Defend Mark Hirst 260


Mark Hirst, a former senior SNP staffer at Holyrood, is being criminally prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act for saying this:

These women, and not just these women, some of the people involved in this are senior members of the Scottish Government, senior members of the SNP, and they have been involved in this active collusion to try and destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation and there’s not a cat’s chance in hell that they are going to get away with that.
So they’re going to reap a whirlwind, no question about it, that’s going to happen as soon as this virus emergency is out of the way, then there is going to be a bit of reckoning takes place and we’ll clear out the soft independence supporters which are currently leading the party, that’s why we’ve seen no movement in nearly six years and we’re going to claim the party back, get the country back on course for Independence but to do that we are going to have to wade through what’s left of this leadership and get them out of the way, which I am confident that we’ll do.

The Crown is making the ludicrous charge that this is a statement of a “menacing character”. Mark is being charged under the Communications Act 2003 Para 127 (1)(A)

The Crown Office has been briefing its favourite tame journalist at the Times on the charges against Mark Hirst. You will recall that when I was charged with Contempt of Court, I was contacted by the Times immediately after the police left my home.

As the Times reports, the Crown office are briefing that Mark Hirst has been charged for stating that Salmond’s accusers would “reap the whirlwind”. Both the Times and the Crown Office are guilty of gross dishonesty in presenting that phrase out of the context, which context you can now see plainly in the above full quote. The Crown Office is dishonestly attempting to convey the impression that “reap the whirlwind” implied some personal or even violent vendetta against the conspirators, whereas what Mark Hirst was actually referring to was a political campaign to take back control of the SNP from scheming careerists.

In fact what Mark is saying has precisely the same import as this tweet of mine:

Deliberately to miscontrue a call to political action in opposition to a political grouping as an act of “menace” is state persecution which has profound implications. The prosecution of Mark Hirst is the act of an executive with major fascist leanings.

Mark is the journalist and friend to whom I referred that had five policemen enter his home and confiscate all his phones and laptops. It is far from plain why that action was necessary when he is being prosecuted for the contents of a video that he openly posted online. The provenance of his video is not in dispute: why would they need his phone and computers?

This seems another example of Police Scotland’s “fishing expedition” approach. Remember, the police who did this described themselves to Mark as the “Salmond Team”. The burning question is, why does Police Scotland still have a “Salmond Team” going around to terrorise people in their homes during a pandemic, even after Salmond’s acquittal?

That the decisions on who to prosecute are entirely political is conclusively demonstrated here and here.

I am sorry to say that it appears that the very notion of free speech is anathema to the current government of Scotland.

When we consider what they are doing against Mark Hirst and myself to attack free speech using the Contempt of Court Act 1982 and the Communications Act of 2003, we have to seriously worry about the new legislation currently going through the Scottish parliament specifically to limit freedom of speech.

On 23 April 2020 the Scottish Government introduced its Hate Crime and Public Order Bill into the Scottish Parliament. This vastly increases the amount of speech subject to criminal prosecution. It introduces new categories of protected characteristics, and gives Ministers powers to add new ones without going back to parliament. There is a specific power in the Bill for ministers to add “sex” as a protected characteristic, for example. Crucially it removes the need to prove intent embodied in current law. If you call someone an “old fool”, you will be committing a criminal offence even if you meant nothing by it and were just using a common phrase, age being a protected characteristic. Calling someone a “stupid boy” will similarly become illegal. To possess “inflammatory” material will specifically be a crime even if you had no intention to communicate it to others.

Richard III would very definitely be illegal under this legislation for anti-disabled prejudice. The Merchant of Venice would be illegal for anti-semitism. Once “sex” is added by Ministers, The Taming of the Shrew would be illegal for misogyny. I was glancing through The 39 Steps yesterday and was struck by a very anti-semitic passage I had forgotten was there. Is possessing John Buchan to be illegal? I can see nothing in the bill which would protect you from prosecution for possessing Buchan, if the Crown Office decided to go for you over it. Can you see any protection? Genuine question.

The Bill specifically includes performance. Politically incorrect jokes will become an actual criminal offence. Really. Pretty well every Carry On film ever made would now be illegal and subject its producers, writers and performers to possible imprisonment if made now. I quite accept that the mores of society change, and there is much in Carry On films society would find unacceptable now, but criminal? The Act moves matters of taste and disapproval firmly into the field of the police and the courts. It is a grossly authoritarian piece of legislation.

Once you have statutes in place that make telling a sexist joke a crime, you are dependent on the police and on prosecutors to apply the law in a sensible and liberal manner. But what the case of both Mark Hirst and myself makes plain – as indeed does the Alex Salmond case itself – is that Scotland does not have that at all. Scotland has politically controlled, vindictive and corrupt police and prosecutors who will, as the Mark Hirst case could not demonstrate more plainly, twist any law to the maximum to contrive a prosecution against those labeled as political enemies.

Mark Hirst is a good man. I realise so many of you dug very deep to fund my own defence, but I do urge those who are able to do so to support Mark, who also faces jail for the “crime” of political writing and with whom I stand shoulder to shoulder. My own defence fund has raised more than we need at the current stage of proceedings so it is my intention, absent major objection from you whose money it is, to transfer £10,000 from my defence fund to Mark’s.

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260 thoughts on “Defend Mark Hirst

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  • Ian+Foulds

    Superb gesture vis a vis Mr. Hirst’s defence costs. 100% agree.

    As to the Scottish Hate Crime Bill – (following a brief scan of it yesterday and, not being of a legal bent) it appears to be nothing but threatening baloney and needs like other proposals by this Government, it needs to find the shredder and be recycled.

  • Jennifer Allan

    “On 23 April 2020 the Scottish Government introduced its Hate Crime and Public Order Bill into the Scottish Parliament. This vastly increases the amount of speech subject to criminal prosecution. It introduces new categories of protected characteristics, and gives Ministers powers to add new ones without going back to parliament. ”

    Since when did Scotland become Stalinist Russia? ……..and why was this attack on free speech sneaked into law without publicity, using the Covid-19 crisis to divert attention from it.

    • Darren Sharrocks

      When they kept voting in the SNP time after time. When a party knows it can win any election, and has no opposition, it can do what it wants. The fear of england being a one party state is just a fear at the moment, and labour could win again. It is totally different in scotland, the SNP knows it will walk into any government, win any elections. With that kind of power with no opposition, it is frightening. So you know how power courrputs. well the SNP is showing how it corrupts, they can the hell they want, who is to stop them. No one – bojo loves sturgeon in power.

  • Merkin Scot

    The accusers, being the Leaderene’s cabal and the Woke Harem, presumably, may well be brought to account.
    By that I mean, if AS is allowed to state his complaint in a civil proceedure.
    .
    That is by no means certain.

    • Merkin Scot

      I have watched much of the argument on social media about whether the SNP leadership actually wants freedom for Scotland any more.
      .
      The hounding of journalists that we have seen would seem to answer that question, once and for all.

  • Mist001

    I smoke cigarettes. Then I discovered that it was the SNPs intention to make Scotland a non smoking nation by 2030. Then I read that the SNP were going to ban size 10 models from public advertisements in Scotland.

    I realise that people may well be in full agreement with these intentions of the SNP but for me, they were like a flashing beacon, alerting me to the direction the SNP was heading and I didn’t like it then, and I like it even less now.

    What seems strange to me though, is why these things were apparent to me at the time, but to nobody else and that’s why I’m at a bit of a loss as to why the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill seems to have come as such a surprise to people. It’s been on the cards for long enough.

    In the words of someone famous, whom I’ve totally forgotten, ‘You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

    For instance, this illuminating little piece was quoted in tonights Edinburgh Evening News:

    ‘Ms Sturgeon accepted it is not “easy or pleasant” to live under the current “stay at home” restrictions to suppress the virus, but she added: “Anybody that goes to a picnic in the park right now will be breaking the law. Gatherings outside – households gatherings of more than two people – are not allowed.”

    When was the law passed in Scotland that made it a criminal offence to have a picnic?

    They certainly slipped that one in whilst nobody was looking. No mention of that law being repealed either. If it IS enshrined in law and she isn’t just talking out of her backside, then you can bet your bottom dollar that that law is here to stay.

    • N_

      In the words of someone famous, whom I’ve totally forgotten, ‘You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet’.

      Imagine if Scotland were independent now. Are the “leftwing” SNPers confident they would have unseated the far right in the Partei by now? Seriously? With what levers? A swell of nationalistic pride?

      Clue: try to build an alliance to make Scotland a better place, against the wishes of the corrupt scum who run it, who mostly aren’t English and in “Westminster”. That kind of idea is exactly what the far right want you to have. There are precedents for that in many countries. Indeed that’s why the SNP was favoured in the early to mid-1970s. Nationalism always means class defeat. Down with the government.

      (Am I allowed to wonder how much corrupt officials may have pocketed from Covid-19 scams, or would that be “haty”?)

      • Darren Sharrocks

        If scotland did become independent – the SNP is finished and they know it. No need for them – they will just split into different factions. Scottish labour will become a totally independent force and please note i am not talking about the labour party in scotland now. The SNP will be out of power and government with a big thank you or not from the scottish people.

    • Penguin

      There is nothing in law to prevent you from eating outdoors, whether sitting on grass, sand or a bench. She has been telling outright lies for months and not being exposed on it. You have always been allowed to leave your house more than once a day. There is no law against hillwalking, or swimming, or golf, or canoeing, or paragliding, or any activity you can do on your own. The police have been exceeding their powers, cheered on by the entire media and the stazi informers. With one of the highest death rates in Europe it is obvious that keeping people packed into their homes 23 hours a day is a good way of ensuring they catch the virus. The woman is evil.

      • jake

        Penguin, I suggest you familiarise yourself with the The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions) (Scotland) Regulations 2020, in particular Section 3, 5(1). Contrary to what you say, it is illegal to leave the place where you are living. You can be prosecuted if you do. Should you wish to contest your prosecution there are a limited number of defences that you might lodge although you’ll no doubt be mindful that the burden of proof would then rather shift to you.
        Only If you are lucky enough to own a hill, have a swimming pool, golf course or a stretch of inland waterway associated with the place where you are living will you be able to participate in the activities you mention.

      • Andrew Ingram

        Awa an boil yer heid.
        You know nothing about Scots Law (which is unwritten) and even less about epidemiology.
        Glaiket gnumph.

    • liz

      It’s not the law.
      She’s at it.Trying to make people afraid of having a picnic and many many people support her in this.
      She’s evolved ths image of being Ms Perfect and I’m afraid not enough people see through it.

      It’s partly the fault of the utterly useless opposition.
      They attack the SNP on the wrong issues.
      You will never get the people to believe our NHS is crap because the truth is, it isn’t.

      They should attack her on her increasing control freakery.
      The Hate Bill needs stopped and completely binned.

      https://aameranwar.co.uk/news/what-are-your-legal-rights-in-scotland-under-the-coronavirus-laws/

  • Muscleguy

    Thanks for the background on this Craig. Mark has understandably been reticent about it so I was wondering about the basis of it. Are th police too thick to read something in context? Ditto COPFS in approving the prosecution or are they just fishing in order to intimidate folk? I’ve just started on twitter in the wake of Wings disgraceful full banning and in order to fight the good Gender Realist fight as a Biomed scientist. I’m just waiting until the social justice warriors and TRA’s find it and my linked blog.

    I wish I had money to help Mark out. It hurts that I can’t. Bloody UC takes 63p in the £ of whatever I can earn tutoring by the hour (bottom dropped out of it after exams cancelled) which leave me working for less than minimum wage from £18.75 as my residual from the tutoring site. An incentive to work it is not. Fortunately that is not why I do it and there are other recompenses from doing it such as seeing the light of understanding go on in someone’s eyes.

  • Andrew Ingram

    I gave to your blog and will do so again, how the money is spent is up to you.
    There are a lot of old policemen some of them unionist, annoyed at the abuse of process going on here.
    The police can only police with the consent of the people, any attempt to use the police to stifle political dissent will only erode that consent.

  • Leftworks

    Craig et al may be interested to know that, purely as an intellectual exercise and to see if it was possible, I tried to identify one or more of the female witnesses whose identities are protected by the courts. I haven’t the least interest in who they are, but I am interested in whether or not jigsaw identification is possible with mainstream reporters charged with nothing.

    I studiously avoided anything by Craig Murray, Mark Hirst or Stuart Campbell, with the exception that Stuart Campbell lists some mainstream reporting that he states is worse for jigsaw identification than anything put out by those being charged. I had a look at these.

    Quite sure that I have identified one of the complainants – who I am not going to name, obviously. The most helpful mainstream media report in this regard, I found to be Severin Carrell’s report in the Guardian dated Wed 18 Mar 2020, but Dani Garavelli’s lengthy report was also very helpful, as indeed were all of the reports listed by Stuart Campbell.

    Happy to provide my reasoning if it will be helpful.

  • William

    Orwellian and dystopian! We need to kill off bad legislation like this but how many will suffer in the meantime?

  • Steven

    Aren’t devolved governments great? Another layer of corruption and back stabbing to make Westminster politics even worse. I suggest we need a lot less politics.

  • Ian T-W

    Hi Craig, not able to donate more just at the moment as I’m not sure if I will have a job come the autumn. Should I find out that my employment will continue come September, I would be more than happy to dig a little deeper. In the meantime, you have my blessing to use the funds I already donated to your legal fund in any way you see fit. It is the same fight after all.

  • Dominic Berry

    “So we just pass a law so nobody will be hate anybody, and everybody will start being very polite, because they’ll be terrified they’ll get the jail if they even give someone a funny look. After that, society will just, naturally sort itself out, because everyone will be well behaved. All the hatred people have will just vanish. And if anybody secretly did hate someone, well, who would even guess…?

  • N_

    To continue the Greek theme: there is an awful lot of hubris about in government circles today, both in Edinburgh and in Washington DC.

    Whatever we do, we mustn’t suggest that the scum in government posts might be about to reap a whirlwind, right? Not even as Sturgeon’s corrupt gang are basically saying “Who are you looking at?” and imagining they’re Beria, while Trump is threatening to sue China but news editors can’t bring themselves to put it like that (yet). (He’s the guy who told Theresa May to sue the EU.)

    Who is issuing the threats here?

    …And how long have they got in office?

    Much of the mainstream media is implying that both Mark Hirst and Alex Salmond have got snow on their boots. Three guesses for which agency might be involved in spreading that idea.

    Covid-19 case fatality rate reminder: Britain 14.4%, Russia 0.9%. You don’t have to know statistical physics to realise there’s no damned way that difference is by chance.

    And as Britain, with ~400 deaths per day, is relaxing restrictions, China has responded to a handful of recent deaths by locking down a city of 10 million residents. Shurely shome mishtake?

    • Darren Sharrocks

      China’s death toll are a complete fabrication and a lie. I do understand why you take the chinese govt’s word on it. They are just lying, – there is clue they a dictatorship

  • N_

    It might be worth putting in a FOI request to try to find out exactly which Crown Office figures advised on the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill.

    The general rule is that bullies don’t like being publicly exposed, and when somebody whacks them back as they so richly deserve they hide and cry.

  • Giyane

    This downturn has the fingerprints of the new Tory Cabinet and Dominic Cummings written all over it.
    This censorship has been talked about for a long time and yesterday the PM seemed to be visibly shaken at the idea of facts being used against him that he could not shrug off with a withering sneer, like he used to do to Corbyn.

    It is a very real fact that bringing false accusations , now proven as false in court, will give the SNP mainstream the incentive to remove the current administration at the next Scottish election. Metaphorical language is the lifeblood of political discourse.

    I suggest the Devil files a police investigation into Boris Johnson’s use of his name against the cov19 virus, and cov19 could also implicate him for linking its name with Devil. Totally discriminatory on socio-, religious, and colour grounds. People should not be publicly racist against red coloured people with horns and cloven toes.

    They must be feeling very insecure at Scotland breaking away from the union. Being completely out of control of Covi-19 has sent many politicians mad. Exterminate exterminate, followed by a puff of smoke and a stench of melting bacolite. If it want so serious , I’d be having a good laugh at these ridiculous police charges.
    Can you in fact retrofit new legislation onto words that were said previously. ???!?

    • Darren Sharrocks

      Ah so its the english fault – they are telling Sturgeon and the SNP to stick to Hirst and Craig – great thanks for that

  • Rob

    I can’t see how he can be prosecuted for that. It’s quite clear he’s talking about clearing out these careerists from the SNP. But then looking at the “evidence” presented at the Salmond case. Something’s not right in the Crown Office and police.

    • Ruth

      Not right? Just look at the Lockerbie case. It’s quite clear the Scottish judiciary are subservient to the British Establishment

    • Ruth

      Not right? Just look at the Lockerbie case. It’s quite clear the Scottish judiciary and government are subservient to the British Establishment

  • Ben

    Holy Crap. Maybe the UK problem has to do with half-measures.

    What I mean is you need to make a choice between the Royals and Republic. A democratic republic might solidify the need for individual liberty, rather than artificial equality wherein the Hive is dominant, but without bee sense.

    The Nanny should not spoil the child, but National Nannies lack common sense.

  • Capt Mainwaring

    ‘Calling someone a “stupid boy” will similarly become illegal.’

    That’s the end for Dad’s Army repeats.

  • Geoff

    Thank god they remembered to cover hovercraft as permissible targets to search. That’ll stop those damned eel smugglers in their tracks

  • Geoff

    Just a thought,

    It seems that everyone is against this act but essentially passively waiting for the inevitable abuse of it by TPTB..

    What if well meaning citizens were to simply report any and all potential breaches and follow up on everything to make sure all complaints were being investigated properly? It may just overwhelm the system given how much material could be produced for consideration. Also, as most of the compaints would necessarily be dismissed, could that not then further down the line be used as precedent when the next malicious state prosecution tries to fit someone up for an offence which has already been dismissed a thousand times when committed by people of no interest?

    I just mean it sounds like civic duty to conscientiously report EVERY SINGLE suspected offence under this act.

  • George+Brown

    It’s sad to see a once innocent young girl who I remember helping at Jim Sillers Govan election. To remain vindictive towards someone who gave her the crown of Scotland.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Mr. Murray,

    I believe that you are doing a wonderful job of exposing much that is questionable and/or wrong or corrupt within the British state.

    How ghastly obscene of me; how indecent; how obscene; and of such a menacing character – and having used an electronic communication to convey this point of view – I must be charged.

    So, now I must face my fate once charged:–

    “127
    Improper use of public electronic communications network
    (1)
    A person is guilty of an offence if he—
    (a)
    sends by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character; or

  • Darren+Sharrocks

    I have heard from a friend in scotland a few years ago where he said there was lot of anti english sentiment in the SNP. He is a tory who turned to the snp to vote for, but is worried about the rise of racism. So the point i am making is, the SNP is so firmly in power could it be just like what people fear in the England. What i mean there is fear of England becoming a one party state, with only a tory government in power. It seems to me that Scotland has become just that, a one party state with no viable opposition so they can pass the laws you have outlined above. A lot of people on the left love the SNP, they think they will get Scotland out of the UK and stick it to the tories., They also love Sturgeon et al, but i think their enthusiasm is very much misplaced as you have outlined above and in other posts. Sturgeon and the SNP do not want independence and are not pushing for it, they just using the former to consolidate power in scotland. If the country did break away from the union, the SNP would be finished as a party and a government as there is no need for them. They will more likely split into factions et al. The SNP elite knows this, the rank and file just do not believe it and will push for independence not realising no one wants it. My friend is Scottish and ex tory voter, he is a great chap though. I am english and do not want scotland to leave the union. Not because the will get rid of the tories, that has not happened for 15 years ie a labour govt getting into office because of scots votes. I just simply believe we are better together than petty nationalism.

    • Cubby

      Darren+Sharrocks

      “Petty nationalism”

      Do you not realise that what you advocate is just another form of “petty nationalism” – British Nationalism.

      Please note that whether or not Scotland votes SNP or Labour, as in the past, it makes no difference when England votes Tory. The democratic deficit in Scotland. We do not get the government we vote for. England, of course, always gets the government it voted for.

      The UK is an English dictatorship.

    • Carnyx

      @Darren+Sharrocks

      Scottish independence would be good for England, the British state is weight upon the world, it has a post-imperial institutional culture that puts international prestege above the welfare of it’s citizens. The English after independence would have a chance to rediscover their radical traditions and reform their state, to end the ‘top-down’ sovereignty of “Crown in Parliament” and invest it instead in the English people, thus ending the Royal Perogative in which PM’s have the powers of an elected monarch, power and legitimacy ought to flow up from beneth, not reign down over us.

      The UK has 9 of the poorest regions in Northern Europe, 7 of them are in England, and yet England has the richest region in all Europe with London. No other comparible state has such regional inequality, this is entirely the result of the priorities of the British state and many people in England suffer from it. The British state prefers to spend on nukes, on US lead foreign wars and on sacrificing everything to the financial sector based in the south east, because finance is the only realm in which the UK can still be a superpower. These choices are the result of the heritage of the British state, a new England would be a breath of fresh air, Brexit won’t achieve this because it simply puts more power into the hands of the British elite.

      The culture of the British state misleads many in the dominant majority who come to identify with it (largely people in the east of England) to imagine it embodies them, they thus end up desiring a return to some British “golden age” and the Tories keep promising this. Thatcherism was a rhetorical crusade to reject post-imperial decline and “Make Britain Great Again”, Brexit is another version, but things keep getting worse. Scottish independence will pull out the rug from under the imperial nostalgics will provide a chance to create a new England free from the imperial baggage and pretentions, it can become a country that simply tries to look after it’s citizens instead of a junior America hoping a new cold war will keep it important and united.

  • Lawrence AB

    Absolutely agree. You did the right thing and we really are “all in this together”. I couldn’t find a bank transfer path on Hirst’s website and I am opposed to using PayPal on principle, so am sending you £15 today for the general cause.

  • Ciaris

    I take no pleasure in being correct about Nicola. I’ve met the type in the public sector: amoral self-persuaders who delight in their own articulacy, but aren’t as smart as they think. She’s a mediocrity, and power has gone to her head.

    However, Nicola is hardly the first political non-entity to be over-promoted. The move towards authoritarianism is much more disturbing. At a guess it’s a mix of self-preservation, and ‘diversity’ nonsense-thinking. The drastic action also tells me that this is, if we were ever in doubt, a massive scandal, involving a lot of non-Nicola powerful people, including senior plod, and senior Sir\Madam Humphrey. Can Nicola be criminally prosecuted herself? I wonder …

  • Willie

    And today we learn that a month after police had attended an alleged incident between an MP and a neighbour and where police said no crime had been committed it now transpires that both the MP and the neighbour have been charged with what one can only guess is that of breach of the piece.

    The alleged incident is reported to have arisen after a neighbour complained about a Celtic flag being hung in the MPs window. That the individual complained saying that the councillor should know better than to fly the flag, it is reported that the MP retorted that he was an MP not a councillor and that the neighbour should go forth and multiply.

    Much ado about nothing and so the police thought until a month later.when they apparently came back with a change of mind..

    Political witch-hunt, shades of Michelle Thompson, Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Mark Hirst there’s a connection in all of this. And it’s called a war where the forces of the state are corralled against political opponents.

    Of course the wisdom of this MP putting a Celtic flag, or any other football flag in the window is questionable behaviour. as most folks would see it as a bit low rent. However, the bigger picture is that the police have once again taken an opportunity to have a go in their fight against independence politicians.

  • Sam

    Reading Mr. Hirst’s quote, there are only two possible interpretations:

    1) He’s calling for democratic political action; or
    2) He’s calling for the mass murder of dozens of politicians and party members… in order to advance the party’s political objectives.

    Obviously, the second interpretation is BATSHIT INSANE.

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