Calling all NUJ Members 286


When a country’s main union for journalists polices the Overton window, you are in a society well on the way to authoritarianism. For four months I have been excluded from the National Union of Journalists and, despite repeated requests, the NUJ even refuses to tell me the nature of the objection.

140 days ago, on 5 March 2020, I applied online to renew my lapsed membership of the National Union of Journalists. For two months I heard nothing, then after inquiring I was told objections had been received to my membership. After two months more pressing I was told the objection is that I am not a “fit and proper person” to join the trade union. I still have no idea on what grounds this is alleged, or who alleges it.

A strange process is underway by which an investigation is carried out, and concluded, by the Assistant Secretary General and a report submitted to the National Executive. Only after the report is finalised do I get any opportunity to see what is alleged against me or to comment, which seems a quite remarkable proceeding.

The other thing that seems very wrong in this procedure is how objections were received and to whom my application was advertised. The system is supposed to work this way. The application is received by HQ, and is then sent within 14 days to your local branch for comment. That is the point at which objections can usually be lodged. My application has never been sent to my local branch, or anywhere. It has never left NUJ HQ. The local branch did not know the application existed until I asked a friend there to check on its progress, over two months after it was lodged.

In my case, my application has never even been sent to my local branch, where I was a member without incident for three years. Objections were lodged while my application was still at NUJ HQ.

But how can this happen? The NUJ claim that the delay in dealing with the objections (plural) is caused by the need to locate the objectors and verify their standing in the union. So if these objectors are so diverse and unknown to NUJ HQ, how did they find out about my membership application in order to object to it? The application was never sent out for comment or posted anywhere. The most obvious explanation is that somebody within the NUJ staff has tipped off some group to object.

I should explain the reason my membership had lapsed. I was a temporary freelance member for three years, which is open to those who get less than 50% of their income from journalism. If after three years you have not reached the 50% bar, you cannot continue as a member. I found myself unfortunately in that position.

As my other income has now mostly gone and there are now subscriptions to this blog, I applied to rejoin as soon as I met the income qualifying bar, after about a 3 year gap. It is worth noting I did not apply as a result of being charged with contempt of court – I applied some eight weeks before that happened. I am not seeking financial assistance from the union.

It is not the income question which is blocking my membership but the allegation I am not a “fit and proper person”. As I lead a pretty blameless personal life, this can only relate to my writings. I find this extremely sinister. It is certainly true that I write things that NUJ members within the mainstream media do not. It is certainly true that I attract massive criticism on social media from a section of mainstream journalists for my writings – on the Skripal case, for example.

But a National Union of Journalists which excludes writers for their opinions is a contradiction. I do not claim this as an absolute – out and out racists and fascists are a different thing. But the union is supposed to be a union for journalists, not for stenographers to power. I find the flat refusal of the NUJ to tell me what I am alleged to have done wrong to be particularly chilling. I find the entire process of handling my application, and the question of how these objections arose before the application was sent out for comment, deeply suspicious.

I therefore call on all members of the NUJ to raise this issue, either direct with NUJ HQ or preferably through your branch. It should not need saying, but strangely it does, that journalists whose political opinions are very different to my own ought still to support my right to be a member of the union. It exists to defend journalists, not to exclude them. If readers have contact with a probable NUJ member, I should be grateful if you could draw this matter to their attention and ask them to act.

I am very sorry to be obliged to publish this post. I am trying to rejoin the NUJ, not to pick a fight with it. My previous three year membership was entirely uneventful. I am a strong supporter of unions, that is why I am trying to rejoin one. But what is happening appears to be extraordinary and wrong. Who are these anonymous objectors and to what do they object? How did they find out I had applied before the application was sent out for comment? Who is behind this objection?

Below is my correspondence with the NUJ. Note that I applied for membership online on 5 March and the first email was received on 26 May, eleven weeks later, in reply to phone calls I made to ask what was happening.

Tomorrow will be precisely one month since I last heard from the NUJ. They still will not tell me what the objection is, 140 days since I submitted my application to rejoin.

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286 thoughts on “Calling all NUJ Members

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  • Crispa

    I was interested in how a “fit and proper person” for membership is defined as I am familiar with it in other contexts. There is no definition in either the NUJ rule book or on the application form so it is impossible to say in what ways anyone is or is not a “fit and proper person”; this is not the same as being “qualified” for membership which is something different.
    But then I could not find any definition of “journalism” or “journalist” either and I cannot think that the NUJ in this day and age would want to be restrictive about that.
    The rule book (under 3) make it clear that the first step after receiving an application is to send it to the relevant Branch for consideration within the 14 days. The Branch then votes if the applicant is qualified for membership. Rule 3(a)iii then indicates that any objection must come from the Branch (and could be made independently of the vote) and not from the wider ether of the Union. It follows that objections are contingent on the outcome of the Branch vote as there would be no point if the Branch itself rejected the application.
    If the Branch has not received the application then of course no objection can be forthcoming. That objections are from Branch members is supported by 3(a)iv which states it is the Branch that informs a person that their application has not been successful. The NEC and Appeals Tribunal would only come into the picture after this.
    If there had been a delay because of covid for the proper processing of the application that is one thing. But the excuses for not following due process are miasma.

  • N_

    How many times are members of the NUJ contacted about “anti-Semitism” each year? 10000?

  • Kaiama

    This will be the journalists who supported the anti-Salmond propaganda seeking revenge.

    • N_

      The following are almost certainly members of the NUJ:

      * Jake Wallis Simons, who sued Craig and settled, admitting that contrary to his earlier contention Craig was not anti-Semitic;
      * Dani Garavelli, Scotland on Sunday, whose financial links that pay for the dirt she writes were exposed on this blog;
      * David Clegg, Daily Record, close friend of Nicola Sturgeon’s chief of staff Liz Lloyd.

      The second and third of those work for Scottish newspapers and may belong to the NUJ’s Edinburgh branch – worth checking.

      As for Liz Lloyd, she is not a “journalist” but as the chief of staff of the head of the Scottish government she will meet regularly with and be on first name terms with leading journalists in all major Scottish media organs – and if you are a leading journalist with great government contacts it tends to mean you also know where the control knobs are inside the NUJ. I wouldn’t be surprised if her fingerprints are on this (sorry, I can’t say why), along with those of Simons’s associates who have a much longer previous.

  • jen

    When Hamza’s ‘hate crime’ laws are put on the statue books it will put the kibosh of what vestige of free speech there is left in Scotland.

    • N_

      Imagine “hate crime” being criminalised in a jursidiction where Orange walks are thoroughly lawful. Talk about taking the p*ss. I went to the kindergarten (or is it NHS?) coloured Scotgov site for the Bill but couldn’t find a list of the parties that they officially received representations from during the consultation phase. (Or didn’t they bother with above-board consultation?) Three guesses for who the parties might include.

      The scary thing is that the Catalan nationalists had similar links.

      • N_

        I’ve now found the official list of consultation participants. There is also an analysis of consultation responses. Apparently “Responses will be published in full, apart from where they have been redacted (or withheld) to remove offensive language, personal information, or potentially defamatory information”. At that point I couldn’t stop laughing and gave up. The actual responses may well be on the web somewhere. What is “defamatory information”? How can something that’s INFORMATION, in other words which is TRUE, be defamatory? The “analysis”, which was self-declared to be “independent”, was authored by “Alison Platts and Dawn Griesbach – Alison Platts Research and Griesbach & Associates”.

        • N_

          I wonder how many tenders were received for the contract of providing the “analysis”. LOL!

      • Shatnersrug

        This is Classic

        “ So to be here again is starting to break my spirit. Please, join me in reading the detail. A few weeks ago, one “Sturgeon ally” was briefing unionist media that people who thought there could be a referendum in the next five years could “fuck off” (their words).”

        That could be the fucking labour right. That could be McTernan or Luke Akehurst or the ever obnoxious Ian Austin talking about nationalising utilities, exactly the same arrogant snide shitbag behaviour.

        It’s fucked. Craig said he thought removing thee careerists is doable. I say it isn’t I say – as I’ve discovered with my own Labour Party – the careerists are the party. Or I should say they are the maggots that eat the rotting carcass from the inside making appear to move. But it is dead. Labour. SNP. Even the Tory Party. The liberals died in 1927 so it’s pointless referring to them.

  • Sean_Lamb

    On the James Le Mesurier embezzlement story.

    Still think he was killed, the sum was fairly minor, the absolute worse that would happen is he would have been asked to step down. Proving fraud would be impossible and it is difficult to know who would have jurisdiction.

    What it does indicate it is the premeditation of his murder. He was first targeted over a discrepancy in receipts to provide cover in order to terminate him.

    • Goose

      Who knows? Possibly knew too much for his own good.

      Numerous press reports that ex-SAS sleep with loaded guns under their pillows. Never understood what draws people into those circles, as Syrian efforts wound down, no longer of use, such dangerous knowledge surely becomes a liability. Always a risk of being seen as a ‘loose end’ by powerful people.

      • Goose

        Apparently Special forces have no democratic oversight either.

        The Guardian carried this article https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/24/special-forces-need-to-face-scrutiny-from-parliament-say-mps back in 2018 , and afaik, nothing has changed since.

        SAS and other elite units operate without democratic oversight – unlike MI5, MI6 and GCHQ

        A 44-page report was published by by the Oxford Research Group – Britain’s Shadow Army: Policy Options for External Oversight of UK Special Forces

        The authors, Liam Walpole and Megan Karlshoej-Pedersen, stated: “While there remain many good reasons for the tactical secrecy of UKSF [UK Special Forces] activities, there appear to be fewer good reasons for the complete opacity that currently surrounds them.

        “Our research shows that Britain is alone among its allies in not permitting any discussion of the staffing, funding and the strategy surrounding the use of its special forces.”
        ——

        From the Guardian article :

        Special forces have been used increasingly in Iraq, Libya and Syria as well as in other conflicts around the world, often embedded with local forces.

        Some MPs suspect the government’s preference for using special forces is a way of avoiding having to go to parliament, as would be likely if there was a large-scale deployment of conventional forces.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          If you are covertly funding terrorism, coups d’etat etc etc, it really would not do to have uppity MPs actually allowed to hold you to account, would it?

          There has been 50+ years of cover ups on what the UK did in Northern Ireland, after all.

          I am sure the PTB do not want any other number of manure gravy trains coming into the public eye, after all.

      • N_

        “Never understood what draws people into those circles”.

        Here’s some background…

        1. If you mean ex-SAS men [*] (don’t forget the SBS), what draws them to private security work is they make decent money using their skills and knowledge. It’s not the “thrill” or because they’re addicted to it, or whatever else some might suppose.

        2. Those who need private security include the ultra-rich especially when they are involved in drugs, weapons, protection, extortion, “property management”, etc. At the top there is no dividing line between legal and illegal – ask Philip Green.

        3. How it works is they pay insurance premiums, which include for “K&R”, “kidnap and ransom”. If you don’t want to pay sky-high premiums (and no-one got or stayed rich by paying over the odds), then you have to satisfy the insurer that your security is up to certain standards. This includes for procedures and training and skills – it doesn’t just mean technology. It includes for example the training of drivers, basically the acquisition of skills which are concentrated in special forces and ex-special forces circles and taught on their courses. And we are talking about British and Israeli special forces in particular. The large majority of those who employ kick-arse private security will employ ex-military trained by British or Israelis. Maybe a few second-rank or third-rank “Russian area-connected but not Jewish” billionaires, or more likely “only” centimillionaires, will hire Russian security help who sometimes like to eat sunflower seeds when they’re standing around watching. But mostly we are talking Brits (or British-trained) and Israelis. Typically even Gulf Arab oil sheikhs in London will employ ex-SAS.

        Ghislaine Maxwell – up to when she was arrested recently – employed bodyguards who were “ex British military”.

        4. Lloyd’s insurance market sets some of the “gold standard” private security standards. Lloyd’s are essentially an organisation of crooks, money launderers, and gangsters, with connections in organised crime around the world. When there are payoffs for information, insurers are often involved.

        Note

        (*) For the record: the SAS and SBS are men-only organisations.

        • Goose

          Yeah I know many have set up in the ME, as contractors. The Daily Mail, of all newspapers, ran a big story on the ‘Britam Defence leaks’ , server hack in early 2013, the one suggesting Washington had ok’ed a Qatari funded CW attack in Syria. They [Britam] went to court and the story was shut down -because the docs were obtained illegally – obviously those docs being from from a hacked server. However the contents were as terrifying as the contracts were extensive.
          The Gulf monarchies pay handsomely for all sorts of nefarious activities from these contractors. At what price though? Even hardened special forces have a conscience and aren’t immune to PTSD.

          Parliament need to get involved, if only to protect SAS recruits.

          • N_

            Yes, Dubai and the other Gulf monarchies are full of ex-SAS.

            Strange how Ghislaine Maxwell used British ex-military as her security (or British-trained: I keep saying that because they can be Australian or whatever) rather than Israeli, especially given she was in the US.

            There is far more to the Epstein story than sex crimes against minors even combined with amassing compromising information on influential figures.

      • Shatnersrug

        My mate goes out drinking with this ex-SAS nut, He tells me these stories…they go for a drink in the pub and there’s always a fight and he’s incapacitated 3 assailants. The bloke’s knocking ‘em out and hitting them in special “make you see black and white” pressure points and Christ knows. Sounds like bollocks to me and even if it were true why do they always get into fights, I haven’t seen a fight in a pub for years

        Personally I think they get drunk and fall over. This bloke is clearly mentally deficient.

        I think very sad, damaged and lonely men come out of the SAS. I mean, once you get past 15, he wants to be a killer, it’s pretty pathetic.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      I wondered who Rupert Davis is – the co-director with Le Messurier and his wife.

      I found this:
      http://syriapropagandamedia.org/james-le-mesurier-a-reconstruction-of-his-business-activities-and-covert-role#chameleon-global-limited-2016

      Davis, Rupert Charles Owen (born April 1979) / Chairman. This is Captain RCO Davis (556347) Rifles, who entered the British Army on a Short Service Commission on 7 April 1999 and retired on 11 January 2008, appointed to Reserve of Officers. His LinkedIn profile records that he worked for the BBC from 2008 to 2010 as Deputy and Acting Head of High Risk, then from 2011 to 2012 as Head of Capability and Special Projects for Aegis Defence Services Ltd, in which capacity he was responsible for diplomatic protection during the Libyan war. From 2012 to 2015 he was “functional head within Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX) Africa & Eurasia Region”. He has a protected twitter account @chameleonglbltd.

      What is the connection with the BBC? In any case, he sounds a very shady character. I wonder what “diplomatic protection during the Libyan war” means exactly?

      More on the embezzlement story here:
      https://nltimes.nl/2020/07/17/dutch-accountant-uncovers-fraud-behind-syria-rescue-organization-white-helmets-report

      As usual Craig was spot on. The trouble is he’s too “spot on” for the intelligence community’s liking.

      • Brendan

        OHAL: What is the connection with the BBC?”

        Rupert Davis was apparently a minder or “safety adviser” for BBC journalists in Afghanistan – see p.10 of http://www.ex-bbc.net/Ariel/Arielwk40.pdf .

        He could therefore be Mark Urban’s “former colleague” in a tweet that he posted about James Le Mesurier but later deleted. https://ibb.co/bRmYQZn Urban wrote a book in 1987 about the war in Afghanistan involving the Russians, and he returned after Nato invaded after 9/11, so it’s likely that he met Rupert Davis there.

        In that tweet, Urban’s source said he knew Le Mesurier’s flat well and that it was not possible to fall from the balcony, so he suspected “possible state involvement”. Later that day, Urban changed his position and suggested it might have been suicide. ‘https://twitter.com/MarkUrban01/status/1193855016408375296

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          Very interesting. Thank you.

          The whole thing could be a Le Carré novel.

          In this article (in Dutch I’m afraid, perhaps you can use Google Translate or DeepL to get the gist of it):
          https://www.volkskrant.nl/kijkverder/v/2020/de-zwarte-bladzijde-van-de-witte-helmen~v391686/

          It is claimed that Mayday handed on half a million euros to an “unknown aid organisation” in Turkey, much to the consternation of the Dutch ministry, which later stopped providing money to Le Mesurier. Also that Le Mesurier paid himself a salary of 24,000 euros a month, and that “one of the other directors” was paid 320,000 euros over 2018. These amounts were “tax free” because Mayday and its directors never paid any taxes in the Netherlands (while being liable for Dutch taxes). Another interesting detail is that everything seems have been done in cash, Le Mesurier and Winberg even taking 10,000s of euros “out of the safe” for their lavish wedding.

          I am sure the embezzled 50,000 (for which Le Mesurier later provided fake receipts) was just the tip of the iceberg.

          It is also interesting that the “donor countries” insist on the full accountant’s report remaining confidential.

          • Sean_Lamb

            I am sure the donor countries all fully expected the Le Mesurier and Winberg would be milking the the funds to the fullest extent. Since the outfit was designed to produce propaganda, the funds were partly to ensure the lead propagandists were kept happy.
            So calling in the forensic accountant was a deliberate move signalling their usefulness was at an end.

            I was convinced it was murder when Winberg said Le Mesurier had received an injection for depression on the Princes Island just before his death. You hardly ever administer anti-depressants with an injection (it is possible, but not your first line medication choices). Both Winberg and Le Mesurier had the same cocktail of drugs in their system. You then take advantage of the trauma resulting from a fall from a rather low window to administer a fatal injury – rather like what occurred with the Princess of Wales.

            You can have a look at the window he allegedly jumped out of:
            https://twitter.com/abdbozkurt/status/1193885743707500544

            I can’t imagine any rationally choosing that as a suicidal spot, because it is so low. It is not absolutely impossible to die from such a fall, but you would hardly think it was very likely and surely you would just think you were making a great deal of pain for yourself but not coming close to dying.

          • Brendan

            The story is certainly not just about the missing 50,000 dollars. Le Mesurier could have paid back the 50k since that was a couple of months salary for him. That little ‘misunderstanding’ could easily have been brushed under the carpet.

            That amount is nothing when compared to the 200 million or so that the White Helmets have received. The big question is where all that was spent.

            That’s an awful lot more than the cost of Le Mesurier’s wedding or his two or three appartments. It’s also a lot more than is needed to equip and pay a couple of thousand White Helmets at 150 dollars a month.

            That kind of money can only be used for some huge operation, such as financing a war. The jihadist ‘rescuers’ could have been just a conduit for that. Somebody could have been afraid that Le Mesurier might spill the beans if he was investigated for fiddling his expenses. The story of his personal fraud is probably true, but it was more likely that was a trigger for someone else to end his life than for him to do it himself. Dead men can’t talk.

            I would not be surprised if it gets reported that Le Mesurier embezzled millions – maybe even tens of millions – of dollars intended for the White Helmets. That would put an end to questions about where the money really ended up, such as the arming of jihadists in Syria.

          • Giyane

            Sean Lamb

            I can’t imagine anybody choosing it as a suicidal spot.

            What? The Overton Window?

          • OnlyHalfALooney

            If we assume the White Helmets also served as a way to funnel arms, supplies and other support to anti-Bashar militias in Syria, it is very likely that Le Messurier, his wife and Rupert Davis were dealing with arms dealers and other shady operators (arms dealers are often involved in other crimes like drugs and people trafficking). It need not have been a “state operator” that killed Le Mesurier. The fact that so much was in cash reminds me of accounts of Amsterdam drug lords and Paul Le Roux.

            The most likely source for the leaked accountant’s report is the Dutch ministry itself. One needs to put this into context: There have been repeated questions in the Dutch parliament (also by coalition parties) about the repeated misinforming of the parliament about Dutch involvement in Syria and civilian casualties. The leaked information seems to cast the Dutch ministry as having been duped and defrauded by Le Mesurier. It is doubtful whether the Dutch intelligence service AIVD could not have been aware of Le Mesurier’s activities, but it is difficult to prove the ministry was fully aware or was acting on (deliberately) vague information from the AIVD. In other words, the new narrative may well serve a political purpose.

            It is also interesting that Winberg and Davis are hardly mentioned in the report and story although, as co-directors, they would be just as liable and culpable for any embezzlement and certainly for any Dutch taxes they have not paid. (The Dutch tax authorities are normally very aggressive in these cases and would have already tried to seize whatever assets they can lay their hands on.)

            As Brendan suggests, it looks like the narrative will be that Le Mesurier was a con man and all the blame will be put on him. It’s easy to blame the dead man.

    • Giyane

      Sean Lamb

      Istanbul is a mafia city where fiddling the accounts is the one thing you wouldn’t be killed for. Syria’s civil war turns out to be a turf war between Turkey and Israel or at least these two competing mafia members are carving up the spoils under the compassionate gaze of Godfather NATO.

      In times like these three things are not just dispensible but incompatible with the operation of political power, one is journalism , one is money and another is political parties. This week Craig has highlighted the non-existence of journalism, Sunak has signed off for every household to get £5k for house insulation from QE2, and Bojo announced the end of the NHS because the private sector had just saved the NHS .

      The message is clear, if you’re all good children, mummy will buy you all an ice cream. The mission has been accomplished thanks to coronavirus that NATO has won Syria and the US now owns the NHS. What did socialism ever do for the people. Who wants chocolate sauce and who wants strawberry?

      Nemo me impune lacessit means your penis has been eaten by a chicken. What you goin to do about it?

  • michael murray

    Hmm. I fear the correspondence between Craig Murray and NUJ, as presented above, speaks for itself.

    I can’t quite understand why anyone would want to forgo knowing who the accusers/objectors are, as Craig does. It’s a corollary right under the idea of natural natural justice to that of being informed what the objections are, in this case. Why that right is important is that it may identify the motivation for the objection: any hidden agenda. Or, maybe Craig feckin’ knows….

    Finally, good luck Craig with your application. Sorry if my modest (widower’s mite) donation by standing order
    tipped the balance in your earnings towards 50+% and contributed to your situation.

  • FranzB

    Interesting piece here in the Guardian about Catalan independence supporters whose phones were bugged using the NSO’s pegasus spyware. Note the Guardian’s comment:-

    “Many would question the democratic credentials of a movement whose leadership ignored the Spanish constitution to press ahead with an illegal vote – not least because polls suggest the project has never attracted majority support in the region.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/17/who-has-been-using-spyware-on-catalan-independence-campaigners

    One way of various actors getting to object to CM’s application for NUJ membership before it was advertised would perhaps be by bugging.

    • N_

      From that article: “I noticed some strange things – especially with WhatsApp; messages and conversation histories were deleted“.

      Something inside me feels sorry for these people – they think they’re James Bond or something and they a) trust Whatsapp, and b) whinge about it afterwards when it turns out someone was watching them, as if something awfully terrible went on that nobody could have foreseen.

  • Stonky

    But a National Union of Journalists which excludes writers for their opinions is a contradiction. I do not claim this as an absolute – out and out racists and fascists are a different thing…

    This is an interesting attitude. I recollect that the name of Enoch Powell cropped up in the posts under a recent article. If Powell were alive today (and obviously in slightly different circumstances) he would be one of the most articulate, outspoken and high-profile critics of Britain’s craven subservience to American interests – which, ironically, is one of the root causes of some of Craig’s own problems. Powell would almost certainly be an outspoken supporter of Julian Assange.

    And he would easily and effortlessly be silenced, crushed, deplatformed and cancelled. Not because of his views on the USA, but for being a “rascist and facist”. It’s already in the minds of many that that’s all he ever was – despite the fact that he volunteered to pick up a rifle and fight fascism, and argued all his life against racism.

    In today’s climate of intolerance and bigotry it would be a simple matter to brand him and silence him once and for all. The Guardian and the BBC could orchestrate the campaign, while all right-thinking progressives hollered and yodelled with glee. It’s a bit disappointing to think that Craig would probably be one of those joining in the cheering.

    • zoot

      if he argued all his life against racism then why was he considered a racist, even in an era when the bar was extremely high?

      • Tony+Little

        I imagine based almost exclusively on his “rivers of blood” speech. I’ll be honest, I never paid him much accord and know little about his other views. I doubt I’m alone

        • Stonky

          He had an unflinching belief that all people were equal and all races were equal. But he thought that mass immigration was a bad idea and was imprudent enough to say so. For example, he thought it an outrage that large numbers of women could be imported from the Indian subcontinent to 20th Century Britain to be married off to men they had never met. Obviously in these more enlightened times we realise that while nobody would go so far as to say this is a “good thing”, anybody who stands up in public and says it’s a bad thing is a racist.

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “anybody who stands up in public and says it’s a bad thing is a racist.”
            I can’t say I’ve noticed that.

        • N_

          @Tony+Little – It’s worth finding out more about Enoch Powell because Brexit and the run-up to it over several years during which support for UKIP rose, first in elections that were considered less important than parliamentary ones, very much has his name on it. His memory is revered in much of the British white racist population.

          If you call it the “rivers of blood” speech, someone is bound to correct you because Powell didn’t use those exact words, even if they are being pedantic because the sense would have been the same if he had. (I call it the “much blood” speech. Those are the words he actually used. He also used the word “piccaninnies” to refer to black children – a word later taken up by Boris Johnson. Most Tories know exactly what’s going on there. [*] It’s “legitimation”.)

          Powell’s speech is well worth reading. Stonky is 100% wrong to say Powell was not a racist. The context of the speech was that Powell was opposing Labour’s Race Relations Bill in 1968. The Bill (which became an Act) didn’t even mention immigration. It banned discrimination “on the ground of colour, race or ethnic or national origins”.

          Note

          (*) Then there is the term “Windrush”. The vessel sank several years before immigration to Britain from the West Indies peaked, but for decades its name was in nudgy-winky use by Tory racist scum. “Look at him – he came over on the Windrush” was used by the kind of people who say “Look at him – he’s caught too much of the sun” or who refer to the Pakistani British as “western Oriental gentlemen” and think they are being witty.

      • Stonky

        …why was he considered a racist, even in an era when the bar was extremely high?

        Because given his war record it was a bit hard to accuse him of being a fascist or a Nazi. That would come later.

        • Tatyana

          Stonky, there’s no clear understanding of nazism even today, even in pretty developed western countries. Here the news today in our media
          https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/graffiti-on-memorial-to-nazi-ss-division-now-being-investigated-as-vandalism
          They do investigate if a graffiti on a Nazi monument is an anti-ukrainian hate crime, or is it vandalism.

          “At no time did the Halton Regional Police Service consider that the identifiable group targeted by the graffiti was Nazis.”

          • Stonky

            Explain a bit more Stonky….

            Ok. He had plenty of serious flaws, to the extent that there isn’t any need to make up stupid snivelling lies about him. But there was a lot of good in him too, especially when you look back from today.

            1. He was a long-term critic of Nazi appeasement.

            2. He was courageous and principled. When war broke out he was working in Australia. He immediately flew back at his own expense, and claimed to be Austrailain so he could enlist immediately. If he had been conscripted he would certainly have been sent for officer training. Instead he enlisted at the rank of private in an infantry rifle company, as he intended to actually fight, rahter than watch and cheer from a safe distance while other people did the fighting.

            3. Understanding the enormous sacrifices they had made in World War II, he was a good friend to the ordinary people of the USSR and Russia, and refused to buy into the Cold War bullshit when that wasn’t a popular stance to take. He became an outspoken opponent of Britain’s “independent nuclear deterrent”. In his own words:
            “I refer to the misunderstanding of Soviet Russia as an aggressive power, militaristically and ideologically bent upon world domination – to quote a recent speech of the British Prime Minister – “seeing the rest of the world as its rightful fiefdom.” How any rational person, viewing objectively the history of the last thirty-five years, could entertain this ‘international misunderstanding’ challenges, if it does not defeat, comprehension.”

            4. He had a clear understanding of the USA as the ignorant swaggering bully that it is. Again you can read his own words, and decide for yourself whether this is some purple-faced gammon railing about the loss of the British Empire, or someone who can see that the USA isn’t a lot different from the Nazis he fought (and he didn’t have the events of the 21st century to help him out – he wrote this in 1982):
            “We were dragged into folly by the Americans over Iran. We were dragged into folly by the Americans over Afghanistan. Neither national interest nor moral obligation requires us to be dragged by them into folly over Poland…”
            “Yet we slink about like whipped curs… our self-abasement principally takes the form of subservience to the United States… we are under no necessity to participate in the American nightmare of a Soviet monster barely held at bay in all quarters of the globe by an inconceivable nuclear armament and by political intervention everywhere from Poland to Cambodia. It is the Americans who need us in order to act out their crazy scenario… We simply do not need to go chasing up and down after the vagaries of the next ignoramus to become President of the United States…”
            It’s particularly ironic that you don’t even need to change the names of the countries in the first quote, and it’s just as apposite now as it was then.

            That’s probably more information than you wanted, so I’ll stop there.

        • N

          Enoch Powell enlisted in the British army in 1939 about five minutes before he would have been conscripted anyway, along with most other males aged between 18 and 41. When he was in the army he was once arrested for singing the Horst Wessel song. He disliked the US effort against the British empire, not because of what it was for, but because it was against the British empire. He aimed to become Viceroy of India but he was unsuccessful and in later life he concentrated on blaming the blacks. He hated the Commonwealth being called the Commonwealth and bawled himself red in the face insisting it should continue to be called the “British” Commonwealth. What a divvy!

          • Stonky

            Enoch Powell enlisted in the British army in 1939 about five minutes before he would have been conscripted anyway, along with most other males aged between 18 and 41…

            It’s a great shame than not one of the hundreds of conflicts that have taken place this century has been ideologically pure enough to entice a principled Marxist like yourself to shoulder a rifle and go and do his bit.

            But never mind. You can regale us with the story of how you once marched up and down with a placard bearing the immortal words “NO TO RASCISM, FACISM AND BIGETS!” and shouted “Ya ya big fat smellyboots!” at old Mrs Duffy.

          • George+McI

            Stonky

            “It’s a great shame than not one of the hundreds of conflicts that have taken place this century has been ideologically pure enough to entice a principled Marxist like yourself to shoulder a rifle and go and do his bit.”

            That’s because the conflicts have been con tricks to get the population to get their balls blown off for their imperialist masters.

        • Ian

          The ‘rehabilitation’ of Powell has been an alt right project for years, using all the same carefully selected and completely misleading ‘arguments’ that ‘Stonky’ lamely repeats. It is nonsense, since they set up strawmen arguments, ignore what is inconvenient, and try to use him as their poster boy for the same arguments today – all concealed racism in their ‘it’s only about immigration, we’re not racist’ memes. The object, as Farage and co all illustrate, is to stoke the culture wars against non-whites, treat them as undeserved beneficiaries of ‘our’ country (although they are UK citizens with the same rights as everybody else), themselves as victjms, all under the guise of utterly fake special pleading about jobs, housing etc. Bannon learnt how to weaponise it, Trump, Farage etc followed suit.

          “No you cannot find in Powell the kind of racial superiority argument that Heffer et al thinks defines a racist. But you can find a host of other racist arguments about race mixing, cultural contamination and the impossibility of assimilation. And, unfortunately, his influence on race relations for some ten years (directly) and further two decades (indirectly) cannot be over-stated.”
          http://www.irr.org.uk/news/the-beatification-of-enoch-powell/

          • Ian

            Excellent summary from Hanif Kureishi about the vanity and fake Britishness, his small-mindedness and attempt to use populism for his own gain:

            “Racism is the lowest form of snobbery. Its language mutates: not long ago the word “immigrant” became an insult, a stand-in for “paki” or “nigger”. We remain an obstruction to “unity”, and people like Powell, men of ressentiment, with their omens and desire to humiliate, will return repeatedly to divide and create difference. The neoliberal experiment that began in the 80s uses racism as a vicious entertainment, as a sideshow, while the wealthy continue to accumulate. But we are all migrants from somewhere, and if we remember that, we could all go somewhere – together.”
            https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/dec/12/enoch-powell-hanif-kureishi

          • Tatyana

            our habit of empowering personas with the power of symbol serves us all a disservice. it would be better not to mention any names at all, otherwise we will inevitably withdraw to the debate about the personality. it would be better to discuss only ideas and say not Hitler, but nazism; not Gobineau, but racism; not Breivik, but mass murder.

          • Ian

            You’re right in theory, Tatyana. But when self-styled demagogues like Powell, Trump and Farage come along, whose aim is to command the headlines, stir things up, stoke fear and hatred, put themselves in the limelight, then they deserve to be analysed, refuted, and their arguments, as well as their vanity and dishonesty, shown to be the cheap populist manipulative tripe they are.

          • Tatyana

            but there is another side – sometimes unpleasant personal details, even irrelevant ones, are deliberately made public, like some kind of tapes about Trump, although this does not at all speak about his official qualifications. It is wrong to mix emotional attitude and rationale. Hitler promoted an abhorrent idea, but he still was right when he said ‘Germany is a great country’ that’s what I mean.
            I would still prefer to discuss ideas and functions, not people.

          • Stonky

            Tatyana, you’re wasting your time with some of the mile-wide inch-deep Student Grants around here. You should find out about Enoch Powell and his views on the USSR at the time of the Cold War. I think you would be genuinely interested. I have no doubt that if he had been around today and compos mentis, he would have been loudly calling out the current wave of anti-Russia hysteria for the CIA-inspired bullshit that it is.

            And for what it’s worth, I think you’re absolutely right with this:

            “But there is another side – sometimes unpleasant personal details, even irrelevant ones, are deliberately made public, like some kind of tapes about Trump…”

            I think if Powell had stuck to being a “racist” he would have been just fine. It was his uncompromising views on our dear friend Uncle Sam that rendered him unacceptable in polite society.

          • Tatyana

            Yeah, it’s the basics of pedagogy, Stonky.
            If you have two children in conflict in your class, it doesn’t matter which of them is ‘goody’ and who is ‘baddy’, because we focus on a specific situation and its causes.
            Of course, some mothers bring exactly the same arguments that are visible here above – that nasty boy is to blame because his marks are low, he smokes, he threw a stone at the window last year, and the like. But we understand that being successful in school or being nice to people is simply irrelevant. Our goal is to get to the truth in order to work with the source of the conflict, and not at all taking sides or giving personal assessments to students.
            Well, we know who is the asshole 🙂 but we never take sides from on this knowledge. Because we also know nice little girls pretty able to torture a kitten to death.

          • Stonky

            “The ‘rehabilitation’ of Powell has been an alt right project for years, using all the same carefully selected and completely misleading ‘arguments’ that ‘Stonky’ lamely repeats. It is nonsense…”

            One of these statements is true and one of them is a silly pathetic lie:

            “Enoch Powell enlisted in the British army in 1939 about five minutes before he would have been conscripted anyway…”

            “When war broke out he was working in Australia. He immediately flew back at his own expense, and claimed to be Australian so he could enlist immediately. If he had been conscripted he would certainly have been sent for officer training. Instead he enlisted at the rank of private in an infantry rifle company, as he intended to actually fight, rather than watch and cheer from a safe distance while other people did the fighting…

            But to bring this whole discussion back to the subject of Craig’s actual article. If Powell were around today I would want to hear his views. On everything. On race, immigration, the EU, Brexit, Israel, MENA, the USA, Trump, Clinton, Russia, Putin, Covid…

            How about you Ian? Would you want to hear his views, or would you be running around clamouring to have him deplatformed for being a rascist facist nazi’s?

          • Ian

            Your absurd caricature of anybody who doesn’t buy into your attempted glorification of Saint Powell doesn’t constitute an argument. So what that he was a British nationalist and Empire supporter, and was anti-US. I don’t think his views are relevant today, and whatever he would think is idle speculation. You can hear an evolution of his views in the ramblings of Farage, Johnson and any number of Telegraph writers like Heffer. None of them are interesting or perceptive. Why would you think I would want them deplatformed, when they all have huge platforms of their own? Of course, they love, like you, to fondly imagine they are being victimised and desperately want to bleat that they are being ‘cancellled’. Your claims are as hollow as your weird worship of Powell, as if a man out of time, self-obsessed and player to the gallery, is in any way the prophet you have imagined. Funny how the alt right have to go that far back to find someone to justify their views. As if they can’t find anyone contemporary to make a (very) pseudo-intellectual justification of their prejudices and denialism.

          • Loony

            Ah yes Enoch Powell a noted engager in idle speculation.

            In the 1960’s Enoch Powell forecasted that by the year 2000 immigrants from the Commonwealth and their descendants would number 5 to 7 million. This put him massively at odds with forecasts produced by the ONS. It was frequently pointed out that Powell was just one man with an agenda whereas the ONS was an independent organization with vast resources and able to call upon wide ranging expertise.

            We are now well past the year 2000 – and Powell beat the ONS hands down.

            Powell was willing to sacrifice his entire career in order to oppose UK membership of the (then EEC). After the 1975 referendum confirmed that the UK would remain within the EEC, Powell was unequivocal – the British electorate had misunderstood the nature of the beast. It was vastly more than a free trade association and over time this would become clear and the British population would come to see it for what it really was and they would extricate themselves from the EEC/EU.

            2016 constitutes absolute proof as to the accuracy of Powell’s foresight.

            Take a look at what Powell said about money printing. If you could make a bet (and get paid in something other than money) then I would bet absolutely everything that this is one more prediction that will come true with a vengeance.

            Oddly enough the extreme left wing seem to be completely invested in his foresight on race relations. According to the BBC and the Guardian the UK is a festering mass of extreme right wing racists. If these right wing racists exist then their existence must prove Powell correct in his prediction of racial tensions.

          • Stonky

            Loony, guys like Ian and N literally cannot deal with facts. Their entire wordview is neatly pre-printed for them on the inside of a set of impenetrable lead-lined blinkers that they bought from The Guardian online store.

          • Stonky

            “You can hear an evolution of his views in the ramblings of Farage, Johnson and any number of Telegraph writers like Heffer…”

            Another swing, another miss.

            Your claim is laughable nonsense. All of the people you name are arsecrawling sycophants to the US geopolitical line, slavish spouters of the “Evil Russia is our sworn enemy” party line, and bloodsoaked cheerleaders for endless slaughter in MENA. And none of them would ever dream of questioning Britian’s “nuclear deterrent”.

            These are four massive political issues on which Powell would have been at the opposite end of the spectrum. But with your blinkered obsession with rascists and facists, you simply can’t see that.

          • Antonym

            Thanks for spotlighting this Enoch Powell with whom I was not familiar. Interesting that a Conservative MP in 1968 made a speech that worried about mass immigration already then, but did not contain any “rivers of blood”. The White self-flagellation meme that reacted to him across the UK spectrum is older than I thought – leaving the 14th century Flagellants out. Sure, the West lost its faith – Christian religion – but this is going overboard. Powell said he believe a minority of immigrants would integrate, so he was not all that sweeping. Contrary to traditional immigration expert the US, European amateurs didn’t encourage or demand any personal changes from those entering for a new passport.

          • Courtenay Barnett

            Tatyana,

            When you say:-

            ” ..like some kind of tapes about Trump, although this does not at all speak about his official qualifications.”

            I would suggest that one cannot dislodge the person, from a person’s conduct, from a person’s ideas – for all to me seem to be inextricably intertwined which is what constitutes our identity, our personality, and who we are and how and why we act upon our ideas as expressed.

            I have called Trump publicly a racist – and – I think that who he is equates to how he expresses his ideas. Others have done the same with Enoch Powell. I do not see how one can extricate ideas from the other part of a person’s being as he expresses his/her ideas. Read below for a reasoned argument:-

            https://www.pambazuka.org/democracy-governance/president-trump-and-past-and-present-cognitive-dissonance

            P.S. So a person thinketh – so he is.

    • Julia Gibb

      A remarkable skill to read the mind of someone and predict how they will act decades down the track. The clairvoyance part adds another incredible dimension to it.

  • Bill Craig

    Craig,
    this is serious, and worrying, stuff. Yes, over to the NUJ.

    It’s the kind of activity that our “friends” at the BBC will happily tell us goes on in secretive, authoritarian states like North Korea and the Peoples’ Republic of China.

    (I do wonder why so many contributors move on to other topics, as if this wasn’t important enough all on its own)

    • jake

      Is there someone at NUJ “admissions” who stamps the applications with a christmas tree?

  • The end is nigh

    Its very apparent, even their NUJ website is not the best example of transparency. I am still searching for a write up and pic of a mr seamus o’dooley there. Especially when the NUJ should really be THE leader in matters of transparency. CM should be applauded for trying to bring these hidden devils out into the open light. Poor fools, imagine waking up one fine morning at the age of 70 to realise yer whole life has been in falsehood and you’ve been sleeping with the devil all along, aaaaaaaaaargh !! Enough to instantly turn a rusbridgers jet-black toupee white !!

    • ET

      Why do you put an “O” infront of his surname? It’s a common thing I notice when people use irish names. His name is Seamus Dooley, NOT O’Dooley.
      https://www.nuj.org.uk/where/ireland/

      “Séamus Dooley has overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of union activities, organisation and financial affairs. He is the official spokesperson for the NUJ in Ireland, North and South. He has primary industrial responsibility for the national print and broadcasting sector and his national responsibilities include governmental policies and media freedom. He is a member of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Executive Council and of the Press Council of Ireland’s finance and administrative committee.”

  • Dr Zoltan Jorovic

    Dear Craig

    Was it wise to leave the full email addresses visible in your post? Is this not a breach of privacy? It can’t help your case if you can be accused of this. I totally support your case, but I wonder if you have not just sabotaged yourself.

    Regards

    Zoltan

  • Xavi

    Unshocked to see ITV are employing David Dimbleby’s son as a journalist. He doorstepped Corbyn this week, accusing him of being a Russian stooge for pointing out the Tories are in talks to sell off the NHS. Somehow doubt his NUJ application involved being f*cked about by S Dooley esq for months on end.

  • Tatyana

    Since journalism is being discussed, I hope someone can advise
    I noticed that they often write “a man of integrity” instead of “honest man”. I supposed these are 2 different words, honest – not lying, integrity – made up of several united parts. Does the meaning of the word changed?

    • Giyane

      Tatyana

      The English word silly started as salig , meaning holy.
      Since to be honest is now considered to be stupid, I suppose the word integrity includes the political logic of being dishonest and understanding the necessity for politicians to lie nearly all the time.

      I think somebody used the word integrity about Enoch Powell., but he thought integration was impossible, while
      Black lives Matter says it is compulsory. It would be wonderful if Tories could get beyond their problem with other languages, before embarking on their problem with different skin colours.

      I suppose Integrity Initiative basically means ‘they’re all have to change themselves to be the same as ‘us’.

    • Contrary

      Integrity usually implies the person has principles and are true to them, there is some moral value applied to the person, a stalwart if you like. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are telling the truth, or are honest, just that if they are not, then they would have good reason for it. ‘Trustworthy’ would be the implication given by saying someone had integrity.

  • Mary

    Rusbridger, ex editor of the Guardian, has taken Zuckerberg’s shilling and has joined its ‘oversight board’. Cleggover who works for Zuckerberg is also on it. Jobs for the boys.

    Alan Rusbridger: Facebook oversight board must avoid ‘half-baked judgements’
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53428303

    He was on the BBC’s tech programme, Click, today saying this.

    Rusbridger was interviewed in The Journalist, the NUJ’s organ in November 2018 on page 10 talking about the changes in journalism.
    https://www.nuj.org.uk/documents/the-journalist-october-november-2018/

    • Laguerre

      I think one can be too conspiranoid about Blair. Apart from Iraq, and his subsequent agency for Israel, as theoretical peace representative, what he did for Britain was not too bad. At least better than his Tory successors.

      • Stonky

        Don’t you find it rather ironic that one of the biggest things he “did for Britain” was to renegue on his manifesto commmitment to electoral reform, which is the specific reason that we have now experienced ten years of increasingly right-wing “Tory successors”, and have no prospect of anything different in the foreseeable future?

        Oh and then there was reneguing on his manifesto commitment to a referendum on the EU constitution. That was a good idea too, leading directly to the rise of UKIP and ultimately Brexit.

        • Laguerre

          Well, I’m not a perfectionist. I don’t demand ideological purity. For me the worst thing he did was to sell himself, for money, to the highest bidder (Zionist) as a fake peace negotiator, after leaving power, as it suggests he was doing similar, but more concealed, while he was still in power.

          • Greg Park

            All your fellow Blairites/ neo!liberal moderates are Zionists. A bit worrying you haven’t noticed that.

          • Stonky

            For me the worst thing he did was to sell himself, for money, to the highest bidder (Zionist) as a fake peace negotiator…

            All that did was prove to anyone who has a functioning conscience (obviously that excludes Blairites), and was neverthesless still in any doubt about the matter, that he was a greed-maddened money-grubbing piece of filth. But no individuals really suffer personally as a result.

            Millions of individuals will suffer personally, possibly for decades to come, as a result of his failure to respect his manifesto commitment to electoral reform, which would have seen a historic transformation to Britain’s political structure. The opportunity may never again arise as our own establishment, and our overlords the Americans, have made it very clear that nobody to the left of Blair will ever be allowed to govern Britain again.

      • Mary

        You’re mad. I am sure that any of those Iraqis who survived the shredding and burning would agree.

        Try Ali Abbas.

        ‘I was woken up by this big noise. All the house collapsed on us. My home was on fire. Then I heard the screaming.”

        It was his mum and dad.

        “I heard them screaming. Then after a couple of minutes, the screaming stopped. They were gone.”

        “I was burning,” he continues. “My arms were basically roasted. After maybe 20 minutes, my neighbour came to try to pull me out of the rubble. He didn’t realise how badly I had been burned. So when he tried to pull me by my left hand, it came off.”’

        What the orphan who became a symbol of the Iraq war says about Tony Blair now
        Ali Abbas, now 25, tells The Independent:

        ‘Of course I am angry. I have lost my arms, my parents my brother … my country is gone, destroyed.’

        https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/chilcot-report-iraq-war-orphan-ali-tony-blair-what-the-orphan-who-became-a-symbol-of-the-iraq-war-a7120506.html

        • Stonky

          There’s something profoundly sick about the Blair apologists (the Guardian is infested with them) who think that somehow a million dead Iraqis can be “traded off” against gay marriage, some schools and hospitals, and Sure Start…. “But before we judge Tony, we must consider his complete legacy…”

          I sometimes imagine a scenario where a MENA leader – let’s say Gaddafi – had the weaponry and the will to attack and destroy Britain. Our whole infrastructure bombed to ruins. All our institutions destroyed. Hundreds of thousands dead, and the survivors left cringing under the jackboot of various armed and warring factions of right-wing extremists.

          Along comes the Libyan equivalent of a Blairite. (S)he surveys the carnage and wrings her/his hands in faux sympathy…. “Yes of course this is all quite dreadful. But before we judge Muammar, we must consider his complete legacy. Think of all the schools and universities he built back home in Libya…”

      • Bramble

        Marketising the NHS, education and so on, and obviously endorsing the whole neoliberal take-over?

        • SA

          Bramble
          This is one of the worst chapters in his legacy as an anti socialist with regard to the NHS. He made it possible to start the process of dismembering the NHS by a process called payment by results and massively increasing the admin costs. Many of his henchmen got rich on forming companies that directly benefited from this.

  • Cubby

    Craig, I think it may be Petra who has blackballed you as she seems to really really not like you.

    Or could it be Prentice?

    It’s a joke Petra and Mr Prentice – please do not prosecute me for hate speech. It can’t be hate speech surely if even one reader raises a chuckle.

    • Bramble

      The NUJ is a joke. A trade union for a trade which earns its living demonising unions.

  • Tom74

    I think the events of the last few months suggest we aren’t just on the road to authoritarianism but already there. What have we had? Parliament shut down last autumn by the Prime Minister with no adequate reason; an ‘election’ in December worthy of Mugabe-era Zimbabwe; businesses ordered closed without Parliament sitting; house arrest; compulsory face coverings and puritanical laws straight out of Saudi Arabia… The list goes on. I read somewhere that people who live in a dictatorshp seldom realise it.

    • Greg Park

      The Tories have presided over one of the worst Covid death rates in the world and are now encouraging people to return to the office, via public transport and stop working safely from home. But according to you Boris Johnson has not been reckless enough.

    • David

      (Presumed) NUJ member Andrew “Chomsky” Marr now taking down an authoritarian regime by playing 5-eyes drone footage at a rather surprised Chinese Ambassador to the UK. Will “Chomsky” Marr take a similar hard-line to our own society authoritarianists?

      I’ll make a pot of tea and watch/wait for this…

      • David

        and so it continues (Presumed) NUJ member Andrew “Chomsky” Marr now trying to take down another authoritarian regime by spouting 5-eyes hearsay to the Russian Ambassador to the UK.
        Russian Ambassador was fiendishly accurate in his demolishing of the “alleged” cyber attacks. Andrei seemed sure that they occurred, but stated attribution is completely impossible, when packets can travel three-times around the world. Skripalgate was floundered with, Brexit was counter mentioned.

        Lisa Nandy gets to explain it to us, killing people is apparently wrong, Isn’t that a cue to mention the reverend Anthony Lynton Blair?

        • Mary

          The BBC mouthpiece, Marr, was no match for the Russian Ambassador. Lovely stuff. No smiles like melon from Marr this morning. It’s about time he became part of the BBC cutz.

          Russia’s UK ambassador: ‘We do not see any point in interference’
          Russia’s ambassador to the UK has rejected allegations that his country’s intelligence services tried to steal coronavirus vaccine research.
          Speaking to the Andrew Marr Show, Andrei Kelin also rejected suggestions that Russia has interfered in the UK’s political life. The interview with Mr Kelin will be shown on The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One at 09:00 BST on Sunday.
          18 Jul 2020
          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53458122
          PS Just 37 seconds of it on that link.

          Pre-recorded I see. Lisa Nandy followed! She went back to talking about Salisbury saying ‘they got it wrong’, meaning the Labour party I assume.

          The whole – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000l4h5/the-andrew-marr-show-19072020 36mins in for 11 mins

          • Kempe

            ” Russia’s ambassador to the UK has rejected allegations that his country’s intelligence services tried to steal coronavirus vaccine research. “

            Well, to coin a phrase, he would, wouldn’t he.

          • Goose

            @mary

            Think it’s healthier to avoid such programmes as they just put me in a foul mood. Accept that Labour is a lost cause under the likes of Starmer, Nandy; Kinnock, Mcfadden, kendall; Perkins, Ian Murray, Phillips ; Ashworth, Streeting . The remaining few Corbynite era lefties will be forced out by hook or by crook, and the establishment will have the party under FULL control. Starmer appoints people almost exclusively from the Corbyn-hating right.

            The biggest risk to Starmer is facing a leadership challenge from the Socialist Campaign group. But as the huge membership deserts, even that threat diminishes.

            The likes of Owen Jones, Paul Mason will end up admitting they were completely naive backing Starmer.

          • SA

            Kempe
            Strangely enough this is more applicable to what Raab with his high probabilities and secret classified unprovable intelligence

          • Stonky

            Well, to coin a phrase, he would, wouldn’t he…

            What a nice simple reality you inhabit Kempe. Accuse somebody you don’t like of doing something bad. Then when he denies it, that proves he did it!

            Result!

          • Johny Conspiranoid

            “tried to steal coronavirus vaccine research.”

            Aren’t scientists supposed to share information like this anyway, in the interests of medical progress and so on?

          • Kempe

            Do you really think that if you ask an Ambassador if his country, any country, has been doing something illegal that he’s going to come out with anything but a denial? Even if he knows, which he may not, he has to follow the official line.

    • FranzB

      The coronavirus bill was passed through parliament on the nod. I think it contains Henry VIII powers, which means ministers can add bits to it whenever they feel like it. As has been seen huge amounts of money are being splurged on private sector outfits, some of whom appear to have little experience in relation to the contracts they are receiving. Doubtless they’ll show their gratitude to the Tory party in the usual way. The UK sinks further into the neoliberal cesspit.

      It seems that local councils are now free to make all sorts of decisions on a ‘covid decision’ basis. That means they can hand money over to their favourite neoliberal outfit without any recourse of oppositions to subjecting these to scrutiny of any sort. If this also applies to planning decisions, it’s a charter for bribery and corruption.

      “Since the lockdown in March I have been deeply concerned by the growing number of decisions being made using emergency powers that mean many decisions are now not subject to call-in by opposition councillors for scrutiny.”

      https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/politics/mystery-over-councils-emergency-grant-sheffield-international-venues-2913865

  • Brian Powell

    It has the feeling of a coverup for dodgy insider activity and they are trying to avoid being found out by delaying and obfuscation.
    I wonder who is in the position of power within the NUJ?
    Worth keeping in mind the people meant to investigate the behaviour of journalists and newspapers were the editors of the papers that were most likely to offend.

    • ET

      “Worth keeping in mind the people meant to investigate the behaviour of journalists and newspapers were the editors of the papers that were most likely to offend.”

      Are you suggesting the NUJ should be doing this? It’s a Union not a professional standards body. Their work shoud be about employment, work conditions and pay etc. The stuff that unions do.
      Craig has a justifiable expectation that his application to become a member of the NUJ is processed without prejudice and following their own stated processes. It appears that is not currently happening and they need to explain why that is so and/or correct it.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      Sorry, I was referring to the Le Mesurier embezzlement and the removal of this information from the Le Mesurier Wikipedia page by Philip Cross.

      In any case Wikipedia will not get a cent of my money while they allow this blatant manipulation.

      • Stonky

        The day after Le Mesurier died I predicted it would turn out he had been embezzling funds. I wish I could remember where, so I could go back and gloat.

        • OnlyHalfALooney

          The money Le Mesurier and his wife used to buy a luxurious double apartment in Amsterdam for 1.6 million euros must have come from somewhere.

          Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if Le Mesurier and his partners weren’t also involved in all sorts of criminal activity.

          The UK media cannot keep the story quiet for long. It’s on RT.com:
          https://www.rt.com/news/495092-white-helmets-founder-fraud/

          Perhaps the PTB in the UK want to give Mr Brown Moses of Bellingcat time to fabricate some “Russia did it” fantasy.

  • A2

    Craig
    just did a wee search thinking I remembered you announced on here that you were re-applying which I didn’t find although I wasn’t very thorough. what I did note though was that you wrote to Mark Urban in august 2018 (Skripals – When the BBC Hide the Truth) and in that letter you state you were a NUJ member. Now not knowing exactly when your membership lapsed, I can’t tell if that was true at the time but if as you say above, it was three years ago then you might of stated that erroneously. That may or may not be the basis for an objection but it’s certainly a possibility and of course you can be sure that any statements you make are pretty studiously noted.

  • Giyane

    When all politics is lies, accurate journalism will report those lies as well as reporting to those lies.
    Blame the politicians.

  • Mary

    Did you see a puff piece on Boris, Carrie and little Wilf in the Mirror? It was produced by a Grace Witherden who works for Baylis Media Lrd who publish the Maidenhead Express.
    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-carrie-symonds-share-22377911

    This is Baylis Media. https://uk.linkedin.com/organization-guest/company/baylis-media? How long will they last. We had a good local paper, the Surrey Advertiser, which had an independent minded editor and good journalists. Court reports too. Now owned by Reach and mainly an advertorial now. Local newspapers are important but are sadly dying out.

    Grace Witherden
    @GraceW_BM
    Deputy Editor for independently owned @MaidenheadAds & @ExpressSeries

    Grace Witherden Retweeted
    Peter Jukes
    @peterjukes·
    Jul 17
    One important problem with British journalism is the amount it pays columnists. Boris Johnson got £275k a year to produce perhaps 20 bloviating columns. That would pay for over 1,000 news pieces by good reporters. But opinion and status is valued, while news and truth are not.

  • Julia Gibb

    Membership would be guarenteed if you start writing in support of the Union, start praising Boris and his wonderful Brexit team. It would also help if you attack the SNP, AUOB, Scotland etc, etc.

    That is the price of the card.

    p.s. A UJ suit may also help

  • Derry and North West NUJ

    Dear Craig, the Derry NW Ireland branch of the NUJ sends you our solidarity and support. We are aware of your brave stance against torture when you were British Ambassador in Uzbekistan. It was for this reason the union’s New Media Industrial Council invited you to speak at a fringe meeting at DM 2012. Your continued use of new media to be a thorn in the side of the powerful is part of an important development for independent investigative journalists.

  • Brainiac Fingers

    That’s what happens when you rub shoulders with the “enemy”. You appear on RT. That is unacceptable. Alex Salmond has his own show on RT and look what they did to him. Fraternize with the “enemy” and you will be punished.

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