Goin’ Doon the Watter 541


UPDATE: Craig is on way back to London to be with Wikileaks following the arrest of Julian Assange under the Extradition Act. He does still intend to speak at Rothesay.

Scotland Yard statement:

Julian Assange, 47, (03.07.71) has today, Thursday 11 April, been further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities, at 10:53hrs after his arrival at a central London police station. This is an extradition warrant under Section 73 of the Extradition Act. He will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court as soon as possible.

I am speaking in Rothesay at St Paul’s Church Hall, Deanhood Place, at 2pm on Saturday. I am heading back up to Scotland today. I will be there in any circumstances, and will dash back down afterwards should events with Julian and Wikileaks require. I have incidentally had a definitive reply from the Embassy of Ecuador that I am not allowed to visit Julian even though he has asked me to; definitive evidence that Assange is now being treated by Moreno as a prisoner.

I have to confess I have never been to the Isle of Bute, despite a very bad impression of Andy Stewart singing “Goin’ Doon the Watter fur the Fair” being one of the large variety of embarrassing things I am liable to do when drunk. I look forward to it enormously and am grateful to Rothesay Historical Society for hosting me. I always fret that nobody will turn up to hear me and am very honoured when people do.

As ever, I do not know exactly what I will say until I stand up. But I have in mind touching on Scotland’s right to self-determination and the routes to Independence through international recognition. I will argue that a referendum is one route but not the only one, and while I accept it is the most desirable way forward, I shall advance other avenues that might be quite legally pursued if a referendum is blocked, stressing that a nation’s Independence is exclusively a matter of international law, not domestic law.

I shall argue that the Scottish government needs to get on with it and it is a massive mistake to allow the UK government to recover from its chaos and process the Brexit debacle. Scotland should act before the UK regroups, not after.

I shall also argue that just as the Scots have the right of self-determination, so do the English. It is not just bad tactics for the SNP to prioritise stopping Brexit over Independence, it is wrong. The English plainly voted to leave the EU and it is not Scotland’s role to thwart the democratic will of the English people. Scotland should become Independent, and remain an EU member, as its people voted. England and Wales should leave the EU as their people voted, and those who truly believe in Scottish Independence should realise it is not our right to prevent the English from doing what they self-determine. Let’s get Independence and do our own thing, leaving them to do theirs.

There needs to be a referendum on Irish unification.

I shall also ramble around Wikileaks, the Mueller report, the Skripal saga, the Integrity Initiative, and answer questions in any other area. Time now to start back up the A1!


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541 thoughts on “Goin’ Doon the Watter

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  • N_

    Goodness, what an MI6 bumlicky creep the BBC’s Old Etonian “diplomatic correspondent” James Landale is.

    He “said that over the years (the Ecuadorean authorities) have removed (Julian Assange’s) access to the internet and accused him of engaging in political activities – which is not allowed when claiming asylum”.

    Landale doubtless gets a smile on his lips whenever he says a victim of his dirty monarchist regime has done something that is “not allowed”. Never let it be said he sounds like a bouncer watching over some kidney punching in a back alley. But clearly his “education” at Eton (paid for by pater and mater? or received as a state handout because one of his parents was a diplomat or army officer?) didn’t teach the creep to tell the whole truth, or even to care what the whole truth is. It’s up to the Ecuadorean authorities, not Old Etonians, to decide whether Ecuador grants asylum, and they decided Julian Assange did meet the criteria. And now that’s all in the past, because he is an Ecuadorean citizen, so asylum laws are neither here nor there.

    Work hard to get your job at the BBC, did you, Jimmy boy?

    • N_

      Landale adds, “Mr Assange will initially face UK legal proceedings but could be extradited to the US over the Wikileaks revelations”.

      He just has to mention his beloved monarchist brand whenever he can, doesn’t he? Apple! Pepsi! What an ignorant guy – copypasting stuff he’s sent from the Foreign Office for an audience of millions and not even bothering to show enough mentation to realise that the courts with jurisdiction over an alleged offence under the Bail Act are those of England and Wales.

      The other day I heard a BBC weather reporter talk about “the east coast of the UK”.

      It really is time to leave…

  • Casual Observer

    Intriguing ? I cant see who this move is going to benefit. The Trumpian base are working up to incandescence across the pond, Javid and Hunt have made themselves look like total pricks, and its safe to say that Assange will not lack for top flight legal representation in court.

    Be interesting to see if he gets bail, no doubt the wherewithal exists for it to be met even if extortionate. And its a certainty that proceedings will drag on for months, so even though the State would no doubt like to deny bail, its difficult to see how that can be done without running the risk of egg on important faces given that his representation will no doubt be composed of successful lawyers as opposed to the failed variety that go into politics.

    On the plus side, the arrest will lead on to some sort of movement, and no doubt Mr Assanges quality of life will see some improvement after what must have been quite the quite claustrophobic life he’s led these last few years.

    • N_

      He’s unlikely to get bail. Few who don’t already see the egg on faces will start to notice it if they don’t grant it.

      • Casual Observer

        Dont overlook the fact that is is a World News event, and no doubt court proceedings will be followed in depth. So whilst I would think that the likes of Javid may imagine he can be safely tucked away, the judiciary will be aware of the spotlight they’re under, and likely will have no wish for the English legal system to be seen as a political operation ? The offence of skipping bail should hardly warrant a custodial sentence in this case given that Assange is not a hardened criminal, and the original charges that led to his bail have ceased to exist. Then there’s the example of the computer hackers who the US wanted to extradite a while back, I believe they got bail, and their cases went on for considerable periods. Given that the US argument in those cases rested on ‘National Security’, it seems more than likely that the Yanks imagined that extradition would be a mere formality, and yet they were proved entirely wrong. It follows that extradition proceedings against Mr Assange may well be lengthy, with Americans, as is their wont, finding that things operate rather differently here.

        Assange out on bail and available for comment, and having free access to his organisation, does seem to be a nightmare come true for the UK/US machinery of state ? But in the event that top council will be lining up to represent Mr Assange, it does seem hard to see how bail can be denied for an indefinite period.

        As for the journalists who are at this time trying to ginger up a picture of Assange the threat to freedom, it would be as well for them to consider the threat to their credibility ? A journalist who lacks credibility is after all a contradiction in terms, even in this age where the line between news and entertainment blurs daily.

        • nevermind

          Julian Assange had, and did, fulfill bail conditions whemce in Norfolk. He did.not abscond.
          That precedence of compliance is the reality, all else is speculative hysteria.

      • N_

        If the US authorities successfully get hold of Julian Assange, they are likely to add much more serious charges to the minor one they say they are seeking to extradite him for.

        That minor charge is one of conspiracy to commit an offence which they don’t even say was actually committed. The alleged conspiracy is a relatively minor offence that carries a maximum sentence of “only” five years.

        The Ecuadorean government say their British colleagues have promised he won’t be extradited to a country where he will be in danger of torture or execution. They say the Brits made the promise in writing. Ooh, how human-rightsy the Old Etonians must be feeling today, eh?

        It’s extremely likely that Donald Trump and Mike Pompeo plan to have Assange executed. Those at the Foreign Office, MI6, Home Office, MI5 and the BBC know that very well.

        The British poshboys know exactly what they are doing. They are planning to hand over an Australian an Ecuadorean citizen to the Great Satan for execution. That’s why the “only five years” line is being put out, as they smirk behind their hands.

        Middle class types in Britain may go “Tony Blair – war criminal – ha ha ha”, but the war crimes are continuing. Jeremy Hunt, Sajid Javid, Theresa May, and soon a magistrate in Westminster Magistrates’ Court and probably a judge or two too – they will all be guilty of being accessories to war crimes after the fact.

  • Goose

    May says no one is above the law, but the govt missed its own self imposed deadline to respond to demands for a judge-led inquiry into torture…. now 5 months beyond their own date and counting. The European Court of Human Rights ruled against mass surveillance and they haven’t properly responded missing their own date Do MPs just not give a shit about human rights and civil liberties?

    • lysias

      I would have thought that the UK government’s reaction to the World Court’s judgment on the Chagos Islanders shows that it considers itself above the law.

  • Big Jock

    Today is the day that the frustration with the SNP leadership has come to the boil.

    Many well known bloggers are having a go at the SNP strategy. I hope Nicola takes heed! It’s not a crime to make mistakes , but it’s unforgiveable not to have the humility to admit them and move on. The strategy needs to be saving Scotland , not stopping England.

    • Goose

      You can’t really blame Moreno, he probably figured Assange just wasn’t worth the heat from the US any more.

      He’s got to consider what’s best for Ecuador and Assange was part of Correa’s legacy. It sucks for transparency campaigners and those who want ethical foreign policies, but weighed against better relations with the US it was probably quite an easy decision.

      As for the whole process, it could still get messy. He’s not a US citizen; the publisher vs hacker question and the allegations around his relationship with Manning are far from clear-cut.

      • N_

        Rubbish. The government of ICELAND stood up to the US when US government thugs wanted to take custody of Bobby Fischer. If Iceland can do it, Ecuador can do it. The US is a paper tiger.

        • Charles Bostock

          If the US is a paper tiger, shouldn’t you stop raving on and calm down? Surely the UK won’t respond positively to an extradition request from a paper tiger?

          • pretzelattack

            poodles are required to accede, so yes the uk will. good boy, arf arf, now here’s a biscuit.

          • N_

            It’s not difficult to think of why the British authorities will do precisely that, @Charles. Corruption and spinelessness is a common combination in this world.

          • pretzelattack

            no poodles are frightened even of paper tigers charles. this faded travesty of an empire is reduced to this.

        • N_

          The issue of “free speech” and “journalists’ rights” is worse than a distraction – it plays to the supposed values of the US regime. “Journalists” shouldn’t have any more rights than anyone else. (That sounds rather like feudalism.) The whole idea of a “free press” is propaganda.

          Here is what is important…

          First, the US regime should not have jurisdiction.
          Second, it is not a crime to expose war crimes in order to help bring war criminals to justice who at the time of writing remain at liberty and under the protection of criminal-run governments. It wouldn’t be a crime if the war criminals were in Rwanda and it’s not a crime if they are in the United States and Britain.

          • Jo

            Can Assange be put in a witness protection scheme by the International Court Justice for when the USA gets prosecuted for war crimes?

          • Northern

            Abrams tanks will roll down Dutch streets before any Britain or American faces charges in The Hague for war crimes.

      • pretzelattack

        of course we can blame moreno, what’s best for moreno isn’t necessarily best for ecuador. he applied for a world bank loan (also not necessarily best for ecuador) and wants to suck up to the u.s. (also not necessarily best for ecuador).

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget.’

      Yes, he will go down in history alongside Judas and the men who condemned Socrates for telling the truth.

    • nevermind

      Thanks for that link and the Us gist, looks like there is much work for lawyers many illictly gained investigations and behind doors decisions to be challenged, imho.

  • N_

    The US Department of Justice has issued a statement saying that Julian Assange was arrested today “pursuant to the U.S./UK Extradition Treaty, in connection with a (US) federal charge of conspiracy”.

    Whether that arrest took place in the embassy or outside (such as at the police station) is unclear.

    That link is to the DoJ’s press release. The man who includes his name on it is called Joshua Stueve, who gives his email address as [email protected]

    The US indictment against Assange is here

  • John Wren

    Plenty of Twitter comments saying allegations of rape against Julian Assange not dropped but “shelved”.
    Does anybody have links to a conclusive explanation of the situation?

    • N_

      It’s just crap that’s being put out on Twitter and from there to the world, probably originating from state propagandists. The Swedish authorities haven’t said anything (except in a press release they issued to say they aren’t saying anything). Assange was never charged with any Swedish offence. There aren’t any charges to be dropped, shelved, or eaten on crackerbread on St Lucia’s day. From what you say, the propagandists have altered “charges” to “allegations”. Never let it be said they can’t react tactically. It’s a waste of time reading this rubbish if someone wants to keep up on actual real life legal stuff going on with Julian Assange, which has zero to do with Sweden and everything to do with the Great Satan of the United States.

  • Republicofscotland

    As Annie Machon and Kim Dotcom slate the arrest of Assange Pamela Anderson says:

    UK, you’re America’s bitch.

    Ain’t that the truth.

    • N_

      Yes, she puts it well. To summarise: British police today arrested Julian Assange in pursuance of an extradition request by the US, and it was the US authorities, not the British authorities, that announced that the arrest had taken place. That’s clear indication of who is calling the shots. Britain can’t even announce they’ve arrested someone on US orders. They have to let the US announce it for them!

  • wonky

    .. don’t worry.. the “establishment” has not the slightest clue how unprepared it really is..

    We are ANONYMOUS
    We are LEGION
    We do not FORGIVE
    We do not FORGET
    EXPECT US

    • Tom Welsh

      My feelings exactly.

      Everyone involved in this – from Trump to Moreno to May to whatever crooked officials extradite Assange – are on my personal shit list for ever. That’s not so bad, you may think – but if tens of millions feel the same maybe it might be.

    • lysias

      How was Australian citizen Assange, working outside the U.S., under any legal obligation not to help Manning crack the password? Plus, I wonder what evidencr they might have that he did.

      • Charles Bostock

        The answer to that question will no doubt determine what happens to Mr Assange at his US trial (if there is one), Lysias.

        As for evidence, you should probably wait for the trail (if there is one) takes place. All will be revealed there.

  • Herbie

    Found guilty of the skipping bail thing.

    District Judge Michael Snow calls him a “narcissist”.

    Second hearing 2 May on the extradition thing.

    • pretzelattack

      well there’s a proper unbiased judge, give me confidence in the whole proceeding. wtf how is it relevant if assange is a narcissist? is that some kind of legal charge? is he being extradited for untoward narcissism?

      • Herbie

        It is interesting that the judge used a negative media meme to descibe Julian.

        But, defendants often do get a telling-off from jusges after conviction.

    • N_

      What a twerp of a judge. No point in ordering a psychiatric report then! He sounds jealous that Julian gets his face in the newspapers and does quite well with the ladies. I wonder how Michael Snow would fare mentally if he were confined to an embassy without even being allowed to go out in the open air for seven years.

      • Casual Observer

        Dont give District Judges too much credence, they dont tend towards brilliance, indeed some might suggest the opposite 🙂

        • Herbie

          The important point is that the judge used a negative term which the anti-Assange msm have been using for years.

          Now they can repeat it again and again, as if it’s been officially sanctioned, and validates their use of it in the past.

    • Tom Welsh

      My God that was quick. Just think how many people languish in prison (or jail) for months or years waiting for a court to have leisure to hear their case.

    • Jo1

      ‘District Judge Michael Snow calls him a “narcissist”.’

      Oh, that’ll be the great British Justice system our Home Secretary has just been talking about.

  • Jo

    Can those aircraft tracker people trace or watch out for any unusual flights to and from UK ….say Brize Norton or Northolt?

    • pete

      Well, there’s https://www.flightradar24.com/STL32/201e3ce2, but some flights are deliberately obfuscated – like military flights, or don’t have the location tracking ID on display, so it would be difficult. But some extraordinary rendition flights were observed, simply because they were unusual. But we would only find out about them after the event, which would be too late.

    • Komodo

      Difficult to say what’s unusual. And they could put him on a regular US run from Lakenheath or Mildenhall and no-one would be any the wiser. Northolt has the added advantage of being open to private jets – think anonymous N-reg Gulfstream owned by shell company in the Bhamas, with its ADS-B tracking conveniently out of order. Brize Norton? We’ve spent about £15 million on Little Lord Assange to date, and I imagine we’ll be more than happy to let the Yanks arrange and pay for his onward transmission. So why go from Brize? In short, probably not.

  • FreeAssange

    I’ll be surprised if Assange isn’t on a plane to the US by the weekend. God help the guy.
    The UK has demonstrated conclusively that it is just a mindless American poodle, a total embarrassment to all.

        • Tom Welsh

          That depends on what you mean by “the US” (with acknowledgement to Bill Clinton).

          The US people lost their sovereignty to the plutocracy… let’s see… about 242 years ago. Although actually they never had it in the first place.

          The US government never had any sovereignty either, as it has always been owned lock, stock and barrel by the plutocracy.

          No one knows anything about the plutocracy, because anyone who finds out is immediately killed.

          • Tom Welsh

            Those who profited from them. The range of suspects is a wide one: war has always been profitable for a few, ever since Cain killed Abel. (And yes, I know that is a myth).

          • Andyoldlabour

            lysias

            The MIC – Military Industrial Complex, which funds both Democrats and Republicans, they are the ones wishing for war after war.

  • Northern

    The only silver lining I can see here is it further exposing our media for the incompetent shills the majority of them are. The public at large seem to be impressively rubbishing the state narrative in comments sections everywhere I’ve seen so far. That being said, anyone with suggestions on how we can ‘officially’ support Julian, or register our displeasure with the authorities would be appreciated?

    Who remembers those SAS blokes who got caught planting IED’s in Baghdad wearing fake beards? Doubt we’re going to see anyone extra judicially riding to Julian’s rescue in the same fashion, somehow.

    The real overt fascist face of the British state continues to creep ever more into view to the main stream public.

    • Herbie

      “Who remembers those SAS blokes who got caught planting IED’s in Baghdad wearing fake beards?”

      I’m sure they’ve been disciplined.

      “No one is above the law”, according to May and *unt.

      Seems to be the govt line, repeated ad nauseam.

      Hacks not pointing out that that’s so obviously bollocks.

  • Mary Pau!

    Pretty much as I predicted they arrested him to extradite him to USA with the recent US warrant . Remind me of its grounds.

    • Herbie

      Mainstream media have been saying for years and years that extradition to the US was just an excuse he used to avoid the Swedish thing.

      No point listening to them for information.

      They’re a mixture of liars and idiots.

    • Mary Pau!

      Ok now read it on N’s list above. Assange is charged with helping Chelsea Manning to crack a password to access US classified information which he was not authorised to access and receiving US classified information he was not authorised to access . (The These two charges do not really relate to journalists publishing classified information received from informers. They are more the sort of charges I would expect to be brought by a government against a hacker of state classified information.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Remind me of its grounds”.

      Annoying important people in Washington.

      That’s always sufficient grounds for any abominable cruelty.

  • N_

    According to Frances Perraudin at the Guardian, who cites Dan Collyns in Peru, who apparently knows what Ecuadorean interior minister Maria Paula Romo said at a press conference today (i.e. presumably Perraudin heard this stuff on Twitter), Romo is saying that Assange smeared poo on the embassy walls in London.

    • Herbie

      There’ll be a lot more of that.

      Gotta distract the masses from the importance of the case with “human interest” stories.

      Anyway, looks like this was contrived, when the Moreno regime withdrew the cleaners from his part of the embassy.

    • N_

      So many filthy British journalists seem to be helping the state out on this story. Nobody ever got demoted for being a slurper. Dan Sabbagh, associate editor at the Guardian, says Theresa May’s spokeswoman has denied that Britain lobbied Ecuador. If you actually read the text that follows, it looks as though the spokeswoman did nothing of the kind.

  • Mist001

    So that’s him banged up for a couple of weeks then. On the plus side, he’ll have proper access to medical care, maybe even internet access but what I think is more important, it’ll give him a bit of time to sort his head out and plan ahead. He’ll also be talking to people and maybe some of the guards and prisoners are supportive of him.

    OK, slammer isn’t good but in Julians case, I think there are some positives to be drawn from this, at least in the short term.

  • Republicofscotland

    George Galloway is very angry at Britain and Ecuador, with regards to Assange.

    “I’m very shocked…Julian Assange is a friend of mine, more importantly, a friend of truth, a friend of the people. He exposed great, great crimes and now another great crime has been committed against him.”

    • Charles Bostock

      If I were fighting extradition, or otherwise wanted a character witness, George Galloway s the last person I’d cite. The man has a lot of the night about him.

  • John Goss

    There is always something we can try to do. I have written to my MP, Steve McCabe, only just having heard of Julian’s arrest.

    “Dear Steve

    I have just heard about the arrest of Julian Assange with an arrest warrant from the US for his extradition. Theresa May has already shown her record on this with the extradition of Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmed who were both wrongfully imprisoned in Maximum Security Cells 23 (sometimes 24) hours per day.

    We are not the slaves of the US and Julian Assange should never be extradited for telling the truth about US war-crimes in Iraq. If this goes ahead it will be the end of human rights and the start of something akin to Nazism in my beloved country. I am writing to you therefore to intervene, together with other MPs who believe in human rights and justice.

    I shall probably write again on this issue when more is known. In the meantime please do everything in your power to prevent this travesty. Thank you.

    John Goss”

    I hope everyone will do likewise. I CCd Clive at Reprieve in the email together and blind CC’d a solicitor and Craig Murray. This has been planned some time. At least there should eb an opportunity for appeal but I remember when Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmed lost their appeal in the ECHR there was a plane waiting for them at Stansted.

    I am English first, a European second and the US is way down the list to which I would pledge any allegiance. It is a sick Empire on its last legs and desperate (which means a danger to all). All good people must unite behind Julian Assange.

    • Tom Welsh

      Dear Maria Miller

      Now that Julian Assange has been arrested, the UK government faces a decision whose moral importance is immense.

      Legally, Mr Assange can be prosecuted for skipping bail. Under the letter of the law, he is apparently guilty of that.

      Morally and practically, however, he took the only possible course to save his life. Had he not taken asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy, he would likely have been extradited (perhaps via Sweden) to the USA, where his fate would be dire.

      Mr Assange absolutely MUST NOT be deported to the USA now. The US government has trumped up a case against him which amounts to “publication of state secrets leaked by other people”.

      The argument that Wikileaks and Mr Assange are not publishers is laughable. There is still no publishers’ guild that can prevent ordinary citizens from publishing.

      Therefore if Mr Assange is prosecuted – let alone convicted – for publishing state secrets, a precedent will be set that endangers every publisher in the world, including the UK. The Times, The Guardian, and the BBC would never again be able to publish, or even mention, information leaked by whistleblowers.

      Mr Assange is an Australian citizen, so he cannot be accused of treason against the USA or the UK.

      No other charges than publication of state secrets can be brought against Mr Assange. He was never charged with any crime under Swedish law, and the fuss there died down years ago. Both women whom he was falsely accused of raping vocally and publicly denied the allegation.

      Please do everything in your power to save Mr Assange from the cruel and spiteful vengeance of the US political establishment, and help to preserve what remains of the freedom of the press.

      Yours sincerely
      Tom Welsh

    • lysias

      And John Kiriakou has personal experience of that court, having been convicted in it in a farce of a trial for the crime of revealing the CIA’s torture program.

      • Herbie

        She didn’t allow him to defend himself, refusing to hear 70 pieces of evidence.

        Very reminiscent of those Communist show trials.

        Or Nazi show trials.

        Same thing.

        • Charles Bostock

          The Nazi and Soviet show trials were very different in both their nature and their intention, Herbie. 20th Century History 101 recommended.

          • Herbie

            Are you arguing that Nazis and Soviets didn’t use Show Trials, or only that they produced the same effect differently?

            And, if the latter, aren’t you yourself guilty of Distractionism.

          • wonky

            Coming to terms with the updated nature of 21st century fascist reality strongly recommended.

  • Ort

    Good Friday came early to Perfidious Albion.

    Lenin “The Jailor of Mordor” Moreno faithfully discharged his office, washed his stained and treacherous claws of Assange, and delivered him over to the Imperial authorities for final disposition.

  • Monster

    The hackers’ wasp nest is buzzing with fury. I got a strange email saying ‘several nodes are being peeled; air traffic control tapping’. Well, my spuds need peeling, but tapping (a keg) is right up my street.

    • Northern

      Would be nice to see a considerable amount of state secrecy eggs thrown in their faces in retaliation. The irony would be delicious if it turned out someone had underestimated the amount of material Assange and Co had at their disposal and inadvertently forced them into releasing it.

  • Glasshopper

    Sickening language from Iain Dale and Nick Ferrari over the last few days on the subject of Julian. And these were the same people who spent years telling us the idea he faced extradition to the US was a conspiracy theory cooked up to escape “justice” in Sweden.

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