The Ubiquity of Evil 4215

My world view changed forever when, after 20 years in the Foreign Office, I saw colleagues I knew and liked go along with Britain’s complicity in the most terrible tortures, as detailed stunningly in the recent Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee Report. They also went along with keeping the policy secret, deliberately disregarding all normal record taking procedures, to the extent that the Committee noted:

131. We note that we have not seen the minutes of these meetings either: this causes us great concern. Policy discussions on such an important issue should have been minuted. We support Mr Murray’s own conclusion that were it not for his actions these matters may never have come to light.

The people doing these things were not ordinarily bad people; they were just trying to keep their jobs, comforting themselves with the thought that they were only civil servants obeying orders. Many were also actuated by the nasty “patriotism” that grips in time of war, as we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost nobody in the FCO stood up against the torture or against the illegal war – Elizabeth Wilmshurst, Carne Ross and I were the only ones to leave over it.

I then had the still more mortifying experience of the Foreign Office seeking to punish my dissent by bringing a series of accusations of gross misconduct – some of them criminal – against me. The people bringing the accusations knew full well they were false. The people investigating them knew they were false from about day 2. But I was put through a hellish six months of trial by media before being acquitted on all the original counts (found guilty of revealing the charges, whose existence was an official secret!). The people who did this to me were people I knew.

I had served as First Secretary in the British Embassy in Poland, and bumped up startlingly against the history of the Holocaust in that time, including through involvement with organising the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. What had struck me most forcibly was the sheer scale of the Holocaust operation, the tens of thousands of people who had been complicit in administering it. I could never understand how that could happen – until I saw ordinary, decent people in the FCO facilitate extraordinary rendition and torture. Then I understood, for the first time, the banality of evil or, perhaps more precisely, the ubiquity of evil. Of course, I am not comparing the scale of what happened to the Holocaust – but evil can operate on different scales.

I believe I see it again today. I do not believe that the majority of journalists in the BBC, who pump out a continual stream of “Corbyn is an anti-semite” propaganda, believe in their hearts that Corbyn is a racist at all. They are just doing their job, which is to help the BBC avert the prospect of a radical government in the UK threatening the massive wealth share of the global elite. They would argue that they are just reporting what others say; but it is of course the selection of what they report and how they report it which reflect their agenda.

The truth, of which I am certain, is this. If there genuinely was the claimed existential threat to Jews in Britain, of the type which engulfed Europe’s Jews in the 1930’s, Jeremy Corbyn, Billy Bragg, Roger Waters and I may humbly add myself would be among the few who would die alongside them on the barricades, resisting. Yet these are today loudly called “anti-semites” for supporting the right to oppose the oppression of the Palestinians. The journalists currently promoting those accusations, if it came to the crunch, would be polishing state propaganda and the civil servants writing railway dockets. That is how it works. I have seen it. Close up.

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4,215 thoughts on “The Ubiquity of Evil

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  • Bryndle

    The mafia gunning for Corbyn are doing themselves no favours. Since when has criticism of the actions of the Zionist government against the inhabitants of Palestine justify any claim of being “anti-semitic”? It clearly does NOT – and neither is Corbyn.

    • Mistress Pliddy

      They don’t call you Rip, do they? Since Forever (or rather, at least 52 years).

  • Emanuel

    As said before, investigative journalism is dead. Instead we have unscrupulous promoters of fabrications who know that failure to toe the line, translates to loss of lucrative job security if not worse.
    My advice to people blessed with moral rectitude is to decline any invitation to trek on MoD land in the highlands!

  • Merkin Scot

    There is obviously no ‘existential threat’ to Jews in Britain from having Corbyn as PM and to suggest otherwise is ludicrous. Like Craig I lived in Poland for many years and saw the banality of the actuality of that evil which would not have been possible without the acquiescence of many locals. In this country frum vs. frummer within the Jewish community has always been used in pursuit of the aims of the Israeli government. That bullying is still being used by certain people within the Labour party against others of the same religion.
    Nothing new.

    • Jerzy

      “Like Craig I lived in Poland for many years and saw the banality of the actuality of that evil which would not have been possible without the acquiescence of many locals.”

      I strongly dispute your “acquiescence of the locals” passage.

      Are you one of those people who refer – without doubt for anti-Polish reasons – to “Polish concentration camps”?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Jerzy July 30, 2018 at 11:29
        I have seen a documentary where Polish people were asked about the Camps. There is no doubt that many were more than happy to go along with Hitler’s program, as they were able to take over the houses and businesses of those sent to the camps.
        Are you saying that Anti-Semitism was not rampant in Poland in WWII, or that it still isn’t?

        • ZiggyM

          @ Paul Barbara
          That sounds like Claude Lanzmann’s documentary Shoah. He died 3 weeks ago
          On YouTube in 2 parts. The whole thing lasts over 9 hours.
          It consists entirely of interviews. Among other things it exposes the fact that this was also a ‘business enterprise’ The arguments about which department should pay the costs of ‘Special Trains’ are one of the many things in it that really encapsulates the phrase The Banality of Evil.
          If people haven’t watched it…..You should.

          • Paul Barbara

            @ ZiggyM July 30, 2018 at 13:49
            It could be, as I did watch Shoah’.
            I visited Aushwitz/Birkenau museum in 2005.

        • Sharp Ears

          I worked alongside a Polish girl in the NHS. I became sick of her overt anti-semitism.

          • Jerzy

            You are judging the Polish people on the basis of one Polish girl you worked with?

            Yes or no?

            You would be happy to see the entire NHS staff be judged on the basis of how someone might find you?

          • Sharp Ears

            Of course not. What do you take me for?

            Furthermore we would not have an NHS without the very many foreign nationals who work in it.

          • Jerzy

            So what was the point you were trying to make with your post at 3:05pm yesterday?

          • Herbie

            Very difficult area there, between Germany and Russia.

            Many bad memories, centuries and centuries.

            And these haven’t yet been resolved.

            It’s the crossroads of the northern world, and like that other crossroads, the ME, needs a long period of stability before these deep wounds, to so many different peoples, can be healed.

            Unfair for those living in what should be relatively stable islands to be blaming Poles for anything.

            Especially when there’s such a long history of bigotry and hatreds here, in a much more blessed geopolitical location.

      • Merkin Scot

        “I strongly dispute your “acquiescence of the locals” passage.”
        You deliberately misquoted me. End of.

    • Tony

      In Denmark and Bulgaria, the local populations acted to prevent the killing of Jews.
      In the former case, I think the locals were tipped off by a German civil servant.

      In France, Jews were rounded up by the French authorities for deportation and extermination.

  • Bill McLean

    It would appear that this hysterical criticism of Corbyn is to remind we lesser beings of our place and to discourage any criticism of Israel. They, our masters, encourage criticism of Russia, and many other countries, constantly. Russia annexes the Crimea, populated by a massive ethnic Russian majority, and it’s hell. Israel steals, and continues to steal, Palestinian land and comment is nil and we are to be reminded not even to try it! Democracy! Not in the Uk! Not now – not ever!

  • mog

    This sentiment of this article is exactly what I have been thinking the past few days.
    The journalists, the LFI MPs, the Board of Deputies, the editors at the Jewish Chronicle- they all know full well that there is not ‘an anti-Semitism problem in the Labour Party’, and they know that Corbyn is a fighter against ant-Semitism, not a racist.

    How can they row back from this if Corbyn survives to the next general election? Aside from it being morally bankrupt to knowingly/ falsely accuse people of anti-Semitism, it is an all or nothing tactic which leads us all into an era of increasing political extremism.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The all or nothing tactic has been standard operating practice from AIPAC for decades. They set out to destroy an academic or journalist that suggests the most balanced, subtle criticism of their controlling regime. Pour encoureger les autres. I agree that ultimately this is self defeating. In the Congress and Senate after decades of total silence a few brave souls are speaking out and the numbers are growing.

        • bj

          Sure. But Finkelstein has become more vocal because of it. Bless him.

          The accusations against him are the epitome of fabricated hysteria.

          • Mistress Pliddy

            More vocal but far less effective than he was as a tenured academic, able to argue on the same playing field as his many opponents. After his banishment to the academic wilderness, his voice became heard only by his supporters in the west and Palestine. He has also been persecuted in subtle ways by the USA state apparatus through psyops and ridicule (via the msm).

  • Davie Hay

    We are blighted by a fifth column when we are crying out for a proper fourth estate.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I think it is in Chronicles of Dissent that Noam Chomsky opines to David Barsamian that, were the United States taken over by some unimaginably powerful country, it would be people like George Bush Snr and Elliot Abrams who would be working for the invaders and sending people off to concentration camps.

    What I find most frightening about Craig Murray’s words is how easily I can imagine them applying to myself. How easy it would be – in fact, is – to just keep your head down, mind your own business, be afraid of – in the circumstances of what is happening to people in the torture cells – relatively minor matters such as losing your job, getting into trouble, etc.

    Seems to me that people are educated to conform and be obedient, and also that they have very little economic power. Until those matters are sensibly addressed by us all, and people are educated to actually challenge authority as a matter of course – what a horrendous prospect for those in charge! – Corbyns and Murrays will continue to be in short supply.

    • Doodlebug

      Aye, there’ the rub. The concept with which we are concerned here is more obedient complacency than evil. The studies of Asch and Milgram have a far wider relevance than first-year textbooks.

      • N_

        Agreed – Asch and Milgram wrote some very useful stuff. People should start with Milgram to get an idea of the sheer depth of it, and to understand that many people are willing to KILL if a “respectable” person tells them to, especially if they don’t have to see the blood ooze out.

        • bj

          Much of this evil comes to fruition after a long sustained and yet almost unremarkable step up of –each seemingly insignificant– rules, regulations and laws.

    • BarrieJ

      I have a feeling change needs to start with education and the introduction into the curriculum of critical thinking, by which I mean the objective analysis of facts to form a judgement. The rational, sceptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence.
      Children need to be taught to accept nothing and question everything.
      Can’t see that happening anytime soon,they’d rather we spent our time watching I’m a Strictly Celebrity X Factor on Love Island.
      Frankly, the future looks grim.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ BarrieJ July 30, 2018 at 11:47
        The PTB have been very aware of the importance of education, and have made sure that questioning authority is the last thing they instil. To say nothing about the ‘video games’ for youngsters involving violence and sex, and the deliberate ‘barbarianisation’ of music! As for TV, deliberate disjointed flashes with fancy cars, tropical islands, violence, gang culture and sex, all rapidly following one another, that one sees so often in pubs, or in shops selling TV’s, with multiple TV’s all showing the same absolutely mind polluting rubbish. Dumbing down the population, poisoning them with flouride, vaccine additives, GMO’s, heavy metal pollution – I used to think the idea of the PTB deliberately dumbing down the population was OTT, but now I accept it as all too obvious.
        The last thing the PTB want is a population of people that can and do think critically for themselves, and decide for themselves if the PTB and MSM are telling the truth (that’ll be the day, as Buddy Holly used to sing!) or lying.
        And one of the major weapons to ensure compliance is the weaponised concept of calling all dissenters ‘conspiracy theorists’, which immediately cuts down any discussion.

        • Clark

          Twit. Calling someone a ‘conspiracy theorist’ isn’t a trump card; Jack Straw tried it and was proven wrong. And I suppose you can blame the ‘PTB’ for churning out mind-rot TV (depending who you include in the apparently infinitely elastic term ‘PTB’) but not for people choosing to watch it. Etc.

          Grief. You think you’re so far-seeing, but you don’t even know what half the real issues actually are, so you constantly push nonsense that only serves to obscure them further.

    • MightyDrunken

      “What I find most frightening about Craig Murray’s words is how easily I can imagine them applying to myself.”

      It takes a strong person to admit to their weaknesses and flaws. 🙂
      I would hypothesise that those who would most ardently deny this are among those who would be the most enthusiastic turncoats. Not because they are lying to us or even themselves but because they do not know themselves.

      Nullius in verba
      Take nobody’s word for it”, the motto of the Royal Society

      I am a huge fan of Science and I think it is the best human made procedure for finding the truth and for trying not to fool ourselves. David Deutsch has some interesting things to say about this and one of his conclusions is that the most important part of Science is criticism.
      Yet if you criticise the news, you are labelled a conspiracy theorist.
      If you criticise Israel you are labelled an anti-semite.
      If you criticise power, they will label you to nullify your criticism. You are a far right racist extremist/ communist loving hippie day dreamer loser.
      Of course not all criticism is equal, but the first step to the truth is a debate, looking at all the evidence with an open mind.

      • N_

        the first step to the truth is a debate, looking at all the evidence with an open mind.

        Well they are two different things. I disagree about the utility of the first. Debates are between talking heads and they encourage passivity, however wrapped it may be in an illusion of activity.

        Besides which, who are you proposing should debate with whom? Noam Chomsky versus Peter Thiel, or Elon Musk, or maybe Stephen Bannon? What would you do about sea lioning? What would the topics be and what would the shared assumptions be? Two people can’t debate unless they share some assumptions. I don’t want to debate whether capitalism undergoing its technofascist revolution should be kept or smashed. Capitalism has no case. I don’t even want to win an intellectual argument. I just want a humane society without exploitation, where “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” (Marx).

        I agree about minds needing to get more open, but who couldn’t? 🙂

        I have big problems with the whole “enlightened debate” take. Here’s an alternative thought: the hope of humanity may well depend on a gigantic emotional freakout, a contagious screaming fit by people who do NOT want to negotiate and who do not particularly want to explain themselves or engage in rational debate or in the utterly screwed-up male-domination discourse called “science” (of which the current cutting edge ideologically is founded on the role of artificial intelligence, which is based on the idea that each person is nothing but a number, therefore human life is worthless – except presumably the lives of the male software engineers and their masters who pay them.)

        3000 voluntarily chip-implanted in Sweden and rising…

        Whether humanity rescues itself depends on women. Which since we are talking about the future of our species, perhaps isn’t surprising.

        • Mighty Drunken

          N_, debate is essential, the only other option is unanimous agreement or different groups occupying different realities. But we all live in the same reality, though we have different perspectives. The MSM has got to the point where there is zero analysis. Every rumour about the “novichok” incidents are takes as stories and spun out. Almost no one in the MSM took the time to ponder the likelihood of all these possible scenarios and the greater context. Say in regard to Sergei’s past involvement with .
          Who should be part of the debates? Well the first criteria is about the explanatory power of the theories put forward and how much of the evidence is part of the explanation. Generally people who know about the subject would be best, though in the World of the talking head this will often not be the case.

          So N_ you make a good point, I have seen debates on day time TV or talk radio where “opposite” sides talk at each other, these debates are not edifying, I have sees articles which take a deep look at subjects and give the history, context and data to understand (at least at a basic level) a particular subject. These two types of works are pretty easy to tell apart. Do I put too much faith in people to tell the difference?

          Oh I agree that women should have a much greater role in decision making.

        • Mathias Alexander

          Debate; the dictatorship of the articulate. The one who keeps talking the longest is the winner.

    • Susan Smith

      Quite agree. Another aspects of being educated to confirm is that there’s no room in society for eccentrics – who are often the most creative of people that society needs most for discovery and innovation, as well as for the all the many forms of artistic endeavour.

    • RogerDodger

      It takes a big soul to stand on principle, to say no, to put one’s lot on the line for the sake of another. A great big fiery soul. God knows I don’t have one. It seems the world strives to shrink the soul in each of us, to make us fearful, make us raise our hands and say, ‘I don’t like it, but what can I do?’ And then do nothing, except what is one is told.

      • Shatnersrug

        I also think that that kind of fascism/totalitarianism is part of a group psychosis. I honestly believe that when a country goes of the descent to hatred it overwhelms everybody. Nothing is viewed through a normal or healthy viewpoint. Hatred distrust, paranoia run rife in the minds of everyone. I think that sickness is here in the UK, now, sections of the population have just had enough of each other. Look how much venom there is between Brexiteers and remainers, people who are obstensively the same with a different view of our country’s outlook. The hatred I see flying back and forth is disgraceful, sure the Brexiteers are rude, but I’m stunned at how unpleasant and unwilling to fin a compromise the remainers are.

        But this is everywhere, there’s a poster on here that is just *absolutely sure* that Labour’s downfall was to allow English people to join 100 years ago!! And we often see English posters telling the Scots to F off.

        Why so much hatred? Well I think it’s because our political leaders have been cavalier with their responsibilities. I think we’re on a road to somewhere very bad, and I think many of us will behave in a way that we would not we’re the country not in a mass psychosis

        • skyblaze

          Remainers realise that a lot of Brexit supporters are in the same vein as Trump supporters – low information voters resistant to logic and reason in general…I have yet to find one Brexit supporter who can give one concrete real life advantage of leaving the EU…just abstract nonsense about freedom and democarcy

  • Xavi

    The most anti-racist MP in the whole British parliament is cast as its most racist ….. a new hitler posing an existential threat to j*ws!!

    Further confirmation of the demented class bias/hatred at the BBC, Guardian, C4, etc. Further confirmation that they themselves are the real kings of fake news and must NEVER be trusted. What more evidence could you need than this?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The staffing of the BBC is and always has been outrageously skewed towards Oxbridge types. It’s 2018 and the presence on screen of people like Steph McGovern is still some noteworthy anomaly. Other media platforms such as the Guardian also display this Oxbridge bias but the BBC is supposed to be a public entity so MUST be required to recruit from out with its upper middle class comfort zone.
    By recruiting almost exclusively from within the establishment is it any wonder that editorial policy reflects a fossilised establishment world view.
    Producers having the Tax Payers Alliance on speed dial for comment on every economic and Brexit topic is a scandal.
    Also worth mentioning is that BBC News and Current affairs was thoroughly infiltrated by the British American Project back in the 80’s and 90’s.

  • N_

    There’s a specifically British background to this. Even more specifically it is English, but the rich in Scotland and Wales love it too. The Tory elite here – and their attitude goes right the way down the middle classes, even to the lower middle class and the upper working class, and it certainly spreads to many who have never voted Tory [1] – HATE the lower orders with such extreme vitriol that simply does NOT exist to such a degree in any other part of the world I have encountered.

    They HATE the idea that a working class person can “get something for nothing” by getting health treatment that’s free at the point of use, for example.

    We all know what Italian, French, Belgian, German, and United States fascist torturers have done, and we know the arrogance of the rich living behind their barriers in for example the Philippines, Latin America, China, and Africa, but nonetheless I assert that the sheer hatred in Britain for the majority within the country is on a scale that sets it apart.

    You even get this attitude from some working class people, including some who are on low wages, who work behind counters and deal with the “general public”, a euphemism if ever there was one.

    This attitude practically never leaves a British middle class person, however social-democratic or lefty-liberal they may become. They see the working class as SUBHUMANS. This attitude binds together with their view of foreigners. Why? Because most foreigners live abroad, whereas working class people are all around them. We are talking about the “other”.

    Of course within those who have this culture there are smaller circles, and within each circle the view of those in outer circles is also highly contemptuous, even if they at least see the “outers” as being on their side, in the castle, etc. (even if they are “pleb” policemen guarding Downing Street). Two of the most important inner circles are the one that separates those who went to Oxford and Cambridge (especially certain colleges) from everyone else, and the one that separates those who went to private schools from those who went to state schools. No analysis of the British caste system is worth anything that doesn’t get to grips with those two divisions.

    It is of course very reminiscent of the British empire.

    And…this attitude is about to have its glory days. Wait and see. Yep, it had a telos all along.

    Latest news: Deutsche Bank has announced it will pull €1 trillion of currency business out of London. And what sector, boys and girls, does the British economy rest on? That’s right…

    When the traders pile in to collapse the pound, it’s going to be… Let’s just say that many of those who haven’t felt their ribs for a while can expect to become acquainted with them.

    (1) “To many who have never voted Tory”. Here are a couple of examples that people may find useful: Tony Blair when he lived in an expensive house in Islington referred to some tall blocks of working class housing as spoiling his view, as if the proletariat were robbing him by daring to exist and to live sheltered from the weather; and Emily Thornberry “tweeted” a picture of a white van parked outside a house bedecked with an English flag, meaning “ugh – look at these animals”. You will be hard-pushed to find me a non-British example of this kind of thing, directed against the indigenous working class. It is very similar to the most extreme kind of racism. The British middle class and the rich grow up with this kind of hatred as if it were as natural as the clouds and the hills.

    • J

      “They HATE the idea that a working class person can “get something for nothing” by getting health treatment that’s free at the point of use, for example.”

      Typical bollocks. We all pay for it, we don’t get anything for nothing. The money is being diverted both before and after it arrives in the NHS.

      And they don’t hate us any more than they have to, governments are merely a slow moving cash cows to them.

      • N_

        They don’t hate us any more than they have to, governments are merely a slow moving cash cows to them.

        They do, @J. And it is really hatred, not just dislike or contempt or a wish to keep separate from us,

        Your second statement is true, but how does it support the first?

        • bj

          There’s nothing that brings about so much hate, than to be face to face with someone who is poor.

    • N_

      A very recent “whoops, did I say that in public?” example comes from the head of the British Dental Association, who clearly thinks homeless people are trash whose existence robs something from his.

      Imagine a fucking dirty scammer of a dentist – an utterly dishonest and thieving profession if ever there was one – saying something like that.

      Then there’s the hatred expressed by that little prick of a student at Cambridge who burnt a banknote in front of a homeless person. Anybody got any French, German, Irish, United States stories of similar acts?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ N_ July 30, 2018 at 11:41
        There were tales of ‘people’ lighting their cigars with £5 notes during WWII in London.

    • craig Post author

      I really don’t think that is entirely true. All the polling evidence shows very strong support for the NHS among the middle classes. No doubt the attitudes you outline exist in some people, but not throughout the population,

    • John Spencer-Davis

      One thing I have been very struck by in recent years is the remarkable hatred I see expressed on line by people who have private sector pensions (or very limited pension arrangements) towards people who have public sector pensions, which are generally regarded as more generous.

      It’s not the private employers who have unanimously moved towards defined contribution rather than defined benefit pensions who are the object of personal hatred. It is, very clearly, public sector employees perceived as having better pension arrangements, whether they have or not. Of course, I am sure not everybody feels that way. But the vitriol expressed towards those who are perceived as working less hard, for better reward, with more job and pension security, is profoundly disturbing and depressing. The benefits of collective bargaining, rather than inspiring emulation and solidarity, seem to cause intense rage and profound envy. It seems that the idea of someone working alongside you having more than you’ve got is the source of far more resentment than the managing director with his seven figure salary and enormous pension and private education and healthcare and his stockade of a home enclosed by black and gold railings and monitored by CCTV. Human beings really are very odd.

      • Mathias Alexander

        Yes, its like if you’ve been mugged you think everybody else should be mugged in the interests of fair play. Of course its the people who have mugged them that have persuaded them to think this way.

    • John A

      “Tony Blair when he lived in an expensive house in Islington referred to some tall blocks of working class housing as spoiling his view, as if the proletariat were robbing him by daring to exist and to live sheltered from the weather”

      I am as big a critic of Tony Blair as there is. I remember the glad to be alive feeling in May 97 when finally the Tories were ousted and ‘things can only get better’, except to be bitterly let down by Blair. And his support for the Iraq war etc. etc. However, I also used to live in Islington, in fact was a next door neighbour of Mandelson before he moved to Notting Hill. I know the street in which the Blairs lived before moving to Downing Street. I know Cherie was outraged that they listened to the advice of Alistair Campbell to sell the house and so missed out on huge house inflation – which maybe explains her urge to build a property empire subsequently. However, I also know there are no ‘views’ to be spoilt in Islington and certainly in the street the Blairs lived in, there were no lowering tower blocks overshadowing the houses there. Can you therefore provide some substance to your allegation, otherwise it is as idiotic as it sounds.

  • J

    Thanks Craig. Remarkably, we’re not drowning under the waves of complicity from so many organisations and individuals. We’re winning the arguments, the landscape is changing. Only the dinosaurs haven’t yet realised they’re extinct. Largely thanks to a relatively small group of courageous individuals, people like you.

  • Bob

    Which makes even stranger your complete rejection of the idea that the USA State was involved in the atrocity of 9/11 and its cover-up based on the sheer number of people that had to have been involved.

    • N_

      Agreed. Almost all of the famous “number of people who would have had to be involved” would instantly believe afterwards that they had really witnessed only what they were told they witnessed.

      This works in the wider population too. I find it interesting that most people are now unaware that the major media in the aftermath of the attacks declared that bombs had exploded in the basements of the twin towers. That is not my opinion. That is a fact. Millions must have watched it said on their screens, before promptly forgetting it when the story changed.

      Not very many people know much about crowd psychology.

    • BarrieJ

      The Manhattan Project involved 130,000 people in over 30 sites from three nations. They kept that quiet.

      • Kempe

        Not quite, the Germans, the Japanese and the Russians all knew about the Manhattan Project. The Nazis made several unsuccessful attempts to get spies inside, the Russians had more success. Four were caught but there may have been more judging by the speed with which the Soviets built their own bomb.

        Both the Manhattan Project and the Holocaust happened at times and places where there was total control of the media. Even if somebody had wanted to blow the whistle there was nowhere to turn to. The SS also created the cover story that Holocaust victims were being re-settled in the east.

        To compare these with the absurd conspiracy theories around 9/11 is ludicrous.

    • Garth Carthy

      @Bob: Yes, the terrible 9/11 event and its many different narratives still troubles me. On the one hand, we can be ‘rational’, use ‘common sense’ and assert that it would be impossible to cover up an inside job needed on this scale. We can also rightly be very wary of conspiracy theories because people with a certain tendency or flawed personality are all too easily inclined to jump to false conclusions after such world shattering events. Craig is in good company with people like Noam Chomsky in rejecting or not wanting to discuss the ‘inside job’ argument for 9/11 but then there are videos showing the towers falling like a house of cards – and of course the explosions.
      On top of all this, there have been so many contradictions, anomalies and lack of transparency by the investigative teams on the 9/11 event.

      Maybe it IS best to forget any ideas that 9/11 was a conspiracy unless something new and verifiable evidence comes up in the future, but I have a distinct feeling of lack of closure about this.

      Maybe we have to learn to live with that and focus on the here and now. The trouble is new events keep cropping up that lend themselves to conspiracy theories, whatever the truth e.g. the Skripal/’Novichok’ and David Kelly issues.

      • Doodlebug

        The suspect nature of events on that infamous date is encapsulated In a single phrase – “Building 7”

      • Mathias Alexander

        Has a thing been “covered up” if it appears everywhere except the MSM?

  • Hatuey

    “The people doing these things were not ordinarily bad people; they were just trying to keep their jobs…”

    I’m starting to get the impression that Craig went to one of the good schools. The above plays the same part in the middle class value system that heroine plays in the veins of addicts.

    The thing that puzzles me about the anti-semitism smears against Labour is that anyone, including the Labour Party itself, takes them seriously. If someone accused me of anti-semitism, I’d simply smirk and tell them to fuck off and stop being stupid. The last thing I’d do is respond with any seriousness because I know it’s junk.

    As for Wings and the YouTube thing, it looks like they have a list of clips that were complained against and they are mostly all clips that relate to the Labour Party. Apparently some lawyer submitted the complaint.

    Are we to assume the lawyer was acting for the BBC or the Labour Party itself? I’d guess neither, that someone was probably trying to make it look like the Labour Party was behind it, but, since all three are the establishment vis a vis my world, it doesn’t matter.

    Supporters of Scottish independence should assume the worst here, though, that there’s more to this than meets the eye and probably more underhand antics to follow. I’d guess this is a new project and there will be a team of people involved, all undoubtedly “just trying to keep their jobs…”

      • N_

        Can’t you turn the predictive off and “take back control” of your spelling? 🙂

        • Hatuey

          Yeah but it saves time sometimes. I hate the way it goes for U.K. instead of UK though.

    • Bob

      anti-semitism or anti-semite are no longer meaningful terms, they were debased, exploited, corrupted and wrung out by political activists who wanted to maintain a “special” status.

      Well they overplayed their card so many times that now anyone can legitimately accused (in the eyes of the fanatics) including Jews who object to their country’s treatment of the Palestinians of being anti-semitic

      They killed the goose that was laying the golden eggs. But they had to the eggs weren’t Kosher.

    • Doodlebug

      “The thing that puzzles me about the anti-semitism smears against Labour is that anyone, including the Labour Party itself, takes them seriously. If someone accused me of anti-semitism, I’d simply smirk and tell them to fuck off and stop being stupid. The last thing I’d do is respond with any seriousness because I know it’s junk”

      But you don’t have to play the political game for a living or you’d doubtless respond in a politically appropriate fashion. Most right-minded people would probably adopt the same attitude as yourself but in Westminster feigned indignation is part of a staple diet of posturing.

    • skyblaze

      I am curious as to exactly what anti semetic stuff has the Labour party been involved in…I just see headlines in the usual offender newspapers but no substance….of course the scummy papers are relying on some old people clinging to the past world war 2 and a holocaust to create Labour and Corbyn as some sort of Nazi threat

  • Courtenay Barnett


    You have seen it close up; I have seen it from a distance.

    When you wrote:-

    ” Many were also actuated by the nasty “patriotism” that grips in time of war, as we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    that prompted me to think of the converse.

    When we say “patriotism” these days, we end up in the UK and US with severely warped distortions of the true meaning of that word.

    1. Why is it in the US that so many mainstream media journalists equate “patriotism” with “militarism”?

    2. Why do so many people jump on the “hate Islam and the Muslims” bandwagon – when totally failing to note or observe or question that at the time of the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, it was the US that had financed, trained and openly supported the Mujahidin, which morphed ( but – was still supported by the CIA etc.) into groups that served well as proxies for military advance of US and western interests on the alternative battlefields? Does Syria come to mind? Why doesn’t the MSM observe, note and ask these questions?

    3. When NATO was formed, there seemed to be sense in having an alliance, wherein the stampede into Poland, might -post World War 11 – be met with a robust resistance; but – is this the same thing as saying that the US/NATO establishing itself further East, post Grobochov – is not quite the same thing as maintaining peace – nor – defending security – but – potentially – and quite to the converse – inviting war?

    4. Does the MSM question that if Russia were to resume – as in the time of Khrushchev/Kennedy – the installation of nuclear missiles in Cuba ( recall also that the tensions were prompted by the US installation of missiles in Turkey) – this correctly – would be viewed by the US as an aggressive action on Russia’s part? So, when the US interferes in elections; implants a supportive regime on Russia’s border; seeks to install missiles further and further East – is this inviting peace – or is it laying the foundation for war?

    I am a lawyer – not a diplomat – or voice in the UN. Yet, as these observations seem important to me for the safety and future security of planet Earth, as a mere Earthling, I must be concerned. I do not earn enough money ( respect maybe) in my law practice to purchase the ticket on the space ship which is going to colonise Mars – so, do my fellow Earthlings – faced with the same financial constraints of ‘Mars ticket purchase’ – share any similar concerns – I ask myself?

    • Doodlebug

      “so, do my fellow Earthlings – faced with the same financial constraints of ‘Mars ticket purchase’ – share any similar concerns – I ask myself?”

      Indeed they do. Unfortunately society is like a watch movement. Each piece has a certain role to play. No amount of wishful thinking on the part of the balance wheel is going to turn it into a mainspring. Likewise, having chosen and pursued our careers we are stuck with our lots in life, unless we should decide to become anarchically pro-active in politics and maybe forget about paying the mortgage, funding the kids as they grow up, ignoring the wife etc., etc. (see Rudy Giuliani for an instance of the latter) possibly the safest option (from the point of view of one’s own mental health) is to ‘grin and bear it’.

      ‘Ignorance is bliss’ so the saying goes. Never more true than nowadays. (I’m with you on points 1-4 btw.)

  • Ernie Catney

    How is this to be combated?? 3 Jewish newspapers with the same front pages accusing Jeremy corbyn +the Labour Party of failing to do enough to eliminate anti-semitism in the party. One suspects the Israeli government +their apologists are coordinating this
    Campaign of disinformation.

    • GF

      I would be very surprised if the Israeli government and Mossad were not behind this – probably cooperating with the Tories.

    • Michael McNulty

      Also this recent intensity comes right after MPs started their three-month skive. And while the Tories might claim this prevents them asking questions of Labour in parliament in reality it prevents questions being asked of them, because as somebody said recently this is Israel interfering in Britain’s democracy and election process. These smears won’t scare off those who recognize Jeremy is a decent man not a racist, a socialist with widely popular policies; a combo which scares the money-grubbing bejeezus out of every western establishment.

    • Doodlebug

      “How is this to be combated??” By telling them to mind their own f*cking business.

    • Shatnersrug

      Here, you can read a twitter thread by the excellent Ass Winstanley from Electronic Intifada, in precisely what is going on with the Labour party.

      Yes the Israeli Embassy is behind this, but this is s coalition of Malcontents – the Israeli Embassy working on behalf of the Lukid government, Blairites who are trying to use identity politics to oust the leader they hate, Board of deputies and the UK Jewish Media – all right wing, all have their fingers in pies regarding property development in the uk who wish anything but a return to social housing. And of course the largest one – the current Conservative government. Israeli propaganda wing maybe powerful but it is nothing compared to the British state, and I can assure you that if the government felt it were not benefiting from this then the Israelis would be slapped down immediately just as thatcher did in the 80s. Israel is what it is because the US/UK say it is it’s funded by and supported by the west, yes Netanyahu is a truculent vassil leader, but never forget who really calls the shots, and Israel represents western interests. And Corbyn and us the people of the party stand in the way.

      Tbh I fear what comes next for Jeremy, because these people prove time and again they will stop at nothing.

  • N_

    Just a note to say I think Hannah Arendt’s work is totally boring and not worth reading. She wouldn’t have had a clue how to speak to someone at a bus-stop. Daniel Goldhagen’s is slightly more interesting, especially insofar as he fingers medics as (IIRC) the “profession” that was most represented (by some metric) in the German national-socialist party.

    While I’m here…ask what an “MDT” meeting is at a British hospital, and watch the “ordinary public servants” circle the wagons.

  • Steve Logue

    This behaviour reminds me of the juror in Twelve Angry Men who wants to find the defendant guilty to avoid the trial dragging on too long which would mean him missing his ball game.

  • David Carraher

    Truly a moving entry that I hope many will read. Your searing observations are consistent with Stanley Milgram’s ground-breaking study of Obedience to Authority:
    As you may well know, Milgram found that the majority of subjects, volunteers for a purported study of the effects of punishment on the learning of word-pairs, were willing to administer the maximum level of shocks (450 volts) to an innocent participant (actually an unharmed experimental accomplice) although they (the volunteers) were clearly under no threat of harm to themselves, were they to disobey orders. Some subjects even continued to administer shocks when the victim entirely ceased to respond.

  • Bob smith

    An excellent post by Craig but doesn’t it just portray the issues in the black and white terms used by the very journalists guilty of bias. At a local level I have seen Jewish members of the Labour Party resign because of the attitude shown towards them by other members. On that basis I would say there is a problem, but no more than other racist attitudes I have seen in the Labour Party. Many years ago (in the Seventies) a local councillor and former mayor gave a speech at a Ward meeting I chaired that would have been seen as extreme at a National Front meeting. Stupidity is not new, and in working class communities it is not unusual to hear minorities used as an excuse for the ills of the world. As the councillor I spoke of was very firmly told, there is no place for such views in the Labour Party. Where they exist they need to be rooted out. I think Jeremy Corbyn has failed to put his encouraging words and personal track record into a meaningful action against those small minority of members whose views have no place in the Labour Party. I can see that view might not be popular on this blog but it is my personal experience and I hope you can respect it.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Bob smith July 30, 2018 at 13:09
      Nobody would say that the Labour Party (or the Conservative Party) was devoid of some anti-Semites – it should, however, be apparent that Jeremy Corbyn iisn’t one of them, and that real anti-Semites would be kicked out unceremoniously.
      But the main issue here is the use of the term as a bludgeon, a ‘card’ to use against anyone who criticises I*rael’s abominable treatment of the Palestinians.
      What do you make of Yonatan’s comment, and the video he links to?

      • Phil Espin

        I don’t believe Ken Livingston was anti-Semite either but he was still booted out as a sacrifice to the special pleaders. Just goes to show feeding the trolls is not an effective tactic. They always come back for more.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          “You will never be able to stop the auction.” (Christopher Hitchens, For The Sake Of Argument.)

          Throwing a bone to these people will not help. Encouraged, they will come back for the other 205. I think the time is rapidly approaching for the Labour left to say: Enough is enough.

  • Jiusito

    If you throw enough mud, some of it sticks – and they have thrown sackloads at Corbyn, day after day, week after week, month after month. In 2015, before he unexpectedly won the Labour leadership and it was still acceptable to be truthful about him, Julia Hartley-Brewer wrote in the “Spectator” that he is “a genuinely nice man, hugely liked and admired by his colleagues” – and by “colleagues” she didn’t just mean MPs on the left of his party. I honestly think that the aim of the media onslaught on him is not just to destroy his reputation among the voting public and render him “unelectable” but to destroy him personally. There was a quite disgusting glee in the “Daily Hate” report that there had even been “a bizarre call to throw him off his allotment”.

    In the face of it, I think Corbyn has shown the most astonishing resilience. I must admit that I would never have guessed that he had that in him. For a man who has no apparent ego, it is quite remarkable. As long as he has good people around him, I think he may make a formidable prime minister. I certainly hope he gets the opportunity. As a human being, he stands head and shoulders above almost everyone who has occupied No 10 in my lifetime.

    • Hatuey

      Great accolade. Does anyone know if this man of great principle is intending to upgrade Trident if elected? How about the EU, does anyone know what Labour stands for there? I don’t. Then there’s things like workers’ rights, the role of unions, the diabolical reality of food banks, etc., any word on that stuff? He allowed an open vote on needlessly bombing Syria, would you say that was principled leadership?

      And while we are here, just what is the Labour stance on Scottish Independence? The SNP won an election with a clear commitment to a second referendum under certain conditions, those conditions look like they’ve already been met, does the Labour Party and Corbyn believe in democracy or is that just for the pro-Brexit voters and Momentum?

      Seriously, I know he looks the part and appears well-meaning, but where is Corbyn’s substance? He seems to be too scared to do anything — scared of his own party and the media — and that’s not principled, that’s cowardly.

      If he isn’t going to say or do anything, I wish he’d just fuck off…

      • Dungroanin

        Lets have an election and see what isin the manifesto?

        Do try and remember we don’t elect a president just a prime minister. One who chooses a cabinet to deliver the manifesto. That the PM doesn’t write by themselves.

        Any actual positions from the actual government of the day on the issues you mention btw?

        Get a grip.

        • Hatuey

          “Any actual positions from the actual government of the day on the issues you mention btw?”

          Yes, all of them. The tories may be pigs but they are at least unambiguous on all of the stuff mentioned and more.

  • Andyoldlabour

    Excellent article. It takes a brave man to stand up against his enemies, but it takes an even braver man to stand up against his friends.
    Samuel Johnson said – “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”, and what has happened over the past millenia would seem to prove those words to be true.
    The Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the supposed “war on terror” which in fact caused the unprecedented growth in Worldwide terrorism.
    The MSM are like jackals and hyenas, they hunt in packs looking for easy targets who are being attacked by other factions.
    I know what it is like to go against the establishment, to be a whistleblower, to stand up against illegal practices, despite the fact that in my line of work, you are first of all instructed to take a zero tolerance approach to fraud and breaches of regulations.
    Government, politicians of all parties (with very few exceprions), bankers, heads of industry, the media – they are basically all corrupt.
    The Saville affair went on for such a long time, because people were scared of losing their jobs. This is a disgusting attitude, and just makes perpetrators bolder.
    There is no accountability where the ruling elite are concerned, we never get explanations or apologies, we are just fed a steady stream of lies, backed up by propaganda from the MSM.
    The latest hatchet job on Jeremy Corbyn, has an easily traced rootline – The Israeli embassy in London. This house of ill repute, funds both the Conservative Friends of Israel and the Labour Friends of Israel, both of whom share a common purpose – to constantly apply lipstick to the entity which is the Israeli government.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Andyoldlabour July 30, 2018 at 13:22
      ‘..The Saville affair went on for such a long time, because people were scared of losing their jobs….’
      It’s not just that – many whistleblowers have been targeted, and lost their jobs, but still nothing gets done.
      The real reason is that very high level ‘people’ are involved, and so the PTB (including the police and ‘Security Services’) cover everything up.
      Look at Saville and his ‘acquaintances’ and ‘friends’ – right to the top of the tree.
      ‘Jon Wedger (ITNJ Seating)’:

  • Ishmael

    “actuated by the nasty “patriotism” that grips in time of war”

    Market patriotism.

    This is why we need democracy. Because nobody thought they knew better than Blair, and that’s probably WHY they went along & felt ok about it. Well, we can see all the spiralling consequences now can’t we. And we still have the same kind of career politicians, & idiot nationalists. (Who’ll both force us to sell ourselves just to live).

    That war profoundly effected us, I don’t think we’d have had brexit without it.

    & “WE” .. what we? …Its utter BS, it’s a strange cult of servants. Playing follow the leader. While millions are outside shouting no. ?Just what the …does it take?

    …Then they put down occupy.

    Governments fight for themselves, because of one or the other motivation.

    Yes there is salvation. It’s called a constitutional reformation.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    The ubiquity of evil survives because the punishment of evil is trumped by short-term future interests of elites.

    Nazi scientists were not jailed, they prospered in Operation Paperclip, with apologists claiming Stalin would have done the same.

    Nazi high ranking SS murderers bribed The Vatican to smuggle them to South America with their loot, where they paid corrupt officials to harbour them.

    Tony Blair will never end up in jail, nor will Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other PNAC PSYCHOPATHS.

    If you really want justice, you need to mete it out yourself, but 99 times out of a hundred, the only person who will ultimately suffer will be you.

    Evil prospers because men and women who claim to be good are too spineless to back up their pompous self-regard with solid actions.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Rhys Jaggar July 30, 2018 at 13:49
      Even Dr. Mengele was taken to the States, where he was renamed ‘Dr. Green’ and virtually headed the US MK-Ultra Mind Control program.
      ‘..Tony Blair will never end up in jail, nor will Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other PNAC PSYCHOPATHS….’
      The Devil looks after those who serve him. Those who try to do good, get it in the neck.

      • Charles Bostock

        The US MK-Ultra Mind Control program started in 1953. Dr Mengele fled to South America in 1949.

        The claim that ” Dr. Mengele was taken to the States, where he was renamed ‘Dr. Green’ and virtually headed the US MK-Ultra Mind Control program.” is nonsense.

        You, Sir, are a liar.

        • Charles Bostock

          A Luciferian in your willingness to lie in the service of your anti-Americanism.

        • J

          He wote ‘virtually headed.’ He didn’t say ‘headed’ or even ‘began.’ You, habbabkuk, are incapable.

          • Charles Bostock

            Yes, I moticed that Barbara wrote “virtually headed”. What does “virtually headed” mean? I should have thought you head something or you don’t. But perhaps Barbara would explain what he meant by “virtually headed”.

            Barbara might also care to explain how someone hiding in Europe until 1949 and then hiding in various South American countries after 1949 (this has been proved) could have been ” taken to the States, where he was renamed ‘Dr. Green’ and virtually headed the US MK-Ultra Mind Control program.”

        • Paul Barbara

          @ Charles Bostock July 30, 2018 at 15:28
          Thank you, Bostick. You ought to get your facts right. I am right, and you are wrong (as usual – your style has been logged, you have been sussed). Nice touch the ‘Sir’, I rarely get that accolade. Flintlocks at dawn?

  • soccs

    Craig, an genuine question for you. Genuine as I ask this not in an accusing/attacking manner, but to understand how you, a human rights advocate obviously with a conscience, remained at the FCO for 20+ years.

    ”The people doing these things were not ordinarily bad people; they were just trying to keep their jobs, comforting themselves with the thought that they were only civil servants obeying orders. Many were also actuated by the nasty “patriotism” that grips in time of war, as we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Almost nobody in the FCO stood up against the torture or against the illegal war”

    Were you completely unaware of what went on in the north of Ireland on behalf of the British people by your employers over those 20 years at the FCO? The torture, state funded terrorism, mass imprisonment without trials and general sectarian discrimination against what British people would refer to as ”their countrymen”? Or how would you squire that circle? Was Iraq and Afghanistan the straw that broke the camels back regarding the British state and its illegal behaviour (because I cannot believe for a second you are of the position these mass criminal activities across many country on behalf of Britain began after 911).

    Or do you just fall into this unfortunate category you describe below?

    ”What had struck me most forcibly was the sheer scale of the Holocaust operation, the tens of thousands of people who had been complicit in administering it. I could never understand how that could happen – until I saw ordinary, decent people in the FCO facilitate extraordinary rendition and torture. Then I understood, for the first time, the banality of evil or, perhaps more precisely, the ubiquity of evil.”

    Or have you even/ever consider that you were ”complicit in administering” such things as a civil servant over that time?

    Anyway keep up your relentless activities offline. Congrats on the festival. Take no notice of the resident attack trolls btl. Their sad, bitter, extreme, irrational observations they fill the comment section with below is hilarious to read through on so many levels. Mr Bostock and Anon1 will be along shortly to agree..

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Think Britain going along with the never-ending murderous wars caused by the 9/11 cockup is more of the ubiquity of evil.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Tony, although it is an interesting read, it is not applicable in any way to the “Holocaust” or the subsequent wars which have happened.
      In the experiment, the “teachers” did not know anything about the “learners” who they were administering false electric shocks to. In the “Holocaust” and the wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria), the politicians and soldiers were well aware of the consequences of their actions, and in the “holocaust” there was a German hatred of the Jews, something which was whipped into a frenzy by Hitler and the SS. There was a sadistic enjoyment exhibited by the Germans whilst they went about their business torturing and murdering.
      Back in 2005, I witnessed behaviour similar to that, when I was in Carlsbad, California on business. One evening we were in a large bar, and there were thirty or forty US Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton drinking, and talking about their upcoming trip to Iraq. In their own words, they were looking forward to killing as many “ragheads” as possible.
      The Germans referred to Jews (as well as Slavs, Roma, Poles etc) as “untermensch” – inferior people. The US Marines had exactly that opinion of the Iraqis.

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