Imagine if the BBC Were Honest 433

The BBC refuses to answer my Skripal questions to Mark Urban on the grounds they have no legal obligation, instead giving a “statement”. That correspondence follows below. But I want you first to imagine a World in which the BBC and Mark Urban were honest and independent, and imagine these were the answers to my questions:

1) When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
My interviews with Sergei Skripal were on a strictly off the record basis and I felt honour bound not to mention them until I could obtain his permission.

2) You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
I had not heard from Pablo Miller for decades, since I left the army.

3) When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
I did not meet Miller.

4) Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
Yes, with Skripal.

5) When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
A book on Russian intelligence.

6) Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
I don’t know.

7) Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?

8) Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?

9) In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.
That was my only contact with the intelligence services on this matter.

Does anybody imagine that, if those were indeed the answers, Mark Urban and the BBC would not freely give those answers, and show up their accusers as “conspiracy theorists” with no foundation?

If those were the answers, they would be shouting them from the rooftops.

And indeed the BBC statement, while refusing to answer the questions directly, does give responses to questions 1, 4 and 5 which are along the lines of this outcome were they behaving honestly, though their phrasing does not carry conviction, especially on 1.

The questions the BBC has refused to address at all are all those related to Pablo Miller, UK intelligence services and the Steele Orbis dossier on Trump/Russia. That is an extremely telling omission. Their attempt to issue a statement rather than address the questions individually, is a deliberate ruse to disguise that.

On a balance of probabilities measure, I am willing to take the BBC’s refusal to answer these very specific questions as strong evidence that the Skripal case is indeed about Miller, Steele, Orbis and the Trump/Russia dossier. Furthermore the BBC knows that and is deliberately concealing the truth, and instead broadcasting evidence free nonsense about Russian agents, knowing that to be untrue. If that were not the case, it would take the BBC quite literally two minutes to give the answers above. There would be no downside for the BBC in giving those answers; indeed they would be vindicated to a sceptical public.

I asked you to imagine those answers were true. In asking us to imagine a better world, John Lennon told us “its easy if you try”. Sadly I find it is not easy. It is not easy to imagine a world in which Mark Urban is not a morally repugnant lying shill for the security services, that takes a very great deal of effort.

Here is the BBC statement and ensuing correspondence:

From: Matthew Hunter
Sent: 29 August 2018 09:42
To: ‘is’
Subject: BBC Newsnight

Dear Mr Murray,

Matt Hunter in the BBC News Press Team.

I understand you contacted Mark Urban on Monday with regards to meetings he had with Sergei Skripal. Some of the information you’ve requested we are not obliged to share as it is held for purposes of journalism, but I can provide you with a more general response regarding Mark’s meetings with Mr Skripal.

Mark Urban met with Sergei Skripal on a number of occasions last Summer in Salisbury and last spoke to him on the phone in August, 7 months before the poisoning. Mr Skripal agreed to speak to Mark to assist with his research for his latest book on post-Cold War espionage, it was not discussed with Mr Skripal whether the information would be used for the BBC ahead of the book being published. The relevant information gained from these interviews informed Newsnight’s coverage during the early days after the poisoning. Mr Urban reported his meetings with Mr Skripal on BBC Newsnight once the details of the book were made public in keeping with the understood terms of the interview. Mark Urban’s line managers were aware last year that he was working on a book and more specifically from 5th March this year that this work had included interviews with Mr Skripal.

I hope these details help clarify the situation.

Please note that all future journalistic enquiries should be made through the BBC Press Office ([email protected]).

Thank you for your enquiry.

Best wishes

Matt Hunter – Publicist
BBC News & Current Affairs


From: craig murray [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 29 August 2018 14:23
To: Matthew Hunter; Mark Urban
Subject: RE: BBC Newsnight

Dear Mr Hunter,

Thank you for your email. This is an important matter, which interests a great many people, as I am sure you are aware, and which has caused some damage to the reputation of the BBC.

You state that ” Some of the information you’ve requested we are not obliged to share as it is held for purposes of journalism”. My questions were not couched as an FOI request so that is a redundant provision, even if your broad interpretation of the FOIA were correct, which I dispute.

Your email then proceeds on the basis that you should not reveal anything unless you are legally obliged to do so. That seems a very strange stance for a public broadcast body to take. Whether or not you are legally obliged to do so, can I ask you to give the answer to these questions to Mr Urban, or in each case an explanation for why you refuse to give an answer voluntarily, even if legally unobliged.

What is at stake here is the BBC’s reputation for open and honest reporting, and this particular case has done a great deal to increase public distrust in the BBC. All of these are fair and relevant questions which have simple answers. Kindly address them individually.

My questions to Mark Urban:

1. When the Skripals were first poisoned, it was the largest news story in the entire World and you were uniquely positioned having held several meetings with Sergei Skripal the previous year. Yet faced with what should have been a massive career break, you withheld that unique information on a major story from the public for four months. Why?
2. You were an officer in the Royal Tank Regiment together with Skripal’s MI6 handler, Pablo Miller, who also lived in Salisbury. Have you maintained friendship with Miller over the years and how often do you communicate?
3. When you met Skripal in Salisbury, was Miller present all or part of the time, or did you meet Miller separately?
4. Was the BBC aware of your meetings with Miller and/or Skripal at the time?
5. When, four months later, you told the world about your meetings with Skripal after the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you said you had met him to research a book. Yet the only forthcoming book by you advertised is on the Skripal attack. What was the subject of your discussions with Skripal?
6. Pablo Miller worked for Orbis Intelligence. Do you know if Miller contributed to the Christopher Steele dossier on Trump/Russia?
7. Did you discuss the Trump dossier with Skripal and/or Miller?
8. Do you know whether Skripal contributed to the Trump dossier?
9. In your Newsnight piece following the Rowley/Sturgess incident, you stated that security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged. Since January 2017, how many security service briefings or discussions have you had on any of the matter above.

I look forward to your response,

Craig Murray


From: Matthew Hunter
Sent: 29 August 2018 15:09
To: ‘craig murray’
Subject: RE: BBC Newsnight

I’m afraid we have no further comment beyond the statement provided earlier.

Many thanks,


From: craig murray
Sent: 29 August 2018 18:22
To: Matthew Hunter
Subject: RE: BBC Newsnight

Oh, so it was a “statement” rather than a reply to my questions.

May I ask you who drafted the statement, who approved it, and who was consulted on it? The statement, incidentally, does not constitute journalism, so you do have a legal obligation to answer those questions.



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433 thoughts on “Imagine if the BBC Were Honest

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  • mike

    25 Russian warships now in the Eastern Med. They’re serious – don’t pull the Fake Gas Trick again.

    Zero hour approaches. The SAA is waiting to free Idlib of headchoppers. Al Nusra’s gas is primed. The kids have been kidnapped. White Helmet cameras are ready to roll.

    Can the weakened Trump stop the neocon crazies? Has he defected to the Dark Side? Was he always on it?

    Tune in next week for the concluding episode of American Armageddon, Season 1.

    • Twostime

      mike – funny or sad, your point is made – potential nightmare and August isn’t over.

    • Borncynical

      “…the kids have been kidnapped…”. I was just thinking about this report by the Russians that 44 children had gone missing in Idlib and they believe the plan is/was to use them in a false flag. This report has positive tactical benefits for the Syrians/Russians. If indeed there is a false flag incident and a large number of children are reported to have been victims of a regime chemical attack, the juxtaposition of the reported kidnapping and the reported victims is going to be difficult to explain by those who accuse Assad’s forces. Alternatively, we can hope that by reporting on the alleged kidnapping the Russians have potentially saved the lives of these children or at least prevented their physical harm and exploitation by the terrorists.
      They were also reporting on the MSM news that the staunch islamists in Idlib are refusing to concede defeat in spite of being given the opportunity to surrender by the Syrian Govt. It strikes me that the likelihood is that they are just obeying orders. Presumably it is no coincidence that there was a very similar pattern of events in Douma: refusal to surrender… purported ‘regime’ chemical attack…surrender.

  • Ishmael

    Must say, though right wing effectively, those at Novara Media, Owen etc, though only stateing the obvious do a good job defending this …transition. Much welcome change in labour.

    New blood.

  • Ishmael

    And no, I wasn’t referencing the bit about the leak, of which I don’t know the details of to comment on it’s nature/intent to comment.

    I was talking about the cause of indipendence, that we all know his stance on & history of.

    • Ishmael

      The truth is I don’t know. But his statement makes it sound as if it’s automatically assumed it’s part of some anti Indy thing, but for all I know could be as likely pro.

      I just don’t see why the subject was brought into it at all. ?

      Maybe I’m missing something. Do feel free to add if I did.

      • Jo1

        I listed for you all the points where this case got politicised. All BEFORE Salmond had even said a word Ishmael!

        • Ishmael

          Besides the point I made. Of which I’m sure you are aware.

          I’ll take that as a no regarding why HE brought in the subject of Indipendence.

  • Paul Barbara

    I also complained to the BBC, though not on Salisbury/Skripals.
    Their stock reply led me to send another complaint:

    MY FURTHER COMPLAINT: 12:50 29/8/2018

    ‘The BBC appears to have completely ignored Russia’s warning of an imminent CW False Flag op by rebels/White Helmets in Syria.
    Your response to my complaint ‘We know that not everyone will agree with our choices on which stories to cover, or the order in which they appear. Our news editors make these complex decisions, based on the editorial merit of all the stories at hand. We accept that not everyone will agree with each decision – various factors are at play and there’s often debate in the newsroom too.
    Editorial decisions are more of a judgement call, than an exact science – so you’ll even find variety from one BBC programme to the next. Time constraints, the expected audience profile and the style of each bulletin or current affairs programme can all play a part.’ is beyond pathetic.
    How can it be a judgement call, when the news concerns an operation that could very conceivably lead to a Russia/NATO clash?
    Could the real reason be that as a faithful propaganda corporation for the British Government, you don’t wish to rock the boat re their ‘Regime Change’ machinations in secretly backing the West’s proxy mercenary headchoppers?
    May I also draw your attention that you also have not covered ex-French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas’ stating on a number of French and other TV interviews that when he was in London in 2009, two years before the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, he was approached by high British officials who told him Britain was going to overthrow Assad with the use of mercenaries. Do you class that as not newsworthy also, or just immeasurably embarrassing for HMG? Exposing the hideous fact that Britain was in the forefront of causing the massive bloodshed, refugee problem and huge infrastructure damage to a sovereign state, Syria? An unadulterated War Crime (Crime Against Peace’)?
    Please send me a detailed reply to the specific questions I have asked and points I have referred to.
    Thank you.’

    • Tony_0pmoc

      Paul Barbara,

      Very powerful challenge, but you are communicating with the British Brainwash Corporation. I now think most of these media wh0res actually believe the propaganda they are spreading. They think they are telling the truth. Brainwashing is far more prevelant in society, than most people realise, and it has existed throughout recorded history. It is not just direct, and deliberate – for example the treatment a young recruit to any army will receive, it goes way beyond that. Advertising is a relatively mild example. Religion in all its forms, is probably the oldest, but the vast majority of the priests, and the congregation, believe that the message and the content have a true historical foundation, and it is highly unlikely that anyone is going to convince them otherwise by arguing with them. Groupthink and cults are very widespread indeed, and escaping from them almost impossible, if cut off and isolated from the “real world”. The BBC is a cult. If anyone challenges the narrative from within, they will be ostracized, if not immediately fired.


      • Paul Barbara

        @ Tony_0pmoc August 31, 2018 at 10:14
        I have had far too many interactions with spirits (not the bottled variety, though I have had plenty of that in the past) and ‘coincidences’ which mathematical chances of occurring are in the quadrillions to one that I most assuredly cannot dismiss religion, not do I wish to even try.
        I also complained to the Times, Guardian and Independent re the the expected Idlib False Flag – no replies yet!

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Paul Barbara,

          Yes, I have too. I can put some of these experiences down to spirits, and associated substances, that change brain chemisty and cognition, except the vast majority of these “‘coincidences’ which mathematical chances of occurring are in the quadrillions to one”, have been when I have been completely and utterley sober. I also know they were not fake, as some have also been experienced at the same time and place as the people I have been with.

          I am convinced this has nothing to do with any religion, as I gave up all religious belief when I was 15.

          It may have something to do with what people define as God, but God, can personally mean lots of different things to different people and have little if any connection to religion.

          So far as I am concerned, God maybe the logical equivalent of a little boy, who has a goldfish bowl in his bedroom, and I am the goldfish. The devil, is the logical equivalent of his cat, who fishes me out with his paw, and then eats me.

          How would the goldfish know, until shortly before he was eaten, that there was another world outside of the goldfish bowl?


    • Borncynical

      Excellent move. My first thoughts when the Russians made their allegations was that, at the very least, someone in the MSM would arrange to interview someone from the named and accused Olive Group face to face to get their reaction and maybe ask them if they plan to sue the Russian Federation for slander. But no. I see that they have managed to get away with a curt response, registered on Sputnik News, saying that they “are not involved”.

    • pete

      Re Paul at 23.53

      Your letter is admirable, I’m sure at lot of us who admire Craig’s blog would agree. The role of the ‘white helmets’ does need to be examined further, a lot of the BBC news regarding them seems to be propaganda. The BBC have failed us in that respect, instead they follow the mainstream narrative without question. They are incorrect to state that we will find news variety in various other programmes, if they refer to the BBC channels. If I want to find news about events in Gaza I have to rely on RT, Euronews, and various other sites, trying to filter propaganda from genuine news. I would be interested to see, in the event that JC becomes prime-minister, if the reforms of the BBC he has called for can be put into effect.

      • Dungroanin

        My first ban from the Groaniad was in asking about the veracity of their Syria Campaign PR press releases being printed under a byline of ‘journalists’ who appeared out of nowhere.

        The funding of the Suria Campaign PR group by Ansari, the donations to the Tories under Cameron, and the kicking into the memory hole – the SFO – of the fraud case against him by May.

        My second ban was because of the revelation of SCL (MOD) propaganda in the Syria Campaign PR setup.

        My final ban was for no other reason then being ‘off topic’ on a Deep State article!

        My lawyers are on the case – the Obssessive Groaniad is going to be like the NoW – shuffling off this mortal coil. The Dirty Diggers final revenge!

        Thank god for indy bloggers and news sites like CM’s.

  • Ishmael

    On that subject, I felt similar about Julian, not that it ever justified his gaging, but he did (effectively) back Catalan & nation state legitimacy, as if people have a right to blood & soil.

    It truly undermines those who carry a left wing badge IMO.

    By the same token Craig has his right wing agenda. Mixed alliances. It undermines this blog & much good work done.

    It saddens me. Why need is felt to back forms of concentrated control (always unjust) while holding other forms to account?

    It’s an odd phenomenon of some, many, that’s just inconsistent, schizoid. And yea, I may chuck in a vote (though probably actually won’t myself) for JC, but mostly I critique because I’m left wing.

    But to some it’s like Catalan or Scotland are some pure things, who it’s ok to back, basically uncritically. & When movements in these areas today are not even remotely socialist. Just central power movements with all the issues & injustice inherent in such formations.

    You can’t challenge injustice with injustice. & few seem botherd about meaningful & hard work of internal reform. Nothing glorious enough perhaps? No lets found a new state?

    Stupid IMO, empty glory hunters.

  • N_

    Let’s not forget the context of Salisbury and Amesbury.

    Russian deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said on 28 August that al-Nusra is planning to carry out a chemical attack near Idlib which will be falsely blamed on the government of Syria and used as a pretext for a large-scale strike against that country.

    The last time the Russian government made such a statement it was soon shown to be accurate. The false-flag chemical attack took place, and so did bombing raids by F-UK-US and I??ael.

    Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, has accused the royalist British regime of supplying chemical weapons to jihadis in Syria.

    Meanwhile US national security adviser John Bolton has said that the Syrian military may be preparing to carry out “another” chemical attack. As far as I know Russia hasn’t accused the US of being in on the plan, but it seems clear that the US is indeed in on it.

    Russia is set to hold naval drills off the Syrian coast between 1 and 8 September, involving 25 warships and 30 aircraft.

    Two songs for today:

    Vera Lynn
    Tom Lehrer.

  • SA

    The Syrian war is not just about Syria, Syria just happens to be the focus of the rivalries. The US/UK invasion of Iraq has actually had the opposite effect of what was intended which is to strengthen the importance of Iran in the region. I find analyses by E Magnier quite good as he is well placed locally to those in the know. This is his latest analysis on Idlib.

  • SA

    Meanwhile the constitutional crisis in Iraq grinds on mainly unmentioned by the MSM but an important aspect what is happening in the region. The crisis is made worse by the US trying to force the next PM in Iraq who would enforce sanctions against Iran to the detriment of Iraq and also ignoring the shared Shi’a interests. Another’s war in Iraq seems to be looming.

    • laguerre

      The Americans are easing themselves out of Iraq, as of Syria. They just don’t understand what is happening. Trying to impose a Prime Minister (Abbadi) is not going to work for long, if he doesn’t have the political support. That’s why the crisis hasn’t been resolved, and it’s the same old problem, going back to people imposed by the US in the time of Bush – Chelabi, Ja’fari, and the rest of them. Even Maliki was originally an American choice. The pressures to force the US out are still there, and will probably succeed sooner or later, the Americans not being known for their diplomacy, and the twin dangers of Da’ish and Kurdish independence having been defeated (more or less – there are still a lot of Da’ish around).

      • uncle tungsten

        Thank you laguerre but I don’t see the american terrorist occupiers ‘easing themselves out’ of anywhere. Words are not actions, proxies are still american terrorist invaders whether, englander, french or arab. American faux statements by Trump are simply not to be believed as his military runs the show and he complies with their orders.

        There is no need to polish the american turd. It is what it is: worthless waste polluting the world.

      • SA

        I do not agree that they are easing themselves out. There are reports of a large base being built in the Kurdish dominated Hasakah province and strengthening of the al Tanf pocket aerial defences. It appears to me that the US have no clear policy in Syria and Iraq but will stay there until they start sustaining casualties.

        • laguerre

          I don’t really agree with you there. I was talking mainly about Iraq, but it’s also true of Syria. A ‘Surge’ is normally a predecessor to realising that it’s all a waste of time, which it is. Even the Syrian Kurds are very half-and-half on whether they want the Americans there – they’re also negotiating with Asad, whom they know to be the future. The US may have the grass cut under their feet. Of course, al-Tanf can only last as long as the US lasts in Iraq. The US position in Iraq is quite weak now – the Iraqis may get fed up of having the US dictating who can be prime minister (and probably are already). If Sistani were to come out against the US, the remaining US troops would be doing a runner.

          • SA

            Maybe you have reliable source of information but can you give me one instance in which the US dismantled thier based voluntarily without being forced to do so?

          • laguerre

            SA, what do you think happened when the US withdrew from Iraq, committed to under Bush in Nov 2008, and carried out by Obama in 2011? Something similar may happen again. It’s difficult to live in a country that doesn’t want you, I mean the people, not the unrepresentative governments of the Arab world.

          • SA

            But they never left in 2008 and they are still there. They would only go of the price becomes too high in casualties,

          • laguerre

            “But they never left in 2008 and they are still there.”

            That’s not factually correct. They left finally in 2011, and only came back when Iraq was desperate in the war against Da’ish in 2014. They stayed in KRG, though, which then had ambitions to become independent.

          • SA

            Thanks Laguerre
            Do you know I was under the impression that they never left because of what happened. This made look into this. They may have officially left in 2011 with some ‘advisors’ and trainers left behind but not before they knew what has been sown in Iraq, and elsewhere in the region. In this context it seems to tie in much more with the ‘Arab spring’. Even if the Arab spring may have started spontaneously, it was henceforth managed by the US and UK and France behind the scenes and sometimes not so much behind the scenes. Some say that Da’esh was invented in order to both teach Iraq a lesson for getting rid of the US bases and also to get at Syria, and there is a lot of evidence for that. Da’esh was left to expand unchecked for a few years and even after the battle had started against Da’esh in Iraq, it took the Russian intervention to expose the collusion between Da’esh and Turkey as a front for NATO and US. Of course the money came from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries but so did it at the beginning for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the late 70s early 80s before they became Al Qaeda.

  • Charles Bostock


    “But unfortunately he is a liar and a shill. I am, of course, goading him to sue me, so we get disclosure and get him under oath in the witness box”

    If you manage to provoke him into suing you, will you again be asking readers for financial support for your legal defence? Your brush with Jake Walis Simpson refers.

    • Sharp Ears

      Typo. Jake WALLIS SIMONS Get it right! You are a nasty piece of work and almost as nasty as Wallis Simons. Why are you on this blog except to disparage and discourage?

      Jake Wallis Simons
      On the road. Associate Global Editor, Daily Mail Online. Sky News, Spectator, BBC Radio 4. Ex-Telegraph features. Writing fifth novel.
      Poised like a coiled spring
      1,952 Following

      Jake Wallis Simons
      ·23 Aug
      I’ve been working away at the coal-face of exposing Corbyn’s anti-Semitism for years and finally I get this story that seems to break through. I’m so moved that people are moved by it

      Why is he wearing a Turkish army tin hat in the photo on there? To keep the sh*t off his head.

    • Anon1

      I was thinking the same. Its quite a good arrangement really. Do something stupid and you can always go crying to your readers about how poor and broke you are and get them to cough up for it.

      • Node

        You have used your I-am-selfish-so-everyone-else-must-be-too filter and missed the point, as usual. Normal people WELCOME an opportunity to fight back against the cancer on our society.

    • Borncynical

      You appear to be missing the point that Craig is acting as a mouthpiece for all of the decent folk around who are not in a position to take action themselves. “…so we get disclosure and get him under oath in the witness box” is the only part of the sentence you should be focused on. Whether or not anyone thinks it is an appropriate avenue to follow, followers of Craig have the CHOICE of whether they wish to contribute to any funding or not and are perfectly capable of making their own minds up.

    • SA

      Its good that this post has flushed out the Bostocks and the Anons for what they really are doing here on this blog. The rest of us are happy and eager to support.

      • Isa

        Bingo . The closer to the truth the more “convenient dissent comments ” it attracts to the blog . It’s a common , albeit inefficient tactics . It’s so easy to spot .

        I have nothing but praise for Craig for writing and disseminating the facts . If a libel action comes I will be very happy to support him .

        • Charles Bostock

          My question was entirely legitimate. Defending a libel action (in this case from Mark Urban) is expensive and the last time it happened Craig asked for financial support. All I was asking was whether he would do so again. I didn’t express approval or disapproval of that idea and did not express an opinion on whether it would be a good or bad thing for readers to respond positively, so i really can’t imagine what some people are getting do hot under the collar about.

          • Borncynical

            But you haven’t exactly covered your corner on this by failing to contend that Anon1 completely misunderstood the intentions of your comments. Maybe you were so appalled by his ‘take’ on this you considered it unworthy of a response.

  • Sharp Ears

    Knocking copy this morning on Jeremy Corbyn from Sky News (and on the BBC) ref the Frank Field resignation. Sky had Nigel Nelson from the Sunday Mirror and a Sophie Jarvis from the Adam Smith Institute doing the ‘papers’ review where the messages in the fish and chip wrappers are shown and discussed.

    Under the direction of Madsen Pirie – ‘Sophie Jarvis, Programmes Director, The Entrepreneurs Network
    Sophie Jarvis is Programmes Director at The Entrepreneurs Network and Head of the Female Founders Forum. She is responsible for coordinating the logistics for The Entrepreneurs Network and conducting research around female entrepreneurship. She writes for City AM about the Leap 100 founders, is a media spokesperson for the Adam Smith Institute and appears regularly on Talk Radio to do the papers review with a variety of their presenters.’

    More of the stuff from the rear end of an equine.

    • Sharp Ears

      How Frank Field voted on Foreign Policy and Defence #

      Almost always voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
      Consistently voted for the Iraq war
      Almost always voted against investigations into the Iraq war
      Generally voted for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
      Generally voted for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU
      Consistently voted for strengthening the Military Covenant
      Generally voted against a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
      Generally voted against UK membership of the EU
      Consistently voted for military action against ISIL (Daesh)

      Says it all. A warmonger. Yes to the killing of brown skinned people.

      • laguerre

        When we were reminded that Field is MP for Birkenhead, you can immediately see what danger he is in, why he resigned the whip (which has nothing to do with Labour racism), and why he is now talking about triggering a by-election. He’s out, I think. He deselected himself.

        • Michael McNulty

          Frank Field was an unpleasant and authoritarian Blairite who would often stick the proverbial boot in to Britain’s poorest people, a thoroughly unpleasant individual. I wonder if one important reason why the Tories and Blairites are so against Jeremy Corbyn becoming PM is because he can order an Inquiry into what they have collectively done to the disabled and poor. I say what they have done is an atrocity, no other word for it when thousands have died and millions are desperately poorer and live in mental anguish. Did they think they had killed off the left altogether and so became untouchable? Not so untouchable now, eh!

      • Dungroanin

        On Northwest news yesterday he was being given plenty of airtime to claim that EVERYBODY loves him in Birkenhead. Except the local party members.

        No counter voxpops or interviews with the nasty party members.

        ‘Independent Labour’ is the name they appear to have settled on instead of SDP2 – the revenge of the filth.

        (Field for some reason reminds me of the demised McCain and the false reverence being given to that monster

        Will their (NuLabInc) phoney war ever finish? Will they put their money where their gobs are? Or will they like vampires just fizzle and evaporate in the glare of the light?

      • Clark

        Not allowed to use “news”papers for wrapping fish and chips any more; too dirty and toxic, I suspect However, polluting your mind with them is encouraged, and indeed subsidised; there are more “free” papers than ever. Gratis, not libre, of course.

      • Ken Kenn

        Frank Field has been constantly working hard in order to represent his constituents.

        Unfortunately – he has constantly been representing the Conservative constituents – not the Labour ones.

        No accident that he and Hodge have sat on many Select Committees and issued forth a lot of hot air but very few new Laws despite their anguished deliberations

        Similar to the media exclusive re: Mossack – Fonseca as to dodgy offshore companies wherein the media ended up criticising three actors from Mrs Brown’s Boys more than Cameron or May for their allegedly dodgy dealings.

        These Committees are all about pretending to look into something with the aim of doing absolutely nothing about the problem. Right up Field’s and Hodge’s street.

        Re: Urban.

        I take it that he has been interviewed by the police?

    • Sharp Ears

      The same on the Victoria Derbyshire programme from Stella Greasy Creasy. She’s ever so earnest.

      Lord Waheed Alli’s outfit BM Creative Management Ltd bunged her £10,000 in 2016 to assist in the payment for a staff member. I am sure she needed the money. Not.,_Baron_Alli

      Otherwise, the usual stuff wth which MPs fill in their time.

      Her voting record is almost the same as Field’s!
      How Stella Creasy voted on Foreign Policy and Defence #
      Generally voted for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
      Voted against investigations into the Iraq war
      Generally voted for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
      Generally voted for more EU integration
      Voted a mixture of for and against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU
      Consistently voted for strengthening the Military Covenant
      Almost always voted for a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK
      Consistently voted for UK membership of the EU
      Generally voted for military action against ISIL (Daesh)

    • N_

      Tangential: do Sky really show fish and chip wrappers? If so, that is absolutely bound to be paid work for whichever collective body represents those who make profit from shifting fish, chips, or both.

  • laguerre

    We have been leading figures in the reform of the EU since the time of Thatcher. Wasn’t she prominent in the creation of the Single Market? I really fail to understand what you’re talking about, unless you mean you just wanted more privileges for Britain, which is what most Brexiters have wanted, Britain already having the most privileged situation in the EU.

  • glenn_nl

    Radio 4 is currently telling the tale of the Soviet’s assassination of Georgi Markov (a repeat):

    One would have to be utterly cynical to think, even for a moment, that the BBC was softening us up to the idea that those dastardly Russians are in the habit of poisoning people they don’t like in the UK.

      • glenn_nl

        They did lay the comparison on rather thickly, actually! The news briefing at 10:00am that followed led with the story about the traitorous dog Fields, and rather gleefully repeated his lies about Corbyn and the Labour Party. Despite being only a couple of minutes long, it found the time to play an interview, in which Fields whined about only having a message from Corbyn (“and I’ve been in Labour longer than he has!”) thanking him for his membership (“as if it were just some local club! Ohhh!”).

        With no irony whatsoever, the programme about the murderous Russians finished up with someone bemoaning the state broadcasters in Russia. They sound very modern and western, he said, but were nothing more than state propaganda. The horror! Good thing nothing like that could happen here.

        • Keith

          I listened to that and wondered WHEN they’d mention Skripal, they didn’t dissapoint.

          The irony of accusations of Russian TV state propaganda – going easy on the Govt. and criticizing the opposition was not lost on me.

          However if the objective was to convince the majority of listeners a cold war exists then I guess job done!

      • N_

        If there’s a false flag chemical attack in Syria, perhaps F-UK-US will say it’s “Novichok”. That word has already been put in millions of minds.

        Hamish de Bretton-Gordon wrote in the Torygraph last month that “Novichok” could be put into missiles and hand grenades: “Why Novichok could be Russia’s most terrifying weapon in a war with the West.” The Sun then helped spread the idea. “‘WEAPON OF ARMAGEDDON’ Russia could use deadly nerve agent Novichok in missiles or GRENADES in any future war with the West, expert warns.”

        The rise in the pound sterling recently could have been by interests who are selling it short. Cf. Nigel Farage’s statement on EUref night that he thought Leave had lost.

  • Sharp Ears

    This is the head of the outfit that pushed Whitbread to sell off its Costa Coffee chain in order ‘to release more value’ to its shareholders. ie £2.3bn especially Mr Singer.

    Paul Singer, founder of the hedge fund Elliott Advisors. Within he is described as a vulture capitalist.

    ‘ It emerged earlier this month that Elliott Advisors had become Whitbread’s largest shareholder and was seeking the so-called demerger on the grounds it could potentially value separated firms at a combined £10bn as opposed to the current £7.7bn within the Whitbread stable.’

    So an American hedge fund founder decides the fate of Costa workers earning a pittance in the 2,400 outlets. Have you ever watched them working at the machines? Like robots under constant preessure.

    Big deal –
    Costa Coffee Salary Information and Popular Positions
    Position/Hourly Pay Rate/Annual Salary
    Barista £7.50 – £8.50/£15,000 – £18,000
    Barista Maestro £7.00 – £9.00/£14,000 – £19,000
    Assistant Manager £8.40 – £9.40/£17,000 – £20,000

    Costa Coffee Salary Chart & Pay Information –

    Any pensions? Any benefits?

  • Republicofscotland

    As a no deal on Brexit becomes a more realistic outcome, backed up in part by Theresa May hawking Britain around the world to anyone who’ll give her a trade deal. The mentality of the Treasury department on Brexit can be summed up here.

    And lets not forget Andrea Lesdsom’s brilliant plan.

  • Stonky

    I have made several FOI requests to the BBC and never had one answered.

    One amused me in particular: I was getting a bit fed up with Guardian readers constantly moaning about Nigel Farage being on Question Time all the time. Whatever you might think of UKIP, it seemed to me that a political party attracting around 3 million votes had as much right to be represented on QT as a newspaper that sells a couple of hundred thousand copies. So I asked the Beeb how many Guardian journalists had appeared on QT over the same period as Farage has been on.

    This information is already in the public domain (for example on Wikipedia). I simply couldn’t be bothered trawling through it to do the count, and I figured I would probably miss some Guardianistas I had never heard of.

    In reply to my request I got the standard refusal under “Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA” reply that I suspect is the BBC’s first response to every FOI request they ever receive. It was so pathetic it was almost funny.

    Out of interest, and for longer term purposes, I am going to file an FOI request asking how many FOI requests the BBC receives, and how many it refuses to answer on the basis of Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA.

    • Node

      Out of interest, and for longer term purposes, I am going to file an FOI request asking how many FOI requests the BBC receives, and how many it refuses to answer on the basis of Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA.

      When the BBC yet again refuse to answer on the basis of Part VI of Schedule 1 to FOIA, you can file yet another FOI request asking how many FOI requests the BBC receives asking how many FOI requests the BBC receives, etc

  • BBCbloodlust

    A BBC producer covering Syria spreads an anonymous rumour that can not be verified by anyone but themselves that could potentially result in the death and/or abduction of a large group of men,women and children in Idlib, Syria. Thoughts anyone?
    Riam DalatiVerified account
    BBC Syria Producer – All tweets & views are my own –

    South East, England
    Major town in #Idlib province reached agreement to turn against #HTS at ‘right moment’, trapping them vs advancing #SAA. In return, #Russia promised town will be spared and regime forces will not enter until end of offensive.
    Deal reminiscent of #EasternGhouta #Misraba

    For those unaware, HTS/al qaida/FSA, terrorists who are in the majority foreigners, have been rounding up large numbers of Syria people across Idlib who have sought out reconciliation and peace with their own government with no trace as to what has happened to some of them. The BBC man is stoking the fire here above.

    • laguerre

      I’m not sure it’s true that the majority of the Islamists in Idlib are foreigners, though many of Da’ish are. I don’t think it would have been possible to hold on to such a large area of Idlib, if they were. Though one guy I know who was caught by Da’ish was indeed captured by people who he described as having “slitty eyes”, Uighurs, I suppose. He was lucky enough to get away.

      • BBCbloodlust

        ”I’m not sure it’s true that the majority of the Islamists in Idlib are foreigners,”

        Maybe make yourself sure then, no? Its not hard.

        ”I don’t think it would have been possible to hold on to such a large area of Idlib, if they were.”

        They have not held onto a large area of Idlib. They have been positioned there by Syria and allowed remain there by Syria whilst other matters were dealt with down south. They won’t last a month when Syria moves on Idlib and the majority of towns and cities across the province are already calling out to the government. Their ”local support” does not exist.

        Any thoughts on the BBC ”producers” extremely irresponsible/provocative tweet above???

        • Crispa

          A UN spokesperson on BBC estimated up to 10 k foreign jihadis in Idlib which is probably right with Daesh members seeking refuge there.

          • BBCbloodlust

            ”A UN spokesperson on BBC”…………………………………….

            I see where you’re going wrong there Crispa. The ”UN” and the BBC. They also promote the ”white helmets” as rescuers of civilians.

            10k is a joke. At least that amount have been bused there from the south in the past 6 months. It was extremist free beforehand???

            Any thoughts on the BBC ‘producers’ tweet?

          • SA

            The 10,000 are Al Qaeda, the 90,000 others are ‘moderate’ Turkish backed rebels working with them.

          • Borncynical

            I watched de Mistura’s speech at the UN (30 August) and was also puzzled by something else he recommended. He said that before there is any military offensive in Idlib the UN should oversee the setting up of humanitarian corridors in Idlib, enabling civilians to escape the area. Is he really unaware that the Syrian and Russian armies have been operating at least one humanitarian corridor there since 31 July? I watched a report from there on RT only a couple of days ago, where they were talking to civilians who had taken advantage of the corridor.

        • laguerre

          “Maybe make yourself sure then, no? Its not hard.”

          There’s no real figures. Am I supposed to believe Cameron’s conjured up out of thin air 70,000? Other people’s figures really aren’t of different value.

          “They have not held onto a large area of Idlib.”

          Of course they have, for around five or more years. The Syrians weren’t able to get it back, until now.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Jacob Rees-Mogg reported to be on a short speaking tour of Scotland (’tis the grouse shooting season I suppose). Why would the utterings of a backbench Tory who’s never come near a ministerial post be of any interest? Never mind, Jacob thinks that Scotland is “entitled” to indyref II, but only on or after 2040. If I were in Jacob’s handcrafted brogues I would avoid “entitled”.
    This man is either a monumental imbecile or he sees Scotland as a drag-chute on his plans for unfettered access to sell his financial services to the natives of Cathay in return for closing down British manufacturing industry and consigning the workers to the poorhouse.
    Maximum publicity for JRM. Pontificate all he wants. The best recruiting agent the Indy movement could ask for.

    • glenn_nl

      Why is this pompous duffer the new go-to person for the BBC, whenever they need an opinion on Brexit, Tory party leadership, or indeed anything at all? Who imagined that anyone is interested in his unpleasant views, let alone the country as a whole.

      • N_

        Boris Johnson is far more pompous: “As soon as the deal is done I shall speak with deafening éclat.”

      • N_

        Two reasons why JRM is touring Scotland may be to get support among Scottish Tories for a leadership bid and to gee them up for a British general election. I don’t know how strongly Tory members, constituency chairmen and elected representatives in Scotland favour the various possible leadership candidates, but I suspect they would prefer JRM to either Boris Johnson or Sajid Javid.

        Between the lines, he may be saying “let’s have another indyref”. The subconscious doesn’t pay much attention to tacked on conditions.

    • N_

      Agreed, the Scottish nationalists would probably welcome JRM as British PM. But if he reaches that position, what happens when he says Brexit will bring a hard border in Ireland and, if Scots choose independence, there will be a hard border on the Tweed too?

      I’d caution against any interpretation that relies on viewing JRM as an imbecile. He could easily turn into the “man of the moment”. As in, “come the hour, come the man”. He would play a new card of some kind. It could possibly be English nationalism.

      For an imbecile, there is Boris Johnson.

      JRM’s European Research Group counts among its members a quarter of the cabinet, including Michael Gove, Sajid Javid, and Andrea Leadsom – at Agriculture, the Home Office, and Energy, three departments that are going to get a lot of action when the crash comes.

      • Hatuey

        N_, if JRM became PM and Scotland was independent, trust me, he wouldn’t be the only one looking for hard borders. People thought the creepy Victorian Tories were bad, JRM’s views are distinctly medieval.

        People like Mogg, Boris, Farage, May, and so many others, are perceived as disturbingly unnatural political weirdos in Scotland. They’re the best advert for independence we could ask for because nobody up here would go near sideshow freaks like that.

        And, yet, the English keep electing them. The English love to present themselves as politically sophisticated and superior, especially to Americans, but the truth is they’re the laughing stock of Europe.

        English politics reminds me of Bosch’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, with all manner of weird things and oddballs in the frame.

        Hard border? I wish we could detach ourselves completely and get as far away out to sea as possible.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          On a hard border at the Tweed.
          The exceptionalist, xenophobic fever that grips the English psyche will eventually break and they will emerge from their self imposed quarantine. They will emerge chastened and minus the budget rebates and treaty opt outs that propagated their self entitled hubris in the first place. I would estimate 10 years.

          • charming

            Aint national pride the best thing in the world – or more likely a birthplace as random as a postcode that defines health and wealth. Of course you may have made your country much better and that achievement gives you a feeling of pride – good luck with that thought. Likewise you may be proud of yourself mistaking it for being pleased with yourself. We are made by others who randomly rub up against us. Overcome your fear of freedom and embrace the chaos.

    • charmng

      Another one on tour! I guess he won’t be putting on a woolly skirt and faking a reel to keep up with the boss.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        I am entirely indifferent as to the Colonel’s plans. If she goes so be it.
        As hard Brexit looks increasingly likely, dismiss nothing. The establishment (as defined by Hampstead types) didn’t want any hue of Brexit let alone a hard version. Access to the Tuscan villa and work permits for the Slovakian au pair. “Defections” to Yes may be coming from the most unlikely bolt holes. Perhaps even the odd author of children’s fiction.
        In the Colonel’s case, I believe her “husband” is Irish.

    • Alyson

      Ruth Davidson being touted as potentially the next Tory leader. Does he see competition? Or is this a ruse to put Scotland in the cross hairs?

    • charming

      As most of the rats have been cleaned out of Syria there’s plenty of soldiers freed up to remove the human (sic) residue. The Beeb will have someone in a control centre somewhere safe and distant looking out for sexy video shots

      • SA

        I have not seen any conflict where a process of reconciliation has been implemented as in Syria and yet this has not been reported by the MSM. Also transportation of combatants to Idlib rather than prolong blood shed by continuing to fight. Yet Assad is supposed to be barrel-bombing and gassing ‘his own people ‘.

        • laguerre

          I know perfectly well that a process of reconciliation is taking place. I’m just a bit anxious that refugees abroad may not be sufficiently confident to return. I only know of one person personally who has returned to Latakia. I’m writing a recommendation for another this afternoon, but it’s not to go back, although she’s an Alawite from the Mountain, where it is quite secure.

  • J Galt

    “The Young build a better world”?

    The “young” are the most brainwashed of the lot!

  • Tony_0pmoc

    This is a reasonably accurate report, buried in the depths of the BBC’s website, except it is not, and never has been a civil war. It was always an illegal invasion, designed, financed, trained and armed by US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia and other foreign entities, mainly using paid mercenaries, together with enormous propaganda, mainly British in origin.

    “Syria Idlib: UN warns of threat to civilians if new offensive begins”


    • Isa

      One good point of yesterday’s press conference , Guterres ‘ spokesperson aknowledged that the UN is aware that the rebels / terrorists are in possession of Chlorine Gas . I felt that his speech was far more of a warning to the US , UK and France than to Syrian and Russian forces .

  • SA

    And for those not aware of NATO involvement in Iraq:

    “Launched at the Brussels Summit in July, the mission builds on NATO’s efforts to train the Iraqi forces as they work to prevent the re-emergence of ISIS and other terrorist groups. Led by Canada, NATO’s non-combat mission will include hundreds of trainers, and will also involve setting up military schools to increase the professionalism of the Iraqi forces.”

    • Clark

      NATO country Turkey supported Daesh/ISIS, and permitted infiltration of anti-Syrian government combatants into Syria by leaving its border unenforced. Special forces from NATO countries trained combatants and supplied logistics and intelligence.

      • Paul Greenwood

        Turkey was put in the same situation as Pakistan vis a vis Taliban by US/UK pressure. Just as Pakistan was juiced with Saudi money to let ISI sponsor Anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan and destroyed internally – well Turkey had US “assistance” to support Muslim Brotherhood as Clinton-Obama Objects of Desire and to facilitate supplies of Libyan weapons from Deceased Ghadaffi stocks through the borderlands to Syria. Likewise the huge freight operation using Silk Way Airlines to deliver Bulgarian and Ukrainian weapons to terrorists uses Turkey’s borderlands…….

        • Antonyl

          Pakistani generals never need much encouragement to support their own Muslim invasion of Afghanistan: they call it “strategic depth” versus India. Probably learned this idea at Sandhurst or West Point. Ru(i)nning just Pakistan is not enough for them.

      • SA

        No not really. Involvement of NATO gives a wider legitimacy to a wider consensus and relieves the US from political pressures at home.

        • laguerre

          Canadians are less engaged than USians, and like are NATO in Afghanistan, where others than Americans have mostly pissed off now.

  • SA

    Another staged rescue footage from the WH in Idlib. It would be apparent to anybody that this is staged. The child is elevated from a sort of pit seemingly unscathed, not crying and not covered in dust. Several adults are shouting and gesticulating during the ‘rescue operation which involves several members of the White helmets. Surely any professional rescue operators would bar those onlookers from this din and operate in a coordinated and not such a haphazard way. It is also very clear that the most important part of this is the filming.

    • Kempe

      Those kids are covered in dust. You’re so blinded by Assad/Putin propaganda you can’t see what’s in front of you.

      • laguerre

        The dust is carefully painted on the face, evenly, but there isn’t any on the body, surprise, surprise.

      • MJ

        I don’t know how you think “Assad/Putin” propaganda is accessed over here. Most people in the UK are subjected only to UK propaganda. Yet they’re not so blind as to be unable to see through it. Obviously there are exceptions. Ring any bells?

          • MJ

            I don’t have a TV yet it’s blindingly obvious even to me, listening to BBC radio news, that they’re just pumping out propaganda.

          • SA

            As it happens this is from a blog by a member of the White Helmets not RT or Sputnik

    • Clark

      That video doesn’t look necessarily staged to me.

      I don’t accept all these “good side versus bad side” arguments. The most important immediate matter is that the conflict must stop, and the victims including refugees must be helped. The long term matters are that international mechanisms for avoiding conflict must be developed, and international means of detecting and preventing covert /deniable foreign conflict have to be developed and implemented.

      • SA

        In any normal rescue operations the rescuers, especially those where millions of pounds have been spent to train them, will behave in a professional coordinated manner and try to minimise interference by panicky or noisy onlookers. The action is disjointed and uncoordinated and the filming appears to suggest a staging. The child may be dusty but appears with intact clothing and not crying or showing distress. But I also agree that it is important that hostilities cease. But that will only be the case when terrorists stop being irresponsibly supported by the west. There does not seem to be any concern from the would be tripartite humanitarians that Idlib is dominated by Al Qaeda and that Turkey, which is supposed to work to eliminate them or at least dissociate them from the other rebels, is reluctant to do so for their own reasons. These forces have also been attacking the Russian base near Latakia with drones. In Dara’a, the rebels distances themselves eventually from Al Qaeda and reconciled with the Syrian government with resultant less bloodshed and eventual evacuation if the White, Helmets via Israel. It is the West and Turkey who are making this more difficult to achieve in Idlib.

        • Clark

          “it is important that hostilities cease. But that will only be the case when terrorists stop being irresponsibly supported by the west”

          I wholeheartedly agree. An added complication is that the truly Western forces are only supporting the “terrorists” (none of the terms used for these fighters is fully appropriate – all are propaganda terms from one side or the other). They are being sent or incited, and armed by the Gulf States allied to the West. Consequently, even if the West removed its support, the fighting would continue, albeit even less effectively than at present.

          The West is acting with appalling irresponsibly, and with utter dishonour towards the people of its Gulf allies. These Gulf states are depressingly enthusiastic to condition firebrand young men, to make them easy to send and attack neighbouring states. The West precipitated the slaughter on both sides by offering its Gulf allies false hopes of victory. No one on any side seems to care about these hopelessly misguided guerillas, nor the upcoming generations who continuously replace them. True, they kill brutally, but they also die in droves themselves, becoming the “martyrs” used for inspiring their replacements. This hideous meat-factory conveyor belt is what the West is encouraging.

          As for the rescue, I don’t really care whether it was real or staged. It should never have been necessary in the first place.

      • SA

        Plus you just don’t pull out a victim out of rubble like that. If they had a spinal injury it could cause irreversible damage.

        • Clark

          Depends. If there’s any report that goes with it, you could check. For instance, was it said that there were others trapped in there? Someone passed the youngest up to the rescuers perhaps?

          Anyway, the little boy looked OK. That’s the main thing in this case.

          Which gave me a thought. They always seem to be children. OK, people will post the most emotive stuff on Twitter etc., but do the White Helmets have their own social media? If so, what’s the child-to-adult ratio in these alleged rescues? Could be telling.

      • Tony_0pmoc


        “That video doesn’t look necessarily staged to me.”

        At first sight no. I saw it a year or so ago. Then, when you see it again, and the others, it gets you thinking.

        My first knowledge of what was going on in Syria, was as result of asking a question direct to the author of a book I had just read. To my amazement, she replied to me. This would be about 2011. She wasn’t personally there in Syria, but knew two girls she trusted who were. They told her what was happenning, and she told me, which I thought was very graceful and trusting of her.

        She used to work for The CIA. She is yet another almost unheard of whistleblower. I found her book even more exciting than Craig’s “Murder in Samarkand”. I hope she is still alive, and well, as she spent a lot of time in one of the toughest American military jails, and was extremely lucky to maintain her sanity under the most appalling duress.

        This is even better than Arthur Koestler “Scum of The Earth” – another true story written under appalling duress.

        Her name is Susan Lindauer

        “Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of *Redacted* and Iraq


        • Clark

          Thanks Tony. I know about Susan Lindauer. Over the years I watched her Wikipedia page gradually change from a smear job dismissing her as a deranged fantasist to something far more representative of her personal testimony, which I take very seriously. Why was her CIA handler Richard Fuisz expecting a dirty bomb in New York, I wonder?

          It is very sad to hear her booed sometimes by so-called Truthers. And the “senior State Department official” who she says whispered in her ear but told her never to reveal his name is a cynical lying scumbag in my opinion. I hope she reveals who it is one day. But the State Department is notoriously full of Neocons, and they’d do anything to discredit Lindauer.

          • Clark

            If that “senior State Department official” has a whistle to blow he should damn well blow it himself. But he hasn’t. He just seeded lies to Susan Lindauer to try to make her look like a nut-job. The sincerity of her personal testimony shines through, but plenty will dismiss her because of his treachery.

          • Clark

            What would you call a man who knew something like what he claims to know, but instead of writing it out in full with corroborating evidence and posting it to Wikileaks, drops it on some poor former agent like Lindauer who had a massive struggle to be taken seriously at all?

            I call him filth.

          • Clark

            Come to think of it, I’m assuming it was a man. Without checking, I can’t remember if Susan Lindauer ever specified this slimeball’s sex.

      • ADHD

        Red Cross/Crescent and state rescue services don’t tend to film their rescues but the White Helmets always seem to have the camera rolling. So an important part of their work appears to be to produce videos of their activities. This has no functional purpose for the rescue, or for the people of Syria. This film is for the consumption of the west and also muslim/Arab countries; the purpose is to bolster international support for continuing the war in Syria.

        The footage does look odd when you re-look and consider what you are seeing. I am sure that the White Helmets do save some people (I would hope so) but it’s not their main purpose.

        How is the war to be stopped? It was always the west who appeared to scupper negotiations and there have, in the past, been good proposals (that seemed to me were more than acceptable) and were rejected by the west who refused to even meet to talk about them. As I understand it the door is still open to the west to talk about peace, the post war settlement and re-building (no pre-conditions) but the west won’t engage. Instead, the rebels appear to keep on being encouraged and supported when the time has come for them to lay down their arms and reconcile with the Syrian Government.

        Peace has been returning to large parts of Syria, refugees are returning and infrastructure is being re-build. Early days and still a long way to go but it’s happening.

        From the look of the way forces are lining up it looks like the west will be aiming to severely bomb Syria. I think British aircraft are redeploying from British bases (based on a conversation with a friend who lives near a large airbase [who had no idea about current developments] mentioning about unusual high levels of activity).

        • Clark

          Seconded. Of course forces have friendly medics and rescue workers, and of course they can be used for propaganda purposes.

          “How is the war to be stopped?”

          And the one after this and the others going on simultaneously, and the next and the next and the next…

          We the people need to get control of our governments. The cancer needs to be rooted right out, right down into the depths of the secret services, NATO, the PR companies, the media, and our arms industries.

          Some sort of international oversight, like the IAEA, is needed for secret services. And “commercial confidentiality” has to end.

          • SA

            “We the people need to get control of our governments. The cancer needs to be rooted right out, right down into the depths of the secret services, NATO, the PR companies, the media, and our arms industries.”

            I wish I can share this optimism. We the people are divided and distracted by trivia. As long as the people in so called democracies have a better living standard than those in the exploited world, they will not realise that they themselves are being exploited. There were far fewer demonstrations and mobilisations against the war in Syria than against the war in Iraq, but even then when the lies were exposed there has not been a comeback, instead Blair is on his way to being a billionaire and influential elderly statesman like several war criminals before him. Even the OPCW, the UN and other international organisations are cooped. Many supposedly progressive people including in this blog believe in NATO.
            A change in the ‘system’ is needed, but even then there are new ideas just small mindedness.
            Sorry to sound despondent but I am.

          • Clark

            Commercial confidentiality could be a good place to start. Ben Goldacre correctly points out that there are no winners from the pharmaceutical companies’ concealment of information. We all end up with more harmful, less effective medicines, rich and poor alike. Some companies get to make more profit, but all people suffer worse medical care.

            I don’t see any way that “the rich” or “the elite” can get around this. If secrecy warps the findings of research, everyone suffers the results of distorted information together.

            There is no absolute advantage to private companies in keeping their activities secret. There is only the relative disadvantage to those who don’t amid the current environment of widespread concealment. What really matters is a level playing field.

            We’ve seen this time after time, for instance in the automotive industry. All safety improvements from seat belts through anti-lock brakes to emissions systems were opposed by industry on the grounds of cost, but when governments enforced compliance suddenly it all became entirely doable.

            This may seem like the least important part of the problem of war, but how would secret services impose mass surveillance if the companies they contract to do it couldn’t conceal their activities? How could public relations companies continue inciting coups and regime change? How could private military contractors continue supporting covert military action?

            The very reason there has been less activism since the devastation of Iraq is that warmongering largely was driven underground by the massive global protest; the means of generating war have been outsourced into the private sector to take advantage of the cloak of commercial confidentiality; compare Bell Pottinger’s half billion dollar Pentagon contract to make al Qaeda recruitment videos, and the subsequent need to disband the company because its ongoing activities came under scrutiny.

          • Clark

            Companies need to be forced into declaring and registering what they’re doing in secret and why, and opening the rest of their operation to reasonable scrutiny by those who apply. For instance, a company could register documents that say “such-and-such part of our premises are off-limits for x time while we develop a new method of doing so-and-so, which we will patent upon success or open for inspection should we abandon the attempt”. This would result in eventual declaration either way upon success or failure.

            There is no defensible justification for ongoing commercial activities to be conducted in secret. “Oh, we’re making money within our enclave, but you’re not allowed to know how” is simply unacceptable; it must be seen as such rather that the current atmosphere of shrugging acceptance.

          • SA

            “Companies need to be forced into declaring and registering what they’re doing in secret and why, and opening the rest of their operation to reasonable scrutiny by those who apply. ”

            But this strikes at the heart of capitalism which elevates private profits (even if as you say these are perceived) above any other common good. As I said earlier we will achieve nothing unless the system changes, and that will not happen anytime soon.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The BBC drama series Bodyguard is I am led to understand receiving unprecedented viewing figures in this multi channel, multi platform age. Why the instant success? The trailer promoted the storyline of a Home Secretary actively exaggerating a terrorist threat as a means to furthering her ambition. The helots are becoming ever more aware of propaganda and false flags.

      • Sharp Ears

        The deeply unattractive and greedy Jacqui (Jackboots) Smith, ex Home Secretary, said the storyline is preposterous and the affair between the protection officer and the Home Secretary is pure fiction. It never happens. Ah! But what about Amber and Theresa? 🙂

        Jackboots lined up a nice little number as chair of the University of Birmingham Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

        Infamous for claiming for hubby’s pay TV porn on her expenses and designated her sister’s home in London as her main residence when she lived with her husband and family in Redditch. She claimed for that as her second home. Nothing less than a fraud. She just received a ticking off from the Standards Commissioner and was told to apologize. So that was OK then!

        She had many jobs in BLiar’s administration and became Home Secretary in Brown’s – 23 June 2007 – 5 June 2009. After getting the heave ho from the Redditch constituency she went to work for KPMG, then to an employment agency run by a friend of the BLairs.

        Dreadful person. This made me LOL.
        ‘Smith was regarded as a loyal Blairite during Tony Blair’s premiership, a position reflected in her voting record, and she was brought to tears by Blair’s farewell appearance in the House of Commons’.

    • Borncynical

      Another fact that’s always struck me as well is that none of the ‘rescued’ children shown on these WH videos is ever brought out with broken limbs, heads smashed in or severed limbs. Now when I have seen footage of live children brought out of buildings hit with terrorist mortars in Damascus they have had legs missing and severe head wounds visible. Why might there be such a difference? (Rhetorical question!).
      And, unlike the REAL Syria Civil Defence (established in 1953), the White Helmets keep no official records of those they have rescued – names or numbers – and do not have an emergency telephone number enabling the public to contact them.

      • Clark

        Yeah, but these videos may be for propaganda in the Middle East as well as here. Doesn’t do to show the injured ones. Besides, they know the BBC and other major outlets never show those sorts of images. It took RT if I remember correctly to show us what went on in Gaza when it was under attack.

        War has to be kept popular over here, so we’re mostly shown the sanitised stuff.

  • Andyoldlabour

    Back in January 2010, Mossad carried out an assasination of a Hamas member in Dubai. They used a large number of agents to do this, and twelve of them used fake UK passports.
    David Miliband was secretary of state at the time, and his replies to MP’s who questioned him about what action would be taken against Israel over this were frankly, less than convincing.
    My MP at the time Bob Marshall Andrews was going for the jugular as was Jeremy Corbyn and others. I hope this link works, because it will show miliband up for the weasel he was and is.

    • charming

      Milliband writes off the questioning with the irritating ubiquitous phrase ‘the right thing to do’. I see the appeal of Farage.

    • Paul Greenwood

      Miliband was inveigled into Oxford (Merton I think) with his father availing himself of an ILEA Scheme to get “Disadvantaged Pupils” from ILEA schools into Oxford……..Miliband had pathetic A-Level grades but was not otherwise disadvantaged, but like his father – “family” came though and helped him on his way. No doubt Miliband was a great solace to Tel Aviv in Carlton Gardens

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          I prefer Steve, meself. “They call me the space cowboy, they call me the gangster of luv …”

  • Paul Greenwood

    “security service sources had told you that Yulia Skripal’s telephone may have been bugged.”

    That is so very peculiar. The woman lives in Moscow and presumably has a mobile phone from Megafon or Tele2 since Russian roaming charges abroad are cheap but foreign phones have expensive roaming in Russia. At what point was Yulia Skripal’s phone taken from her ? At point of entry to UK ? Or later in hospital ?

    What does “may have been” mean in English ? Does it include the possibility “it was not in fact bugged” ?

    Innuendo is such an English art form it becomes easy to overlook its insinuative nature. Maybe she used a tracker on her phone in case it was stolen ? Or maybe she backed up to Cloud services. I really think Mark Urban is a dolt if he cannot check his sources better….I mean Mark Urban “may be an MI6 agent”

    • remember kronstadt

      Ha ha, thanks for that! “he is “agonising” over whether to stay” presumably chucking up every morning since JS became leader pregnant with the truth

  • SA

    Latest wisdom from the man who exposed the nuclear duck:

    “The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end peace is made with the strong.”

  • Sharp Ears

    Silly old racist reactionary –

    Henry Blofeld to leave Britain because ‘you don’t see many Englishmen’
    Matthew Moore, Media Correspondent
    August 31 2018, 12:00pm,
    Henry Blofeld at Lord’s during the third Test match against the West Indies last September Image

    The retired cricket commentator Henry Blofeld has said that he is leaving Britain because London has become “horribly violent” and “you don’t see too many Englishmen where I live”.
    Blofeld, 78, known as Blowers, hung up the microphone in summer last year after serving as part of the BBC Radio Test Match Special team for 45 years.
    His unmistakable style and offbeat references to everything from pigeons to cakes made him one of cricket’s most recognisable voices over the airwaves.
    He told The Daily Telegraph that he planned to swap west London for Menorca at the end of the year. “I’ve sort of become a bit bored of Chelsea after 60 years, though I’ll be back a lot,” he said. “I don’t like it [London]… paywall

    Non-Englishmen OK as long as they play cricket?

    • SA

      I commented on that two posts above. It is now very clearly stated that might is right and that the weak bear what they must. Meanwhile our faithful labour fifth columnists are so concerned that they want the conservatives to remain in power for another 10 years while the undermine their leader.

      • Republicofscotland


        Yes, the once persecuted, are now the persecutors, and they wonder why sympathy towards them is on the wane.

        Still they’ll get away with committing atrocities because the Great Satan and the media backs them to the hilt.

          • Republicofscotland

            The only way to really impede them is through the economic routes. Shun their goods and services, that’s why they fear BDS.

            They need to be seen globally in the same negative apartheid light as the South Africa of old.

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