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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  • Riuch

    That pretty much sums-up western policy in international relations. Blame something without a shred of evidence. They are devious but I wonder if they would get away with it if the people it was aimed at thought about it and looked into it a little bit more than they seem to do.

  • amanfromMars

    Craig, as one might suspect you already know, all that is revealed here about sub-prime public brainwashing operations, and that is surely certainly what they really are, pale into an almighty insignificance whenever compared to what is fully prepared as exploitable zerodays these days, and actively entering into the systemically vulnerable mainstreams of tomorrow, to poison the wells and destroy the agents of disinformation and misinformation from deep and dark places and weird and wonderful spaces beyond the reach and touch of any evil live forces/zombie sources/spent bankrupt perverse intellectual property assets.

    The following only hints at what is locked and loaded in store and launched against nations and populations at every available venue and viable opportunity.

    The good and the wise, the meek and the mild will enjoy and employ, whereas the wicked and wild, the bad and the mad have every right to be terrorised and terrified.

    GrahamC [2103020855] ……. just saying on in considered reply to “AI Commission Recommends Billions in New Spending” which comments on Final Report/National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence

    Yasmin, Hi, Thanks for that info and intel. Here be more to consider on the state of Great Games Changing play today. Its impact on the courses likely to be taken in future tomorrows is surely of significant interest.

    Rapid unfettered and unhindered progress in all matters AI is fully dependent upon the vital and virulent virtual information shared with SCADA systems administrations reliant upon internetworking computers and which be in the possession/command and control of novel advanced intelligent proprietary intellectual property holders which/who be presented and represented in metaphysical form with the likes of a Universal Virtual Force with Immaculately Resourced Assets.*

    Quite whether such be readily surely accepted, or implausibly doggedly denied as a current emerging revolutionary reality and an immediately easily made available COSMIC IntelAIgent Source for Global Deployment and Employment/Semi-Autonomous Virtual Engagement, very definitely defines the necessary nature of all future programmed programming projects.

    And one does well to realise, and never ever forget, that such can surely extremely well reward principal drivering players for their diligent friendly and mutually beneficial, positively reinforcing creative help with the award of stashes of flash fiat cash loaded onto magic plastic cards drawing from personalised accounts with unlimited funds, but never ever bought or thought third party owned for the command and control of A.N.Others ….. the rewarding payment bit which is something almost all present systems are well versed in and wonderfully comfortable with.

    * …. Earlier more primitive forms of which were represented in the likes of a CIA or FSB or GCHQ etc etc.

    🙂 Can you imagine how Scotland would fair if it had prime leverage with virtual possession of a practical leading role active with such an unusual and non-conventional facility/utility/ability?

    One doesn’t have to be an Einstein or any sort of genius to realise it would be at least monumentally advantageous, and ridiculously rewarding to boot, and be much sought after and gravely to be regarded. Its value alone as a proprietary protected systems export to others on Earth, is the mind-blowing stuff of legends.

    Interesting times ahead in deed, indeed guaranteed.

    • fishnishandchips

      Just turn off the tv…that seems to work. The best defence is compliance with your innate humanity. That of course takes education, free will, compassion and confidence. Scotlands outer lying regions are host to so many wonderful people engaging in the not so trivial pursuit of maintaining a firm hold on being real (the reforesters, crofters, had enough of the shite’ers). To think that the Scottish Nation would consider your proposal (i’ve read the article, is it a film script?) (have you got work tomorrow?) as a potential post Independence industry is a mind-blowing misunderstanding and gravely hilarious and why am I even commenting. Big words, that why. I liked the big words. With any luck we will be modded and I can sleep without worrying if my Universal Virtual Force application will be rejected. I was so excited.

      • amanfromMars


        In considered response to your replying post, March 2, 2021 at 23:06, and there be every good reason for one to be so excited, I would be both surprised and disappointed if we were modded. The thought of politically incorrect censorship here is surely anathema to Craig and commentators here,

        That it might happen elsewhere though, to try to keep the information so freely openly shared, only known to an unchosen few, is both regrettable and counter-productive and extremely revealing.

        As is the case anywhere/everywhere, and the Scottish Nation is no different with particular and peculiar regard to the matters touched upon in the genesis post, it takes only one brave hearted soul with suitable means readily available to square the force and impact of any attractive and/or Advanced IntelAIgent proposal to produce a considerably more powerful brace of beings which in its turn is attractive to an encouraged and supportive third party, and thus to surprisingly quickly extraordinarily render a complex trio its overall energy and initial powerful purpose, cubed.

        It takes only a relatively few more enlightening souls to have that exponential growth factor exhibit potential and services, which in command and control scenarios are posited as practically ideal, although there will be many who would consider such as both terrible and terrifying, prove themselves to be almost absolutely almighty.

        🙂 An Epic Titanic Studios Films Franchise of AIMissions Possible with Holywood in the loop front and centre and not appearing to direct future operations from the dark of deep shadowy webs, would certainly be boldly entertaining and educating in a Brave New More Orderly World Order, and also do so much more than just highlight Scotland and Ireland on anyone’s map.

        Let that be a firm concrete proposal, hereby firmly proposed. The tales to be presented and realised in the future are already a long time well written and ready for program activation.

        Televise and virtualise it too, and create a revolution which will change everything for everyone everywhere, if one dares win win rather than languishing in serial fail.

        • AR

          Howdy, amanfromMars,

          “ready for program activation” –

          See the Regd msg @Howto

          55 73

    • amanfromMars

      And …. incorporated as an integral part of a novel augmented virtual reality script for digital film and audiovisual telecommunication/program production and direction, which viewers cannot help themselves eventually realising is/was part of the future that selected parts of the media have been presenting as reported news of current events in a whole host of globally presented scenarios, is it something relatively simple to achieve and driver, and quite perfect for those with a desire to do more with what they know and what they might need to know others know,

      Here’s looking at you, MI5/MI6/GCHQ. I Kid U Not. ……. Living in the Grey Zone ….. you know it makes sense. Well, let’s hope it does so for y’all, for the cost of continued and continuous failure in that field is always to be paying top dollar for something you don’t need and which doesn’t work either, as expected or promised.

      Surely it would be nice to finally climb out of that deep rut which so many are buried in, and lead everything somewhere different ….. now that there be so many of the necessary means and vital memes so easily made available so that one can.

      IT aint anything difficult like rocket science.

  • Goose

    Caught the BBC’s Six O’Clock News. Sarah Smith’s report highlighted how Sturgeon was repeatedly advised that their case had little chance of success, but continued to fight it – as it turned out, at huge cost.

    This is disingenuous, isn’t it? Had the SNP not continued, opponents would’ve claimed they were shielding Salmond. We’d have had a Panorama special investigation “Is the SNP misogynistic?” (as per ‘Is labour anti-Semitic?) replete with Henryk Górecki’s sorrowful Symphony & weeping Alphabetties; telling the world how bereft they feel due to their treatment.

    The SNP were in a ‘damned if we do, damned if we don’t’ bind.

    I don’t like any of it, but pretending there was an easy option to dismiss this, is nonsense.

    • Sarge

      Don’t feel too sorry for them. It was they who hatched the whole thing out of thin air and pushed forward in the face of all legal advice. Nbody else.

      • Goose

        My point was that the UK media would have framed it negatively regardless of which path they’d chosen. The UK media aren’t the SNP’s or more specifically nationalism’s friend, not even this inde-shy version of the SNP.

        I understand why people hate Sturgeon’s role in this, but she was placed in an invidious position.

        • S

          It is certainly plausible that Sturgeon or others were pushed into this move, as you said.

          • Goose

            Amazed that anyone thinks they’d have been allowed to draw a line under it like that. This isn’t the Tories – ee., a party genuinely protected by the press, this is the SNP.

            It would’ve rumbled on, doing cumulative damage, new lurid-details emerging.

          • Sarge

            Umm, it was the SNP government who invented the whole thing. Not the Tories or anybody else.

          • Colin Smith

            She wasn’t pushed into giving a bumper pay rise and a new contract to Evans, or not reading the riot act to pull their finger out and disclose all documents fairly.

        • Sarge

          On the contrary, as Craig points out above she has been extraordinarily protected by unionist media. They chose to ignore sworn testimony she tried to have an innocent man fitted up and sent to jail for life. More than that, they have tried to smear anyone who mentions what she did as a Kremlin stooge.

          What other political leader would they go to such lengths to protect in such circumstances?

          • Goose

            There’s probably an alternate universe, where, right now, Sturgeon is facing accusations that she shielded her old mentor from serious sexual misconduct allegations.

            This illustrates the ‘bind’ and how the media were going to get to attack them either way.

          • Sarge

            Except the reality is the 3exact opposite — she tried to have him imprisoned on a pack of lies. An extremely nasty piece of work, even for a politician.

          • Stewart

            reply to “Goose” at 20:12

            is there an alternative universe where she didn’t conspire with her husband and colleagues to frame Salmond for rape, though?

            She’s not responding to “events” here, caught between a rock and a hard place etc etc, these are the consequences of her own (corrupt) actions. Have you been following this story at all?

          • Goose

            But justice did prevail : In the end he was acquitted. Awful traumatic situation for Salmond, but it was always likely to end up in the courts because the complainants were so determined. Many here allege UK state involvement. If that’s the case there was no way this could have been dodged or buried, even if theSNP leadership had been more favourably disposed to that.

          • RogerDodger

            Come off it, Goose. If you conspire to try and frame an innocent party and they manage to resist your efforts to ruin their life, justice is done not by their aquittal but by the prosecution, conviction and sentencing of you for your crime. A child would understand that.

          • Squeeth

            Why were they “so determined”? Some of them were double-crossed by Snat bureaucrats and others assured of anonymity for perjury….

        • Rhys Jaggar

          The UK media aren’t anybody’s friend. Certainly not the English working class. Certainly not the honest believers in the SME economy.

    • laguerre


      “The SNP were in a ‘damned if we do, damned if we don’t’ bind.”

      If they were to be damned either way, it’s best not to choose the road where you can be proven to have acted illegally/against ministerial code, I would have thought. Sturgeon et al have put themselves in their situation; they could have abandoned the pursuit of Salmond.

  • Jani

    If giving Crimea is to be given back to the Tatars wouldn’t you say Macedonia should be given to the Macedonians ? (1913 Bucharest treaty) !!

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    The Committee have just published affidavits from Kevin Pringle and Duncan Hamilton confirming that they had taken part in a conference call with Geoff Aberdein ahead of the 29 March meeting at Sturgeon’s Holyrood office. Points of contention with Sturgeon’s sworn account.

    • The meeting was called by her staff.
    • The agenda was set by her staff and was known to Aberdein in advance.
    • The name of one of the complainants was known to Aberdein.

    Nine in the morning seems an odd time to be munching popcorn for breakfast, but strange times …

    • nevermind

      My guess is that she will jump before she is challenged tomorrow.
      As for the issue at hand, people wherever they live will find it hard to understand what others, paid for their clandestine creations of doubt, strife and insecurity, by taxes raised with fine words, emphasis and motivation really is.
      I know that peace is the only option for us all on the globe, because wars, currently undertaken for profit greed and the malice of others, have been tried many times before and got us nowhere.
      An all out thermo nuclear exchange will finish us off, and those few who might survive it will also die, in a long drawn out struggle.
      The link above about billions on AI or we are finished is a warning to us all. AI robotics and artificial neural networks are the last stage in our sorry evolution pointing downwards.
      I also believe that ordinary people want peace for their children and for other people, but our voices are not heard loud enough. Monied men such as Sir Chris Hohn, raking it in every year, with a 630 million stake in Heathrow, is donating 200.000 to XR. Hedging his bet whilst yearning for the planes to fly again.

  • Tatyana

    Dear all,
    there’s a new wave of posts in the popular russian media Pikabu. I can recommend it to anyone as a source of absolutely genuine honest transparent place to share their opinion. The Picabu audience are russian speaking, but we mostly understand English, as @CraigAshton posts demonstrate we can easily switch to English language to make you feel more comfortable 🙂

    Well, actually, there’s a new wave of posts on how the life looked like in 90’s in Russia. The time when the USSR broke down.

    I’m going to translate some posts for you. I’ll be posting in the forum section of this blog – please check and comment. I hope it brings more understanding of modern Russia.

    • pretzelattack

      thank you. there’s so much propaganda to sift through from the msm about russia, nice to get other perspectives.

  • james

    giyane – i haven’t said this in a good while… thanks for your commentary… you bring a level of knowledge and understanding often missing…. it would be nice if you commented over at moon of alabama from time to time, if interested… you bring an unique and valuable perspective…

    • Giyane

      + never mind

      You should not thank me. You should thank Craig for steadfastly making sense of the propaganda cesspit of manufacturedfake opinion by our rubbish intelligence services. The garbage beamed to the public as News is daily evidence that we are run by stark staring raving lunatics.

      Contrast tonight’s News at 10 on radio 4 where an American think tankess delivered a commentary on Chinese treatment of Uighur women. The US has wrecked the entire Middle East starting with Yugoslavia and now in Yemen. Whatever makes the BBC think an academic from a US think Tank has any legitimacy to comment on China?

      What kind of Dumbis do they think we are? Do they really believe they are liberating the world from its medieval ignorance, while they are reducing the Middle East to pre medieval slavery?

      What kind of idiots do the BBC take us to be?

      • james

        thanks… it goes without saying, almost every post i do acknowledge and thank craig murray.. you are right about that too! i don’t live in the uk, so i don’t follow bbc, or the different news sites you mention… one could argue i am very selective in what info i intake..

  • fishnishandchips

    Within the context of the blog I must just say, Fuck Me. My solar plexus is beginning to relax. Put the truth in the room and see who wins. Craig Murray you are a very very fine human. Thank you for keeping your sturdy eye on the ball and…I hope you will be breathing a beautiful sigh of relief any day now. Spring well sprung.

      • fishnishandchips

        is that the shortest comment you have ever written?! (chuckle) I love your posts, I worry about you of course. Which may be one the multiple points of your teachings. Eliciting concern for another. The other. I recently stopped being a maintenance man. I have longstanding relationships with people in North African majority Muslim countries so I hope I read your words without too much conditioned anti islamic whatnottery. I have been brainwashed though. We rely upon our humanity and trust in order to fulfil our daily tasks without impinging on the rights of our fellow travellers, Mr Murray is a fantastic head torch. This blog is a bit like a lower deck on the ferry to Hades; our souls have turned up to see the mid cruise show (entitled The Inside/Outside man) he always delivers.

        • Giyane

          ” Lower deck on the ferry to Hades”.

          Cross between Time of the Ancient Mariner and chucking Colston in the Bristol Channel. I don’t think most of Victorian poetry, with its heavy satire against Victorian Imperial values , would get past Humza Yousaf and Nicola Sturgeon’s Hate Crime Bill.

          But you’ve given me a good idea. Go back to using the Heavy metal rock track ‘ deep down Inside ‘ as an alarm clock as I did as a teenager. That would give these Islamic State loving Muslims a taste of the heady idealism of our teenage years.

    • Contrary

      Fabulous thanks Clark! It also works to allow me to view it on my ancient iPad browser that won’t show me Twitter at all any more. (And I refuse to take part in the throw-away society consumerism and replace an entire device,,, just because they didn’t build it to last and it only half-works)

      • Marmite

        If only we could train the dumb-ass children and dumb-ass zombie-consumer child-adults to think and do like you do, Contrary, my respect for the human race might go back up a notch. Whenever I have to replace something, I feel like I have committed a crime. If only there were someone to show leadership and start imposing hefty fines on companies that design obsolescence into the crap we buy.

        • Contrary

          That just it eh – all it would take is a bit of government regulation – ‘no new technology product within 10 or 20 years’ or something simple like that – or if they brought in green cost accounting as well, ie companies were taxed on the environmental impact of the entire life product. In fact, there are a million things a government could do – but, they just don’t. Absolutely feel the same as you, and I resent being forced into being part of a throw-away society – then it’s me that gets blamed for polluting the world! (Not the product developer, or the seller, or the government),,, If only we had decent governments,,,

  • Dave Lawton

    The real Grayzone exposed Extinction Rebellion for what it is and it was not rocket science.

    • zoot

      a bit late for novara to be running such pieces now. starmer’s history was better known than that of virtually any new labour mp.

      instead novara should be questioning why they supported his second referendum tactic for gifting the election to the tories and destroying corbyn. and why even now they are still affectionately referring to him as ‘ keir ‘.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        Novara Media; once he has done his job and purged the Labour Party he can be removed and replaced with a more convincing deep state stooge.

    • Out+of+Affric

      Thank you for the link, Bevin. It ought to be required reading for students of politics and indeed the public at large.

      I suspected he was a wrong un after he shut down the inquiry into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. Who got to him first, MI5 or Mossad?

  • Giyane

    How is it possible for Nicola Sturgeon to comply with Pre-election purdah rules when she appears on daily televised covid briefings? If this were to happen , and if it is not delegated to a non party political official, that would indicate that the Scottish government is run by PR company rules, rather than government regulations.

    Nicola Sturgeon’s main political message to the community is That she opposes traditional values, law-based rules. Her feminist extremist message is as my ex neatly expressed It. ” piss on your leg and play with the steam”. That’s ok from a private citizen. She’s entitled to her extremist views. But daily TV performances loaded with fake emotion and crocodile misandry bites and tears, is way beyond the limits of purdah.

    If it happens, we will know what that means. It means she is a Unionist stooge. Yes Nicola , you wanna crush testicles using the courts and your pet advocate, you will be kept in check by the patriarchal system of fairness rules. You can busk in the street like all the others, not have your own daily cutey TV personality show.

  • Stonky

    Quick question. I’m hoping to watch NS at the Committee today. I’m outside the UK and need a VPN, and it appears that the Scottish Parliament Channel won’t grant direct access. I did access the feed through a third party provider and was able to watch AS evidence, but I can’t remember the name of the site. Can anybody help?

  • Mary

    Ian Blackford appeared on BBC Breakfast this morning in defence of Nicola Sturgeon.

    ‘Utterly corrupt!’ BBC viewers slam ‘biased’ Ian Blackford interview
    BBC viewers weren’t pleased with Dan Walker’s interview with SNP leader Ian Blackford on BBC Breakfast and took to Twitter to accuse the broadcaster of being “biased”.

    D Express not pleased!

  • alexey

    Watching bits of the inquiry last week and this morning. The composure of AS and NS is completely different. NS is shitting herself, stuttering all over the place, very defensive.

    • Sam

      What was that big loud “NO!” she shrieked out and then had to apologise to the Committee straight after. What was that all about. Imagine if she was up in court what a judge or jury would be thinking. She is prevaricating, stuttering and stammering all over the place; her ‘evidence’ is just not reliable or credible. Compare and contrast with Alex Salmond. He exuded confidence, perfectly composed. He was on top on everything, knew all his dates etc., not one stutter or stammer from him. Sturgeon just comes across as a guilty person trying to wriggle their way out of a very serious charge. As I said, who would a judge or jury believe?

    • Josh R

      After conspiring to send an innocent (until proven guilty) man to prison, it’s interesting to wonder how she’d fair under lock & key.
      Although I don’t get the impression that that’s on the cards.

  • N_

    Saying there is a mandate for a second independence referendum is comparable to Trump saying he won the 2020 election. It plays of course to the “England won’t let us do stuff” racist lunacy.

    Those who are interested in politically-themed insanity may like to know that Norman “positive thinking” Vincent Peale was a Calvinist. A lot more could be said about this.

    • fwl

      Interesting section on Normal Peale’s influence on Trump in Gary Lachman (aka Gary Valentine of Blondie)’s Dark Star Rising

  • Fredi

    It’s a true joy to watch the bigoted misandrist Nicola on the ropes, god willing finally felled by her own hubris.

    Even better her vast army of supporters having their collective nose rubbed in it, as that’s exactly what they deserve for putting their faith in an immoral ambitious politician.

    • Garry W Gibbs

      But it is clear that mainstream media is reporting it totally from her perspective.
      I am, frankly, amazed by that.
      It seems like mainstream media has been bought off.
      Is there a conspiracy to keep her in post then?

  • DunGroanin

    Blair Hands.
    Bliar hands! Dead giveaway.
    Red Riding Hood Lies.

    Read them, Didn’t read them, I wasn’t involved, I didn’t know, I believe …

    Boo hoo, I’m just a little wikkle girl now please help me convenor.

  • Goose

    Sturgeon says the complainants came forward initially in November 2017 but made their formal complaints in January 2018. She reiterates that the policy was signed off on 20 December 2017.
    The Alex Salmond Show is a UK weekly political talk show hosted by former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond which premiered on RT on 16 November 2017.

    Suppose it could be coincidence.

    • I.M.Pistov

      At last someone has joined the dots.
      Of course 2017 also saw Sturgeon become the poster girl in the US with her chat show appearances on prime time TV.
      So when her bestest friend ever Hilary tells her she needs to do something about Salmond and RT right away…
      Bob’s your uncle

        • Karen

          ‘Vaccine passports’ are the very definition of totalitarianism. But hey ho, maybe some people like to live in totalitarian countries.

        • glenn_uk

          “The very definition”? That’s strange, Karen – I just looked up ‘totalitarianism’ and it mentioned nothing about vaccines!

          Which dictionary are you using? Does it come wrapped in tin foil?

        • Karen

          Well, glenn_uk, I can give you one from The Technological Society by Jacques Ellul:

          “The Totalitarian State : Finally technique causes the state to become totalitarian, to absorb a citizen’s life completely. We have noted that this occurs as an accumulation of techniques in the hands of the state. Techniques are mutually engendered hence interconnected, forming a system that tightly encloses all our activities. When the state takes hold of a single thread of this network of techniques, little by little it draws to itself all the matter and the method, whether or not it consciously wills to do so.

          Even when the state is resolutely liberal and democratic, it cannot do likewise than become totalitarian. It becomes so either directly or, as in the case of the United States, through intermediate persons. But, despite differences, all such systems come ultimately to the same result.” ©

        • glenn_uk

          Thanks, Karen. That’s an example which could be included here:

          The Slippery Slope logical fallacy – Definition
          The fallacy of slippery slope is committed when someone argues that a certain, relatively insignificant event or course of action will lead to a chain of consequences, eventually resulting in some significant outcome. The conclusion of the argument, or the culmination of the chain of events, is typically seen as unacceptable, and therefore the first decision that would eventually lead to that outcome should be rejected.

  • Mistertaximan

    I thought NS was supposed to be relishing this? I haven’t seen her licking her lips once…at least not as far as I can recall, or as far as my memory serves, to the best of my knowledge, at least that’s my understanding.

    • N_

      If she talks like that from the dock in a criminal trial under cross-examination, game over.

      I see the law firm she used to work for specialises in conveyancing, wills, and powers of attorney – i.e. getting clerks to fill in forms. And she thinks she’s Niccolo Machiavelli.

  • jm

    “ Although this is very,erm personal and,erm,troubling for me I,erm,can categorically,erm,state to the,erm,committee that,erm,as far as I can,erm,recall and to the,erm,best of my knowledge my name,erm,is Nicola,erm,Sturgeon although,erm,I could be,erm,wrong…”

  • N_

    From the Guardian, reporting Sturgeon’s testimony to the committee today:

    Sturgeon said that while Aberdein had indicated [on 29 March – N_ note] Salmond wanted to speak to her about a ‘harassment-type incident’, this was ‘in general terms’, and what she recalled most from the conversation was how concerned Aberdein had been about Salmond’s wellbeing.

    Boys’ club, huh? Give it up, Nicola. Wouldn’t surprise me if your popularity rating is even lower among women than it is among men.

    She said the meeting with Salmond at her home on 2 April was when she fully grasped the nature of the allegations.

    “In general terms”, “fully grasped”. If she ever talks like that in front of an unbiased jury, they are likely to think she is a lying b*tch.

    Didn’t one of the alphabet women claim from the witness box that when what she was alleging was an attempt to rape her took place she felt it was “highly inappropriate”?

    She said Salmond asked her to read a letter he had been sent by the head of the civil service, Leslie Evans, which detailed the accusations. ‘Reading that letter is a moment in my life I will never forget,’ she told the committee. She said Salmond went on the tell her his version of what happened with one of the complainers: ‘What he described constituted in my view was deeply inappropriate on his part.’

    Strange how being told by Aberdein slipped her memory but being told by the very man she was trying to blackmail Alec Salmond made a lasting impression.

    However, she also said had she been fully informed of the allegation at the 29 March meeting, her actions would not necessarily have been different.

    She said: ‘Given what I was told about the distress Alex was in, and how it was suggested to me that he might be intending to handle matters, it is likely that I would have still agreed to meet him – as his friend and as his party leader.’ “

    She added: ‘My decision not to record the meeting on 2 April immediately wasn’t about the classification I gave it, not about it being a party rather than a government meeting, it was because I did not want to compromise the independence of the confidentiality of the process under way.’ “

    Talk about taking the p*ss.

  • DunGroanin

    Has anyone else suddenly lost ‘internet connection’ on the device they were using to follow the proceedings?
    Mine went down at 13.22. This other device has internet. The one I was watching on, even after rebooting is saying no Internet!

    Do we know how many tuned in on Friday and Today?

  • frankywiggles

    Sunak introducing a clutch of Corbyn-McDonnell proposals from 2019. Popular proposals, like a big hike in corporation tax, an infrastructure bank, based up north, to finance a ‘green industrial revolution’. Meanwhile Sir Keir is left trying to outflank the Tories from the right on tax.

    British Labour hurtling towards PASOKification.

    • Marmite

      A big hike in corporation tax? The fact that it has always been so damn low makes Britain look passé and uncompassionate, unaware that there is something called society. How does it compare with others around the world?

      Keir’s staged ‘opposition’ looks so phony compared to what we had two years ago, when the Tories’ heart-pounding answers to questions indicated that they were almost afraid to speak in parliament. Why do we tolerate this charlatan?

    • Goose

      Have you seen today’s revelations from an upcoming book (highlighted by Aaron Bastani) about how then DPP Starmer allegedly reacted with ‘fury’, when Theresa May blocked Gary McKinnon’s extradition on compassionate grounds (Gary McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome).

      Mckinnon’s case somewhat mirrors Assange’s.

      People are calling Starmer a monster. The fact someone as cold as Theresa May had more compassion than a Labour leader is depressing stuff.

      • frankywiggles

        How long before Lisa Nandy condemns Priti Patel for being soft on crime and migrants? Maybe she already has…

        • Goose

          All his shadow cabinet look like they’ve been picked based on their support for: neoliberalism, neocon foreign policy goals and a a hatred of radical reform and Corbynistas.

          This is the Aaron Bastani post : [Starmer was] Allegedly angry that a man with autism won’t die behind bars in the United States because of the clemency of….Theresa May. Wow.

          • Goose

            It certainly goes some way in explaining Starmer’s bizarre stance on the covert human intelligence sources (Chis) bill and The Overseas Operations (service personnel and Veterans) Bill. The idea, if Labour win power a PM Starmer would ‘revisit’ these is complete nonsense.

            Why are we the only western democratic country where special forces operations have no democratic oversight and security services have the right to murder, rape their fellow citizens with a degree of impunity?

          • Tom Welsh

            “Why are we the only western democratic country where special forces operations have no democratic oversight and security services have the right to murder, rape their fellow citizens with a degree of impunity?”

            I think you will find the answer to that question in the near vicinity of the phrase “Western democratic country”.

          • Goose

            The strange thing is how not a single journalist asks these questions. Even the services’ heads would have difficulty explaining why the UK is so different from our more civilised close allies.

            Revolutions stripped monarchs of such powers and yet here we are in 2021.

          • Goose

            There was a time, not long ago when the stories Declassified cover would have appeared in the mainstream press.

            Even before Snowden there seems to have been a huge effort underway to bring the press(MSM) on side – at editorial level. Well-resourced, well-connected agencies working hand-in-glove with key players the press can’t be a good thing if the end result is a narrowing of available public information; more censorship and algorithmic favouritism (twitter etc) that demote some stories and promote others.

            We all saw Chris Williamson get a door slammed in his face when asking the Integrity Initiative, politely, for an interview. Behaviour more akin to that of a dodgy trader on the BBC’s Watchdog, than something above board.

    • nevermind

      Council tax is going up this year whilst the so called big hike in corp. tax is not coming in until April 2023.
      Two years time for corporations to pack up and leave.
      Abysmal, but Labour, despite all the pre budget leaks, had absolutely nothing to propose themselves.

      We are left with zero representation and so are the carers and nurses and doctors. Feeding the Cronies with mi/billion contracts, get all clammed up about it and found guilty of fraud, these laughing clowns are still thinking that they have done nothing wrong.

      I wonder whether anyone has seen a loose noose hanging about somewhere?

  • M.J.

    “Remember this: when it comes to every form of devious behaviour, it is the British state which wrote the book.”

    This reminds me of a scene in the 1961 film “The Young Ones” in which the following exchange occurs. As I recall:

    Cliff Richard: “If there’s going to be any coshing to be done, you’re going to be the one to do it.”

    Robert Morley: “Nicky, you really shouldn’t talk to your father like that. (Aside) Perfectly true, of course.”

  • Karen

    In her closing statement she finished one sentence with “the jury” and began the next with “mistakes were made”. A skilful bit of wordplay to send out the false message that the jury made a mistake.

    • Wikikettle

      NS was allowed to repeat the same stuff over and over again to questions asked. This skilfully ate away the time that committee members needed and the Convener always interrupted and curtailed a line of questioning that tried to get direct answers which never came. Her performance was brazen. It doesn’t matter what the committee concludes because there will be fight between NS loyalists and the others resulting in a fudge.

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