45 Years of Rebellion 409


Generally I manage to dig up some recent lecture or published work to post while I am on holiday, on a mission or indisposed. I have a video somewhere of a really stunning symposium on whistleblowing at the University of Newcastle, to which I made a minor contribution, which I intended to use for that purpose today. But out of the blue I received an email this morning which changed my plan.

So here is one I did earlier – 45 years ago.

Dear Craig

Many years ago, as a fellow schoolboy at Paston, I witnessed your remarkable stand against militarism when Gen Sir Ian Freedland (I think it was) came to inspect the CCF. I have vivid memories of you appearing on the top floor of the School House and shouting what seemed to us lesser mortals very daring anti-military views (“Troops Out of Ireland” was one) before your sudden and rapid transit backwards from our sight – due to unknown assailants – and the window being slammed shut. It’s only with the intervening years that I realised what an extraordinary event this was, years ahead of its time, and I have often wondered what became of you. A friend recommended your blog to me very recently and it was then I realised it was the same Craig Murray. I heartily agree with what I have read of your work since, and am very pleased to become a subscriber.

With kind regards, and every good wish for the success of your work in the New Year.

It is very hard to explain to a modern audience how very militarist our school was. The headmaster was referred to everywhere, in school and by wider society, as Colonel Marshall, even though I believe it was a rank he only held in the Cadet Force. My peculiar education was designed to teach you to strip down and reassemble a .303 rifle, whilst explaining the process in Latin.

Funnily enough, after I spoke at the recent St Pancras meeting for Julian Assange, a gentleman introduced himself to me who I did not at first recognise but was Merlin, my co-conspirator in that old school protest, who I was seeing for the second time in 45 years. That made me weep and I fear I looked rather silly.

But receiving that recollection of an event I had almost forgotten, is a reminder of how important it is to be true to your beliefs. Policy views may change with circumstance or experience, but I am delighted that my underlying principles remain constant after getting on for half a century of political activity.

It also made me realise how lucky I am. I have been a career diplomat, a British Ambassador, the Rector of Dundee University, a bestselling author and Chairman of a successful energy company. All that was possible on an entirely state education, including full maintenance grants. And it was possible without ever having dissembled or hidden my personal radical beliefs – including turning down three separate honours from the Queen on grounds of republicanism and Scottish nationalism.

I am not sure that would be possible now. In fact I am pretty sure it would not be possible now. The tolerance of dissent has radically decreased. It is worth saying that in 13 years of working as a civil servant for Tory governments I never had any problems, despite ministers like Malcolm Rifkind and Lynda Chalker knowing very well my personal opinions were very different from the official policy. I might give an example of Nicholas Soames, who when a junior defence minister attended a NATO exercise in Drawsko in Poland which I help to organise. I remember a very interesting conversation when I told him I believed that NATO had served its purpose, that there had never been any Russian intention to invade Western Europe anyway, and that the entire narrative was a device to bolster the profits of the arms industry and budget of the army.

Soames of course did not agree with me, but we had an extremely good and good natured discussion (alcohol was involved) and he did concede that the fall of the Iron Curtain had proven western intelligence estimates of Soviet military capability to have been vastly exaggerated, greatly boosting the interests of the western arms industry, the military and of course the institutional interests of the security services themselves.

But the important point is that while Soames did not agree at all with my broad points, he did not suggest – because he did not think – that it was wrong for anyone holding my personal views to be in an important position in the FCO, and he did not make any stupid jibes about me working for the Kremlin. I fear that kind of tolerance has disappeared from public life now – as indeed has the Tory party’s tolerance of the more broad-minded kind of Tory.

It was New Labour that was responsible for much of the change of culture. If you have read Murder in Samarkand, you will know that while Ambassador my dissent at the policy of obtaining intelligence through torture was entirely internal. I was trying to stop it through the correct Whitehall mechanisms, and all my communications on the subject were classified Top Secret. It was Blair and Straw who decided this internal dissent was unacceptable. I had neither leaked nor blown the whistle when they decided pre-emptively to fit me up with 18 major disciplinary charges.

By 2003 the Foreign and Commonwealth had transformed to a degree where it would not tolerate internal dissent. There is no serious civil service career open to a young radical today. The free education was destroyed long ago, also initiated by New Labour. Meantime, the last general election showed the horrifying unanimity of state and billionaire mainstream media in demonising even moderate social democratic thought.

I would be unlikely to become Rector of a University now either, as UK universities have moved from being centres of free speech to the precise opposite. I very seldom get to speak in universities at all nowadays. Student groups label me a “rape apologist” due to my support of Julian Assange, and University authorities label me an “anti-semite” due to my support of the Palestinians. I am excluded from the places I would most like to discuss my ideas.

I hope you will forgive the rather rambling thoughts that email inspired. It was not easy to dissent then. It is still harder now.

——————————————

Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

Choose subscription amount from dropdown box:

Recurring Donations



 

Alternatively:

Account name
MURRAY CJ
Account number 3 2 1 5 0 9 6 2
Sort code 6 0 – 4 0 – 0 5
IBAN GB98NWBK60400532150962
BIC NWBKGB2L
Bank address Natwest, PO Box 414, 38 Strand, London, WC2H 5JB

Subscriptions are still preferred to donations as I can’t run the blog without some certainty of future income, but I understand why some people prefer not to commit to that.


409 thoughts on “45 Years of Rebellion

1 2 3 4
  • Tim Leary

    Fascinating. You make me think and write. Thank you!

    Interestingly, on this far side of the Pond, the same change happened at around about the same time. It used to be quite possible and enjoyable to have political conversations with people who held different views from your own. And, it was during the Clinton regime that all of that began to change. Now of course, in America, you feel that if you disagree with anyone they are likely to pull out a gun and shoot you. Especially in Florida. 🙂

    It was during the Clinton years that this changed. On both sides really. The Grinchrich Republicans were incendiary in their political tactics. And the Clintons dissolved the old Left alliances in the Democratic Party and turned that into the only just marginally more evil alternative to the Republicans. Identity Politics grew out of the Clinton years, as they were really Republicans who ran on applying labels to themselves like Liberal or Progressive that simply did not apply, and attacking others by putting labels on them.

    Now both parties have become so entrenched in their own labels and their mudslinging that actual political conversation is impossible. And that is much to everyone’s loss, as a good political conversation over copious alcohol was a fun way to spent the evening. And you could actually learn from listening to other people, instead of just shouting into your own echo-chamber.

  • Mary

    The management of Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh has been outsourced by the City Council to an outfit called Underbelly.

    Confusion grows over Edinburgh’s Hogmanay ‘social curfew’
    Police say they cannot enforce event organiser’s plans to limit access
    28 Dec 2019
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/28/edinburgh-hogmanay-social-curfew-police

    They have the contract for these events:

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
    Edinburgh’s Christmas
    La Clique
    Edinburgh Fringe
    Underbelly Festival Southbank
    Christmas in Leicester Square

    http://www.underbelly.co.uk/about

    All sounds fascist.

    • Tom Welsh

      “The management of Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh has been outsourced by the City Council to an outfit called Underbelly”.

      And here was I thinking that Hogmanay celebrations rested safely in the hands of individual Scots citizens. They certainly were last time I spent Hogmanay in Rothesay; we got home just after 0400 feeling thoroughly exhilarated and refreshed.

      • J Galt

        Spent many a Hogmanay in Rothesay – proper Scottish Hogmanays – seeing in the Bells and first footing neighbours and friends with music and crack, not paying money to some shower of London based hooray henrys to stand in a public street of my capital city, most likely in the pissing rain!

  • David

    more fascism?, Observer piece from Maitlis about how the BBC is neutral, honestly, just they sometimes accidentally press the wrong button, accidentally have a backup plan-B VT ready to run should the blonde oaf error, have accidentally booked the required tape out of the library – days beforehand , butterfingers, really, really neutral.

    “So often people read conspiracy into a thing when it’s really a confluence of cock-ups and the wrong button being pressed at the wrong time, or the guest you wanted gets into the wrong taxi and doesn’t show up.”

    “wrong-button fascism” – that’s a new one Emily!

    • Dungroanin

      The Cenotaph ceremony is impossible to ‘cock up’ accidentally.

      ‘The service has changed little since it was first introduced in 1921, hymns are sung, prayers are said and a two minute silence is observed. Official wreaths are laid on the steps of The Cenotaph. The ceremony ends with a march past of war veterans; a poignant gesture of respect for their fallen comrades.’
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/remembrance/how/cenotaph.shtml

      It is broadcast live and repeats are from the same recording. It is impossible to splice in old footage unless done on purpose.

      BOZO is the Wizard of Oz, that the BBC handlers protected in their CONSPIRACY – Matlis is LYING – there has never ever been a cock-up in the Remembrance service broadcasting before.

      They haven’t shown the corrected ‘un-cocked up’ version – i can’t check as they have stopped allowing i-player to be watched without a license poll tax for ‘non-live’ streaming now.

    • Tom Welsh

      … accidentally erased from their Web site the interview with residents of Donbas which told, in perfectly clear terms, what happened to MH17.

      • Redsheepothefamily96

        I remember many years ago this female interviewing someone on BBC 4 about an issue involving pay. He, the interviewee asked her, “What salary are you on? to which she replied:
        £90,000
        and looked decidedly irked that the implication could/should be that everyone of her stature should be on a similar salary and could not, even for a moment understand that she was in a very privileged position.

        A presenter on a minority channel on a grossly inflated salary admittedly working for an organisation that doles out huge amounts to talentless individuals of whatever sex.

    • Tony

      James Rowley, head of the Secret Service, used a similar argument when asked to explain his organization’s systematic failure to protect President Kennedy in Dallas.

      The Secret Service failed to search buildings and ensure that windows were closed, failed to seal manholes and put no agents into the crowd that lined the route. It also intervened to ensure that police motorcyclists rode behind the president’s limousine thus helping to make it easier for the assassins.

      • lysias

        The Secret Service driver of the limousine in which JFK was riding in Dallas and who mysteriously slowed down after the first shots was a Protestant from Ulster who in his youth had belonged to the Orange Order.

        • Chris Young

          I hadn’t been aware that Kennedy wanted to veto Ulster having it’s own nuclear weapons as well as that of another country in the middle east….sorry I am unable to recall the name of that other country.

        • Tony

          Thank you for that.

          We will never know who all the plotters were:

          Johnson -definitely

          Hoover—yes. Extremely close to LBJ. Feared that JFK would not waive the compulsory retirement rule if he was re-elected.
          Rowley—yes. Close associate of LBJ and Hoover. His men could not really have acted that way without his approval as far as I can see.
          Dulles—probably
          George H.W. Bush–possibly
          Nelson Rockefeller—possibly.
          Malcolm Wallace—LBJ’s personal hitman. Definitely.

  • Willie

    The issue in all of this is that you Craig had a brain and independence of mind streak and people like you are dangerous.

    Vested interest and or interchangeably the establishment prefers the masses with lesser intellect and independence of mind.

    And that objective leads us inexorably to the controlled MSM and other aspects of control that we have today.

    Indeed, the intellectual rigour of lower income groups voting for a Brexit that will on all reasonable analysis reduce their living and working standards going forward is a point in fact.

    Sold an anti foreigner agenda by politicians like Rees Mogg, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnston and the elite interests that sit behind them, the lumpen fall then behind the flag and nation model of imperial greatness.

    With tights of movement restricted and social, environmental and employment protections loosened to make Britain great again, does anyone think the lot of the lower income groups will improve.

    But they had a vote, they had a choice and being informed wisely they made their choice.

    And that Craig is why people with a brain, an independent mind, and maybe a hankering for fairness and more widespread opportunity are dangerous to the vested interests of the establishment.

    Our glorious dead and or industrious poor came as no accident. They didn’t just walk into it because for many they chose it with their own ( assisted ) freewill.

    • Wazdo

      So true.

      My wife worked for many years in local Government in the “Vulnarable Adults”program. Time after time she witness women who had been severely beaten by their husbands return to their appalling situation even when offered a way out by the council. An independent life was offered to these women with a guarentee of safety and they still returned to their abuser.

      It defies common sense as does a working class voting for their avowed enemy!

  • Contrary

    It’s good to reflect on the past and how things have changed. It is a thing I have always found curious, that Craig’s radical views still allowed him to work within the system, and this satisfies this curiosity, thank you!

    On another note, there is a crowdfunder active for the population of Scotland to litigate against the uk government should it refuse the section 30 order request – it seems that the donations will only be taken after the target is reached, and if there is a need for litigation. Link for anyone interested:

    https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/the-scottish-people-vs-the-uk/

  • John Pretty

    This short piece has been a bit of an eye opener for me as I had no idea that schoolchildren were involved with the military in this way in this country. I had never heard of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) before this week.

    With respect though Craig, I don’t think the military establishment were going to be overly concerned about a spotty youth at a school in rural England shouting “troops out” at them from a window. 🙂

    The Northern Ireland conflict of the 1970s and 1980s is not something that I think people living outside of the islands of Great Britain and Ireland really understand. It was horrific! This is my potted understanding of it.

    Ireland was divided in 1921 according to the wishes of the populations of individual counties. The six counties with significant Protestant populations wished to remain a part of the United Kingdom, the other 26 (Catholic) counties wanted to break from the UK. So Ireland was divided.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_Ireland

    There had been civil rights marches in Northern Ireland (part of the Irish province of Ulster) since the 1960s as the minority Catholic population strongly felt they were oppressed by the majority Protestants. (Denied jobs and so forth.)

    Initially the British Army was brought in to protect the Catholics when things were turning violent, but ended up turning on the Catholics, most famously on Bloody Sunday in 1972, when the Parachute Regiment shot dead 14 unarmed civilians. After that the conflict escalated.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Sunday_(1972)

    The background to all this is as follows:

    The island of Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) was Protestant since the sixteenth century, while Ireland was Catholic. Attempts were made to convert the Catholics in Ireland to Protestantism, but these largely failed. In Northern Ireland, however a large population of Scottish Protestants settled.

    The Catholics in Ireland were not permitted to own land. This meant that the Catholic Irish were subjugated for centuries by aristocratic Protestant landlords of English and Scottish descent. This, not surprisingly, they deeply resented.

    In the nineteenth century Catholics from Ireland began to emigrate to North America and Great Britain. The floodgates really opened in the late 1840s when there was a famine in Ireland and many Irish men and women starved. Huge numbers of refugees from the famine fled to North America and Great Britain, especially to the ports. Large populations of Irish settled in Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool, London and Newcastle. In fact they came in such huge numbers that there were Irish refugees in probably every major city in England, Scotland and Wales.

    One thing I have never understood though is why these Irishmen and women were able to successfully integrate into England and Wales, but not in Scotland, which since that time has had a violent sectarian divide between the (Irish descended) Catholics and Protestants.This
    divide does not exist outside of Scotland.

    • Xavi

      Ireland was divided in 1921 “according to the wishes of the populations of individual counties.”

      No, there was a landslide all-Ireland vote three years earlier in favour of full 32 county independence. The British government ignored it and instead unilaterally divided Ireland in extra-democratic fashion, creating an ahistorical, explicitly sectarian Protestant supremacist statelet in the northeast. Those antidemocratic, bigoted roots of “Northern Ireland” are actually much better understood in the world beyond the island of Britain.

      • John Pretty

        Perhaps in your country Xavi. I don’t know where you are from.

        I think we are both correct in what we are saying. Ireland was in the end divided on county lines, but taken as a whole Ireland would certainly have wished to separate from the United Kingdom, yes.

        I am a Catholic of Irish-Scots descent on my mother’s side. I have no axe to grind.

        • Xavi

          It did vote overwhelmingly to end British rule. My point is that the anti-democratic nature of partition is never acknowledged in British schools or media.

          Northern Ireland’s creation was akin to Brussels declaring London a separate nation because most Londoners wanted to remain in the EU; and with an understanding that London’s Leave voters would be permanently discriminated against and subjugated by the authorities.

          How would that be represented in British schools and media?

          • John Pretty

            I’m not saying I approve of partition. I am just saying that this is what happened.

            I am not an expert on this issue, but since the GFA attempts have been made to accommodate both Protestants and Catholics (Loyalists and Republicans).

            Obviously Republicans wish to be united completely with the rest of Ireland, but Loyalists would feel disenfranchised by that. It’s not an easy issue to resolve.

            The Troubles in Northern Ireland dragged on for over a quarter of a century. I though the hell would never end and I’ve never visited Ireland. The GFA has been a remarkable success in my opinion.

          • Xavi

            You don’t need any expertise; but if you decide you’re going to explain it to others it helps to know the basics.

          • John Pretty

            lol, thank you Xavi …I think I can claim to “know the basics” as you put it.

            I am open to reasoned and intelligent debate on this issue. I certainly don’t claim to know it all by any means!

        • MBC

          John Pretty: Because Northern Irish Orangemen also emigrated to Scotland in the 19th century and set up Orange Lodges there. Orangeism is not actually native to Scotland. Anti-Catholicism certainly is, but since Catholics ceased to be much of a threat to the social and political order in Scotland, as in England, after 1688 and the expulsion of James VII and II, anti-Catholicism chilled down in Scotland in the 18th century. But with the arrival of large numbers of Orangemen along with Catholics in the 19th century, it started to revive again, but was concentrated in urban industrial areas. Meanwhile, native Scottish Catholicism, which has had a long and distinguished scholarly tradition, clung on as a minority position in certain parts of the Highlands. It too though, was opposed to Irish Catholicism which it thought severe and intolerant.

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          The 1921 Government of Ireland Act was adopted finally over A. V. Dicey’s opposition to any compromise with Irish nationalism after he led the destruction of Charles Stewart Parnell as a mouthpiece of the Clan Na Gael (forerunner of the IRA), accepted Irish nationalism as long as it didn’t include Parnell who soon died, supported Irish Unionism in the hope of stopping its nationalists, adopted referenda in the hope of killing Home Rule because of armed opposition in Ulster which Dicey encouraged, forced the passage of the Parliament Act to end the Lords veto, helped put off acceptance of it until the end of the Great War, and tried to stop it permanently because of the Easter Rising, etc.

          He was one big bastard.

    • Mary

      One of my brothers attended a state secondary boarding school in Dorset in the 1950s and his attendance at the CCF and the drills was compulsory. He did not do ‘national service’ as he became a medical student and went on to work in the NHS for 40 years.

      National Service was abolished in 1963 –
      Conscription in the United Kingdom has existed for two periods in modern times. The first was from 1916 to 1920, the second from 1939 to 1960, with the last conscripted soldiers leaving the service in 1963. Known as Military Service from 1916 to 1920, the system of conscription from 1939 to 1960 was called National Service, but between 1939 and 1948, it was often referred to as “war service” in documents relating to National Insurance and pension provision.

      • John Pretty

        That’s really interesting Mary. I’m wondering what age men/boys were conscripted?

        My dad was born in October 1942 and it is often said informally in my family that his was the first year not to be conscripted since the second world war.

      • remember kronstadt

        Yes, conscription was ended in 1960 and replaced by art colleges. Renamed de rigueur it produced a lot of music and dancing and compulsory sex.

    • lysias

      As the border was drawn, Northern Ireland included two counties, Fermanagh and Tyrone, with Catholic and nationalist majorities. Apparently the large Protestant minorities there counted for more than the Catholic majorities.

      • John Pretty

        Lysias, according to a book I have the “Atlas of irish History” by Sean Duffy, there was also a majority of Catholics in Armagh on the 1911 census.

        So it would appear that I was mistaken in my belief that partition was based on religious grounds.

        I am currently looking for exactly why the six counties were separated as I am unsure of the precise circumstances.

        • John Pretty

          from wikipedia (which I think is probably trustworthy on this):

          “Unionists were in a minority in Ireland as a whole, but in the northern province of Ulster they were a very large majority in County Antrim and County Down, small majorities in County Armagh and County Londonderry and a substantial minority in Ulster’s five other counties. The four counties named, along with County Fermanagh and County Tyrone, would later constitute Northern Ireland. Most of the remaining 26 counties which later became the Republic of Ireland were overwhelmingly majority-nationalist.”

          – If anyone can give me a sensible (non-emotional) rationale for why Co Fermanagh and Tyrone were included in the division of Ireland I would be grateful.

          • Athanasius

            Basically, it was considered that the four counties of protestant/unionist majority would not be big enough to form a sustainable entity, so two more were “conscripted” to make up the numbers.

    • John Pretty

      with thanks to Xavi and Lysias here for alerting me to this, only four of the the six counties of Northern Ireland had Unionist majorities. So my assertion as to the reason for the separation of those six counties was not correct.

      Northern Ireland was defined under the Government of Ireland Act of 1920.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_of_Ireland_Act_1920

      “The Act divided Ireland into two territories”

      “Northern Ireland as defined by the Act, amounting to six of the nine counties of Ulster, was seen as the maximum area within which Unionists could be expected to have a safe majority. This was in spite of the fact that counties Fermanagh and Tyrone had Catholic Nationalist majorities. “

      • helen love

        I think the borders were gerrymandered to create unionist majorities. Thats why the border is so wiggly.

        • Iain Stewart

          At the risk of boring readers with something I already mentioned on this subject a year or two ago, when my father taught at Queen’s University in Belfast in the 60s he had two votes, as a citizen and as an academic, which was another way of reinforcing the Protestant bias ‘democratically’. John Pretty’s analysis seems to be very naive, but perhaps his ongoing research will enlighten us further 🙂

          • John Pretty

            Iain, I make no claim to expertise in this matter. I simply stated my (okay, perhaps a little naive) understanding of the situation with regard to the six counties. I am very pleased to be corrected on this.

            I felt it was worth mentioning as I thought that some (not all) people from overseas might not understand Craig’s reference to the troops and perhaps I should have added that I would be pleased to receive clarification from those who considered themselves better informed. 🙂

        • Athanasius

          The border between NI and the Republic was not gerrymandered, at least not in they manner these things generally happen. After the treaty creating the Irish Free State, a border commission was formed to “tidy up” the border. This WAS an attempt to manipulate the treaty in favour of unionism and the commission actually tried to move parts of the Free State’s territory back into the North. The Free State wasn’t having that, so the lines were left where they lay on the maps. No territory changed hands. The border is so wiggly because it was made up of lines supposed to mark county boundaries. It was never intended they form an international border. Things just worked out that way.

    • Bob smith

      CCf exists in posh schools mainly but there are plenty of Sea Cadet, Air Training Corps and army cadet units across the country even in small towns.

    • Republicofscotland

      “One thing I have never understood though is why these Irishmen and women were able to successfully integrate into England and Wales, but not in Scotland, which since that time has had a violent sectarian divide between the (Irish descended) Catholics and Protestants.This
      divide does not exist outside of Scotland.”

      The most profound reason I can think of is schooling though non denominal schools are common now.

      If you send your children to different schools one a saint something and the other not, then you fan the flames of suspicion at an early age. Combine this with a small percentsge of the population who were taught religious hatred by their fathers and grandfathers, and so on and you have a recipe for religious intolerance.

      The Old Firm football teams dont help either, allowing offence material into their stadiums whilst 90 minute bigots spew foul and offence language across the pitch at their rivals.

      The British political party branch offices didn’t like the Offence Behaviour Football act, which made a dent in the sectarian actions of those at football matches, so they got together at Holyrood and repealed the law. Giving the bigots a free reign to spew their vile intolerance out at football matches and elsewhere.

      Divide and conquer a tactic of Perfidious Albion.

      • MBC

        No, it’s because the Orange Order was also imported into Scotland. Northern Irish emigration to Scotland in the 19th century came from both communities.

      • Hatuey

        You can disregard what RoS says about schools. History suggests the bigotry existed in Scotland before catholic schools. Let me know if you want to me to validate that. In actual fact, if you care to look into it, you will find that many catholic parents send their kids to catholic schools to avoid sectarian persecution.

        The real reason goes back further and relates to anti-Irish catholic racism at the heart of both the Scottish/pro-British establishment and amongst the wider society as a whole.

        Scotland hates to admit this. It’s an embarrassment. We are supposed to believe that Scotland is free of all such problems and that the population is progressive, left leaning, socialist, generous, etc. Scotland is one of the only major recipients of Irish immigrants that doesn’t have an Irish famine memorial and you will struggle to find any acknowledgement of the massive role played by Irish labourers in building Scotland’s infrastructure.

        How all this interfaces with football is quite interesting too. On the face of it, it’s a two sided tribal problem of the usual football rivalry type. That’s what they want you to believe. The truth is it’s really imbalanced with about 90% of the sectarian bigotry and violence coming from one side.

        As for the OBFA, it could have been a solution but instead of targeting sectarianism as it was supposed to, it was implemented with the goal of appearing to target both sides of the divide equally and evenly.

        The predictable result was vast police resources put into satisfying the requirement that they were being even handed and that meant they had to persecute the side that was most innocent when it came to sectarianism. There’s a really juicy irony in that, quite Orwellian on a certain level too.

        Anyway, nobody will ever admit what I’ve said above. They’ll hate it. They’ll hate me for saying it. That’s how it goes. The first step towards addressing this would require people to look in the mirror with a degree of honesty, but that isn’t something Scotland is willing to do.

        Some of us hoped the SNP would do something but they bottled it, again.

        • Republicofscotland

          “You can disregard what RoS says about schools. History suggests the bigotry existed in Scotland before catholic schools.”

          Actually my comment wasn’t a historical one, it was rather a more modern one as to why in some aspects sectarianism still has a place in Scottish society when it shouldn’t.

          As for the OBFA, I’m pretty sure I read a poll on Wings aimed at football fans, and the general population who thought it was a good idea. I’m not defending the SNP, but rather pointing out that no other party, or prior Scottish government even attempted to curtail sectarianism, and we know one of the reasons why.

          Of course there was also the Highland Famine around the same time as the Irish one in which the potato crop failed just like in Ireland. Many Scots died or emigrated abroad.

          Scotland does have memorial dedicated to both famines, if you’d have bothered to check, much of Europe also suffered from famine around the same time.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44495783

          • Hatuey

            The memorial you mentioned is a monument to Scotland fudging the issue. FYI, there is actually something that comes closer in Motherwell but it’s hardly a national monument.

            In other countries and cities, memorials to the Irish famine are given national monument status. They aren’t hidden away or sneaked into existence. I believe there’s one in Boston that’s about half of an acre in size. The NYC one is a major attraction.

            The thing you said about catholic schools sounded very much like the sort of victim blaming we find everywhere alongside racism, bigotry, and bigotry. I apologise most sincerely if that isn’t how you intended it to sound.

            Lol.

          • Republicofscotland

            Last point first, I’m by no means blaming Catholic schools for sectarianism in Scotland, I’m a strong believer in non denominational schools, teach all the children together, let them grow together as friends is my mantra.

            As for the memorial, it’s hardly hidden away situated in the best know part of Scotlands largest city Glasgow, close to where James Watt kicked off the industrial age with his eureka moment, a city where many Irish folk fleeing the famine came to.

            It says more about you, that you didn’t have a clue a memorial was there, choosing instead to jump in feet first and point the finger at Scotland.

      • John Pretty

        Thank you for your thoughts on this republicofscotland, but faith schools also exist in England and Wales. Generally, or at least when I was at school religious tolerance was promoted.

        I would agree with you about the football, but the same level of hatred does not to my knowledge exist between rival city football teams in England or Wales. I’m not sure if any of them were founded on faith lines as in Scotland.

        I think that the actions of the Orange Order in fomenting division might offer a more plausible explanation, but it might be something that requires more research. It’s an interesting question.

    • SA

      John
      A potted history through the eyes of wikepedia will not do in this complex debate. The very word famine should be reflected upon and researched.

      • John Pretty

        lol, fair enough SA, but I seem to have stimulated a lot of debate on the matter and that was partly my intention.

        I’ve also been corrected in my misperception regarding the six counties and I am very pleased about that.

    • Dungroanin

      JP – a few historical times missing in your narrative which may be of use.

      1. You have to go back to William the Conquerer and his Flemish mercenaries who got lots of Irish lands .

      2. The British Empire built on the back of tge East India Co, chartered in 1600, became owned by financiers and went to expansion mode in the 18th century…

      One of it’s CEO’s was one Arthur Welesly – who made his mark in India and started it’s widespread occupation, pillage and taxation for his banker masters.
      He was rewarded and further tasked to STOP Napoleon overturning the financiers control of the European Westphalian Nation States and the control of their public purses.

      Having done so he was rewarded with a Dukedom and given the title Wellington and in effect the country and built a house at 1 Buckingham Road….

      The tories – landed gentry of Ireland, non-native, never easily accepted the idea of Irish independence through the centuries and still don’t.

      3.The Financiers Empire building continued with various CEO’s, in Africa with Rhodes…all the way to today… the East India Co transmuting all the time, with all but the same established family ownership still intact.
      Brexit is their latest project – aimed also aganst the latest incarnation of Napoleonic European vision of freedom from the same oppressors.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Sunday Express headline this morning. “EU will lose Brexit trade deal fight.”. Not a negotiation then, a fight and THEY are going to lose! This needs to blare out from every newsstand in Scotland. These Mark Francoisesque nutters won’t stop ’till they’ve blown up the Channel tunnel and mined the approaches to Dover harbour.

    • Kim Sanders-Fisher

      Vivian O’Blivion – That front page piece is just the beginning of antagonizing the EU and preparing the UK to choke down a no deal Brexit at the end of 2020 with all the expected catastrophic ramifications. The Tories will continue to ramp up the vindictive EU punishment rhetoric so that the masses will accept that the barbaric consequences crashing out are no fault of Boris and his reckless cabal. Then there will be more cuts, wage freezes and austerity will be sold as necessary to rescue the UK economy after the damage done to us by the vengeful EU. This will bring protests that escalate into riots with Boris justifying Operation Yellow Hammer “emergency measures:” an excuse to arm more police officers and increased use of the army to subdue using violence.

      While the structure of Universal Credit is specifically designed to force people into debt and eviction this helps enforce slave labour conditions as people live in fear of a job loss. The jobs available will be poorly paid zero hours contract exploitation, no holidays, no benefits. EU citizens who cannot get their paperwork in order will join the illegal job market, but they will be so numerous that the situation is impractical to police. The Tories do not care about black market workers who are not paying taxes; they help to suppress wages and maintain a helpless, demoralized slave workforce so the profits keep rolling in.

      The NHS will be declared unaffordable under the current free access model and those who cannot afford costly health insurance will suffer and die. In the US if healthcare coverage comes as part of a job benefit package it is lost the instant you are fired without cause. This gags whistleblowers and forces all workers to accept onerous working conditions and long hours for poor pay. It will soften up the market for US companies to exploit the fast diminishing worker protections as the unions are crushed.

      The Tories will bring in US style “at will firing” laws after EU workers rights have been decimated post Brexit. The SPAD that Dominic Cummings had two armed police officers escort out of number 10 is what will become the norm here in England. I call it “the walk of shame.” This tactic is used to criminalize and demonize you while scaring and intimidating your friends and colleagues. I suffered this indignity as a whistleblower at Johns Hopkins in 2001. Staff I had worked alongside for five years refused all contact with me after that; unsupported and isolated I lost many friends. Even with union backing my case for reinstatement was crushed by that powerful hospital as unions have no clout in America.

      The checks and balances of ombudsman and scrutinizing bodies is already little more than a facade for rubber stamping negligence and abuse of power. There will be more incidents like Grenfell that exemplify this lack of oversight. Now fox Boris has moved into the number 10 hen house his gluttony will be unstoppable. Removal of Judicial Review, control of the appointment of justices, the rewriting of our Human Rights laws will see all of our most basic rights and freedoms eviscerated within as little as two years. With the untrammeled power of a dictator, Boris Johnson will not be blocked from proroguing parliament as, when, and for as long as he pleases in future.

      The Fixed Term Parliament Act will be abolished as if any meaningful election will ever be possible again. Millions will be disenfranchised through the introduction of voter ID and the constituency boundaries will be gerrymandered to suit the Tory pretence that they rule the entire country with a mandate of “the people.” This last rigged election was just a cosmetic PR stunt to seize greater power over what in future will become a token parliament. Newly elected Tories have sworn allegiance to Boris’s agenda without debate; we already know he will not tolerate rebellion, so we are well and truly entering a frightening era of dictatorship.

      Once so called “strong men” like Boris seize power and entrench their stranglehold over the judiciary, the media and the military it takes decades to remove them. Outsourced handling of the postal votes was highly suspicious and there were far too many other unexplained issues for us to compliantly accept this incomprehensible General Election result. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it is not a giraffe! We urgently need to fully investigate the numerous potentially fraudulent anomalies before Boris’s astounding “landslide victory” can be accepted as legitimate. If you share my concerns go to the Discussion Forum on Election Aftermath.

      • Republicofscotland

        “EU citizens who cannot get their paperwork in order will join the illegal job market, but they will be so numerous that the situation is impractical to police. ”

        No so much numerous as leaving the UK, already 2,500 academic have left Scotland due to Brexit. More will leave due to the convoluted settled status rules and regulations, from all walks of life including the NHS.

        Brexit is self-harming on a grand scale, Walter Lippmann, was one of the first to mention the manufacturing of consent, it worked on a huge scale even mining towns destroyed by Thatcher voted Tory this time.

        There’s no use looking to regulatory bodies for help they were captured a long time ago, a recent example of that is the head of the FCA, is now the head of the Bank of England, or will be soon.

        Of course Alan Greenspans (Once head of the Federal Reserve) notorious memo, that states, keep the populous in job insecurity and you keep them compliant, is already in action in the UK, removing EU protections will, only see this exacerbated.

        I also expect in the not too distant future of the UK outside the EU to see (especially after a US trade deal) Powells Memorandum see business interests as more important than democracy.

        Don’t expect Johnson to reflect piblic interests now he’s in power, his duty is to those who financed him to get there in the first place. His political advisors told him what was best to say to become elected as PM, its very unlikely he’ll follow through on promises, as we already know he’s a liar.

        It seems now that lying to the public on a grand scale has been recognised and accepted by the electorate, and that it has now become part of the process.

        Due to our apathy on the subject we can expect the lies and promises to just keep getting bigger, as the UK becomes a nation of more financialisation of the economy and offshoring, and less manufacturing.

        • Kim Sanders-Fisher

          Republicofscotland – “Brexit is self-harming on a grand scale, Walter Lippmann, was one of the first to mention the manufacturing of consent, it worked on a huge scale even mining towns destroyed by Thatcher voted Tory this time.”

          I agree that Brexit is self-harming on a grand scale. But, the basic illusion of consent was, and still is, being manufactured by the BBC and the compliant right wing media. I sincerely doubt that die hard Labor Party supporters voted Tory in such huge numbers. Numerous massive pro Corbyn rallies up and down the country do not validate the demonization of this honorable man in the press. As much as it was discreetly hidden from us, Boris really was vilified where ever he went. Brexit cannot have been so important that those risking destitution on Universal Credit voted to become homeless and have their kids starve!

          Look at Craig’s 11th of December post: “The Largest Vote Swings in British General Election History Censored Out by the BBC and Mainstream Media.” The percentage swings become even more incredulous when you compare the swings highlighted in this pre-election post with the results touted on election night as I have done in an analysis on the Election Aftermath. There has to come a point where you stop listening to the propaganda hype and realize the alleged landslide victory was well and truly rigged. The square peg smacked into round hole only works when you suspend all semblance of logic.

          We must demand reliable independent verification to confirm or dismiss the result. Outsourcing absolute control over all of our vote handling to a private subsidiary of an Oil and Gas Corporation, with clear conflict of interest connections to a Tory MP, should have been enough to arouse valid suspicions. There comes a point where reliance on trust breaches the boundaries of insane gullibility! Transparency is vital if we are to restore faith in our democracy. The UK electoral system should be able to withstand the public scrutiny of a genuinely robust challenge.

          • Republicofscotland

            Of course the state broadcaster and the billionaire neoliberal media in general pushed the Tory mantra. They also didn’t want to see a socialist government delivering more
            democracy to the people, via Corbyn and his renationalisation policies.

            That’s why Corbyn had to be constantly put down via the media, God forbid Corbyn came to power and held the multi nationals to account on taxes etc, is probably a view they held.

            However there’s no getting away from Johnsons huge majority in the House of Commons. Those who leant their votes to Johnson did so on the back of Brexit and its fulfilment. The media as you say, and a whole host of politicians manufactured consent from the public that Brexit was best, and that Johnson was a far better prospect as PM than Corbyn.

            The precarious proletariat were soundly duped this time into thinking Brexit will give them a better standard of living it won’t.

          • Laguerre

            Mary

            So, Glasman ran a campaign against Corbyn. That’s not all Jews. It’s pretty well known that many Jews have moved to the right, and forgotten their immigrant origins, the expostulations of the orthodox chief rabbi being one of them. Here no different.

            The traditional activity is to attach yourself to power, as seen in the Ottoman empire, and benefit from it.

    • David

      @V’O’B

      These… nutters won’t stop ’till they’ve blown up the Channel tunnel

      early design ideas for the Chunnel did feature a small tactical nuke of last resort, embedded by the plucky Brits into the tunnel floor, in case of foreign invasions….

      …I’m sure that the Europeans will similarly have embedded a petit engin du force de frappe au cas où Airstrip One starts to send the tanks south (do we have any tanks left?) as part of the trade negotiations…

      • Laguerre

        The first plans for the tunnel go back to Napoleonic times, and, even if practical, were all scotched by the military for reasons of security until Thatcher’s time, and even then it was quite an issue, if I remember correctly. I remember one plan from 1911, where the generals insisted on artillery stationed at the tunnel mouth to keep out an invasion from the evil continentals, especially the French, although we were allies with them at the time. As far as I know the French are not at all bothered about being invaded by the British. What could the British do worse than what happened to the Burghers of Calais, with their mini-army of less than 80,000 including office and support workers?

        • Tom Welsh

          “As far as I know the French are not at all bothered about being invaded by the British”.

          Last time that happened they drove out what Ebglish soldiers they did not slaughter. British pupils get taught about Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers; but they don’t really get taught that England comprehensively lost the war. (And, in so doing, arguably helped to create the French nation by giving the French something to unite against).

  • Magic Robot

    I agree with Mr. Murray.
    Universities and colleges, of all places, have become (probably since the early 90’s) centres of dogma and belief, rather than truth and reason.
    What has happened to their tradition of Natural Philosophy?

  • Republicofscotland

    First we had Colin Weir who donated £1 million to the indy cause and help save Partick Thistle FC, die very recently. Now we have the great Alisdair Gray — who penned the likes of Larnark, who was also a indy stalwart — die as well very recently too.

    It’s been touted that a minute’s silence at the AUOB rally on the 11th of January for both would be a good way of reminding us of their desire for an independent Scotland.

  • Goose

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/29/labour-must-believe-in-our-country-to-stop-it-being-torn-apart

    On the subject of intolerance, this piece(link above) that appeared today by Labour MP Pat McFadden makes for depressing reading and encapsulates everything that’s wrong with sections of the PLP and what Corbyn was up against. McFadden misrepresents Corbyn’s positions… on virtually everything, and is himself basically an unabashed unquestioning neocon draped in a Union flag.

    I’ve criticized Corbyn for not taking on the likes of McFadden and other PLP Blairites. The fact Corbyn shied away from confrontation and offered no rebuttal to the smears and constant undermining. I think Corbyn and his communications chief Seumas Milne basically just thought they could ignore the press and sniping from the PLP. But without party discipline and forceful rebuttal there was little hope.

  • Glasshopper

    Universities have sleep-walked into a very narrow worldview via over-zealous political correctness. Not only is it controversial to say that you support the Palestinians, but it’s even more taboo to claim that women don’t have penises.

    We are living in an increasingly topsy turvey world of lunacy, and those upholding these “values” brook no dissent!

    • Dave

      Under the guise of “hate crime” legislation the 1% have made everything you say a real or perceived crime and provides the ‘legal legitimacy’ to shout you down. This isn’t to protect the weak, its to allow the 1% to censor you for attacking their privilege under the pretence of protecting the weak. For example its an offence to criticise a range of “protected characteristics”, ignoring the fact the 1% (the authors of the legislation) are waging war on humanity!

    • Republicofscotland

      Follow the money, puberty blocker manufacturers have donated a lot of cash to political parties. Universities receive private funding and are attended by the children of the elite or the 1% as you put it.

      We don’t set the agenda, we’re made to follow it through laws. Laws that can be influenced by lobbying, and donations from multi-nationals.

  • Brianfujisan

    Just Like All of the MSM.. Intelligence ( MI6 ect ) most likely have infiltrated all our Universities.. I mean Of course they Do..

    They have Many Ways
    Of Keeping the People Down
    Eyes and Ears Watching.

    • Brianfujisan

      I think I’ll Change That wee Haiku..Sorry

      They have Many Ways
      Eyes Watching, Ears Listening
      Keep the People Down

      Aye.. that’s Much better

    • David

      yes, I estimate about 4% penetration, of most institutions, of actual humint types. there are a lot more war-typists on all sides

      I was tracking antagonistic spooky squirrel activity on the StudentRoom.co.uk, where many British students hang-out looking where to study, excellent website, has similar tag-teams to those present here on CM.org.uk on sensitive subjects. Plus all the UCAS HQ staff seem to be in Cheltenham, as a complete coincidence. I suppose there are a lot of spouses of all types hanging around.

      Oh and G/CCHQ are widely advertising inside British universities at present, which isn’t nescessarily a bad thing, as a MIC job is a job.

      but yes, Eyes Watching, Ears Listening everything is recorded forever, proven-partial agencies have more power, more data than ever before in human history, and they are just starting to see what they can achieve with this power & influence. explains a lot of our current messes.

    • Laguerre

      “Intelligence ( MI6 ect ) most likely have infiltrated all our Universities”? Yes, I should think they have, in terms of recruitment. The old tradition of Oxbridge tutors having a quiet word with suitable students doesn’t work any more – there’s a much higher proportion of foreign students now, and British students don’t have the same belief in the honour of serving the British state. They’ve been forced to widen their catchment, including public advertisement, as a consequence. I myself was once interviewed, when young, by an anonymous committee in an anonymous building off Oxford St. Fortunately it didn’t lead anywhere.

      Controlling what is said in British universities, though, I doubt. Apart from the fact that university teachers are no longer as left-wing as they were in the past, though still reputed to be, the major factor controlling what university teachers say, is that they no longer have tenure. They can be sacked if they get out of line. Sacking for political reasons hasn’t happened yet overtly, unlike the US, but of course it could do.

      • Brianfujisan

        David And Laguerre

        I think the way things are Going..I worry about alternative sites like Craig’s

        That the UK public allows torturing of truth tellers like Julian…
        Then also there’s the UK public Aiding the Genocide Yemen – And Palestine
        And Pushing for WWIII.. in which we ALL Die

        • Laguerre

          The problem is not the secret intelligence services, which seem to me feeble, if they have to recruit publicly, but the public propaganda, which has convinced people to vote for a government which will in no way represent their interests.

          • Laguerre

            SA

            “And why would they recruit publicly when they are a secret service?”

            I think the word secret crept in when it was not appropriate. The Intelligence services do recruit publicly these days, not only GCHQ.

            I’m sure they do dominate the media narrative, but I’m not sure it’s the intelligence services any longer. Government have specialised organisations these days to direct the media narrative, like the Integrity Initiative.

    • Mary

      Bless them and their Dad.

      We are very sorry about what was done. See my link above from Norman Finkekstein @21.03

          • Shatnersrug

            Here’s one for you Mary, last night there was a host of antisemitism graffiti sprayed in north London, the information on the news has failed to mention that all the graffiti happened along what is basically one road (haverstock hill becoming northend road up though Golders Green and to the M1)

            So chances are all the graffiti was carried out by one individual/gang on their way out of London from Camden Town.

            Now take it from a local, there are literally tonnes of street cameras on that stretch of road – especially up through Hampstead Heath.

            Now TFL kindly give internet access to all the street cams in London, interestingly enough that stretch and that stretch alone is suddenly not available

            https://www.tfljamcams.net/

            I’ve taken a screen shot just for the record.

            File that one under weird coincidence/mistake – awful lot of that going around atm I hear.

          • N_

            @Shatnersrug – The South Hampstead synagogue is guarded around the clock too. What were the guards doing – playing Yahtzee? Interesting touch, the way the digits were written – two different nines. Oh how professional. How much of that street is patrolled by the Shomrim?

            It won’t surprise me if Johnson turns up on the scene tomorrow.

            No journalist or even tweet bore who wants a career or to stay in one will dare step out of line. Which is part of the point.

            We can expect more, including with men caught on video, as in Stockholm.

            Meanwhile here is a headline from the Daily Heil (as it appeared at Google News, taken from the “title” tag in the Heil’s HTML): “Black man pleads not guilty to stabbing five people at Hanukkah party with machete.”

  • Jack

    Oh here is a whistleblower that the media like and shield,

    Whistleblower on Ukraine/Trump/Impeachment Outed: He’s an CIA, Anti-Trump Democrat Connected to spreading disinformation that Trump fired Comey because Putin controlled him to do it!
    https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/33896-whistleblower-outed-he-s-an-anti-trump-democrat-connected-to-forgotten-collusion-of-2016

    A big nothingburger through and through on so called Ukraine/Trump/Impeachment brouhaha.
    Compare this “whistleblower” to Snowden, Assange.

    • Tatyana

      thanks for the link, Jack.
      I always believed that the names that speak-for-themselves, this is an artistic tool in literature. But look what surprises life itself brings!
      CIAramella 🙂
      Chalupa!!! OMG, this sound for the russian ear !!! 🙂
      Klinton is the same indecent.
      Chalupa and Klinton make up the perfect couple 🙂

    • Tatyana

      btw, the ukrainian who ruined Paul Manafort is now member of the supervisory board of the Ukrainian Railways. Amazing career for a journalist, though no wonder for a Stanford graduate, huh? More amazing is his fellow journalist, another Stanford graduate, who became deputy General Director of the ‘Ukrainian Defense Industry’.

      alas, I’ve chosen the wrong university, I would also like to head some industry in which I don’t understand a damn thing 🙂

    • Dungroanin

      The identity and background of Ciaramelli has been known for many months.
      https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2019/10/30/whistleblower_exposed_close_to_biden_brennan_dnc_oppo_researcher_120996.html

      So has the fact that he is NOT a WHISTLEBLOWER as the phonecall he supposedly revealed is not part of his purview to blow a whistle on it is NOT an Intelligence matter.
      https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/12/httpsenwikipediaorgwikiintelligence_community_whistleblower_protection_act.html
      & here
      https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/11/is-whistleblower-aid-a-charity-fraud-by-larry-c-johnson.html

      Infact Ciaramellas whole ‘career’ has been looked at to show that he is doing the bidding of his CIA bosses.

      Ukrainegate is a blowback not to Trump but the sainted Obama – who killed more, deported more etc and the Maidan coup plotters – it is that potus who should have been impeached for these very real international humanitarian crimes.
      https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/ukraine-trump-biden-real-story-behind-ukrainegate?

      Tick tick tick …

      • George McI

        “the sainted Obama”

        That got me thinking. Obama was the ultimate “politically correct” president and is therefore beyond all criticism and even comment. As a result, he comes across as a complete blank – almost an android. Even GW Bush had an actual personality – a shit one admittedly – but you’d remember it.

          • George McI

            The big issue with Obama is that he represents the most radical manoeuvre ever …in terms of presentation – which, in the end, is what it’s all about. A “black” president? The very idea would have been absolute blasphemy only a few decades before. But that’s as far as it went. Oh – and it got his missus the chance to write an uplifting feel good tome about becoming all you can become and not being held back in becoming this beautiful person who can spread the beauty of becoming to all the other becoming beauties. Unless perhaps I have misread it? Perhaps it’s an essay in Heideggerian ontology? Which, granted, may be the same thing anyway.

      • Tatyana

        I think it began much earlier in Ukraine than Obama. Many countries have their interest. That’s what in our news:

        “In December 2014, to the government of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, three foreigners were appointed ministers, violating the current legislation, ”
        **2014-2016, ukrainian minister of Finance was Natalie Ann Jaresko (USA), co-founder and executive director of Horizon Capital. Atlantic Council member since 2017, monitors something about finance in Puerto-Rico.
        Aivaras Abromavičius (Lithuania) was invited to head the Ministry of Economics and Trade. He is co-owner of East Capital (Sweden) and invests into agricultural company of his ukrainian wife..
        Ministry of Healthcare, Alexandr Kvitashvili, georgian, East-West institute. Did nothing in his position and Ukrainian Parliament tried to fire him 4 times! 🙂 **

        “2016 … the Poles headed “Ukrainian Railways” and “Ukrainian Auto-roads”. Plus, the US citizen Igor Smelyansky was appointed the general director of “Ukrainian Post”.

        “… Neftegaz Ukrainy (the company’s revenues are at the level of ten billion dollars a year, with state budget revenues of about 40 billion), it is completely controlled by the West.
        Its operations manager (Andrey Kobolev) was supplemented by the composition of the supervisory board: Claire Spottyswood (head of the council, Great Britain), Bruno Lescua (France), Amos Hochstein (USA), Stephen Hayes (Canada). The real curator of the company is rumored to be Amos Hochstein.
        It was funny to watch Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman’s attempts to fire Kobolev in the spring.
        Yes, the Ukrainian government is the founder of Neftegaz, yes, 100 percent of the company’s shares are in state ownership. But the state does not manage it in any way.”

  • glenn_pt

    Private Eye (issue 1509, 15-28/Nov, page 37) reports on Hong Kong students being prevented from protesting China’s treatment of their home country while in Lancaster University. Hong Kong students (at £40K/year for foreigners) are outnumbered by their Chinese counterparts 10-1, so it wouldn’t do to annoy China. After all, the CSSA (Chinese Students and Scholars Association) is a nationwide group, and could take their business elsewhere.

    Universities have the bottom line to think about these days. Freedom of speech is way down the list in today’s educational priorities of how the world works. Or maybe they are right – this is how the world works now, so the sooner people wise up (from students onwards) the better for them all round.

  • Erasmus Mustang

    Rebecca Long-Bailey wants to be leader of the Labour Party.
    Has Labour learned nothing?

    • Brian c

      Be more sceptical of what centrist pundits feed you Erasmus. Reflect for a second on the level of support the LibDems and ChangeUK attracted.

      • Mary

        Emily Thornberry, aka Lady Nugee, was selling her wares on an ITV breakfast programme this morning. The questioning was fairly hostile from the male presenter, Sean Fletcher, who was formerly a Sky sports reporter. They attempted to make her condemn Corbyn but failed. They also raised the question of anti-Semitism. Her membership of Labour Friends of Israel was not mentioned however.

    • Dungroanin

      Insta flak as soon as she made her bid to launch!

      Mail & Groaniad & twaterratti all instep to knock her down before she gets airborne.

      Lol get the chickencoup 3 in BEFORE she is even elected!

      By joce I think she’s got IT!

    • nevermind

      Can you explain your ire? E.mustang. cause if you cant you are no better than the scoundrels who falsely attacked JC for near enough 3 years.
      She is a very capable woman and you unreasoned slurs are misplaced here.

  • N_

    How things are changing in Britain after the 2019 general election, example no. 703:

    The Times view on Bryan Thwaites’s bequest: Teaching Timidity
    A generous bequest to establish scholarships for poor white boys at leading public schools has been spurned for no good reason. The decision will cement disadvantage
    .”

    Imagine offering to donate money to anything, let alone to a filthy institution such as Winchester College, and saying you only want white people to benefit from it. But which editorial writer or columnist at any major British newspaper will call this racist crap out for what it is?

    • SA

      It is amazing that the Times thinks that discrimination positively for ‘poor white boys’ poor boys of other ethnic origin need not apply, is not discriminatory. It is the sort of thing Trump comes up with all the time.

      • Laguerre

        Thwaites’s argument was that the University of Cambridge had accepted the offer of scholarships reserved for black students, so something had to be done for poor, disadvantaged, white students, his own experience. There’s something in his argument. Poor white boys are doing badly in the present world. But he oriented his offer poorly. Either he should have made his offer to Cambridge, in direct relationship to the black scholarships he’s complaining about. Or he should have deleted the white condition. Winchester, where I knew one of the teachers, is a pretty white school. It is not obvious that choices would have gone the wrong way.

        According to the report of the accident (see Mary below), he still lives in Winchester, while professor in Southampton. A poor boy made rich and become Tory. That explains why he made the choices he did. A typical Thatcherite.

    • giyane

      N_

      Did you find your morning Tory wind-up energising?
      One a day keeps Corbyn away.
      After Maggie did it for so many years her senior aides escorted her off the premises in a straightjacket.
      That must be why Johnson sacked all the sensible members of his party as soon as his feet were under the table. If any Tories show any signs of growing any brains, Cummings will weed them out the same way.

      Heil Hitler!

      • N_

        Cummings is probably behind this story. I couldn’t find much on Bryan Thwaites, but he has been involved in British mathematics at a strategic level.

        Next might be “It’s All Right to be White”, or “It’s OK to be white”. If they go the “OK” route they could flash the “OK” (or “WP”) hand signal too. Or they could use something new. The publication in major media of photos of “It’s OK to be White” stickers sitting peacefully on telegraph posts etc. (no scrawling, no criminal damage, no use of red, no apparent anger, a non-serif font) was clever. The story ran for only a short while but it had a “we will be back” feel about it. In October 2018 an “It’s OK to be white” motion, proposed by Pauline Hanson, almost won in the Australian Senate. It was supported by most government senators and lost by 31 votes to 28. And then…the senators who supported it said they’d only voted for it by accident, because of an “administrative error”, and in a subsequent vote it was defeated unanimously! Clever propaganda indeed.

        • Mary

          He failed to stop when he hit and injured a pensioner on a crossing in Winchester. The pensioner died two months later. No charges were brought against Thwaites.

          Thwaites is 96. Latterly Professor of Theoretical Mechanics at Southampton Univ. Throughout the links I found, he was always warning about the shortage of maths teachers and the decline in the subject.

          His son, Jacoby, married and later divorced the daughter of Patrick Jenkin who was one of Thatcher’s ministers and later, one of Heath’s. Patrick Jenkin’s son Bernard, is currently a Tory MP.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The Australian bush fire crisis is just a legacy of British imperialism, treating a distant part of the world as a prison colony where your rejects are treated badly and threatened with worse, a place it can use to help solve new problems it has, and promises to do better if it just cooperates,

  • Jimmeh

    The best of the season to you, Craig!

    At the school I went to, the Combined Cadet Force was non-optional. I never broke down and re-assembled .303s, but I did fire .22s in the shooting range (and I still enjoy target shooting). I was graded a First Class Shot (just below Marksman).

    The CCF at that school had a signals outfit, an air cadet outfit, and a navy outfit. The signals cadets were the brightest ones; they learned electronics and morse code. The air cadets had access to a flight simulator (yes!). The infantry cadets were the thick ones – and many of them progressed to officer positions in the Army.

    Me, I already knew at 13 that I was a (sort of) pacifist; so I joined the Quartermaster’s Stores. We filched ship’s biscuits and chocolate, from the rations (the ship’s biscuits were pretty horrible – we just munched them, but I think you’re supposed to use them to make porridge). The chocolate was Hershey bars that were long past their sell-by date. As a quartermaster, I didn’t have to learn to fight. But I’m sorry that I didn’t opt for the signals regiment. When we went on manouevers on Salisbury Plain, the quartermasters were the cooks. We made breakfast for the troops; 20 fried eggs at once, in a huge pan.

    The IRA once raided the armoury; they went off with a large collection of WW1-vintage rifles. The police got involved (of course), and subsequently security was much improved. All of the equipment that was issued was WW1 surplus – no modern weapons. I think the .303s were martini-action Lee Enfields – pretty lethal. The .22s were Winchester action, and suitable only for shooting squirrels and pigeons.

    There was a parade ground at this school; we had to learn close-order drill. The parade ground had a naval gun in it. It was just for show; there was no artillery outfit, thank $DEITY. Imagine letting a bunch of teenage schoolboys loose with a 12-pounder!

    My understanding is that the artillery are the brightest units in any armed forces. Napoleon was trained as an artillery officer. Wellington admired the speed with which Napoleon was able to move his guns around. Generals tend to respect one-another; no hatred. Your anecdote about Nick Soames might be a case in point (although neither of you was a general).

    I *still* haven’t got a copy of Murder In Samarkand; I suspect it’s your most interesting book. I’m afraid I’m still stuck in the middle of Sikunder Burnes; I found it quite heavy going. The Catholic Orangemen Of Togo is hilarious, and very easy reading.

      • Kempe

        They didn’t get very far though, their van was so overloaded it couldn’t do more than 20 mph. It was soon stopped and the weapons recovered. Perpetrators got 8 years apiece,

      • Jimmeh

        I didn’t know they got a mortar and bren guns. Brens were pretty serious weaponry. Rather low rate of fire, and the magazines consisted of clips; but they fired large-calibre bullets. They were heavy, and needed a two-man team. Not ideal for attacks on funeral corteges and army posts.

        I had no idea there was a mortar in the armoury. What the hell was a school doing storing serviceable artillery pieces? Well, I suppose it was used for firing flash-bangs and smoke. I doubt that it came with high-explosive shells. But still! Surely smoke cannisters would have done the job?

        There was a flamethrower in the quartermaster’s stores. This was a real weapon – not one of those things you use in the garden for torching weeds. As far as I know it never left the quartermaster’s custody; I don’t think the IRA got it (they raided the armoury, not the quartermaster’s stores). And I don’t believe it was ever used on training manouevres. So it was just a really dangerous gadget that schoolboys should never have had access to. And completely unnecessary, even if you sympathise with the purposes of a cadet force – I mean, the school had no bunkers of fortified positions. Flamethrowers are for assaulting dug-in defenses.

    • N_

      Ehud Sheleg also donated (or acted as a conduit for the provision of money) to Boris Johnson’s “Mayor’s Fund for London” when Johnson was London mayor. How long will it be until calling for boycott-divestment-sanctions against Israel is not only made unlawful for state-funded bodies as promised in theTory manifesto but is also criminalised full stop, for everyone, as “racist” or even “terrorist”?

      • N_

        In other Israeli-British news, a 19-year-old British woman alleged that she was gang-raped by 12 Israeli men and boys in a hotel in Cyprus. Under duress, she withdrew her allegation and the Israelis flew back to occupied Palestine, where they filmed themselves celebrating with champagne and chanting “the Brit is a whore”. She was then prosecuted for making a false allegation, has been found guilty, and faces a possible prison sentence. What a shame the alleged attackers weren’t courageous enough to be cross-examined as witnesses for the prosecution, so that “justice” could properly be seen to be done in the Cypriot system against the alleged maker of a since-retracted statement! So…do we think British foreign secretary Dominic Raab and his friend the British prime minister Boris Johnson will really help this woman, beyond going through the motions?

        The case against the student hinged on a statement retracting her original accusation that she signed while alone in the police station and without a lawyer, following questioning by detectives that was not recorded. She said in court that police forced her to change her story, telling the judge she was ‘scared for my life’.

        The ruling by Michalis Papathanasiou at Famagusta’s district court in Paralimni was immediately and strongly condemned by the defence team and rights groups. They claimed the trial was full of legal irregularities that called the verdict into question and suggested a desire to protect relations with Israel may have influenced the process.” (emphasis added)

        “A desire to protect relations with Israel”, huh? That sounds like the same reason that the billionarire “with unclear source of wealth” Roman Abramovich, after being declared undesirable in Britain carrying his Russian passport, had the red carpet rolled out for him as soon as arrived on his Israeli one, because “Israelis don’t need visas”.

        • N_

          There is a petition calling for all charges against the British woman to be dropped.

          The Israeli males are said to have filmed the rape, and the court is said to have refused to admit the video evidence.

          It is further said that the statement the British woman supposedly made retracting her original accusation was faked.

          The mayor of Ayia Napa wrote on a CIA website called “Facebook” that the woman should be punished for damaging the town’s reputation. Hmm. No flies on you, mate!

          One might suppose that financial threats were received between the time when the woman’s allegation was logged and the time when, probably only a few hours later, after she had been made to fear for her life, these so-called “men” were allowed to dance their way on to a flight back to occupied Palestine.

          • Laguerre

            I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that one of the Israeli teenagers family names is Netanyahu or something similar. Cyprus is very close to Israel these days, for the oil interest. It wouldn’t do for one of the scions to be caught doing wrong, although Israeli tourists are known for their abominable behaviour.

          • Giyane

            Laguerre

            Did you mean ” israeli terrorists ” ?
            The followers of Shimon Elliott Boogie Woogie who is enjoying his new identity after being rescued by Turkish and us forces recently?

          • N_

            For some examples of how the case has been talked about in the Israeli press, click here for a truly disgusting read. And those articles on the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung’s website are NOT a parody!

            Note in particular the use of the word “shiksa”. As soon as I heard about the alleged rapists chanting “The Brit is a whore” at Tel Aviv airport (there is supposed to be film of them chanting this but I haven’t seen it), I wondered whether the word “shiksa” was used.

        • N_

          The “judge” in this case, Michalis Papathanasiou, seems to be a right character who is seriously “asking” for it. He repeatedly declared during the “trial” that he wasn’t going to consider whether or not the British woman was raped. Did it escape his understanding that if she was raped than she couldn’t have been lying when she said she was raped and therefore she would be innocent? He is doubtless pooing his boxer shorts at the thought of receiving an early morning knock, or being financially ruined, or getting a bullet through the post, but still. Couldn’t he sign off sick?

        • Ros Thorpe

          That case is very disturbing. I hope it goes to the European court and that those responsible get what they deserve

        • Mary

          Mr Raab’s workload increases. He hasn’t yet achieved any justice for Harry Dunn’s parents in getting Anne Sacoolas extradited. There is no chance of bringing the Israeli males to justice either. The 12 concerned are well away and embedded back in Israel. The Israeli consul in Nicosia has run rings about the British.

          This Is from a Sky News report in July.

          ‘They (Israel’s Foreign Ministry) added: “The Israeli consul in Nicosia, Yossi Wurmbrand, is following developments and is in contact with the detainees.
          “Their families have been updated.”
          The woman is undergoing medical checks, according to the Times Of Israel.’

          https://news.sky.com/story/ayia-napa-twelve-detained-in-cyprus-over-alleged-gang-rape-of-british-woman-11765769

          ‘Cyprus became a British protectorate in 1912; by 1922, it was a crown colony. It gained independence in 1960, on the proviso that Britain maintained its military territories. Today, the two UK Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) occupy nearly three per cent of Cyprus.1 May 2017’

          Now divided – ‘The people of Cyprus are broadly divided into two main ethnic communities, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, who share many cultural traits but maintain distinct identities based on ethnicity, religion, language, and close ties with their respective motherlands.’

          The UN maintain the peace and operate the barriers and checkpoints. They give a cheery wave as you go through as a tourist. Don’t know what it’s like for the locals.

          • N_

            To add to the background: “Cyprus” is in the EU, but that means the Republic of Cyprus, which only controls the south side of the green line. Many have settled in the North – where there is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus – from Turkey and do not qualify for EU passports however long they may have lived on the island. International mail to the North has to go through Turkey. Students of Israeli-Cypriot relations may like to read about the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base explosion of 2011, which connects to the subsequent near-collapse of the economy which was, as economic collapses tend to be, all right for some. As well as providing R&R for soon-to-be and recently demobbed Zionazi soldiers, Cyprus is also where many Jews from Occupied Palestine go to get married if they don’t want to pay and listen to rabbis. Israel has no civil marriage (see if anyone can guess why) but it recognises civil marriages conducted in other countries.

  • John Pretty

    I’m not connecting this comment to the above, but I am highlighting the following comments some have made about Brexit above:

    “I agree that Brexit is self-harming on a grand scale. But, the basic illusion of consent was, and still is, being manufactured by the BBC and the compliant right wing media.” (Kim Sander-Fisher)

    “Of course the state broadcaster [you mean the BBC] and the billionaire neoliberal media in general pushed the Tory mantra” (“republicofscotland”)

    – This is fine, but how do you (and others) then explain the pro-Brexit stance of George Galloway?

    George is a Scotsman from Dundee. He is very much on the political Left. He was for many years a Labour MP until he was expelled by Blair for his vocal opposition to the war in Iraq. He is a very strong supporter of the Palestinian cause. George has also always strongly supported Jeremy Corbyn and currently works for RT – most Tories’ least favorite media outlet.

    His opinion as to why Labour lost:

    1) Labour’s failure to guarantee Brexit.
    2) Corbyn’s failure to put down the antisemitism smear.

    George also believes that Brexit could be the catalyst for the reunification of Ireland, though he is a British unionist.

    He was interviewed by Anya Parampil a couple of days ago and discussed these matters:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOmJyzRNZIY&t=103s

    • MJ

      “but how do you (and others) then explain the pro-Brexit stance of George Galloway?”

      You answer that question in your next sentence: he is very much on the political Left. Leaving the EU has long been an aspiration of the British Left, from Michael Foot and Tony Benn to Skinner, Galloway and Corbyn. Shame the latter found he had no option but to appease the Blairite neocons in his own party.

      • Jimmeh

        Indeed.

        Corbyn has always been anti-EU. I’m not sure exactly what his position is, but he is a socialist; the EU is a capitalist institution. Membership of the EU will stymie any attempt to introduce real socialism in a member state. State aid for industry? Nope. Controls on capital flows? Nope. Trade deals that mandate extra-judicial lawsuits by companies against governments? Oh, yes.

        Corbyn’s fence-sitting on Brexit was simply because he was the Labour leader; he was trying to keep the party united. Poor sod – it was a hopeless mission. I think he should have stuck to his principles. After all, it’s his principles that got him made leader. He should have simply got rid of all the resistance from behind, in the PLP.

        I’m not keen on Galloway: “Your […] indefatigability”. He’s a pompous ass. But Corbyn is a good man, he just wasn’t right as Labour leader. McDonnell would have been much better – he might even have won.

        But what the hell – I know nothing about political strategy.

        Anyhow, it’s all too late; Johnson will frig the constituency boundaries, and the Tories will win the next few UK elections. The EU courts will rule against Indyref. We’re all doomed. DOOMED!

        I think I’ll move to Scotland. Somewhere remote, but with a decent hospital. Maybe Einvernis?

        • Iain Stewart

          As the saying goes, cleanliness is next to Inverness.There’s New Craigs hospital, which you should find decent enough 🙂

          • MJ

            Ah yes, the PES. Campaigns also to reform the EU’s strict controls on what democratically-elected governments can and cannot do with their own economies. Unless you hang on to the belief that Godot will show up one day, leaving is the most sensible option.

          • Republicofscotland

            PES. Campaigns also to reform the “EU’s strict controls on what democratically-elected governments can and cannot do with their own economies. ”

            Oh the hypocrisy, swap out the EU for England, and put in for the democratically elected government Scotland.

            No give me the EU any day of the week.

          • MJ

            You don’t have to have one or the other. Anyone seriously interested in Scottish independence would want to be a member of neither the UK nor the EU.

          • Republicofscotland

            I’d prefer to remain in the largest trading bloc in the world, 62% of Scots and every constituency also voted to do so.

          • Kim Sanders-Fisher

            More Greens were voted in as MEPs this time and there would have been an even more impressive shift towards the left if Frans Timmermans had not been vetoed in his bid for the top job. The EU is slowly moving towards the left with important protections of worker’s rights that we now risk losing. A recent vote to restrict the loophole of posted workers, a cause that Corbyn raised in the UK, shows this is an ongoing trend. Outside the EU safety standards, environmental protections and all of our human rights can, and will, be stripped away under a Tory Government. Corbyn was acutely aware of these risks and his stance on Brexit reflects this.

            Corbyn was honest about the EU having faults he found unacceptable, but I believe he has come to terms with the fact that on the whole the better way to bring further change was from remaining within the EU. This is not a betrayal of the left or an abdication of his former doubts about the EU it is a well considered evaluation of where we stand right now.

            I sincerely doubt Galloway would vote Tory despite his opinion on Brexit. I am in agreement with the scepticism many have expressed regarding the incomprehensible so called “Tory landslide” conveniently attributed to the Labour position on Brexit. This fake news narrative simply does not make any sense at all so I remain of the opinion that this election was rigged. Anyone interested in continuing the discussion about the legitimacy of this recent vote should go to the Discussion Forum on the Elections Aftermath.
            https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/forums/topic/elections-aftermath/#post-49377

    • Mary

      I was appalled to spot GG (wearing his hat) on some moronic quiz programme in company with Ann Widdecombe, Edwina Currie and another. It’s called Tenable. He was good at naming South American countries in some sort of alphabetical order.

    • Tom74

      Most left-of-centre people support the EU, as it gives the best social and employment protections in the world. Galloway is merely an exception that proves the rule.
      It also strikes me that Galloway and others are playing the establishment game in discussing what Brexit stance might have won Labour the election – it has become fairly plain that Corbyn was never going to be allowed to win the election. The ‘debate’ on why they ‘lost’ is merely a smokescreen for the dirty tricks of the Tories and their backers.

  • jmg

    > The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) . . . recalls that 122 journalists and media actors remain in prison in Europe:
    – 108 in Turkey;
    – 7 in Russia;
    – 6 in Azerbaijan;
    – 1 in the United Kingdom (Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks, is currently detained in Belmarsh high-security prison in the United Kingdom).

    Aseev is free but 122 journalists remain in prison in Europe — European Federation of Journalists — 30-12-2019
    https://europeanjournalists.org/blog/2019/12/30/aseev-is-free-but-122-journalists-remain-in-prison-in-europe/

    • John Pretty

      jmg this is an interesting development. I watched Oliver Stone’s “Ukraine on Fire” yesterday, which discusses the Maidan coup of 2014 :

      https://vimeo.com/252426896

      In the film the role of new media outlets in promoting and facilitating the coup is highlighted.

      I think there has to be a question raised as to whether these individuals are involved in genuine journalism or whether they are essentially agents of US/Ukraine anti Russian propaganda.

      “the two journalists … contributed to the Ukrainian service of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty”

      – Note, it says “US funded” , ie will be promoting anti-Russian propaganda.

      I have always supported the notion that journalists should not be imprisoned, but I would not trust the National Union of Journalists of Ukraine after having seen this film.

      (Noteable also that 88% of those listed are in prison in Turkey.)

  • Mary

    It was strange to see the name of KPMG plastered over the entrance to and inside the Cypriot building where the girl who alleged she was raped by a gang of Israeli boys, has been found guilty of making malicious charges.

    Well placed. Their Cypriot HQ is in the same building as the courts.
    https://home.kpmg/cy/en/home.html

      • Laguerre

        I think there is a stink. Israeli tourists don’t have a good reputation. They may have political protection.

        • Mary

          There has obviously been intimidation. There was medical evidence when the young woman was examined. The unnamed Israelis were acquitted and allowed to return to Israel.

          • Mary

            ‘Cyprus and Israel have extensive collaboration on military, cultural and political matters. The prospect of a joint use of oil and gas fields off Cyprus, as well as EuroAsia Interconnector, now the world’s longest subsea electric power cable have also brought the two countries closer together.’

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprus%E2%80%93Israel_relations

            See Bilateral Relations and Military Collaboration on that link.

          • Giyane

            Mary

            Calvin’s ghost passed through here. Taking my comment about Baghdadi being Israeli with it.

            To be honest, viagra type drugs for women could also explain this incident. The young lady might have been either involuntarily or voluntarily or even experimentally overcome with uncontrollable desire and deeply regretted it after the event.
            That’s still rape. But Israel is a theocracy like Saudi Arabia and Iran.
            Theocracy ( Calvinism ) is always followed by rebellion. Rebellion is chaos.
            So we should blame Zionism ( political Judaism ) for the appalling behaviour of these Israeli men.

  • nevermind

    Is it not galling that we have to bail out the lying snollygosters cabinet for their tens of millions security blunder, publishing the honours list usual recipients addresses.
    A security blunder that will see some mega rich people given a blank cheque as they pull fences buy CCTV cametas and renew their electronic gates.

    Agents who would want to find out theirnew addresses, please wait for the removal vans and follow them, SAS man, you have been outed by your boss, go hug him until the pips squeek.

    The Tories and their hedgefund backers should pay for this first ever blunder of this sort, and not taxpayers.
    What a useless lot. There is a petition against IDS getting his peerage. Pleasefind and sign it. Cant provide link as I am not online via my dead computer.

  • David

    Switzerland is frit to intervene for Julian Assange, according to the United Nations special rapporteur against torture, (Schweizer UNO-Sonderbeauftragter für Folter, and professor of International Law at the University of Glasgow)

    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/nils-melzer-_government-s-reticence-over-julian-assange-criticised/45462790

    Nils Melzer said that the Swiss government wanted to avoid taking a position on Assange as it could risk American retaliation on the country’s financial sector

    or as Nils put it in his native language , “Das erinnert an ein diktatorisches Regime”/”It reminds [one] of a dictatorial regime”
    more at https://www.blick.ch/news/ausland/schweizer-uno-sonderbeauftragter-ueber-prozess-gegen-julian-assange-das-erinnert-an-ein-diktatorisches-regime-id15683116.html

  • writeon

    Dear Craig, I think what you’re really describing is something like a ‘counter revolution’ which has occurred under the rule of ‘Thatcherism’ over the last forty odd years. Essentially, what happened was a return to ‘normalcy’ after the brief period of social upheaval known as… the 60s. which lasted from the middle of the 50s to the middle of the 70s.

    What we’re seeing now is a further tightening of the screw into virtual totalitarianism with dissent seen as tantamount to treason. In this context, one could see the outrageous persecution of Julian Assange as an example of the creeping totalitarianism I’ve referred to. It’s a test. If Assange is allowed to die miserably in prison or shipped off to an American dungeon for the rest of his life, akin to being buried alive; then, the last pathetic shreds of ‘liberal bourgeois democracy’ will have been swept away.

    • Republicofscotland

      “Essentially, what happened was a return to ‘normalcy’ after the brief period of social upheaval known as… the 60s. which lasted from the middle of the 50s to the middle of the 70s.”

      That was a unusual period in history, where the well off middle classes joined in with the poorer classes and demanded more freedoms.

      Across the pond Americans rocked Washington, with demos on the Vietnam war and Civil Rights. Governments began to fight back though to curtail democracy, in 1975 a report called The Crisis of Democracy.

      The report stated that governments couldn’t cope because of a excess of democracy, the report proposed restore government authority before too much democracy made a country ungovernable.

      The liberal elitists and the capitalists put the brakes on more democracy of that era, that’s why we look back and refer to it as an era of freedoms, that broke barriers. Now we are moving in the opposite direction.

    • Michael

      Someone said the social gains we made after WWII were because the establishment feared the very real possibility of being overthrown in a socialist revolution. Most of the Brits who had defeated Hitler were working class; they were still in contact with comrades across the country, many owned weapons as war souvenirs, and they were young, fit, and many were battle-experienced. They were organised. Many officers reported in the weeks leading up to demobilisation mutterings about not returning to the same conditions their fathers had returned to after WWI. The “land fit for heroes” was a land of mass unemployment, homelessness and hunger marches in the poverty between the wars.

      Thatcher came to power thirty-odd years later by which time the veterans had got old, lost touch, were disarmed and many had died. Then her government began taking back the gains that were made. That process is nearly complete. And all for their love of money.

    • Mary

      Followed by this Tweet –

      ScotsDefendAssange
      @ScotsDefend
      1h
      Replying to @johnpilger and @assange
      #ScotsDefendAssange

      We at #ScotsDefendAssange would like to suggest a similar proposal for our FM @NicolaSturgeon to visit Mr #Assange in prison and also use her influence to raise his plight and that of other whistleblowers both here and in the US with
      @amnesty
      ________

      • jmg

        Mary wrote:

        > We at #ScotsDefendAssange would like to suggest a similar proposal for our FM @NicolaSturgeon to visit Mr #Assange in prison and also use her influence to raise his plight and that of other whistleblowers both here and in the US with @amnesty

        About Amnesty, although they don’t yet consider Assange and Manning to be prisoners of conscience, at least they oppose the extradition of Julian Assange:

        > Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Europe, said:

        > “The British government must not accede to the US extradition request for Julian Assange as he faces a real risk of serious human rights violations if sent there. The UK must comply with the commitment already made that he would not be sent anywhere he could face torture, ill-treatment or the death penalty.
        > “The UK must abide by its obligations under international human rights law that forbid the transfer of individuals to another country where they would face serious human rights violations. Were Julian Assange to be extradited or subjected to any other transfer to the USA, Britain would be in breach of these obligations.”

        UK must refuse extradition of Julian Assange to the United States | Amnesty International | 13 June 2019
        https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/06/uk-must-refuse-extradition-of-julian-assange-to-the-united-states/

        Not sure if Nicola Sturgeon has yet taken a position. For his part, Jeremy Corbyn wrote (11 April 2019):

        > The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government.

        https://twitter.com/jeremycorbyn/status/1116424423953903616

        • John Pretty

          This is all very well and good jmg, but having Julian designated a “prisoner of conscience” isn’t going to make the slightest difference to his situation.

          Nor is suggesting that the United States will violate Julian’s human rights. (It will, but I am quite sure that that will not be deemed a good enough reason for his not being sent there). The UK government does not view the US as a human rights violator. They are not going to listen to Amnesty International.

          And Jeremy Corbyn’s support for Julian is well known, but again he cannot help Julian. He’s a relatively quiet politician, so I cannot see him really kicking up enough fuss about it to get good publicity for Julian.

          In my opinion the best defence for Julian is that this extradition demand is very obviously politically motivated and that is apparently forbidden in the extradition treaty that the UK has with the US.

          Let us hope that 2020 brings Julian his long awaited liberty and then he can leave this country for somewhere he might be able to live with peace, safety and freedom.

          • jmg

            John, of course it’s not the Holy Grail, however I think Pilger’s idea is quite good and one of the many that could accumulatively help, because public opinion is important and has an effect.

            John Pretty wrote:

            > In my opinion the best defence for Julian is that this extradition demand is very obviously politically motivated and that is apparently forbidden in the extradition treaty that the UK has with the US.

            That’s correct, and also the fact that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects Julian, WikiLeaks, and their “co-conspirators” The New York Times, etc. Which gives no basis for a US extradition.

            “As for supporting me if I am extradited, I would say that it would be way too late. If people want to support us, they need to do it before I am extradited . . . Even if they’re technically innocent under the law, which probably anyone within WikiLeaks is — as I know that our activities are protected under the First Amendment — the verdict is still not guaranteed, due to of the degree of national security sector influence in the judicial process.”
            — Julian Assange, June 15, 2011

            “The First Amendment covers everyone. . . . The First Amendment also covers non-citizens such as Assange.”
            — Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, May 30, 2019

            “Now, the Trump DOJ has indicted . . . in direct defiance of a Supreme Court decision that ruled against this during the Nixon years. . . . In a landmark decision, known as the Pentagon Papers case, the Supreme Court ruled that a publisher may reveal whatever materials come into the publisher’s possession, no matter how they got there, so long as the materials are themselves material to the public interest.”
            — Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, May 30, 2019

            “. . . the First Amendment interest in the publication of matters of the highest public concern. . . . This type of information is plainly of the type entitled to the strongest protection that the First Amendment offers. . . . the documents were of public importance. Therefore, the First Amendment protects the publication . . .”
            — Judge John G. Koeltl, July 30, 2019

            Or for example the fact that the US Executive Order 13526, Classified National Security Information, explicitly outlaws any classification that covers up crimes or embarrassing information.

            And especially the notable reality that Julian Assange has not broken any law, as Raúl Ilargi Meijer quite clearly explained in a brief essay, worthy to read again now. A few excerpts:

            “ASSANGE IS THE ONLY ONE TO ABIDE BY THE LAW . . .

            “The only person who’s abided by the law the entire time this epic tragedy has now lasted has been Julian Assange (and his lawyers, and others who work with him, and former Ecuador president Correa). All the other players, the people who’ve been chasing, torturing and now murdering him have all broken the law consistently, one after the other, and in coordinated fashion. But they have the media on their side, and that’s how the story got turned upside down. Propaganda wins.
            In 2010, Swedish police invented a rape allegation out of thin air and against the expressed wishes of the alleged victim. . . .
            “This was followed (after 7 years!) by the new Ecuador government that violated any and all international law by rescinding Julian’s asylum, but only after hiring a Spanish ‘security’ company that recorded all of his -and all of his visitors’ – talks and phones etc., including client-lawyer and doctor-patient conversations that we all know are confidential . . .
            “And now he’s in a super high security prison for no apparent reason at all . . . And then Monday in court, a British court, it was a bunch of Americans who openly decided what should happen . . .
            “What Assange practiced when he published ‘US war files’ is called journalism. Which thank god is perfectly legal. Much of what those files reveal is not. What he did when he allegedly ‘skipped bail’ in the UK is called requesting asylum. Also perfectly legal, a basic human right. He never broke a law. . . .
            “If you live in Britain and you think Brexit is a more important issue than Assange, you’re delusional. Nothing is more important to anyone in a society than a government torturing a man to death in broad daylight, a man who moreover has not broken a single law. We don’t even torture mass murderers, terrorists or child rapists to death anymore, at least not at home. But Julian Assange IS treated that way. And whether the UK will be a part of Europe or not, that is the country it has become. A lawless medieval banana republic.”

            Assange Is The Only One To Abide By The Law — Raúl Ilargi Meijer
            https://www.zerohedge.com/political/assange-only-one-abide-law

    • Anthony

      Equally likely to be just another arse-covering, gaslighting exercise by the BBC itself, with the Guardian quick to amplify it. “Hey, look! BOTH sides complained about the Beeb’s election coverage, okay?!? In fact its coverage was more widely perceived to be PRO-Corbyn!”

      Expect this to become the standard line now from both liberals and conservatives.

    • nevermind

      Looks like they have managed to spot your ire with the Israeli regime of Netanyahu, Mary, a sign that you must be doing something right…😊
      Wiishing you and all others a great slide into the new decade, arguably the most important one which will determine wether we act like mice or men.

      The environment and nature will not recover with feeble hot air dispensing.
      Young Greta is right, we are watching Rome burn whilst throwing plastics and fossil fuels on the fire.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.