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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  • Sharp Ears

    84 community groups unite against the ‘silencing’ of Palestinian history in Britain
    August 19th, 2018
    Mohamed Elmaazi

    84 Black and minority ethnic and migrant organisations have signed an open letter claiming the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines are prohibiting discussion of Palestinian history, and ‘breaching’ the rights of Palestinians, other diaspora and the British public.
    The intervention took twitter by storm, trending under the hashtag #PalestineSpeakUp on 17 August.

    Those groups are obviously more spirited and have more backbone than the indigenous sheeple.

    • Charles Bostock

      “Those groups are obviously more spirited and have more backbone than the indigenous sheeple.”

      “Indigenous” ??

      I should imagine that very many of the members of those groups are British born. Is not the distinction the poster appears to be making between ethnic and non-ethnic British citizens rather unfortunate?

      I thought that highlighting such distinctions was a speciality of the BNP and similar right-wing groups.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    In the Donald Trump scandal sweep stakes, a busy field has been jostling for the lead. As of late last week a little noticed outsider has come to the fore. Elliot Broidy
    Time line up to last week.
    Broidy is a venture capitalist, prominent Republican fund raiser and sometime member of the RNC.
    In 2009, Broidy pled guilty to providing “excess gratuity” (bribery to you and me) to New York State, Comptroller and various lesser officials. The bribery, totaling $1M, included luxury visits to a specific Eastern Mediterranean county (yes, everyone in this sorry tale shares the same affiliation) and a $90 K payoff to the mistress of a Sate official. The bribe was quid pro quo for a $250 M injection of liquidity into Broidy’s investment fund. Broidy’s guilty plea was dependent on lenient sentencing commensurate with his having turned States witness against the officials.
    Fast forward to spring 2018 and the raids on Michael Cohen. Cohen had files showing that he had represented a “David Dennison” in respect to three payoffs to ladies engaged in the adult entertainment industry. The three ladies; Stormy Daniels (received $130 K), Karen McDougal (received $150 K) and Shera Bechard (received $1.6 M) were represented by Keith Davidson. Daniels and McDougal are by general consensus, connected to Donald Trump, but from nowhere and with no prompting, Elliot Broidy sticks his fat mit up and confesses that the payment of $1.6 M was from him and Bechard had an abortion. Broidy and his long time partner remain happily married to this day but hey, some marriages withstand these little impediments. So far so sleazy.
    Developments from last week.
    Various sources are stating that dodgy Broidy is under Justice Department investigation for seeking to influence US policy and decisions on behalf of foreign entities (in return for $ millions, obviously). The first inference is that someone has put Broidy into a very lucrative position of middle man / bag man between the White House and various Far East and Middle East kleptocracies. The second inference is that this positioning was a reward for services rendered.
    Investigators are believed to be pursuing a lead that communications between Broidy and the White House may have been routed through prominent Republican fund raiser and Casino magnate, Steve Wynn (no prizes for guessing his monotheistic religious beliefs). Wynn himself had to stand down in January this year from the RNC and his position in the casino group after allegations of sexual misconduct, including coercing employees to perform sex acts. Something else the male characters in this story have an alarming tendency to share is being misogynistic scumbags.
    So, in summary.
    Broidy, a crook with a history of making hush payments to the mistresses of government employees in return for a reduced court sentence, once again finds himself in criminal jeopardy.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is one of those horrific events that never happened, according to the press and the police. ‘\Move along. Nothing to see here!’.

    The parent of an eyewitness described the incident:
    “My daughter took her mother to an appointment at Barnet Council ( Tory) housing office yesterday afternoon. They were being interviewed in a side room when they heard a commotion. Someone came and told them to leave the building
    “When they left the room they saw flames on front of them in the waiting room. A woman had set fire to herself. Everybody was just turfed out after witnessing this terrible ordeal. She said that those outside were in severe shock but left to their own devices.
    “There hasn’t been a word about this in the news or local news. This is Tory Britain . How often is this happening and going unreported? My daughter was still very upset and had to spend the night with her mum.”

    Visit Skwawkbox to see video of emergency vehicles outside Barnet House.

    When the site’s writer, Steve Walker, contacted police for information, he was told there had been no inquiries about the incident from anybody in the local press.

    Eventually, he received the following information: “Police were called by the London Ambulance Service to Barnet House, High Road N20 at around 15:44hrs on Wednesday, 15 August after reports of a female suffering from burns injuries. “Officers attended with LAS and the London Fire Brigade.’

    Desperate woman self-immolates in a Tory-run council office. Where is the outrage?

    The MPs for Barnet are:
    Theresa Villiers Con CFoI,
    Mike Freer Con CFoI
    Matthew Offord Con CFoI

    Nothing on the Met Police’s Twitter.

    There was one thin report in a local paper. The readers’ comments reveal that the woman was in her 50s and that she was in the housing office. The staff had to leave by passing by her burning body and were shocked.

    I wonder whose constituent she is and whether they have expressed their sadness for the woman and regret for this terrible incident.

    • Sharp Ears

      This petition is possibly relevant to the case above.

      This campaign is getting noticed, but we need your help one last time.
      Generation Rent via Campaigns by You

      Dear Friends,

      We are handing in our petition to the housing ministry this Thursday – 23rd August. After getting some great media coverage for the campaign to abolish Section 21 no-fault evictions and make people who rent feel more secure in their homes (more on that below), our petition has got a boost and we need just 500 more signatures over the next three days to reach our 50K target!
      We are so close, and determined to get to 50K.

      So we are asking you to share the petition one last time: on Facebook, Twitter and via email. Please write a brief line about your reasons for signing, and use the hashtag #EndSection21 on social media. Remember to mention how close we are and that a few of your friends and family signing and sharing could make all the difference!


      Take a look at the impact we’re already making on the national conversation – great coverage in The Observer, The Independent, The Metro and on Channel 4 News about the role of no-fault evictions in causing homelessness, and why Section 21 needs to go. Tell other people about our coverage to help spread the word.

      The next time we write will be with images of us handing our petition, and a final suggestion on what you could do next.

      Thanks for all your continued support!
      Generation Rent

    • Paul Barbara

      @ Sharp Ears August 20, 2018 at 13:36
      I’ve emailed news to the Big Four (Indy, Times, Guardian and Telegraph) news desks, also the UK Column.

  • Robyn

    It would be very useful if this blog had a way to alert readers when Craig posts something new. It would save me opening the page many times per day to check, only to find the same post with a few dozen or hundred new comments.

    • Clark

      If you have a Twitter account, you can ‘Follow’ Craig on Twitter. I think then Twitter will text your cellphone when Craig posts.

      • Robyn

        Thanks, Clark, but I’m off Twitter and Google and Facebook as a protest at their role in the Mass Surveillance Industry. Prefer to keep checking Craig’s page rather than patronise that disreputable mob.

  • Clark

    Excerpt from the book The Regulation Game: Strategic Use of the Administrative Process, Owen BM, Braeutigam R, Ballinger Pub. Co. 1978

    – Effective lobbying requires close personal contact between the lobbyists and government officials. Social events are crucial to this strategy. The object is to establish long-term personal relationships transcending any particular issue. Company and industry officials must be ‘people’ to the agency decision-makers, not just organisational functionaries. A regulatory official contemplating a decision must be led to think of its impact in human terms. Officials will be much less willing to hurt long-time acquaintances than corporations.

    – Of course, there are also important tactical elements of lobbying … This is most effectively done by identifying the leading experts in each relevant field and hiring them as consultants or advisors, or giving them research grants and the like. This activity requires a modicum of finesse; it must not be too blatant, for the experts themselves must not recognise that they have lost their objectivity and freedom of action. At a minimum, a programme of this kind reduces the threat that the leading experts will be available to testify or write against the interests of the regulated firms.

  • Republicofscotland

    The spotlight has been turned on the odious Boris Johnson, veilgate drew attention to his (alleged) Islamaphobic nature.

    Now an investigation by the SundayTimes
    newspaper, has (allegedly) revealed that Johnson’s facebook page is strewn with comments pertaining to Muslim’s in a detrimental way.

    A source close to Johnson claims he totally condems the hate filled views.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn hasnt escaped criticism, according to an Observer poll.

    The poll revealed that the Labour anti-Semitism row, was hurting their prospects with voters. With 36% believing that Labour held, or probably held, an anti-J**ish prejudice.

    The Opinium poll, also found that 34% think Labour tolerates anti-Semitism within the party. While astonishingly 33% think Corbyn is downright anti-Semitic himself.

    As I’ve stated on many occasions the longer this debacle runs, the more heads will be turned away from voting Corbyn and Labour, at the next GE.

  • Republicofscotland

    As the multi-millionaire (of Superdry clothing) pumps a million pounds into the coffers of a campaign to keep Britain in the EU, possibly for his own financial reasons. Though I doubt a second in, out referendum will see the light of day.

    It has been reported (allegedly) that Julian Dunkerton is/was, paying Third World workers 35 pence an hour, to produce Superdry clothing products.

    Such allegations do not endear one to Julian Dunkerton, or the Superdry products.

    • N_

      If there’s a third referendum on leaving (after 1975 and 2016) I don’t think it will be what has been called “Deal or No Deal” in reference to the TV game show.

      If there’s not a deal the question would be No Deal or Remain.

      If there is a deal, the questions might be 1) “Leave or Remain?” followed by 2) “If the result of Q1 is ‘Leave’, do you prefer Deal or No Deal?” Banks and Farage will oppose a “BINO” or “half-Brexit” deal and if that’s what they can say they’re faced with then they are likely to call for a referendum, including having the Remain option available.

      If there is a referendum, there has to be something for cabinet ministers including the prime minister to vote for. They may not necessarily all vote the same way, but they cannot abstain. Certainly those who have agreed the “Deal” or who have decided it’s “No Deal” (prime minister, Foreign Secretary, Brexit Secretary, probably also the Chancellor of the Exchequer) must vote in favour of whatever they’ve agreed or decided. Nobody will vote for a politician who comes across like Michael Crawford’s character Frank Spencer.

      The “We support Leave because that’s the instruction we got from the British people” line will wear out as soon as a Remain option is on the ballot. My feeling is that a lot of senior British politicians are nearing the end of their work in top-level politics.

      In either of the above referendums, Remain will lose. I will only reconsider that prediction if the Sun backs Remain, and there has been little or no sign that that will happen.

      • Republicofscotland


        I doubt very much another EU, in, out, vote will come to fruition. Theresa May and
        Jeremy Corbyn, are anti-EU, though Corbyn is now playing to the field by calling for Britain to remain in the Single Market, and Customs Union. In an attempt to garner votes from those who’ve changed their minds from out, to in.

    • James

      Rumpty pumpty? Pumps? Converse All Star? Jackie Chan? Pumps?
      A bit MSM with the pumping?

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Oh just fuck right off!
    Another Z list celebrity gets a deal for a kiddie’s book (what comes after Z?).
    Chelsea Clinton speaking at the Edinburgh book festival.

    “if my congresswoman were to retire, my Senators, and I thought that I could make a positive impact, then I would have to ask my answer to that question (of whether to run for office).”

    Yea, put all those years of public service at low paid, local level to use for the good of the commonwealth, such public spirit.
    Mind you we are hardly in a position to cast stones what with Stephen Kinnock and the other Blairite scion, wannabe leaders.

    • MJ

      “what comes after Z?”

      An appearance on “I’m a Nonentity, Get Me onto the Telly Please”

      • N_

        In Norwegian, Æ, Ø, Å. Ø may be most suitable because it’s used by mathematicians to denote the empty set.

    • Jack

      Its all about the money, no wonder these people (clintons’)=Democrats do not appeal to regular folks’ anymore!

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Jack August 20, 2018 at 15:51
        It’s not just the money – that is the least of their abominations! Check their background.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Labour branch manager Richard Leonard welcomes his boss to Scotland today, and a tour around the Alexander Dennis bus manufacturing firm in Falkirk.

    Mr Leonard says on hisTwitter feed that Labour, are forming an action plan to counter SNP austerity. Of course the SNP are the only party to mitigate vile Tory policies, but I guess when your boss comes to town, you must at least appear to be doing something other than carping from the distant sidelines, and voicing soundbites.

    I recall Labour either voted with the Tories on Welfare reform (cuts really) or they chose to abstain.

  • Republicofscotland

    Finally, as the recovery continues to find the bodies of those who were killed during the Genoa bridge collapse, currently 43 people I think.

    An audit commissioned by the French government has claimed, that 840 French bridges have suffered serious damage or, are at risk of collapse.

    There are according to the report, 12,000 government maintained bridges in Le Hexagon.

  • Sharp Ears

    Is Lockheed Martin in need of somebody with brains? Thick or what?

    Lockheed Martin receives bloody images instead of cool weapons photos in failed Twitter campaign

    Lockheed Martin’s social media appeal to send them the best photos of its products went horribly awry, as unimpressed Twitterati responded with gruesome images of the horrors of war.

    The world’s largest defense contractor and one of the top defense manufacturers posted a tweet last week, asking Twitter users to send them an “amazing photo” of a Lockheed Martin item. It is unclear what the company expected to receive, given that it produces deadly weapons of war, but the campaign backfired spectacularly.

    The “amazing photos” Lockheed received show what appear to be parts of their own missile that struck a Yemeni school bus, killing dozens, as well as children’s school backpacks covered with blood. The initial tweet was deleted, but screenshots taken by vigilant users are circulating on social media.

    (Followed by several tweets and more text)

    If it wasn’t so horrific…

    • kronstadt

      I could argue that Lockhead have saved more lives than ten thousand pacifists – but I’ll desist or be blocked.

      • Sharp Ears


        MSM Finally Concedes Defeat On Yemen, Ceases Blackout Of Coverage
        Caitlin Johnstone
        August 20th 2018
        Last month, an article by went viral in republications by popular alternative media outlets ranging from Salon to Zero Hedge to Alternet to Truthdig, among many others. The article was initially titled “ACTION ALERT: It’s Been Over a Year Since MSNBC Has Mentioned US War in Yemen”, but many subsequent republications went with variations on the more attention-grabbing headline, “MSNBC has done 455 Stormy Daniels segments in the last year — but none on U.S. war in Yemen”.

        The centerpiece of the article was the following graphic, which I saw shared on its own many times in my social media feeds:

        Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the US
        August 17th 2018

      • JOML

        In Yemen? Or would your argument be more generic, avoiding specifics such as the example of the 33 innocent children in the link above?
        A stronger argument may be that Lockheed is more interested in money than saving lives.

  • Made By Dom

    Wow! I’ve had a post deleted on here. What’s going on?
    It was a real zinger too! A response to a guy called James.

    Could I ask the person who deleted it to look up the word ‘onanism’ in the dictionary, re-read my post and tell me why it was deleted?

    • James

      I’m saddened that I did not enjoy your “real zinger” of a riposte, and that the mods (assuming no mopeds involved) thereby precluded my entertainment.
      What a tit you could have shown yourself to be, and, as I like tits, I’m let down by these foolish mods.
      Whahahaha, please do entertain all the tits who enjoy your bellendery!
      Get stuck in!

  • Ishmael

    “No evidence” …”This whole debate in insane” lol
    ^^^…Very fitting on this website.

    Think I’m going to take another long break from this blog (posting). Iv got lot of work to do & find myself getting a bit …Over Passionate @ times, …still.

    Later folks.

    ps, Haven’t got through all the talk above yet, but it’s very good. Direct link VVV

  • Sharp Ears

    What’s the Italian for ‘yobbo’?

    ‘Two English-speaking tourists have drawn the ire of Romans as footage of them emerged stripping and posing in one of Rome’s most popular fountains. It prompted some to call for Rome’s tourism to stop.

    In a viral video, the two men, who police say appeared to be native speakers of English, can be seen climbing in the fountain beneath Rome’s Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), also known as the Vittoriano. It is one of Rome’s most iconic sites, attracting millions of tourists each year. Located at the heart of Piazza Venezia, one of the capital’s most popular squares, it was erected in memory of those fallen during World War I.’

    Shock in Rome after ‘animal’ tourists bathe naked in iconic fountain (VIDEO)

      • Sharp Ears

        Have you no respect?

        ‘Located at the heart of Piazza Venezia, one of the capital’s most popular squares, it was erected in memory of those fallen during World War I.’

          • Republicofscotland


            Interestingly, relating to 120 Days of Sodom. When police raided Moors Murderers house Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, in 1965, they found along with the remains of one of their victims, the collected works of the Marquis de Sade.

            De Sade wrote the work on 39ft of paper whilst imprisoned in the Bastille. I’m pretty sure the word sadist is derived from de Sade’s name.

        • Charles Bostock

          Deplorable, of course, but the Piazza Venezia has seen worse, much worse than those two British tourists.

          I’m sure Sharp Ears will agree once she’s read the following about Piazza Venezia :

          “Capitalizing on this modern and ancient symbolism–and the useful open space–Piazza Venezia was the location of public speeches given by the Italian dictator Mussolini to crowds of his supporters in the 1920s-1940s. ”

          That’s Mussolini, as in Mussolini the Italian fascist dictator.

    • Charles Bostock

      I believe it was you, Sharp Ears, who protested on here about the severity of the jail sentence handed down to 21 year old university student Charlie Gilmour who was convicted for desecrating the Cenotaph during the tuition fee riot back in 2011?

      As readers will be aware, the Cenotaph” was erected in memory of those fallen during World War I.’” Just like the Altare della Patria!

        • kronstadt

          I heard a local in Grantham say that the sign of the blessed margarets birthplace was placed high on the shop to avoid it being a public urinal

          • Michael McNulty

            On a Lincolnshire local radio show years ago a woman who went to school with Margaret Thatcher (Margaret Roberts as she was then), and gave us a few anecdotes about Thatcher’s childhood. Maggie, who was still alive at the time, liked to lean out of a window above the shop and when some poor person in hand-me-downs walked beneath her she would spit on them. And she often went to school with a bag of sweets, and promised some poor youngster a sweet if she could tell which was her glass eye (she didn’t have a glass eye), then she’s skip off gleefully when the girl’s answer was wrong.

            The woman also said many believed Maggie’s father sold goods to black marketeers. When fruit, meat or tea was delivered to the shop often very little of it was sold over the counter, then it became available on the black market. I think she got her love of money from her father. “If they can’t afford it they’re not worth worrying about” kind of thing.

        • Charles Bostock


          After careful thought, I have to reject your stricture. Surely the humbug comes from the person who castigates two foolish young men for fooling around in a Roman fountain (probably as a result of too much vino) which is in a square containing a memorial to the Italian WW1 dead, having previously complained about the severity of a jail sentence handed out to a young British man who desecrated the Cenotaph which honours the British and Commonwealth WW1 dead?

          Could it be that you are also a humbug?

  • kronstadt

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  • Carlyle Moulton

    Another defense of Corbyn from the Zionist antisemitism smear.

    It is about time that the members of the UK Labour party admit that if they defend the interests of non-Jewish Palestinians they will be smeared as antisemitic by Zionists, Zionist supporters and by neoliberal types including B’liarites in the labour party and that they have to choose between supporting Palestinians or adopting the description of being an antisemite as a badge of honour.

    • Carlyle Moulton

      ……. choose between abandoning support for Palestinians or adopting the description of being an antisemite as a badge of honour.

  • Kathryn Platzer

    I’m happy to have found the information on this web site and have passed on a link through Facebook.

  • Chris Friel

    If anyone wants a clue as to what has been going on in UK politics, look at this. It shows how from 2015 Cohen had shown himself hostile to Corbyn, yet surprisingly, the accusation of antisemitism was not made, despite the fact that Cohen had been told of Corbyn’s infamous mural comment shortly after he was elected leader. More significantly, the Twitter trail indicates that Cohen was instrumental in that comment becoming weaponised. 2 pages 5 minutes.

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