Gdansk 1781

Writing about your personal demons for the public is seldom a good idea, and it is a particularly bad idea when you are starting at 3.40am as they are haunting you. We are spending Hogmanay in the beautiful city of Gdansk. It is my first time here for over twenty years, but the city has remarkable memories for me.

In November 1994 I was newly arrived as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Warsaw when a fatal fire occurred at the famous shipyard, in a hall being used for a rock concert tied in to a MTV transmission. The fire doors were all padlocked shut, and the heat had reached such intensity that a flash fire had occurred right across the hall. Miraculously only five people had died immediately, but hundreds had been horrifically burnt or suffered fume inhalation and the hospitals were completely overwhelmed.

Within hours of the fire I was dispatched to Gdansk by our dynamic Ambassador and found myself on a train heading North with only a Motorola mobile phone the size of a large brick (1994) and a phone number for DFID, in those days a part of the FCO and known as ODA. I roused from his London bed the official in charge of emergency assistance, Mukesh Kapila, and he instructed me to get a list from the medical authorities of all the supplies required. He explained that major burns required large volumes of consumables by way of ointments and special gauzes and bandages.

Arriving in Gdansk I very soon discovered that the victims were dispersed round several hospitals and there was no central authority able to produce a list of requirements. Poland was still in the early stages of a shock transition from communism and elements of administration were shaky at the best of times, let alone in a large scale emergency. The only way to make any progress was for me physically to go to every hospital and every concerned ward, buttonhole the doctors there and ask them what they needed.

To say they were swamped would be ridiculous understatement. Victims were everywhere, very many critical, and in some places bleary-eyed doctors literally had nothing – creams, bandages, painkillers, saline drips all exhausted. Meeting many doctors, when I told them I could get anything sent out instantly, the reaction ranged from angrily incredulous to massive bear hugs.

It was of course difficult. In 1994 Polish medical practice differed quite sharply from British. There were language barriers; my as yet basic Polish lacked medical vocabulary. And I had to keep interrupting incredibly busy people. But after the first couple of hospitals I was able to extrapolate and phone through to Mukesh the most obviously urgent items, and by the end of the day I was clutching 16 handwritten lists and could sit down to consolidate them.

But I have not described to you what it was like to go round those wards. I really cannot – it was indescribable. Horribly disfigured people screaming and writhing in pain, begging and pleading for any relief, even asking to die. And the worst thing is, they were all teenagers – the average age seemed about 16. One image I shall never forget was of a girl sitting bolt upright in bed, looking calm, and I recall thinking that at least this one is OK. But I had seen her right profile and as I passed her, the left side of her face was literally skeletal, with a yellow blob for an eye, no skin and just the odd sinew attached to the bone. Her calm was catatonic.

But in a way still worse were two girls who looked perfectly healthy, lying on top of their beds apparently in an untroubled sleep. The doctor told me that they were already brain dead, having inhaled cyanide gas from the combustion of plastic seating. The mother of one of them was there and she pleaded with me to tell the doctor not to turn off the ventilator; the poor woman was crazed with grief and pulling at her hair, which was dyed red. I can still recall every detail of the faces of both mother and her still daughter.

I called in every day for a week or so and sat with the mother a few minutes, in silence. Then one day they were gone; the doctors had switched off the ventilator.

Andrze Kanthak, our Honorary Consul, was a fantastic support and worked extremely hard throughout this period – but as we walked together into the first ward, Andrze simply fainted straight out at the sight of it all. That evening we had hardly finished consolidating my 16 lists and sending them off to Mukesh when news arrived that the first shipment of most urgent supplies was arriving at Gdansk airport, and we dashed off there with a lorry from the City Council.

It was a bitter disappointment. Customs refused to release the medicines until duty had been paid and, still worse, everything would need to be checked and certified by the food and drug administration, which could take weeks. All my fury at the self-satisfied officials was of no avail, and we returned temporarily baffled.

A phone call now came that DFID had chartered a flight to arrive the next day with 20 tons of medical supplies, so the situation was now critical. Walesa was now President and I suggested we contact his office, but Andrze advised we should rather recruit Father Jankowski.

Jankowski was the parish priest in Gdansk who had been integral to the Solidarnosc movement, and at that time he wielded enormous political influence. His home was extraordinary for a parish priest – literally palatial – and when I met him there the next day he readily agreed to help. He came to the airport with us as the chartered cargo flight arrived, and supervised the loading into the council lorries which I dispatched to the various hospitals. A tall imposing figure in a flowing black cassock, the customs officials who had blocked us obeyed him without question.

Things calmed down over the next few days, Mukesh Kapila himself came out, and the hospitals once supplied performed brilliantly. Astonishingly, from hundreds of cases of severe and extensive burns, with scores in intensive care, we lost nobody except the two girls who were already brain dead, bringing the final death toll to seven. The incredible survival rate was viewed as a miracle, and perhaps it was, but it was a miracle assisted by some fantastic doctors, by Mukesh Kapila and his staff, by Father Jankowski, by Andrze Kanthak and by the Secretary of Gdansk Council whose name (Janowski?) has slipped my mind, embarrassingly as the experience made us firm friends for a long while.

But I am afraid to say the personal impact on me was quite severe. It is no secret that I struggle against bipolar disorder, and the sheer horror of those days in the wards undoubtedly triggered me for quite a while. I also suffered recurrent nightmares for more than a decade, about the horrific burns but also about the brain dead child and the mother tearing her hair. Worse than the nightmares were the waking flashbacks, not so much visual as emotional, experiencing the feeling of it happening again.

When I got back to the Embassy nobody was very interested in what I had been doing. I was ticked off for returning a day late and also for not obtaining much media publicity for the UK’s role. I have written before that one of my frequent duties in Poland was to conduct high profile visitors around the concentration camps, a visit all British politicians wish to make. Those places filled me with horror, which resonated on the same emotional frequency as the Gdansk trauma. Those frequent visits made my time in Poland difficult to me, which is a shame as it is a delightful country and people.

Back here now as a tourist, with my family and at a festive time, no troubling memories are assailing me. I find I can now be proud of what we did, rather than ashamed at my emotional reaction afterwards. And I can’t quite tell you why, but I felt it should be recorded.

Finally, it is worth noting that this Gdansk experience was one of a number which led me immediately to understand that the famous BBC report on “Saving Syria’s Children” was faked. The alleged footage of burns victims in hospital following a napalm attack bears no resemblance whatsoever to how victims, doctors and relatives actually behave in these circumstances.


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1,781 thoughts on “Gdansk

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  • Republicofscotland

    Lets get the no deal done, it’s the best option for dissolving the union.

    “The government is set to launch a publicity drive to prepare the public for the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit.”

    “Whitehall departments and the health regulator will release guidance on how members of the public can handle any potential issues that may be caused by such an outcome.”

    “The campaign will feature broadcasts on radio and social media – and comes after ministers published information advising businesses on how best to prepare for no deal.”

    • remember kronstadt

      does this ‘state’ ideologically want a public service broadcaster? the useful idiots at the beeb appear willing to volunteer for its demise and the left has a dilemma of how to deal with a corrupted and poisonous broadcaster. the internet provides an opportunity now for the state of whatever colour to turn off the lights and ‘buy’ in public information space from other providers.

    • Isa

      That’s not totally true . An article on buzzfeed explains what happened and it had more to do with Carole Cadwalladr not wanting to give any inch of control to either the bbc or channel 4 . In fact she double pitched to bbc while channel 4 was already producing the story and wanted the bbc to verify story in a very limited time which was not possible .

      finally she was required to abide by social media policy of channel 4 which she didn’t agree to ( and if you see her social media activity you’ll understand why , it’s shockingly biased , typical of someone who constantly pushes the anti semitism card against targets to suit an agenda , bashes Russia constantly and defends the Ukraine and war monger muller while speaking at integrity initiative conferences and organising another event with Bill Browder .

      I have no respect for journalists that embark on propaganda and there’s a lot of egos in this affair .

      Peter J knows this full well as he works with her on this and still he sends that tweet out . Agendas and egos . A deadly mix .

      • Dungroanin

        It seems that Carole is a freelancer at the Obsessive according to the buzzfeed article, rather then a employee, which i hadn’t previously realised.

        I would like to see her version of the timelines of her getting started on the Wylie revelation and her II work.

        She appears to have a ‘gate keeper & damage limiter’ role and appears to have tried to control the emergence of the ‘story’. Which certainly would have allowed time for the Dodgy Shits, time to spin the facts.

        I should think Amelia Gentleman may feel aggrieved by having to share the Orwell gong with what may be an Orwellian agent of BB – perhaps she could investigate!

        • Isa

          I think she is on contract but not staff as such . I’m not too sure .,

          there’s several alarm bells with the whole CA story for me , starting with the fact that she never stresses that there were no U.K. citizens data used .

          most concerning for me is this story broke by the observer regarding Damian Collins and a man from a company six4 three, I will call him mr Pikini :

          Mr Pikini brought a law suit against Facebook in the USA . All the documents ( including emails to Facebook he submitted to the court were confidential by strict orders of the USA judge . )

          Mr Pikini travels to the U.K. on a business trip and somehow Damian Collins Simmons him to Parliament to surrender the documents . In failing to achieve his goal he then sends an armed officer to mr Pikini ‘s hotel and he surrenders the files from his computer / pen drive . Damian Collins then uses parliamentary privilege to dissimilaste files to the public .

          brushing aside the revelations re Facebook , what is wrong with this story ?

          How did Damian Collins know when this man travelled to the U.K. and in which hotel he was staying ?

          This man just happens to travel to the U.K. on a business meeting with said documents on him ?

          Who breaks the story ? The observer

          unless Collins had this man ( who has done nothing illegal ) under surveillance which I doubt the inference I make is that :

          highly likely mr Pikini travelled to give the documents to someone who would break the story . However , he couldn’t do so without breaching USA court orders . So hypothetically he would have given the documents to “x” who would have brought the matter to Collins and then this forced document extraction by parliament was his way of avoiding breaching a court order in the states . After all he was coherced by an armed guard . Now this would imply extraordinary levels of deceit by 3 people at least but frankly I find it hard to accept that mr Pikini was being monitored by intelligence services and just happens to travel with docs .

          To this add the fact that the fake news committee headed by Collins heard the Spanish cluster of the II in the sense of implying that Russian trolls were influencing the Catalan referendum . Another person heard by Collins was Bill Browder , also part of the II.

          The pieces fall into place and there’s something extraordinarily unethical and deceitful taking place .

          • Tony

            Brilliant Isa. Absoluteley brilliant. I have, for a long time, argued thst Damian Collins is a deeply compromised character who is being ‘worked’ flat-out by the deep state.

          • Dungroanin

            Yes the worms are seething – I am waiting for the supreme courts devision on the secret sealed v sealed, grand jury case …

            However you say “the fact that she never stresses that there were no U.K. citizens data used .”

            Is that a fact? The Zeuk has refused to turn up to be asked that. As has Cummings and Nix.

            Infact Cummings all but confirmed that plenty of UK data was used to target voters with specific FB adverts, to snatch the brexit in the face of pollsters right upto the wire.

            I see Cummings is immortalised in film now – i wonder if he has hired someone to whisper in his ear as he rides in on his brexit chariot of triumph?

            Let us await the further analysis of the II papers.

          • Isa


            I had saved a great tech article explaining the whole thing , alas I can’t find it at present but here is the explanation as to how data was gathered and that no U.K. citizens data was used in political means at all resulting from Cambridge Analytica



            I know Cummins used other databases that are not related to CA but those are common marketing studies available to anyone who wants to buy them or commission them using electoral register , past election results , demographics , etc .
            What first made me suspicious about the whole CA debacle is that I place many campaigns on Facebook and targeting specific people is not in anyway possible . You can only use the filters that are there ( age, place of residence , interests, etc ) , but certainly not specific people .

            in fact the ico report admits that vote leave and CA never passed the preliminary stages of negotiations , it’s one of the conclusions that’s not much covered in the press . The whistleblower tried to sell this data to vote leave Cummins but failed . He also tried to sell its concept in Canada . As you may see this is all very opaque and so detailed and nuanced , so much so that one gets lost in media reports and concludes an exacerbated influence of this on the result of the referendum .

            I hope this makes sense , I will try to find that article . It was excellent and explained every tech detail re data in an intelligible manner .

          • Dungroanin

            Thanks for that Isa BUT it is Dominics own admission that does not tie in with that. I don’t know about how FB charges for campaigns – but I believe one of their business models is based on a ‘commission’ basis – they charge when someone buys? This is what he wrote (and a lot lot lot more)

            “During the ten week official campaign the implied probability from Betfair odds of IN winning ranged between 60-83% (rarely below 66%) and the probability of OUT winning ranged between 17-40% (rarely above 33%). One of the reasons why so few in London saw the result coming was that the use by campaigns of data is hard to track even if you know what to look for and few in politics or the media know what to look for yet. Almost all of Vote Leave’s digital communication and data science was invisible”

            Check for yourself

      • Sharp Ears

        Get off my back. You only come on here to have a go at me. What is the reason for your animosity?

        • Charles Bostock

          Perhaps he is fed up – as I and many others are – with you bombarding the blog with news items which are easily available elsewhere. You project an air of ownership which is irritating and which is certainly against the ethos and purpose of the blog as I understand Craig.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            @Charles Bostock, re Sharp Ears: “You project an air of ownership.” Projection, Charles, projection.

          • nevermind

            To come herr as the occaisional 8nterloper and have another go at a regular poster, who you cyberstalked and badmouthed previously is ridiculously orfish.

            You are most definitaly ruining the expensive treatment you must have received for such malodious behaviour dearest Habbakuk.

          • Tony

            Who are the ‘many others’ Charles? All your banned alter-egos?
            Keep up the good work and stream of useful links Sharp Ears. The ender-stone-dwellers can be quite useful as light entertainment.

  • Republicofscotland

    It sounds like the Tufton street Network, of whom I’d never heard of until now, is shaping Britain, and probably post-Brexit Britain in its right wing image.

    A well worth watching seven minute breakdown of the Turfton street Network by Peter Dukes, and Mat Hope, who sounds a lot like, I’d imagine, a young Craig Murray.

      • John Goss

        If he is a spy, and Yulia Skripal is still alive, it would be a fair trade. If he is not a spy Maria Butina would be a fair trade.

        • Tatyana

          I’ve read an expert’s opinion today in russian news, John. It seems convincing

          “It is something really serious” – says Alexander Mikhailov, retired FSB major-general, member of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy.
          “if our counterintelligence didn’t have strong evidence of the detainee’s guilt, the secret service would not have released this information”
          “special services’ confrontation never turned into open confrontation between Russia and the United States”
          “Previously, as a rule, FSB reported on detaining of foreign intelligence agents from Russia, or third-country nationals. Now a US citizen is detained”

          • John Goss

            Yes, I realise what is being said Tatyana but I have to give him the benefit of the doubt for the simple reason that the Russian who gave him the flash-card, who according to reports Paul Whelan had known for a long time, must also be a spy. So he/she must have been arrested at the same time. And until we learn the identity I cannot pronounce judgment on either.

          • Tatyana

            Oh, I didn’t think about the second person! Sure, he/she must be arrested but there’s no news on it!
            Thank you, John! I’ll be watching this case.

          • Tatyana

            Extracts from russian sources:
            “…press service of the Marine Corps: Whelan entered service on May 10, 1994…
            In January 2008, Whelan fell under the tribunal for theft details of which were not disclosed. In March he was suspended from military service, and in December he was dismissed from the Armed Forces permanently “for inappropriate behavior” .. The last place of duty is the Miramar base in California…
            Twice he was sent to Iraq: in 2004 and 2006. The press service of the Marine Corps emphasizes that Whelan is not a retired Marine…”
            His twin brother David lives in Toronto

            “…Whelan is the head of security at a large American company, BorgWarner… he worked in the police department of Michigan in the 1990s, he lives in the town of Novai near Detroit … The company BorgWarner reports that Whelan went to Moscow on personal affair and was not on a business trip…”

          • John Goss

            In my engineering days I did work for Borg Warner. I did have a brief spell setting autos for a bearings firm and it could have been there. Otherwise it was aircraft work because, as far as I can recall, I never worked on automobile turbo-chargers (which seems to be their main product).

            If he is a spy the company is probably washing its hands of him, especially if they trade with Russia. Industrial espionage has a long history. There are a few scholars who could tell you more than me about spies sent to Matthew Boulton’s Soho works in the 18th century. Catherine the Great came here I believe though I doubt she was spying. And the son-in-law of Samuel Garbett, after Garbett’s bankruptcy, Gascoigne, opened factories in St Petersburg,

      • Ort

        I agree with your idea, but I don’t think it could happen.

        I’m no expert on the subject of spy swaps, but my understanding is that the parties being traded must be similarly situated. In other words, a proven spy or “intelligence asset” is exchanged for another proven spy or asset.

        Assuming the Skripals are both still alive and well, neither of them are currently in official UK custody– nor are they presently accused of any crimes. Sergei Skripal’s case was settled long ago, and as far as I know the UK has no legal authority to offer him for this kind of trade.

        Also, while it is certainly true that the public, including the Russian government and people, want and demand “more information on that weird poison tale”, the UK government is only interested in promoting and perpetuating disinformation about the events in Salisbury. So the UK is not about to approve of any trade that might help the truth emerge.

        • Rowan Berkeley

          The Russians are probably much more interested in Maria Butina. She has been kept in solitary for half a year, by the sound of it. A status hearing is scheduled for 12 February.

          • Ort


            I feel sorry for Ms. Butina, who obviously has been abused as a scapegoat to promote the Russophobia propaganda campaign.

            If Butina’s liberation can only be expedited by swapping her with a real “spy”, so be it.

            And is such an exchange occurs, rest assured that the corrupt and complicit Western mass-media consent-manufacturers will flog the Big Lie that Butina was indeed a “Russian spy” all along.

    • Isa

      4 nationalities ( USA , Canada , Irish , British ) asked for help of every consulate . Frankly , I don’t quite think he’s that innocent . Ill read your piece now , look forward to your input .

    • Laguerre

      I presume Whelan actually was a spy. He has precisely the right profile for someone deniable.

    • Isa

      Ps hic sunt dracones is latin “ here are dragons “ as in we are entering dangerous waters / grounds . Very similar to Romanian and also Italian .

      Good piece John ! Thank you .

    • Ort

      Yes, I was wondering if Craig would do a post on the Whelan arrest.

      Frankly, I was wondering if it would be another post condemning Russia’s handling of an incident on a “two wrongs don’t make a right” basis.

  • Tatyana

    That russian ex-minister, he appears to own two hotels in Courchevel – Alpes Hotel Du Pralong modernized by Giancarlo Alhadeff, and Crystal Palace, reconstructed by Io Min Pei, the author of the famous glass pyramid in the front courtyard of the Louvre Museum in Paris.

    I feel so sad on reading this… money intended for roads in my country are spent in France for luxury resorts…

  • Sharp Ears

    Caitlin Johnstone: Reporter Quits NBC Citing Network’s Support For Endless War

    ‘A journalist with NBC has resigned from the network with a statement
    which highlights the immense resistance that ostensibly liberal mass
    media outlets have to antiwar narratives, skepticism of US military
    agendas, and any movement in the opposite direction of endless
    military expansionism.’

    h/t TLN

    Glad she’s out and that she has principles.

    • Rowan Berkeley

      @Sharp Ears: “Glad she’s out and that she has principles.” – It’s not Caity whose out, it’s William M Arkin of NBC.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        Now William Arkin has resigned from NBC just when Trump’s national security team is getting more autonomous and dangerous than ever every day.

        Wonder what triggered his finally breaking with Washington?

    • Ken Kenn

      Thank goodness for the BBC as we are now allowed to discuss politics again as parliament reconvenes on Monday.

      They’ve been filling in 24 Hour News with everything and anything since Christmas.

      Perhaps the Institute for Stagecraft ( sorry Statecraft ) and The Integrity Initiative’s actors have finished their Pantomime season and are now ready to take on the world?

      He/She’s behind you!

      Yes they are!

      If we thought 2018 was a ride this year will be the equivalent of a ride on the Corkscrew at Alton Towers with a hood on.


      • John Goss

        Could not agree more. Russia has granted consular access to Paul Whelan. It is quite plain now why the UK/US alliance refused access to Yulia with the latest tranche of documents released by Anonymous. I think the poor young woman is dead.

        It should have been plain from the start with Boris Johnson immediately telling the world Russia poisoned the Skripals (highly likely) yet there has still been no release as to who murdered Nikolai Glushkov (click on my avatar). That is a story sure to raise further questions not least of which is why there was no completed inquest into the death of Litvinenko.

    • Tatyana

      I said I had a feeling, as if they share a piece of news on Skripals and observe which twist of the scenario gains more likes from viewers. As sms-voting in live shows.
      Now I try to calculate who is the author of the screenplay.
      He must be male, not clever, at least not excellent brains. And he must origin from a country where big drama is common, like Italy Turkey or Mexico, I mean passion, hot blood, emotions… this kind of drama.
      Maybe script-writer for TV or computer games.
      Must love vivid colors, spicy food and parrot-style clothes.
      Perhaps owns or rents an appartment in some south resort and spends time there.

  • michael norton

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US would prevent Turkey from “slaughtering” Kurds in Syria.

    Good for him.

    • Laguerre

      As it is not a risk now, Pompeo is obviously free to say whatever sounds good in public.

  • Sharp Ears

    January 04, 2019
    ‘Integrity Initiative’ – New Documents From Shady NGO Released

    The British Government runs an anti-Russian smear campaign through the pseudo non-government-organization Integrity Initiative. Some person, operating under the ‘Anonymous’ label, obtained internal papers of the Initiative and publishes those in several batches. Moon of Alabama was one of the first sites that analyzed the released papers.


    Too long to copy here.

    • John Goss

      I have tried to download several of these files now. Kaspersky will not allow it. It recognises them as legal files but comes up with the message, I probably paraphrase:

      The downloading of legal files that may damage your computer is not allowed. So I wait for others with more knowhow to drip feed me.

      • Blunderbuss

        I am suspicious so I haven’t even tried to download them. There is talk of “damming inferences that can be made regarding Skripal case” but nobody is saying what they are. I think it might be clickbait.

      • Isa

        I downloaded the whole file to apple but it took a while . I’m not too sure why your device is giving you that message . I’m not tech savvy though .

  • Gary

    Ex Royal Marine or US Marine, discharged for theft, with access to citizen of four countries or three arrested for espionage. This is the news according to whichever version of the BBC News you watched. listened to or read tonight. In fact all conflicting versions have appeared (I think) in the segment on News At Ten I just watched.

    He was only visiting, but was showing ‘other wedding guests around the Kremlin’ and spoke ‘only rudimentary Russian’ but had a social media presence in Russia for the past ten years.

    He was ‘caught red handed’ doing nothing or in possession of a USB stick with the details of employees of an entire intelligence dept/section.

    But there’s nothing to see here folks, after all, the Russians shouldn’t be using British Citizens as pawns.

    The moral of the story, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, stop talking, people will notice…

  • Isa

    Craig made it on the II surveillance list page 22 and 42. Só did the blog and our comments . Two of them SCreen captured to the doc linked below ( bayleaf snd pyor ) .

    that’s what a part of tax payer money is being used on . Surveillance of commenters and blogs and twitter users . Jesus this is like being in fascist Portugal again being monitored by the PIDE ( secret police ). The rest is far worse from what I can deduct from Skripal leaks and douma and white helmets .

    Was it July that hunt brought the WH to the U.K. ? That’s the meeting date with II.—op-iris—report/110418—op-iris—report.pdf

    • John Goss

      Again I’m being told that the file is not safe from Kaspersky. Perhaps I have the US Kaspersky clone. I don’t doubt from Craig’s earlier releases that these files are genuine and the bogus attachments could be courtesy of another agency. I want to read them but Kaspersky is not cheap and I am paying to be protected. If I ignore the warnings and something goes wrong who can I blame? From my point of view it would be better if someone could convert them into a readable form from the .pdf files. Thanks.

      • Isa

        John I will try to do a pdf conversion tomorrow if possible , or at least copy paste for you if possible re the relevant sections when I get hold of my pc .

        • John Goss

          Isa, I would really appreciate that. Quite a few thinking people who comment here never believed our government story from the get-go including me. If hard evidence is available it is going to be as difficult to refute as the real perpetrators, Ukraine, of the downing of MH17 of which we hear nothing these days.

    • bj

      Note that any dissent from MSM-opinion is called ‘trolls’.

      Their world view simply does not allow for dissenting opinion.

      They are empire-building control freaks.

  • Blunderbuss

    II and Skripal:


    “Polling for The Independent showed that 60 per cent of people believe Russia is a threat to the UK, but 28 per cent thought it was only a “slight threat” or none at all. Older people were more likely to see Russia as a threat, as were Conservative and Scottish National Party voters”.

    • Tatyana

      Thank you for the links, Blunderbuss.

      I was wondering, where does that sh1tty dirt about Crimean Tatars come from. I mean, recently we had discussion on their ‘repressed position’ here on this site.

      Now I see, it is “one of key messages” from Integrity Initiative
      It says:
      ” Engage with British Muslims to publicise what has been happening with their
      Muslim brethren in Crimea since the Russian invasion “

      • Blunderbuss

        Sorry Tatyana, I know very little about Russian history.

        However, “Engage with British Muslims” sounds like an effort to encourage terrorism in both Britain and Crimea.

        • Tatyana

          Jack, I read RIA in russian, it is owned by Russia Today. So I see nearly the same news as RT.
          I see they daily report one or two news on II, but it is not a great surprise and gain no great response. It is something expected for russian readers, it seems.
          Today it is about Victor Madeira, Operation Iris and Anonimous

          Comments on the article are … unpleasant for british nationals.

          I follow Pikabu social network, people disscuss everything there including politics. Today’s news from RIA is duscussed too. Obscene words are allowed on Pikabu, so I’d better not link you to these discussions. It is very russian, very natural and live and may hurt someone’s feelings.

    • Blunderbuss

      “Older people were more likely to see Russia as a threat, as were Conservative and Scottish National Party voters”.

      I’m not surprised about the Conservatives but I am surprised about the SNP. Also about “older people” – I thought they were often pro-Russia because they remember Russia’s support during World War II. It was always a puzzle to me why Russia was labelled an “enemy” after the war.

      • Jo1

        I share your surprise at these results. I can also tell you that there was a lot of anger among SNP supporters towards both Sturgeon and Blackford over their decision to back May and Johnson in the Salisbury matter.

  • SA

    John Goss and others
    You don’t need to download the file. There is a preview of individual pages as well as a text message box which you can copy and paste from. Here is an extract from page 40
    “…..earlier blogs and one that has caused a number of reactions is that written by Craig Murray, the
    historian and former British Ambassador. Murray has been vocal in his criticism of the UK handling
    of the Skripal affair almost since it started. His blog dated 22nd March 2018 and entitled “Boris
    Johnson A Categorical Liar”70, focusses on Johnson’s earlier statement that the nerve agent used in
    the assassination attempt against the Skripals was definitely Novichok and was Russian in origin.
    According to Murray’s blog, the “sworn Court evidence direct from Porton Down is utterly
    incompatible with what Boris Johnson has been saying” which he went on to add was “irrefutable
    evidence that the government have been straight out lying.” There were many comments on this
    post which, whilst not directly siding with Murray’s views, were generally in agreement that the matter .”

    • bj

      Also note how their report avoids addressing the fine points of the issue.

      Any dissent is simply trolling the government line.

  • Wikikettle

    Its very depressing reading some of the posts on Craig’s site. In vain, I thought it would be not contain racists, pro war people, who openly advocate machine gunning boat people and equating JC to communism. I guess the Integrity Initiative is doing its bit of State Craft and has targeted this site and getting paid for with our taxes. I would urge folk to ignore such posts and not engage with them. The country is floundering, split and miss managed. There will be a huge distraction to blame ‘the other’ ; the Chinese, Russians, Arabs, Iranians, refugees and Jeremy is under great danger. It is however the greed of the few and the wars that have brought us to this sorry state. The people too have to take responsibility for their indifference. They can’t say they did not know. I am sure there are plans for mass arrests from lists already compiled. I cant see Jeremy being allowed to become PM. Most of his Labour MP’s are Blairites and will make his life hell. The SNP
    as Craig says will have been infiltrated. Dear Jeremy the people of our country are on the whole lazy and not going to protect you.

      • Wikikettle

        Remember Salvador Allende and Mohammad Mosaddegh – we are well practiced in the art of the coup…

    • Dungroanin

      You think the majority of the British population is that easily cowed?

      This is not Chile. It is not Iran.

      The moment the powers break the social contract the Brits will hit the streets, the City and Whitehall in many many millions.
      Think poll tax or Durham march.

      The status quo merchants know they are playing with fire – we are refusing to be terrorised into Identity Politics divisions.

      They can lose grudgingly and suffer the loss of their illgotten gains OR they go all out martial law on our arses and risk it ALL.

  • Tony M

    Well, at least in one document in this tranche, they (II/IfS) admit tacitly that theirs is itself a ‘disinformation campaign’. I’m surprised by how amaterish and gauche this all is, it’s like juvenile poseurs and chancers high on management-speak and buzzwords they hardly understand churning out reams of deluded bollocks, while billing heavily for their group-think delusional excretions. It’s mostly pure blow-hard waffle. The rational, realistic and calm, those given to soberly considering the facts and implications and to meditative deliberation, need not apply. Unless clinical moral-imbeciles, deep-down they must know in their cold-as-stone mercenary hearts that that what they peddle, it’s all make-believe. It’s a profitable scam, the irresponsible fantasists involved witting parts in a criminal conspiracy to defraud. Though they know not what they do, ignoramous bandwagon-riding pro-war propagandists against the enemy-du-jour bestain history and deserve a special and trying fate.

      • Rowan Berkeley

        @Johny Conspiranoid: “It’s all so badly done it makes you think its a psy-op.” I thought that too. But the question is, who are its sources, cyber-guerrilla?

    • Blunderbuss

      I think I recognize the thought process of II/IfS people because I have met similar people. They really believe their own propaganda. It goes like this: “No sane person could possibly want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn so anyone who does so must be either mad or brainwashed by the Russians”.

      • Isa

        Precisely . Groupthink, but not that it is believed by them but because it suits geo political and economic ideologies . Psycopaths .

      • giyane

        “No sane person could possibly want to vote for Jeremy Corbyn .. ”

        If you think back to Thatcher’s atavistic return of the UK to Victorian brutal capitalism, it was all done in the name of “”reform “”. Politicians live for far too long these days so it takes a hundred years for the new politicians ever to take over the tiller. Cameron is Thatcher spawn. May is a Thatcher clone. The Tory party is now on the receiving end of the same sort of bullying it did to the status quo in the ’80s.

        Who lives by spin , dies by spin. Brexit is a Tory on Tory war. The neo-con destruction of Libya was done at a time when Al Qaida was still supposed to be the enemy while in the neo-con destruction of Syria Al Qaida are openly accepted as proxies/allies. The failure of these neo-con strategies because of Putin and Trump can never be openly blamed on the neo-cons. The new generation of political would-be’s are exposing the neo-cons’ utter and complete incompetence in order to place their bums on the neo-cons chairs.

        The world they plan for us is self-driving cars, a workforce that self-exercises at the gym every day like the tappets of 16 valve engine, bread and circuses on demand, and lives driven by futility and fear.

        • Blunderbuss

          “The world they plan for us is self-driving cars, a workforce that self-exercises at the gym every day”

          But if the “workforce” has been replaced by AI and robots, how does the “workforce” earn any money to buy things from the capitalists?

          • giyane

            Presumably by invoicing HMG for writing tripe about its critics, the number of which will be huge.

          • Mr Shigemitsu

            Enter UBI… aka shoving everyone a £100pw pittance to fuck off and stop complaining.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Nail head on hit! It’s an industry. A lucrative career for those cynical enough to commit to the public theatre. There’s an abundance of funds in the Deep State budget that MUST be spent. If a few Million gets pissed against a wall of inconsequence, who’s cares enough to call the culprits to heel?
      Consider the annual Mojahadin e-Khalk conferences in Paris. Bolton, Pompeo, Guiliani, a few odd ball sitting MPs and a couple of discredited former MPs (Mike “handy” Hancock and Michelle Thomson) fly in, all expenses paid. Speeches are delivered. Specious statements about the MEK taking over in Tehran “any day now”. The bums on seats in the auditorium are Eastern European students hired as theatrical extras.
      The carousel in Washington rotates. The politicians, Think tanks, contractors, pundits claim their pay cheques. The tax payers are as ever fucked.

  • Tatyana

    Do you remember Charlie Hebdo?

    BBC says “Russia turned humor into a weapon”

    Alex Cole-Hamilton ( I don’t add Mr. because I think he must be some kind of Peer or Baronet or something else)
    ah, this Alex Cole-Hamilton says that Sputnik Edinburgh is Putin’s popaganda outlet, he says that
    “Russians who live in Scotland and engage in “information warfare” to destabilise Britain should face having their assets seized”

    The Times also published a list of 8 russian journalists together with their photoes and positions in Sputnik.

    *You may think I am childish, mi scuzi 🙂

    Just look at the photo of Alex Cole-Hamilton in his Twitter!
    He resembles this character from Batman movie!

    • Republicofscotland

      Cole-Hamilton is a unionist mouthpiece at Holyrood, along with the Scottish branch offices of the Westminster parties of Labour, Tories and Cole-Hamilton’s Lib/Dems.

      Cole-Hamilton is a figure of ridicule among those who support Scottish independence. He parrots what Westminster tells him to.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Cole-Hamilton is such a low grade troll, it’s easy to dismiss him as a buffoon and run of the mill career politician. Looking at his scant biography there are hints of Deep State and junior spook connections. The education in St Andrews, the professional politician, the minor aristocratic background, the rapid rise through the Third sector gravy train, the suspiciously lavish election campaign expenses. Definitely one of the “Officer class”.
        Alexander Geoffrey Cole-Hamilton rides to the defence of the Integrity Initiative. One for the watching?

    • Republicofscotland

      To paint a picture Tatyana, the Holyrood parliament was set up so that no one party should have an outright majority. That was until the SNP managed to do so.

      Not in this tenure but the previous one, all the other major opposition parties bar the Greens and the SNP are branch offices of Westminster. They take their lead from London, oh they might rail once in a while to try and fool the Scottish electorate but the Westminster parties have the final say.

  • Sharp Ears

    Any reason why my post about Gove giving Dimbleby’s son a job has been deleted? I think that this example of preferment by a member of a corrupt and failing Tory government was of general interest.

    • giyane

      Sharp Ears

      It was deleted because you hit the nail on the head. The Tories are starting now to make a plan for a future they did not predict when they held a referendum. Craig wants the collapse of British farming and industry to give Britain a fatal tazer shock. Anybody who has English interests at heart and is thinking sincerely how England can move forward out of this mess created by the Tories is helping the enemy so far as this blog is concerned.

    • Ian

      don’t know, but possibly because as is your wont, you just posted a link without any reason or attempt to engage debate. It is pretty irrelevant anyway. You make a lot of assumptions.

  • giyane

    Food strategy

    In privatised Poland, already feeling uncomfortable with the shackles of german and French intervention, foreign investors in farming will lose their competitive edge after a hard Brexit.
    The cost of transport plus the cost of tariffs would mean a shortgage of buyers, and spare capacity, i.e. animal culls in both the UK sheep exports to the EU and EU imports from greedy investors in Poland. The capitalist system will not tolerate their corporate investors to suffer. Individual UK farmers would face worse culls than Foot and Mouth and BSE culls put together in the event of a hard Brexit. Does DEFRA care? Steve Bell gets it in his cartoons by showing May and Boris trampling over dead sheep..

    Mrs May’s Withdrawal Bill is a stop-gap for owners of completely inefficient businesses that rely on cheap diesel and subsidised roads, enabling them to continue to ferry bits of cars and corporate farm produce insane distances for profit. Like all capitalist /Tory garbage-in /garbage-out thinking, not to mention liberalised banking, they can only profit from their unequal laws if they have time to plan ahead. Brexit has taken them by surprise and buggered the free flow of organised insanity which is capitalism.

    Gove has no idea about farming. He’s flying a half-baked tractor-back-actor of nature preservation which is existing EU farming policy to buy time. The Conservatives have no plan moving forwards for change because they only know how to play the market five years after the rules of the market have been fixed.
    In other words it will be 3 to 4 years negotiating a trade deal and 4 to 5 years working out how to trash the planet in the best way to make a quick buck after that. This is not government. This is gambling the system pretending to be government and when it all goes up in smoke they will say ” Nobody could ever have predicted that.”

  • Tony

    Not sure what to make of this. Most of it is the usual msm upside-down-ness about Syria, with a few inane quotes from bird brain Hunt thrown in for good measure. But it finishes with this:

    “We could start by immediately ending arms sales and military support to states such as Saudi Arabia, who are bombing the life out of Yemen.

    If we are serious about atrocity prevention and still want to manufacture and export arms, then that trade must be properly regulated under an ethical framework.”

  • Tony M

    In ‘scan.pdf’ in the 4th release: Integrity_Initiative_Part_4.rar (md5sum: 1bf135e118fb144d12e645264c36ce21)

    Is found the grant of funding agreement, between Donnelly and the FCO.

    […] “3.3 The Grant must not be used to support activity intended to influence or attempt to influence the UK Parliament, Government or political parties, or attempting to influence the awarding or renewal of contracts and grants by the UK government, or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action in the UK.” […]

    Oops, I think they’ve more than breached that with meddling in Scottish affairs, with their attacks on J Corbyn and who knows what other topics, they seem not to have any restraint on what areas they topic they blunder into, with the authority of government behind them.

    This is open in-your-face totalitarianism. Government using state powers and funding to suppress political opponents and ideas.

    Furthermore, as the UK population is the principal target of their ‘work’, the people that constitute the UK Parliament, Government or political parties are amongst the unwitting consumers of their poisonous smear and fearmongering. As would have been obvious to both contracting parties, their every activity bar almost none breaches this agreement and if not otherwise and already illegal, such activities in the political sphere and their certain domestic effects, for and on behalf of government bodies, certainly should be, they’re crimes against democracy and all the more serious when committed by an unwanted malign government clinging to power and a complicit civil-service. Alarm bells should have been ringing out loudly and long ago. It’s safe to assume they’ll be returning much of their FCO funding, the contract being broken and void, and can whistle or any more when the present contract expires at end of March this year (2019).

    Heads should roll for this, they’ve overstepped the mark by a country mile, we’re into open despotism here.

    Quite what Russians, the principal targets of these rogue elements might think, I cannot imagine, but I do apologise on our behalf. They seem to be quite out of control and I don’t know what we here can do about it other than agree that the UK as constituted is a criminally-bent failed-state ripe and deserving of elimination, and do our best to bring that about as soon as an opportunity presents.

    • giyane

      Tony M

      ” we’re into open despotism here.”

      Merkel said last week that democracy was the wrong system to decide a country’s future and that individual states should submit themselves to the “”””” new world order””””. What a good idea, not ( for those who don’t do irony )

      • giyane


        we are tied up to our bank loans with yellow strips underlining the small print in the terms and conditions. We knew where we were when Gordon Brown kettled the protestors against the bankers in their own sewage in the entrances to underground stations. I’ve been working all summer but I still haven’t managed to reduce my bank debts to less than £6000.00 and I earn £16.50 per hour.
        What chance has anyone got to protest on £7.80 p.h.? Just as the Tories pump down the raw sewage of Tax and national insurance to the level of our chins, we get a couple of gulps of fresh air and then they threaten to raise it again with tariffs at the UK borders.

        No problem, when they finally go we will nail their coffin down with 8 inch bolts and drive a wooden stake through their heart.

      • freddy

        bj, it’s happening –

        Reports from US, Canada, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Taiwan, Ireland..(strangely enough none from Italy or Hungary…)

        The British don’t have the pedigree the French have for protest, but the anger is there.

        In an attempt to quell the “European Spring” the whole yellow vest movement is being heavily downplayed. Hearing reports of a D-notice out on the current French riots, to prevent “inflammatory reporting”, but can’t verify…

  • Goose

    Just surprised they can recruit anyone from Generation X and younger eg. millennials – people who grew up seeking: transparency; a more representative democracy (proportional representation) and liberty , broadly anti-Tory too. Thatcher was censorial and secretive. Do these people ever think that by simply unquestioningly defending the status quo they are standing in the way of debate and necessary progress?

    Instead of skulking in the shadows, come out and debate democratic reform. The UK is the only country in the EU using FPTP for its main legislative elections, the only country with an unelected second chamber and no written constitution to hold the powerful to account. Come out and defend these things rather than abusing state power to set up propaganda units to vilify & decry those seeking to modernise our democratic infrastructure.

    • bj

      This one dude, Simon Lazy Brain or what’s his name, wouldn’t know democracy if it hit him in the face.

      • Ingwe

        Ooh bj, let’s please put this to the test. I’ve got a rolled up copy of then US constitution if that’ll do for democracy. Otherwise, I’ve got an anvil and have painted ‘democracy’ on it.

    • nevermind

      Well said Goose, time for reform is here and now. Adding total tax reform to the list. We should demand that high streets are purged of offshote taxpaying TNC’s and companies. Non Uk taxpayers should be disqualified from using public services and ot police protection for dubious practises such as fracking.
      End non domicile tax laws, you work here you pay taxes here.
      Time to take back control over globalisrd tax hawkers and those who demand to compete for business here without paying a penny of tax. Small tax reductions can be allowed for those who reduce their ecological footprints, carbon neutrality and full spectrum social responsibility towards their staff and consumers.

      Scrap tax legislation and replace by a single sentence.
      “If anyone/a company wants to provide goods or services in the UK they are liable to pay fair taxes as required and set by HMRC”.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        Increasing taxation is of no help to the general population in the absence of increased public spending.

        All you would have is a budget surplus, which benefits nobody.

        Public spending in the U.K. needs to increase massively after a decade of austerity; extra tax revenue to drain off this spend will accrue to HMRC *automatically* as taxes get imposed on those larger and more frequent initial and subsequent transactions in the normal way.

        At any positive tax rate, the initial spend is eventually all returned to the Echequer, with the exception of any sterling that’s saved rather than spent. This equals the budget deficit, pound for pound.

        The UK has to run budget deficits if it wants to avoid recession because it runs a constant trade deficit, but that’s not a problem, because it’s simply the savings of the private sector, often pension funds, or foreign exporters’ Sterling savings.

        Taxes do not fund spending in the U.K., the US or anywhere else with a fiat non-convertible currency: they simply drain excess Sterling out of the economy *after* the spend, in order to prevent the massive inflation that would otherwise soon occur if the hundreds of billions on public spending went untaxed.

  • michael norton

    What a nutter

    Bolton warns Syria against use of chemical weapons
    TEL AVIV (Reuters) – U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned the Syrian government it should not see the impending U.S. military withdrawal from the country as an invitation to use chemical weapons.

    Only saving grace is using the words Syrian Government ( not Regime)

    they know the game is up.

    • Tony

      John Bolton is a gimp for the US armaments industry. This is a ‘fire sale’ by a busted flush. What a frigging idiot! He thought he could get away with selling his official boss out on behalf of his deep state masters whilst his official boss was negotiating with the guy Bolton was selling him out on. What a world class idiot!

      • Dungroanin

        I ecpect he’ll be another Sec of State resigned by twittet mid-Atlantic on his way back from his Israeli dash.

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