Mote in Your Own Eye 580

This blog remains, as far as I am aware, blocked in Russia. (Am receiving messages it is not currently blocked, at least on several major ISPs, which is good news). It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only western political blog of wide readership which advocates stripping Russia of all the colonial possessions it obtained contemporaneously with, indeed in competition with, the growth of the British Empire. That a blog which champions Independence for, inter alia, Dagestan, Chechnya and Tatarstan, and which says Crimea should be given back to the Tatars, is condemned by the political Establishment as pro-Kremlin is, on the face of it, paradoxical.

The reason for it is, of course, that this blog also views Russia’s opposition to neo-con Western militarily enforced hegemony throughout the Middle East and developing world, as an essential though inadequate counter-balance. It also combats the rampant Russophobia of our media and political class, and the widespread, deliberate whipping up of hatred against a great culture and people, central to our European heritage. That involves exposing propaganda lies like Salisbury and Douma. The Establishment really do hate that. As neither Salisbury nor Douma, nor much else in the Western narrative, stands up to even a little intellectual scrutiny, the media and Establishment seek to demonise this blog as in some sense a Russian agency. The amusing thing is, of course, that neither this blog nor its author has ever received a penny from any Russian source, while the Establishment rolls around in oligarch cash.

There was an amusing new twist this week where the Times newspaper claimed that Russian trolls were behind the “attacks” on Nicola Sturgeon, otherwise known as telling the truth about Nicola Sturgeon’s actions. Why the Times, and most of the unionist media Establishment especially the BBC, has been so very keen to defend Nicola Sturgeon and under-report the evidence against her (and continue to make wild accusations against Alex Salmond) would be an interesting digression. Suffice it to say, that after five years with a pro-Independence majority at Holyrood, after Brexit, and with a clear mandate for a referendum on Independence, Nicola has not called one.

One of the Integrity Initiative’s on-call Russophobes, David Leask, wrote in the Times:

Mainstream Scottish nationalists have long suspected pro-Kremlin social media of targeting the first minister, particularly since her criticism of the Salisbury attacks in 2018.
However, analysts have rarely been able to draw a significant direct line between so-called troll factories and tweets aimed at Sturgeon and her party.
New data published by Twitter on hundreds of Kremlin or Iranian accounts removed for attempting to “manipulate the platform” show some activity with a Scottish flavour.
About two dozen accounts linked to the authoritarian governments tweeted or retweeted pro-independence or other Scottish messaging and have been banned.
Two accounts Twitter linked to the Iranians, each with many thousands of followers, have repeatedly retweeted Craig Murray, a blogger and former ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is one of Sturgeon’s most ferocious critics. There is no suggestion Murray, who has a substantial online presence, was aware of or sought such support.

So there we have it. It is the Russians targeting Nicola, because my 90,000 twitter followers included 2 “linked to” Iran, who retweeted some of my tweets.

Which twitter accounts were these? Which tweets did they retweet? We don’t know. One of Sturgeon’s acolytes tweeted the “evidence” for this, which was a link to a twitter statement on its website on the suspension of Russian-linked accounts. That gave a link to what it claimed as “evidence”, but that was simply a cache of 1.5 Gb worth of tweets, very many thousands of them, with no explanation as to why they were said to be Russian linked. How the “Iranian-linked” tweets involving me were pulled out of this enormous cache – and why – is a very interesting question. [I can’t actually rediscover the tweet or the report page on twitter with its unevidenced assertions. If anybody can, please post it in comments below]

The Times report is an entirely evidence-free zone, but its principal complaint appears to be that “Kremlin-linked” accounts have been tweeting material under the hashtag #dissolvetheunion. It then gives this quote:

Joanna Szostek, who teaches political communication at the University of Glasgow, described it as the latest move in a game of “whack-a-mole . . . It’s interesting that a few of these accounts are also pushing #dissolvetheunion tweets. Anything that weakens a major Nato member would presumably look good from Russia’s point of view.”

But the longest bit of the article, its substance, is the quote from the SNP’s own uber-Russophobe Stewart MacDonald who gives a disquisition on how terrible it is that the evil Russians should – advocate for Scottish Independence. MacDonald, who carries a British Army issued visitor ID in his wallet and has snaps of himself in combat fatigues observing British Army exercises, both of which he has been known to show hopefully to impressionable young people, is far better known for his enthusiasm for NATO, Israel and the corrupt government of Ukraine than he is for Scottish Independence. I suspect deep down he fantasises about going to war against the Russians with the British Army. Why he is in the SNP, nobody knows. Why anybody thinks that Russia advocating for Scotland’s Independence would make Russia Scotland’s enemy, is quite beyond me.

There is an extremely bad history of misidentification of Russian trolls by the right wing loons paid to undertake such work, particularly Leask’s old comrade-in-arms Ben Nimmo, who famously outed Ian the Russian Bot. This ought to be the most famous video of all time and be played weekly in schools to vaccinate children against government propaganda.

Unfortunately, very many governments do actively sponsor social media and mainstream media disinformation. The Integrity Initiative was one major such secret black propaganda operation, linked to the Salisbury event among other things, and it is hilarious in a dark sort of way that journalists like Leask, who took the Integrity Initiative’s shilling, get upset at alleged Russian initatives which are essentially the same thing.

Almost entirely unreported in the British media was last week’s revelation by The Grayzone of a new FCO covert propaganda operation involving (and funding) Bellingcat, the BBC and Reuters Thomson.

The UK FCO projects were carried out covertly, and in partnership with purportedly independent, high-profile online media outfits including Bellingcat, Meduza, and the Pussy Riot-founded Mediazona. Bellingcat’s participation apparently included a UK FCO intervention in North Macedonia’s 2019 elections on behalf of the pro-NATO candidate.

The intelligence contractors that oversaw that operation, the Zinc Network, boasted of establishing “a network of YouTubers in Russia and Central Asia” while “supporting participants [to] make and receive international payments without being registered as external sources of funding.” The firm also touted its ability to “activate a range of content” to support anti-government protests inside Russia.

The new documents provide critical background on the role of NATO member states like the UK in influencing the color revolution-style protests waged in Belarus in 2020, and raise unsettling questions about the intrigue and unrest surrounding jailed Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Twitter not only suppressed dissemination of this information, it put a warning on those tweets it did allow into selected timelines, that information came from hacked material. It has never done that to the pro-Western outpourings of Bellingcat. But my profound congratulations to our friends at Anonymous for bringing more of this murk to light.

You might like to compare this document from an FCO-funded contractor, with Stewart MacDonald’s horror that Russia should allegedly sponsor a few tweets favouring Scottish Independence:

Or this from another FCO-funded contractor:

The FCO role in Belsat, the entirely NATO member funded “Belarussian” TV channel based in Poland, is also of great current interest,

Do read through the Grayzone article, which is excellent. Remember this: when it comes to every form of devious behaviour, it is the British state which wrote the book.


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Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

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580 thoughts on “Mote in Your Own Eye

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  • Giyane

    Talking of motes, it is 24/7 corporate, government and licenced ( to kill ) GCHQ spying that has skewed this country’s narrative of who is in, who is out, and who are the despicable untouchables.

    Yes it’s a class system, but it has no bearing on any existing moral or religious criteria. If the Queens Lord Advocate has a licence to fabricate, conceal, delete, or insinuate, good or bad things about extremely respectable senior politicians, the existence of democracy has morphed into totalitarianism.

    The same goes for every other institution that sucks British Intelligence cock in The hope of financial or political advancement. It’s all very well Alex Salmond citing the Ministerial code, or me for that matter citing the Qur’an, but if the intelligence agencies value that method of guaging excellence, the largest cock suckers win the argument.

    Of course it’s always tricky when we have a change of leadership in the US, because nobody quite knows which way the wind is going to blow for a few months.

    We are in that stage of doldrums right now, and the Pope has amazed the world by seizing the momentary lull to give his resounding condemnation of USUKIS and any of their zealous cock suckers, Al Qaida, Iran, Islamic State etc’s appalling violence.

    I am extremely impressed by his political timing and his judgement. USUKIS is temporarily floored by coronavirus. While the referee is counting, and it is vaguely uncertain whether the ageing POTUS has enough marbles to withstand the slings and arrows of leading a war, and before he gets replaced, up pops Pope Francis in Mosul.

    Forget cheeky gesture of absolute truthfulness one can guarantee with certainty he will never be nomnated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

    • N_

      Talking of the Nobel Peace Prize, funny how Shimon Peres is mentioned in much of the western media as “Nobel Peace Prize winner” as if those words were part of his name, whereas Yasser Arafat with whom he and Yitzhak Rabin shared the prize hardly ever is.

      Subsequent actions by the Zionists have shown that George Habash of the PFLP was totally right to reject the Oslo accords. That can’t reasonably be denied by anyone, regardless of what their position is. He was right in the same way that Arthur Scargill was right when he said the Thatcherite government was aiming to smash the British coal industry.

      • Fwl

        Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke on origins of WW2 commences with a quote from Alfred Noble who had just attended the 4th World’s Peace Conference. He had been talking to Baroness Bertha Von Suttner author of Lay Down Your Arms. Nobel said:

        “Perhaps my factories will put an end to war even sooner than your congresses. On the day when two army Corps May mutually annihilate each other in a second, probably all civilized nations will recoil with horror and disband their troops”.

        That was 1892.

        • Bramble

          He made the mistake of underestimating the human capacity for hatred and humanity’s love of killing one another.

  • Yuri K

    Chechnya? Maybe, but see below. However, not Dagestan or Tatarstan. There are no any significant separatist movements there. Crimea? Tatars there are a small minority. Their rights are respected but why encourage their separatism?

    BTW, Chechnya had de facto independence in 1995-9. This resulted in a criminal state, ran by a variety of field commanders, sort of like Afghanistan in between the fall of Najibullah but before the Taliban took over. Or more like ISIS but w/o their strong central power. It was a save heaven for criminals and slave labor was common there. In the course of the 2nd Chechen war, the Russian forces liberated about 4,500 slaves hold forcibly in Chechnya. The ethnic cleaning of Russians from Chechnya in 1991-4 was mostly ignored by the Western media, so you are probably not aware of that. Thus, current status quo with pro-Putin strongman at the top is probably the best solution for everyone.

    • Giyane

      Yuri K

      I see , it does distort the Western news when we are not told of jihadist use of slavery in Russian colonies, but China was told what to expect from radicalisation of Uighurs .

    • N_

      @Yuri – Ramzan Kadyrov having been other than pro-Putin in the past. Did his gang stop having slaves? That doesn’t sound like him.

  • Carolyn Zaremba

    The people of Crimea VOTED to remain a part of Russia!!!! Stop this attack on Russia. You are helping American imperialism!

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Carolyn Zaremba,

      It seems to me that if the people of Scotland have a say to decide whether they remain a part of the United Kingdom or go independent; so – Crimea?

      • Tatyana

        it seems to me that the people of Scotland are not threatened by the government of the United Kingdom, so it may consider independence rather than seeking protection.

        Not agreeing, not loving, feeling threatened – these are different levels of a relationship, and the appropriate response action vary.

        • Kempe

          Crimea never got the option to vote for independence; it wasn’t on the ballot paper. They had a choice of Russia or reverting to a relationship with Ukraine that had already failed.

  • DunGroanin

    I thought I’d see if I could find any news on the dog eaten memos of the SNP – who with a English stiff upper lip play a big lie and stick to it as any high born chinless wonder would. So for a laugh I looked at PoliticsHome – not a regular reader of it.


    I wondered if I was doing a search incorrectly, so first searched for ‘Scotland’ – no luck; Salmond – ditto; SNP – ditto; Sturgeon – have their most recent article, but not on the Inquiry and conspiracy – pure vacuum.

    It shows what that sites narrative management role is.

    I did come across this from 2015 though – when they were revealing how they could gaslight and co-opt NS and SNP’s overwhelming vote into REMAINING in their poxy Union, her personal road map to treachery.

  • V. K.

    craig-y boy why would you think that your crappy blog is blocked in Russia? Nothing could be further from the truth.

    however, this is not what I am commenting on. Do you know that they did manage to silence ian56?

    this twitter account has been blocked for some time now

    Vassja the cancellor of demuckratsies

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