“Credible Open Source Reporting”, the Intelligence Services and Scottish Independence 286

I write as somebody who held Top Secret clearance for 21 years, with extensive daily use of Top Secret material that entire time, and the highest possible specific codeword clearance above Top Secret for 11 years. I personally conducted for the FCO the largest “action on” operation in GCHQ history. (“Action on” is the process of declassifying top secret material for, in my particular case, government to government use). I have also given evidence in person in a three hour appearance before Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee.

The BBC has all morning been trailing the imminent report by the Intelligence and Security Committee as showing Russian interference in the Scottish referendum campaign according to “credible open source reporting”. It is hardly a surprise that Westminster has weaponised its report to attack not the British Establishment but Scottish Independence.

“Credible open source reporting” is a piece of formal security service intelligence assessment jargon. It is very important you know exactly what it means. It means material not from secret human intelligence or from communications intercept, but material which has been published, in the media or academia. Stuff that is as available to you or I as it is to the intelligence services. Not intelligence material at all. Nothing to do with the Intelligence and Security Committee.

The last high profile deployment of the “credible open source reporting” formulation was the dirty dossier on Iraq Weapons of Mass Destruction, where the PhD thesis of Ibrahim al-Marashi was the source for untrue claims about Iraqi WMD. Al-Marashi, now a Professor, states his work was distorted and altered to suit the agenda of the Iraq War.

Mr Marashi’s student thesis, Iraq: Its Infrastructure of Concealment, Deception and Intimidation, was not only plagiarised. It was also altered, as the British government and intelligence establishment sought to strengthen what in truth was uncertain evidence about Saddam’s efforts to develop WMD.

The point of “open source reporting” is that it is published and we can all see it. We could have seen al-Marashi’s PhD thesis. But Blair’s Iraq Dossier did not give the name of the source. It did not say “according to the student Ibrahim al-Marashi”. It said “Intelligence services say that credible open source reporting says…”.

“Credible open source reporting” is a propaganda formulation designed to fool you and give a false imprimatur to any dubious piece of published work.

So the grand Intelligence and Security Committee will not say “According to the article in the Herald by the Russophobe nutter David Leask and the publicity seeking Jennifer Jones”… It will say “According to the intelligence services, credible open source reporting says…”

But actually it is absolutely no more than the former. Dressed up falsely as “intelligence”.

All of Scotland must ask. “Open source reporting. Can I see it then?”.

Yet our so-called journalists are all parroting “open source reporting” without one of them asking where it is.

UPDATE – we now have the report itself. A footnote gives the justification for its “credible open source reporting” on Scottish Independence. It is incredibly flimsy:

44 For example, it was widely reported shortly after the referendum that Russian election observers had suggested that there were irregularities in the conduct of the vote, and this position was widely pushed by Russian state media. We understand that HMG viewed this as being primarily aimed at discrediting the UK in the eyes of a domestic Russian audience. More recently, we note the study by Ben Nimmo – #ElectionWatch: Scottish Vote, Pro-Kremlin Trolls, 12 December 2017.

Yes, that is Ben Nimmo, £5,000 a month consultant to the Integrity initiative, and his identification of scores of ordinary Scottish tweeters as “Kremlin trolls”. You will recall that one sure sign of a Kremlin troll according to Nimmo was use of the phrase “cui bono”. Nimmo was Leask’s source for the Herald article I quoted above.


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286 thoughts on ““Credible Open Source Reporting”, the Intelligence Services and Scottish Independence

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  • Jemma McLaughlan

    Made my first donation for you today Mr Murray. Thank you for the work you do

    • Cynicus

      An even bigger fool is one who thinks “his” an appropriate personal pronoun for one named, “Jemma”.

      BTW, do you ever meet Burgess and Maclean down there?

      • Antonym

        It seems the UK lost its best spies to Russia long ago (the Cambridge 5). Today’s crop produces this kind of low quality stuff (on Iraki WMDs, Syria, Skripal, Trump and now Salmond). Is it contracted out to new Ukraine to line some pockets?
        What used to be “intelligence” is now garbage.

    • Ken Kenn

      Stop buying the daily mail then.

      And better still stop voting Tory.

      In the next three months all Tory voters ( except the well off and rich ) are going to find out what the price of voting for this bunch of robbers is going to be.

      Come on here around Xmas and tell me how your parties going.

      Plenty of balloons in the Cabinet – if you’re short.

    • George+McI

      Mine is “in the post” too! It’s only fair given the comments I’ve put in.

  • DiggerUK

    “Craig Murray charged with Open Court Reporting”………see, you can make things up.

    Anyway, ‘cui bono’ in Russia from rigging the votes in a Scottish Referendum…_

  • Gav

    “Yet our so-called journalists are all parroting…”

    That horse bolted a long time ago; no need to remind us the barn door is still open. But thanks anyway.

    • Jack

      Wow, on my end too.

      Even when I add +blog , +home page or +site it wont show up.

      This site pulls a couple of thousands visitors every week I am sure, that the site wont show up on Google is how censorship work these days.
      This isnt a coincidence, this is a deliberate work by someone along with people at Google.

      I tried “Duck a go go” search engine and also “Bing” search engine, the site shows up as #1 on both these sites.

      • Kim Sanders-Fisher

        I noted that too. I can imagine how it will get worse as this Tory Government steadily shuts down alternative opinions on the Internet as ‘fake news.’

      • Stuart MacKay

        Duck duck go uses Bing to generate the index that make searches work so it’s not surprising you got the same results.

        Still, it’s pretty interesting that Google is generating mixed results, particularly since if you are logged into a Google account the results should be “personalised”. It would be interesting to see if someone who had a previous history of visiting, shall we say, independence-minded sites was inexplicably served up a list of links from main stream media that were ostensibly opposed to Scottish independence.

    • Mochyn69

      Yep, Craig’s website has been disappeared by Google. But it does show his twitter feed as #1. Get RTing everybody!

      HMG say they are not going to implement the recommendation of the ISC report. The Government have trashed the Djanogly amendment on parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals and blocked Amendment 10 to the Trade Bill with dire consequences for Wales and Scotland.

      Am I being too dramatic if I say this is all-out war on the nations and a fully fronted assault on the devolution settlement?

    • N_

      Basic banalities (apologies, Raoul):

      1. Never knowingly allow Google software to be installed on your equipment. (If you want a smartphone and it’s an Android one, be careful when following this rule. If you want an Apple one, Apple is of course a totally crap company that makes absolute crap fit for zombies, but it’s better to have one of their lumps of sh*t than anything that runs Google software.)

      2. If you want to use the web and browse to the same site repeatedly, use your “Bookmarks”, or “Favourites” as they are sometimes infantilisingly called. Alternatively, use your power of memory to store some URLs. Don’t rely on asking Google to take you there every time you want to go there. The fictitious person called Google always does what’s in the interests of the very real persons who control that company. Same as for GlaxoSmithKline, or Tesco, or whatever. This isn’t rocket science.

      • N_

        use your “Bookmarks”, or “Favourites” as they are sometimes infantilisingly called. Alternatively, use your power of memory to store some URLs. Don’t rely on asking Google to take you there every time you want to go there.

        Or of course use a notebook and a pencil or pen.
        Note to those under 35: think of this as an opportunity to learn how to do joined-up writing.

        • Squeeth

          “Note to those under 35: think of this as an opportunity to learn how to do joined-up writing.”

          Remember that you don’t start a sentence with a conjunction and never follow a full stop with a twattish Americanism like “likewise”, “moreover”, “meanwhile” or “additionally”. While you’re about it, if you feel an adjective or adverb coming on, resist, RESIST I SAY!

  • Rob

    Someone is implementing changes in the Google search algorithm today.

    This morning a Google search for “Craig Murray” gave this website as the number one result. Now it’s gone. (It was still No 1 for me this morning when you and others were saying it had vanished. But no longer.)
    Same with “Scot Goes Pop”. That was first result yesterday. Now it’s gone.
    Same with “Wee ginger dug”. That was first result yesterday evening. Now it’s also been removed from the results.

    “Wings over Scotland” still returns Stuart Campbell’s website as 1st result. I wonder how long that will last?

    It looks like someone is making it difficult to find pro-independence websites.
    Just in time for the PMs new pro-union campaign.

    • N_

      Those four pages are still coming up as the top offerings for me when I use those search terms at DuckDuckGo.
      (Which is not to say I believe for a moment that DDG is independent of the fascist internet-state. This is just FYI.)

  • Jamie McCubbin

    50 Lothian Road is the address for the law firm Burness Paul. I know folk that work for them. Keep up the good work Craig but stay safe.

  • Mochyn69

    Yep, the blog page has been disappeared, but it does give your twitter feed as the first result.

    So get RTing everbody.

    • Mochyn69

      It came back shortly afterwards and is still up now.

      However it did disappear round about the time of the publication of the long-delayed ISC report yesterday.

      UK has gone full on Alice in Wonderland – Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would.

      And the big elephant in the room, seemingly untouched by the Russia report is the vast financial support to the toraidhs by private Russian donors.


  • SA

    Don’t really understand these Russians they seem to be confused, do they support Brexit and Scottish independence or do they just want to play tennis with Boris Johnson? Do they want Scottish independence or do they want to undermine the SNP?

    • N_

      Dividing Britain from the German-led EU seems good for Russian interests. The elite in any one of those three powers doesn’t want the other two ganging up on it. Ditto dividing Britain itself, but it’s worth recalling that the Sindyref was held two years before the Brexit referendum and if Sindy was important to Russia in 2014 it might not be quite so important now except insofar as one or two billionaires might possibly have their eye on buying up an independent Scotland if the banks put it into administration. Cf. Iceland. But many billionaires have their eye on many things. Given that ALL the major Scottish political parties whether pro or anti independence support NATO, a Scottish-Russian military pact seems rather unlikely to say the least. So does a neutrality arrangement with Russia as one of the guarantors. Ireland practically went bankrupt when the property scam (“tiger”!) blew up, and Russia didn’t manage to get stuck in there.

      It’s not as if Alec Salmond is the only British politician who gets bungs from RT. There’s Nigel Farage. But the report doesn’t go there. To omit mention of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix and Arron Banks (except for mentioning Banks in one footnote) is taking the p*ss.

      Does anyone know what the Russian take was on the City of London’s push on the European continent that got stopped by the referendum result? When Boris Johnson’s billionaire friend Evgeny “Two Beards” Lebedev’s father was a KGB honcho in London, it’s said he spent more effort targeting the City than targeting politicians or union or media leaders. I can well believe that.

  • Mochyn69


    Yep, Craig’s website has been disappeared by Google. But it does show his twitter feed as #1. So get RTing everybody!

    HMG say they are not going to implement the recommendation of the ISC report. The Government have trashed the Djanogly amendment on parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals and blocked Amendment 10 to the Trade Bill with dire consequences for Wales and Scotland.

    Am I being too dramatic if I say this is all-out war on the nations and a fully fronted assault on the devolution settlement?

    What is to be done?


  • SA

    Now I understand. The Russia report is everything for everybody. The main accusation is that Russia meddled with both the Scottish referendum and the leave vote but that the security services thought this was not worth investigating but also that Johnson thought it would place doubts on his integrity, having played tennis and not exercised social distancing from pariah Russian oligarchs, thought that publishing the report would influence the elections because it was so obvious that any Russian influence really is that of said Russian oligarchs with Johnson and his crew. But now the press interpret this as a clear licence to attack … er… not Johnson , but Corbyn. Alice in wonderland would have had a field day enacting this scenario.

  • Jockanese Wind Talker

    Both the Ibrahim al-Marashi link to Chilcott Report article in the Independent and the Leasky ‘Russian Bogeyman’ rubbish in the Herald links in the article work fine Craig.

    However I am getting a DDos Cloudflare Protection message “Checking your browser before accessing craigmurray.org.uk.” when I click on the Ben Nimmo link.

    Assuming this isn’t you but rather Google protecting the Integrity Initiative/Nimmo?

    • Kempe

      No it’s Cloudflare protecting itself from a denial of service attack which I seem to recall has taken down this site once before.

  • Goose

    The SNP’s Stewart Hosie has said the government had “actively avoided” investigating possible Russian interference in the Brexit referendum, a situation the report called “in stark contrast to the US handling of allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election”.

    Hardly a great example to follow. A hugely expensive investigation in the US that dragged on for years and produced no evidence supporting the central allegation of collusion. The recent information from CrowdStrike, that there’s even no evidence the emails were actually exfiltrated from the servers i.e. nothing in the server logs, by Russian hackers, makes the threadbare claims even flimsier.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Dear Craig Murray,

    I shall shortly be sending you a one way ticket to a Caribbean Island where you shall be exiled for the rest of your life.

    I recall sitting with a Cambridge Professor at a dinner who asked me about my years in Britain and I did use the word “corrupt” about HMG. He was taken aback and asked me if that was what I honestly believed and whether I could cite any evidence. I started to reel it out and also included the dispatch of a Kuwaiti dissident who had been granted a passport and exile in the Caribbean nation of Dominica under then Prime Minister Eugenia Charles. The alterative for not so doing, was as with your own experience would have been the loss of a lot of filthy lucre to HMG. The Professor, actually then head of Magdalen, listened and absorbed fully and then we politely changed the course of the conversation.

    Methinks Murray – you may have likewise to be exiled.

    Otherwise – keep up the good work.

    • N_

      Ha, Magdalen! That’s the college that kicked its graduate students out of their accommodation for a night so that those who could afford it could have a big cokefest pissup, protected by private security goons.

      When you called the government corrupt and the learned professsor asked whether that was what you honestly believed and whether you could cite any evidence (what a ridiculously stupid sod!), you should have said “No, I’m lying, and no I haven’t got any evidence whatsoever”, perhaps continuing with “In fact I know they’re not corrupt, and I have an enormous amount of evidence for their total lack of corruption, as I imagine you do too”.

      • N_

        Another thing you could have asked the guy was how admissions tutors at Magdalen and the other Cambridge colleges decide what undergraduates to accept from China. None of them ever takes a bung, right?

        Did his eyebrows go up like a naughty boy’s when he asked oh-so-innocently whether you really truly believed the British government was corrupt?

        • N_

          Two other things to ask him:

          1) Why don’t Magdalen and the other Cambridge colleges publish their registers of fellows’ interests?

          2) Cambridge University’s colleges are charities. That means they don’t pay tax in Britain. So why do they keep such money abroad, in Switzerland?

  • Michael+Cavanagh

    the recurring bollocks of the british establishment’s own creation ending up recycled as a source (open) for the UK parliament Security and Intelligence Committee report. The way to guarantee the narrative you want to spin is to pay goons to produce disinformation and rely on the media to avoid connecting the dots already drawn out for them.

  • Crispa

    If I was a member of this Committee I would be ashamed to put my name to such simplistic junk. The Committee is supposed to provide oversight of the intelligence agencies but it is pretty clear that it is the latter that are calling the tune and manipulating the Committee to produce stuff that they want it to produce. The list of so-called “expert witnesses” is pathetic.
    I think the psycho-analytical term to describe it is “reaction-formation” in which internal threats to the psyche are projected on to external causes, which can then be attacked. The frequent references to Skripal just goes to show how important it has been to the manufacture and sustaining of its anti Russian narrative.
    And of course the media coverage has been so very carefully managed to reinforce the message that it is impossible to think of the report other than in terms of pots calling kettles, motes and beams or just plain hypocrisy.

    • Goose

      I think you’ve got to consider the febrile atmosphere when the report was produced. Brexit was on a knife-edge at that time I honestly thought it would never happen. Dominic Grieve, the then Chair of the ISC, is passionately pro-EU and was desperate to prevent Brexit. To say this report wasn’t influenced by the political context at that time, is ludicrous. People on the remain side were clutching at straws, and some still are with calls for a further investigation into Brexit referendum meddling.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “Brexit was on a knife-edge at that time I honestly thought it would never happen”
        It hasn’t happened yet, we are in a ‘transitional phase’.

          • Squeeth

            I was, Corbyn was a far better saboteur than even Bliar. The craven poltroon made Ramsay MacDonald look good. For once the working class donkeys in the north and the midlands judged Liarbour on its record and voted in the fake election accordingly.

          • SA

            With friends like you who needs enemies. You forget the cliffhanger of 2017

      • N_

        Grieve put up genuine resistance and is a strongminded guy but at points in late 2019 it was clear that some serious frighteners had been put on him.

        TMay’s government was removed in a coup in all but name.

        There are still those who think things will return to normal because they have “got” to. In fact this seems to be the majority view across the class spectrum – at least at the front of people’s minds. Things won’t return to pre-2020 normal ever. Deep down, most know it.

        • Goose

          It wasn’t a coup N_, there had been growing disquiet in Tory ranks for years.

          The Tories sank to 8% in the May 2019 European elections after we hadn’t left the EU on the scheduled date of 29 March 2019 . The Brexit Party got over 30%. That wasn’t a situation that could continue with a election coming up.

          She’d faced a serious leadership challenge in the form of a no-confidence motion in December 2018, she won by 200 votes to 117. Showing there was growing discontent in the party.

        • portside

          A unique brand of Marxist who yearns for the normal of Dominic Grieve and Theresa May.

  • doug scorgie

    Just a glitch? Google hides conservative & alt-media websites from search results for hours.
    what have they been up to?

  • Royd

    In relation to State-interference in British elections/referenda aren’t we looking in the wrong direction? Shouldn’t we be looking west rather than east? Mike Pompeo stated that he would do all he could to prevent Jeremy Corbyn becoming the UK’s PM.

    • joel

      Naughty.. . Next you’ll be recalling Barack’s unabashed interventions in 2014 and 2016. In reality of course there is no equivalence between that and Russian interference. The latter was so much more obvious and decisive that it doesn’t even need to be explained let alone evidenced. Everyone just ‘knows. ‘

      • N_

        British subservience to the US is never questioned in the mainstream.

        Imagine if Putin or Xi had stood alongside the British PM and told her the NHS had to be up for sale, as Trump did.

        • Marmite

          Well, considering the Tories are too stupid to know anything else exists outside the market, I’d expect that we would all simply become friends with Xi and Putin at that point.

          In either case, they are all part of the boys’ club, just pretending to be ideologically different, so that they can be scapegoated and played off one another, distracting the public from the number one terrorist of the people, the state itself.

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      They whealed out Mike ‘whole courses in lying’ Pompeo for the presser on this (BBC yesterday) because they needed an expert liar. The look on his face said ‘are they realy buying this?’.

      Someone else put the BBC on.

    • Goose

      Yes, Pompeo talked of not waiting to start ‘pushback’, and Corbyn ‘having to run the gauntlet’ to get elected. Imagine if Putin had said that about some western politician.

      There were the anti-Corbyn flash mobs with identical placards denouncing his alleged antisemitism, some waving Israeli flags. The impromptu demonstration right outside parliament without a permit that featured on the BBC news all day, a demo that wasn’t broken up by the Met. Former MI6 head Dearlove’s attacks on Corbyn, cabinet secretary and supposedly neutral Mark Sedwill’s leak discussing his [Corbyn’s] alleged health problems. Netanyahu’s online spat criticising Corbyn, the Chief Rabbi’s intervention backed up by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

      Making foreign agents register will be good thing as it may flush out the real meddlers i.e., it won’t be Russia-linked. Ruth Smeeth and co.

      • N_

        Under JFK the US Department of Justice ordered the American Zionist Council to register under FARA.
        JFK was then removed in Dallas.
        The AZC’s activities continued under the AIPAC banner. AIPAC is of course not registered under FARA, and I doubt there is a single congressman or senator who says it should be. All but about five of them are too busy screaming “Israel has the right to defend itself” each time there’s a massacre in Gaza.

        • Goose

          The UK press never questioned who these people were, why they were waving Israeli flags, how they’d coordinated their protest , and how they could protest right outside parliament without permission.

          But all that said, wasn’t Corbyn his own worst enemy. His lack of willingness to take the fight to those out to undermine him makes it hard to be too upset at the lost opportunity for change his leadership represented. Take the horrendous HQ staffers who were gaslighting members, as ‘Trots’ , denigrating Left-wing MPs and sabotaging the party from within. A stronger leader would have called out the AS lies and brought in their own people to manage the HQ. If he couldn’t sort out those HQ staffers and the right-wing Blairite dominated PLP in opposition, then in power, when he actually needed their votes of Smeeth, Austin, Woodcock; Hodge, Streeting et al, it would have been a horror show.

          • Marmite

            ‘A stronger leader would have …’

            We don’t live in the 1920s and 30s anymore. Things had become so much more complicated. He had the impossible task of holding together a group of people, most of whom are brain-dead wackos who still believe that nineteenth-century right-libertarian political and economic models apply in the 21st century.

            I kind of get tired when I hear people talk about figureheads being their own worst enemy. There is no truth in such statements.

          • Goose


            I didn’t want, or expect, Corbyn to be a tyrant, that’s not in his nature anyway.

            But you can’t allow the bastards to beat you to a pulp then have to apologise to them for their bruised knuckles. There were widespread media reports of Corbyn facing horrendous foul-mouthed shouted abuse from right-wing PLP people at the PLP meetings held in the Commons. No one should stand there soaking up punches like that.

            Labour just needed someone like Chris Williamson leading the party;someone who understood the true nature of the struggle with the Blairite PLP better than Corbyn. Corbyn was always talking about seeking party unity with people who had no intention of working harmoniously because they hated the party’s values.

      • Squeeth

        All Corbyn had to do was stand up for himself and these charlatans would have been laid waste. Trouble was that Corbyn wasn’t Galloway.

        • Goose

          It’s not completely lost yet Squeeth.

          The Socialist Campaign Group of MPs is large (37+), they could hold the balance of power. I’d expect a move by Starmer to try remove them on spurious grounds. Starmer is very close to triggering the membership wrath, and revolt after appointing right-wingers and this latest move, one wrong policy decision and there could be a leadership challenge.

          20% of Labour MPs needed to launch a leadership challenge i.e. 41 MPs. Labour has 202 MPs , the socialist campaign group aren’t far off at 37 and there are other known left-wing MPs who Starmer may sack from his shadow cabinet

        • Goose

          Used to like him, but now think he’s a bit of a political oddball – facing left and right when it suits him. Galloway is only loyal to one G.Galloway.

          He bizarrely supports an independent UK in the form of Brexit, but opposes Scottish independence(?) He knows full well there’s little hope of his socialist ideals being carried out by Westminster, a Westminster he lays into with ferocity. So what is he up to?

          And Galloway would be too combative to lead any group of people. He could start a fight in an empty room as the saying goes.

        • frankywiggles

          Galloway would have folded like a cheap suit to receive a pat on the head from the establishment Right. Even as an outsider he’s now wrapping himself head to toe in the butcher’s apron. About as trustworthy as a faulty watch or any of the Tory pals he flatters on his tv show.

      • Royd

        Thanks for posting the link. It’s enlightening isn’t it! And nary a word from our ‘brave and fearless’ MSM. I sometimes think I’m living in another reality 🙁

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    From the front pages of the Scottish titles this morning.
    The Express – “Sturgeon: No probe of Russia Indyref meddling”. An exercise in treating their readership as morons / knowing their audience (takes yer pick). Any probe would require GCHQ, MI5 and some input from MI6, none of whom pointedly report to the Scottish Government.
    The Mail – “Russia DID meddle in Scots poll”. No comment on the substance of the allegations, just bold assertions.
    The Unionists media are losing it big time as the poll numbers point to their near inevitable demise.

  • Republicofscotland

    As the British government cry wolf once again over Russian interference, the Intelligence and Security Committee in their report noted that the undemocratic unelected House of Lords, had a substantial amount of members, who have business interests with Russia, or work directly with Russian companies linked to the Russian state.

    The stench of hypocrisy emanating from Westminster is overpowering.

  • 6033624

    So, WE pay someone to come up with this bilge (Nimmo) He passes it on to a tame journalist (who may or may not ALSO be paid by us) who then publishes it in his newspaper. Intelligence gets copy of said paper from the Post Office round the corner, carefully clips out the article (no doubt it’s all online these days but I genuinely had to do this years ago) and files it for future use. Now OUR Intelligence services have an inquiry into Russian interference and out come the file where we can quote said journalist as a source. Brilliant! We tell you what to tell us and we tell the public that story.

    The ‘intel’ was quite lame anyway. But, the ‘interference’ was about Election Observers and so was regarding something AFTER the referendum. Hardly ‘interference’ is it? But I know that the Russians DID report this and, some have said there WERE irregularities (I’m not sure the extent of them) and I did hear, and see reported in the papers that there were investigations over cases of people turning up to vote only to be told they’d already voted! That and a few areas of 100% turnout.

    Of course if the Russians HAD interfered and the result was 45% for Indy and the polls are now 55% that would make it seem that the Russians wanted to keep the union, wouldn’t it?

    • Julia Gibb

      The “magic circle is well established in Scotland.
      On Monday a Unionist Party will hand a press release to the media. On Tuesaday the papers run the story unaltered. Tues/Wed Reporting Scotland highlight the newspaper articles and run an in depth piece. On Thursday the Unionist Party express horror at FMQs at the media finding and demand an enquiry or a sacking.
      The Russian Story is the upmarket (or down gutter) version

      • Republicofscotland

        Spot on Julia, though you missed STVs 10.30pm slot where it would be discussed in-depth, in a kind of shock and horror fashion.

  • Julia Gibb

    “credible open source reporting”
    The Herald
    The Daily Record
    The P&J
    BBC Reporting Scotland
    Daily Express
    Daily Mail
    Etc etc So many choices. However the Whitehall jargon sounds so much more credible than…according to the Unionist media and blogs in Scotland.

    • Goose

      Bill Browder, Luke Harding; Carole Cadwalladr, Mr.Nimmo and Christopher Steele and plethora of others,have made successful careers out of bashing Russia. The idea any of these are going to come at things objectively is laughable.

      The big social media platforms, pressed by politicians to ‘do something’ after Trump’s election scoured their platforms for signs of those
      with Russian IPs they found very few. The shameless Luke Harding and Cadwalladr insinuate UK citizens with UK IP addresses are working for Russia, without providing a scintilla of evidence. There is no greater slur on their fellow citizens, despicable accusations to make without providing proof. This is why moves to make foreign agents register should be welcomed; let’s see how many prosecutions there are to test their subversion theories.

      Really wish the likes of Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Jack Dorsey (twitter) had contested this nonsense that developed as a result of certain people not being able to come to terms with the fact Hillary lost an election.

  • Republicofscotland

    A new secret group of MP’s have formed a group to try and crush Scottish independence. Its headed up by Welsh MP Robin Millar, its called the Conservative Union Research Group, modelled on Jacob Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group.

    Press reports say there are around 30 MP’s in the anti-Scottish independence group, most of them are Scottish, with Welsh and MP’s Northern England involved as well.

    • Julia Gibb

      “MP who holds a Welsh seat” is a better description.
      I suspect he doesn’t consider himself a Welsh MP ?

        • Julia Gibb

          Unionists are BritNats first. The British Empire based it on the Roman Empire model of awarding Citezenship of Rome to loyal natives ?
          Will he defend the devolved powers to Wales…thought not!

    • N_

      It will be interesting if most members of the group are Scottish given that the Tories only have 6 MPs in Scotland, although there are about 30 Scottish MPs who represent English constituencies.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Nothing illegal about that: they have a viewpoint which you profoundly disagree with.

      • Republicofscotland

        So did the Britnat politicians who pushed the Vow in Scotland to save the union, then failed to deliver it, unionist politicians can not be trusted on Scottish matters, they serve Westminster first and foremost.

      • Julia Gibb

        A viewpoint is very different from active interference in the UN mandate on self determination. If we return to the article base the main interference in the Scottish Referendum came from those who did not live in Scotland.

        When you visited homes after a visit by Better Together campaigners who had told that household that they would not be allowed to visit grandchildren in England. That their pensions would be lost. That the health service would end etc etc

        Where did the black money come from?

        Everyone has the right to free speech. That does not include screaming “Fire” in a packed cinema.

    • Goose

      As @Aaron Bastani commented succinctly on Twitter :

      Anyone who wants Scottish independence is now doing Russia’s bidding while Chinese Brits are a suspected enemy within.

      This is the U.K. turning decades old techniques of psychological warfare against the domestic public. Inevitable when your economic model breaks down.

        • Goose

          They’ll use anything they can.

          Remember Lord (George) Robertson saying “the forces of darkness would simply love it’ if Scotland voted Yes in September 18 referendum. He also said Scottish independence would be “cataclysmic for the world.”

          The levels of establishment hysteria were off the scale.

          I don’t know, but I’d wager Putin is bemused by this unhealthy UK obsession with Russia.

      • N_

        It’s good PW to make your opponent think you are strong, including in the PW department – even if it’s only the opponent’s “home front” that thinks that way and the opponent’s elite knows it’s a load of cobblers.

        Trebles all round in the GRU and SVR tonight!

        • Goose

          Russophobe fantasists’ Luke Harding & Carole Cadwalladr, claim Russia is “reshaping the west as it sees fit ” through bots and trolls, evidence too sensitive to be provided of course.

          Bad July weather? That’s Putin reshaping our climate too, no doubt.

          • Rhys Jaggar

            Let them keep saying it and encourage all Guardian Readers to stop their subscriptions, stop reading the website and drive them closer to bankruptcy.

          • Goose

            Maybe if the editor-in-chief Kath Viner resigned it’d improve things?

            The thing is, senior columnists decide who the next editor-in-chief is in a ballot, and since Viner has shaped a team in her own image, it’s doubtful that lot would go for a radical pick. After the Snowden stuff and Rusbridger, and all the heat from govt and security services around that,, many journos there felt wound up and nervous.

            Opting for Viner was probably seen as the sensible choice’ to lift that stress, but she’s ruined the paper as a source of questioning , fearless investigative journalism. The presence of at least three Integrity Initiative linked journos there is a complete joke too.

          • George+McI

            Russia must have awesome and near supernatural powers. But that fits in with the aforementioned Dennis Wheatley.

  • Quantum physicist

    Surely there is no secret secretariat in some obscure offices, orchestrating the thousands of pestons spread all over the press,govt,etc and all in some kind of yet to be understood quantum physics sync too, even across oceans !!? Its gotta be satan. And there are not enough good Marys,etc in the world forming a countervailing spiritual force, as we spiral downwards. Its scandalous, £250m lost in shameless corruption with front line health staff left clad in flimsy inadequate PPE. Our north forgotten instead billions transferred into armaments and to Poland and the Baltic states, to fight Russia in a coming war. But Putin knows satan he has not forgotten a key weapon in this fight, the Russian Orthodox Church and its spiritual power. Vlad Putin the only man who had the guts to defy the great satan and give Edward Snowden refuge, and at a tremendous cost that even China was afraid to bear in Hong Kong. And all this Russia demonisation is the same same satan at work.

    • Goose

      A little too obvious in your trolling there.

      No one here believes the Russians or Chinese are faultless, there’s much to criticise. Some ask why WikiLeaks doesn’t concentrate on Russia and China? The obvious answer is because there’d be little interest in the west.

      Most of us aren’t citizens of those countries, we can only illustrate what we believe is going wrong here , in the hope someone somewhere wants to improve the situation.

      • Marmite

        It is not just that there is little interest, and I’m not sure the Wikileaks was ever meant for a Western audience alone.

        My interpretation was that the focus was on the West on account of its flagrant neocolonialism, and on account of it presenting itself to the world all the time as ‘the good guy’, and this being believed actually by anyone with money and power.

        Speaking of Wikileaks, though, it is interesting that The Guardian was today sticking up for fake whistleblowers, who just received a huge payout by Labour, simply for it being suggested that their whistleblowing was political. Apparently that now is also seen as libel and antisemitism.

        Just when you thought you couldn’t have turned common sense upside-down any further, Britain does it again! Well done to Britain! After this precedent, we are now truly in a post-political world.

        • Goose

          Yes, you report on and write about what you know.

          Take exposing CCP corruption, as some urge, it would be of limited interest to western audiences And it wouldn’t even be read by Chinese citizens, because DNS cache poison is one of the DNS abuses that is widely used by the Great Firewall of China (GFW) to censor the Chinese Internet.

        • Ingwe

          Yes Marmite, yet another example of Starmer’s gutless pro-Zionist stance. Despite the Labour Party’s legal advisors’ advice that they would win the case brought against them by the so-called whistle blowers, he overrode the advice and settled the case by kissing the programme contributors arses and paying them damages. He was cared shitless that Labour would win. As Starmer said in Parliament today “In case you hadn’t noticed, the Labour Party is now under new management.”
          So, to those Labour Party members who continue to pay their subscriptions to a rotten party in the hope that they will eventually present a left wing program, wise up and leave. Let it continue to get its funds from Zionist supporters who’s agenda they will follow withour demur.

          • Goose

            Len McCluskey is right on twitter :

            Today’s settlement is a misuse of Labour Party funds to settle a case it was advised we would win in court. The leaked report on how anti-semitism was handled tells a very different story about what happened.

            Steve Howell, who was deputy to Seumas Milne,posted this :

            Keir Starmer just threw the Labour party into an even deeper mess. By issuing an apology to former staff who appeared in the #Panorama programme, he is pre-judging the Forde inquiry into the serious issues revealed in the #leakedreport in which at least one of them is implicated.

            Starmer has handled this abysmally by not waiting for the Forde inquiry to complete.

    • Squeeth

      As the Nazi regime developed over the years, the whole structure of decision-making was changed. At first there were laws. Then there were decrees implementing laws. Then a law was made saying, “There shall be no laws.” Then there were orders and directives that were written down, but still published in ministerial gazettes. Then there was government by announcement; orders appeared in newspapers. Then there were the quiet orders, the orders that were not published, that were within the bureaucracy, that were oral. Finally, there were no orders at all. Everybody knew what he had to do.[39]

      Spot the similarities with now.

        • Ort

          FYI, zube, per the Wikipedia article from which the quote has been taken, the quote is attributed to Raul Hilberg.

          The Wikipedia footnote gives this source for the quote, reportedly from an interview with Hilberg:

          Simone Schweber, Debbie Findling, Teaching the Holocaust, Torah Aura Productions 2007 p.185.

  • Republicofscotland

    Any time some half decent news emerges from China, such as a viable vaccine for Covid-19 tested on 508 adults the USA goes into meltdown with anti-China rhetoric, on this occasion the Chinese’s ambassador in Houston has been thrown out of the USA, on flimsy claims of hacking intellectual property in the USA after China released the vaccine information to the press.

    Meanwhile Germany isn’t backing down to the USA on the Nordstream II Russian project to supply gas to it. The USA wants Germany and the EU to buy America’s more expensive gas, however Germany is set to import Russian gas as soon as the project infrastructure is complete.

    • Kempe

      Germany already imports half to three-quarters of its gas from Russia. The object of Nordstream II is to bypass Nordstream I which runs through Ukraine, Poland and Belarus and thus avoid paying transit charges to these countries.

      • nevermind

        Russia is also selling gas to the rest of Europe, including the same North zea gas exchange in Rotterdam that feeds the Bacton gas terminal.

        with no energy storage and or reserves whatsoever, and no prospect of getting one in the near future, Russian gas will keep England warm in winter.

      • John A

        Kempe, it was less about avoiding paying transit charges, more that Ukraine was stealing gas plus that pipeline is now ageing and like most infrastructure in Ukraine, not far off the point of collapse.

      • Republicofscotland


        Yes the USA in particular wants to break China’s Road and Belt initiative, Central Asia is the key, with Turkmenistan asking the American’s to decamp from their country, and the other Central Asian countries Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and Russia, India and Pakistan making up the Shanghi
        Corporation Organisation, its said that Central Asia is twice the size of Europe and is brimming with minerals and oil and gas.

        Russia has a head start on the West and possibly even China as most of the countries in Central Asia speak Russian, a trait passed down as part of the old Soviet Union. Russia also has the Ummah Pivot.

        As for the Chinese Iranian agreement its thought China will invest billions into Iranian telecommunications, ports, railways and any more infrastructure projects to undermine Trumps efforts to isolate Iran. China will also build the 900 kilometre railway between Tehran and Mashhad the second city of Iran, which is near the border with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.

        • N_

          Interesting use of “pivot”. Does it track back to Halford Mackinder?

          One problem (the BIG one) with a Russian Eurasian policy is China. Russian strategists could aim for a “world island power” kind of geopolitics, but the catch is they would have to be the junior partner. China kind of screws up the whole theory of island vs ocean, Athens vs Sparta, or tellurocracy vs thalassocracy in Alexander Dugin’s terms. China may be in course of “surrounding” Russia even if that doesn’t show up well on a map. Athens vs Sparta has some relevance in that from a Russian point of view the rise of China may appear as a Thucydidean trap.

          • Republicofscotland


            Its unlikely that China will be a junior partner as it has the wealth to expand its trading arms a bit further than Russia. However Russia’s strategy that has worked for it, becoming a balancing force in Afro-Eurasia, will in itself open up trading opportunities, via skilful diplomatic management.

            Russia has been looking South towards the Eurasian Rimland to expanding its trading arms, US coalition Hybrid wars could be a problem though, the US is already agitating in Balochstan and Kashmir, and has its own QUADS coalition to counter China’s Silk Road initiative, the coalition is a lead from behind set up, as is the Russian China one, only makes for a rise in tension in the region.

        • Mark Golding

          Thanks RoS for expanding out the BRI and interesting how language gives advantage and effectively coalesces and strengthens the rebalancing to Asia. The US will no doubt respond bluntly and crudely with barbarous shows of military might in contrast to Moscow’s deft geostrategic maneuverings in the “Ummah”.

  • Mary

    An excellent piece in the New Statesman about taxpayers’ money in £millions being handed out by the Tories to their pals.

    This time it’s Peter Thiel of Palantir.
    Revealed: Palantir secures £1m contract extension for NHS data store work

    Cummings is involved too. ‘Meanwhile, Faculty – an AI company that worked for Dominic Cummings on the Vote Leave campaign – provides the data modelling services used by ministers and NHS officials to manage demand on the health service at both a local and national level. The Guardian reported on Sunday that a company owned by Cummings had paid Faculty £260,000 over the course of two years. The reason for the payments is unknown.

    There has never been so much corruption in this country as there is now. None of these contracts go out to tender and a huge database with all our details is being created..

    • frankywiggles

      The Tories are corrupt as hell. Unfortunately so is the faction of the Labour Party supported by the New Statesman and the Guardian. It is the pot calling the kettle black.

    • N_

      Those who aren’t scared about Peter Thiel receiving a big chunk of NHS “data” work should be.

      Thiel is preparing for a global “catastrophe”, which he does not intend to be a catastrophe for HIM.
      He’s a much more consequential figure than Elon Musk, and if anything even more deranged.

      Surprise surprise, Thiel was pals with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was well into eugenics. Could he have been breeding babies? The “science” side of what he was doing was far more important than the “compromise of politicians and celebrities” side (and far more important than inviting Stephen Hawking to a party too).

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