle in Westminster where they socialise with other villagers in the media and lobbying world.
      They don’t have much time to read, think or travel beyond that which is laid on by lobbyists and special interests.
      Tony Benn and Gerald Kaufman did choose to depart from their earlier orthodoxy, but they are relatively rare birds.
      Most rarely change their minds from the ones formed on the way up.
      The more circumstances press the need for fresh thinking or openness to evidence, the more resistant they become and shout the old orthodoxies louder.
      This was shown on Syria yesterday and in all probability will be repeated today (Tues) on Syria and antisemitism.
      In time, barring a successful PLP/establishment coup against Corbyn, some younger talent freer of Cold War/”war on terror” conformism will emerge.

    • Tom Welsh

      They’re not deranged (except morally), stupid or ignorant. Indeed, they are pursuing their own interests intelligently and energetically. Follow the money.

      Why would anyone assume that, just because a person is elected or appointed to office, their values change so that they start caring for other people more than for themselves?

  • Emily

    The UK security services are Scotland’s enemy.

    They are every Brits enemy.
    And an enemy to world peace.
    And they have been for a long time.
    They serve another master than Britain.
    And they are not alone in that servitude.
    With very little exception – the entire lib/lab/con shares the same obeyance.
    The City of London – the so called elite.
    So far only Nigel Farage has come out fighting.

  • Jack

    Unfortunately this is the reality of all of the west,
    the logic seems to be that facts dont matter today, and this posturing comes from the same clique that blast Russia 24/7 for fake-news accusations, they hypocrisy is…well the word “breathtaking” doesnt make it anymore.

    I want to give credit to Craig Murray and other alternative-media/blogs today, without you, west would have bombed and commited regime change in Syria long long time ago.

    Also, for those who missed:
    “In a written answer to a parliamentary question the British government has admitted that the British-sponsored jihadist militias in Libya in 2011 ‘likely’ included members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)”

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