Craig Murray https://www.craigmurray.org.uk Vauntie Cybernat, Former Ambassador, Human Rights Activist Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:39:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.5 Beware Greeks Bearing Rifts https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/07/beware-greeks-bearing-rifts/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/07/beware-greeks-bearing-rifts/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 12:38:43 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32295 So far as I can follow, the Greek electorate now have the choice between voting Yes and agreeing to the IMF austerity package, and voting No and having their leaders agree to any “face-saving” variation, however miniscule, before accepting the IMF austerity package. You can be quite sure that the international elite will thoroughly humiliate Syriza by making abundantly clear that if they offer any change at all, it is absolutely miniscule. A change of nominal leader of Greece may result from the referendum, but nothing that changes the life of anybody who is not a politician. Either way in six months time we will be exactly back where we are now, only with opposition to the IMF broken as the next wave of pillage of the public sector comes.

The Euro project will continue to be extremely strong. New money will be funnelled into the pockets of bankers. It is important to recall that 100% of these bailout funds go to bankers, none of it goes to the Greek people and none of it stays in Greece. The same bankers will become the beneficiaries of servicing of new loans provided to vast corporations to buy up Greek public assets, cheap.

It would require a particular heartlessness to be indifferent to the demise of the idealistic hopes that backed Syriza. But in the end it proved they did not offer any actual choice of any significantly different outcome. There is no real choice on Sunday, no difference in outcome from which way people vote. Beware Greeks bearing rifts.

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Wha Wad Be A Traitor Knave? https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/07/wha-wad-be-a-traitor-knave/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/07/wha-wad-be-a-traitor-knave/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:42:27 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32272 I was called a traitor by a Conservative MEP in a committee meeting of the European Parliament to which I was giving eyewitness evidence on the UK’s complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition. Doubtless that is recorded in the minutes of the meeting, which means I am marked down on a forest of European Parliament paper as a traitor in each of the European Union’s 24 official languages.

Nobody turned a hair, least of all me. There were some giggles as the Tory MEP immediately walked out of the meeting, which was viewed as childish. But nobody thought of it as way outside the normal levels of political discourse. Indeed it was quite mild by European parliamentary standards. It is, of course, perfectly true that I used to represent the United Kingdom and now it is my dearest wish to destroy it as an institution. It is therefore arguable that I am technically a traitor. I am not scared of names.

My Scottish readers will have realised that this disquisition on treachery is a reference to the Labour Party’s published dossier of evil cybernats. The majority of those cited qualified as evil because of use of the word traitor. I am devastated I did not get included. I am unsure that my ego will ever recover.

It seems to me that, in an argument which revolves around what constitutes a nation, the idea of treachery to the nation is one that logically is bound to intrude, on all sides. Indeed it can be shown to intrude into the entire discourse around unionism and nationalism over centuries. I have used the term myself.

It seems to me context is important. There is a legitimate discourse on whether treachery to either the United Kingdom or to Scotland is involved in the independence conundrum. To make plain that some consider a position or act as traitorous has a place in robust political debate. I deplore the idea that politics must be reduced to genteel commonplaces over tiny areas of disagreement. Passion is important. But to imply violent retribution is different, and comes under bullying and threat.

“Traitor” should not be shunned like a racist epithet. It carries a meaning which is important.

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Kirsty’s Story https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/kirstys-story/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/kirstys-story/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:11:12 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32290 This post and its comment thread have been removed at the request of family members.

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Destruction of Evidence https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/destruction-of-evidence-2/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/destruction-of-evidence-2/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:00:04 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32269 This Greville Janner interview has simply disappeared from the website of the Holocaust Educational Trust, “founding patron” Greville Janner, and from other such websites which used to host it. I can only now find it on my own blog and on a few places which copied it from my blog. It is an important interview for reasons which are very obvious if you read it.

I was taken up to the Kinderheim, to the Children’s Home, where there were some sixty orphan children, most of whose lives had been saved by monasteries, by being out in the woods or by miracles in each case and they all spoke Yiddish and I didn’t speak Yiddish and it was very difficult to talk to them but we knew some of the same songs so we sang together in Hebrew they knew and I knew the songs and then one of them said to me the first Yiddish words I’ve ever learnt , he said “Gavreal”, which is Greville in Hebrew and (he) called me “Gavreal spishtie ping pong, ping pong” and he pushed back and forwards as though he was holding a ping pong bat so my first words in Yiddish were “ping pong” and I played Ping Pong with them and they taught me a few words of Yiddish and I found it such a moving experience that for the next eighteen months I went back to them every weekend

The deletion is not acknowledged – the evidence has simply been quietly expunged. The irony of the Holocaust Educational Trust, which exists to keep alive the evidence of a dreadful crime, expunging evidence of crime which it finds inconvenient, does not need to be emphasised by me.

Janner’s being Jewish was irrelevant to his being a paedophile. So was his being a Zionist. But he was not just any old Zionist. He was the acknowledged leader of Zionism in the UK. He was President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Vice President of the World Jewish Congress, he was Vice President of the Association for Jewish Youth, Vice President of the Jewish Leadership Council, President of the Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women, on the Advisory Board of the Community Security Trust, Chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust and Director of the United Jewish Israel Appeal.

These organisations were led by a man who was a predatory paedophile, yet they apparently feel no necessity to condemn his activities or to acknowledge what has happened, merely secretly deleting any particularly embarrassing references. It is like the attitude of the Catholic Church on paedophilia thirty years ago.

David Cameron, echoed by the corporate media, calls upon the millions of law-abiding Muslims in the UK to denounce and distance themselves from a few terrorist nutters with whom 99.99% of British Muslims have no connection anyway. That apparently is acceptable. But to ask that the Zionist and Jewish organisations denounce the long term criminal activities of the man who actually led those organisations, is portrayed as unacceptable racism.

This is a stinking double standard.

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The Janner Standard https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-janner-standard/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-janner-standard/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 11:20:53 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32267 https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-janner-standard/feed/ 9 IMF and USA set to ruin Ghana https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/imf-and-usa-set-to-ruin-ghana/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/imf-and-usa-set-to-ruin-ghana/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 19:36:21 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32260 Just ten years ago, Ghana had the most reliable electricity supply in all of Africa and the highest percentage of households connected to the grid in all of Africa – including South Africa. The Volta River Authority, the power producer and distributor was, in my very considerable experience, the best run and most efficient public utility in all of Africa. Indeed it was truly world class, and Ghana was proud of it.

Obviously the sight of truly successful public owned and run enterprise was too much of a threat to the neo-liberal ideologues of the IMF and World Bank. When Ghana needed some temporary financial assistance (against a generally healthy background) the IMF insisted that VRA be broken up. Right wing neoliberal dogma was applied to the Ghanaian electricity market. Electricity was separated between production and distribution, and private sector Independent Power Producers introduced.

The result is disaster. There are more power cuts in Ghana than ever in its entire history as an independent state. Today Ghana is actually, at this moment, producing just 900 MW of electricity – half what it could produce ten years ago. This is not the fault of the NDC or the NPP. It is the fault of the IMF.

Those private sector Independent Power Producers actually provide less than 20% of electricity generation into the grid – yet scoop up over 60% of the revenues! The electricity bills of Ghana’s people go to provide profits to fat cat foreign corporations and of course the western banks who finance them.

Indeed in thirty years close experience the net result of all IMF activity in Africa is to channel economic resources to westerners – and not to ordinary western people, but to the wealthiest corporations and especially to western bankers.

Not content with the devastation they have already caused, the IMF and the USA are now insisting on the privatisation of ECG, the state utility body which provides electricity to the consumer and bills them. The rationale is that a privatised ECG will be more efficient and ruthless in collecting revenue from the poor and from hospitals, clinics, schools and other state institutions.

Doubtless it will be. It will of course be more efficient in channelling still more profits to very rich businessmen and bankers. I suspect that is the real point. That privatised utilities bring better service and cheaper prices to the consumer has been conclusively and forever disproven in the UK. What it does bring is huge profits to the rich and misery to the poor. To unleash this on Ghana is acutely morally reprehensible.

Ghana has a political culture in which the two main parties, NDC and NPP, heatedly blame each other for their country’s problems. But if they only can see it, in truth the electricity sector has been ruined by their common enemy – the IMF and World Bank. I pray that one day the country will escape the grip of these bloodsucking institutions.

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Tunisian Attack https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/tunisian-attack/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/tunisian-attack/#comments Sat, 27 Jun 2015 09:11:04 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32257 The BBC are strangely promoting a lone gunman story of the attack in Sousse. In fact it was highly organised, including some gunmen who arrived by jetski. There were many grenades thrown, which is also missing from the BBC account.

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Attack of the Bailiffs https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/attack-of-the-bailiffs/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/attack-of-the-bailiffs/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:29:17 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32249 I posted in detail about how on moving I muddled my Council Tax and was astonished at the speed with which Edinburgh City Council set the bailiffs upon me. Through my local MP I have now received clarification that Edinburgh City Council take people to court as soon as their payment is 42 days late.

I find that absolutely incredible. People are human, they make mistakes, they may be temporarily short of cash. I cannot think of any other body that is so aggressive in subjecting people to the judicial system for a small delay. No commercial company would dream of taking people to court for just being 42 days late, the utility companies and banks would in fact not to be allowed to do so by regulators and the inland revenue certainly are much less predatory.

Do not misunderstand me. People should pay their tax, on time. I tried to pay mine 46 days late for which I apologise and am happy to accept a late payment penalty. But I can think of absolutely no reason why it was necessary to take me to court for paying my Council Tax in May instead of April.

Actually I can think of one reason – to make enormous money for Scott & Co, the bailiffs. I tried to pay by online direct debit on 25 May, not knowing that on 19 May Edinburgh Council had already referred me to court. My payment appeared accepted and I got a confirmation number from Edinburgh City Council. Three days later, on 28 May, they obtained a court warrant against me. Edinburgh City Council have not taken any payment from my direct debit and they refuse to take any payment from my direct debit. They both refuse to take the payment and at the same time continue to harass me for non-payment.

The reason is they have no interest in collecting my tax. What they want is to make money for Scott & Co., a private company owned by an extremely wealthy husband and wife partnership. I cannot now pay Edinburgh City Council but have to make the payment to this private company including their exorbitant fees.

I have no objection to paying any late penalty to Edinburgh City Council, but when any City Council in Scotland is primarily interested in channeling money to a private company and making millionaire parasites richer, then I look at the size of the houses and value of the cars of councillors, ex-councillors, and senior officials and I ponder, deeply.

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Nicola Corbyn and the Myth of the Unelectable Left https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/nicola-corbyn-and-the-myth-of-the-unelectable-left/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/nicola-corbyn-and-the-myth-of-the-unelectable-left/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 07:56:24 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32231 The BBC and corporate media coalesce around an extremely narrow consensus of political thought, and ensure that anybody who steps outside that consensus is ridiculed and marginalised. That consensus has got narrower and narrower. I was delighted during the general election to be able to listen to Nicola Sturgeon during the leaders’ debate argue for anti-austerity policies and for the scrapping of Trident. I had not heard anyone on broadcast media argue for the scrapping of Trident for a decade – it is one of those views which though widely held the establishment gatekeepers do not view as respectable.

The media are working overtime to marginalise Jeremy Corbyn as a Labour leadership candidate on the grounds that he is left wing and therefore weird and unelectable. But they face the undeniable fact that, Scottish independence aside, there are very few political differences between Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon. On issues including austerity, nuclear weapons, welfare and Palestine both Sturgeon and Corbyn are really very similar. They have huge areas of agreement that stand equally outside the establishment consensus. Indeed Nicola is more radical than Jeremy, who wants to keep the United Kingdom.

The establishment’s great difficulty is this. Given that the SNP had just slaughtered the Labour Party – and the Tories and Lib Dems – by being a genuine left wing alternative, how can the media consensus continue to insist that the left are unelectable? The answer is of course that they claim Scotland is different. Yet precisely the same establishment consensus denies that Scotland has a separate political culture when it comes to the independence debate. So which is it? They cannot have it both ways.

If Scotland is an integral part of the UK, Jeremy Corbyn’s policies cannot be unelectable.

Nicola Sturgeon won the UK wide leaders debate in the whole of the United Kingdom, despite the disadvantage of representing a party not standing in 90% of it by population. She won not just because she is clever and genuine, but because people all across the UK liked the left wing policies she articulated.

A Daily Mirror opinion poll following a BBC televised Labour leadership candidates’ debate this week had Jeremy Corbyn as the clear winner, with twice the support of anyone else. The media ridicule level has picked up since. This policy of marginalisation works. I was saddened by readers’ comments under a Guardian report of that debate, in which Labour supporter after Labour supporter posted comment to the effect “I would like to vote for Jeremy Corbyn because he believes in the same things I do, but we need a more right wing leader to have a chance of winning.”

There are two answers to that. The first is no, you don’t need to be right wing to win. Look at the SNP. The second is what the bloody hell are you in politics for anyway? Do you just want your team to win like it was football? Is there any point at all in being elected just so you can carry out the same policies as your opponents? The problem is, of course, that for so many in the Labour Party, especially but not just the MPs, they want to win for personal career advantage not actually to promote particular policies.

The media message of the need to be right wing to be elected is based on reinforced by a mythologizing of Tony Blair and Michael Foot as the ultimate example of the Good and Bad leader. These figures are constantly used to reinforce the consensus. Let us examine their myths.

Tony Blair is mythologised as an electoral superstar, a celebrity politician who achieved unprecedented personal popularity with the public, and that he achieved this by adopting right wing policies. Let us examine the truth of this myth. First that public popularity. The best measure of public enthusiasm is the percentage of those entitled to vote, who cast their ballot for that party at the general election. This table may surprise you.

Percentage of Eligible Voters

1992 John Major 32.5%
1997 Tony Blair 30.8%
2001 Tony Blair 24.1%
2005 Tony Blair 21.6%
2010 David Cameron 23.5%
2015 David Cameron 24.4%

There was only any public enthusiasm for Blair in 97 – and to put that in perspective, it was less than the public enthusiasm for John Major in 1992.

More importantly, this public enthusiasm was not based on the policies now known as Blairite. The 1997 Labour Manifesto was not full of right wing policies and did not indicate what Blair was going to do.

The Labour Party manifesto of 1997 did not mention Academy schools, Private Finance Initiative, Tuition Fees, NHS privatisation, financial sector deregulation or any of the right wing policies Blair was to usher in. Labour actually presented quite a left wing image, and figures like Robin Cook and Clare Short were prominent in the campaign. There was certainly no mention of military invasions.

It was only once Labour were in power that Blair shaped his cabinet and his policies on an ineluctably right wing course and Mandelson started to become dominant. As people discovered that New Labour were “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich”, to quote Mandelson, their popular support plummeted. “The great communicator” Blair for 90% of his Prime Ministership was no more popular than David Cameron is now. 79% of the electorate did not vote for him by his third election

Michael Foot consistently led Margaret Thatcher in opinion polls – by a wide margin – until the Falklands War. He was defeated in a victory election by the most appalling and intensive wave of popular war jingoism and militarism, the nostalgia of a fast declining power for its imperial past, an emotional outburst of popular relief that Britain could still notch up a military victory over foreigners in its colonies. It was the most unedifying political climate imaginable. The tabloid demonization of Foot as the antithesis of the military and imperial theme was the first real exhibition of the power of Rupert Murdoch. Few serious commentators at the time doubted that Thatcher might have been defeated were it not for the Falklands War – which in part explains her lack of interest in a peaceful solution. Michael Foot’s position in the demonology ignores these facts.

The facts about Blair and about Foot are very different from the media mythology.

The stupid stunt by Tories of signing up to the Labour Party to vote for Corbyn to ridicule him, is exactly the kind of device the establishment consensus uses to marginalise those whose views they fear. Sturgeon is living proof left wing views are electable. The “left unelectable” meme will intensify. I expect Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest problem will be quiet exclusion. I wish him well.

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Craig is meeting Julian Assange https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/craig-is-meeting-julian-assange/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/craig-is-meeting-julian-assange/#comments Fri, 19 Jun 2015 05:13:14 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32238 Craig is meeting Julian Assange in the embassy. Watch this space.

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The Apotheosis of Murdochian Corporatism – Martin Ivens https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-apotheosis-of-murdochian-corporatism-martin-ivers/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-apotheosis-of-murdochian-corporatism-martin-ivers/#comments Wed, 17 Jun 2015 20:13:34 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32221 The Sunday Times was once a great newspaper. It has had some great editors, and some very good ones – you may be surprised to learn that I include Andrew Neil in that. Whether you agreed with them or not, virtually all of its editors for 200 years have been formidable intellectuals. Until now, as the apotheosis of Murdochian corporatism, it is “edited” by a genuine intellectual featherweight, Mr Martin Ivens.

When called out on the lie that David Miranda had been arrested at Heathrow after visiting Snowden in Moscow – a lie crucial to the fabric of deceit they had twisted into a story to justify the “snoopers’ charter” – Ivens did not apologise or explain, he merely had the lie excised from the online edition with no explanation. The print edition was already out, and despite the fact that the online “story” which had already been full of holes, now made no sense at all, they continued with it.

I had produced an undeniable (and undenied, anywhere) analysis of why their story had to be a lie, pointing out the confusion of agents and officers, that neither the Russians nor the Chinese have killed an MI6 officer for 50 years, and that the Russians know who almost all the MI6 officers are anyway.

A gentleman called William Douglas sent my analysis to Mr Ivers, asking him for his views. Ivers replied:

Dear Mr Douglas,
:
: I think you should address your remarks to
: 10 Downing St. If you think
: they have lied to us then so be it.
:
: Yours faithfully
:
: Martin

That really is it. The editor of a once great newspaper does not think it is any business of his whether he publishes lies or not. He does not consider that there was any responsibility on himself or his journalists to find out whether the story was true before they published it. They did not attempt to take any other views or do any checking. And now they claim that what the Sunday Times publishes is not the responsibility of the Sunday Times, but rather it is the responsibility of government.

When the correspondent responsible for this disgraceful “story”, Tom Harper, gave his car crash CNN interview, I did not read too much into it. He managed to discredit his story across the mainstream media of the entire world, except of course in the UK, where it was covered up. It provoked great hilarity. For me, it wasn’t actually fun, it was like watching a child dismantle a jellyfish with a beach spade. The jellyfish is not only helpless, it does not even know it is being dismembered. Mr Harper may have the constituents of a brain, but they are distributed around his wobbly torso in disconnected nodules.

Harper’s astonishing admission that “We just publish what we believe to be the position of the British government” caused all of CNN’s audience to rock back in their chairs. But I just took it that a not very bright young man was misspeaking on TV. He did however say almost precisely the same thing twice, in response to two different questions.

But what we have now from Martin Ivens, in his response to Mr Douglas, is confirmation from the Sunday Times editor himself of exactly the same line. It is not the editor’s responsibility whether it is the truth or not, he just publishes what the government tells him to publish. The responsibility for what the Sunday Times publishes lies with the British government.

It is not just that Ivens is a lightbrain with zilch professional pride and a disgrace to his profession. He is in fact totally redundant, and his proprietor Mr Murdoch is sharp enough to realise he actually does not need to spend £200,000 a year on a Sunday Times editor. Software now exists which can put the government’s words straight into the paper without Mr Latham and Mr Ivens having to put their input of – actually absolutely zero – into the process.

Murdoch could then give the gentleman who cleans the toilets a raise of £1 an hour and entitle him the Editor. In fact, perhaps that may be how Martin Ivens got the job, as he seems to have no other qualifications. Oh, I do apologise – I realise I just gratuitously insulted the gentleman who cleans the toilets, who at least has a function.

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Some Rules For Comment Moderation https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/some-rules-for-comment-moderation/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/some-rules-for-comment-moderation/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 19:11:24 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32213 This is essentially a free speech forum. I enjoy much of the banter which goes on between commenters, particularly the dedicated band of people who post on a daily basis. There is an important distinction between my writing, and the comments section. The proportion of readers who leave comments is well under 1%. I cannot know what percentage of the readers read comments, but I suspect it is not terribly high.

In social media I find establishment hacks – particularly journalists and Labour Party functionaries – dismiss my thoughts by referring to the comments section. “Craig Murray – have you seen the tinfoil hats comments on his blog!” being a genuine and very typical example. Well, if people wish to damn me by association with the views of other people, that is sadly an example of the low intellectual standards of the British nomenklatura of our time. The only views on here which are mine are those which I write.

I cherish the diversity of the comment threads and am fond of our little community, most of whom I have never met. I do not value people by the standard of how close their views are to my own. I am sometimes saddened by the personal animosities which arise between people.

We state some rules from time to time. This is the current set, which I just made up:

No racism. Any comment which is racist will simple be deleted immediately. The biggest problem we face is anti-Jewish comment, which I will not tolerate. We are not in the business of stigmatising anti-Zionism as anti-Jewish, but there are quite frequently distinctly anti-Jewish comments. I deleted one just an hour ago.

Similarly, no holocaust denial. I do not believe it should be illegal (I am against thought crime) but I do not wish to have it on my blog as those associated with it often have very unpleasant sympathies. That is not to say the subject of the holocaust can never be mentioned – it will never be possible to ascertain the precise number who were killed, and it is important we remember not only the Jews but the Poles, gypsies, gays, freemasons and numerous others who suffered. But the basic facts are not in doubt. It is surprising how often people attempt to insinuate holocaust denial.

Sockpuppetry. It is in practice impossible to outlaw sockpuppetry without a formal registration system, which I do not want. But the adoption of multiple identities within the same thread is not to be allowed, nor the creation of identities of which the purpose is to ridicule, attack or insult another contributor.

Fair Play. Play the ball, not the man. Address arguments, not people. Do not impugn the motives of others, including me. No taunting.

Relevance

Attempts to keep people on topic are hopeless, but do try.

9/11

We don’t discuss 9/11. There are plenty of places on the web where you can do that. It tends to take over threads.

Contribute

Contributions which are primarily just a link to somewhere else will be deleted. You can post links, but give us the benefit of your thoughts upon them.

No explanation.

Enforcing these rules is necessarily arbitrary and needs judgement calls. Moderators are precluded from explaining decisions online. If you want to complain use the contact button.

Moderators

We have, and have had, excellent moderators over many years. But almost all have found it not only time consuming but also surprisingly emotionally draining. If you are interested in volunteering and are willing for me to know both your real and online identity, please get in tough using the contact button.

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The Truth Avoided by Mainstream Media Liars https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/please-communicate-this-challenge-to-the-journalist-of-your-choice/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/please-communicate-this-challenge-to-the-journalist-of-your-choice/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 09:57:13 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32208 My factual demolition of the anti-Snowden story has been read by hundreds of thousands of people, very probably millions, around the internet, 50,000 so far on this site alone, and tweeted by thousands of people. It has been tweeted at – repeatedly – every single mainstream media journalist who has been repeating the government propaganda.

The extraordinary thing is that no jurnalist, anywhere, has made any attempt to deny the facts I give. Not one journalist in the entire crowd of corporate media paid lackeys at the BBC, Sunday Times, Reuters or anywhere at all has addressed or tried to refute the facts which make it impossible that their Snowden story is true. They have not addressed it in their publications or even tried to defend themselves on social media. Not one journalist, not anywhere. (One or two have pointed out that the fifth point is an ad hominem, which is true. Not all ad hominems are invalid, but the first four facts destroy the argument anyway).

Neither has there been any response from the “safe” retired diplomats or security consultants the mainstream media can generally roll out on these occasions.

So here is a challenge to the Sunday Times, BBC and rest of the mainstream media. If your story is true, where exactly are my facts wrong? If you refuse to address this, why do you consider yourself a journalist?

To avoid you “journalists” having to do even a click of research, here is my article again:

Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie

The Sunday Times has a story claiming that Snowden’s revelations have caused danger to MI6 and disrupted their operations. Here are five reasons it is a lie.

1) The alleged Downing Street source is quoted directly in italics. Yet the schoolboy mistake is made of confusing officers and agents. MI6 is staffed by officers. Their informants are agents. In real life, James Bond would not be a secret agent. He would be an MI6 officer. Those whose knowledge comes from fiction frequently confuse the two. Nobody really working with the intelligence services would do so, as the Sunday Times source does. The story is a lie.

2) The argument that MI6 officers are at danger of being killed by the Russians or Chinese is a nonsense. No MI6 officer has been killed by the Russians or Chinese for 50 years. The worst that could happen is they would be sent home. Agents’ – generally local people, as opposed to MI6 officers – identities would not be revealed in the Snowden documents. Rule No.1 in both the CIA and MI6 is that agents’ identities are never, ever written down, neither their names nor a description that would allow them to be identified. I once got very, very severely carpeted for adding an agents’ name to my copy of an intelligence report in handwriting, suggesting he was a useless gossip and MI6 should not be wasting their money on bribing him. And that was in post communist Poland, not a high risk situation.

3) MI6 officers work under diplomatic cover 99% of the time. Their alias is as members of the British Embassy, or other diplomatic status mission. A portion are declared to the host country. The truth is that Embassies of different powers very quickly identify who are the spies in other missions. MI6 have huge dossiers on the members of the Russian security services – I have seen and handled them. The Russians have the same. In past mass expulsions, the British government has expelled 20 or 30 spies from the Russian Embassy in London. The Russians retaliated by expelling the same number of British diplomats from Moscow, all of whom were not spies! As a third of our “diplomats” in Russia are spies, this was not coincidence. This was deliberate to send the message that they knew precisely who the spies were, and they did not fear them.

4) This anti Snowden non-story – even the Sunday Times admits there is no evidence anybody has been harmed – is timed precisely to coincide with the government’s new Snooper’s Charter act, enabling the security services to access all our internet activity. Remember that GCHQ already has an archive of 800,000 perfectly innocent British people engaged in sex chats online.

5) The paper publishing the story is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It is sourced to the people who brought you the dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, every single “fact” in which proved to be a fabrication. Why would you believe the liars now?

There you have five reasons the story is a lie.

Please communicate this challenge to the “journalist” of your choice.

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The Bagh I Wah https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-bagh-i-wah/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-bagh-i-wah/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 22:01:21 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32204 I am sleeping four hours a night in my push to get the book finished by Friday. I felt an overwhelming urge to share at least a passage of what I am working on, I suppose because it is one of the few passages that is about feeling not policy, and feelings should be shared. Or something like that, maybe its just lack of sleep. This differs from previous passages I have published as it is going to be in the book, not something I have removed in editing down.

On 1st August they were joined by Hugh Falconer and his collaborator Captain Proby Cautley. Burnes received a letter from Dost Mohammed explaining that he was receiving proposals and diplomatic representatives were being sent from both Persia and Russia, but he would do nothing until Burnes arrived. Burnes immediately wrote to Colvin and Macnaghten insisting that he needed more powers and discretion to act in these circumstances, noting in his diary “I am to talk, they [the Persians and Russians] are to act. They had better recall me than act thus.” He was to repeat often a belief that Auckland was placing him in an impossible situation.

But that same evening there was time for enjoyment amid the gloom. They dined al fresco in the beautiful but decaying Mughal garden, flooded with roses, the Bagh-i-Wah. “We pitched our camp by the crystal rivulet, filled our glasses with Burgundy, and drank to the memory of the fame of Noor Muhal and her immortal poet Thomas Moore.”

Burnes frequently quotes Moore and his “Mughal” poetry, especially Lalla Rook. He had met Moore in London, and Burnes’ own works are accounted an influence on Moore’s poetry. Undoubtedly this poetic sensibility affected Burnes’ attitudes, particularly his partiality for Islamic culture. Moore’s reputation has not proved “immortal”, but he was enormously popular at this time, across all of Europe. His poetry inspired music by Schumann and Berlioz, and countless artists and writers. The passage Burnes is here referencing – and presumes his readers will get the reference – is

The mask is off – the charm is wrought –
And Selim to his heart has caught,
In blushes, more than ever bright
His Nourmahal, his Haram’s light!
And well do vanish’d frowns enhance
The charm of every brighten’d glance;
And dearer seems each dawning smile
For having lost its light awhile;
And happier now, for all its sighs,
As on his arm her head reposes,
She whispers him, with laughing eyes,
“Remember, love, the Feast of Roses!1

That was a wonderful evening under the stars in Hasan Abdal – the rivulet, the roses, the burgundy, Goncalves’ guitar, the poetry and added to Burnes’ mission of already very remarkable men, the great paleontologists Falconer and Cautley, who much influenced Darwin. Cautley also was the genius who designed and constructed the great Ganges canal.

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Britnats’ Divide and Rule https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/britnats-divide-and-rule/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/britnats-divide-and-rule/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 12:54:40 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32202 David Torrance quotes me as evidence – indeed the only evidence – of a “Great Divide” in the SNP between fundamentalists and gradualists. There certainly are differences, but they are just differences over tactics rather than goals.

I am quite open that I fear that the trivial diversion of extremely shallow extra powers for Holyrood will consume energies better spent on campaigning for independence. And it is certainly true that I believe that during this very right wing Tory Westminster government is the best time to hold another referendum, and that missing the chance could be a disaster.

But there are others just as committed to independence who are more tactically cautious. This is a debate about tactics in which people can quite legitimately hold different opinions. I bear no grudge towards the advocates of a cautious approach, and I have experienced not one iota of hostility from anyone in the SNP following my article which Torrance quotes.

The one point on which I do feel extremely strongly is that the decision on the party’s position on a second referendum must ultimately be taken democratically by the membership, not handed down by the leadership. As long as the way forward is democratically decided, there will be no “great divide” in the SNP, no matter how much the Britnats may yearn for it.

Jim Murphy is getting almost as much extended coverage on quitting in abject failure as leader, as he did when appointed as head of the Scottish accounting unit. For the uninitiated, a particular Blairite reduction in freedom was new legislation stipulating that you could only have a registered party name or “independent” on the ballot paper in elections. Before you could have any brief description you like, such as “fight the bypass” etc. But the Electoral Commission ruled that “Scottish Labour” could appear on ballot papers even though there is no such registered party. When challenged, the Electoral Commission invented the pathetic excuse that “Scottish Labour” was the name of an accounting unit within the Labour Party and – they made this next bit up on the spot – descriptions of accounting units within registered parties are allowed on the ballot. Somebody should set up a party with an accounting unit entitled “the Electoral Commission are Corrupt” and put that on the ballot.

Anyway Jim Murphy today “likened the atmosphere in the TV debates in Scotland to a “quasi-religious rock concert so whatever truth you told it did not really matter”.” This is a ridiculous lie. The TV debates audience in Scotland were dour and aggressively unionist, notably vocal in opposition to any second referendum. This is because the broadcasters selected the audience according to the results of the 2010 General Election, meaning only a quarter supported independence and they were massively pro-Labour. Murphy could not have had a more sympathetic audience. He failed in the debates because he was rubbish.

I am willing to lay a large sum of money that the TV companies never select an audience based on the 2015 General Election results.

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Five Reasons the MI6 Story is a Lie https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/five-reasons-the-mi6-story-is-a-lie/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/five-reasons-the-mi6-story-is-a-lie/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 09:06:06 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32189 The Sunday Times has a story claiming that Snowden’s revelations have caused danger to MI6 and disrupted their operations. Here are five reasons it is a lie.

1) The alleged Downing Street source is quoted directly in italics. Yet the schoolboy mistake is made of confusing officers and agents. MI6 is staffed by officers. Their informants are agents. In real life, James Bond would not be a secret agent. He would be an MI6 officer. Those whose knowledge comes from fiction frequently confuse the two. Nobody really working with the intelligence services would do so, as the Sunday Times source does. The story is a lie.

2) The argument that MI6 officers are at danger of being killed by the Russians or Chinese is a nonsense. No MI6 officer has been killed by the Russians or Chinese for 50 years. The worst that could happen is they would be sent home. Agents’ – generally local people, as opposed to MI6 officers – identities would not be revealed in the Snowden documents. Rule No.1 in both the CIA and MI6 is that agents’ identities are never, ever written down, neither their names nor a description that would allow them to be identified. I once got very, very severely carpeted for adding an agents’ name to my copy of an intelligence report in handwriting, suggesting he was a useless gossip and MI6 should not be wasting their money on bribing him. And that was in post communist Poland, not a high risk situation.

3) MI6 officers work under diplomatic cover 99% of the time. Their alias is as members of the British Embassy, or other diplomatic status mission. A portion are declared to the host country. The truth is that Embassies of different powers very quickly identify who are the spies in other missions. MI6 have huge dossiers on the members of the Russian security services – I have seen and handled them. The Russians have the same. In past mass expulsions, the British government has expelled 20 or 30 spies from the Russian Embassy in London. The Russians retaliated by expelling the same number of British diplomats from Moscow, all of whom were not spies! As a third of our “diplomats” in Russia are spies, this was not coincidence. This was deliberate to send the message that they knew precisely who the spies were, and they did not fear them.

4) This anti Snowden non-story – even the Sunday Times admits there is no evidence anybody has been harmed – is timed precisely to coincide with the government’s new Snooper’s Charter act, enabling the security services to access all our internet activity. Remember that GCHQ already has an archive of 800,000 perfectly innocent British people engaged in sex chats online.

5) The paper publishing the story is owned by Rupert Murdoch. It is sourced to the people who brought you the dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, every single “fact” in which proved to be a fabrication. Why would you believe the liars now?

There you have five reasons the story is a lie.

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Cyber Attack On This Site to Crash MI6 Post https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/cyber-attack-on-this-site-to-crash-mi6-post/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/cyber-attack-on-this-site-to-crash-mi6-post/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 06:59:31 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32195 The site is under a strong denial of service attack from a bot trying to crash it by overloading with millions of pings from multiple locations. I presume the objective is to take down the revelation of the fake MI6 Snowden story, which had been read by tens of thousands already and is now really taking off.

While the copyright in that article remains mine, I grant permission for it freely to be reproduced by anybody, anywhere. I shall be grateful for multiple copies to be posted around the web so it can’t be taken down.

Some extremely brilliant people have put an awful lot of time and a bit of money on the defences of this blog, making it very hard to crash even by governments, through a cloud hosting system. (OK, you got me, I don’t understand how they do it). With any luck we won’t go down, but backups on that article very welcome.

This article will be deleted in an hour or so to put the MI6 lies back at top of the blog.

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Fast Track https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/fast-track/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/fast-track/#comments Sat, 13 Jun 2015 11:41:23 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32182 I am delighted that a judge yesterday ruled that the Fast Track asylum appeals system is illegal. It is the most appalling abuse, specifically designed to limit the capacity of individuals in life threatening circumstances to properly develop and present their legal case and put it before a judge. The system of putting law-abiding people, often families, into detention harsher than our harshest maximum security prisons, allowed just one hour a day out of a tiny cell for exercise, is a minor inconvenience compared to the fundamental denial of proper right to justice. The recent unjust deportation of Majid Ali was just the latest of a series of fast track cases I have encountered. Nadira has finished the script of a short film about a tragic couple, based on substantial research of true stories of fast track detention, and is developing the production.

Reading online comments on media articles about this judgement, it is extraordinary how many people have forgotten that this dreadfully inhumane fast track scheme was introduced by New Labour, and its parents were Jack Straw, Lord Falconer, and the rest of the callous war criminals.

I agree entirely with the campaigners who state that having rightly ruled fast track illegal because of its denial of justice, to suspend the judgement while the government appeals is entirely illogical, and holds that denial of justice is less important than inconvenience to the executive. Theresa May is sufficiently bloody-minded to go ahead with fast track deportations in the interim. I fear she will even speed them up.

I am on my own fast track at the moment. A week today I have to leave for Ghana, and before I go I have finally to put the finishing touches to Sikunder Burnes and get it to the publisher. So forgive me if I disappear for a bit.

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The Contrarian Prize https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-contrarian-prize/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-contrarian-prize/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 21:19:44 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32179 I have been shortlisted for the Contrarian Prize. I am honoured to be considered for an award of which the previous winners are Clive Stafford Smith and Michael Woodford. It probably says something about the purpose of the prize, that the rather extraordinary list of shortlisted nominees are not people liable to enjoy socialising together. I shall not elaborate further. But to be associated with an award of which the motto is “courage, independence, sacrifice” makes me feel I must be doing something right.

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The Killing of Children https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-killing-of-children/ https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/06/the-killing-of-children/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 10:09:15 +0000 http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?p=32175 The Guardian has for once done a very good job of outlining the stark gap between the truth, and Israel’s “report” into the killing of four young children playing by the beach. It may be argued that this terrible tragedy is itself pretty irrelevant given that the Israelis killed 700 other children in Gaza that year. But the maintenance of this ludicrous, macabre and yes, evil, propaganda is fundamental to the self-image of many Israelis. They still contrive to see themselves as the good guys, under constant threat – despite the fact that Israel kills well more than a hundred for every Israeli killed.

This denial of the truth and claim of victimhood extends to the accusation of anti-Semitism trumpeted at every critic, including this one, despite the fact that I have the highest respect for the immense cultural and scientific achievements of the Jewish people. Israel is a different question entirely.

It is this absolute divorce of propaganda from reality that makes Tony Blair an ideal figurehead. Blair has now become head of a Council of Europe (loosely) linked body which claims to exist to promote tolerance, but in fact exists entirely to promote extreme Islamophobia and to shut down criticism of Israel. And it is a further sign of the estrangement from reality of the influential Israelis behind Blair’s appointment that they believe Tony Blair will influence public opinion positively in their favour. A remarkable example of confirmation bias.

Finally, I would merely note that it is not as insignificant as it may appear in terms of extreme corporatist bias, that the software auto-completes anti-Semitism for me (complete with capital letter), while it underlines Islamophobia as a non-existent word.

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