Keeping Freedom Alive 900


I want to make one or two points for you to ponder while I am in jail. This is the last post until about Christmas; we are not legally able to post anything while I am imprisoned. But the Justice for Craig Murray Campaign website is now up and running and will start to have more content shortly. Fora and comments here are planned to stay open.

I hope that one possible good effect of my imprisonment might be to coalesce opposition to the imminent abolition of jury trials in sexual assault cases by the Scottish Government, a plan for which Lady Dorrian – who wears far too many hats in all this – is front and centre. We will then have a situation where, as established by my imprisonment, no information at all on the defence case may be published in case it contributes to “jigsaw identification”, and where conviction will rest purely on the view of the judge.

That is plainly not “open justice”, it is not justice at all. And it is even worse than that, because the openly stated aim of abolishing juries is to increase conviction rates. So people will have their lives decided not by a jury of their peers, but by a judge who is acting under specific instruction to increase conviction rates.

It is often noted that conviction rates in rape trials are too low, and that is true. But have you ever heard this side of the argument? In Uzbekistan under the Karimov dictatorship, when I served there, conviction rates in rape trials were 100%. In fact very high conviction rates are a standard feature of all highly authoritarian regimes worldwide, because if the state prosecutes you then the state gets what it wants. The wishes of the state in such systems vastly outweigh the liberty of the individual.

My point is simply this. You cannot judge the validity of a system simply by high conviction rates. What we want is a system where the innocent are innocent and the guilty found guilty; not where an arbitrary conviction target is met.

The answer to the low conviction rates in sexual assault trials is not simple. Really serious increases in resources for timely collection of evidence, for police training and specialist units, for medical services, for victim support, all have a part to play. But that needs a lot of money and thought. Just abolishing juries and telling judges you want them to convict is of course free, or even a saving.

The right to have the facts judged in serious crime allegations by a jury of our peers is a glory of our civilisation. It is the product of millennia, not lightly to be thrown away and replaced by a huge increase in arbitrary state power. That movement is of course fueled by current fashionable political dogma which is that the victim must always be believed. That claim has morphed from an initial meaning that police and first responders must take accusations seriously, to a dogma that accusation is proof and it is wrong to even question the evidence, which is of course to deny the very possibility of false accusation.

That is precisely the position which Nicola Sturgeon has taken over the Alex Salmond trial; to be accused is to be guilty, irrespective of the defence evidence. That people are oblivious to the dangers of the dogma that there should be no defence against sexual assault allegations, is to me deeply worrying. Sexual allegation is the most common method that states have used to attack dissidents for centuries, worldwide and again especially in authoritarian regimes. Closer to home, think of history stretching from Roger Casement to Assange and Salmond.

Why would we remove the only barrier – a jury of ordinary citizens – that can stop abuse of state power?

I am worried that this abolition of juries will have been enacted by the Scottish Parliament, even before I am out of jail. I am worried Labour and the Lib Dems will support it out of fashionable political correctness. I am worried an important liberty will disappear.

I want to touch on one other aspect of liberty in my own imprisonment that appears not understood, or perhaps simply neglected, because somehow the very notion of liberty is slipping from our political culture. One point that features plainly in the troll talking points to be used against me, recurring continually on social media, is that I was ordered to take down material from my blog and refused.

There is an extremely important point here. I have always instantly complied with any order of a court to remove material. What I have not done is comply with instructions from the Crown or Procurator Fiscal to remove material. Because it is over 330 years since the Crown had the right of censorship in Scotland without the intervention of a judge.

It sickens me that so many Scottish Government backed trolls are tweeting out that I should have obeyed the instructions of the Crown. That Scotland has a governing party which actively supports the right of the Crown to exercise unrestrained censorship is extremely worrying, and I think a sign both of the lack of respect in modern political culture for liberties which were won by people being tortured to death, and of the sheer intellectual paucity of the current governing class.

But then we now learn that Scotland has a government which was prepared not only to be complicit in exempting the Crown from climate change legislation, but also complicit in hushing up the secret arrangement, so I am not surprised.

What is even more terrifying in my case is that the Court explicitly states that I should have followed the directions of the Crown Office in what I did and did not publish, and my failure to not publish as the Crown ordered is an aggravating factor in my sentencing.

If the Crown thinks something I write is in contempt and I think it is not, the Crown and I should stand as equals in court and argue our cases. There should be no presumption I ought to have obeyed the Crown in the first place. That Scottish “justice” has lost sight of this is disastrous, though perhaps as much from stupidity as malice.

My next thought on my trial is to emphasise again the dreadful doctrine Lady Dorrian has now enshrined in law, that bloggers should be held to a different (by implication higher) standard in law than the mainstream media (the judgement uses exactly those terms), because the mainstream media is self-regulated.

This doctrine is used to justify jailing me when mainstream media journalists have not been jailed for media contempt for over half a century, and also to explain why I have been prosecuted where the mainstream media, who were provably responsible for far more jigsaw identification, were not prosecuted.

This is dreadful law, and my entire legal team are frankly astonished that the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on this point. This excellent article by Jonathan Cook explains further the chilling implications.

Those articles which the Court ordered me to take down, have been taken down. But I was not ordered to take down this one, which was found not to be in contempt of court. I was also not ordered to take down my affidavits, which though slightly redacted are still extremely valuable. I swore to the truth of every word and I stick by that. At the time I published these, far less was known about the Salmond affair than is known now, and I believe you will find it well worth reading them again in the light of your current state of wider knowledge – absolutely nothing to do with learning identities, but to do with what really happened on the whole plot to destroy Alex Salmond (something the judgement states I am allowed to say).

Finally I urge you to consider this truly remarkable speech from Kenny MacAskill MP. Scotland’s former Justice Secretary, and consider its quite staggering implications. It tells you everything you want to know about the British Establishment’s capture of the Scottish government, that the mainstream media felt no need to report the main points he was making, which constitute a simply astonishing outline of corrupt abuse of power.

An explanation: this blog is going dark because I cannot by law publish from prison or conduct a business from prison. Access to this blog has always been free and open and subscriptions have always been a voluntary contribution and not a purchase. It is understood that all new and continuing subscriptions from today, until we go live again, are voluntary contributions to the welfare of my family and not in exchange for anything.

I am afraid one off contributions to the defence fund are also still urgently needed. Legal costs so far paid amount to over £200,000 and continue to rise as we head towards the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, which has to be via another Scottish Court called the nobile officium. Astonishingly, over 13,000 individuals from over 120 countries have contributed to the legal defence fund. People all over the world value freedom and realise the terrible precedents established by this case must be overturned.

We are equally grateful for all donations and all really do help – donations of £5 or less total over £30,000. But I must mention the special generosity of Roger Waters and Vivienne Westwood, and the anonymous individual who gave one bitcoin. 80% of the fund is reserved for legal fees, but up to 20% may be used to fund campaigning to raise public and political awareness of the human rights issues involved.




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900 thoughts on “Keeping Freedom Alive

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  • Republicofscotland

    Momentum building a wee bit over Craig Murray’s unjust incarceration. In my opinion the imprisoning of Murray has brought global shame on Scotland.

    “A BRANCH of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged its executive and the International Federation of Journalists to express their concern about the eight-month sentence handed down to former diplomat and pro-independence campaigner Craig Murray.”

    “The motion points out that Reporters Without Borders claimed Murray is the first person in the world to be jailed over jigsaw identification, and his sentence the longest imposed on any journalist in the UK in living memory.”

    https://archive.is/Y8YoC#selection-1525.3-1525.227

    • iain

      Will be interesting to see what response they get, if any. On the preceding page a former NUJ branch secretary and “father of chapel” is insisting CM is not even a journalist. I’d fear that is probably the prevailing attitude in NUJ circles given the types who dominate journalism in the UK.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Trying to get my head around journalism and ‘ journalism’. I suppose the argument revolves around training and the way rewards are gained for the work. A conventional journalist is submitting work for consideration. A blog is self-edited and usually a one-person affair. Most bloggers are also confined to a single or a few issues. One might also suppose that a blog has a lower cost than a publication with multiple personnel with dedicated functions. The relationship to the union (NUJ) is also a bone of contention as membership implies peer approval. A blog, no matter how sparkling, will be seen as undercutting the conventional press outfits.

        ‘Control’ is also an issue. Most journalists are willingly beholden to superiors and proprietors, a potentially toxic arrangement not always conducive to truth telling and independent comment. Another factor is technology which has enabled blogging. The relationship of journalism to entertainment has also become blurred with the advent of infotainment coupled with the insights of established ‘celebrity’ participants in political fora. Their insight/experience is often widely valued. Payment must, in most cases, skew the comment and information. I realise I am stating the obvious here for all the seasoned readers here.

        Lady Dorrian’s view/sympathy obviously veers towards the established press and institutions. Another complication is the geographical base of the blog which is obviously important for legal jurisdiction. Would CM be liable if he had published in (say German) with a translated version available on the press of a button?

        It seems obvious to me that the technology has overtaken the established procedures for comment. Is there any reason for a German blogger to refrain from comment on Scottish matters or collaborate with a silent partner? Would the putative German blogger be subject to Scots court proceedings? Seems to me that the fox has escaped the pack of press hounds, bolted, and is running free. Will we see a process of evolution or natural selection that will inevitably end up with a completely free (and potentially worthless) press?

        At any rate this issue seems to me to be a big one which probably requires a very comprehensive review and open debate, and not the attempt by a judge to constrain freedom of speech according to her caprices.

        • nevermind

          Well argued Deepgreenpuddock, leaves to add the infamous, always present, presence of the security services in journalism across the spectrum of media, especially the broadsheets and tv, not to speak of their attempts to recruit at a very young age.
          Imho they are already starting to fish at sixth forms and approaching those with ‘international abilities’, who speak foreign languages such as Russian or Mandarin, the more the better the diversities of capabilities.
          These young people are signing their lives away to protect the status quo and are vulnerable. Approaching young people who have issues with being bipolar or are on a spectrum of sorts is reprehensible to say the least.

          • Giyane

            nevermind

            To use a metaphor from electricity, where one side of a floating voltage is tied to earth and this side becomes the Neutral, the presence of the security services references floating, free comment to the status quo.

            Quite apart from her own particular axe to grind, rape, Lady Dorrian has utilised an extremely right wing concept in her jailing of Craig, that all journalism shall always be referenced to the status quo, not free nor floating.

            This is the product of her own particular bonkers coinciding with the bonkers of tge current Tory government. In other words a double-bind: Though shalt not free-think and thou definitely shalt not apply your free thought to matters that touch on government.

            You know , our Puritans only lasted a few tears, followed by an era of liberalism and pleasure. Small comfort to Craig who is caught in this double hate politics. This is so un-British. Maybe you took refuge here thinking this fascist mindset was impossible here.

            Anyway, it won’t last long.

        • DiggerUK

          @Deepgreenpuddock,
          The changes in the world often mean we find ourselves facing a bouncer, googly, or a body line delivery.
          Your comments on what criteria makes a journalist a journalist have made me pause for thought.
          I have to confess that I have some sympathy with your comments…_

          • Courtenay Barnett

            Deepgreenpuddock,
            Interesting and thought-provoking commentary.
            Tweaked my curiosity as to what/who is journalism/a journalist and so I visited Wikipedia to find:-

            “A journalist is an individual trained to collect/gather information in form of text, audio or pictures, processes them to a news-worthy form and disseminates it to the public. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called journalism.”

            But Wikipedia goes further and then states:-

            “ Journalism can be in form of Broadcast, print, advertisers and public relations personnel, and, depending with the form of journalism the term journalist may include various categories of individuals as per the roles they play in the process. This includes, Reporters, Correspondents, Citizen Journalist, editors, editorial-writers, columnists, and visual journalists, such as photojournalists (journalists who use the medium of photography).”

            One of the opposing arguments to Craig Murray not being a journalist relates to and draws on the ideas of both absence of an organisational structure and membership of such organisation as so approved accompanied by a want of remuneration. I have noted the name of one Maurice Ali who had founded in 2003 an early international citizen journalist association, the International Association of Independent Journalists Inc. (IAIJ). The association has published studies and articles on citizen journalism. It has also attended United Nations events and spoken at UNESCO being advocates of citizen journalism worldwide. Thus, it seems to me that what Murray does – and being sometimes remunerated through contributions from the public – does not comport with Lady Dorrian’s constricted definition.

            So, at the very least, considering what the Wikipedia definition and commentary has to say, it seems evident that Craig Murray, based on the established definition(s) and accepted and acknowledged contemporary practices, could accurately be termed both a ‘citizen journalist’ and an ‘activist (as in defence of human rights) journalist’.
            Your thoughtful reflection has led me not just much closer – but all the way – to being clear in my mind that Craig Murray is a ‘journalist’ notwithstanding the spurious distinction which Lady Dorrian had to draw on to secure a conviction.

        • iain

          Not sure of the value of casting doubt on CM being a real journalist. The rationale for jailing him and none of the tame, house journalists who committed the same offence was that the tame ones are responsible, regulated “real” journalistss, even if they were more blatant in their identification of the “victims” and were the sources of any identification that did occur. Every argument that cedes validity to Dorrian’s perspective is just grist to her mill and those of her press and political allies. They would be especially tickled to see their argument being repeated even by Craig’s own readers. I concur with the perceptions of Pilger, Cook, Kennard, Blumenthal and Co, fellow independent journalists who rock the boat by telling the truth. Craig Murray is a journalist, end of. So too Julian Assange.

          • Robert

            I agree. The idea of one law for “journalists”, however defined, and a stricter law for others is a nonsense.

            Many (including me) would argue for a heavier sentence for a journalist as they should know better – they know the law but flout it intentionally.

          • Stevie Boy

            I think that maybe the definition of a journalist should be updated to cover their current role in society:

            “A journalist is an individual trained to copy information supplied by Governments, Organisations and Security Services in the form of text, audio or pictures and disseminate it to the public via main stream media sources. The act or process mainly done by the journalist is called propaganda (see stenography).”

            Craig is more of a speaker of truths.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          This issue occurred when Peter Wright wanted to publish ‘Spycatcher’ in the 1980s. The Government tried using blocking tactics like OSII, so Wright just went over to Australia and published it there. The laws in Australia weren’t made by HMG, after all.

          • Fat Jon

            Oh God. The security services and their official wing (the BBC) are off again.

            There is too much bad news about shortages of everything, including power and food for Christmas, that the government can’t cope – so why not dredge up the lies of non-Novichock and non-poisonings.

            How convenient for the corrupt establishment that Craig is in prison and cannot ridicule the silly spy stories which seem to have been forced into the media headlines – by order.

  • Jimmy Riddle

    A question for the good people who post here.

    Is it possible to get hold of / buy a face mask with `justice for Craig Murray’ written on the front?
    If so, how?
    This would be very useful for me.

  • nevermind

    I agree with Robert, its impossible to split free speech and journalism to control and perpetuate the status quo, via control of the narrative, massive compliance with a system, and compliance from your best pals, the NUJ.

    Craig tells it as it is and whatever handful of sand is to thrown into our eyes regards the Fairytales of Porton Down, the death of the Skripals or our hatred of Russia, of course with the help of some rich Oligarchskis settled in London and their Tory donor frontmen.

    Dinosaurs have to die out and the systems active opposition to what we need to stay alive on this beautiful planet is a declaration of war. Free speech must persist.

    • Clark

      “Death of the Skripals”? Well they have disappeared so thoroughly it’s as if they were dead, and maybe that is intentional. But the only fatality was Dawn Sturgess, though I think there has still been no inquest. An inquest would be too public, it seems.

      • Stevie Boy

        What do you do if you want to ensure the official narrative is not questioned ?
        You imprison those who may ask embarrassing questions: Craig Murray, Julian Assange and yes the Skripals – all political prisoners of the UK regime.

      • michael norton

        Clark we were told the Skripals were recovered from poisoning, maybe it is time they returned to normal life.
        Perhaps somebody could drop a line to the Home Secretary?

        • Fat Jon

          It would be nice if a few of our alleged investigative MSM journos could simply ask that question of the Home Secretary in a public interview, and see what the answer might be.

          Or maybe ask Cressida Dick if she knows where they are? I’m sure an honest policewoman such as herself would only be too pleased to do her public duty and let us all know .

          Of course, the Skripals would not be allowed to appear live in the UK themselves, because they know the truth – which is something to be kept secret in modern day Britain, or dismissed as fake news.

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