Vigilant over Vigils 441

UPDATE Social media has got very excited over the fact the young woman is apparently an actress. But why should she not be? In my extensive contact with actors, they are particularly likely to be politically engaged. I should also note that I have received quite a lot of abuse for pointing out that the reason this one person got on the front page of all the newspapers is that she is young and pretty. That is simply true- it is what newspaper editors do. I am criticising the media for this. Opposing the prioritising of media exposure by physical attractiveness is in fact a classic feminist stance, so I have no idea why feminists are attacking me on it. END OF UPDATE.

In one sense, I am delighted that the heavy-handed police action at the vigil for Sarah Everard has brought about public revulsion at the attack on free speech and the right of assembly, just as Priti Patel prepares to bring in the dreadful policing bill which represents the biggest single threat to freedom of assembly in the UK for 200 years. Its foundational principle is that the right of freedom of assembly is subordinate to the right to drive a SUV anywhere and any time you please, without having to detour around people taking part in democratic expression. It has a subsidiary principle that all public manifestations of political dissent will be intimidated by massive police presence, and that the cost of that massive intimidatory presence will in itself be reason to ban the demonstration. Which would be delightfully Kafkaesque were it only a joke.

The excuse for breaking up the Everard vigil was of course Covid. In all but the most extreme circumstances, where public health management conflicts with the most fundamental of human rights, then human rights should avail. The Patel legislation is not a response to Covid, it is a response to Extinction Rebellion. I remain wholly supportive of ER; the need to jolt people out of their complacency and inaction over climate change is a massive political priority, and I certainly hope Extinction Rebellion will be back with a bang in the summer.

But I am afraid to say it could not escape my notice that the protest over the Everard vigil was in stark contrast to the lack of protest at the police breaking up the Assange vigil in Piccadilly Circus, which was much smaller and less intrusive and much better social distanced. Unfortunately the police ,arrested 92 year old Eric who is not a young and pretty woman, so it got no media coverage.

The sad truth is of course that among those vying to be seen in both mainstream and social media to express outrage at the police disruption of the Everard vigil, are many fierce proponents of cancel culture. The outrage over which speech is limited is highly selective. That free speech also extends to Julian Assange or Piers Corbyn is not intuitive to the mainstream media at present. There seems to be a real danger that British society is losing all notion of the idea that free speech is for everybody, not just those you agree with or who are deemed respectable by the media and political class.

I was going to make a joke about freedom of speech extending even to protests without any Duchesses, which led me to recall that there was in fact a bona fide Duchess on the last Assange demonstration I participated in!

Scotland has of course just contributed to this general atmosphere of repression by passing a completely unnecessary Hate Crime Bill. Not only does this outlaw politically incorrect speech even within your own home – and in film and theatrical performances – there is every reason to believe it will lead to an increase in the political prosecutions for which the Scottish Crown Office is becoming renowned. At which point, it is worth noting it is now nearly seven weeks since my hearing for contempt of court, with no sign of a judgement, which seems to me very extraordinary.


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441 thoughts on “Vigilant over Vigils

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  • Douglas Scorgie

    March 17, 2021 at 13:16

    “I just watched PMQ’s to see how the handsome well coiffured GKH, making suckers of anyone left, would find a way of rubber stamping this new Riot Act.”


    Who is GKH DunGroanin.?
    I’ve watched the replay of Prime Ministers Questions and I’m still non-the-wiser. Perhaps I’m missing something.

  • Douglas Scorgie

    Stevie Boy
    March 17, 2021 at 18:16

    “The question now is how long before they turn their close-together, swivel eyes on blogs like this one ?
    They’ve got rid of the Chinese News- CGTN.”

    Don’t forget Stevie Boy the BBC have already got rid of the Mash Report and are considering doing the same to other comedy and satire shows they consider too left wing.

  • Douglas Scorgie

    March 18, 2021 at 00:26

    “I admire a band of people born into a community that is always on the move.”

    I think you made a few typos there Wikikettle I have corrected them for you:
    “I admire a band of crooks born into a culture of thievery that is always on the run.”
    No thanks required.

    • Bayard

      I think you’l find that you and Wikikettle are both right, however, it’s you, not Wikikettle, that ends up getting their stuff nicked.

        • Bayard

          Why should it?
          My point was explained in a previous comment, which I am not going to repeat so that you can ignore it once again.

  • DunGroanin

    Not 9-0????

    These 4 need to explain their blinkers to their local voters and selectors.

    What is the instant recourse available? Legal charges?

    • fwl

      I dunno, but as in rugby (whether against Scotland 24-23 or England 40-24) a win is a win.

      • DunGroanin

        For these who dispute a jury verdict whilst ignoring perjury and conspiracy – they will for certain use the close margin as mitigation and aim to ignore the import.
        It is as I said earlier being timed to cause the maximum damage to the concept of SNP support.
        No actions by the conspirators have been unplanned as the Counsels full Advise has shown regarding their ignored Opinions.
        Well intentioned NS supporters need to take her photos down from their walls and windows and their personality fixated lapel badges off.
        It’s over. Accept the reality of her betrayal and correct the mistake of being suckered by her villainy.
        She is NOT the SNP or the only one who can lead to Independence.

          • Giyane

            Courtenay Barnett

            Perfidy as in perfidious Albion, colonial deception and subjugation.
            Suckered as in that’s not milk , it’s Aspamil, and that’s not a boob either, sucker.
            Dungroanin’s a rapper, not a barrister. Powerful stuff !

          • DunGroanin

            CB, Well she is the latest deep cover English stooge / pimpernel – there’s photographic evidence of it I have seen published a few times with the grand lying wizard of spin – so perfidy is apt for such a good one eyed Englishman and woman as the Murrells.

            But for these who would have a real independent Scotland and throw off centuries of perfidy, land and resource theft and exploitation of the peoples – she is a definitely a villainous traitor – who will be rewarded with a House of Lords seat and title and massive made up contracts in the US.

            The time is now well past throwing out the NS bath water – it’s cold and dirty and the Independence baby is becoming filthier and sickly by every minute of sitting in that hog wash poisonous sturgeon water.
            The SNP bath tub can be easily refilled within days and the new beginning and fresh hot water will enthuse the voters to rally.

            That is what NS and her Minders all the way to the purring old Queen have been working to destroy – the generational ‘SNP tartan Wall’.

            If the media doesn’t print it I urge a return to daily mass pasting of posters with the facts across the land.

        • Seamus Ariat

          The emphasis on perjury and conspiracy needs to be kept to the fore. Sturgeon may have misled Parliament but there were much greater crimes.
          As for Sir Starmer he is a monumental threat to our freedoms. Worse than Jack Straw and David Blunkett combined.

        • nevermind

          Its is an inquiry, not a courtcase, so those who are or aren’ nudged on by others pushing them, can throw their toys out of their prams.
          Did the inquiry members swear an oath?

          • Giyane


            It must be time for another inquiry to look into what went wrong with the Salmond Inquisition inquiry.

            They could look into how a previous First Minister is not trusted to gauge the fine line between friendship and fondness, while the super Rambo Lord Advocate can perfectly easily separate the interests of the cabinet and Crown Prosecution.

            What is lacking under Nicola Sturgeon is any sense of proportion or personal responsibility.

            Politicians they take responsibility for their actions, but then don’t or say they refute the evidence but then bring no evidence to refute it with are just empty windbags.

            One little sapling sticking out of the cliff face as she drops is that it’s against pre-election purdah to talk about the inquiry, now that her team have spun it out into the purdah period. I hope she grabs it.
            We would all be glad of a break from her and all her works.

            They can let her out to bury the SNP, after the election in May.
            ‘ Nobody could have predicted a Tory landslide’. Then peace and quiet. I have an allergy to lying.

  • Giyane


    The BBC World Service yesterday interviewed someone with a very posh accent from the Metropolitan Police about charging Assad’s British wife with war crimes.

    Oddly, he didn’t mention anything about USUKIS concrete bunkers to house Al Qaida, built by Hillary Clinton’s concrete company. Nor about Russia flattening them with exocet missiles, with impunity. Nor about Theresa May’s side-volleys into Syria from the British fleet Nelson Style being intercepted by Russian anti- ballistic missiles.

    He did mutter under his breath , off mike, blast it, Napoleon has won! We’ll just have to drop back on the Indo- Pacific front using Erdogan.

  • Goose

    Really can’t understand those calling for her to go now crashing the SNP’s vote, as the media play up the ‘turmoil in SNP ranks’, unless there are ulterior motives involved?

    Without a Holyrood majority inde hopes are sunk for 5 years and possibly decades. Some have become far too blasé about winning majorities under the MMP system, a partly proportionate system designed and accepted by Blair precisely to prevent one party FPTP style dominance, it’s highly improbable in fact. I’m guessing when the opportunity is lost people will appreciate what they had and how close they came only to throw it away, egged on by the Johnson backing UK Tory media who urged inde supporters to turn SNP guns inwards. Arguments over who was the real villain : Sturgeon or splitters, will be merely academic.

  • Seamus Ariat

    Article 10 of the Human Rights Act protects your right to hold your own opinions and to express them freely without government interference. So why is it not being enforced?

    Hate Crime Bill in Scotland does not surprise me. It has been pretty intolerant for a while. Didn’t they jail a Rangers fan for singing a song? All the good work of the SNP, was it not? The Westboro Baptist Church are pretty horrible crowd but even for these folk I am with Voltaire.

  • Douglas Scorgie

    Seamus Ariat
    March 19, 2021 at 00:03

    “As for Sir Starmer he is a monumental threat to our freedoms.”

    Absolutely. It is not a secret that he has close personal relationships with members of the security services and he is on record saying “I am not a Zionist but I support Zionism.”
    A bit of a oxymoron there.

  • DiggerUK

    So, Mrs. Murrell is thrown a ‘get out of resigning’ opportunity from the inquiry. No need for her to resign, she has only been found to have ‘misled parliament’, not ‘wilfully misled parliament’.
    Damn those devilish details.

    It appears with the first smell of gunpowder in the air that a lot of scottish warriors are proposing heading to the rear with a glass of malt in their hand, instead of showing some grit and taking on the wearers of a corrupted tartan.
    Resigning from the SNP now is the cowards option…_

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Sturgeon ain’t voluntarily going anywhere. Personal ambition trumps all other concerns.
      She does however invite us to regard the upcoming election as a proxy on our opinion of her personal integrity. I’ll be taking her up on the challenge, spoilt ballot for the constituency vote and ISP for the regional vote.
      Scotland ain’t ready for independence with Sturgeon’s ZANU PF at the helm.

      • DiggerUK

        Tactical voting, including casting an invalid ballot, is a legitimate political tactic open to everyone. But leaving the SNP to the venals by resigning achieves nothing but their victory.

        Independence or a continued union is of no consequence to me. But listening to some of the brainless wonders on here it astonishes me how the independence movement in Scotland survives at all…_

  • Contrary

    I’ve just read Craig Murray’s recent tweets – I don’t have Twitter so thought I’d indulge in my pedantry here:

    John Somers, Nicola Sturgeon’s Principle Private Secretary, (bizarrely) met with MsA – in the FM’s office according to Alex Salmond – on the 20th and 21st of Nov 2017.

    So not on the 21st and 22nd – and I think Craig has the complainers mixed up – MsA was the ‘second’ complainer to come forward with her ‘concerns’ – but the first to make a formal complaint (hence the ‘A’ designation), but she’s also the one that had the more serious complaint, and had already had raised it, and it was dealt with, near the time of it happening. The feeling of the bum episode was probably MsB? And I have no record of her speaking with John Somers – she appeared to want to talk to the Permanent Secretary rather than the FM. There was a third person that ‘raised concerns’ but hadn’t made a formal complaint with the SG – but that person has been redacted out of so many documents I couldn’t say if she met with John Somers or not.

  • Garry W Gibbs

    “it is worth noting it is now nearly seven weeks since my hearing for contempt of court, with no sign of a judgement, which seems to me very extraordinary.”

    Very, very extraordinary!

    • Phil Espin

      Justice not only has to be done, it has to be seen to be done.

      Except in Scotland it would seem. Can the legal eagles point to the record for the time taken to reach a contempt of court verdict after a 1 hour hearing?

      • Marmite

        ‘Justice not only has to be done, it has to be seen to be done.’

        The only thing that is true about that sentence is that it has to be ‘seen to be done’.

        But of course it can be seen to be done in many ways, and in ways that have nothing at all to do with justice, so long as the public has been convinced that they have seen it done.

        I am no longer sure if the British even still claim that justice is independent of politics. I think they used to claim that, but it was so visibly obvious that it wasn’t and I think even gullibly lawyers stopped believing in that joke, and I haven’t heard anyone try to make that flatly disingenuous claim for many years now. Children’s law, for instance, is shaped entirely by the DWP and various charities whose organisers are so blunt that they don’t even recognise how conservatively sexist they are, and how they preserve a remarkably chauvinistic system that is based in gender normativity, all buttressed by the idea of the male breadwinner. And then you have the same headless chickens who have held women down for so long protesting pay gaps and pointing to bigotry in the workplace.

        Contempt of court is another interesting subject, of course. It is just a selective and politicised as justice being ‘seen to be done’.

    • mark golding

      ..the threat of Iraq WMD; and then there was Libya… now Syria with ITV dominating the hype and fabrication of a rape and shoot-down of civilians and government forces while implicating President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its Russian allies for the majority of these devastating plagues of fire, chemical attacks, ongoing slaughter and mutilation of Syrian children.

  • Tom74

    It’s controlled opposition. The Tories and their CIA bosses hope that by directing protests to apparently left-wing causes and side issues, the public will be too confused to protest at Johnson’s fascist lockdowns. Most likely, the charges will be quietly dropped against Couzens at some point, and this will be another ‘mystery’ for the spooks to peddle for years via their client mainstream and alternative media, in the hope people don’t debate the real issues.

  • Brian Sides

    The protesters at Clapham common got off lightly compared to some of the anti lockdown protests where the police wearing helmets have rushed in on mass swinging there clubs against peaceful protesters.
    Craig is against the cancel culture and I agree with him on that. But Craig supports extinction rebellion.
    Extinction rebellion want to cancel lots of things on the pretext of saving the planet or the species that live on the planet. Amazing how the police are not so heavy handed with them . The same but more so with black lives matter as police were kneeling to them.
    That policing is becoming more political is not a good sign. We did see this before in the miners strike .
    But know what is in political favour or not is reflected in the policing.

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