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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  • Lowe

    I suspect the issue may well lie with articles such as the below:

    Which I’m sure that even Craig will admit have more to do with wild theorising than actual journalism. (Actual journalism may well have involved actually visiting Gatwick and seeing how it’s laid out rather than instantly assuming ‘faked photo’, for example)

    • William Bowles

      Oh, so this makes him a non journalist? So any journalist, who gets it wrong (assuming he did get it wrong), instantly becomes persona non grata? I tend to suspect that Craig, along with others, has achieved the honour of being Red-baited without actually being a Red. Brilliant!

      • Jim C


        However, I think you should reconsider your opinions here:

        “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”

        Once you admit that the executive can determine what beliefs or political leanings are “fit and proper” for a journalist to hold, you’re pretty much agreeing to the executive excluding people on whatever grounds they decide.

        Allow me to elaborate.

        You’ve questioned the official Putin-is-bogeyman” narrative. And although you are clearly not a fascist yourself (despite your collectivist leanings), we know Putin Is A Fascist (“reliable” sources say so!) and thus you are giving aid and comfort to fascists. Ergo, you are not a “fit and proper” person to be a journalist.

        Please note that I don’t believe this; I’m merely pointing out that once you start imposing your moral standards on what political leanings are “fit and proper” for journalists, don’t be surprised when someone more powerful decides they don’t consider your leanings to be “fit and proper”.

        The only thing that determines whether someone is “fit and proper” to be a journalist is if they are doing their utmost to reveal the truth. Whether they are (arguably) fascist, Marxist, anarchist, “racist” – whatever that has come to mean now – should be irrelevant.

        • Nick

          Jim C
          Except we live in an era of identity politics,smearing and name calling to play the man instead of the ball. Even if a journalist is “racist” or “fascist “,it should not be used as an ad hom to negate the truth they raise. Because sometimes the truth is ugly.

    • loftwork

      Strange that Lowe considers Murray’s deductions from photos, whether substantiated or not, “wild theorising” especially in any discussion involving Bellingcat. If “wild theorising” were enough to disqualify a writer from NUJ membership I expect there would be few members left after the last decade. If it were consistently enforced, the thunder of departing brogues would be quite deafening. But congratulations to our vigilant defender of the realm and the Stenographers Guild for getting in the first Whataboutery.

      • craig Post author

        Strange that Lowe would comment so very quickly after posting and with such a firm grip on the archive and links to it. But there you are.

        • James

          Craig – but he has given you the answer – so now you know. Someone in MI6 / the establishment does not want the official Skripal fiction to be questioned and they’re pulling all the levers.

          Oddly, they seem to be more worried about your Skripal reporting than your Assange or Salmond reporting. For some reason, Skripal seems to be the jugular.

        • Lowe

          Craig: Your reply exactly makes my point – you’ve leapt straight to conspiracy theory, assuming that I’m some 77th operative or something, instead of the far more likely possibility (also the reality) that I’m just someone who remembers you making a fool of yourself with those posts, and had the ability to google ‘craig murray impossible photo’ and ‘craig murray skripal faked memorial’.

          And those two articles exemplify this tendency – your first instinct upon seeing the ‘impossible photo’ was to assume that it must be a conspiracy involving expert manipulation of photos (which didn’t seem to stretch to altering timecodes), instead of 2 people walking in adjacent corridors.
          And, step back from your biases for a second, what seems more likely – security services unknown manage to alter every known online photograph of an obscure memorial (no ‘unaltered’ photos have ever appeared), hacking undetected into several unrelated websites to switch the photos (which apparently has gone largely unnoticed as the ‘altered’ photos are all still up on those websites nearly 2 years later), or that someone put some pictures up in the wrong place?

          I think this is also why you were denied a place in the SNP – your biases lead you occasionally from ‘fearless seeker of truth’ to ‘willfully obtuse conspiracy theorist’. And that is why I reckon the NUJ want nothing to do with you.

          • Brian c

            He probably made the assumption because why would anybody outside the employ of a corrupt establishment be indignant on their behalf?

          • Jim C

            “Journalists” routinely show they have reflexive biases (Capitalists! Big Oil! Putin! Racists!) and wind up getting things wrong.

            Murray got it wildly wrong on this particular occasion; I remember pointing out his error at the time in the comments.

            Sure, he messed up… but he ‘fessed up, too.

            What’s significant here isn’t Murray’s mistakes (as a non-Lefty I disagree with quite a few of his analyses) but that the NUJ won’t tell him on what grounds it considers him to not be a “fit and proper” person.

            It’s clear that it’s the security services that are really in control of “our” institutions, and as the economic pie shrinks, they will use increasingly desperate measures to hold onto their revenue streams; and to do this, they’ll be obliged to increasingly crack down on dissidents like Murray.

          • James

            Lowe – the problem is that you didn’t make any case for excluding him from the NUJ. After all, teachers unions don’t prohibit duff teachers from joining and incompetence has never been a ground for excluding someone from a union. So, in the context, it is difficult to see an innocent reason why you brought it up.

          • Keith

            He was questioning the consistency of the official narrative, which is what journalists used to do. You merely seek to undermine any counter argument/view as well as his integrity by calling him a conspiracy theorist. Were they ‘good’ journalists’ hassling Corbyn outside his house and taunting and smearing him with the official line? And associated with this was The Guardian /BBC ”good’ journalists for going along with a non-evidenced ‘conspiracy theory’ that continues the official line, without analysing the implications of the US/UK trade Working Group report involved upon our (maybe not ‘your’) NHS? This case show how little the MSM care for the things that matter for ordinary people.

            How ‘Lowe’ can you get!!

          • Patrick Roden

            Even if all of your points about C Murray’s biases are true, why wouldn’t the NUJ tell him why he has been refused permission to join?

            It seems to me that Craig has only asked the NUJ to tell him why he has been barred (he’s even said that he does not need to be told who made the complaint) so we need to ask why are they refusing to tell him the reason if the reason is reasonable and in accordance with the rules that all journalists are expected to adhere to (and will be barred from the NUJ if they don’t)

            failure to answer the above reasonable question would surely indicate that our ‘free press’ is no longer free, and since one of the pillars of democracy is a genuinely free press that ‘speaks truth to power’ than we no longer have a truly functional democracy in the UK.

            And that is huge!

          • Lowe

            Keith – there is a difference between ‘questioning the consistency of the official narrative’ and ‘spouting utter bollocks that that only the most judgementally crippled of professional axe-grinders could possibly believe, then defending it for several days in the most arrogant way imaginable before finally relenting under the weight of public ridicule.’

            I don’t know why the NUJ haven’t told him about these objections. I don’t know if they’ll allow him entry anyway after all these delays. But I do know that I would be very wary about letting a man like Craig Murray, a man with a history of flying into sub-David Icke territory at the slightest opportunity, become a member of any organisation I ran (a slight exaggeration – I guess he could join my gym or whatever).

    • Sam

      If “getting it wrong” is grounds for dismissal, then I assume Luke Harding was kicked out of the NUJ years ago.

    • Carrots

      I suspect, (though knowing little), that it would be a brave NUJ that would give a press card to someone in the midst of a court case for contempt of court over their coverage of a trial. Of course if that’s the case they should say so.

      • Keith

        So ‘guilty until proven innocent’ is OK for you’! With an open and free mind you seem to ‘understand’ the silencing of journalism here. This says so much about societal corruption today – making us fear having a voice.

    • nevermind

      Hahaha, you are surely joking Lowe, such theorizing is the bread and butter of journalism, just ask the ex journalist, very likely still a member of the NUJ, Boris de Pfeffel, Liar, Johnson.
      It seems that you are ok with lying journalists telling porkies, but have a beef with speculative writing of journalists such as Craig, who have some expertise in the matter.
      Was he expelled from the NUJ for lying?

    • Squeeth

      Craig isn’t a journalist, he doesn’t set his sights that low, he’s a reporter.

    • Piotr Berman

      Keith – there is a difference between ‘questioning the consistency of the official narrative’ and ‘spouting utter bollocks that that only the most judgementally crippled of professional axe-grinders could possibly believe, then defending it for several days in the most arrogant way imaginable before finally relenting under the weight of public ridicule.’

      The official Skripal narrative is so full of “utter bollocks” that when Craig took effort to list more glaring ones could stumble on a point. Give me a source on a poison that without any insidious delivery system has symptoms delayed TOTALLY for several hours and then acts rapidly and synchronously for two very different people. (There was a story on a poison in a tiny hollowed needle with a “stopper” that would slowly dissolve at body temperature, then the needle is embedded in the body of the victim by stabbing with an umbrella. Thus the poison is delayed for the time it takes for a stopper to be dissolved, thus I mentioned an insidious delivery system). A method of delivering a poison that was never known to work — and which actually did not work. Ducks that were fine but photographed dead, cat that was starved and killed, roof that was replaced (roof?), best trained expert Samaritans appearing exactly when needed, disappearance of the Skripals (compare with Salman Rushdie who had credible threats, but did not decamp to stay incognito and incommunicado, the mountain of the bizzare is so huge that one can honestly get lost a bit.

      But fervent belief in this crap is what separate “real newsmen” from “fake newsmen”.

  • William Bowles

    What is going on? The NUJ used to be a reasonably progressive union, opposed to censorship and defending free expression but perhaps the fact that it hasn’t defended Julian Assange, or you Craig, the way it’s meant to do, gives us an insight into just how reactionary the NUJ has become. A shameful dereliction of the union’s obligations.

    Shame on you NUJ!!!

    • Jim C

      Same as The Graun – it’s been hijacked by state/corporatist/security services interests.

      • Keith

        That’s clear, Jim, from their absolutely incredible headlines today!! A ‘liberal’ newspaper (whatever) sounding like the Telegraph etc!! Whose interests do they follow? (OK, we know!!)

  • Steve+Hayes

    “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.”

    Once again Craig demonstrates his selective approach to human rights: he should have them, but not people he does not like. Freedom of expression Craig is for people one disapproves of; there is no need for freedom of expression for those opinions one agrees with. Even under Stalin or Pol Pot one was allowed to agree. Anyone who says: “I believe in freedom of speech but… is lying.

    • Ben

      Your comment assumes that racism and Fascism should be allowed a platform of free speech, when ultimately any civilised society would not allow it, nor should it, as both racism and Fascism are antisocial and uncivilised.

      • Ray A

        So while we are making your “civilised society” perhaps we should also ban free speech for communists, homophobes, transphobes, islamaphobes, paedophile-phobes [sorry, if there is a suitable word (other than normal) I don’t know it], and many more. Where does it stop? Who decides? I do not trust the government or Facebook, Google, Twitter, et al. on this.

        Any society that hasn’t learned to handle the difficulties of free speech for all is not civilised, but a society that is already on the path towards dictatorship.

      • bevin

        You are wrong: the NUJ does not provide ‘platforms’ or publications. It is an association of journalists. In my view it should not bar those with racist or fascist opinions but if it chooses to do so it should do so on the basis of a rule, or policy agreed upon by a majority of the membership.

      • Squeeth

        That’s a racist and fascist opinion. Any limit on free speech is fascist. People who oppose fascism and racism need to get off their arses and rebut such antisocial and uncivilised ideas, not use mentally and morally lazy excuses to jump on the racist and fascist censorship bandwagon.

      • nevermind

        Ben, fascism clerarly has a platform world wide, it might be called something different but its the actions that matter.
        look no further than Israel, Hungary, and the increasing support they get in Europe and America. Society has no choice, its either Trump or Biden, more Johnson or Starmer, Orban or somebody slightly milder, Bibi or Gantz n’ Bibi,

      • Jim C

        People were entitled to voice racist and fascist views during periods of our history when we were arguable more civilised.

        As Chomsky observed: If freedom of speech means anything, it means allowing speech you don’t like.

        Laws that criminalise speech that advocates breaking the law are all we need. Let the racists and fascists voice their views; virtually everything they peddle is easily rebutted.

        When those views are only voiced in private, away from refutations, they grow.

        I might also add that once you grant the government power to ban some speech, you’re granting it the power to ban your speech.

        Don’t assume the government will always agree with you; the pendulum swings.

        • Tatyana

          It’s now at this level in my country.
          I visit an internet community where this can be clearly seen, since there is a comment rating system.
          People may express some racist opinions, and other people downgrade these entries and present their own counter-arguments. Moderation intervenes in case of complaints from users or in case the law is violated.
          The law says “Propaganda or agitation inciting social, racial, national or religious hatred and enmity is not allowed. It is prohibited to promote social, racial, national, religious or linguistic superiority.”
          Thus, if a person does not propagate their views and does not agitate other people to share their views, the law allows debate.

      • Peter Moritz

        The question is always: who decides? Once you start imposing “permissible ideas” criteria, you lost free speech and no longer have the ability to openly defend your ideas against those who hold ones diametrically opposed.
        Are there limits to free speech? I would say to openly call for the killing of individuals or groups of people fall under this limit.
        And who says Fascism is antisocial? Fascism is concerned with a fairly rigid social structure of society, one that is top down.
        Even “liberal” societies have their bogeymen that are being ostracized or vilified – from Marxists to Fascists, from those questioning the concept of gender identity to those questioning the advisability of some so called “green” policies.

        • Piotr Berman

          Doubting in immaculate conception of Jesus was taken off the list of “impermissible ideas”, but doubting in immaculate conception of Israel was put on the list. And if you want to be a fascist and accepted, it is enough to prove that you support Israel. Similarly, you may hate native cultures, but if that motivates your illegal takeover of Bolivia, this is OK. Establishment approves and promulgates so much crap that introducing limits on speech empowers only those who have the power already.

      • Nick

        Ben…the truth is sometimes ugly and comes from “ugly” sources.
        The civilised way to deal with “uncivilised” views is to hàve a better argument. But in an imperfect world,the “left” can be right,but also “not-right”.

    • loftwork

      In fact, Steve, Murray has said the opposite of your interpretation – freedom of expression for contrary opinion is fine. The exceptions are racism and fascism, which (morality aside) are usually illegal speech. Perhaps you should take the matter up with parliament, which passed The Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 and the Public Order Act 1986.

      • Tatyana

        I agree, loftwork. Illegal is the key.

        Racism and fascism should not have been mentioned in one text with the Freedom of Speech. These are separate violent ideologies that have been tested historically and today are recognized as unsuitable and prohibited by law.

        In today’s reality, freedom of speech implies the ability to oppose the official opinion, the ability to tell the truth about what the authorities have lied, the ability to reveal facts that the authorities hide. Freedom of speech is an opportunity to have another opinion than the authorities.

        Come on, folks, as we say, “let’s separate the cutlets and flies” and let’s separate the freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by law, and the expression of racist/fascist and other similar ideas that are directly prohibited by law.

        • Peter Moritz

          “These are separate violent ideologies that have been tested historically and today are recognized as unsuitable and prohibited by law.”

          But do you really think that making ideas “unlawful” will help any discussion to eliminate those ideas? Driving the German neo-fascists underground through laws certainly did not help. And of course, by your arguments one should outlaw any discussion of Marx ideas because they also have been tested historically. What about democracy of the USA that has since WW2 managed to kill about 20 million worldwide? Lets outlaw that one too?
          You would like to tell me where to stop “outlawing?”

          “Freedom of speech is an opportunity to have another opinion than the authorities.”

          And that is what different ideas do – including Fascism – an ideology that not necessarily has anything with its most virulent form, Nazism – and Racism.
          For me the buck stops when they call for the extermination of individuals or groups. Otherwise – let their ideas being vetted in the open.

          • Tatyana

            Peter Moritz,
            I’m adult russian woman, that’s why I’m quite comfortable with ‘it’s prohibited by law’. I also understand, that people who were not educated in Russia, like young children or foreigners, may question the prohibition or look for it’s reasons. That’s why I’m OK with open debate too.
            If I am to choose between the 2 variations, I’d better open debate, because it is both educative and condemning.

          • Keith

            Its goes well before your idea of ‘extermination’; its about negation because of who you are – the buck should stop well before that

      • Steve+Hayes

        Loftwork. I did not “interpret” Craig’s words: I quoted him exactly.

        As for the laws you cite: I did oppose them before they became laws and I still oppose them. Indeed, no one, including parliament, can legitimately deny one their fundamental right to freedom of expression. Anyone who supports such violations of fundamental human rights is guilty of crimes against humanity.

    • Keith

      You are ‘picking’ Steve! You make huge oversimplifications: JS Mill is a little out of date today, right!? Societies are far more complex today – freedom of speech, though,was never about absolutes, it was always about – no, not relativism – but empathy and furtherance of free speech itself, rather than apologising for those who would undermine the very rights and integrity of others. Germany re-wrote its constitution post war in recognition of this.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “JS Mill is a little out of date today, right!? Societies are far more complex today”
        No he isn’t and no they’re not.

      • Steve+Hayes

        Keith, so you think being in favour of freedom of expression is “picking”: how very fashionable and up to date you are. I, however, am committed to human rights.

        As to you implied accusation that I am an apologist for Nazi ideology: again how very fashionable: name calling may be popular but it is beneath contempt.

  • John A

    Britain is getting more and more a banana kingdom by the day.
    The Professional Cricketers’ Association has long been described as the most right wing union in Britain, including being more right wing that their employers. This honour must surely now be passed to the NUJ.

    • Jim C

      Are you kidding? The “official” Left have abandoned defence of free speech, conflating it with hate speech. The recent furore over the Harper’s article illustrates this perfectly.

      It’s the “Right” that are still defending free speech.

      • Keith

        Yes they are defending their own voice; they care little for that of others! They are defending their god given right as the Establishment to say what they like …. Some very naive stuff being said tonight

  • Goose

    Reads like you’re a victim of the strategic doctrine of full-spectrum dominance which now includes controlling domestic online discourse and sees domestic journalists as a threat that need to be to be controlled.. totalitarianism is close. General Sir Nick Carter has said as much in interviews that were carried in the MSM without a whiff of concern about the direction we’re heading in as a country and the impact on free speech and risks of stymieing much needed debate. He talked about control over all dimensions of the ‘battlespace’ quote: “Britain is at war every single day” – domestic ‘online’ is now seen by Carter and others, as part of some imagined battleground; “war is increasingly waged online and in outer space” because of this warped ‘permanently at war’ mentality, free rein and lies about the scale of alleged Russian interference we’ve got the Integrity initiative, the 77th, and politicians are allowing this slide towards totalittarianism to happen without a single objection.

    • Blair Paterson

      What kind of fair society Allows people to accuse other people of wrong doings yet remain unnamed how can that be just ??? First A.S. Now Craig you are to be named and scrutinised but they are not to be sheer madness

  • Pyewacket

    Without knowing the ins & outs of the NUJ rules book, I can only speculate. But it is highly likely that the grounds upon which the objection to your membership application have been made, must relate to some rule it contains. I wonder, if your friendship with Julian, and activism on his behalf could have some bearing on this. A sort of Guilt by Association, or Joint Enterprise angle. Someone, somewhere, who obviously knows the rule book inside out, or spent time digging, is the person wielding the dagger. Could also be the case, that you are currently facing charges in Court regarding your journalistic activity relating to the Alex Salmond case. It’s bad that they won’t even tell you which rule in the book you are supposed to have broken, at least that would give you a clue. Kind regards and good luck.

    • Squeeth

      Refused an NUJ card for for journalism? More likely that they are prevaricating because he’s a reporter.

  • frankywiggles

    Many, probably most, of the mainstream journos the NUJ’s does admit as members *are* out and out racists. Virtually all support the bombing, occupation and economic rape of brown people’s countries; the rehabilitation of the “moderate” Tories responsible for the Windrush scandal and the hostile environment; the racist agenda of the apartheid state of Israel; and so on. In all likelihood it also applies to the entity to whom you sent your membership application. (Do not be fooled by the Irish name, just think Bob Geldof… )

  • Julian

    I was a member of the NUJ. I resigned over the outright racism detailed here, where Kerry Anne Mendoza, founder of THe Canary, was stopped from delivering the Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture (a pioneeing BAME journalist). I did manage to get to the lecture at the alternative venue of and it was excellent.

    As a union it is pretty disgraceful and not progressive.

  • S

    Couldn’t it be as simple an objection as this: Craig, as a self-employed blogger paid directly by subscribers, has no employer nor clients, and so does not need a union? The union is there to protect a worker in his/her relationship with his/her employer and clients?

    (Unless Craig is applying on the basis of his media appearances, where he might be regarded as a paid freelance journalist in genuine need of a union. But they are sadly not as frequent as one might hope.)

    • craig Post author


      No. The NUJ has a new media category and is actively marketing itself to bloggers. Besides, if that were the objection, I expect they would say so.

    • Penguin

      The Rev Stu Campbell is a member of the NUJ of some 30 years standing while being employed through a weblog. That clearly can’t be a bar to membership.

      Although his yearly subscriptions didn’t encourage his union to offer any support when his computers were seized by London police following a vexatious complaint by a mentally unstable contributor to the Express. neither did they rally round when their member was defamed by kez dugface. A fact agreed by 4 assorted judges yet he was punished for her crime and no-one spoke out.

      It seems that being a member is just an easy way to lose money to no benefit. Apart from the ability to sneer at ordinary people in the style of leasky and farks.

  • NotARobot

    Hello Craig,
    Very sorry for this new one.
    Just wondering: if you’re denied membership of the NUJ, would it subsequently weaken (or worse deny) your status as a journalist? And therefore deprive you of some protection in case you would need it when being trialed?

  • Rhys Jaggar

    ‘Oy, you tartan wearing SNP commie upstart:

    The NUJ has never been a union for those who oppose totalitarian fascists in the USA and the UK.

    You were standing up for a Jock Patsy that the PTB had decreed had to be branded a sex pest. That is not being a journalist, it is being a traitor. Quite rightly, you are now getting your comeuppance. That will be dragged out as long as possible and we can gleefully deny you membership because even that prize litigant, Ian Hislop, is being an obedient sheep over Covid19, yet you are not playing ball over Assange, Salmond and humanitarian interventions in the Middle East.

    If you must know, some eminent truth tellers at the Guardian threw a bit of a hissy fit. They do not think you are Jewish enough. Marrying a Muslim was bad enough, but having sympathies for Palestinians just isn’t on you know. Jeremy Corbyn could have told you that.

    So here is the unofficial rule book if you ever want NUJ membership:

    1. America is always right, Russia and China are always wrong.
    2. The law never applies to Americans working for the CIA, the NSA or the US Government.
    3. Jews practicing apartheid are not racist.
    4. Bill Browder is a good bloke.
    5. Pinching a woman’s arse is a bigger crime than nuking Russia.
    6. If the Chief Medical Officer says so, it must be true.
    7. If Bill Gates tells you what to say, then say it or else.
    8. Vaccines never cause harm to anyone, even those who die soon after having them.
    9. Sterilising Africans using test vaccines is just one of those things.
    10. Bumping off foreign leaders who say Covid19 is BS is not news, so do not file copy claiming it is.
    11. The antics of David Beckham’s children is more important than the antics of Mike Pompeo in SE Asia.
    12. Bashar al Assad is the second coming of Jesus Christ, as he gassed millions of people without killing any of them.

    Toodle oo.

    Only reapply after undergoing Monarch Mind Control therapy.

  • Altered States

    I hope you win this, Craig. We know that very large numbers of people read your blog:

    The same cannot apparently be said for the Mendacious Guardian (formerly the Manchester Guardian), which seems to have hit the buffers: “Guardian Media Group announced plans to let go 12% of its workforce. That’s 180 jobs, with 70 of those in editorial. The Guardian’s Saturday edition will be hit hard, with The Guide, Weekend, Review and Travel axed. The Press Gazette looks at the numbers: The news came as Guardian Media Group published its financial results for the 12 months to 29 March… GMG reported a pre-tax loss of £36.8m versus a pre-tax profit of £31m the previous year. It made an operating loss of £17.5m versus an operating loss of £16.6m a year earlier.”:

    Not everyone’s doing so badly at the Guardian, however: “Editor Kath Viner, who earned a 5% pay rise, saw her total pay and benefits for the last financial year rise to £391,000. …outgoing chief executive David Pemsel received a pay-off of £184,275 when he left the company on 2 December last year. His successor, Annette Thomas, has the same salary: £630,000”:

  • Sean_Lamb

    Dunno, did you ever say something along the lines that you didn’t think the Labour Party was particularly anti-semitic?

    If so you probably feel foul of the NUJ’s anti-racism policy

  • Robert graham

    Sounds a bit like a Groucho Marx Comedy sketch.
    Send them a email Craig:

    Please accept my resignation I don’t want to be a member of any club that would accept me as a member.

    It’s truly amazing how many spineless individuals are hard at work following orders from the establishment , The whole idea of that profession having scrupulous unimpeachable standards is open to interpretation , an example being Alan Cochrane who produces a weekly diatribe in the Telegraph always involving the SNP, he in my opinion is in need of medical attention , his fixation with the SNP borders on a serious delusional flaw in his state of mind one that he tries vainly to keep in check ,
    And your membership is being questioned ? , more a reflection on them than you Craig , I would hazard a guess where the objection has come from and would involve this persons involvement with witnesses for the prosecution of a well known political figure recently , I can’t remember her name but I remember it wasn’t something as common as Smith or Jones etc .oops can’t use the Jigsaw method to identify her as the justice system seems to be adverse to Jigsaws .

    • Merkin Scot

      Please accept my resignation I don’t want to be a member of any club that would accept me as a member,
      My first thought was similar “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that includes such odious pro-whatever shills as blah, blah etc”.

  • David

    may I propose a “Union of UK Writers/Journalists” where the party in control (UK security services & friends) achieve Party and State control in the field of Literature/Journalism, {non-members will obviously have much more limited opportunities for access & publication}

    They could publish a monthly journal in English, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, Czech & Slovak, and a special ‘Soviet Memorial’ version in old Russian. NUJ?

  • Josh

    Try the Institute of Journalists. It’s the senior union and it’s a cut above the NUJ, which originated as an offshoot from it.

  • Republicofscotland

    Surely Craig there must be another form of recourse for you to pursue in this matter, no tangible evidence has been brought forward to show that you are not a fit and proper person to be a member of the NUJ.

    You may need to go down a legal route, however I could understand your reluctants to pursue this avenue, due to your current unjust position. In saying that having a journalist accreditation by now, which you should have had, might have added a slight bit of weight to your defence in your next court appearance. It’s pretty obvious the NUJ’s decision makers have been leaned on to deny you your licence.

    It is patently obvious to me at least that well researched truthful journalism, such as yours has lead to this refusal.

  • Vercingetorix

    Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.
    Ian Fleming

    I don’t think there is anything us plebs can do to assist except suggesting you get those with some integrity on your side – Peter Hitchens, Robin Ramsey, Steve Bell, John Pilger?

    Or you could just let it go and carry on stirring the shit show. Concentrate on what you are good at and fuck ’em.

  • fonso

    Start tailoring your output to fit the agenda of the billionaire/corporate-owned MSM.

    Seamus will give you a friendlier ear. Absolutely guaranteed.

    • Tatyana

      Mr. Seamus Dooley looks like an honest and decent person. I can be bad at reading the character on the face, however.

      • fonso

        Never seen him. Just going by his brush off of Craig without offering a reason.

          • Pooh

            He might’ve said so, but he hasn’t, and I doubt he is a novice at correspondence.

            Maybe he does as he’s told? Maybe he wants to keep his job and he’s got a family to feed… Imho, ‘fonso’ has a point with regard to S Dooley’s “brush off of Craig without offering a reason.” To me, it sounds more like ‘The cat knows whose meat it has eaten/been eating’.

          • Stonky

            Maybe as simple as he doesn’t know and needs time to find it out?

            Oh come on Tatyana. Craig has filed an application. Some person/people have filed an objection/objections to his application. Therefore there must either be a piece of paper or an electronic communication with the objection on it.

            How many weeks do you think you can sit and stare at a piece of paper/electronic communication before you are able to see what it says?

          • Stonky

            It reminds me of the time I needed a colonoscopy from the NHS. I went to my GP, who did the needful. Six weeks later I got a letter:

            “Your name has now been added to our waiting list for an appointment…”

            I was quite impressed. I guess if you took someone’s name and date of birth and typed one character per working day, you could string out the process of adding them to a waiting list to six weeks.

          • Tatyana

            Hi, Stonky
            From the letters I see that Mr. Dooley says it was the General Secretary who received the written objection. I thought maybe Mr. Dooley’s function in the NUJ is to advice on the procedure and maybe he hasn’t even seen the objection himself.
            From my experience, most delay problems happen if I contact wrong person.

  • ET

    The NUJ journalist code of conduct can be found here:

    I’d have thought Craig is an exemplar par excellence in upholding said code of conduct and the NUJ as a matter of principle should be wholly supportive.

    “At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed.”
    “Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair.”

    I am sure Seamus will read this blog post by Craig. Perhaps it is time the NUJ made public comment on the Julian Assange case and Craig’s. Don’t see it coming anytime soon.

    • ET

      In fairness after a little more digging I see that the NUJ has made some public comment on Julian Assange broadly in support and condemning judicial instruments being used against Julian Assange are a monstrous attack on press freedom.

      Tim Dawson also attended to extradition proceedings and reported on them which can be found on the NUJ website.

      And indeed Seamus Dooley also commented:

      So I take back my comment that the NUJ have not publically commented on Julian Assange’s case.

      • Coldish

        Thanks, ET. Those comments make it much less likely that Craig’s association with Julian Assange is the cause of the objection to his rejoining the NUJ. It seems to me that Craig’s coverage of the Salmond trial is more likely to be the issue. In particular the existence of the contempt of court charge might account for Dooley’s apparent prevarication. The fact that Craig’s application has not yet been communicated to either the Dundee branch or the Edinburgh branch suggests that the NUJ management may now be waiting on the outcome of Craig’s trial.

  • Christopher Barclay

    When you can lose your job for saying ‘All Lives Matter’, we are already in an authoritarian society.

    • kitbee

      Well all pigs are equal too- it’s just that some pigs are more equal than others.

    • Mighty Drunken

      Its weird, I thought the whole point of BLM is that it is not in exclusion of WLM, but an extension. The corollary being “All lives matter”. People are too willing to find reasons to be angry.

      • Nick

        Mighty drunken
        Why the assumption that one is racist for saying alm? I don’t see people as black or white,as binary,therefore saying alm is nothing but logical to me.

  • Ian Gibson

    I’m curious as to your dropping the angle on Data Protection: as long as your understanding of their membership process is correct and complete, there would seem to be a pretty compelling argument that the only way objections could have been received is by mishandling of your application in terms of the Data Protection Act. If nothing else, pursuing a complaint with their DP Officer would add some pressure of scrutiny to the process.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      One must assume that all Craig’s e-mails, communications and whereabouts are continuously monitored. His home may even be bugged.

      I suspect some phone calls were made to interfere with Craig’s membership application.

      This should indeed be a reason for alarm, because the motive may well be to cast Craig as a “non-journalist” to prevent him using the “freedom of journalism” defence in the event of his future harassment and persecution (by the usual suspects).

      • Ian Gibson

        Even were that the route, it would still involve the data being passed to an existing member, because they can only consider objections from such. That might indeed mean that the NUJ themselves were not the cause of the breach, surely the National Union of JOURNALISTS would have some concern about the misappropriation of their data…? And should they accept objections from someone who on the face of things should not have had knowledge of the application?

    • ET

      Indeed, Seamus Dooley as Assistant General Secretary has “overall responsibility for the day-to-day running of union activities, organisation and financial affairs.” As an organisation you’d expect that they would be concerned about such a possible breach of data protection and Seamus Dooley being in his position and having been alerted to such a possibility would have conscientiously forwarded Craig’s questions to the responsible data offcer without prompting. He might also have told you how to contact the data officer without prompting.

    • nevermind

      Good to hear from you Ian, thats a great idea to start rolling up the curtain from another end. Hope you are well.

    • Stonky

      I agree with you on Data Protection. Craig should absolutely maintain this line of enquiry. Data Protection is one of the few areas of the law that still has some teeth. You have an absolute right to access not only any communications in which you are named, but even communications from which you could reasonably be identified. It’s a bit like the contempt action against Craig in reverse.

      DP was certainly very powerful on behalf of the Electoral Commission, in preventing me finding out Wendy Alexander’s explanation for why she filed a donation to her leadership campaign as coming from a source that had absolutely nothing to do with the actual source.

      • Stonky

        Craig, what you should do is write to them now, under Data Protection Law, and ask for copies of all communications that they have in their possession naming you or concerning you, since the date you filed you application. They will have to give you anything they sent out and anything they got back.

        “I’m a tinpot jobsworth and I’m going to be diligently investigating this matter for the next ten years…” isn’t a legitimate ground for failing to comply with a request under Data Protection.

  • Jay

    They can’t admit it is because you are anti-establishment because that would destroy their self-image as fearless truth tellers. It is something of an indictment though that they can’t come up with something else after all this time.

  • N_

    That Dooley guy sounds a right stuck-up berk. He can hardly write a sentence without demonstrating it.

    The guilty party is probably either the Lobby or the corrupt Scottish government, possibly with the added ingredient of the NUJ don’t want to run the risk of having to pay for your legal support in the future.

    • N_

      What self-help organisation can we think of with members who write letters and make calls to get decent people sacked or denied employment or certification?

  • Republicofscotland

    unfortunately Craig as Mark Curtis points out.

    “Britain’s national press is acting largely as a platform for the views of the UK military and intelligence establishment.”


  • Kempe

    Recalling the ‘phone hacking, doorstepping, bribery and spying carried out by those who, presumably, were deemed ‘right and proper’ to call themselves journalists why would anybody want to be associated with them?

    • James

      Kempe – some things are easier if you belong to a union. For example, if Her Majesty’s Government wants to bang you up for doing your job, you can get the union to pay your legal fees and you don’t have to ask kind bloggers for a contribution.

      But you’re right – on a `you can tell a man who boozes by the company he choozes’ principle, I can’t see anyone joining the NUJ unless they really have to.

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