How a Police State Starts 414

On Saturday a small, socially distanced vigil of 18 people for Julian Assange at Piccadilly Circus was broken up by twice that number of police and one elderly man arrested and taken into custody. The little group of activists have been holding the vigil every week. I had just arrived to thank them and was astonished to see eight police vans and this utterly unnecessary police action. There could not be a clearer example of “Covid legislation” being used to crack down on unrelated, entirely peaceful political dissent.

I was myself questioned by a policeman who asked me where I lived, how long I had been in London and why, what I had been doing at the Assange trial and when I was going back to Edinburgh. (You can see me very briefly at 10mins 30 secs trying to reason with a policeman who was entirely needlessly engaging in macho harassment of a nice older lady).

Later in the evening I had dinner with Kristin Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of Wikileaks. I returned to my hotel about 11pm, did my ablutions and went to bed. Just after midnight I was awoken by an insistent and extremely loud pounding at the door of my room. I got naked out of bed and groped my way to open the door a chink. A man dressed like the hotel staff (black trousers, white shirt) asked me when I was checking out. I replied in the morning, and pointed out the hotel knew I was leaving the next day. Why was he asking in the middle of the night? The man said “I was asked to find out”. I closed the door and went back to bed.

The next morning I complained in the strongest possible terms, the hotel refunded me one night’s accommodation. The duty manager who did this added “It was not our fault” but said they could not tell me any more about why this had happened.

The person at my door had a native English accent. I had been staying in the hotel over four weeks and I think I know all of the customer facing staff – not a single one of them has a native English accent. I had never seen that man before. This was a four star hotel from a major chain. I suspect “do not get sleeping guests out of bed after midnight to ask them what time they are checking out” is pretty high on their staff training list. I cannot help but in my mind put it together with my encounter with the police earlier that day, and their interest in when I was returning to Edinburgh, but there seems no obvious purpose other than harassment.

The hotel incident may just be in the strange but unexplained category. The busting of the Assange vigil earlier is of a piece with the extraordinary blanking of the hearing by corporate media and the suppression of its reporting on social media. These are dangerous times.

I am now safely back home in Edinburgh.


414 thoughts on “How a Police State Starts

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  • lordkoos

    This is almost identical to an experience I had in Beijing when staying in a smaller hotel that a Chinese friend had booked for me. At the crack of dawn some kind of state security person woke me up from a jet-lagged stupor to see my passport. Although he didn’t show any ID he was definitely not a hotel employee, in fact the hotel employees were behind him looking anxiously to see if their guest was going to be harassed. China of course is essentially a police state.

  • Steve

    Disproportionate Police presence solely intended to intimidate those legitimately protesting the abusive internment and the farcical show trial of Julian Assange.
    There is no longer any pretence of justice or fair hearing in the UK.
    What happened to the man who was arrested?

      • barbara deutsch

        thank you, and to Steve, in comment above yours: I do hope someone in a position to know, will provide answer{s] to your questions, echoing mine —

        a v. grateful, apologetically U.S.A., reader

    • Iamthatgeezer

      Relax, everybody, I am that geezer from the video being arrested. I was held for 4 hours or so at Charing X cop shop, then freed. At the moment I’m expecting a fixed penalty charge for breaking corona regs, section 7. Specifically, no risk assessment procedures for a group protest, breaking the ‘rule of 6’, insufficient social distancing, etc etc. Blah blah, blah blah. Certainly there are good legal defences for all these charges and certainly they will be used.

      BTW, the actual arrest looked quite brutal but in fact was pretty painless. The more hands that are involved, the less force each of them has to apply. Save your concerns for all those unpublicized arrests taking place all over the world.

      But i really dislike being called ‘old’ and also seeing my baldness on top.

      • Kempe

        You mean you weren’t brutally tortured and ‘disappeared’?

        Some people are going to be very disappointed.

        • pretzelattack

          how would anybody suspect that somebody arrested at a legal protest, or somebody practicing journalism for that matter, might be tortured (or tear gassed, or had their skull fractured, or shot, or run over, or badly beaten)?

        • Ken Kenn

          For all we know Iamthatgeezer could have been put into an Ocado van and re -orientated to a confined pensioner. as a delivery.

          From a Portland arrest to Amazon delivery.

          The funny ( and hypocritical thing ) is that if Lukoshenko did that every MSM liberal would be up in arms.

          Meanwhile the Donald is feeling twenty years younger.

          If anyone believes that I have 48 hospitals that need building.

          And Novichok is not what it used to be.

          I think THEY think I’m five.

          You are going to have to trust me on this- I think all this is going to get worse.

      • M.C.

        No matter how old or bald you are IATG, you have our admiration for actually getting out and supporting Julian Assange.

      • Mouser

        Just say it was your “civic duty” (as did Robina Quereshi during the BLM protests in George Square, Glasgow). It’s your ‘get out of jail card’ 😉

        • L hourihan

          I don’t want a trade deal with the US, I’d rather have a trade deal with the Chinese they’re much more civilised..

      • nevermind

        thanks Iamthat geezer, you are not as old as some here and not bald….its a solar panel to recharge your very welcome energy.
        And thanks for supporting Julian in his plight, he needs all of us. Take care and unite, dark times are ahead.

      • Mist001

        If there are 6 people and they are ‘joined’ by two policemen, then doesn’t that mean the the policemen are guilty of breaking the rule of six?

      • On the train

        I’m so glad you are ok and thanks for getting back so we know you are ok.
        Yes I agree about the “ old” adjective. I didn’t think you looked old, not at all….You looked great and carried the whole thing off very well.
        Well done for taking the risk and doing what you did.

  • Jenny James

    You have every right and reason to be totally paranoid from now on!
    ‘THEY’ must be very very concerned indeed about the support Julian is getting.
    May they rot in hell and may JULIAN GET OUT of this nightmare.
    Thank you for your good work.

    Jenny James, English, living in Colombia, left the Green and SPECTERED isle in 1973, thank goodness!

    • Cubby


      Clearly you have been away for some time as you want to remind yourself that England is not an island.

      • Water on rocks

        Perhaps England has made itself into a fearful island of strangeness, on the geographic island of Britain (which is not such a great thing)?

        • Cubby

          Water on Rocks

          It is actually the geographic island of Great Britain which contains most of the land mass of the countries of Wales, England and Scotland and the Kingdom of Scotland and part of the Kingdom of England.

        • Cubby


          Fine – just as the English Nationalist Johnston prattling on about a new Jerusalem refers to the UK and not England.

        • Justin

          According the html headers, it was published on 21 May 2019 and last modified 2 days later. Why’s that important?

      • Laguerre

        It’s an article by a PhD student – they are often quite wild in their views – about historical violence before the peace agreement of 2016, the subject of his PhD research. Not obviously about the current day.

        • bevin

          There are reports, almost every day, of the continuing violence in Colombia, and regular massacres of members of indigenous and Afro descended communities. The ‘peace agreement’ as others since 1948 in this unfortunate country merely led to the identification and disarming of dissidents to be picked off by death squads, in and out of uniform.

  • frankywiggles

    Police / security state priorities in the money laundering capital of the world ..

  • Johnny McNeill

    Hello Mr Murray,

    I’ve just read this and am actually disheartened. Not simply because of your experience and correct assertion regarding this is ‘How A Police State Starts’ – but because I tried to warn you of exactly this eventuality in 2017 and number of times since, including through this piece ‘Brexit: All Roads Lead to Rome – Militarisation

    Of course, there’s a number of possibilities as to why you’ve been unable to process historic precedence and the contemporary evidence sooner, so perhaps you might be able to make up for lost time by considering – as I interpret it – the *real* purpose(s) of the Internal Market Bill.

    “The outstanding negative quality of the totalitarian elite is that it never stops to think about the world as *it really is* and never compares the lies with reality”. Hannah Arendt, ‘The Origins of Totalitarianism’

    ‘Internal Market Bill – A UK Enabling Act, Anschluss, Regime Change, A Soldier’s Psychological Tool & ‘Rope-A-Dope’ Distraction’ by #GaslightingGilligan

    #ToryAnalytica militarisation is *inevitable*

    Johnny McNeill
    Twitter: @GasGilligan

  • Mark Golding

    This is the most dangerous time in the history of man. The seriousness of our times cannot be underestimated. It is not due to any threat of conventional war, and it is not due to any threat of nuclear decimation, it is based on the fact that this is a psychological war waged by psychopaths against all mankind, and it is being advanced by a small powerfully rich group of dominates that have taken control of the minds of the masses through long-term indoctrination and policies meant to breed dependency.

    Fear is the new weapon of mass destruction, not because it is legitimate, but because the people have lost all will to be free, have lost all ability to think, and seek shelter and comfort as a collective herd only capable of existence in a society that is based on totalitarian rule.

    • Wikikettle

      Mark Golding. You have a gift to articulate my feelings and thoughts that I stumble to deliver. Thank you Sir.

    • Goose

      One of the most depressing things about Assange’s farcical situation was raised by his lawyer Jennifer Robinson, when she mentioned how were Assange an American citizen he’d have First Amendment protections.

      What is Australia saying about its citizens that they think they’re unworthy of equivalent freedom of speech status? What is Australian citizenship worth if they won’t defend their own from such an injustice?

      • Allan Howard

        The thought crossed my mind yesterday that if Julian ends up NOT being extradited to the US, that were he to go back to Australia, could the US psychopaths do a repeat of it all and try to extradite him from THERE

        • Goose

          Basically, they’re accepting Australians are second-class citizens compared to Americans. You’d think Australia, given its penal colony roots, would be more exercised about any country downgrading the status of Australian citizens?

          • Goose

            How absurd that someone faces anything up to 175 years in Supermax – effectively a death sentence – for something that possibly wouldn’t even be a crime if any American had done it.

            You’d have thought the Australian govt would have stepped in when the US claimed that the First Amendment doesn’t apply to foreigners. Legal gymnastics to persecute a citizen of an ally.

          • Courtenay Barnett


            “Basically, they’re accepting Australians are second-class citizens compared to Americans.”

            The rest of the world already is – due to American unilateralism ( exceptionalism – if you prefer).

    • nevermind

      thanks Mark, a very apt and poignant reminder for us all, its becoming clearer by the day that civil disobedience is a civil duty to our children.

    • Allan Howard

      Mark, I would only disagree with you in the following respects: 1. That the psychopath elites have always been there manipulating what people think and feel and believe, the black propaganda smear campaign against Ken Livingstone when he was leader of the GLC being a good example, and the Evening Standard led the charge on that one for obvious reasons (and the fact that they then abolished the GLC – along with the six Metropolitan County Councils who were all controlled by left-wing administrations at the time – tells us all we need to know about what THEY think of democracy). In other words, I disagree that they have taken control of the minds of the masses, as you put it, and the reality is that they have ALWAYS had control of what the masses think and believe.

      And when you say that they – the masses – have lost the will to be free, it implies that THEY – the masses – are aware of what the psychopaths are doing to them and, as such, have submitted to it, so to speak. but the reality is that they – the masses – DON’T know that they are being lied to and misled and deceived on an industrial scale, so it isn’t the case that they have lost all ability to think, the implication being that they – the masses – once upon a time saw THROUGH the lies and falsehoods, but now they don’t.

      ALL black propaganda is directed at the emotional ‘body’, as opposed to the intellect, a perfect example being the Panorama program, which was ‘constructed’ to emotionalise the audience – ie viewers – right at the outset, and once emotionalised, all critical thinking – as the propagandists know of course – goes out the window. I mean anyone whose critical thinking was still functioning when Izzy Lenga did her ‘performance’ in which she said that she was subjected to anti-semitic abuse ‘every day’, would have first of all thought to themselves ‘Well why on earth did she keep going to meetings (of her local CLP) if THAT was the case’, and even if they weren’t familiar with how often CLPs have meetings, it would have been obvious to them that they don’t have meetings every day and, as such, she must be lying through her teeth. And the most obvious thing on this earth that anyone would have done by the time it had happened at two or three successive meetings, would have been to take a recording device with you to the next meeting and record this anti-semitic abuse that you are (allegedly) being subjected to. But NO, she didn’t think to do that (and none of her friends or family members – who she would obviously have told about the (alleged) anti-semitic abuse as of the first time it happened – thought to tell her to do that!).

      And anyone whose critical thinking was still functioning to some degree or other would, by the end of the program, have been asking themselves how it’s possible that John Ware et al – given the claims made by the ten Jewish Labour Party members who participated in the program – didn’t give their respective CLPs the opportunity to respond to the claims – as any investigative journalist on the planet worthy of the name WOULD have done – AND include them in the program.

      The following is probably one of the most blatant examples of black propaganda falsehoods disseminated against Jeremy Corbyn during his tenure as leader. It’s self-explanatory. So here’s the headline:

      NATIONAL DISGRACE: Jeremy Corbyn refuses to bow to Queen and then WINKS at colleagues

      And the article – so-called – finishes by saying the following:

      Parliamentary officials later confirmed that Mr Corbyn did not breach protocol.

      A House of Lords spoksman said the only people required to bow were Speaker Mr Bercow, Commons Clerk David Natzler, senior Lords official Black Rod and the Serjeant at Arms Kamal El-Hajji.

      In other words it was a non-story, but they nevertheless thought they would smear him as a ‘National Disgrace’, and did so knowing that the vast majority of readers wouldn’t get to the end of what they deliberately made a lengthy article. BUT – and this was the point I was making apart from anything else – the headline was concocted and contrived and designed to emotionalise readers at the outset.

  • Fwl

    Times today reports (p6) that there is proposed legislation for the right to commit crimes whilst investigating to extend beyond MI5 and the NCA to include the Gambling Commission and the Food Standards Agency…?

    • Ken Kenn

      The most interesting question is whether what the Security Services operatives can do at home what they are being allowed to do abroad?

      If so if any Labour leader or if any other leader was deemed to be threatening the Defence of the Realm then theoretically they could pop them off legitimately.

      I hear Man at C&A and part time Tailors Dummy – Starmer is telling Labour MPs to abstain on the Bill.

      Richard Burgon is voting against it and no doubt The campaign group of MPs will too.

      The MSM are not covering the Trial due to a combination of fear – the cowardice that follows fear and their knowing shame every time they pick up their salary/stipend or look in the mirror.

      Put simply: Assange makes them feel ashamed of being alleged journalists.

      They know they aren’t and that’s why they drink a lot and abuse drugs – like many MPs do.

      Ironically as Craig has pointed out – if 20 policemen and women bundle into 18 protesters then 38 people are a lot more than six and so on.

      So perhaps other policemen/women should have arrived and arrested the 38 for breaking the law and so on until 999 police and people have been arrested.

      Or is that ludicrous?

      • Goose

        @Ken Kenn

        Starmer’s position tonight is bizarre considering his background as a human rights lawyer and his intimate knowledge of the dark mess that was covert actions in Northern Ireland during the troubles. I think he’s trying to flush lefties out of his shadow cabinet by whipping to abstain tbh. I don’t trust him one iota though, he’s an authoritarian of the Blairite New Labour ilk and his leadership campaign presentations and pledges seem highly cynical now. Labour say the legislation is far too vague, with no clear delimitations or proper oversight, then why whip to abstain?

        • Bramble

          Mr Assange was subjected to this treatment while Starmer was DPP, with the DPP urging Sweden not to get cold feet over its stance concerning the dubious allegations, which it already wanted to drop. Starmer’s is an Establishment stooge groomed to take over Labour, purge genuine social democrats, and ensure it is no threat. Interestingly, The Guardian is complicit in this project.

          • Goose

            Maybe he should go back to Jonathan Evans, or whoever sent him, and tell them this ‘ I’m a socialist’ faking it gig isn’t going to stick with most of the electorate already suspicious.

          • Goose

            Shortly after becoming leader, Starmer stated he “hated” selling himself to Labour members, which seemed like a strange statement to make at the time. Not now however; his slickly produced campaign video replete with ex-miner with thick Yorkshire accent now seems like something that should be referred under the The Trade Descriptions Act.

            Try to watch it without laughing:

          • Goose

            That ‘old’ ’80s Keir Starmer would never have become a Sir, had the de Menezes, Savile, torture and Assange baggage as DPP or become a member of the Trilateral Commission. He only became an MP in 2015, an odd time to become a Labour MP as the deeply uninspiring mildly leftish Ed Miliband was leader. Wonder if Miliband was seen as too left-wing by the establishment after his opposition to the planned Syrian intervention?

        • Ort

          Starmer’s background as a human rights lawyer is comparable to Obama’s background as a “community organizer”, which along with being a “constitutional scholar” was furiously hyped by his marketing-award winning 2008 “Bonnie Prince Barry” presidential campaign.

          True, Starmer’s earlier legal career may have been more substantive than Obama’s résumé-building stint. But the similarity is that as superficial curriculum vitae items, they give credulous, uncritical observers the impression that the politician in question is a reliable “friend of the common people”, ergo implicitly righteous, virtuous humanitarians.

          Unfortunately, these dodgy bona fides may just have been stepping-stones in the careerist maneuverings of ambitious narcissists– a “phase” of political powermongering.

          • Goose

            I think they realise the futility of being principled and trying to change anything, and therefore switch to the other side at some point. The ‘other side’ being incredibly lucrative, so there’s obviously that too. Bill Clinton set the example, followed by Blair …Obama, all taken care by the post-election patrons they serviced when in power: either through financial deregulation or not changing anything. This centrism is now a well trodden path and the losers are the public who are conned into voting for these ‘hope and changey’ types.

            New labour is stuffed with these formerly lefties who became the nouveau riche: Darling, Blair, Reid et al all display the zeal of a convert for neoliberalism despite some having pro-communist backgrounds,

          • Goose

            Another trick these neoliberal careerist centrists use is making sure political debate is firmly anchored in ‘culture war’ issues: abortion, homosexuality, transgender rights, multiculturalism, racial viewpoints …it’s a trick because it’s crowding out the really important issues like societal poverty – inequality, both financial and of opportunity out of the debate agenda.

          • Ken Kenn


            Agree completely.

            Mr and Mrs Obama now live lavishly in Martha’s Vineyard and Mr Cool gets many a dollars doing speeches to those whose pay he and she is in.

            Biden is cut from the same forest.

            People can easily forget that there are the 1% but they have a retinue or employees ( usually paid via the Guardian – BBC etc ) who push their economic and political agenda.

            I think it was Lady Astor who said to a Labour Party or Trades Union leader :

            ” You train them – we buy them. ”

            The Tingers have done very well on that maxim.

            Starmer will not oppose austerity in order to pay for this Covid crisis.

            Mind you we’ll have to wait four years until he and his Centrist acolytes come up with any policies.

            Be patient.

      • Allan Howard

        I don’t think feeling ashamed has anything whatsoever to do with it Ken. These so-called journalists aren’t capable of feeling ashamed, and are more than happy to go along with all the lies and falsehoods and disinformation that has been churned out in relation to Julian during the past ten years or so.

        That said, the Mail has published quite a few articles during the course of the extradition hearing, and the last time I checked three or four days ago, there were around sixteen articles directly related to the events of specific days, but most of the rest of the MSM have barely covered it as far as I can ascertain, with at most just a handfull of articles.

        • Robyn

          When I think of MSM failures, I’m reminded of Operation Mockingbird and the Integrity Initiative. The big question is, how many of those so-called journalists are bought-and-paid-for propaganda conduits.

    • Goose

      The Tories and Labour(under Starmer) can’t seem to stop themselves from making the case for Scottish independence can they. The Minister making the case for this legislation, James Brokenshire(apt name), held out the protections of HRA as a safeguard. Yet in a case brought on these very powers previously, the govt argued the HRA didn’t apply to intel services.

      Rape, torture and murder(of innocents?) all sanctioned, categorised ‘collateral damage’ permitted during the course of an investigation. What the hell is happening to the UK? One of the differences between the UK and US is the citizens there(US) are all armed to the teeth, the govt and authorities risk breaking the covenant, of trust by granting authority power to harm UK citizens with impunity.

        • Goose

          They’re floating the idea of repealing, but it’s far too messy in terms of the devolution settlements especially the Good Friday(peace) Agreement (GFA) – agreed via painstaking referendums North and South, and the risk of drawing American ire. The US has already warned them not to unravel the settlement.

    • J Galt

      Another thing long suffering restaurant owners will have to worry about – being “taken out” by an over zealous food inspector!

  • Crispa

    A policeman minus jacket and paraphernalia would appear just like a hotel staff member as described. Doffing and donning of items easy.

  • doug scorgie

    Geoff Reynolds
    October 4, 2020 at 23:36

    “On the second day that the pubs opened the manager of a Scarborough pub called the police because i did not sit down.
    “I have a lifetime disability award and damage to my spine that makes sitting down painful due to ruptured discs pressing on my nervous system.”


    1. What did the police say they were arresting you for at the scene?
    2. Presumably, after you refused to accept a caution, you have been summonsed to appear before a magistrate court to answer the police charge/s. What are you charged with on this summons?

    Because I don’t know the charges I don’t know if you are entitled to a crown court hearing (bearing in mind there are few, if any, jury trials at the moment)
    You will need a defence solicitor to advise you on your options. Do not be browbeaten by your solicitor into pleading guilty “to get it over with” and, if you are entitled to a crown court hearing, demand that.
    If you are not entitled to a crown court hearing you need your solicitor to seek an adjournment in order to examine the police evidence against you (including police statements; police pocketbooks made at the time; any police bodycams and any CCTV they have that they will rely on in court). You should also, through your solicitor, demand that all the police involved in your case attend court so that they can be cross-examined by your defence.

  • Shatnersrug

    The tories enabling act the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill passes its second reading with 182 Ayes

    Labour (bar 19 socialist MPs) did nothing to prevent it sailing through. At 182 votes the opposition parties could have easily beaten this bill and yet they did nothing.

    The bill is being trumpeted as a means to stop ‘vexatious claims’ of security forces operating abroad, but in reality the bill is far more wide ranging and dangerous not least because it gives agents the right to break any law, including murder on home soil. This opens up the very real proposition that Union Officials community leaders or outspoken political reformers could be assassinated.

    Craig’s police state is upon us

    • Goose

      Overseas operations Bill.

      This is the Covert Human Intelligence Sources Bill.

      It’s unlikely it’d ever be used so overtly and politically, like that, but just the fear of violence has intimidatory power and will stifle individuals. The fact the powers are so broadly drafted and vague means you could get creep, with the only limit being the guilty conscience of officials and what they feel can live with and get away with.

      ‘National security’ can be interpreted very broadly indeed as the 1980’s miners can attest. The govt said it’ll operate within the Human Rights Act(1998) framework, but how can: Article 2: Right to life. and Article 3: Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment be reconciled with murder, rape and torture?

      • Fwl

        Fletcher Plouty had quite a lot to say on creepage and how it occurred in the US after WW2 when intelligence agencies as set up had extremely limited covert powers subject to tight Congressional control but step by step transformed that to become basically unregulated covert operatives.

        Plouty was JFK chief of Special Ops. After the B of P fiasco JFK wanted greater presidential oversight as committee oversight was failing. After JFK It was game over.

        • J Galt

          Fletcher Prouty – the inspiration for the “Mr X” character in Oliver Stone’s “JFK”.

        • Goose

          The real problem is rooted in our demonstrably poor unaccountable ‘two party’ democratic systems, based on winner take all. Safe seat MPs[insert equivalent] quickly lose touch and all interest in representing those who elected them, armed with big unassailable majorities and decades in parliament ahead of them; the only risk they face is from upsetting powerful securocrats. Little wonder then, they become more interested in defending the status quo and protecting fellow state officials from scrutiny.

          • Goose

            I know I’m like a broken record on this anti-FPTP point.

            But unless a fairer ‘proportionate’ voting system is put in place any changes, or progress on rights and liberty will be transient – lasting only until the next bad crew come along.

    • Mark Golding

      Indeed Shatnersrug and.. the armed forces in the U.K. are trained in formation crowd control, especially the ‘diamond’ formation used to enter a crowd and grab ring leaders. All personnel have M16 rifles fixed with bayonets. The commander, in the middle of the diamond, can communicate to snipers in elevated positions, armed vehicles situated nearby and he or she uses hand signals to control the advance. It is here I have witnessed the final solution to civil disobedience.

  • Dave

    Probably no accident this is all happening during covid, when few are allowed to travel to the UK to protest this madness.

    • Shatnersrug

      If you want to read something to make your blood curdle Amnesty International have finally woken up

      Will the coronavirus pandemic obliterate a last frontier in our privacy: our biological selves?
      By Tanya O’Carroll, Director of Amnesty Tech

    • Goose

      It’s the sort of stuff Johnson would’ve condemned in his Telegraph column as sinister; deeply authoritarian and illiberal.

      Just goes to show once in power the security people grab hold of them and command the agenda. And the chances of turning it around with Blair protégé Starmer waiting in the wings for Labour are zilch. If anything he’ll be even worse judging by his initial steps since becoming leader.

      • Goose

        Yet another example today : Rayner calls for Hancock to resign over the IT track-and-trace database fiasco. Then Starmer contradicts this by saying, ” He [Hancock] should be allowed to get on with the job”.

        Starmer acting more like a secret member of Johnson’s cabinet.

  • Dogbiscuit

    The Common Purpose coppers brutally attacked an anti lockdown demonstration in Trafalgar Square last Saturday in order to stop a Doctor giving a speech accusing the banking cartels for being the power behind lockdown policy.
    I’ve tried sounding the alarm on Wings but was called a unionist troll and moderated because I annoy SNP shills like Famous 15 . Soon there will be no running away from the fact we now live in a fascist dictatorship.

    • Fredi

      I know the feeling dog. I get moderated here all the time for merely pointing out that global leadership appears to resemble devils running amok.

  • Phil

    Where have you been Mr Murray? We are already in a ‘ Police State ‘ Anyone making derogatory comments on any of the forums available to us about the government or the police ,will no doubt be put on a watch list. But it is no good complaining, this is what the people wanted. The police have already been knocking on the doors of people who comment on Facebook and no one as far as I know, has challenged them on their supposed privacy obligations. I really don’t know what people expected putting the likes of Boris Johnson in power. As for Assange, his cards has been marked. Covid-19 if he’s lucky or, he’s headed for the states to face God knows what. Act in haste, repent at leisure

    • craig Post author

      I don’t know what your last sentence means. There is no sense in which Julian Assange acted in haste in establishing Wikileaks and carrying through its major publishing achievements.

      • Ian

        It’s the high-handed tone which grates, and he is not the only one. Rather than address the issue, they love lecturing us how they knew it all before, thus diminishing the incident in question, and elevating themselves above it all.

        • Allan Howard

          Yes, and the line about ‘I really don’t know what people expected putting the likes of Boris Johnson in power’ is a classic example of what the shills do all the time – ie blame the victims – not that they were ALL victims by any means, and it’s for sure that a significant minority knew EXACTLY what they were voting for. And I don’t just mean Boris Johnson!

          In an article he wrote many years ago, John Pilger, in passing, mentioned how the (British) middle classes were flirting with fascism. He obviously didn’t mean every single one of them, and he didn’t elaborate as to why he believed that to be the case, but it has gone WELL beyond ‘flirting’ during the past ten years or more, and I know from my own experiences that it has spread to a significant minority in the ‘working classes’, and is reminiscent of how the Nazis poisoned peoples minds against the Jews and other minorities and, as such, ‘transformed’ them in to fascists – ie people with a fascist mind-set. The ‘high’ is that apart from their victims (and their fellow fascist playmates), just about everyone around them thinks they are just normal, ordinary people, and it’s the deceit and duplicity that they get a buzz off of, and on a ‘national’ level, those that conspired in the black op smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and the left membership, are high on the fact that millions of people out there don’t have the first clue that THAT is what it was, and ALSO high on the fact that several million OTHER people – the left aside – know that it WAS, and have been endlessly amused and entertained by it all during the course of the past five years or so.

  • Mac

    I have no doubt that was an act of intimidation.

    If for some reason they had needed to confirm anything at that hour they would have used the telephone. They don’t go up at midnight and start pounding on your door.

    Just letting you know they are watching you.

  • diabloandco

    Utterly shocking. Do the police want the public to despise them? Do the police want to do the dirty work political /justiciary spite?
    Is that what they exist to do?

    Glad you are ‘safely’ back home – though how safe that is has surely been demonstrated already.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    …………………If you didn’t think we have entered into a police state authorised by a government of occupation, start to wonder why page 5 of the UK Cremation certificate has mysteriously vanished………..

    It might not seem significant to most but it is the vital piece of paper that gave you the chance to query what a coroner had provided as the cause of death.

    Now, why would a government suddenly remove this page and why would all history of the significance of this page be erased from the internet?

    Could it be that absolutely nobody seems to die of natural causes nowadays and the narrative is to inflate the narrative?

  • Geoff Reynolds

    ………….All those weapons amnesties over the recent years asking the public to submit knives and firearms to their local police stations while the powers that be increased their arsenals tenfold.

    Australians took the plunge to concede their weapons and now they are just starting to realise the error of their ways as the jackboot tramples upon them.

    The falsified threats of terror gave rise to an unprecedented stash of firearms on our shores………………………….the terror will not be from unknown agents of a foreign militia, but from those you trusted to protect your very being.

    Ever day the pieces of the jigsaw fall in place to make a clearer image of what is hurtling towards you at warp speed.

    Evil has no boundaries as yet you are to find out, the hard way….

  • Betty

    The thoroughly despicable, pathetic excuse for a ‘journalist’ Paul Hutcheon over in the Daily Rectum has described the failed attempt to fit-up and imprison the innocent Alex Salmond on false sex allegations as a “melodrama”. What next? A “rom-com”? It is the last time I waste my pension money on buying that filthy rag 😀 😀

    • J Galt

      It’s great to see the rapid decline of the once mighty Daily Record.

      In the 1970s “everybody” including me bought it – even if only for Angus Og!

      They once had a vast office and printing works on the banks of the Clyde, now it has the circulation of a small time free advertising rag.

      • Cubby

        J Galt

        I doubt any of these Britnat propaganda sheets make a profit from their sales in Scotland. They will of course be ” helped” financially to keep on producing their propaganda on behalf of the occupying country.

      • Alf

        Back in the day they used to proudly boast on the front page (just below the masthead) their circulation. Where’s that gone? 😀

    • Out+of+Affric

      Paul Hutcheon is a former ‘Scottish Political Journalist Of The Year’

      Says it all, really.

  • Patrick Doran

    Sorry for your horrible experience with the police state. However, having grown up on the border in the north of Ireland during the 70s, 80s and 90s; one became accustomed to their harassment and heavy handed tactics. This behaviour only occurred in the north of Ireland at the time, however, from your experiences, it is apparent it has traveled across the water.
    Keep up the good work Craig, your a brave man and a proper human being.

  • Dungroanin

    Apropos ‘keeping buggering on’

    Resistance is not futile

    ‘ a bill confirming MI5’s right to let informants commit crimes.
    Keir Starmer wanted his party to abstain on the security bill but the Socialist Campaign Group led by the party’s former leader Jeremy Corbyn defied the whip and voted against it – the second rebellion in less than a fortnight.’

    Fight! JC is not going away and there are a score more like him in the PLP.

    Regardless of the mindless Groaniad tarbrushing as ‘Socialist’ code for Anti Patriotic’ because they can’t use AS.

    Starmers true colours daily shine as he feels free to abandon his ‘socialist’ skin – having served its purpose- to remove a real alternative to the status quo.

    The ex DPP approves criminal acts by the state! A fine PM he will make and great example for law abiding statesman

    Good work in London Mr Murray another Pony on way to help with the cash flow.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    …….This should make WOLFFE feel a little uneasy Craig as the level of corruption unfolds in your favour…

    Nicola Sturgeon’s husband admits sending bombshell Alex Salmond messages

    A storm is approaching.

    Murrell can expect trouble on two fronts. The first will be from Salmond loyalists who believe the messages show he plotted against
    the former First Minister. Salmond was charged with sexual offences and later acquitted.

    Salmond’s allies will call for Murrell’s resignation, while others will use the formal mechanisms of the party to demand a suspension.

    The second whirlwind will come from SNP members who believe this murky episode confirms what they regard as the reality of party headquarters: centralised, secretive and run to promote Sturgeon.

    Expect these Murrell critics to demand greater accountability at the top, which is code for a new governance structure and chief executive.

    Questions will also be raised about the wisdom of having a married couple occupy the two top posts in a political party.

    If Carrie Symonds was chief executive of the Tories, or if Richard Leonard’s wife was general secretary of Scottish Labour, eyebrows would be raised.

    Sturgeon will probably survive the fallout of the Salmond melodrama but it is far from certain whether her husband will.

    the truth has a strange way of surfacing from even the murkiest places.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    NICOLA Sturgeon’s husband said he wasn’t present at her meetings with Alex Salmond in their home — and she didn’t tell him their purpose.

    Peter Murrell said he knew about the summits on April 2 and July 14, 2018, during a Scottish Government probe into harassment claims against the former First Minister.


    • Goose

      This seems like a huge scandal waiting to drop.

      The fact it isn’t all in the public domain already suggests certain people think it’ll be useful for thwarting any drive to independence. Sturgeon must realise there are no secrets when it comes to these machinations, and it’ll all come out at the most appropriate time i.e. when maximum damage can result. The whole SNP really need to be proactive and get ahead of this before their opponents use it.

  • Geoff Reynolds

    …………For those of you so blind as not to recognise what a police state is all about just click onto the BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL (BMJ) website and type in


    Say goodbye to everything you once held dear to your heart……………….

    for you are going to witness a journey to hell and back unless you all wisen up very quickly to the agenda they are hatching…

    • Mary

      Wow! Same old. Same old.

      ‘Several private sector firms were signed up to the programme, including GSK for the provision of tests, AstraZeneca for laboratory capacity, and Serco and G4S for storage and logistics. One of the government’s advisers on rapid testing is Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina, who suggested a similar “moonshot” in the United States.’

      PS Where is Dominic Cummings?

      Meanwhile we await treatment for our various and longstanding medical conditions.

  • ET

    Priti patel on lawyers who defend migrants:

    “No doubt those who are well-rehearsed in how to play and profit from the broken system will lecture us on their grand theories about human rights. Those defending the broken system – the traffickers, the do-gooders, the lefty lawyers, the Labour party – they are defending the indefensible.”

    Reiterated by Boris Johnson saying his government would stop the criminal justice system from being “hamstrung by what the home secretary would doubtless and rightly call the lefty human rights lawyers and other do-gooders”.

    I am beginning to feel that I am back at school in history class hearing about the interwar years.

    • Tarla

      Pat Finucane was an Irish defence lawyer, who continually hamstrung the British state from acting illegally with complete disregard for human rights. According to the British state no-one will stand in the way of further acts that entrench fascism. There is no difference between Hitler’s rise to power – through the ‘democratic’ parliamentary system – and Johnson’s/Cummings fascist grab with open dictatorship. The sooner the Irish, Scottish and Welsh get out of this forced relationship with England the better for us all.

      • Stevie Boy

        Please don’t paint all of the English as Tory/Johnson/Fascist supporters – some of us would like to get out of this relationship as well !

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      This is designed to make the Kier Starmer Labour Party look good. One thing you can rely on them not doing is taking a lefty interest in human rights.

    • Stevie Boy

      Priti Patel – the person who held secret meetings with the Israeli government discussing the diversion of public funds to support Israeli military hospitals in occupied areas. “On 4 November 2017, in an interview with The Guardian, Patel stated: … The point is that the Foreign Office did know about this, Boris knew about [the trip].” Although sacked, she is now back in government free to implement her right wing beliefs.
      Boris Johnson – the man who was going to ensure a brexit deal with the EU, the man who was going to ensure no closed border between the North and South of Ireland, the man who was going to stop Heathrow expansion, the man who was going to stop HS2, the man who is a serial philanderer who has spawned a long line of illegitimate children. The man who hides in a fridge to avoid press questions.
      These people are untrustworthy and should never be believed without explicit, varifiable, independent proof.

    • Bramble

      I see Mr Johnson, at least, recognises that the Labour Party, as represented by people like Margaret Hodge, is more inclined to attack immigrants in order to keep her voters happy. By the way, is calling a person who does good a “do-gooder” in that particular, sneering way in order to insult them singularly English, or do other countries associate being kind and helpful with being socially unacceptable by the majority?

      • Ingwe

        @Bramble October 6th at 16:48- I’m not sure who said it but the version I heard was “scratch a liberal’s BMW and you’ll find a law and order man underneath.”
        Whislt on the the subject of liberals and Julain Assange’s plight, I commned this brilliant article by Jonathan Cook (ex Guardian) for an excoriating destruction of that liberal poser George Monbiot’s silence on Mr Assange.
        I’ve forwarded it to all my Guardian-reader liberal friends who still maintain the ludicrous belief that, that shit-sheet is a progressive paper.

      • glenn_uk

        I don’t know who said that, Bramble, but clearly they were either stupid or lying. Most likely both.

        • Stevie Boy

          Don’t know who said that. But, the comedian George Carlin said: “when fascism comes to America, it will not be in brown and black shirts. It will not be with jackboots. It will be Nike sneakers and smiley shirts. Smiley-smiley” [George Carlin on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher].

    • Goose

      Starmer apologists claim they want to amend it at committee stage, but their relative silence from the leadership on down suggest they aren’t all that interested either way. And if it does pass unamended it’s doubtful a Starmer govt would see revisiting the legislation as a priority given how he’s always boasting of how closely he worked with intel agencies in the past.

      It would’ve been better to oppose as a statement of intent and to send a message that they don’t find it acceptable. I’m yet to imagine a scenario where ‘rape’ is a necessary tool in the state’s armoury? Ask, a female MP or Kath Viner to justify it.

      The securocrats say if certain activities are expressly forbidden then undercover ‘recruits’ couild be asked to carry out those activities as a test , but surely even an undercover operative could make his excuses for not committing murder, rape and torture without blowing that cover? Reasonable violence is acceptable but it will do the agencies’ reputation no good whatsoever to be classed as a bunch of murderers , rapists and torturers by the public.

    • Tarla

      Starmer’s Labour party are part of Tory led National government, that is crushing dissent – in the ‘national interest’ of course – and will back the Tories to the hilt in the process, which is entrenching fascism in the UK. The National dictatorship government is gearing up for even more spying and draconian measure to curtail protest, and will put the military on the streets to harass and arrest any left wing protest they deem ‘threatens the nation’. Splitting the UK asunder up will do us all a favour in fighting fascism in this country.

      • Goose

        It’s not that far gone…not yet.

        But I think Labour supporters will realise too late what Starmer is really like. Some of his supporters(often formerly FBPE) claim he’s biding his time and that it’s ‘too early’ to unveil any policy. But just look at who he’s appointed to his s.cabinet and who his friends are. Nearly all were instrumental in undermining Corbyn’s leadership. It’s already clear that Starmer is on the authoritarian right, probably to the right of Blair on social policy, and Labour supporters need to wake up.

        • ET

          “It’s not that far gone…not yet.”

          You are correct, they need an enabling act first ………………………..

  • Joy Boyd

    Why was that gentleman handcuffed he was not resisting arrest. These officers need to read up on the use of handcuffs. Disgraceful behaviour by the police.

    • Ex-Con

      It is when the handcuffs go on that you know you are no longer ‘detained’ but are now ‘under arrest’; that is the difference. It is only retired, ex-uni lecturer middle-class ‘protestors’ who have never protested anything in their lives that are arrested without being cuffed and all the while whining: “Aren’t you going to handcuff me, officer?”, “That won’t be necessary, Ma’am”. Meanwhile back in the real world the rest of us are cuffed and swiftly manhandled into the back of a meat-wagon.

  • Goose

    Just reading today’s story in the guardian titled “Court to rule on UK freedom of information bids from overseas”. The FOI guidance seems to have been changed arbitrarily and without prior warning simply to thwart Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi. As if we live in some sort of dictatorship.

    Much talk here about Judge Vanessa Baraitser’s conduct during the hearing, but what about the CPS’s seemingly unprofessional and unethical behaviour withholding documents regarding correspondence that may prove vital to Assange’s defence. How deep does the rot go in the UK? This is thoroughly depressing, and Starmer wants people to be more patriotic?

  • Sharen Green

    Am I paying for you to stay in a four star hotel for four weeks – something I could never afford myself? Very pleased that you’re there and shining a light on a very dark place but maybe you don’t need my widow’s mite?

    • pretzelattack

      this is your takeaway? did you miss the part where he said please don’t contribute if you can’t afford it? i didn’t see anything about a 4 star hotel, and i trust mr. murray to make responsible decisions with money. he just performed a very valuable public service, despite being charged in a trumped up investigation and despite constant attacks by online trolls and paid employees of the likes of the atlantic council.

    • craig Post author

      Sharen Green,

      It had to be somewhere within walking distance of the Old Bailey, have reliable internet and be somewhere I could not just sleep but do all my writing in, and work from, for four weeks.

      My normal day went like this. 10am, into court. There until 5pm with one hour break for lunch. Perhaps 5-6pm liaise with Wikileaks personnel. 6pm back to my room, eat, sleep till 11pm. 11pm wake up, shower, make coffee, start researching and going through my notes. 3am start writing. 8.30am finish, proof read. 9.30am dress shave, last changes, press publish. 9.50am back to court and start again.

      It is not exactly a holiday. The hotel did in fact have a spa, gym and pool but I never once went anywhere near them. I never even used the bar. For full disclosure, due to Covid-19 lack of demand it charged £92 a night. London hotels are ferociously expensive, and for that price you would normally get a dingy two star near Kings Cross.

      The Old Bailey is in the heat of the financial district. There aren’t any budget hotels near it. Airbnb options near it were more expensive than the hotel – I would have preferred an apartment.

      Frankly I am stunned that you could look through the work I produced and worry I was staying in too nice a hotel. I am grateful for any donation you have given in the past, but please do not feel obliged to continue.

      • ET

        No need to explain yourself Craig. You did well getting anything in London for that kind of money and you have done the world a huge service.

      • On the train

        Obviously for the enormous amount of concentrated work you were doing in London you had to be comfortable and secluded and with all the peace you needed. You were and are doing something that is beyond price . Your efforts will never be forgotten.

      • Ian

        It should be obvious that trade is severely affected, so that hotels like that will offer a fair deal right now. In normal times it would have been double that. As Craig says, that is cheap for central London, and he needed to be there. It is anything but luxury or some kind of holiday, especially when the hours Craig put in were unrelenting and clearly exhausting. But you would deny him a decent bed in a convenient location to perform his valuable service? FYI, it is doubtful he would have got much cheaper even if he gone out into the suburbs, from where he would have had to commute, while risking covid on public transport, and wasting valuable time. I think maybe you have a slightly unrealistic idea of London hotels, or what four star means.

    • Allan Howard

      How much did your ‘widow’s mite’ amount to Sharen? I don’t suppose it came anywhere near how much you – and most other people – pay the BBC each and every year to perpetuate and dissemble the Elite’s propaganda, or how much the average person pays for the products of the big companies that advertise regularly in the totally corrupt main-stream newspapers that lie and deceive and dupe millions of people on an almost daily basis in one respect or another AND, as such, keep them afloat.

      But I have to say that I got the distinct feeling that your post was concocted and designed to discredit Craig in the eyes of his readership. But whatever the case, unlike yourself it would appear, we have total trust in Craig (and for the glaringly obvious reason) and have nothing but admiration for him for all he does.

      PS If you have posted an apology to Craig whilst I’ve been typing this comment out (two-finger style), then please ignore my ‘reprimand’.

        • Stevie Boy

          Not everyone that participates here is an ‘interested member of the public’, it’s a fair assumption that state operatives take an interest, and maybe participate, in the comments section…

          • Allan Howard

            Skwawkbox is infested with them – ie paid shills – and between them they monitor and comment on the site every single day all day long in practically every single thread/article, of which there are about five a day on average (and this was going on way before lockdown, and their back story – which they subtley include in snippets in various posts, is that they are retired/pensioners!).

            They also monitor and regularly comment on JVLs website (some of the ‘personas’ who regularly comment on skwakbox, as well as a few ‘personas’ that don’t), and no doubt on other left-wing news blogs, as well as on here. Their main agenda/objective on skwawkbox and JVLs website is to divert attention away from the corporate media’s influence on the public mind – along with the semi-corporate BBC – and, as such, blame the victims of that very media propaganda machine, like Jeremy Corbyn, for example. In fact MOSTLY Jeremy Corbyn! He’s weak and cowardly for appeasing his enemies and not ‘fighting back’ etc, etc, etc, and it gets repeated over and over and over again (what with Repetition being a subtle form of brain-washing), and they do so knowing of course that there isn’t a chance in hell that the very media who have conspired in smearing him (and the left membership) and ‘transformed’ him in to an anti-semite, are going to give him the opportunity to refute their lies and falsehoods and, as such, expose the media itself.

            I could elaborate more, but I think I’ll leave it there for now.

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