Cui Bono? David Leask, Ben Nimmo and the Attack on Ordinary Scottish Nationalists 1068

We know for certain that the Integrity Initiative targets Scottish Nationalists, because two of its luminaries, otherwise unconnected to each other, David Leask and Ben Nimmo, collaborated on a massive attack piece in the Herald identifying individual SNP supporters as “Russian Bots”.

Ben Nimmo works for the Atlantic Council, funded inter alia by NATO. He is also on a retainer of £2,500 per month from the Integrity Initiative, in addition to payments for individual pieces of work. For his attack on Scottish Nationalists Nimmo was therefore paid by the Atlantic Council (your taxes through NATO), by the Integrity Initiative (your taxes) and by the Herald (thankfully shortly going bankrupt). Leask claims to have received nothing but a cheese sandwich from the Integrity Initiative, but has briefed them in detail on Scottish nationalism, attended their seminars, and they have included Leask’s output in their “outcomes” reports to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (on which more in a few days’ time).

I took apart Leask and Nimmo’s horrendous attack at the time, revealing among other things that one of Nimmo’s criteria for spotting a Russian bot or troll was use of the phrase cui bono.

Nimmo’s role as witchfinder-general for Russian Bots appears very remunerative. His August 2016 invoice to The Institute for Statecraft, apparently the 71st invoice he had issued to various neo-con bodies that year, was for £5,000.

It is interesting that rather than sort code and account number, his invoice gives IBAN and BIC, used for payments coming from abroad.

There is a very important aspect of the detailed minute of David Leask’s briefing for the Integrity Initiative, which CommonSpace cut out of the extracts which they published. Leask says that the Integrity Initiative are “pushing at an open door” with the SNP leadership and the editors of The National, who he characterises as reliably anti-Russian and pro-NATO:

YATA – there would probably be a lot of studenty anti-NATO responses. But that might be more of a reason to do it. But SNP reversed NATO policy when it realised what Russia was up to (under influence of Nordic/Baltic allies)
 Mainstream politicians don‟t want to challenge the fringe normally but they’re starting to. Stewart McDonald (defence spokesman) pitching NATO – “friends in Norway, Balts etc are in it”. SNP foreign policy chiefs have very anti-Kremlin, anti-RT, pro-Ukraine rhetoric.
 Immigration not an issue in Scotland.
 Pushing at open door – allies in Scotland about disinformation. Putin may want to sow discord among Scottish nationalists. Pro-independence sister paper had headline complaining Russian trolls attacking Sturgeon.
Yes campaign had attacks on servers and cyberactivity, thought it was the Brits but then concluded it was probably Russians.
 SNP going to Ukraine – to reassure allies they are not pro-Russian.

I am afraid Leask is not wrong. The continual willingness of the SNP leadership to endorse Britnat anti-Russian rhetoric without question is a nagging worry for many nationalists. Precisely the same department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office which funds the Integrity Initiative, funds the Westminster Foundation for Democracy which paid for this joint Britnat/SNP leadership group event at the last SNP Conference, featuring a Ukrainian politician also used by the Integrity Initiative.

Read that carefully, and note that it is not just a discussion on the Ukraine – no harm in that – but one which is openly anti-Russian. The very title, on countering Russian disinformation, is literally straight out of the Integrity Initative’s handbook. Two SNP MP’s took part, including the foreign policy spokesman.

Remember that meeting was on the conference fringe at which I was not permitted to hold a meeting on preparing for Indyref II. An awful lot of Nicola loyalists tell me that, in appearing at present to be much more interested in keeping the entire UK in the EU, rather than striking for Scottish Independence, the leadership are playing a brilliant tactical game.

Other explanations are available.


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1,068 thoughts on “Cui Bono? David Leask, Ben Nimmo and the Attack on Ordinary Scottish Nationalists

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  • N_

    End of year fun! According to the Torygraph in a piece published a few hours ago, it was the SAS behind the Rendelsham Forest UFO incident of 1980.

  • michael norton

    The BBc is the mouth-piece of the U.K. Establishment
    Brexit Bad, Trump Bad, Global Warming Bad

    they are relentless but often WRONG

    Senator Lindsey Graham suggested the Syria withdrawal had been slowed and he was now reassured of the president’s commitment to Syria after meeting him on Sunday.

    Mr Trump’s troop pullout plan met strong criticism from major allies, and senior Republicans like Mr Graham.

    Donald Trump is pulling his troops out, he does not want them blasted, which is what will happen if they linger.
    If the Americans linger and they get blasted, Trump will have to retaliate, which would mean he has lost the argument/plot.
    Donald Trump is doing the correct thing.
    He did not explain the move, beforehand, because hardly any of them would have agreed, his was the correct executive decision,
    not just for America but also for Syria and the World.

    • Dungroanin

      Like i have been saying – the highwater mark of the Anglo empire has been reached. Trump is a realist.

      ‘Yesterday the Syrian government authorized the Iraqi airforce to attack ISIS within Syria. Such action is planned in the Baghdad war room where Syria, Iraq, Iran and Russia exchange intelligence and coordinate their fight. Today Iraqi jets hit an alleged ISIS command meeting in al-Susah, Syria. This reinforces the assertion that the U.S. is no longer needed to defeat the Islamic State.’

  • Nick Gethins

    You’re really on to something here Craig, Ive been astonished by the SNP. Sturgeon backing Clinton, retweeting Kissenger and Albright articles. Also taking up the mantle of of the Brit state and taking an anti-Russian stance and echoing UK anti-Russian propaganda. I would suggest, from the tone of some senior SNP folk, the Integrity Initiative may be influencing foreign policy. Meanwhile you have ex-Deputy Chief Economist, in the form of Andrew Wilson, shaping economic policy with his growth commission. At the same time the likes of the Common Weal, who have done a great job bringing together Scottish academics to form solid ideas on monetary policy, land reform, tax etc are shown the door. RBS, integrity Initiative aka the foreign and commonwealth office have an open door, independence activists’s think tanks has it closed in their face.

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