Chilling – Not In a Good Way 331

Dave Llewellyn sat next to me in the public gallery of the Salmond trial as we witnessed the defence witnesses – largely female – who shredded the prosecution case. A few weeks ago, seven detectives of the Serious Crime Squad raided Dave’s home at 5am, handcuffed him and questioned him over conspiracy to murder – in relation to a public Facebook post. Dave has now been charged with a lesser but still imprisonable offence.

You will recall Mark Hirst, friend of both Dave and I, being charged with threatening communication for using the expression “reap the whirlwind” in a political sense – a charge from the Crown Office so outrageous that it was eventually thrown out by the court as “no case to answer”. Well, the Dave Llewellyn case is extremely similar.

Future poet laureate John Betjeman should have been hung, drawn and quartered, oh at least three times, for writing in his famous poem “Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough”, if the standard of pretend literalness and credulity being applied by Police Scotland and the Crown Office had been applied to Betjeman. (And no, Dave’s post does not reference bombs.)

The truth is that in Scotland we now have a police, prosecutorial and justice system which is at the disposal of the Sturgeon clique for the pursuit of their private vendettas against political opponents. The fact that I am set to be jailed for “jigsaw identification”, when I demonstrably and provably did far less of this difficult to define activity than the mainstream media, who have not been prosecuted, is further evidence of that, as were the charges against Mark Hirst, and indeed Jeremy Gilchrist.

Please note that all of these political prosecutions have been based on thought crime. People in a small and definable political group – all people I know – are being prosecuted merely for publishing or saying things which annoy somebody in the Sturgeon clique. This is even before the Hate Crime Act, with its further swingeing restrictions on free speech, comes into effect. These are very dangerous times indeed to be any kind of dissident writer or campaigner in Scotland. The interesting thing, of course, is that the political orthodoxy being enforced is superficially liberal-left; a set of right-on beliefs whose exponents are so convinced of their own morality, they are happy to jail anybody who differs.

My personal crime against this orthodoxy is not to accept the mantra that all men accused of sex crime are automatically guilty, and that the “victim” must always be believed, whatever the evidence to the contrary. I also think people accused of serious crime should have the right to be judged by a jury of their peers. These are seriously unfashionable opinions.

On Tuesday I wrote a different post to this. It actually gave the detail of what David Llewellyn posted, and examined it. My article also revealed who was behind the complaint against him, and referred to some interesting history of Llewellyn’s own investigations.

However I received strong advice that to publish my article might itself be construed contempt of court, and that I ran the risk of being instantly jailed rather than free pending appeal, and further that to publish may attract yet another political prosecution from the Crown Office. I therefore did not publish and cannot give you the detail of the Llewellyn case, at least until after its conclusion.

I find this deeply depressing. I should not, in normal circumstances, have had the slightest hesitation in giving you the detail of what is happening to Dave Llewellyn, and more importantly why, in the same way I did with Mark Hirst. I find the notion that my own journalism is successfully being “chilled” in this way highly worrying, and this adds to the sense of injustice I feel in my own case. In fact anger and perhaps even humiliation at the powerlessness – and fear I am becoming a coward – has pretty well prostrated me for three days. I feel somewhat recovered now, and determined to fight on. But for the first time I find myself seriously considering, after my case is concluded, leaving my beloved Scotland and going to live in a country which does not jail dissident writers.


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331 thoughts on “Chilling – Not In a Good Way

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  • William

    I fear that the most just legal structure in this unjust island has been destroyed! That fat excuse for a judge who did you over has shown herself unfit for office! These turkeys in the crown office are only independent from the Government. They are NOT independent from the People. The fact that they act as if they are, shows the level of their delusion! Something needs to be done!

    • Tom Welsh

      “These turkeys in the crown office are only independent from the Government. They are NOT independent from the People”.

      Er, I fear you have got that the wrong way round.

  • Tony Little

    The cases you cite, including your own, are examples of the classic elite approach “pour encourager les autres”, Voltaire

    They know that if the public gets more information, this will eventually break the foundations of their white towers. This will not be allowed. The HCB will be the vehicle in Scotland to ensure complicity. I am currently somewhat fortunate as I am working/living outwith Scotland. I had dreams of returning for my retirement to an Independent State. But the trends in the political and legal framework being engineered by the Sturgeon SNP fill me with dread, and it is NOT a place I would want my child (I have a young boy) to grow up in. It looks most likely I’ll settle here full time.

    What a sad end to the Independence dream I’ve nurtured for over 50 years. I feel for your frustration and apparent disillusionment.

  • Anthony

    “the mantra that all men accused of sex crime are automatically guilty, and that the “victim” must always be believed”

    The Believe Her inantra s a movable feast for the MeToo movement let alone politicians like Sturgeon or Hillary Clinton. Ask them about women like Juanita Broadrick or Tara Reade and you will see immediately that the movement is entirely fake. One more facade neoliberals and warmongers are hiding behind.

    • AmyB

      Interesting too that publications such as The Guardian automatically include similar smears in any reporting of the films of Woody Allen – despite the fact that a team of eminent child psychologists unanimously found the complainant to be “not credible” and “obviously coached”, that the complainant’s brother also considered that the complaint had been fabricated and “coached” because many physical details (such as the description of various locations within houses) provided by the complainant were demonstrably false, and that the police conducted a thorough investigation and did not believe any crime had taken place. Yet, according to the so-called liberal media, Allen is guilty and anyone who works with him must be shamed into donating their fee to charity. They also persist with the lies that the woman he subsequently married was either his stepdaughter or his adopted daughter!

      • Choro

        There can be smoke without fire, but there’s missing the wood for the trees. Before any of that which you seem to misrepresent the balance of, before malign personal animus can be ascribed to Mia, concerns had been raised about Woody’s behavior around the children, that was supposedly being professionally worked on. But things were continuing to develop secretly, until photos were uncovered.

        • bevin

          And so? Allen is guilty?
          Nothing that you tell us constitutes anything close to proof. Indeed all that you seem to be suggesting is that the comedian engages in unusual behaviour- something which he has spent his long artistic life in telling us. And something which, quite properly, has been widely celebrated.
          Allen was one of those who helped society to recover from the nightmares of Victorianism and McCarthyism-with its hypocrisies and insistence on conformity. Gossips “…concerns had been raised about Woody’s behavior around the children, …” and witch hunters long to dragoon us all back to Salem.

          • Choro

            The claim is not that there was already gossip, for some reason, but already a professional process involving Allen himself.

        • AmyB

          “concerns had been raised about Woody’s behavior around the children”

          Factually untrue, as one of the sons confirmed. The fact is – he was never arrested, charged, tried or convicted (indeed a whole team of expert witnesses considered the single testimony to be “not credible” and “obviously coached”) – yet the press continue to smear as though none of that matters. Nothing illegal about affairs or polaroids. No one was married or related. Whether you like Allen or not, he’s an innocent man.

          • Choro

            It’s factually untrue that Mia and Woody had already been in a professional process relating to professional concerns about this issue?

      • Tom Welsh

        The most important legal principle of all is that every accused should have a fair trial, bearing in mind that the punishment of an innocent person is the worst possible outcome.

        That applies even if the accused is someone you personally don’t happen to like much.

        Remember kant’s Categorical Imperative: “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law”.

        Or, in the familiar simple terms, “Do as you would be done by”.

    • Antiwar7

      Except, of course, “believe the victim” gets scuttled immediately when someone like Joe Biden gets accused. Shows our society’s rank hypocrisy.

  • John Edwards

    I fear that all of the Western democracies are going the same way (the Five Eyes). After the general ambivalence of the main steam media to Julian’s case for the last decade, governments have increasingly stretched the boundaries.

    Here in Australia we had federal police raids on our national broadcaster ABC, a series of secret star trials of whistle blowers like David McBride, “Witness K” and his lawyer Bernard Collaery. And now the MEAA has had to step in to defend SBS journalists who called for balanced coverage on the Palestinian genocide.

    This behaviour has been enabled to some extent with the collusion of the Murdoch media. I am hopeful, at least in Australia, that calls by former Prime Minsters Rudd and Turnbull for a Royal Commission into Newscorp may lead to some positive change in future.

    • Minority Of One

      >>I fear that all of the Western democracies are going the same way

      Agreed. Look at what England has done to Julian. There seem to be similar stories from all over Europe, but not in the MSM, only in the alternative media.

    • Tom Welsh

      There are not, and never have been, any “Western democracies”. (With the conceivable exception, in some ways, of Switzerland).

      What you are referring to is the rapid discarding of the manifold disguises and camouflage used in the past to pretend that plutocracies are democracies.

      As Aristotle astutely pointed out, any political system that relies on elections to office is bound to be a plutocracy, as the rich simply buy the votes they need.

      True democracy would start by choosing officials by lot. If you don’t think that could be made to work, you may well be right. But that is what it would take.

  • Craig P

    If it is any consolation, John Knox also believed he was a coward for fleeing to Geneva when Mary Tudor ascended to the throne of England. But he wasn’t, and neither are you Craig.

    • Tom Welsh

      Actually it took some courage to go to Geneva, which was controlled by a clique of murderous bigots.

      Luckily for Knox they were bigots of his persuasion (more or less).

      As well as being violently anti-Catholic, Knox believed that women could have no place in public life. On today’s religious spectrum he would be closest to the Taliban and the Takfiri.

  • DunGroanin

    I call upon US publishers and journalists to investigate and publish these stories and test the Constitution they so rely on.

    Additionally I call upon international investigative Journalism to stop pretending to be fearless and independent.

    Finally the various journalism groups which operate in the world and offer back slaps – pull your fingers out!

    The truth will be respected and publicised even if it means glue and paper – and wikileaks.

    No Pasaran!

  • Squeeth

    These fuckers are using the law to force a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma on you. Never forget that whatever they do, they can never deny that you’re still here.

  • John Cleary

    Originally published at Moon of Alabama


    There is a foreign doctrine that has invaded and is establishing itself in scotland. It practises total information warfare against the people. And it is that doctrine that hopes to crucify Craig Murray.

    Everywhere in Great Britain that you look you can see that doctrine promulgated. It is no less ubiquitous than the Union flag.

    Craig Murray went against that doctrine, and it is for this that he must be raised on the cross.

    Craig has explained his motivation many times. He learned of what had been done to Alex Salmond, and he did not like what he found. He decided to do something about it, and so became the one unique journalist who published to the world the case for the defence in real time. He did so with enormous success – those who read his reports expected Alex Salmond to be acquited, those who did not expected Salmond to go to gaol for the rest of his life. Only those who read Craig Murray could be said to be informed citizens.

    After two days of reporting the case for the defence he was expelled and excluded from the court, and no explanation ever given.

    Total information warfare.

    Back to that doctrine so offended by the impertinence of Craig Murray. You see it displayed prominently every time a British Minister speaks to the public, because s/he speaks for the privy council. You see it prominent over the courts in England and Wales. You see it over the new civil service hub in Edinburgh. You do not (yet) see it outside the Scottish courts. It proclaims

    Honi soit qui mal y pense

    It means “Shame on him who thinks ill of it” in the archaic, and more realistically “It is you who is in trouble if you don’t like what we do” in the contemporary.

    Craig thought ill of what was done to Alex Salmond. He went against this IN SCOTLAND. He went against the total information warfare conducted by the privy council and provided honest information to the general public. He allowed us all to witness the poison and pus that oozes from every pore of the privy council and its servants. He is, in every sense of the word, a whistleblower.

    We have seen a pattern develop over recent decades. A scandal in public life erupts, a whistleblower emerges to tell the truth and name the names. Then, after a long and confusing process producing much heat and very little light, the whistleblower ends up in prison and the criminals go free.

    And so it goes with Craig. It is Craig who is in trouble, not the criminals.

    After Julian, Craig is the last of the heroic whistleblowers.

    We have let down so many brave souls who risk everything and get punished. Who will ever try to save us all again when they NEVER get support where it matters. What’s the point?

    Craig Murray is a red line for Scottish society.

    Win OR Lose.

    The judge, Lady Dorrian, appears to have gone crazy and has told at least two provable lies. Independent observers have detected a personal animosity within her judgements against Craig. Lady Dorrian’s mistress is apparently very upset.

    Judicial oath

    “I, _________ , do swear by Almighty God that I will well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second in the office of ________ , and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.”

    This doctrine of Honi soit qui mal y pense has no place in Scottish life, and no roots in Scottish history. It is entirely English, and is the motto of the Order of the Garter in England. It represents a nation in which the king/queen is sovereign and not the people.

    One of the persons who proclaims this doctrine is Prince William, a fully fledged Knight of the Garter since June 2008.

    By happenstance William is to attend the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland commencing this weekend. Though he wears his Scottish guise as Earl of Strathearn he remains a Knight of the Garter. He is one of those hellbent on crucifying Craig Murray on nonsense charges. If he can do it to Craig Murray he can do it to any of us.

    The Church of Scotland is the final defender of the lives and morals of the Scottish people. Under the Act of Union (1707) the church has real political power should it choose to use it. The Church of Scotland can provide sanctuary for Craig Murray and enquire of the Earl of Strathearn as to the grounds for imposing his doctrine in Scotland against all tradition and against all logic. It can do so this weekend.

    It should do so.

    Posted by: John Cleary | May 20 2021 22:21 utc | 135

    • M.J.

      “Independent observers have detected a personal animosity within her judgements against Craig…

      “I, _________ , do swear I will do right .. without .. ill will.””

      Ah, so she broke the “ill will” bit? Very naughty, if true. But how do you prove something like that? I mean, she didn’t say “My mistress hates you, and I am a good and obedient servant. Therefore, I hate you! You @#*%!! Off with your head!”

    • M.J.

      “Under the Act of Union (1707)..The Church of Scotland can provide sanctuary for Craig Murray”

      A VERY interesting point. There’s no sanctuary law operative in England, so far as I know (but I am not a lawyer). Is there really one in Scotland?

        • M.J.

          It does look a bit like Assange – really be a last resort with no guarantee of a happy ending.

  • brendan stebbings

    The Crown persecution office are untouchable…who say’s so..? The crown persecution office, that’s who.. ! #Solidarity Craig.

  • Graham

    We’d all hate to see you leave Scotland but I would certainly understand if you did. On the upside, think what you could publish without your hands tied behind your bank. Stay strong.

      • M.J.

        Especially if you feel that the Supreme Court of the UK has given you justice where Scottish justice failed you (I genuinely regret writing this).

        • PhilM

          The UK Supreme Court is the last avenue on these islands for appealing a decision in a civil case and (I think I’m right here) also in a human rights challenge on a point of law or a flagrant breach of basic legal procedure.
          It’s got very little to do with any notion of Scottish justice (which to me is too vague, just a phrase without a referent in reality). Last ditch appeals to ‘London’ are just how things have always worked since the Union, except the appeal used to be to the House of Lords. Craig is only making use of every avenue and I would expect every Scottish independence supporter in his situation to do the same. There’s no irony involved here at all. On the other hand, it would be the height of irony for an independentista to go willingly to jail in some daft notion that it can only ever be a Scottish court that should try those who fall foul of the law in Scotland. As of right now, we may feel that we are citizens of Scotland only but in law we are UK citizens and we should always interact with the legal system with this understanding.
          Lastly, I find myself feeling a little disappointed that people are so quick to give up on Scotland. Desiring and fighting for independence with every fibre of your being should not be dependant on some kind of personal whim no matter what the extenuating circumstances. Craig, if you really believe in Scotland’s independence, you must stay. Take a back seat, have a more advisory role or similar, but leaving sends out a terrible message to those who cannot leave.
          There’s more than one way to fight the good fight…

    • Jeff

      What’s that dissident’s name that’s been in an English jail for ages called again? Oh yes, Julian something…..Assange! That was it.

      • M.J.

        But Assange tried to run off to Ecuador – to flee British Justice. The cheek, suggesting that British Justice is less than perfect! He got his comeuppance when Ecuador took 30 pieces of silver from America, ignored the citizenship it had given him, and handed him right back. So much for the privileges of citizenship in South America, as stable as their governments.

        Anyway, by contrast Craig stayed and fought like a man, and the SCUK should respect that.

        • Robyn

          Never forget to mention the country of which Julian is a citizen – Australia, where he was born and raised. With a handful of noble exceptions, nearly all Australian politicians from the various Prime Ministers down in both of the major parties have done SFA for Julian. In my experience, they don’t even condescend to respond to emails about his plight.

          • M.J.

            The Australian government doesn’t seem to care for its own citizens (witness its banning them from return during the Covid pandemic), never mind refugees.

          • Antiwar7

            You’re talking about Australia, America’s bitch?

            America has already coup’ed out any independent Australian PM’s in the 1970’s. The ones left take their orders from the US government, even whether or not to go to war, which is as big a betrayal of their own people as one can imagine.

          • M.J.

            Antiwar7: I take it that you’re talking about Gough Whitlam. Question: how come Whitlam didn’t make a massive come-back in 1977?

  • Tim

    It is indeed very chilling. Who thought that the UK would descend to the behaviour we despised in the USSR?

    I wrote to Amnesty Internation (Scotland) about your case, and they suggested I contact the European office. Do you think this is a good idea? Should we all do this?

    Best wishes as always

    • On the train

      Do you know why they passed your enquiry on to the European office rather than dealing with it themselves?

  • RSVP

    “On Tuesday I wrote a different post to this. It actually gave the detail of what David Llewellyn posted, and examined it. My article also revealed who was behind the complaint against him, and referred to some interesting history of Llewellyn’s own investigations.

    However I received strong advice that to publish my article might itself be construed contempt of court, and that I ran the risk of being instantly jailed rather than free pending appeal, and further that to publish may attract yet another political prosecution from the Crown Office. I therefore did not publish and cannot give you the detail of the Llewellyn case, at least until after its conclusion.”

    As with your reporting on the AS trial, once the initial ‘shot across the bows’ arrived from on high, the obvious answer seems to be to base yourself on a site protected by the US 1st Amendment, a path the Guardian took following their run-in with the boys in blue (which, being good hypocritical liberals, has not prevented them from continuing their anti-free speech crusade).


    • RollingOffset

      That suggestion doesn’t allow for the psychological aspect relevant both here and in the case of Julian Assange.

  • Athanasius

    Craig, it’s not “superficially liberal-left”, it IS liberal-left. This is what the liberal left does (although I think the word “liberal” is misused”). I’m not saying this out of some right winger’s sense of schadenfreude at seeing lefties in trouble. I WAS a leftie for most of my life. I didn’t even think about it. Of course the left were more virtuous. Only they weren’t, and waking up to the reality of it was like waking up from a coma. The Soviet Union WAS real socialism. East Germany WAS real socialism and the SNP ARE real socialism. This is what socialism does. It’s adherents take their message not from Karl Marx, but rather from Thomas Paine: we have it in our power to begin the world over again. That’s the way they think, and when you think like that, destroying anything that’s in your way is simply ground clearance – you’ll thank us for it later.

    For the record, I’m a supporter of Scottish independence, just on the political right. Such a combination is actually possible, but you’d never know it to listen to much of the nationalist commentariat. They actively don’t want the support of conservatively minded people. It’s almost as though the votes of such individuals would sully their revolutionary purity. You and your friends are suffering now because you’re getting what you wanted, a powerful and autonomous LEFTIST government with absolutely no opposition from the right wing, and if Scotland becomes independent in these circumstances, I suspect the first free election that occurs will also be the last that occurs.

    People need to wake the hell up in Scotland. They’ve convinced themselves (or been convinced by a vanguardist left) that every problem in Scotland was born in Westminster. It wasn’t, Scotland is well capable of producing its own, home grown tyrants. There’s not going to be a leftist utopia in an independent Scotland because there ARE no utopias. Utopias require perfect people and human being are not perfectible. That’s why forgiveness exists, except there isn’t any on the left. I put it to you, Crag, that you, in fact, were NEVER a leftist. What you were was a classical liberal, and as such you were always really on the right, just on the more moderate wing. That’s why you’re staring down the barrel of a stretch now. You were on the wrong side.

    • Twirlip

      You’re teaching your granny to suck eggs. Clearly you weren’t paying attention on the occasions when Craig has addressed this topic, such as this one:
      The Sad End of British Liberalism
      Fri 16 Sep 2016

      “My own political thought springs entirely from the Liberal tradition. I am a Radical, not a socialist. If asked to name the single book which had most influenced my political beliefs, would unhesitatingly name Imperialism by J A Hobson – a great and truly ground-breaking work, now almost completely neglected. But beyond that my influences include Paine, Hazlitt, John Stuart Mill, Keynes, Beveridge and Grimond. I am not a utopian but a much better society is possible. In the 1970s we enjoyed state ownership of utilities and natural monopolies, free university tuition and student maintenance, and a more humane benefits system and powerful trade unions. Those things would be a good start towards ending the runaway inequality which replaced them.”

    • Twirlip

      As I only started following this blog six years ago, I hadn’t read this post from ten years ago – how sadly it reads now! –
      The Lonely Liberal
      Sun 18 Sep 2011

      “I remain a liberal. As I have explained often with regard to my views on specific political questions, my political thought sits in a tradition handed down from Hazlitt, Bright, John Stuart Mill and Gladstone. That will always be the case. I joined the Liberal Party in 1973.

      There is much to be said for consistency and for loyalty. But I really cannot with conscience look at the reforms to introduce private profit into the NHS and the state education sector, and remain a card carrying member of a governing party. These are not small points. So I have left.

      I shall not back any political party in England. I have always supported Scottish independence, and I have now taken out a formal SNP membership. There is no perfection in practical politics and should be no idols. But Alex Salmond and his people are doing a decent job in an imperfect world. For reasons I gave recently, breaking up the British state and its resurgent neo-imperialism and neo-conservatism is a political priority.”

    • Ian

      Good grief, the SNP are not ‘real socialism’. That made me laugh, and put your rant into perspective. Under Alex Salmond they were a traditionally social democratic party, in line with many other such parties in Europe. Under Sturgeon they have quietly shifted towards a neoliberal position in economics and foreign policy. As Craig rightly observes, they, like neoliberals, have cloaked this under a ‘superficially liberal-left’ social agenda which has much in common with the intolerance of the self-righteous. But, as Craig also observes, there is so little open and observant debate about what is happening in Scotland that they get away it.

      • Tom Welsh

        The SNP are politicians, which means they are not real anythings – except for real social climbers and money-grubbers. (And amateur Berias).

        You can’t mix serious politics with anything else – especially anything that calls for principles. It would be like swimming 1500 metres with an anvil tied around your neck.

        • Shatnersrug

          Tom – correct. British politics is overrun by middle managers on the fiddle. The election of Boris Johnson sent out a clear message to all of them – do what you like fiddle what you like and crush those in your path.

          We really are in Machiavelli’s the Prince now, and Craig’s being executed in the town square.

          • CasualObserver

            All politics in the western world is composed of middle managers on the fiddle, simply because too many years have passed since those seeking office could claim to have been in the first tank across the bridge at Nijmegen, or similar.

            You’ll probably find a similar situation in the established churches.

  • Jimmy Riddle

    Craig Murray – well, I’m living and working abroad – and as a result of what has been happening to you, I’m looking for ways to get rid of my UK passport. My chances of returning to Scotland were never strong, but having seen the events over the last two years, I’ve decided that they are now rigorously zero.

    I’d say you’re much better off out of Scotland – and, in fact, out of the UK.

    • ET

      Any Irish Grand Parents? Northern Ireland or Republic? Applications to the Irish Passport office significantly increased after brexit because of that link to grand parentage.

  • mark golding

    This path to dictatorship in Scotland is accelerating and the casualties of any dictatorship are truth and freedom of expression.

    Take stock.

    In Scotland there are no peerless competing political parties, elections/referendums/polls are probably rigged, there is no independent judiciary, a conniving media and political military and police.

    First minister Nicola Sturgeon rejects any challenges to her flawed and catlike doctrines and punishes dissenters resulting in cynicism towards truth throughout Scottish society which must be controlled initially by fake enthusiasm such as declaring Covid is dissipating followed by fear from grave acts such as threats of terror attacks real or otherwise and notably referrals to anti-terrorist schemes for right-wing extremism by children recently reported in The Mail.

    All this to protect the Union, to protect the nuclear deterrent, to protect the secret military weapons testing areas in Scotland’s lochs, inlets and islands. Safeguard, security, stability these are the words on British high command signals, memos, analysis and military groupthink.

    Craig’s followers are in abundance and more importantly are loyal, willing and intelligent, presently a real challenge to authority, a frightening threat to the Establishment.

    • Alf Baird

      Postcolonial theory helps explain the process in colonial situations, as we see the leader of the dominant national party in which: “….privileges multiply and corruption triumphs, while morality declines….(and this) acts as a braking-power on the awakening consciousness of the people (and also) hides his/her manoeuvres from the people, thus becoming the most eager worker in the task of mystifying and bewildering the masses. The party helps the government to hold the people down. It becomes more and more clearly anti-democratic, an implement of coercion. We know today that this fascism…is the dialectic result of states which were semi-colonial during the period of independence.” (Frantz Fanon).

      • William Bowles

        You’re describing the Labour Party!

        I think my hero, William Morris summed it up back in 1885!

        “There — it sickens one to have to wade through this grimy sea of opportunism. What a spectacle of shuffling, lies, vacillation and imbecility does this Game Political offer to us? I cannot conclude without an earnest appeal to those Socialists, of whatever section, who may be drawn towards the vortex of Parliamentarism, to think better of it while there is yet time.

        “If we ally ourselves to any of the presen[t] parties they will only use us as a cat’s-paw; and on the other hand, if by any chance a Socialist slips through into Parliament, he will do so at the expense of leaving his principles behind him; he will certainly not be returned as a Socialist, but as something else; what else is hard to say. As I have written before in these columns, Parliament is going just the way we would have it go. Our masters are feeling very uncomfortable under the awkward burden of GOVERNMENT, and do not know what to do, since their sole aim is to govern from above. Do not let us help them by taking part in their game. Whatever concessions may be necessary to the progress of the Revolution can be wrung out of them at least as easily by extra-Parliamentary pressure, which can be exercised without losing one particle of those principles which are the treasure and hope of Revolutionary Socialists.” — William Morris, the Commonweal, Volume 1, Number 10, November 1885, p. 93.[1]

      • Ron Soak

        Alf, their appears to be a superfluous letter “r” in the middle of the word between “eager” and “in”.

  • Ian

    Very sad and troubling, Craig. Although I am glad you didn’t publish on this occasion, if only for your own well-being. We cannot expect one man, such as yourself, to carry the burden of honest reporting which throws light in areas the authorities want to keep in the dark. There needs to be more, or at least, journalists who have the backing of their organisations and colleagues. I naively thought that once they had the election out of the way, they would lose interest in their vendettas, confined as they are to a small corner of the internet. But no, it seems the witch hunt continues, determined to crush any flame of dissent and opposition to the current orthodoxy. No doubt they consider it ‘sending a message’ to any others considering informing the populace of high crimes and misdemeanours.
    I can completely understand your disillusionment, with no prospect of any real movement on independence and an oppressive, punitive atmosphere in which to write and challenge mainstream narratives. However, I hope you see your case through and win out, and focus on that first, before anything else. Then take stock. I am sure your energy and commitment will return, but best not to fight on multiple fronts at once, and give them what they want, which is your silence. We can only hope the truth will out, but it shouldn’t be just up to sole dissidents like you, who can be picked out, rather it should be incumbent on all honest reporters and journalists.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      “lose interest in their vendettas”

      We’re dealing with the pathology of a cult. St Nicola the Infallible. They don’t do restraint, never will.

  • Al

    How you are able to separate the nationalist cause you support from Sturgeon is beyond me.

    • Tom Welsh

      In the same way that anyone separates ideals from the human beings who, alone, can try to materialise them. Unfortunately the human material on offer is of distinctly variable quality – and much of what you find lying on top is rotten.

      “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made”.
      — Immanuel Kant

    • DunGroanin

      Sturgeon’s raison d’être has been to detach the National cause from the SNP.

      That is what you need to get ‘beyond’ to.

      Hurry up.

  • Bob (original)

    Maybe it’s always been like this, but it’s just more obvious now?
    From (allegedly) corrupt institutions like the BBC, Westminster, COPFS, Police Scotland – we now see the Scottish government for what it is.

    As for leaving Scotland: which is the better / least corrupt state in which to live?

    Choosing to be, effectively, stateless might be a preferred choice?
    (e.g. not having a declared, permanent address: living and travelling full-time on a sail boat becomes more appealing every day…).

    • Alf Baird

      “Maybe it’s always been like this, but it’s just more obvious now?”

      I suspect our colonial reality has always been rather more evident to oppressed working class Scots in what Professor Michael Hechter described as a society with an ‘ethnic/cultural division of labour’ in Scotland within the UK ‘internal colonialism model’. Only relatively recently has a greatly expanded nationalist bourgeois and intellectual class been directly targeted, coincidentally as Scotland dips its toes ever deeper into the waters of national liberation.

      If anyone needs any more evidence on how Scotland’s institutions treat the people:

      “Scotland has the highest prison population rate per head in Western Europe” (and) “Scotland also has the highest proportion of probationers under supervision for “offences against persons” in all of Europe.”

  • frankywiggles

    I suspect you are right that the only motivation for the Hate Crime Act is to delegitimize and silence political opponents.

    Why? Because the only hate Scotland is notorious for is against Catholics. Only last Saturday rhere was a mass uninterrupted 5-hour carnival of anti-Irish, anti-Catholic hate right across Scotland’s largest city, with many RC churches attacked and desecrated.

    How is this permitted, along with dozens of intimidatory Orange walks every year, if the Scottish government genuinely is hypersensitive about hate and bigotry?

    If the only hate Scotland is famous for is given ever greater licence, then what was the actual motivation for the Hate Bill? Another question that will never be posed to Queen Nicola by Scotland’s political correspondents.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Because the only hate Scotland is notorious for is against Catholics”.

      Not forgetting the English. And – in my day, at least, sin.

  • Clark

    Craig wrote:

    “I find myself seriously considering, after my case is concluded, leaving my beloved Scotland and going to live in a country which does not jail dissident writers.”

    I wanted to move to and live in Scotland. I’d be scared to do that now.

    • Marmite

      Me too. I did think Scotland was almost decent by comparison with England, up until recently. But what country doesn’t jail dissidents, or is beyond the reach of the UK and US? I thought Sweden might have been an example until the Assange case. Does any such country exist any more?

    • Ian

      Scotland is still a good place to be, because of its people and its landscape. The political climate may be oppressive and punitive at the moment, but that will change. I fully respect and understand Craig’s disillusionment with it, but as he noted when he went to Glasgow for the Palestine rally, there are still good people doing good things, and that will continue. However, what really sticks in the craw is the lack of support for Craig, despite all the help he has given others, especially in speaking out on their behalf. The silence is quite deafening. That kind of cosy, stifling establishment attitude is liable to breed the kind of alienation it seems Craig justifiably feels, while letting the perpetrators off the hook.

    • DunGroanin

      I have been scoping where I want to live for my remaining decade.

      Independent Scotland seemed to be a great option, if not quite the warm climate I long dreamed of.

      Out of solidarity.

      A continued ‘test bed of bad ideas’ Scotland – not so much.

  • Marmite

    I understand the moral dilemma well. But I don’t believe it is cowardly to want to live in order to go on exposing crimes within the limits of our increasingly dwindling freedoms. The real cowards are the ones who have to use threats of jail to silence decent people.

    I wonder if this is a case where one’s international contacts need to be relied upon? If we cannot expose corruption and criminality within our own countries of residence any more, perhaps it needs to be done from outside the country? Or is there some draconian law, too, that allows Britain to criminalise bloggers outside its borders and force them to reveal their sources?

  • Katherine

    is that in Scotland we now have a police, prosecutorial and justice system which is at the disposal of the Sturgeon clique for the pursuit of their private vendettas against political opponents.’

    If this were about a King or Queen, and in a modern world are leaders appear to have that kind of power.. it’s more like treason of the people.. I don’t think the current politics in Scotland are logical. It is a shame, that Sturgeon may be directing these actions, as the Alex Salmond case was not successful in her terms. But, that is what happened. A counter witness or witnesses proved sufficient to dismiss the charges against Alex Salmond. But, it proved another thing, all was not straightforward.

  • Alastair Stuart

    Hi Craig,

    A wise and principled man I know, took a decision to decline an OBE and a very prestigious LVO honour. That, in my book speaks volumes of a person with incredible strength of character.

    Please, please, never think of yourself a coward. As an emergency service worker, I saw some incredibly brave human beings. Just one example: Firefighters ran into a burning building whilst we held back the father of a child being burnt to death because that father only had a T shirt and a pair of shorts on. He had no protective fire clothing. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. His strength took four of us to stop him being burnt to death. The firefighters and the father were brave.

    Craig, your honour, your rank, your title is of the ilk of those brave men and women who run into burning buildings. Long ago you figured out there is no need of Napoleon’s coloured ribbons that make zealots all powerful and able to send men and women to die.

    At this very time, Scotland is at risk of becoming a failed state. I was going to use the term “Banana Republic” but there is little honour in the sinister way the planted Sturgeon is running fast and loose with our democracy.

    Craig I know, I really do know how you will be feeling. It is a shit position to be in.

    You do NOT need to worry about your words being chilled and feeling cowardly.

    You have already been through an extraordinary troubled legal system. I cannot say much, but the Faculty of Advocates are having the equivalent of a genteel war. There are some VERY troubled legal minds in that venerable institution. Many will become sheriffs and higher rank justices. Most have sharp minds and high IQs. They see only too well what the over-promoted Oberleutnant First Minister is up to.

    Craig what you have done is purify any doubt in the minds of many law officers that Scotland is becoming a failed state. That the price the British Establishment is exacting in order to imprison Scotland in a Union where frequently the majority now express a wish to leave is a dangerous place to be. Let alone a morally bankrupt argument bullwarked by gerrymandered SNP NEC election rigging.

    We expect failed states, banana republics and juntas to jail their journalists. Now that Scotland’s senior law officers are seeing this happen to real people, they are so deeply troubled, they have been debating how to provide legal remedy. More accurately, how safest to respond to those approaching a relief sheriff for legal remedy.

    Worry not Ambassador Murray. You have already given enough sacrifices to have made a huge difference. That journey for the Scottish Nation is just starting. The outcome is still uncertain and it takes time for the truth to get it’s boots on whilst the proverbial lie is half way around the world.

    In 2014 after the first Scottish Independence referendum, the electorate found out they had been conned. As a result, the SNP membership avalanched. Thanks to Alex Salmond. Impressively, the Palace of Westminster still has NOT recovered from the little cabal of 6 SNP MPs hidden in a corner becoming so massive as to be able to fill a QUARTER of their chamber.

    History WILL repeat itself. 2021 and 2022 will become the post-2014 dynamic. You will be judge kindly in due course. Sturgeon will become Scotland’s version of Tony Blair. An irrelevant, despised, powerless pariah.

    As for the sojourn you many need to make my friend. Well we have all been imprisoned for 14 months with Covid. Yes our own homes make luxury prisons. But wherever they billet you, it is just a room and likely your reputation will precede you. I know prisons well (as a law officer). I know Scots well (as a Glaswegian). I know whichever Establishment within which you may take up temporary free room and board will have SUFFICIENT people in there that hold you in very high esteem to make that incarceration a rich-tapestry-of-life event.

    Sometimes the unknown is rightly to be feared. I suspect, based on my experience of where you may be going, that once you emerge, you will be remarkably enriched by the process. Not of mammon, but in knowledge.

    Very few journalists have been imprisoned.

    That will become your virtue.

    Given we are yet to see the Kirsty Wark case (or malfeasance of public official at the relevant levels), we are as the inscrutable Chinese say, about to live in interesting times.

    One last thing Ambassador Murray: Nicola Sturgeon will not be First Minister forever. Just now, president Putin fears VERY little EXCEPT having to leave political office. Why? Because once he surrenders control of the levers of power he may well join many former leaders and be imprisoned or exiled. That fate awaits Nicola Sturgeon.

    What would you rather be: a political prisoner who has a growing number of people paying attention to your high sacrifice trying to extinguish the self-immolation of a nations principles, or a twisted, thieving, self aggrandising over-promoted trayytor, who sold her country’s independence for a swanky limousine and a nice salary with people bowing and scraping to her? Well for a short while. People like Sturgeon always get found out in the end.

    Bide your time my friend. Literally and metaphorically. You are far from chilled. Cool maybe, but cool with class that no shiney bauble can give someone.

    You are a good man Craig Murray. Before the end of this year the majority of the Scottish nation will know it.

    The worst thing the British Establishment could have done is overseen the imprisonment of a journalist.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Scotland is at risk of becoming a failed state”.

      That hackneyed term has two meanings, very different from one another if not actually opposite.

      A state that is “failed” from the point of view of its citizens – like Scotland today – may very well be considered perfect by its owners and rulers.

      A state that is said to be “failed” by Washington and its catamites is usually one that is run, more or less honestly, in the broad interests of its people.

      • Al-Stuart

        Tom Welsh,

        The whole English language is “hackneyed” what on earth is your point?

        Actually, I have read your many, many comments, please don’t waste my time or yours by replying further. My post was actually directed to Craig Murray. Studying the plethora of geriatric mothball aroma and my-way-or-the-highway opinionated splatterings, might I suggest you start the “Tom Welsh” website with al of the scintillating replies made ad nauseum.

  • bevin

    Part of the problem is that the socialist tradition in Scottish politics seems to have collapsed into a vague and fuzzy nationalist intoxication.
    The working people of Scotland have always been, like their comrades in Ireland, England and Wales, the victims of Unionism- the ruling class and its allies in the professions and ‘educational’ organisation, have feasted on the purloined property of the poor. And the Union enabled this criminality to become an established system. Is there another country anywhere in which land ownership is as concentrated as it is in Scotland?
    There is no opposition in Holyrood. Just other parties with the same basic aim: to silence dissent and reassert the right of those who have arrogated the trappings of power and office and employ force to defend the status quo.
    For the people to take power and to reverse the injustices of a society ruled in the interests of a few, it is necessary to build unity and to withdraw from the culture dominated by their enemies- the media, most obviously, but also the entire academy and the rest of the established system. The courts, for example, have always been-as this sad story illustrates- dominated by the interests of an elite which is not just thoroughly opposed to equality but incapable of co-existing with it.
    It is worth considering whether it is more than coincidental that the massive reactionary movement of British governments is unrelated to the squashing of the broad popular movement, from the Trade Unions to the Labour party and the rise of identity politics like that represented by Sturgeon.
    In the years to come 2017 will be seen as a close call for the ruling class-they certainly regarded it as such- and the emergence of the SNP as another imperialist party, in broad agreement with the neo-liberal order, as an earnest of an impending fascism that needs no uniforms or vulgar rallies.

    • John Cleary

      Much more than coincidental bevin. This phase kicked off in 1986 with the Single European Act, the Big Bang in the City of London and the Lloyds of London fraud by which the Windsors became unbelievably wealthy.

      Why 1986? Because the NUM had just been defeated with the help of Kinnock, and the Labour Party was dead meat.

  • Raticosmos

    “The truth is that in Scotland we now have a police, prosecutorial and justice system which is at the disposal of the Sturgeon clique for the pursuit of their private vendettas against political opponents.”

    – Well put yet the fine lines of government always seek to maintain power. I think you are a great person Craig and I am glad you stand not only for yourself but for all who seek a government that cherishes the people it governs. Perhaps one day. The veil will fall but will the people see? Some say the people don’t want to see for themselves, I say we must give them the chance. You are a patriot for all the world and a gifted intellectual.

    Have faith, I know it is challenging, the world is waking up and the masochists will be found and weighed.

    I have no good advice for you except to know when the best of us are being jailed for enlightening others, it becomes obvious they are afraid of the light. Those who look down were the same who looked up, they want ease they want comfort. Let them eat cake now and let us look to each other as equals. Let them strive to remove our freedoms, let them hide our liberty in the lofts of their penthouses, let those who ideologize forget those who feel the last breath of those they love. We will always awake to the truth and they will always sleep in drunken comfort.

    The truth is, we have all been drunkenly swaying and thanks to people like you and Assange and other fringes they hide from view, we are soberly scratching our eyes as the dawn awakens our senses. Let liberty ring and to our greatest regret may we see. For then we will be frightened. And then we will be free.

    You are very brave. If I were you I would move to Russia, the safest place on earth. I don’t have a passport so I’m stuck in the land of giants, too stupid to realize they are simply bullies running amuck. I am glad you call them for what they are. So is my son, we are very proud of you, Craig. You are an inspiration. Sic semper tyrannis, the motto where I was born and live. In memory of the apostle Andrew, may we all find peace in the times of occupation.

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