On Believing MI6 303

Ian Blackford MP, investment banker and now SNP Westminster parliamentary leader, has received an “intelligence briefing” from the security services and is satisfied with MI6 assurances that Assad attacked Douma with chemical weapons. The whirring sound you hear is Willie Macrae spinning in his grave.

The other whirling sound you hear is Charlie Kennedy spinning in his. Charlie – who was a friend since 1979 – once told me that the scariest walk he ever took was to get the security service briefing on the Iraq War. He was scared in case the intelligence was actually convincing on Iraqi WMD – what would he do then? Charlie said that when he saw the actual intelligence he was astonished by how weak it was, and left with a clear mind – and a lifelong distrust of MI6.

But Charlie Kennedy, though we disagreed on Scottish independence, was a very decent man of great principle. Not an Establishment hack like investment banker Ian Blackford MP.

The SNP is attempting to be all things to all men by attacking the government for not having a parliamentary vote on the attack on Syria, while accepting the British establishment narrative. I am not sure if Blackford is saying there should have been a vote because he missed the chance to vote for the war, or if he is going to accept that the attack was illegal in international law.

Nicola Sturgeon joined Boris Johnson on day one of the Salisbury attack in blaming Russia with no evidence and cheering for Britnat jingoism. Blackford promotes the entirely dodgy Douma narrative. The SNP leadership could not be more divorced from the views of its own grassroots membership.

This cannot last.

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303 thoughts on “On Believing MI6

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  • Ottomanboi

    As long as the SNP is the leading party supporting Scottish sovereignty, in practice, Scots independentists have no other choice in the matter. Staying at home or wasting your vote elsewhere is not a logical or wise alternative.
    The National party needs to be reminded, often, that its purpose and aims will win no favours from the British establishment. Cuddling up to the system makes it look rather pathetic, in effect rather needy and only succeeds in alienating members of the vital core constituency.

    • reel guid

      I agree with all that. The SNP has to be proactive always. And always be pushing for independence. They have a mandate from the Scottish people for an independence referendum. Use it.

      Elect McEleny.

    • Susan Smith

      I will continue to support the SNP as long as it seems likely to deliver independence but I do fear that time is running out .

    • Hatuey

      “Scots independentists have no other choice in the matter. Staying at home or wasting your vote elsewhere is not a logical or wise alternative…”

      It was that same sort of choice that Scotland faced before 2007 when the SNP was rightly considered a wasted protest vote. Many did stay at home, some voted Labour, and some even got into Acid Jazz.

      Apart from all that, it’s quite possible that life in Scotland will get so bad after Brexit that some sort of spontaneous movement will manifest. Maybe that would be your best option and maybe you would get there sooner if the SNP support collapsed.

      The SNP can stop this decline though. It isn’t too late. I hope they do. But I genuinely wonder if they want to stop it or want a break or something.

  • Sharp Ears

    Where’s Treeza? Not hiding I hope. We were promised an appearance at 3.30pm. Perhaps she’s making a few tweaks to her speech!

    • james

      some tv station out of maine usa is sure to be telling us the truth, lol… that would be like listening to the daily usa press briefing for the last word on what is happening in the middle east… if you want a slanted view – continue…

      • Madeira

        It’s widely reported, Here is Sputnik:

        “The Team has not yet deployed to Douma. The Syrian and the Russian officials who participated in the preparatory meetings in Damascus have informed the FFM Team that there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place. In the meantime the Team was offered by the Syrian authorities that they could interview 22 witnesses who could be brought to Damascus,” OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said as quoted by the organization.


        • james

          hi madeira – you are correct… i happen to agree with jr here
          “As for OPCW inspectors: FUKUS will just say that Russia’s control of the site allowed them to manipulate the site as well as “eyewitnesses”.
          Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 14, 2018 3:05:00 PM | 37” – he said it a few days ago… looks like it is on display in the western run msm widely now too..

          lavrov is out saying that is not true, but what is russia going to do with the constant lies, slurs and etc that we are regularly witnessing from the west here?

    • Ivan

      If I had any hand in Russian policy, I too would play a cat and mouse game with the US from now on. The West has already come to the conclusion that there was a chemical attack at Douma. What need is there for an inspection now? One can sense there is already a hardening of the Russian position in that they are no longer going to try to be a good doggie any more. They understand that the West intends to make them go through the hoops and then when convenient sneer that they are falling far short. The Russians will I believe follow the Iranians in not seeking any goodwill from the US.

      The cosmetics matter to Russia’s supporters in the West, but it seems that no matter what happens the Russians are too good an enemy to pass up. I think the Russians are only waiting for the World Cup to be over before the new attitude becomes clear.

    • Tatyana

      Russia and Syria urged OPCW to come and investigate – at UN Security Counsil and I watched it myself, it was April 8 or April 9 meeting. They expected inspectors to arrive 12 o13 April and it was said they will not disclose exact day for security reason. Syrian authorities were waiting at border, with visas ready to direct OPCW immediately.
      Early morning Saturday USA+UK+France hit Syria with missiles. The ‘rebels’ have a very bad but constant habbit to appear and shoot exactly after Coalition strikes. Yoday we see reports on new armed people shooting in Guta.
      My questions are to OPCW only – why waiting for invitations at all?
      And the only answer I can imagine is – general director OPCW must have some reason for it.

      • Tatyana

        I really try to find who is cheating.
        Today it is said in russian news that OPCW inspectors were late because they had to get some special permission from UN.
        Today Syrian airbase in Shairat was hit with Israeli missiles.

    • marvellousMRchops

      Interesting to contrast this with the video below courtesy of Vanessa Beeley’s YouTube channel which you will not see on the BBC.
      I like to think I am a human being and as such trust my instinctive feeling that what I am watching is not an actor reading from a script but real human testimony of suffering. Draw your own conclusions.


  • Harry Conway

    I have for sometime been concerned by Pete Wisharts willingness to be a good parliamentarian instead of the thorn in the establishment flesh that he was elected to be, And now Blackford believes the BS, the poor souls in Syria have been under violent attacks for years Yet only this one prompts retaliation Why?

    • Ottomanboi

      The Western front backed the losing side in Syria and gave unintended support to the spread of Da3ish into Syria. Effectively a sovereign state, not at war with anybody was systematically subverted by big powers.
      The damage, physical and psychological will take decades to repair.
      The precedent, dangerously set by these ‘policing’ powers should give sovereign states that may disagree with those powers much concern.
      The Western front has all the signs of the classic bully.
      Yemen screams in the bully’s face.

  • exiled off mainstreet

    It appears that the SNP are no more than useful idiots for the power structure. What happens if the OPCW inspectors are honourable enough to reveal that no attack took place in Douma? Then they are all totally discredited. Now that Labour is independent again, it may be better in the short term for Scotland, provided the Corbyn party can clean up the blairite corruption there. I know that Mr. Murray disagrees, but in my view, the SNP tactic of favouring the European Union is also false based on that organisation’s undemocratic nature, for example, its anti-Catalonian stance, and based upon the fact that a serious socialist program would run afoul of the neoliberal framework that organisation requires.

    • reel guid

      Labour corruption in Scotland is just ideology free corruption. It’s not especially Blairite or anything.

      Yes, the SNP favours the European Union. And so do 65% of the people of Scotland.

      Corbyn autocratically ignores Scotland’s vote to stay in the EU and equally autocratically would deny Scotland a second indy referendum. So he can take his “serious socialist programme”, which he’ll never have the chance to implement, and he can get lost.

      • reel guid

        And then Labour politicians had the temerity to turn up at the women council workers’ demo recently as if they’d always been for wage equality.

        • Republicofscotland

          Yes reel guid Labour chutzpah knows no bounds. Unles you live in Wales.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The problem here is that MI6 info is pressed upon politicians for instant action.

    Let us be clear, Bashar Assad is not going anywhere the next six weeks, certainly not declaring war on Tel Aviv, Riyadh or London.

    There is no need to jump to immediate warfare.

    What should happen is rigorous testing of MI6 claims before committing to any decisions.

    MI6 is committed to a world of war and chaos, as that ensures its relevance, its budget and its power.

    It should be regarded as a selling organisation, not a civil service…and evaluated skeptically with appropriate and timely due diligence……

  • james

    it is interesting this snp… i live in canada, but have been visiting craig murrays site, as i regard him as very informed and insightful… someone on these pages pointed out the website bella caledonia…. they are a scottish based website… i got kicked off the site for challenging their view that whatever the msm said on syria or the middle east must be true because theresa may said so, lol.. kid you not..

    • james

      oh – and they seem to be big fans of the snp.. if the snp is unable to show leadership – then i can’t imagine them getting very far..

      • Bill McLean

        James – Bella Caledonia is not a fan of the SNP – it’s often difficult to deduce what they are in favour of!

        • james

          thanks bill… bc seems like it is run by the establishment to further establishment ideology… i thought it was a fan of snp.. thanks for clarifying that for me..

          • Bill McLean

            James – Thanks for response. I read Bella every day and they have some very good articles by knowledgeable contributors. They are best described as ambiguous regarding the SNP. Bella supports independence for Scotland but still seems to favour more left wing politics although the SNP is more to the left than Labour in Scotland (see Political Compass). The SNP has done much to alleviate Westminster austerity while Labour carps from the sidelines as they still consider themselves the natural ruling party in Scotland. Trouble is they are in fact British Labour and run from London and possessed of little in the way of backbone. I supported them for 40 years until the Iraq disaster, but their corruption in Scotland and support for Trident did not fit with my view of a left-wing party.

          • james

            bill – thanks for elaborating on that…i am not knowledgeable on the intricacies of uk or scottish politics! cheers james

  • Andy Dufresne

    While we now witness the political small talk of war pro-, anti-war and opportunists, i expect the real crunch-time will begin when OPCW reveals it’s findings on Douma.

    After the alleged chemical attack in Douma both parties involved have painted themselves in opposite corners.

    USA/UK/FR stating it was a chemical attack (ordered by Assad)
    RF/Syria stating it was a fake (no actual chemicals used) with staged footage from (foreign) opposition forces.

    Since only one can be true, the other will be seen as the lair with all it’s consequenses. Making the FFM (fact finding mission) the proverbial sword of Damocles hanging above their heads.

    If the FFM concludes (traces of) chemicals where found on the scene, Rusiia and Syria will be seen as lairs and perpetrators in the eye of the public.
    If not the goverments of USA, UK and France will have to bare the consequences of their premature actions. Losing the credebility from the public and solidarity now shown by their allies.

    Assuming both know exactly what happened, I’m sure we can expect alot of propaganda and disinformation around the FFM during it’s investigation.

    Knowing the size of the fall out, I find it weird that both parties have made this a zero-sum game.
    Besides being right the truth-teller must be sure the FFM-result will be honest, while the other must be sure it can be rigged or at least overcome its negative impact.

    RF/Syria could have easily called it a false flag event, instead of a non-event. Leaving the option of deniability open when OPCW concludes that chemicals where found. By claiming it a non-event they show great certainty but makes vunerable to faul play.

    USA/UK/Fr are playing an equally dangerous game in case it’s proven to be a non-event because it was to be expected that this time there would be an on-site FFM by OPCW. They stand to lose alot of international good will unless they trully beleive their impunity.

    If it’s proven that chemicals where found more hell will break loose on the geopolitical theater.
    If not; this would be a great opportunity to purge the intelligents-community in all three countries of it’s rotten core.

    Let’s hope it’s the latter.

    The above is all just my humble opinion based on the facts as i have recieved them, so please correct me if when/where i’m wrong.

    • Sean Lamb

      I think Russia should have pushed the false flag option more forcefully also. I think they have had a copy of the Spiez lab report since at least April 3 when they began saying things like “This idiocy has gone too far” and that may have colored how they viewed events in Douma. It would be natural to spring to the “non-event” conclusion when you are holding in your hand a report suggesting the Skripals had been knocked out with a fancy version of giggle gas.

      These things are decided by politics and not science in any case, so I don’t suppose it matters what they did. If it had been decided by science the OPCW and the UN Joint Mission would have concluded the rebels were responsible for all the sarin attacks in Syria when they discovered the Khan al-Assal samples (aimed at regime forces) had the same chemical signature as the later sarin releases directed at civilians.

      The Syrian Arab Army has consistently said they never use any kind of gas in their operations – and they are probably the most reliable witness at the moment.

      You can see the two chlorine cylinders on Bellingcat. One of them is consistent with someone open the valve and shoving the valve end in through a hole in the roof. The other could have equally had its valve opened and thrown through a new or existing gap in the roof and onto a bed. So real chlorine attacks, but not from a helicopter.

    • lissnup

      Oops. I meant to say “We’re going to have to throw the whole political establishment away.”
      I had to smile at the autoirony, as throwing them a war is allegedly their preferred option.

    • Merkin Scot

      “Wow! Must be a new record for fake ‘disgruntled SNP’ contributors.”
      I have never been a party member but have generally supported the good governance we have seen from the Scottish Government under the SNP. We saw the Red Tories walking hand in hand with the Blues ones and it disgusted us no less than seeing Mr Blackford standing shoulder to shoulder with Boris Johnson et al. Staunch and True rings a bell.
      “Give us the evidence” is all we asked, not some vague ‘as far as I have been told…..’.
      Verdict first? Evidence second? No. No. No.

  • James

    Saw this guy on Question Time a few weeks back and marked him down as a failure then.

    This is getting to be a wee bit of a pattern with the Nats. Far too comfy with the pay and perks. Opposition always a matter of tactics rather than principle.

    There are precious few silver linings from the last few weeks, but at least it has smoked out all the duds in UK politics.

    Oddly enough, a disproportionate number of anti-Brexit politicians have proved to be the shrillest jingos. Not what I would have expected.

  • Charles Minster

    So the evidence now points to British intelligence (with the explicit or tacit approval of the Prime Minister) having poisoned two Russian nationals, and having carried out a chemical weapons attack on Syrian soil.

    But if the British media thinks that a celebrity’s drink driving conviction is more important and worthy of scrutiny.

    Where did we go wrong? When do we start to make these people pay? It is known that a former Prime Minister whilst in office, ordered the assassination of a UN weapons inspector. And he is still walking around a free man. Why?

    • giyane

      Charles Minster

      You are assuming that our prime ministers run the country rather than sitting cowering in the corner while receiving orders from Israel and the US. The best thing the Zionists ever did this century was to get on the wrong side of Craig Murray by taking him to the UK libel court and threatening his reputation and security. My statement might get deleted by the mods, but before the z’s tried to castrate CM, he would never have allowed me to make this point.

      • Blissex

        «You are assuming that our prime ministers run the country rather than sitting cowering in the corner while receiving orders from Israel and the US.»

        That the UK foreign, security and military policy and operations are run by the USA is nothing new or secret: it was decided by Attlee and Churchill at the end of WW2, and confirmed after Suez showed how little scope for initiative small countries had. It is called the “Special Relationship” in the UK, as if it went both ways. Being a USA protectorate has saved the UK a lot of money and some complications.

        «The best thing the Zionists ever did»

        A lot of people confuse sometimes purposefully the meaning of “Zionism”: for example J Corbyn is a committed (two-state) zionist and supporter of Israel, and has been for decades. But as a proper zionist he is a supporter the Balfour Declaration, including the second part (“it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country”), which far-right politicians seem to ignore.
        The usual confusion is between “Israel”/”zionism” and Likud, which is a neocon/far-right political party, widely detested by many israelis and non-israeli-jews. Likud is a nasty party, and even spreads the ancient anti-semitic argument that there are “good” and “bad” jews,and that the only “good” jews are assimilated jews, that is assimilated to Likud’s far-right politics, what likudniks claim is the “mainstream”.
        The people who attacked our blogger were pretty clearly on far-right likudnik-style end of the political spectrum, just like many Conservative politicians.

  • jazza

    May in HoC now – disregarding history, disregarding facts and claiming, obviously, self-righteousness.
    Corbyn was very poor
    There is no opposition to the lies, deceit and profanity of this parliament and legislature

  • Republicofscotland

    Blackford calling for a politican settlement on Syria, in the House just now, Blackford worried about May’s favourite ally the orange man child Trump and his comment of job done in Syria, with regards to bombing.

    Blackford also calling for more help and support for children and refugees in Syria and the region in general.

    Devious words from a MI6 stooge.

    • giyane


      Oh yes, nothing like a naked lie to give the tongues of the Tory backsides eloquence.

  • Dan Huil

    MI6, MI5, Westminster in general, cannot be trusted. Likewise the anti-Scottish britnat media. The SNP leadership has to go after these liars. What has the SNP got to lose? Certainly not the support of the media.

    Vote for Chris McEleny.

    • reel guid

      “Try to be ‘Jamaican’ ” says the Westminster government. If they have to “try” being Jamaican they must be British. So why are they being deported?

      Get out of that one Amber Rudd!

      • Aslangeo

        Shows how utterly sick the racist tories are – deport and strip of their rights any brown person

    • Gideon Blackmarsh

      The “Rivers of Blood” speech has already aired, on Radio 4 on Saturday. I had it on as background noise whilst keeping up with events in Syria on the web.

      I don’t know how accurate Ian McDiarmid’s vocal impression of Powell was, but I found his voice very irritating and not unlike how I would imagine an elderly William Hague to sound. If I hadn’t been so livid at the stupidity of the UK, US and French governments and glued to my computer screen as a result, I’d have got up and changed the station.

      If anyone’s inclined to listen, the programme can be heard here:

  • Dr Jim

    If you had listened to the First Minister on what she had to say on Russia you might have heard her use the words “going on what I’ve been told” in simple terms the UK told the FM something and she accepted their word, but if it is proven they lied then they lied to her as well as everybody else hence the using of the sentence “going on what I’ve been told”

    Did you expect the FM to call the UK Guv liars without proof or evidence or like you, because you knew a man who knew a man who said something you have no proof of then post it on a blog as proof of your personal dislike of something

    If you’re going to have a go at being a *journalist* try to be better than the Unionist ones we’re already stuck with instead of using the same shoddy tactics they do, or stand for parliament, Ooops that didn’t work out well did it, which party was it who didn’t care for your approach, Hmm let me think?

  • Bob Costello

    Been saying this for a very long time and the fact that Nicola Sturgeon has a habit of emulating Thatcher in her dress sense gives me no reason to feel confident that she has Scotlands interest at heart.

  • Merkin Scot

    If Mr Blackford had said “……..following on from the Russian nerve gas attack in Salisbury, we have decided to support the renewal of Trident” I would not have been surprised.

  • Soothmoother

    This is what I cannot understand. As far as I know, not one MP has questioned the Syrian narrative or questioned the White Helmets legitimacy etc. Our parliamentarians are cowards! What are they afraid of?

  • TFS

    MI6 couldn’t find out the murderer off one of its own, Gareth Williams, never mind the alleged chemical bombing and who was responsible from the other side of the planet.

  • RAC

    So there it is then, May claims she had to move instantly acting on information that cannot be shared. Just like she acted over the Skripal affair, throwing out groundless accusations like a drunken fishwife.
    It’s a question of who you believe, Assad or May.
    I choose NOT to believe May and that will guide my decision in all my future votes.

  • Robert Graham

    While I agree with Craig’s assessment after listening to Ian Blackfords statement that managed to hit the wall , ceiling and floor and missed the target Mrs Mayhem completely . It was a limp rebuke of a lying PM .

    All the people below who say they won’t vote for the SNP again , get a bloody grip , no one agrees with everything every party does it’s impossible to please everyone .

    Ok first things first Independence : ( SNP the only vehicle that can deliver it ) then argue about future policy if you don’t vote SNP you don’t believe in a independent Scotland its that simple : its free choice in action .

    • Susan Smith

      Keep voting for them – but letting them know we are not happy by the way they’ve fallen behind the establishment – and why. The Enlightment arose from a sceptical Scottish L mindset. We need that now.

  • Ingwe

    “This cannot last”
    Yes, you’re right Mr Murray. As history teaches us, there comes a ‘tipping point’ where the excesses and corruption of those that rule us becomes too much for the people and they rebel. I’d like to think we were at that point but I fear that we still have some way to go!

  • Ian Beattie

    Totally agree. There has been little or no evidence and it seems strange to carry out the bombing raid before the OPCW get in to inspect the area and report in the same way as Blair and Bush bombed Iraq before Blix could report on WMD. Further, the agenda has nothing to do with humanitarian help because we happily supply Saudis to bomb civilians in Yemen and turn a blind eye to the excesses of the Israeli Defence Force in Gaza and the so called occupied territories.

  • Craig MacInnes

    Where did Ian Blackford state this Craig? I can’t find any evidence he has agreed with MI6 anywhere. Perhaps you could help me out here as normally you are very good at providing sources and maybe I’m not very good at research.

    • Craig MacInnes

      Craig, I have since found the interview Ian Blackford gave to Sky News and he does indeed state that he accepts the security services briefing that Assad was responsible for this alleged chemical attack in Douma. A huge mistake on Blackford’s part I feel as one should never ever ever and indeed ever believe anything emanating from the security services.


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