How To Spot A Twitter Troll 400


UPDATE: GCHQ are currently advertising to recruit more trolls to carry out precisely the activity I outline here. As their advertisement puts it:

We are looking to recruit individuals who can contribute to a step change in the UK’s ability to project cyber power against our adversaries, in order to keep the UK safe. You will be at the forefront of the nation’s covert online capability. We want people who can help support and run operations that disrupt and degrade our adversaries’ ability to do us harm, and contest malign activity in cyber space.

I do hope this helps cut through the cognitive dissonance for those of you who found it difficult to come to terms with the truth of the below.

ORIGINAL POST

It is a matter of simple fact that the British government employs a very large number of people whose full time job is to influence the political narrative on social media. The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity Initiative, MI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet.

I have long been fascinated by the disconnect by which people, who do know and understand that the security services employ tens of thousands of people and have budgets of billions, nevertheless find it hard to accept that they may come personally into contact with their operations. Therefore when I state that the security services infiltrate groups including environmentalists and the SNP, and were involved in the Skripal story in ways not public, there is a peculiar desire among people to reject it as it is uncomfortable. Equally while people do know the security services are committing huge sums to social media influencing, to point out any of its instances brings derisive shouts of “conspiracy theory”.

It was when I was pointing out the many omissions and inconsistencies in the official version of events surrounding the Skripals, that I first came under sustained attack from accounts on twitter, often making short and very sarcastic comments. I confess for a while this did actually get me down. I have no difficulty with people disagreeing with me, but I find it depressing to encounter unreasonably closed minds.

But in quite short order I started to note a few defining characteristics of the scores of accounts from which I was being attacked. These are false accounts, but they are trolls not bots. There are people from the 77th Brigade, GCHQ or other agencies sitting behind a desk and running scores of fake accounts each. As there is a real human being behind them, unlike bots, these trolls can reply if challenged and attempt to promote a real identity. But there are a number of key giveaways:

1) Many times more “follows” than “followers”.

In establishing a fake identity, the first step they take is to follow other twitter accounts. This is because a percentage of twitter users will automatically follow you back, so if you quickly follow 500 people you will likely get 100 “followers” back immediately. That appears to establish a real identity with followers. There are some interesting consequences of this technique. These troll accounts remarkably often follow sports betting twitter accounts, for example – because those accounts automatically follow back.

2) A tweet record consisting almost entirely of retweets.

This is the most important single giveaway. If you select “tweets” under the account, these accounts have zero original content. Their timeline consists of retweets of pro-Establishment content, leavened with retweets of the single characteristic that was chosen to establish a “character” – eg “Everton supporter”, “gym fanatic”. They never initiate a topic or posit an original thought, but work entirely in “retweet” or “reply” mode.

3) Follow and troll

Accounts which had nothing in common with me in terms of interests or political views, would suddenly decide to post a brief highly disparaging or ridiculing comment, and always simultaneously would start following me. The motivation of somebody who opens with rudeness yet simultaneously starts following is plainly aggressive – and not usual behaviour.

4) No convincing tweet history

A great many of these accounts are very newly minted at the time of first propaganda use. Generally, even those routine retweets are few and far between. Occasionally the troll twitter account claims to be longstanding – dating from 2009 or 2010 – but there is no evidence of actual (re)tweets going back more than a couple of years. This either suggests wholesale sleeper accounts were established, or twitter is actively involved in helping produce fake ones.

5) Lack of a normal “cluster” of followers

On most real people you can look through their followers and spot a little cluster of family, friends or workmates. The trolls don’t have normal roots.

————-

How normal is this five point profile? Well, I looked through 200 entirely random twitter accounts and found 9 that would fit this profile – 4.5%. Yet surveying the threads from my own tweets, over 75% of the replies which I would characterise as hostile come from accounts that fit this profile. By which I mean meeting all five points. This analysis meets the scientific criterion of being replicable. You can test those figures for yourselves by looking through twitter. That is plain evidence these unusual profiles are being deliberately deployed – and highly probably deliberately created – for hostile intent.

I had spotted the giveaway profile of those attacking me a year ago, and had been mulling over posting on it. What determined me to do so was clicking on the “Mark Field” twitter trend following his physical attack on the female climate change activist. I was astonished by the sheer volume of tweets defending Mark Field. Clicking on them, I started to realise that what I was seeing was a massive deployment of twitter troll accounts all precisely following the profile I have outlined. They were putting out a unified message that the lady may have been an armed terrorist and that Field should be praised for his resolute, even heroic, action.

So here is the fun bit, some examples you can look at. I don’t claim these are all trolls. Some of these may be real identities who just happen to match the twitter troll profile. They may follow many times more people than they have followers simply because they have deeply repulsive personalities or nothing interesting to say. But remember we are talking about trolls not bots, so there is a human multiple account operative to all of the actual security service troll accounts, whose job it is to respond and attempt to portray a real existence. Unlike bots, if challenged, troll accounts will answer.

Look out yourself for troll accounts with these characteristics on twitter in future. Exposure is the simple way to nullify the vast state propaganda programmes on social media.

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400 thoughts on “How To Spot A Twitter Troll

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  • Shug

    It is astonishing that the goverment could be paying agents to attack on behalf of a minister who is likely to charged by the police
    What next the security services attacking corbyn or salmond

  • John2o2o

    Do you need to spot them?

    Peter Hitchens actively seeks them out and spars with them. He’s brilliant at it as well, often referring to them as “sweetie” just to make them squirm.

    There are a few twitter accounts I bookmark and “follow”, but I do not have a twitter account myself and I don’t want one. I think I’d be too tempted to comment and most of the comments are so inane and stupid.

    By the way Craig, I hope you were not offended by my posting yesterday regarding your anti-Royal stance. I am not your enemy. I feel strongly that I must speak my mind and maybe I will have a positive influence. I think the Queen is okay. It’s Westminster that is the cess pit.

    And by the way, this is by far my favourite comment thread. Almost a home from home. I even like the trolls. Well, a sad and lonely genealogist needs a break from family trees sometimes.

    I send love to you all. (Even my haters). Sorry, I’m in a weird mood.

    • craig Post author

      Of course I am not offended. Why would I be offended by somebody having a different opinion?

  • Hatuey

    After the Cold War, people in East Germany came to realise the extent to which their lives had been under surveillance by the Stasi;

    “The Stasi had 90,000 full-time employees who were assisted by 170,000 full-time unofficial collaborators (Inoffizielle Mitarbeiter); together these made up 1 in 63 (nearly 2%) of the entire East German population. Together with these, a much larger number of occasional informers brought up the total to 1 per 6.5 persons…”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_surveillance_in_East_Germany

    Some day we will find out the extent to which supporters of Independence in Scotland are being similarly watched. And we will, I’m sure, be similarly shocked by the scope and depth of their surveillance.

  • oldman

    whiteman speak with forked tongue
    “Nobody has been banned for criticising Macron. People have been banned for supporting LePen, which is very different. Facists are not welcome”
    I have never supported Marine Le Pen, have never been to France!
    And I am not a fascist, and your broad categorization reveals the narrowness of your mind.
    I did post a link to an article by a prominent leftist which described some of he differences between Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie.
    But the almighty censor has no taste for differences, he conflates all opponents, no distinctions or differences allowed.


    [ Mod: To the commenter behind the names oldman, mauisurfer, luxetveritas, Peace on Earth, live&letlive, etc:

    Please use a consistent name and email address. ]

    • David

      Well, who might criticise Macron?, what army of Trolls?

      Aside point, do “Trolls” or “GCHQ Covert Online Operators” ever suffer PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) from the mayhem that they wreak in our society? It is after-all quite common in drone strike operators, who similarly kill people & damage our civil society.
      Further, are our Trolls and our GCHQ working on purely our own narrow national interest, or do they serve many masters? Is GCHQ ever ‘purged’ of those with the wrong hobbies, not meaning Prime, but staff with the wrong – even covert allegiance, surely that ought to make the news, like in Macron’s France today..

      https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Le-ministere/DGSI has some rôles of UK MI5 & GCHQ, this is where the fun happened…

      Background: Macron himself announced in September 2017 that he is launching a European strategic college or academy of Intelligence, to be based in Paris/(Athens too?), bringing together nearly 70 of the many many European intelligence community services. Great idea, harmonisation, cooperation etc etc , 5VEY invited too, good international relations. What could go wrong, which Trolls might get in the way?

      According to this coming weekend’s Le Point magazine, the putative DGSI head of this massive project Didier, a fifteen year intelligence professional who was nominated to the head of the European Spy College by the French national coordinator of intelligence and anti-terrorism, Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, was violemment débarqué (summarily ejected, stripped of rank, badges of office, security clearances etc, de-officed, collect no belongings, go back to teaching, without ‘thanks’ from the DGSI)

      Shocks!

      Seems that French security had noticed covert activities between Didier and another intelligence service, seems the DGSI also noticed strange things like the way Didier’s kids were being schooled, about the type of (specific) martial-art that Didier practised when training, that only came from one school, anyway – that’s typical counter intel stuff, implemented, sacked.

      Worries about the European college of wizardry and spookery being run by a wizard with TWO hats – one invisible, Didier a double ‘sleeper’ agent with further alleged worries that this might somehow ultimately be culminated by an attack on Macron himself, of some sort, ‘soft’ or ‘hard’. I’ll buy the magazine & find out.

      Amazing, these fervent allegations by https://www.lepoint.fr/societe/ , perhaps this is big news because I guess we don’t get to hear of any counter intelligence operations in the UK, if they even ever take place nowadays….

      Le Point is a short video article at present, (more on France Inter news), it’s fun to read the Trolls below the short text piece by Marc Leplongeon , they are trying damage limitation, “everyone is doing it” (subverting new joint cooperation ventures in the intelligence community), sure buddy…’keep taking you meds’

      I forgot to mention who the ruthless hostile foreign intelligence organisation is, I wonder if anyone can guess, and no, it’s not these people http://kgb.by/ru/

      • Pyewacket

        David, re: query about PTSD. I recently watched a documentary about the people employed to monitor all the stuff that gets posted onto sites like youtube etc. Basically, they have one of two buttons to press, block or allow, and are required to view hundreds of images per shift, and have to make their decision within seconds. Much of the stuff they see is of an horrifically, cruel, violent or sexually abusive nature. Those employees interviewed all claimed to be traumatised in one way or another, including a high degree of desensitisation, and had these images circulating in their heads after their shifts were over. Apparently there are thousands of these people employed in this line of work, mainly in Malaysia and othrr low wage economies.

  • Saint of All Psychology

    You’re awesome Craig Murray but seem to have a narrow allowance on Twitter users who wouldn’t abide by your classifications, re:

    “Some of these may be real identities who just happen to match the twitter troll profile. They may follow many times more people than they have followers simply because they have deeply repulsive personalities or nothing interesting to say.”

    And you offer no other possible motives or types of people who might display such. Some people like me might suffer from anxiety and would be very uncomfortable if anyone would “follow” on a Twitter or any social media site.

    My twitter account has a few indications that I’m a bot or troll (and I’ve been called that many times by maybe–well maybe it was you Craig Murray all along!)

    I’ve posted only a few hundred times despite signing up 8 years ago, with a very long gap (sleeper account, apparently). I have one follower (which makes me nervous–like–now I need to be reasonable or sober or live up to their expectations?) and follow zero people. I have my toolbar set on Aaron J Mate, Glenn Greenwald, and MaxBlumenthal so I can spend my days looking at non-MSM news. Everything is osmosis at this point. And they’re generally active and linking to other people whose positions I view as similar. But I’ve no idea why I would “follow” them or even what that means. No desire.

    But my point is that there might be some weird loners suffering with anxiety or other conditions who might exhibit a Twitter Profile even if they’re not as you describe:

    “deeply repulsive personalities or nothing interesting to say”

    I don’t follow you on twitter or even know if you’re on twitter, but feel free to post this article and I’ll try to find the post so I can tell you to fuck off.

    Survivors of any particular mental illness do NOT understand all others, so can feel superior, by the way.


    [ Mod: Saint of All Psychology = Scottish Dave MacMaybe, Kobor, Horlarryizon Evfishburneent, Hinker McGraw, Hippos Extinct, HippoDave ]

  • HippoDave

    Sorry, I didn’t know it was suspicious, not allowed, or of such affront to use a different name per post, so as other readers here must be warned.

    I’m HippoDave on The Intercept. That search function is a joke though, so maybe readers or mods might not be able to search whether I’m a hippie or a white supremacist.

    That was also my one-time name here, apparently early since the same. But I guess I thought maybe I shouldn’t use the same username across sites, or even the same on the same site, if that was an option. Call me paranoid! oops!

    Thanks mods. And what a perfect way to illustrate why/when a person with severe anxiety might not want to broadcast themselves via tweets or faves or followers or user handles.

    No more posting here from me, that’s for sure.

    Sorry for trying to trick people into thinking I was a different random commentator than what I presented myself randomly as. About time I was called out for my attempts at trickery.

    • Republicofscotland

      Okay HippoDave.

      Tell us all why you felt the need to use multiple handles then.

        • Republicofscotland

          Posted like a true party of a Bedrag.

          Us is of course other commentors in here, not another intelligence agency as you appear to be mulling over.

          I wonder if the Intercept is clued up on your multiple handles? Might be a good idea if they knew.

    • Tom Welsh

      “No more posting here from me, that’s for sure”.

      But you wrote that in another post on here.

      Is that some kind of sophisticated metajoke?

    • Republicofscotland

      Interesting point SE, I’m thinking since troll is mainly associated with Norse mythology, why not use a Norwegian word.

      Bedrag according to Goole translate mean deceitfulness in Norwegian, so a Bedrag of trolls could equal a group or collection of the wee buggers.

    • pete

      As usual the internet has an answer for this on Answers.com:
      “What is the collective noun for trolls?
      There is no specific collective noun for trolls, in which case a noun suitable for the context of the sentence is used, for example a band of trolls, a trouble of trolls, or a tribe of trolls, etc.
      A more recently coined collective noun is an irritation of trolls, a reference to internet trolls. At least it’s the only version that’s clean enough for this site. I myself would use a cowardice of internet trolls or perhaps a pusillanimity of internet trolls.”
      Perhaps Chas will be able to answer that for us.

      • Tatyana

        pete, cowardice is used for dogs, please note, I’m not saying it won’t do 🙂 but…
        As it appears that someone hires internet trolls, so I suggest “a market of trolls”.
        We can even specify some groups with “retail of trolls” or “wholesale of trolls”.

    • Piotr Berman

      a large groups of trolls == thimbleful of troll brains (how many troll brain does it take to fill a thimble?).

      • Ingwe

        Piotr Berman-how many trolls does it take to tile a bathroom?

        A: It depends how thinly you slice them!

    • fuddledee

      Especially reserved for the Saturday night after the pub type troll:

      A toll of Trolls

          • Tatyana

            an imbecillity of trolls?
            —-
            here is a troll, “smart” enough to twitt phrases like “…Russian ethnic group… that it is a pathetic reptile worms, thievish and mean. they can be beaten, robbed to the skin (although it is too small), and will still lick the boot” – a kind of complex word construction, isn’t it?

            and this the same troll would post an imbecil statement like ” do I understand it right that #nordstream2 bypasses Raska?”
            https://twitter.com/6relax/status/1145688277242003456

    • Dungroanin

      Shed of Trolls. (A la 77th)

      Or

      Skip of Trolls (they ship a lot of useless crap)

      Good troll hunting by the Mods btw. As easy as the poor pheasants bred to die.

      Possibly a major future legal damages claim by the canon fodder for the psychosis induced by their employment.
      I wonder how many have to sign the OSA to get the currently cushy ‘job’ dealing out daily virtual asbestos.

    • pretzelattack

      well, if it’s just one troll with multiple account names, don’t need one. i can’t think of a legitimate reason to have multiple names for the same blog site.

  • Loony

    Are trolls more insidiously dangerous than ideologically possessed hypocrites?

    Take, for example, the animus displayed toward Tommy Robinson. People are queuing up to point out that Robinson is, among other things, a convicted fraudster. It therefore seems reasonable to assume that such people are not well disposed toward fraud.

    It also seems reasonable to suppose that Mr. Robinson’s penchant for fraud is unlikely to pose any systemic risk to the very fabric of society.

    Let us consider another convicted fraudster in the personage of Christine Lagarde. This lady has just been appointed President of the ECB. This would be the very same Christine Lagarde who was judged guilty of Gross Negligence by a French court over an insane payment to Bernard Tapie. Madame Lagarde avoided a one year jail sentence because of her “personality” and “international reputation” Further mitigation was to be found in the fact that at the time of the Court judgement she was “fighting an international financial crisis”

    Could there possibly be any reason why people are repulsed by the fraud committed by Tommy Robinson but are completely disinterested in the fraud committed by Christine Lagarde. Alternatively perhaps those who are so well disposed toward the EU may care to explain why, in order to best serve the citizenry of the EU, they require the expertise of a convicted fraudster. Surely the answer cannot be that the EU is itself a giant fraud.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Could there possibly be any reason why people are repulsed by the fraud committed by Tommy Robinson”

      It might be because Mr Robinson or whatever he’s calling himself these days, is a known racist and a thug. Who stalks MP’s/MSP’s and confronts them with several burly blokes on hand.

      Mr Robinson is well known by the company he keeps.

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/tommy-robinson-poland-edl-right-rally-anti-semitism-islam-signs-holocaust-attendance-a8053356.html

      • Loony

        I see. So you are fine with fraud, it is just the racism and the thuggery that you don’t like.

        Robinson is a man with a working class vocabulary. When you adjust for that then his views would seem broadly consistent with the views of the current Polish and Hungarian governments. Both Poland and Hungary are members of the EU. I seem to recall that you are favorably disposed to the EU.

        Would it sensible to conclude that you have no problem with foreign racists but are greatly exercised by English racists.

        • Republicofscotland

          “I see. So you are fine with fraud”

          I’m certainly not fine with it, however are suggesting that fraud and other forms of corruption are reserved to the EU?

          For you should be made aware that this type of thing goes on in governments around the globe. Still you don’t seem to point that out, its just EU that has failings to you by the looks of it.

          Also you’ve made your position very clear by defending Tommy the racist thug.

          • Loony

            …and so here we have it. A real time example of how people come to believe in things that are not true and then spread these falsehoods far and wide. No doubt the intent is once enough people have asserted something to be true then it comes to be considered true through the simple act of repetition and self referencing.

            I wrote “Is Robinson a racist? I don’t know” According to you such statements constitute “defending Tommy the racist thug” They do not. I do not defend anyone, I am just interested in why some people are continually and constantly reviled whilst other people who share broadly the same characteristics are left entirely in peace and free from manufactured public opprobrium.

            Elsewhere you postulate that Douglas Murray “is more subtle in his approach” Of course he is. What do you imagine an Eton and Oxford education buys you? If at the end of all that your presentation of yourself was exactly equivalent to that of an uneducated working class thug then what would be the point of having paid for an exclusive education.

            The point is that the British seem obsessed with class and will not readily criticize their “social betters” but if one of their own steps out of line or develops ideas above their station then look out. This is exactly equivalent of being prejudiced against the poor. How is despising poor people a more noble prejudice than despising anyone for largely immutable characteristics?

        • George

          Yes, I object to “racism and the thuggery” and it makes no difference if it is voiced in Robnison’s “working class vocabulary” or Douglas Murray’s sophistical veneer.

          • Loony

            It may make no difference to you, but it makes a huge difference to society in general.

            Someone on the BBC called Douglas Murray a hate preacher. The next day the BBC were required to interrupt a program in order to broadcast a public apology to Douglas Murray.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gI4BH1oeldU

            There is no possibility of anyone apologizing to Tommy Robinson. No less a figure than Lord Burnett, the Lord Chief Justice has opined that the failure of a Judge to follow the law in relation to a case where Robinson was the defendant was “much more than a technical failure” What is the reaction to this startling judgement from the most senior Judge in the country? Nothing. No-one cares.

            How is it possible that Robinson is so heinous that there is no need to follow the law in relation to him. Even Nazi war criminals were afforded due process. What is it that makes Tommy Robinson objectively more malevolent and more dangerous and more worthy of contempt than the defendants at Nuremberg?

            Do you think that any of can even be described as sane?

          • pete

            Re Douglas Murray of the HJS…
            Yes I recognise his face as having appeared far too often on the BBC, pontificating on things he seems to grasp poorly. How is it that he gets so much air time, does he get paid for his appearances?
            I hate to think my licence money is being given to this guy.

          • George

            Well if I ever meet “society in general”, I’ll be sure to take that on board. Meanwhile please stop this ludicrous manufacturing of a non-issue purely for the sake of parroting the thuggery and xenophobia of these jerks.

    • Garth Carthy

      “Are trolls more insidiously dangerous than ideologically possessed hypocrites?”

      Well, yes – because they are often funded by ideologically posseessed hypocrites like the the secretive, malevolent intelligence agencies.
      I agree with your other points – though I hope you don’t support Tommy Robinson’s political/racists views.
      I think most ‘Remainers’ accept that there are big flaws and corruption in the EU administration but feel that the alternatives are much bleaker.
      I must add that if it were not for the fact that the US and others will offer unfavourable trade deals, I would have voted to leave the EU.
      Bear in mind that there are few nations more corrupt than the US.
      As has said so many times before, real sovereignty for the UK, or any other nation is surely a complete fantasy in this global economy.

      • Loony

        This is all very interesting.

        I agree that there is both secrecy and malevolence to be found within the intelligence agencies. The success of their operations is very much a 2 way street in that they require people to be receptive to their techniques.

        I find Tommy Robinson interesting because of the virulent knee jerk reaction that the very mention of his name provokes. This reaction seems out of all proportion to the things that he actually says or his potential for influence. Many more people assert that he is racist than provide any evidence of his racism. Are they even aware of any actual racist statements or are they just repeating what they have been trained to say.

        I am not an expert on Mr. Robinson – but I am unable to detect any substantive differences between what he says and what Douglas Murray says. I am sure that many do not like Douglas Murray – but mention of his name will not provoke the same torrent of hate as any mention of Robinson.

        Why might that be? Well one reason is that Murray uses the refined language of Eton and Oxford and Robinson uses the language of the English chav class. The UK remains obsessed by class and perhaps this obsession has been exploited by the agencies of the state in order to demonize Robinson. Interestingly enough it seems possible to identify a correlation in that those who profess some form of egalitarian ideology seem most likely to volunteer for the 2 minutes against Robinson.

        Is Robinson a racist? I don’t know. Is Nick Griffin a racist? Absolutely. And yet no-one bothers about him. He is safely ignored and no-one is ever required to disavow Nick Griffin. How can it be?

        • Republicofscotland

          Again possibly because Robinson is boots on the ground tip of the spear all out in your face racial thuggery type. Murray a director of the HJS, neoconservative and critic of Islam, is more subtle in his approach, writing for several well known rags.

          Of late Tommy has tried to soften his carry a big stick approach to dressing in a suit and speaking to anyone daft enough to buy into his bigoted ideology.

          Your working man’s champion says a lot about you.

        • George

          OK let’s make it clear. The class difference between Robinson and Murray is irrelevant. They are both peddling the “global Islamification” rap. Why waste any more time on them?

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Included in the list of EU goods that could be included in increased US trade tariffs; Dutch Gouda, Italian Parmesan, Irish Whiskey, Scotch Whisky. Yes the list is intended to reach across the EU to gain the maximum traction but a blinding obvious factor neglected by MSM, the specific goods all benefit from EU, Goegraphical Protection.
        The exceptionalist Americans hate EU Geographical Protection. Good luck UK (rUK) negotiators post Brexit trying to explain to the American delegation that you can’t make Stilton cheese in Wisconsin or Scotch whisky in Nebraska.

    • Ingwe

      Loony, I’m repulsed equally by Yaxley-Lennon and Christine Lagarde. One doesn’t have to choose.

      • Loony

        No, you don’t have to choose, but it may be rational to make such an election.

        You can safely ignore the views and activities of Robinson (or Yaxley-Lennon if you prefer). Given that he has been removed from all forms of social media and that the British state seems eager to imprison him then your task of ignoring him has been made all the easier.

        It is not so easy to ignore the activities of the President of the ECB since ECB policy has impacts on the daily lives of substantially everyone in Europe. Although the UK is not a member of the eurozone UK interest rates and asset prices are manifestly influenced by ECB policy. The value of your home or the quantum of your rent is in large part determined by the ECB – an ECB whose President is a convicted fraudster.

        So, ask yourself what your comment says about you. You are equally repulsed by a fraudster who has the ability to materially impact every aspect of your economic well being as you are by a fraudster who has no ability at all to influence any part of your life That does not appear logical to me and suggest extremely poor self preservation instincts.

        • Ingwe

          False distinction Loony. Yaxley and Lagarde are personalities both espousing appalling (to me) views. They are both part of the ruling ideology albeit that, to date, Lagarde has more power. I’m not really interested in the cult of personality politics. That leads to rather impotent comparisons of beastliness. Is Kissinger more of murderous cunt than say, Weinberger or Netanyahu? Comparing cruelties is odious. So whilst Yaxley may hold thuggish views as regards Muslims, this doesn’t make him morally inferior to Lagarde’s policies which have impoverished millions of Greeks leading to many suicides etc etc.

          • Loony

            Not really.

            By obvious definition all people are personalities. All criminals are people. Therefore all criminals are personalities. So it is your distinction that is false, not mine. Not only is your distinction false but your comparison is also false. A more relevant comparison would be: “Is Kissinger more murderous than Ted Bundy?”

            Surely no-one would defend the murderous crimes of Ted Bundy. The fact is that Bundy was operating outside of the law and outside of sanity. He was apprehended and punished. At no time did Ted Bundy pose a systemic threat to the integrity of the United States or to world peace. Kissinger by contrast was part of the ruling establishment, was never apprehended and never punished and posed a systemic threat to world peace.

            Criminals that operate inside the prevailing power system are always more dangerous than common criminals for the simple reason that the former have co-opted the law to both protect and justify their crimes.

            All you do, whether you realize it or not is to act to defend the prevailing establishment. A simple lackey to the system.

          • Garth Carthy

            I agree, Ingwe, but I do sympathise with Loony’s view that important establishment figures get away with causing terrible mayhem for society while other, albeit unsavoury figures like Robinson are focussed on by the media with much more vigour.
            Loony says there’s no evidence to suggest Robinson is a racist. Well he’s certainly associated with racist organisations and of course, he’s certainly Islamaphobic, anyway.

            We seem to have a strange situation where many right-wingers consider the establishment to be left-wing. I think we can see the same situation in the US where Trump, the populist, purports to be anti-establishment but is actually often more reactionary than they are.

          • lysias

            It was the view of historian George Mosse, a refugee from Nazi Germany, that fascism was a totalitarianism of the political center.

        • Ian

          An absolutely classic piece of alt-right trolling from Mr Tunes. promoting all those alt right memes, specifically poor little victim Tommy Robinson, one of their poster boys, and attempting to make ludicrous, uninformed parallels and random non-sequiturs around UK politics of which he clearly knows diddley squat. He can, however, copy and paste with alacrity. Risible, as usual.

          • Loony

            Really? What have I copied and pasted? As you don’t bother to say I will tell you. Nothing. I have copied and pasted nothing at all.

            Take a look at the next blog post. It concerns the mistreatment of a Mr. Steven Leelah at the hands of UK authorities. This kind of thing is allowed to happen, indeed is bound to happen, once you abandon the rule of law.

            The interesting thing about Tommy Robinson is not that he is a victim but that there is an active clamor that the law should not apply to him. A clamor from people like yourself for example. The failure to apply the law in relation to Tommy Robinson makes it absolutely inevitable that the law will not be applied in other cases.

            Although you think you are sneering at me, you are in fact sneering at the rule of law. It is the kind of mindset that you display that makes it highly unlikely that Steven Leelah will ever receive justice.

    • Pyewacket

      Loony, whilst not wishing to sound pedantic, TR’s real name is Stephen Yucky-Lemon.

      • Loony

        I also do not wish to sound pedantic but did you know my real name is not Loony.

  • Goose

    Theresa May says next PM ‘must strengthen the union’.

    Really, the disconnect between what this woman says and does is really unbelievable. After becoming leader and PM in 2016, at the outset of UK – EU negotiations on Brexit she told parliament she’d “involve and consult” the devolved govts, “ever step of the way”.

  • M.J.

    It’s hard to believe that the security services can afford to employ tens of thousands, with austerity and that kind of thing. I wouldn’t know about Twitter or Facebook, because I’ve got better things to do.

    • N_

      They don’t scrimp on security.

      But the thought of cleaning Twitter or Facebook up is ridiculous.

      Meanwhile – have the Brexit mob got themselves some martyrs yet? It’s only a matter of time. Every twattish journalist talks about “dogwhistles” nowadays. One of the biggest “dogwhistles” of all is the campaign to make people believe violent crime in London is rising, when actually it’s falling. No prizes for guessing what underlying idea is being conveyed. I wonder how many leftwingers even have an inkling.

      • N_

        And yes, I say violent crime in London is falling. Ever get the feeling you’ve been lied to?

        • Loony

          Most people seem to believe that crime in the UK is rising.

          For evidence they might cite the fact that in 1950 there were around 35 prisoners per 100,000 people in the general population but today the figure stands at 179 prisoners per 100,000 people in the population.

          It is often observed that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. It is notable that you provide no evidence whatsoever for your claims – but you do seem to insinuate that anyone who believes crime to be rising are simply too stupid to understand why the opposite is the case.Why?

          • Garth Carthy

            Well, certain types of crime like knife crime and crimes of violence generally seem to be rising but I think it’s difficult to assess whether crime in general has increased or not because so much depends on the diligence of police to record crime. My understanding is that the experts generally think most crime has fallen since the 90’s but of course violent crime has risen.

          • N_

            Check it out for yourself, Loony. The proposition is not that crime is falling. It is that violent crime in London is falling. It’s easily verifiable that that’s what official statistics say.

          • N_

            Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4.

            Official statistics for certain types of violent crime in London, 2018-19:

            * homicides, down 25%
            (and since 2009 they have never reached even the lowest figure during 1990-2008)

            Summary: for the last decade the homicide rate in London has been lower than it was in the previous two decades; it did rise in 2018 relative to preceding years but it’s fallen this year.

            * knife injuries suffered by under-25s: down 15%

            This is a fine example of how the moronic majority, including many middle class types who are well above the bottom in the opinion chain, allow themselves to be conned into believing what is easily verifiable as a falsehood, because they’re not in the habit of questioning propaganda. (Similarly only about 2% of people are gay or bisexual.)

            I wonder whether many leftwing people actually know anythng about stupidity. The whole point of the talking up of violent crime in London is to boost white racism. And this is being done fast. It is not drip drip.

          • N_

            Those who haven’t yet grasped that the Brexit upsurge that began in 2016 is also fundamentally about white racism may not get the point about the “violent crime in London” propaganda either. Just ask people what they think the typical skin colour is of a soldier in the army of homicidal knife wielders that is supposedly subduing Britain’s capital city.

          • N_

            It’s as though the words “racism” and “propaganda” – and for the highly sophisticated, “dogwhistle” – are on millions of lips with no ability to think properly about what’s actually happening with racism, propaganda, and dogwhistles.

          • Spencer Eagle

            When you take into account the efforts the police and home office go to in moving the crime reporting goal posts, there can be no doubt crime has risen significantly in London. Shoplifting has been declassified to almost a non event, the innovation of the ‘101’ number means that the vast majority of people with a crime to report give up after 25 minutes of hanging on the phone – trust me, that’s from experience. With regard violent crime, more than 1200 shots were fired on the streets of London in 2017/18 (we are not talking blanks and airguns but actual discharges of live ammunition) compared to a few dozen a decade before. Violent crime in every London borough has been rising year on year for the last ten years, I’m baffled how you can claim it is falling? I do agree with the being lied to bit, though…. the true figures are far far worse than they dare reveal.

          • Doodlebug

            @N

            “Just ask people what they think the typical skin colour is of a soldier in the army of homicidal knife wielders that is supposedly subduing Britain’s capital city.”

            The question had not occurred to me before you raised it. Do you happen to know what the ‘typical skin colour is’, or whether it is even possible to express a typical value from the available data. I don’t. I don’t even profess to know. Perhaps you could clarify the issue?

        • Republicofscotland

          Maybe they’ll try the Pentagon’s latest gadget. A laser that can identify someone from their unique heart signature from over 200 metres away.

          • Spencer Eagle

            The most insidious use of facial recognition can be found in the public toilets at China’s Forbidden City Palace. The toilets there use facial recognition to dispense toilet paper, you are allowed only 64cm and cannot get anymore until at least 9 minutes have passed. After a good night out I could see myself trapped there for several hours…..

          • Iain Stewart

            “The most insidious use of facial recognition”
            In China, always travel with a bogroll, just in case. Leaving aside the question of whether it was your face they were recognising, I suspect many people would find the identification of Uighurs even more insidious.

  • Sharp Ears

    For the record – what transpired between Lagarde and Tapie.

    ‘From 1993 to 2008 there was a long legal battle between Tapie and the Crédit Lyonnais bank (partly state-owned bank). Crédit Lyonnais had allegedly defrauded Tapie in 1993 and 1994 when it sold Adidas on his behalf to Robert Louis-Dreyfus, apparently by arranging a larger sale with Dreyfus without Tapie’s knowledge.

    In 2008 a special judicial panel ruled that Tapie should receive compensation of €404 million from the French Ministry of Finance, headed by Christine Lagarde. She decided not to challenge the ruling. On December 3, 2015, a French court ruled that Tapie should return this compensation with interest. A few days later, the Court of Justice of the Republic ordered that Lagarde should stand trial for negligence.’ On December 19, 2016, Lagarde was convicted of negligence; however, the conviction was not deemed a criminal record and Lagarde was not sentenced to a punishment.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Tapie Amazing. €404 million!

    Lagarde – post Baccalaureat, she trained in the US on a scholarship at a school in Bethesda and then was an intern to a Republican at the Capitol. Then at two universities in Paris where she obtained Masters degrees in law. Thereafter a professional career as a lawyer. From 2005-11 she was successively a Minister in Depts of Commerce, Agriculture, and finally Economy, Finance & Industry. She became the MD of the IMF in 2011. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christine_Lagarde

    She knows where all the bodies are buried and is thus the chosen candidate of the neoliberal gangsters-in-charge for head of the ECB to succeed Draghi. Her treatment of the Greek people when she headed the IMF was deplorable and reprehensible.

    In the meantime both Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs expect Draghi to ‘cut interest rates in September in a bid to spark lackluster inflation.’ https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-02/imf-s-lagarde-touted-for-ecb-president-in-latest-eu-jobs-plan-jxlqy6wp

    How much lower can ECB interest rates go? They are already negative. https://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/policy_and_exchange_rates/key_ecb_interest_rates/html/index.en.html

    PS Gideon George Osborne sees himself as head of the IMF. LOL. Another YCNMIU considering his disastrous record as Chancellor.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jul/04/george-osborne-ambitions-over-imf-top-job-prompt-criticism

  • mark golding

    Unsurprisingly I place this critical post from Craig and his previous post ‘A Moment in History’ as clear examples of his ‘sixth sense’ or intuitiveness that makes for compelling reading and the recognition this point in time is a historic moment not to be missed. Obviously the trolls will attempt to dilute this wisdom by attacks on Craig intended to demoralise, dampen and cripple his spirit.

    We can, I believe, grasp the moment with an awareness of the ‘neo-elite’ lust for global world dominance by blood-letting and economic terrorism together with an understanding of the current ‘big picture’ politically upheld by lies and deception. For instance Boris Johnson’s claim to deliver a broken exit (Brexit) from the EU without a deal. ‘Without a deal’ is key here because it means Brexit will become a cold case, suspended ad infinitum. To reason why this should be so we must consider the US/UK/IS ‘lust’ for control and power.

    For instance we must examine China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) that has seen enormous expansion over 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. Britain’s elite view this to be a Trojan horse for China-led regional development, military expansion, and Beijing-controlled institutions. Unsurprisingly with China’s economic might Britain, in the short term, will pander to President Xi ‘ promise of ‘mutual benefits’ with one foot in the global geopolitical landscape that WILL mean a limit and downgrade in British investment in the BRI over time and minimal investment in BRI specific projects.

    EU is thus Britain’s key to upholding the ‘special relationship’ with the US with the path already mapped and kept dark for now.

    https://carnegieendowment.org/2018/10/19/europe-s-emerging-approach-to-china-s-belt-and-road-initiative-pub-77536

    • N_

      On Boris Johnson…

      what is the name of “the independent body hired to scrutinise the running of the leadership election”?

  • Mary Pau!

    I never had any time for Macron. Could never understand why he got such a sycophantic reception in the UK media. When has the auld enemy ever been our friend?

  • Goose

    If you want to see ‘bot’ accounts just click on the literally hundreds of Twitter accounts spewing out ‘Corbyn must go!’ or ‘time to dump the leader!’ type comments all day, under the tweets of well known political figures – usually behind the profiles there is no individual, just the giveaway sign of bots – generic random images, scroll down their posting histories are a mixture of completely random comment and generic images from around the world; no specific interests, nothing personal nor any real human interaction i.e., clearly fake profiles and there are helluva lot of them. I’m sure Twitter could do more to delete these if they really wanted to.

    • Northern

      “I’m sure Twitter could do more to delete these if they really wanted to.”

      If previous form is anything to go by, Twitter are probably enthusiastically on board with it. Pretty sure this is a micro-cosm of how security services manipulation of the media and politicians works in general, similar to the Philip Cross Wikipedia operation Craig has covered before. The agencies turn up with some pressing issue of national security, and the target (be they a business owner, a politician, a journalist) is so thrilled to be invited to peak behind the curtain that they wilfully suspend their critical faculties in order to play out their James Bond spy fantasies, thus leading to scenarios like the head of Wikipedia denying knowledge of the operation despite evidence suggesting he was very much aware and supportive of it. I’m sure there’s only a small portion of the powerful who actually understand the lies they are spinning, and are thus worthy of the strongest condemnation, and the rest just fall into the useful idiots category.

      • Goose

        The Tory Chairman, Brandon Lewis, has put serious effort into building their online presence after the last election. In 2017’s GE they felt they were beaten by a slicker Labour online campaign, led in large part by Momentum. The number of views for Momentum produced content was impressive(millions). So maybe they now have a boiler room operation somewhere churning this anti-Corbyn guff out?
        Incidentally, I think most Corbyn supporters have lost faith in Momentum because of Jon Lansman’s antics in supporting Corbyn’s PLP critics over the ridiculous antisemitism allegations.

    • Sharp Ears

      Inserted into QT last night on the state broadcaster’s channel –

      “Is it time the Labour Party turned it’s back on Jeremy Corbyn?”

  • HoBoJo

    I think you have to look broader than just the security services. Modern political movements make a great deal of use of cut-outs, surrogates and echo-chambers to drive home messages and to censor/censure the opposition. If you read Podesta’s emails (Wikileaks is a goldmine) you’ll see them describing how a modern campaign co-ordinates actors across a range of linked organisations (this isn’t a Democrat thing, Republicans also do this – eg via the Kochs).

    So someone like Podesta’s Campaign for America Progress will be co-ordinating across a range of single issue groups, and linking fundraising and media management services in the background. They will target people by interest group aiming to build a coalition to support ‘the party’. Thus their billionaire funders can pick and choose their favourites so at the funding dinners they are presented with a range of options for money and spend. The aim within each is to build up teams of ‘friendlies’ at grassroots level that can be called on to express outrage or pressure, or who can provide spokespeople in the media – possibly more than one at a time but with superficially different organisations behind them. In some areas this is known as mobilising the ‘Civil Society’. It doesn’t need security services to do it directly, it just needs suitable funding and nudges of the connected communities. Aiming to build an Echo Chamber is an explicit target.

    This means that many ‘activists’ get the same media training on how to use social media for political purposes. I’ve been struck by how similar the tactics have become. Basically their aim is to insult and undermine, but don’t engage. Short agressive name calling and insulting is a common fingerprint. They rarely provide ‘content’ – ie an argument, or data or information – occasionally they make drive-by assertions. My perception is that the behaviour is not effective. The Guardian used to have lots of them, but it drove away the more considered replies, and those who are more considered ended up drifting out to better forums, and are now pushing against the spin.

    • N_

      The good effect of these “considered” replies that used to be manifest at the Guardian’s website (that is, at a website run by an organisation that most days sends a senior figure to 10 Downing Street to sort out that day’s distribution of slants in a room with his colleagues at other organisations, with the help of senior state media officials), and which have now congregated at alternative, unnamed debating places (presumably also online), is what, other than good feeling among the participants?

      What kind of person devoted loads of their time to commenting at the Guardian’s website in the first place? If there has been a change, it seems to have been from managed participation to apparently self-organised participation. What a page to be on!

    • lysias

      Hopefully, Craig, as an expert on these maritime law matters, will comment on the legality or otherwise of the seizure of the tanker.

      • Doodlebug

        According to news earlier today British military boarded the vessel on the basis that it was carrying Iranian oil destined for Syria in contravention of European sanctions.

        Oh the irony of it all. But for the delay in Brexit the skipper could have told our brave lads to ‘F off back to blighty!’

    • michael norton

      jack it is all about Jeremy Hunt bigging himself up to get voted in as our next prime minister, he is a fool.

    • Ingwe

      The bullshit is flying. UK’s position is that they had to board the ship to prevent breaching of E.U. sanctions against supplying Syria with oil. No other E.U. country seems to agee. The reality is that the US told the UK to board the boat to stop sale of Iranian oil.
      We are just the US’s bitch and we should stop pretending otherwise.

      • Jack

        “US’s bitch” indeed, Bolton came out praising UK navy attack a couple of hours ago.

        • Doodlebug

          In breach of EU sanctions, eh? When did Iran join the EU? I hadn’t noticed. Notwithstanding which the UK (including its military arm(s)) should already have left the EU – or maybe the ‘remainers’ in the HoC will now throw this little escapade into the equation (can’t leave until the job’s done and all that). So now the UK, on behalf of the EU, apparently, has the authority to inhibit/prohibit trade between independent Middle-Eastern nations?

          Frankly this is an act of out and out piracy and a provocation to war which puts the earlier ‘limpet mine’ attack, so called, into clearer perspective.

          • michael norton

            they may be some political symmetry in these moves.
            The U.K. is about to leave the E.U. and become even more bosom pals with the U.S.A.
            We need to demonstrate this to both the U.S.A. and the E.U.
            We do this with the use of the Royal Navy from our colony of Gibraltar.
            Which has one of our two land bridges to the E.U.
            We also demonstrate to the World we can still police movements through the Straights of Gibraltar.

            So, this act tells many stories to many entities.

  • Gary

    Diverging slightly from the excellent point you are making I note that one of your Twitter Trolls makes a point on Halaal food. Almost like these food would somehow be ‘poisonous’ and should be banned. I really DO understand those who are GENUINELY concerned about the method of slaughter of animals and how it could be considered to be cruel due to the animal not having been stunned prior to slaughter but I note ONE glaring omission from their ‘concern’ in that Kosher butchery is carried out in EXACTLY the same way.

    It is equally as distasteful to be anti-Jewish as it is to be anti Muslim. If you feel it would be unacceptable to criticise Jewish people, then why is it okay to criticise Muslims for the exact same thing. Personally I think animal welfare should come first but these methods are perfectly safe and legal in this country. It’s the giveaway that they are racists when they criticise Muslims but remain silent on Jewish people doing the same thing.

    This test follows suit on almost anything, not just how animals being slaughtered. If you would fear being called anti Semitic for saying it about someone who was Jewish then you should realise you are just as bad for saying it about Muslims. But of late this country, our newspapers, our politicians too are becoming anti-Muslim in the way that Europe used to be anti Semitic. And look where that led…

  • Harry Law

    Hopefully Craig can bring his expertise to the tanker piracy PM May has just indulged in probably at the behest of the US.
    Thanks to Karl Ruane Sorry for the long text, in my opinion PM May is once again breaching International law.
    The straits of Gibraltar is an international waterway in much the same way the straits of Hormuz and the English Channel are.
    If the ship was hijacked in international waters as a result of unilateral ‘sanctions’ that does not emanate from the United Nations Security Council, it is an act of Piracy, pure and simple.
    In much the same way it would be if Iran hijacked an american tanker in international waters in the straits of Hormuz as a result of any unilateral Iranian-imposed ‘sanctions’.
    ” Importantly for the Strait of Gibraltar, it, along with a number of other strategically important straits throughout the world, was the subject of special attention during the negotiations at the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea resulting in recognition being granted to a new regime of transit passage which applied in certain international straits. The right of transit passage permits shipping a right of navigation for the purposes of ‘continuous and expeditious transit of the strait’ (Art. 38 (2) UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and thereby allows for ongoing navigation rights of access and egress to the Mediterranean Sea. Navigational rights through the Strait of Gibraltar are therefore in the first instance governed by the transit passage regime of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, supplemented by additional international instruments dealing with matters such as safety of shipping (see also Maritime Safety Regulations), and protection of the marine environment (Marine Environment, International Protection), and in addition applicable coastal State laws and regulations adopted by the strait States in conformity with international law.”
    https://opil.ouplaw.com/view/10.1093/law:epil/9780199231690/law-9780199231690-e1172
    SECTION 2. TRANSIT PASSAGE

    Article37
    Scope of this section
    This section applies to straits which are used for international navigation between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone.

    Article38
    Right of transit passage
    1. In straits referred to in article 37, all ships and aircraft enjoy the right of transit passage, which shall not be impeded; except that, if the strait is formed by an island of a State bordering the strait and its mainland, transit passage shall not apply if there exists seaward of the island a route through the high seas or through an exclusive economic zone of similar convenience with respect to navigational and hydrographical characteristics.
    2. Transit passage means the exercise in accordance with this Part of the freedom of navigation and overflight solely for the purpose of continuous and expeditious transit of the strait between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone. However, the requirement of continuous and expeditious transit does not preclude passage through the strait for the purpose of entering, leaving or returning from a State bordering the strait, subject to the conditions of entry to that State.
    3. Any activity which is not an exercise of the right of transit passage through a strait remains subject to the other applicable provisions of this Convention. https://www.un.org/depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/part3.htm

  • bjsalba

    Well at least they are more open when advertising.
    In my day they took young things in from school who had no idea what they were getting into.

    OK so it was over half a century ago, but only recently did I discover that what I was doing there was participating in an activity that was actually illegal under international law.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘To them that hath….’

    Staggering amounts of money have been donated to Boris Johnson, now almost a cert for No 10, over the last month and earlier. He is supposed to be wealthy so why the soliciting for donations?.

    eg £50,000 from one of the Reuben brothers, the billionaire property developers*. £10,000 from his sister’s husband, Robin Birley, £50,000 from one Peter Cruddas (who he?) and so on. The Barclay Brothers via the Torygraph pay him £275,000 pa for his weekly column.
    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10999/boris_johnson/uxbridge_and_south_ruislip#register

    * The Daily Mirror say that he did some favours for them when he was London Mayor.

    Boris Johnson’s campaign funded by billionaires behind £100m development he approved
    EXCLUSIVE: Super-rich family fund Boris Johnson’s campaign to be PM after he approves their luxury development that had no social housing as London Mayor
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnsons-billionaire-backers-social-17428672

    Cruddas won’t miss the £50k. ‘Peter Andrew Cruddas (born 30 September 1953) is an English banker, businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder of online trading company CMC Markets. In the 2007 Sunday Times Rich List, he was named the richest man in the City of London, with an estimated fortune of £860 million.’

    • Den Lille Abe

      Well, Sharp Ears, the Devil take care of his minions, dont he ?
      He has always and will do.
      There is not much divine intervention for mere mortals, we are left hanging to dry 🙂
      (Cheers and thanks for giving clues, that are nee impossible to find from Scandinavia)

  • ValdezWW3 is coming

    Tory robbers under May have graduated from stealing Venezuelan gold to Iranian oil now, laura norder, the only reason why capital flocks to GB may then eventually do a runner. And neither the foxhunt master nor the volva taster will be any better. What if the Iranians counter sanction the EU and start seizing any oil vessel passing through Hormuz on similar grounds?

    [ Mod: This is the latest pseudonym from a very large cluster of sockpuppets. ]

  • Den Lille Abe

    Very compelling Craig. And a bit frightening.
    I have no twitter, Fakebook, Instagram or any social media account. They were ditched 7 years ago, when I became aware of the massive snooping, from government agencies, going on on the internet. I am aware that does leave me invulnerable, but it does close some doors.
    You have chosen to be a “public” figure, and for that you have my thanks (and contribution), though that is through my real name.
    Being a “public” figure exposes oneself, and this must be very stressfull at times, ordinary commenters only have to deal with ordinary Internet morons/trolls, but you have to deal with government funded trolls/spambots whatever, all the time.
    Your voice and opinions on your blog are very appreciated, and as a Swede/Dane, one of the only places to find an opinion that is not MSM. Non MSM does not exist in Scandinavia, sadly…
    I bet most of your followers are humanists that slowly despair as our world slides into a fascist or authoritarian view, what a long way we have come since the no war marches of the 70′ ties, I am ok that my lightbulb is dimming here in my mid 60’ties, but i do fear for the future of my children and their coming children, as the worlds future has never been more bleak.
    Now I need a good glass of Oban.

  • Rick

    Hi Craig thanks for your Troll analytics very useful in terms of information war..However the intensity of this conflict is soon to be ratcheted up as the UK vasal statel prepares to spend milllions (or billions we’ll never know) at the expense of welfare retrenchment and environmental degredation on a new CYBER WARFARE CENTRE here in Cheltenham. This upgrade of GCHQ to an active war fighting machine represents a qualative leap in its activities endowing it with the authority and means to start a realtime global war should they detect a concerted cyber attack on the UK State.
    The residents of Cheltenham may wish to reflect on their sojourn on a cyber battle cruiser primed to ignite Armegeddon.

  • N_

    Meanwhile – have the Brexit mob got themselves some martyrs yet?

    Stephen Bannon is not stupid and I’m sure he understands that he will need some “momentum” (to coin a phrase) at one or more critical points. Given the way the Brexit Party operation is being run, I believe there will probably be either a general election or another Brexit plebiscite before the end of this year.

    The entity known as “Tommy Robinson” – the guy who US immigration officials managed mysteriously to “lose track of” in New York’s JFK airport – has already played a role in Nigel Farage’s departure from UKIP which “freed” him to form the said new party which is currently outpolling Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and even the Tories. Is there mileage in the Tommy operation yet? Today he was found guilty of contempt of court. People go to jail for that.

    I should add that I think there will be a much more powerful “martyr” operation than merely the jailing of the tattooed thug Tommy Robinson. (One of his tattoos depicts a Crusader knight, by the way.) But the Tommy Robinson character is still worth watching.

    The “violent crime in London” story is much more significant than many on the left realise. Its whole purpose is racism – real racism, red in knuckle-draggingly stupid tooth and claw racism, real racism that many non-racists find it difficult to recognise or get their heads around.

  • Sharp Ears

    A new troll has arrived on Craig’s Twitter in response to this article. ‘He’ joined in July 2019! ‘He’ is also exercised about Neil Clark and the Oliver Kamm case. He is either Kamm himself or a certain frequent poster on here who was very disruptive and is no longer around. You know who I mean!.
    https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1147046278750265347

    This is what ‘Harry Johnson’ had to say. https://twitter.com/HarryJo10476684

    Harry Johnson
    ‏@HarryJo10476684
    21h
    I think Mr Neil Clark should account for the money he’s gathered so far to help him fund his “legal action” against Oliver Kamm. We’re waiting, Neil !

    Harry Johnson
    @HarryJo10476684
    Jul 4
    Most of the “commenters” on Craig Murray’s lamentable blog are lonely, single, angry men past retirement age. Explains a lot!

      • Iain Stewart

        Well, if Sharp Ears deduction is correct, and it really is our old pal Charles Bostock, previously known as Habbabkuk, (and it certainly sounds like him) then it seems natural he has found a new home somewhere else after his mysterious expulsion from these pages, no doubt from going too far in his habitual playground teasing (or bullying). I rarely agreed with anything he wrote, but often found his “disruptive” (tut tut) contributions entertaining, enlivening the general British old folks home dreariness, and hope he may return again some day after a suitable period of penance, perhaps under a new pseudonym. Oddly enough the only thing he and Sharp Ears could ever agree on was their mutual contempt for poor Noam Chomsky (for the obvious different reasons).

        • Tatyana

          Iain, for me that commentor looked like a real human being, his views are mostly too hostile towards me personally and my points, but I don’t mind, I felt l respect and try to inderstand him/her rather than dislike the attacks. It was a personality worthy of the time spent, until he/she betrayed my trust in him/her for the last time.
          https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/12/gdansk/comment-page-7/#comment-814811
          Too persistent in his seeming distrust of the words of other people. A normal person can’t be that fanatical. Enjoying the result of a betrayal is absolutely unacceptable to me.

          • Iain Stewart

            Hi Tatyana. Even creepy old exhibitionists (to take up your comparison with Charles) are real human beings, I suppose, and “normal” non-fanatical commenters may be fewer than you think amongst those who perform obsessively (and anonymously) here. I suspect that his insinuation that you are really the front man for a dedicated team of Russian trolls was more of a mischievous (or cruel) provocation purely for his own amusement. He no doubt saw your offended reaction as some sort of perverted victory. I’ve often thought that this blog’s comments would make great research material for a student of psychology (or pathology).

    • Tatyana

      Patrick, here in Russia we have a superstition to not to congratulate beforehand 🙂 nevertheless, with no cnnection to your forthcoming big date, I wish all the best and let all your dreams come true!
      Your sense of humor says you’re a cool dude.

  • Leftworks

    Some very nasty piece of work calling himself ‘Harry Johnson’ on Twitter (@HarryJo10476684) is going after Craig, and also after commenters on Craig’s blog. Clearly someone who has been following Craig’s blog for some considerable time, although has only joined Twitter under this name in July 2019.

    So far, has attacked Paul Barbara and Sharp Ears in tweets. Thought I had better let people on here know in case they wish to respond.

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