Search Results for : Werritty


Civil Liberty Vanishes 548

The sinister potential of coronavirus lockdown to suppress dissent was on display on Monday as police broke up a small group of protestors outside Westminster Crown Court during a case management hearing for Julian Assange. The dozen protestors, who included Julian’s father John Shipton, were all social distancing at least 2 metres apart (except where living in the same household). The police did not observe social distancing as they broke up this small and peaceful protest.

This is a stark illustration of the use of the current emergency powers to suppress legitimate dissent.

For the first time, there was something of a court victory for Assange’s defence team, as they obtained their preferred date of September for resumption of the extradition hearing. Last week magistrate Baraitser had tried to impose a choice of July or November based on the availability of Woolwich Crown Court. As defence witnesses have to come from around the world, July was too early for the defence, while November would mean another lengthy period of incarceration for the unconvicted Assange. This is not the first time the defence have secured the agreement of the US-led prosecution to a procedural request, but it is the very first time Baraitser has acceded to anything proposed by the defence, throughout all the lengthy proceedings.

SO the Assange hearing will resume in September, and of course I intend to be there to report it, if not myself incarcerated. The exact date is not yet known nor the venue. It will not be Woolwich but another Crown Court which has availability. I suspect it may be at Kingston-upon-Thames, because the government will want to maintain the theatre of the peaceful Julian being an ultra-dangerous offender and that is the other purpose built “anti-terrorism court” in London.

It is well worth reading this excellent article from El Pais by Julian’s partner, Stella Morris. It says a great deal that in the state that is actually holding Europe’s most prominent political prisoner, no newspaper would publish it. It is a truism that the general public fail to notice the slide into authoritarianism before it is too late. I confess I never thought to witness the process first hand in the UK. The information on guns in the article is new to me:

After Julian was arrested a year ago, Spain’s High Court opened an investigation into the security company that had been operating inside the embassy. Several whistleblowers came forward and have informed law enforcement of unlawful activities against Julian and his lawyers, both inside and outside the embassy. They are cooperating with law enforcement and have provided investigators with large amounts of data.

The investigation has revealed that the company had been moonlighting for a US company closely associated with the current US administration and US intelligence agencies and that the increasingly disturbing instructions, such as following my mother or the baby DNA directive, had come from their US client, not Ecuador. Around the same time that I had been approached about the targeting of our baby, the company was thrashing out even more sinister plans concerning Julian’s life. Their alleged plots to poison or abduct Julian have been raised in UK extradition proceedings. A police raid at the security company director’s home turned up two handguns with their serial numbers filed off.

We are now to be expected to entrust ourselves to a new coronavirus tracing app, currently being trialed on the Isle of Wight, that allows the government to know precisely where we are and with whom. The results will be permanently stored in a central database – something that is not required for the ostensible purpose of the app. The UK is alone among European states in seeking to create a national centralised database containing traceable unique identifiers for individuals. Precisely to address civil liberties concerns, all other countries are using a devolved database approach with amalgamation only of research useful date which cannot identify individuals. The UK is also refusing to share code with the public, or even precise detail of developers. The US firm Palantir, which has developed the app for NHSX, is coy about where its development is carried out and by whom. So far nothing has been released on the architecture of the App.

I highly recommend this podcast by Matrix Chambers on the very alarming civil liberties implication of the approach to the tracing app by Boris Johnson’s government.

There is no organisation or group with an interest in data privacy which is not sounding the alarm. The Register reports:

Controversially, the NHSX app will beam that contact data back to government-controlled servers. The academics who signed today’s open letter fear that this data stockpile will become “a tool that enables data collection on the population, or on targeted sections of society, for surveillance.”

As we reported yesterday, Britain has abandoned the international consensus on how much data should be collected to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter said:

We hold that the usual data protection principles should apply: collect the minimum data necessary to achieve the objective of the application. We hold it is vital that if you are to build the necessary trust in the application the level of data being collected is justified publicly by the public health teams demonstrating why this is truly necessary rather than simply the easiest way, or a “nice to have”, given the dangers involved and invasive nature of the technology.

Then a further report in The Register emphasised still more the UK government’s rejection of the Apple-Google app being used by virtually every other country, which is specifically devised to make impossible centralised storing of information which identifies individuals:

Presumably the goal with this kind of explanation is to comfort the vast majority of UK folk who don’t understand how the entire internet economy works by connecting vast databases together.

So long as you can rely on one piece of per-user data – like a “big random number” – everything else can be connected. And if you also have a postcode, that becomes 100 times easier. Ever heard of Facebook? It’s worth billions solely because it is able to connect the dots between datasets.

Indeed, it may be possible to work out who is associating with whom from the app’s ID numbers. Bear in mind, the Apple-Google decentralized approach produces new ID numbers for each user each day, thwarting identification, especially with the ban on location tracking.

Levy also glossed over the fact that as soon as someone agrees to share their information with UK government – by claiming to feel unwell and hitting a big green button – 28 days of data from the app is given to a central server from where it can never be recovered. That data, featuring all the unique IDs you’ve encountered in that period and when and how far apart you were, becomes the property of NCSC – as its chief exec Matthew Gould was forced to admit to MPs on Monday. Gould also admitted that the data will not be deleted, UK citizens will not have the right to demand it is deleted, and it can or will be used for “research” in future.

Yes, that is Matthew Gould in charge of the whole project. Matthew Gould, who as Private Secretary to first David Miliband and then William Hague, and then as UK Ambassador to Israel, held an extraordinary total of eight secret meetings with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty together.

1) 8 September 2009 as Miliband’s Principal Private Secretary (omitted from O’Donnell report)
2) 16 June 2010 as Hague’s Principal Private Secretary (omitted from O’Donnell report)
3) A “social occasion” in summer 2010 as Ambassador designate to Israel with Gould, Fox and Werritty (omitted from O’Donnell report)
4) 1 September 2010 in London (only one September meeting in O’Donnell report)
5) 27 September 2010 in London (only one September meeting in O’Donnell report)
6) 4-6 February 2011 Herzilya Conference Israel (omitted from O’Donnell report)
7) 6 February 2011 Tel Aviv dinner with Mossad and Israeli military
8) 15 May 2011 “We believe in Israel” conference London (omitted from O’Donnell report)

Funnily enough, I was recalling Matthew Gould last week when the Cabinet Secretary, after his “investigation”, published his report “exonerating” Priti Patel of bullying. It reminded me of when then Gus O’Donnell as Cabinet Secretary published his “investigation” into the Fox-Werritty affair, in which Gus O’Donnell systematically lied and covered up the meetings between Fox, Werritty and Matthew Gould, claiming there had only been two such meetings when in fact there were eight. It is also a good moment perhaps to pay tribute to the redoubtable Paul Flynn MP, recently deceased, who after I briefed him attempted to question Gus O’Donnell on the Public Administration Committee about the meetings he was covering up. With admirable persistence, despite continual efforts to block him, Flynn did manage to get Gus O’Donnell to admit directly that one of the Fox/Werritty/Matthew Gould meetings was with Mossad.

Hansard Public Administration Committee 24/11/2011

Q<369> Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew Gould has been the subject of a very serious complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this case at all—that he was serving the interest of the Israeli Government, and not the interests of two British citizens. This has been the subject of correspondence.

In your report, you suggest that there were two meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in fact, six such meetings took place. There are a number of issues around this. I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty is a self-proclaimed—

Robert Halfon: Point of order, Chairman. What is the point of this?

Paul Flynn: Let me get to it. Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran.

Chair: I have to take a point of order.

Robert Halfon: Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.

Paul Flynn: I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made several visits. He has also met senior Israeli officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.

Chair: I am going to rule on a point of order. Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing in these allegations, but it is important to have put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase questions.

Paul Flynn: Indeed. The two worst decisions taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion of Helmand province. We know now that there were things going on in the background while that built up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in the early years, there was another—

Chair: Order. I must ask you to move to a question that is relevant to the inquiry.

Q<370> Paul Flynn: Okay. The question is, are you satisfied that you missed out on the extra four meetings that took place, and does this not mean that those meetings should have been investigated because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?

Sir Gus O’Donnell: I think if you look at some of those meetings, some people are referring to meetings that took place before the election.

Q<371> Paul Flynn: Indeed, which is even more worrying.

Sir Gus O’Donnell: I am afraid they were not the subject—what members of the Opposition do is not something that the Cabinet Secretary should look into. It is not relevant.

But these meetings were held—
Chair: Mr Flynn, would you let him answer please?

Sir Gus O’Donnell: I really do not think that was within my context, because they were not Ministers of the Government and what they were up to was not something I should get into at all.

Chair: Final question, Mr Flynn.

Q<372> Paul Flynn: No, it is not a final question. I am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have important things to raise. I have stayed silent throughout this meeting so far.

You state in the report—on the meeting held between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present…

Sir Gus O’Donnell: The important point here was that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting, he had an official with him—namely, in this case, the ambassador. That is very important, and I should stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think that you should infer anything from that about the individual’s biases.

When I put in Freedom of Information requests for the minutes of the eight meetings involving all of Liam Fox, Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould, they came back as blank sheets of paper, with literally everything removed but the date, in the interests of “national security”. When I put in a Freedom of Information request for all correspondence between Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould, I received a refusal on the grounds it would be too expensive to collect it.

I should make my position perfectly plain. I think a coronavirus tracing app is an important tool in containing the virus. I would happily use the safeguarded one being developed by Google/Apple with decentralised data and daily changing identifiers, not linked to postcodes, being adopted by major European governments.

But I think serious questions have to be asked about why the UK government has developed its own unique app, universally criticised for its permanent central data collection and ability to identify individuals from their unique codes. That this is overseen not by a scientist or health professional, but by the man who held all those secret meetings with Fox and Werritty, including with Mossad as admitted to Parliament by the then Cabinet Secretary, frankly stinks.

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.

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Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

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The Incredible Disappearance of Shai Masot 345

A Google news search reveals that not one single mainstream media outlet has mentioned Shai Masot in 2019. Not even once.

Yet the main political news story the last two days has been the suspension of Labour’s Peter Willsman for “anti-semitism” for making the suggestion that the “anti-semitism” witch-hunt is promoted by the Israeli-Embassy. This has been demonstrably a massive story:

The overwhelming majority of the tens of thousands who will read this article know who Shai Masot is and know why his activities are absolutely central to the Willsman story.

And here is the truly terrifying thing.

The overwhelming majority of the mainstream media “journalists” who produced those scores of stories about Willsman also know exactly who Shai Masot is and why his activities are central to the Willsman narrative. And every single one of those journalists chose to self-censor the crucial information that casts a shade over the “Willsman is an anti-semite” line. Every single one. Their self-censorship is not necessarily a conscious and singular act, though in many cases it will be. They are simply imbued with the line they are supposed to adopt, the facts they are supposed to ignore, to forward their career and remain accepted in their social group.

Because the plain truth is that the Al Jazeera documentary The Lobby (part 1 below) showed to the entire political world that Mr Willsman’s thesis about the involvement of the Israeli Embassy in British politics and its objectives is broadly true. It says something about the current dystopia that is the UK, that this truly shocking documentary did not result in any official action against Joan Ryan (who has thankfully since hurtled herself into the political abyss), but that pointing out the undeniable truth about Israeli Embassy interference in British politics is an expulsion offence.

I should be very happy to go on the BBC and say this and so would many other people. Yet the mainstream media have been unable to quote this point of view from a single person. Yesterday’s 12 noon news on the BBC had Willsman as the top story with interviews with first Charlie Falconer, calling for Mr Willsman’s expulsion, then a six minute live rant from extreme zionist John Mann, calling for Mr Willsman’s expulsion. There was no attempt to balance this at all with a remotely sane guest. To be fair, the presenter did baulk at some of Mr Mann’s more frothy mouthed utterances, but the BBC knew precisely what they would get when they invited him, and the decision to have a major news item with only two intervewees, both from the same side of the argument, was a quite deliberate one.

This was a much worse example of lack of balance than those for which Russia Today is routinely censured by Ofcom and threatened with closure. But doubtless as it was a pro-Israel and anti-Corbyn lack of balance (Corbyn was condemned by both interviewees) Ofcom will take no action whatsoever. I am however putting in a complaint to Ofcom about this specific news item and I urge you to do the same.

Al Jazeera’s exposure of Shai Masot led to his quietly being removed from the UK, however he was but the tip of the iceberg. With my FCO inside knowledge I could show that the Israeli Embassy has an extraordinary and disproportionate number of “technical and administrative staff” like Masot, and that there was a mystery over what kind of visa he had to live in the UK. The FCO refused to answer my questions and no mainstream media “journalist” was willing to pursue the case.

The readership of this blog has grown fast over the last two years. I therefore do recommend that you read this blog post which ties in Masot’s activities to the Mossad collaboration of Liam Fox and Adam Werritty – which was the real story behind the Werritty scandal, again completely hidden by the mainstream media. I should mark my debt to the late Paul Flynn MP in helping me prove that fact beyond dispute, as you will see if you read the article. Not one of the media and political hypocrites who so recently eulogised Paul was willing to support him in this or even mention the facts that he had winkled out. Jeremy Corbyn also helped me expose the Werritty/Israel links in his pre-leadership days by asking parliamentary questions.

I do blame Jeremy for not taking a more robust line. Genuine anti-semitism should always be called out and condemned, and it plainly exists, even in the Labour Party. But the open attempt to stifle all criticism of Israel, and in effect to make adherence to zionism a pre-condition for membership of the Labour Party – or indeed acceptance in wider society – is a vicious form of authoritarianism that should have been repudiated robustly from day one.

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Unlike our adversaries including the Integrity Initiative, the 77th Brigade, Bellingcat, the Atlantic Council and hundreds of other warmongering propaganda operations, this blog has no source of state, corporate or institutional finance whatsoever. It runs entirely on voluntary subscriptions from its readers – many of whom do not necessarily agree with the every article, but welcome the alternative voice, insider information and debate.

Subscriptions to keep this blog going are gratefully received.

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Jeremy Corbyn and Mhairi Black 211

There are very few people who support Irish re-unification but oppose Scottish Independence. I do not know of any. I have always, from my knowledge of Jeremy Corbyn and his general political philosophy and way of thinking, and that of many of his close associates, believed him to be sympathetic to Scottish Independence.

I do not claim to know Jeremy well. I have shared a Stop the War platform with him a few times and exchanged a few emails. He assisted this blog by asking some parliamentary questions I suggested on Fox/Werritty, and he successfully intervened with then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith at my request to stop the imminent deportation of an Uzbek asylum seeker.

His behaviour in all of those contacts was absolutely admirable. I like and admire Jeremy, something which is not popular with my fellow Scottish nationalists. One thing Jeremy Corbyn could never be described as is a unionist – he comes from a totally different political place. I also sympathise with his extremely difficult position in wrenching the Labour Party away from the Blairites and the fact that he cannot fight every battle simultaneously.

I therefore have no doubt Mhairi Black is telling the truth today, that Corbyn revealed to her that he privately supports Scottish Independence. I am sure that, like me, Corbyn sees it as part of the decolonisation process of burying the British Empire.

I also have enormous admiration for Mhairi, with whom I too have shared a platform several times. Like many, I am impatient for Mhairi’s leadership of the SNP to begin. But I am not quite certain it was wise to reveal Jeremy’s confidential comment. It is unlikely the current state of the Labour Party will leave him able at this moment to take a more forward stance on Scottish Independence.

I do understand and sympathise with Mhairi’s impatience. But as with Independence so with Trident. I have no doubt that Jeremy Corbyn is 100% and fundamentally opposed to nuclear weapons, and is an unilateralist. I also have no doubt that in power he would act on that. But at this stage on his road to power he cannot take that stance in the struggle for control of the Labour Party. I do not regard this as “selling out”, I regard it as realpolitik and I am prepared to withhold judgement for a few more years as his plan is worked through.

There is an important element that should not be missed. The Blairite leadership of Scottish Labour is increasingly unrepresentative of Labour Party grassroots in Scotland. There has not – despite the constant media propaganda – been a great surge in Tory support in Scotland, which has an iron ceiling around 25%.

What has happened is that many Labour Party supporters who switched to the SNP around the 2014 referendum, have gone back to Labour. But they still retain their belief in Independence; opinion polls regularly show that a quarter or more of Scottish Labour Party voters support Independence, and that support is steadily growing.

I know personally several 2015 SNP voters who have reverted to Labour, including members of my own family. In every case the reason is the same. They like Jeremy Corbyn and, while they would prioritise Scottish Independence, the SNP leadership has been downplaying Independence. Sturgeon very openly campaigned at the Westminster election on the basis that she wanted unionists to feel comfortable voting SNP, and that a vote for the SNP was specifically not a vote for Independence. Some people took her at her word and decided they might as well vote Labour, if a vote for the SNP was not a vote for Independence anyway.

The upshot of all this is that I believe we are seeing a historical trend against hardline unionism among Scottish Labour members and voters. I strongly believe Jeremy Corbyn is not an enemy of the Scottish people in the way that the Tories and the Blairites are. It is healthy that Mhairi has provided us with an opportunity to get this discussion a bit more open; breaking down the tribalism of Scottish politics is a long haul.

I should add that my personal view is that we should stick with the SNP. We are stuck in what I would call the Sturgeon Paradox; falling support for the SNP has hit the confidence of the leadership to go for Independence, but the lack of campaigning for Independence leads to falling support for the SNP. My view remains that getting behind the SNP, and strongly urging the MSP’s to call Indyref2, is a much better route to Independence at this moment than working through the Labour Party or through fringe parties.

I was astounded at the size of the march in Glasgow on Saturday – the biggest pro-Independence demonstration I have ever addressed. This horrendous Tory government and its relentless media propaganda has only strengthened the resolve of masses of ordinary Scots. I was also very happy to see SNP MP’s and MSP’s actively participate, something missing from pro-Indy gatherings the last few years. This needs to be the start of a huge summer of full on campaigning.

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The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 125

Only the Tories could produce a sex dossier like this one, in tremendous High Tory prose. They talk of “impregnation” and “fornication”. This provides some backing for its authenticity.

It is difficult to understand the provenance of this “sex list” of Tory MPs. What was the standing of the junior Tory researchers who allegedly compiled it, and at whose behest? Assuming this copy is genuine, we know that at least some of it is accurate because individuals like Mark Garnier have admitted the detail of the allegation. But I publish it as a matter of intense public interest at the moment, and I publish it as evidence that this is what is alleged. This list is already extremely widely available online. I am not in any sense endorsing or promoting as true any of the specific individual allegations, which may be groundless nonsense. I understand that in some cases these allegations are strongly denied.

Except for the Liam Fox and Adam Werritty bit, we all know that is true.

What is genuinely alarming about this list is the clear picture that emerges overall that the pool of MPs’ researchers, who are often young and are in a subservient position in this context, are viewed as fair game for MPs’ sexual predation. The list of 40 Tory MPs (NB Not 36) includes 23 who are accused of inappropriate behaviour towards researchers, secretaries and others in a dependent position. This is disgusting exploitation and may be justly compared to the Weinstein affair.

But some of the other allegations do not strike me as of genuine public interest. Personal sexual preferences between consenting adults are not my business, and I detect a definite whiff of homophobia in some of these details. If somebody likes to be peed on by three men, what has that got to do with his ability or integrity as an MP? Similarly the concern about extra-marital affairs seems to come from a bygone age. If the several citings of Kwesi Kwerteng are true, the man has truly appalling taste. Women appear to be dubiously targeted for mere promiscuity.

Tories are sleazebags. Who knew?

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The EU Sails Serenely Past the Wreck of the United Kingdom 278

The disgraced former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has accused the EU of “blackmail” in the Brexit talks. This puzzles me. The disgraced former Defence Secretary has repeatedly asserted that the EU is desperate for a trade deal with the UK, and that German manufacturers of Mercedes and BMWs will insist that the UK leaving the EU brings no interruption in free trade, with no concomitant requirements for the UK to comply with EU practice.

But if the UK’s hand is so strong, and the EU’s hand is so weak, then the EU surely is in no position to “blackmail” the UK?

The disgraced former Defence Secretary has never struck me as a man of great intellect. It is perhaps unsurprising that it has not occurred to him, that to accuse your negotiating partner, in the most public manner possible, of blackmail, is not a tactic designed to inculcate the cooperative spirit necessary in any complex negotiation. Worse than that, “Blackmail” is a cry of “please don’t hurt me, I am weak on this one”. Fox contrives to be both insulting and inept all at the same time. It really is quite astonishing that a man who is both entirely incompetent, and has the corruption and inanity of the Werritty affair permanently inscribed on his record, is in office.

But the most incredible thing of all is that, standing in Japan next to Theresa May, the disgraced former Defence Secretary looks competent and assured by comparison. The collapse of the UK is not a pretty sight.

Meanwhile, Brexit has one positive side – for the EU. Just as national parliaments have done through history, the EU Parliament has been increasing its power incrementally over decades, thus eating away at the EU’s democratic deficit. Officially, on Brexit the Commission negotiates, and the Council (of national governments) decides, while the Parliament is only consulted. But plainly the role played by Guy Verhofstadt, the Parliament’s Brexit rapporteur, is more substantive than that and in the real world the EU Parliament will need to be carried along in agreement. That is a good thing for EU democracy.

Secondly, allow me to crow yet again at the detractors of the Euro. The Euro is arguably the most astonishing economic project in the history of the world, a currency union replacing dozens of existing currencies in the world’s largest and most mature economic bloc. Its success is, on any rational analysis, far more notable than the inevitable teething troubles, pretty well all of which can be ascribed to countries joining at too high a rate allowed to their former currency. I have always advocated that the UK join the Euro and that independent Scotland simply adopts it. Commenters invariably rejoin by echoing the ludicrous prognostications by the Mail and the Express of the Euro’s collapse. I look forward before Easter to the Euro decisively overtaking the pound in value.

The EU will go from strength to strength. An independent Scotland will remain within it. The rump UK will subside with alarming speed, comforting itself with its imperial delusions and xenophobic pride at “controlling its borders” and keeping out those pesky foreigners, who kept blackmailing it.

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May Intends to Appoint Liam Fox as Chancellor 87

A week ago an old Whitehall colleague told me that Treasury mandarins expect to be briefing Liam Fox as the new Chancellor should the Tories be re-elected – and they were not much looking forward to the experience. I did not pay much attention until today’s May/Hammond press conference, where it became evident that Hammond’s coat is on the shoogliest of pegs.

Hammond started the day being ripped to shreds by John Humphreys on the Today programme and getting the cost of HS2 radically wrong. But that hardly matters, as it is only when this happens to opposition figures that the mainstream media highlights and constant replays it.

A much more telling incident happened shortly thereafter when, standing alongside Hammond, May was three times asked directly if Hammond would continue as Chancellor, and she refused to back him, only at the third time of asking giving the most half hearted endorsement. I then realised the information I had been given was good.

Strangely, it is only the right wing media that has noted Fox’s continuing relationship with Adam Werritty. It was the Spectator which published that Werritty joined Fox on the Commons Terrace for a champagne spree to celebrate the disgraced ex-minister’s return to office. I was told by a SNP MP who witnessed it and used the phrase “brass neck”. But only the Spectator reported it, and only the Times has said that the two remain close. They reported last year that Werritty is living in Dolphin Square (I know, let’s not go there).

I have an irresistible image of what life is going to be like inside the Treasury, should Fox and Werritty have the run of it.

Of course Werritty opened a private health company when Fox was Health Secretary and a defence consultancy business when Fox was Minister of Defence. If Fox becomes Chancellor, I presume he gets to open a bank!

But on a more serious note, the prospect of Fox becoming Chancellor is truly alarming. The hard right links he forged through the now defunct Atlantic Bridge to the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Heritage Foundation give him direct access into the heart of the Trump administration, and align him with the nastiest millionaires and hedge fund managers, with the funders of climate change denial and with those who wish to abolish literally all workers’ rights and consumer protections. This article by George Monbiot is rather dense, but it is essential reading. And terrifying.

Fox appears to be confined in a locked cupboard for the duration of the election campaign. Doubtless he is waiting, like a child on Christmas Eve, to come bursting out and claim his prize once it is over.

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Why Has Israeli Spy Shai Masot Not Been Expelled? 193

There is no starker proof of the golden chains in which Israel has entangled the British political class, than the incredible fact that “diplomat” Shai Masot has not been expelled for secretly conspiring to influence British politics by attacking Britain’s Deputy Foreign Minister, suggesting that he might be brought down by “a little scandal”. It is incredible by any normal standards of diplomatic behaviour that immediate action was not taken against Masot for actions which when revealed any professional diplomat would normally expect to result in being “PNG’d” – declared persona non grata.

Obama has just expelled 35 Russian diplomats for precisely the same offence, with the exception that in the Russian case there is absolutely zero hard evidence, whereas in the Masot case there is irrefutable evidence on which to act.

To compare the two cases is telling. Al Jazeera should be congratulated on their investigation, which shames the British corporate and state media who would never have carried out such actual journalism. By contrast, the British media has parroted without the slightest scrutiny the truly pathetic Obama camp claims of Russian interference, evidently without reading them. When I was sent the latest “intelligence report” on Russian hacking a couple of evenings ago, I quite genuinely for several minutes thought it was a spoof by the Daily Mash or similar, parodying the kind of ludicrous claims that kept being advanced with zero evidence. I do implore you to read it, as when you realise it is supposed to be serious it becomes still more hilarious.

The existence of a natural preference in Russia to see a US President who does not want to start World War III is quoted as itself evidence that Russia interfered, just as the fact that I could do with some more money is evidence I robbed a bank. The fact that Russia did not criticise the electoral process after the result is somehow evidence that Putin personally ordered electoral hacking. Oh, and the fact that Russia Today once hosted a programme critical of fracking is evidence of a Russian plot to destroy the US economy. Please do read it, I promise you will be laughing for weeks.

In passing, allow me to destroy quickly the “we have smoking gun evidence but it’s too secret to show you” argument. Given the Snowden revelations and the whistleblowing of the former NSA Technical Director Bill Binney, for the US government to claim to be hiding the fact that it can tack all electronic traffic in the USA is risible. This is like saying we can’t give you the evidence in case the Russians find out the sky is blue. If there were hacks, the NSA could identify the precise hack transmitting the precise information out of Washington. Everybody knows that. There were no hacks so there is no evidence. End of argument. They are internal leaks.

The two stories – Russian interference in US politics, Israeli interference in UK politics – also link because the New York Times claims that it was the British that first suggested to the Obama administration that Russian cyber activity was targeting Clinton. Director of Cyber Security and Information Assurance in the British Cabinet Office is Matthew Gould, the UK’s former openly and strongly pro-Zionist Ambassador to Israel and friend of the current Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. While Private Secretary to David Miliband and William Hague, and then while Ambassador to Israel, Gould held eight secret meetings with Adam Werritty, on at least one occasion with Mossad present and on most occasions also with now minister Liam Fox. My Freedom of Information requests for minutes of these meetings brought the reply that they were not minuted, and my Freedom of Information request for the diary entries for these meetings brought me three pages each containing only the date, with everything else redacted.

I managed to get the information about the Gould/Werritty meetings as a result of relentless questioning, where I was kindly assisted by MPs including Jeremy Corbyn, Caroline Lucas and Paul Flynn. The woman with whom Shai Masot was conniving to undermine Alan Duncan, was Maria Strizzolo, who works for Tory Minister Robert Halfon. It was Halfon who repeatedly tried to obstruct Paul Flynn MP from asking questions of Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell that threatened to get to the heart of the real Adam Werritty scandal.

Both Robert Halfon and Adam Werrity received funding from precisely the same Israeli sources, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz. Halfon also formerly had a full time paid job as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of Israel. Halfon’s assistant is now caught conspiring with the Israeli Embassy to attack another Tory minister.

House of Commons Publc Admininstration Committee 24/11/2011

Q Paul Flynn: Okay. Matthew Gould has been the subject of a very serious complaint from two of my constituents, Pippa Bartolotti and Joyce Giblin. When they were briefly imprisoned in Israel, they met the ambassador, and they strongly believe—it is nothing to do with this case at all—that he was serving the interest of the Israeli Government, and not the interests of two British citizens. This has been the subject of correspondence.

In your report, you suggest that there were two meetings between the ambassador and Werritty and Liam Fox. Questions and letters have proved that, in fact, six such meetings took place. There are a number of issues around this. I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories, but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran, in the service. Werritty is a self-proclaimed—

Robert Halfon: Point of order, Chairman. What is the point of this?

Paul Flynn:> Let me get to it. Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran.

Chair:> I have to take a point of order.

Robert Halfon:> Mr Flynn is implying that the British ambassador to Israel is working for a foreign power, which is out of order.

Paul Flynn:> I quote the Daily Mail: “Mr Werritty is a self-proclaimed expert on Iran and has made several visits. He has also met senior Israeli officials, leading to accusations”—not from me, from the Daily Mail—“that he was close to the country’s secret service, Mossad.” There may be nothing in that, but that appeared in a national newspaper.

Chair:> I am going to rule on a point of order. Mr Flynn has made it clear that there may be nothing in these allegations, but it is important to have put it on the record. Be careful how you phrase questions.

Paul Flynn:> Indeed. The two worst decisions taken by Parliament in my 25 years were the invasion of Iraq—joining Bush’s war in Iraq—and the invasion of Helmand province. We know now that there were things going on in the background while that built up to these mistakes. The charge in this case is that Werritty was the servant of neo-con people in America, who take an aggressive view on Iran. They want to foment a war in Iran in the same way as in the early years, there was another—

Chair:> Order. I must ask you to move to a question that is relevant to the inquiry.

Q Paul Flynn:> Okay. The question is, are you satisfied that you missed out on the extra four meetings that took place, and does this not mean that those meetings should have been investigated because of the nature of Mr Werritty’s interests?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I think if you look at some of those meetings, some people are referring to meetings that took place before the election.

Q Paul Flynn:> Indeed, which is even more worrying.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I am afraid they were not the subject—what members of the Opposition do is not something that the Cabinet Secretary should look into. It is not relevant.

But these meetings were held—

Chair:> Mr Flynn, would you let him answer please?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> I really do not think that was within my context, because they were not Ministers of the Government and what they were up to was not something I should get into at all.

Chair:> Final question, Mr Flynn.

Q Paul Flynn:> No, it is not a final question. I am not going to be silenced by you, Chairman; I have important things to raise. I have stayed silent throughout this meeting so far.

You state in the report—on the meeting held between Gould, Fox and Werritty, on 6 February, in Tel Aviv—that there was a general discussion of international affairs over a private dinner with senior Israelis. The UK ambassador was present. Are you following the line taken by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who says that he can eat with lobbyists or people applying to his Department because, on occasions, he eats privately, and on other occasions he eats ministerially? Are you accepting the idea? It is possibly a source of great national interest—the eating habits of their Secretary of State. It appears that he might well have a number of stomachs, it has been suggested, if he can divide his time this way. It does seem to be a way of getting round the ministerial code, if people can announce that what they are doing is private rather than ministerial.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> The important point here was that, when the Secretary of State had that meeting, he had an official with him—namely, in this case, the ambassador. That is very important, and I should stress that I would expect our ambassador in Israel to have contact with Mossad. That will be part of his job. It is totally natural, and I do not think that you should infer anything from that about the individual’s biases. That is what ambassadors do. Our ambassador in Pakistan will have exactly the same set of wide contacts.

Q Paul Flynn:> I have good reason, as I said, from constituency matters, to be unhappy about the ambassador. Other criticisms have been made about the ambassador; he is unique in some ways in the role he is performing. There have been suggestions that he is too close to a foreign power.

Robert Halfon:> On a point of order, Chair, this is not about the ambassador to Israel. This is supposed to be about the Werritty affair.

Paul Flynn:> It is absolutely crucial to this report. If neo-cons such as yourself, Robert, are plotting a war in Iran, we should know about it.

Chair:> Order. I think the line of questioning is very involved. I have given you quite a lot of time, Mr Flynn. If you have further inquiries to make of this, they could be pursued in correspondence. May I ask you to ask one final question before we move on?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> One thing I would stress: we are talking about the ambassador and I think he has a right of reply. Mr Chairman, I know there is an interesting question of words regarding Head of the Civil Service versus Head of the Home Civil Service, but this is the Diplomatic Service, not the Civil Service.

Q Chair:> So he is not in your jurisdiction at all.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> No.

Q Paul Flynn:> But you are happy that your report is final; it does not need to go the manager it would have gone to originally, and that is the end of the affair. Is that your view?

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> As I said, some issues arose where I wanted to be sure that what the Secretary of State was doing had been discussed with the Foreign Secretary. I felt reassured by what the Foreign Secretary told me.

Q Chair:> I think what Mr Flynn is asking is that your report and the affair raise other issues, but you are saying that that does not fall within the remit of your report and that, indeed, the conduct of an ambassador does not fall within your remit at all.

Sir Gus O’Donnell:> That is absolutely correct.

Paul Flynn:> The charge laid by Lord Turnbull in his evidence with regard to Dr Fox and the ministerial code was his failure to observe collective responsibility, in that case about Sri Lanka. Isn’t the same charge there about our policies to Iran and Israel?

Chair:> We have dealt with that, Mr Flynn.

Paul Flynn:> We haven’t dealt with it as far as it applies—

Chair:> Mr Flynn, we are moving on.

Paul Flynn:> You may well move on, but I remain very unhappy about the fact that you will not allow me to finish the questioning I wanted to give on a matter of great importance.

It is shocking but true that Robert Halfon MP, who disrupted Flynn with repeated points of order, receives funding from precisely the same Israeli sources as Werritty, and in particular from Mr Poju Zabludowicz. He also formerly had a full time paid job as Political Director of the Conservative Friends of Israel. It is not surprising that Shai Masot evidently views Halfon as a useful tool for attacking senior pro-Palestinian members of his own party.

But despite the evasiveness of O’Donnell and the obstruction of paid zionist puppet Halfon, O’Donnell confirmed vital parts of my investigation. In particular he agreed that the Fox-Werritty-Gould “private dinner” in Tel Aviv was with Mossad, and that Gould met Werritty many times more than the twice that O’Donnell listed in his “investigation” into the Werritty affair. The truth of the Werritty scandal, hidden comprehensively by the mainstream media, was that Werritty was inside the UK Ministry of Defence working for Israel. That is why it was so serious that Defence Minister Liam Fox had to resign

Of the eight meetings of Fox-Gould-Werritty together which I discovered, seven were while Fox was Secretary of State for Defence. Only one was while Fox was in opposition. But O’Donnell let the cat much further out of the bag, with the astonishing admission to Paul Flynn’s above questioning that Gould, Fox and Werritty held “meetings that took place before the election.” He also referred to “some of those meetings” as being before the election. Both are plainly in the plural.

It is evident from the information gained by Paul Flynn that not only did Fox, Gould and Werritty have at least seven meetings while Fox was in power – with no minutes and never another British official present – they had several meetings while Fox was shadow Foreign Secretary. O’Donnell was right that what Fox and Werritty were up to in opposition was not his concern. But what Gould was doing with them – a senior official – most definitely was his concern. A senior British diplomat cannot just hold a series of meetings with the opposition shadow Defence Secretary and a paid Israeli lobbyist.

All of this underlined the pernicious influence that Israel has in the political class, which is founded on the Israeli lobby’s shameless use of cash for influence – as witnessed in the discussion between Shai Masot and Labour Firends of Israel and his flaunting of a million. Attitudes towards the plight of the Palestinians are an extreme example of the disconnect between public opinion and the views of the political class, and Al Jazeera should be congratulated heartily on giving us a peek into that.

No further evidence is required. There could be no more conclusive evidence of Israel’s undue and pernicious influence than the astonishing fact that Shai Masot has not yet been expelled.

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2016: The Year the Media Broke 223

Rupert Murdoch’s bid for a full takeover of Sky TV demonstrates graphically that the extreme concentration of media ownership has not yet run its course. It also yet again underlines the extent to which the Leveson Inquiry was barking entirely up the wrong tree. There is no question to which the correct answer is increased government control over free speech. Any inquiry into the media should look first and foremost at its highly concentrated ownership and how to instil more pluralism. It is probably now too late to expect that a vibrant, diverse traditional media is achievable. We can however be cheered by the continuing decline of the political influence of the mainstream media, as illustrated by its “Fake News” panic.

Even five years ago, if the mainstream media carried a meme that was fundamentally untrue, the chances of persuading public opinion of its untruth were almost minimal. Similarly if they wished to ignore an inconvenient truth, it would be very hard indeed to get it out to a significant number.

Four years ago, when the official version of the Adam Werritty affair was front page news for days, causing the resignation of the Defence Secretary, I discovered that in fact the real scandal ran much deeper. Werritty – who had an official pass but no official position – had held at least eight meetings with Matthew Gould, now Cabinet Office anti-WikiLeaks supremo. Gould had at the time of some of the meetings been ambassador to Israel, at the time of others Private Secretary to two different Foreign Secretaries, David Miliband and William Hague. On at least one occasion it was acknowledged by the FCO that Mossad were also present. For the three meetings which occurred while Gould was Private Secretary, I requested the diary entries under the Freedom of Information Act. The meetings were held on 8 Sept 2009, 27 Sept 2010 and 6 Feb 2011. The FCO sent me, in reply to my Freedom of Information request, the diary entries for those three days with only the dates – the rest was 100% redacted, in the interests of national security.

The Cabinet Secretary, Gus O’Donnell, in presenting his report to parliament into Werritty’s activities, blatantly lied and listed only three of Werritty’s eight meetings with Gould. Yet, even though the Werritty scandal was a front page story, I could not interest the mainstream media in publishing the truth. I believe that was because it touched on security links with Israel. To be plain, I was offering officially verified information at no charge to all the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters, and the only outlet which would touch it was the Independent. Tellingly, this paper, not controlled by the big news corporations, has since gone bust.

The reason I revisit this all now is to point out that when I published the true facts about Werritty on this blog, it was read here by tens of thousands. But four years later, when similarly I wrote about the story behind the mainstream media version of the Panama Papers, it was read by hundreds of thousands on this site alone. I had simply pointed out that the leaker had erred in giving the Panama Papers to the mainstream media and not to WikiLeaks, and therefore we were not getting the full picture. Media attention was focused on extremely tenuous links to Russia (ring any bells lately?), and remarkably no major British or American corporations or prominent individuals were named. In the event the full papers never were published by their mainstream media guardians, only a redacted “database”. No major British or US corporations ever were named. Unlike on Fox/Werritty, I was able to reach many millions of people with my writings on the Panama papers through the increasing power of social media.

These are homely examples from my own blog. But the real effect was seen in the WikiLeaks releases of the Podesta and DNC emails. The mainstream media contrived to ignore the damning content of those emails almost completely, but they were shared by many, many millions through social media. We now have the hilarious situation where the mainstream media is still hiding the content and denying the influence, while at the same time promoting a meme that the leaks were crucial and all the fault of Putin. What the mainstream media cannot squarely face is that 2016 became the tipping point, the year when they no longer control the narrative, the year the traditional means of population control by the 1% stopped working properly.

2017 will see the Establishment reaction to this. Control of “Fake” news by social media, and “ghost banning” are two of the weapons which will be used. The obvious weakness of the people’s social media revolution is its heavy reliance on the corporations Twitter and Facebook. There is every evidence that their fellow billionaires are working hard and with success to ensure that the new billionaire controllers of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Wikipedia become properly committed to the corporate news management agenda. We have already seen governments move across the Western world to increase powers of internet censorship “to counter radicalisation”, and expect these to be both strengthened and deployed against non-official news.

The 1% have all the money and we don’t because they are powerful, unscrupulous, sociopathic and very resilient. 2017 I suspect will be the year it becomes plain that new social networking media beyond corporate control are required, but I am confident the internet will work that one out by its collective genius. 2016 will be seen as a turning point. But there are still a great many hard battles ahead.

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The Disgraceful Far Right “Journalist” Stephen Daisley 132

I shall blog about last night’s Panorama shortly. But first I should like to draw attention to STV’s disgraceful Stephen Daisley, who I last mentioned joining in a mainstream media Twitter hatefest against me for revealing that MI5 were targeted on the SNP.

Well Daisley has been at it again, this time with a seriously nasty tweet about the mysterious murder of Hilda Murrell. It was sent to Murdoch shill David Aaronovitch, to whom Daisley tweeted

Yep. “Hilda Murrell. How the State silences dissent one elderly rose grower at a time.”

Whatever you believe about the Murrell murder, it is not something Daisley – a broadcast journalist – should be making jokes about. It is also fascinating that both Daisley’s tweet about me and his tweet about Hilda Murrell were both in defence of the security services and both sent to David Aaronovitch.

Aaronovitch found the Murrell joke so hilarious that he retweeted it at 3am on 25 September. Which is a pity for Daisley, as he apparently woke up, remembered he was a broadcast journalist, and deleted it. At any rate the retweet is on Aaronovitch’s twitter stream but the original not on Daisley’s.

It is however instructive to look at Daisley’s twitter stream. It is amazing to me that a supposed “journalist” working for a broadcaster would be so completely open about their anti-SNP, unionist, anti-Corbyn and far right agenda. Daisley is only very small beer, a stinking, sweating foot-soldier of the forces of reaction. But if you can stand it, the way the unionist establishment interacts and thinks is revealed very clearly from a study of his twitter feed. Messages are exchanged with Aaronovitch of Murdoch, Nick Cohen of the Guardian, with John McTernan of the Blairites and with J K Rowling of the 1%, and a great many others. The SNP and Corbyn are smugly derided by all. These well-paid state supporters live in a cosy Panglossian paradise and have contempt for anyone who is not “in”.

The other thing that comes out of the feed is this peculiar obsession with Israel. Of all the media attacks on Jeremy Corbyn’s “anti-Semitic connections”, Daisley’s attack is the most astonishing. STV should be deeply ashamed to carry this; it breaks every rule of good journalism. It is a bizarre hotch-potch of mostly deliberate lies and misrepresentation, and crucially there has not been a single attempt to contact any of the people named to obtain their side of the story.

To tackle just two of about sixty wild inaccuracies. Daisley accused Raed Saleh of a “blood libel” which Saleh has repeatedly denounced and stated that he has never said, and which a British court found there was no evidence that Saleh has ever said. Nonetheless Daisley regurgitates this Israeli propaganda.

Daisley quotes Paul Flynn as questioning the loyalties of Matthew Gould, appointed as British Ambassador to Israel. But this is gross misrepresentation by Daisley. What Flynn queried was Gould’s avowal that he was a “committed Zionist”, not his ethnicity. Would we appoint an Ambassador to Cuba who declared himself an avowed communist?

Daisley also perniciously omits what Flynn had said at the start of his remarks which sets the entire context, which was that Gould had held eight secret meetings with Liam Fox and Adam Werritty, of which the FCO refuses to disclose the subjects discussed and who else was present. Daisley knows that, and his censorship of that context is inexcusable as it completely distorts what Flynn was saying in order to portray Flynn as an anti-Semite.

The last few paragraphs of this attack on Corbyn beggar belief in their lack of balance. There is no nod whatsoever to the plight of the Palestinians, the illegality of the Israeli settlements he names, or the Israeli attacks on Gaza. The Israeli government itself would not dare publish anything so unsubtle and totally one sided. That STV should do this, in the context of an attack on Jeremy Corbyn, is absolutely incredible.

I know Daisley is a very, very insignificant figure. But the humdrum media enforcers of the establishment are vital to their ability to keep the 99% working for the 1%. That such a hate-filled and crazed right-winger as Daisley should be employed by mainstream broadcast media says a huge amount about the society we live in.

UPDATE HOW THE UNIONIST ESTABLISHMENT WORKS

As if to confirm the thesis outlined below, at 10.57am today, Duncan Hothersall, Labour’s New Media Czar in Scotland, retweeted Stephen Daisley’s approving tweet of an extract from Tory Secretary of State David Mundell’s Tory Conference Speech:

Good Stat: More people voted No in Indyref than have ever voted for any party in any election in Scottish history.

The tweet carried the Conservative Party Conference hashtag, so there is no doubt Red Tory Hothersall knew he was spreading Blue Tory Propaganda. The seamless web of Red and Blue Tories and mainstream media functions as usual. It is delightful to be proved so completely right so quickly:

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Jeremy Corbyn 71

I have shared a platform at anti-war and pro-Palestinian events with Jeremy Corbyn on dozens of occasions over ten years. We have also worked together where Jeremy has been extremely helpful asking parliamentary questions on matters including Britain’s stance on Palestine at the UN, and the Liam Fox/Adam Werritty/Matthew Gould relationship. I would not call him exactly a friend because we have never spent purely social time together. But he is certainly someone for whom I have the highest personal regard.

I am delighted that he is going to run for the Labour leadership and give voters a real alternative, compared to the minute differences between the neo-con puppet candidates. I shall be most pleased if this, like Nicola Sturgeon in the general election, gives a chance for anti-Trident and anti-austerity arguments actually to be heard in the corporate media.

But I fear this won’t happen. The BBC have been deluging the airwaves with the right wing identikit candidates, not only in items relating to the Labour leadership election, but inviting them on to any conceivable programme to blether on any topic. I am willing to bet a large sum the same media access is not granted to Jeremy Corbyn. If you don’t say “aspirational”, you don’t get on.

The media dismiss any argument outwith the bounds of their narrow, manufactured corporate consensus as marginal and irrelevant. For example, never mind the fact that a clear majority in the UK has for years supported renationalisation of the railways. The very fact of its popular support makes it imperative to the BBC and other corporate media that it must not be voiced. Jeremy is very likely to voice it. Watch as he is carefully marginalised, patronised and excluded.

The difficulty which the corporate media and political classes have is that we in the SNP have just driven a coach and horses through the argument that the radical case for social justice is marginal and has no popular support. The Labour membership, outside the London millionaires and focus group organisers, can see this too. The problem is that party is riven between Blairites, who only ever joined for personal career and position and don’t believe in anything except a vague attachment to Thatcherism, and actual believers in social progress, who have spent years in pathetic befuddlement wondering what happened to their party.

The idea that Andy Burnham – who privatised the English NHS at a much faster rate than the Tories – is in any sense at all a left wing candidate is utterly risible. It is typical of non-free “democratic” systems that they give electorates a pretend alternative, just as Ed Balls was no different to George Osborne. Sounding marginally more northern does not make you more left wing, and Burnham isn’t. He has just won the prize for the most obsequious arse-licking of Prince Charles, beating even the egregious Tony Blair. Anybody who signs a letter “I remain, Your Royal Highness, Your most humble and obedient servant” should not just be debarred from politics, but should be sniggered at by everybody they encounter for the rest of their life.

I am afraid I expect that enough Labour Party members are Thatcherites anyway, or open to persuasion by the media that Jeremy stands outside “respectable” opinion, that he will not be able to mount a serious challenge. And I am afraid we won’t see much of his views on wasting public money on weapons of mass destruction given air time. But fair play to him for running, and I sincerely hope I am wrong.

My personal political priority remains to achieve Scottish independence as I believe only the break-up of the UK can change its rotten corporate controlled political system. The kaleidoscope needs a kick, not a shake. To achieve that, I am committed to support of the SNP. But the lack of any credible or worthwhile opposition in Scottish politics is deeply worrying. I would welcome the kind of Labour Party that Corbyn would lead as a healthy democratic development. Sadly I don’t expect it.

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Vicious Tories 264

We do not have a parliamentary system which can hold a government with an absolute majority to account, even when that government only gained 37% of the vote. This is a salutary video for all of us, but particularly my fellow SNP members who think that being on House of Commons committees will make a big difference. Watch it from 16.32.30 where Paul Flynn starts to explore the links between Liam Fox, Adam Werritty and Matthew Gould. As he threatens to uncover hidden truths, he is shouted down by Tory MP Robert Halfon and forbidden from speaking by Tory committee chair Bernard Jenkin.

The Tories will be even worse in this parliament.

Halfon has today been promoted to Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party and given a seat in the Cabinet. He is a really nasty piece of work whose political career has been sponsored and financed by a very sinister figure named Poju Zabludowicz, who works closely with Mossad. It is appalling that Zabludowicz should be able to place his puppet into the centre of government, and shows yet again that money can buy power at Westminster, every time.

It is amusing that Cameron has been forced to put David Mundell into the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Scotland. Also interesting that in the present state of opinion Cameron was not able to put in a colonial governor from the Lords or an English constituency. But whatever else may be said in Mundell’s favour, nobody has ever described him as highly intelligent, I suspect not even his mum. So it will be interesting to see how he manages his extraordinarily sensitive brief.

Labour equally had no choice but Ian Murray – which means as a shadow cabinet member he will have to stop pretending he is opposed to Trident. As anti-Trident rhetoric was the thing that saved Murray (plus disgraceful media attacks on his SNP opponent), by forcing him to become pro-Trident Scottish Labour will make a strong bid to have no MPs at all.

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The Coward Rusbridger 45

The actions of the Guardian in complying with the demands of the security services to destroy the computers containing Snowden’s revelations were cowardly in the extreme.  There was a principle at stake here.  The existence of other copies elsewhere is not the point.  That does not make the hard drive destruction better, any more than  Nazi book-burning was made OK by the existence of other copies of the books.

Freedom of the press has only ever been won by extremely brave journalists willing to be beaten, imprisoned or jailed for it.  If editors had always given in to legal threat, there would be no freedom of the press now.  That is why the Guardian’s pathetic excuse that it was legally compelled to destroy the hard drives is of the essence. States always have the sanction of law: standing to advance freedom has always meant not being intimidated by law.

I was threatened with the Official Secrets Act if I insisted on exposing the use of intelligence from torture.  I considered and decided it was worth going to jail for.  I published.  Jack Straw backed down.  The difference between Alan Rusbridger and I is that one of us is not an abject sniveling coward.*

The Guardian not only destroyed the Snowden hard drives, but spent an entire month hiding the fact from the public.  They only came clean and published after the arrest of David Miranda led Glenn Greenwald to refuse to keep it quiet any longer.  Remember this is the same newspaper which sent the  young and extremely brave whistleblower Sarah Tisdall to prison rather than protect their source.

Now Rusbridger p0ses as though smashing the computers was an act of defiance.  I couldn’t resist a comment on this appalling piece of hypocrisy in the Guardian thread below that link.

Then something extraordinary happened.  A reply defending the Guardian was posted to my comment, and this reply extremely quickly gathered 232 recommends.  Now the next highest number of recommends for any comment on that thread is just 57.  That 57 recommend comment is on the main subject of the article – the fall in the UK’s rating for freedom of the press.  My comment is tangential to the article, and the reply to it is somewhat banal.  The vastly disproportionate “recommends”  for that reply are as believable as the 97% vote in the Crimea!

There was a time when the Guardian was something more than just another neo-con mouthpiece.  Now its business model depends entirely on racking up internet clicks in the United States and this influences its content.  It has run, for example, over two dozen extremely one-sided articles in praise of the vicious American murderess Amanda Knox.  It seems increasingly devoted to Israel.  I was at the time genuinely shocked by The Guardian’s refusal to publish the true facts of all the meetings between Liam Fox, Matthew Gould and Adam Werritty.

I understand now that Rusbridger is entirely a neo-con tool, and that their efforts with Assange, Snowden and Greenwald were no more than control and channeling, and broke down when that became obvious.

 

*There are other differences.  I don’t wear a wig, and I was not implicated in promoting and defending Tony Blair.

 

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The Appalling Sir Daniel Bethlehem 101

This is Sir Daniel Bethlehem, a man who is to me an embodiment of the appalling moral vacuum at the heart of the British establishment.

Sir Daniel in a public international lawyer who has specialised in Middle eastern issues, and has always found it to be his genuine and considered legal opinion that the law supports the neo-conservative agenda for the Middle east.

Bethlehem first came to the attention of the general public as the man who advised the Israeli government that it was legal to build their “security” wall slicing through the West Bank and disrupting Palestinian communications and access to fields and water resources. Bethlehem was then the counsel to the Israeli government at the resulting case before the International Court of Justice.

The International Court of Justice – along with the vast majority of reputable international lawyers – disagreed with Daniel Bethlehem, and Bethlehem and the Israeli government lost the case. The Israeli government however disregarded the court’s judgement and continued its illegal activity.

Nowhere can I find evidence that Bethlehem has condemned the Israeli government for flouting the authority of the court before which he appeared. His commitment to the institutions of public international law appears somewhat partial.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a department of Legal Advisers who are closely integrated and involved in virtually everything the FCO does; I must have consulted them at least 60 tims in my own career. They are extremely distinguished individuals and a major source of scholarly articles on all aspects of public international law. They include some of the most respected experts in international law in the world.

The FCO legal advisers – of whom there are approximately 20 – agreed unanimously that the proposed war in Iraq would constitute an illegal war of aggression. As Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw’s response was to push for the removal of the chief Legal Adviser, Sir Michael Wood (the No. 2, Elizabeth Wilmshurst, resigned in disgust). Straw then, against all precedent, recruited a chief Legal Adviser from outside the FCO corps, one of the few public international lawyers in the UK prepared to argue that the Iraq invasion was legal.

Who did Straw choose? The Israeli Government’s trusty adviser, Daniel Bethlehem. Forget that his arguments for the Wall of Terror had been dismissed by the ICJ, the important thing for Straw was that Bethlehem was On the Right Side. He was prepared to argue the Iraq War was legal; that made him better qualified than any internal candidate.

Inside the FCO Bethlehem continued to be On the Right Side. This fascinating document contains the following extract of a minute from Matthew Gould, Private Secretary to Straw and Adam Werritty and Mossad’s point man in the FCO, to Daniel Bethlehem. The intention is to bolster Bethlehem’s attempt to keep from the UK courts the details of the torture by the CIA of Binyam Mohammed, and British complicity therewith.

Discussions of 12 May 2009
[Email note of meeting by Matthew Gould, Principal Private Secretary to the Foreign
Secretary, addressed to Daniel Bethlehem dated 13 and 14 May 2009. The note of 14 May
responded to a request for clarification.]
Note of 13 May 2009
“1. On 12 May the Foreign Secretary raised the Binyam Mohamed legal case with Hillary
Clinton. Clinton was accompanied by Dan Fried (Assistant Secretary, State Department)
and Tobin Bradley (NSC); the Foreign Secretary by Nigel Sheinwald, Ian Bond and me.
2. The Foreign Secretary said that the Court had questioned the continuing non-release of
the US documents in the case given (1) the arrival of the Obama Administration, and (2) the
release of the 4 DoJ memos. The Court had said it could not see how, in the light of the
publication of these memos, anything in the US papers could be regarded as sensitive.
3. The Foreign Secretary said that the British Government would continue to make the case
that it continued to be an inviolable principle of intelligence co-operation that we did not give
away other peoples secrets, and that doing so would cause serious harm to the UK/US
intelligence relationship.
4. Clinton (who was clearly well aware of the case and the associated issues) said that the
US position had not changed, and that the protection of intelligence went beyond party or
politics. The US remained opposed to the UK releasing these papers. If it did so it would
– 4 –
affect intelligence sharing. This would cause damage to the national security of both the US
and UK.
5. Bradley said that this was also the position of the White House. They appreciated that this
left the British Government in a difficult position…

It is worth noting that yet again Bethlehem advised that the law supported the perpetrators of the most vile abuses of human rights, and yet again the most senior courts were to disagree with him.

It comes therefore as no great surprise that, having now left the FCO, Bethlehem is currently Legal Adviser to the vicious despotism of Bahrain. Sir Daniel Bethlehem – pillar of the British Establishment and a serial servant of evil. Sir Daniel Bethlehem advises that the invasion of Iraq was legal, the cover-up of complicity in the torture of Binyam Mohammed was legal, the Israeli Wall was legal, and the repression in Bahrain is legal.

Young lawyers take note; if you want to have a sword rested on your shoulder by an odd horsey woman, make sure your view of legal right never supports the oppressed, never defends the victim. There is a fat living in evil.

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Israel’s Best Puppet Shamed 89

The most reliable Israeli mouthpiece in the House of Commons, Dennis MacShane, has today resigned as an MP after stealing £20,000 in expenses. This was not a case of a doubtful claim – MacShane actually created, himself, 19 false invoices.

Why he has not been prosecuted and jailed is a question well worth discussion.

At the time that he stole that money, his long term partner was the journalist Joan Smith, who presumably also benefited from it. She wrote this astonishing article in the Guardian:

” I am sick of my country and this hysteria over MPs. People have been led to believe that we are governed by a corrupt political class. This is sanctimonious nonsense.”

Smith is of course a great expert in sanctimonious nonsense, and a leader of the New Labour war criminal movement in their attacks on Julian assange:

It was BICOM mouthpiece Denis MacShane who attacked Paul Flynn as “antisemitic” for querying the purpose of the long series of meetings between Matthew Gould, Adam Werritty and Liam Fox, some of which included Mossad. In doing so, MacShane did not mention his own role in setting up the first of those meetings, on 8 September 2009, and that he had been present at the start of that meeting. The FCO tried to hide that fact by deleting the entire diary entry for the meeting – but that very act prompted an old colleague to tell me.

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Establishment Darkness 169

I am a guest speaker tomorrow at the NUJ Conference in Newcastle, on the subject of blogging. Never one to appease an audience, I shall give them it straight on my opinions of the collusion between mainstream media and power, and thus those who work within it. I expect to hear a lot about how bloggers are irresponsible, do not check sources etc.

I shall be drawing on some of the content of this talk:

I post this again because nowadays this website has far more readers than when I first posted it, and because it encapsulates my thoughts rather well.

I shall tell the NUJ that the mainstream media remains very constrained in what they publish. The Jimmy Saville affair broke on the internet in a big way a year ago, and yet the mainstream media is only now catching up – and still not making key links, like to Haut de la Garenne.

I receive, constantly, emails from people wishing me to take up various cases on my blog and furnishing information. 95% of the time I do not publish because I am not able to investigate fully (there is just one of me) and I do not know the source: the exclusives on this blog come mostly from my access to well-placed sources I have known for years through my past diplomatic career, and trust.

A notable proportion of the cases brought to me by those I do not know involve alleged paedophile rings. I was sent information about Haut de la Garenne for years, which named a string of senior people alleged to take advantage of organised paedophilia in the care home. Among the judges, politicians and aristocracy, there was indeed the name of Jimmy Saville. I have to admit it was not just that I could not prove any of it, I was actively sceptical about what seemed a random list of names of the famous. We now know for certain that Saville visited the place several times. The whole Haut De La Garenne investigation always seemed to obscure more than it revealed; I do hope it is mow re-opened, and taken away from the local Jersey police.

Another case which caused me great concern was that of Hollie Greig, where the jailing of Robert Green seemed to me vicious and unjustified. But I had earlier refused a request on behalf of the Greig family to involve myself in the case because the allegations made seemed to me incapable of proof without investigative powers and resources of the kind the police have. That the police do not properly deploy those resources where allegations involve the powerful appears to me too often to be too likely. Where the accusation is that the judicial establishment is involved in a paedophile ring, for the same judicial establishment to start jailing campaigners is extraordinary.

But the Alisher Usmanov and Adam Werritty cases will be the main thrust of my talk to the NUJ. In the first, the mainstream media still to this day persist in covering up the criminal past of the convicted blackmailer and Putin cohort who purchased 10% of Facebook and 35% of Arsenal Football Club.

The Werritty case is much more sinister because it goes to the media collusion in burying evidence of the influence of Israel on British politics. The public were told that Werritty was at a small number of meetings where he should not have been. The mainstream media refused to discuss why he was at those meetings or what his participation was actually about – leaving the public to infer he was merely Fox’s lover or in some way they were making money.

Even when I was able to produce undeniable evidence that Fox and Werritty held eight meetings with Matthew Gould, now and during six of those meetings British Ambassador to Israel (and Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary for the first two meetings) the mainstream media refused point blank to publish it. Mossad were present for at least two of those eight meetings. Gus O’Donnell’s report, whcih led to Fox’s resignation, had revealed only two of these eight meetings. This should have been a massive story. The media buried it (with the sole and belated exception of the Independent on Sunday).

No media were prepared to put any investigative resources into what Gould, Werritty and Mossad were doing. I had an impeccable senior source who told me that they were discussing preparing the political ground for an attack on Iran. You would think that, given the Werritty affair caused Fox to resign, that was worth investigating. The media completely blanked it. To this day the fact that Werritty and Fox met Gould eight times has been reported nowhere but one column in the Independent on Sunday.

I think my encounter with the journalistic profession could be quite fun. I shall also be arguing that bloggers should be allowed to join the NUJ; an internal NUJ debate on this is the background to my invitation to speak.

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A Most Peculiar Triumph 99

According to the ebuzzing (formerly wikio) rankings, this is the third most influential political blog in the UK – and the fifth most influential blog of any kind. It beats, hands down, the heavily funded ConservativeHome and Labourlist propaganda operations.

Of the two political blogs ahead of it, Guido Fawkes has permanent paid staff, whereas Liberal Conspiracy is a collective of 32 high profile ultra politically correct guardianistas; many of whom are paid by mainstream media.

Yet this blog has total funding of precisely nil and is only me, an ageing and disillusioned man sickened by the growing gap between rich and poor, the domination of mainstream political parties by corporate interests, and the continual promotion of aggressive war.

This blog does everything wrong. There are frequent gaps between posts, sometimes of weeks on end, because I get too depressed at instances of the callous disregard of the powerful for ordinary people.

I do not tweet, except that the start of each blog entry automatically gets tweeted, which someone set up for me.

This is an SNP supporting blog based in Ramsgate, Kent, written by a manic depressive sacked diplomat of eclectic views, whose guiding lights are the deeply unfashionable John Stuart Mill and William Hazlitt, whose favourite book was written by Michael Foot, and who is still metaphorically on his knees begging forgiveness for advising people to put Nick Clegg into government.

This blog, like all the other top blogs, could make substantial money from advertising, but is the only one not to carry advertising because it does not desire money.

It is webhosted for free, and kept running by a team of techies and moderators who do it for free also, not because they support a party or policy line or everything I say, but because they like the blog. It has the most free, well nigh anarchic moderation policy of any major blog. You can say what you like, including being very critical of me. Racism is pretty well the only red line. Opposing voices are very welcome.

I don’t do political correctness.

Even more heretically, this blog succeeds despite the fact the ebuzzing rankings show the majority of its posts are about international relations. Not only is it interested in foreigners, it tends to concentrate on Africa, Central Asia and other places the mainstream media scarcely believe exist. This blog succeeds so well because the mainstream media leaves unmet an active desire for information by very large numbers of people who are not as stupid as they think.

I have been lucky to have led a fascinating and varied life and as a result not only have a large number of high level contacts who would be the envy of any journalist, but am prepared to publish facts that mainstream political discourse finds uncomfortable.

To give just a few examples, this blog made public that Adam Werritty and Liam Fox had eight meetings with Matthew Gould, now British Ambassador to Israel, not the two reported in Gus O’Donnell’s whitewash “report”. At least two included Mossad, and the purpose throughout was to coordinate on the ramping up of official support for an attack on Iran.

This blog made public the deal whereby the US obtained Arab League support for the attack on Libya in return for US support for the Saudi invasion of Bahrain.

This blog revealed Lord Taylor of Blackburn’s role as bagman for New Labour, and for Jack Straw personally, in collecting from the defence industries, and BAE in particular.

This blog revealed the dirty deal between the British government and the Karimov regime to resume arms supplies and military training in return for logistic support for Afghanistan.

You would be surprised by how many people actually embedded in the establishment, including Members of Parliament and very senior mainstream media journalists, have told me they regularly read this blog to see what is really happening. it is an antidote to the model of single propaganda narrative that now characterises mainstream media.

The stratospheric rise of this blog up the industry rankings is not actually caused by a sudden increase in popularity. That popularity has been there for years. But at last it is being measured.

The old wikio rankings measured the number of links from other blogs; in the case of political blogs, only from other political blogs. So clusters of New Labour, Tory and Lib Dem blogs, by constantly linking to each other, could collectively drive themselves up the rankings.

But over 70% of incoming links to this blog are from outside the UK; they did not count for anything at all in the rankings. Nor did the frequent links to this blog from the sites of major newspapers and broadcast companies in the UK and around the globe.

Ebuzzing now has abandoned the old wikio algorithm in favour of a much wider measurement, which draws on more reference sources, including twitter and newspaper sites. The result reflects much more the actual readership and influence of a blog than did the old wikio rankings:

More than 2 million sources are catalogued and analysed. The semantic content ranking is performed automatically. Blog and article popularity are calculated using our algorithm, which takes into account content shares and recommendations on Twitter, Facebook and the primary content exchange platforms.

I think it is hilarious that the huge wedges of cash put by Lord Ashcroft or Unite into the Tory and New War Criminal blogging propaganda arms cannot see off this old chap with his ancient laptop.

The internet remains a great leveller, and that remains reason to hope.

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Doune The Rabbit Hole 28

From tomorrow I shall be at Duncarron Fort to help out (mostly behing the bar) at the Doune the Rabbit Hole Festival of which Jamie is Director. I may give a talk at some stage in the Spoken Word programme about Adam Werritty, Anna Ardin and other neo-con agents. Or I may just hang out, serve pints and drink beer.

As you can see, the location is miles from anywhere and has no internet, or mobile phone signals either – what bliss! – so you may not hear from me for a while. Do not worry, I am probably not in a jet in an orange jumpsuit, despite my proximity to Prestwick. I hope to find a way of doing a few posts anyway. If you can come to the festival, do come and say hello.

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Only Sweat the Small Stuff 922

I was called by a journalist yesterday who told me that in Dewsbury six years ago I shared a platform with Baroness Warsi’s now husband at a meeting against the persecution of Muslims. Sadly I couldn’t really help him as at the time I was doing hundreds such events and have only the dimmest of recollections of that one.

It is not merely amusing that Cameron refers Warsi for investigation for allegedly pocketing a couple of thousand quid while protecting Hunt who tried so hard to shepherd the Murdoch BSkyB bid past the winning post, while pretending to referee the event.

Nor is the lesson just that a Muslim woman will always be expendable while a fully paid up member of the ruling class will be less so.

The truth is that to trip up an MP over a little cash does not threaten the system. To tackle the massive institutional corruption by which corporate interests control the British state is a different question altogether.

Hunt is of course not the only case not to be referred. Nor was the Adam Werritty debacle, where rather than the proper investigative procedures Cameron organised a tidy little stitch-up by Gus O’Donnell which omitted almost all the key facts and particularly did not say what the entire scheme was about – the promotion of the interests of Israel. The Murdoch Empite, the Israeli lobby, these are amongst the interests that actually run the exploited citizenry of this poor wracked old country. Every now and then glimpses of truth emerge.

But must not be pursued.

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Beavering Away 233

I am sorry there have been so few posts lately. I am terrifically busy. Yesterday I was up before dawn and back after midnight, having spent the day in Wales. Regular readers will realise that I am working on something I shan’t be able to blog about until it has come to fruition. I was most amused recently by a commenter who called me an “armchair critic.” I shall be in Germany, Brazil, Afghanistan and Ghana in the next two months.

Also I continue to dig into the extraordinary case of Adam Werritty and just why he was holding all those meetings with Matthew Gould, while Gould was Private Secretary to Miliband and then while he was Private Secretary to Hague, and then while he was UK Ambassador to Israel. I have new information, but as I am working on it with someone else quasi-mainstream I shan’t break it before they do. It is a story that really ought to be a television documentary, but given the mainstream media blackout, I was considering whether a podcast format might be a good way to get it further out there. But I need someone who can film it in a reasonably professional way, cutting in pictures, document extracts and interviews in a manner that looks good.

Any ideas or volunteers out there?

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Blogging 105

Pardon a rather navel-gazing morning, but I have been thinking about blogging. I am not sure how the Leverson Inquiry got into discussion of blogging, but apparently the editor of the Daily Mirror has described bloggers as “cowboys”.

If you read this blog you would, even in the last few months find definite and documented evidence that Jack Straw is lying about his complicity in torture, that Gus O’Donnell lied spectacularly about Adam Werritty’s number of meetings with the FCO, that there was a secret diplomatic deal between the US and Saudi Arabia that provided for the NATO attack on Libya and the Saudi invasion of Bahrain. You would not know any of those things from reading the Daily Mirror, or any other mainstream paper, with an honorable partial exception for the Independent.

Yet to my knowledge the only blogger to appear at Leverson has been the ultra right pin-up boy Paul Staines.

I have entered this blog for the Orwell Prize this year. I have never done so before. I had not realised, until I received an email last week, that the Prize accepts entries purely on the basis of self-nomination. That presumably rules out most decent people from the start. But I did have to select eight blog entries from 2011 for the nomination, and I found a dozen or so of which I am quite proud. This gave me impetus to move forward with an idea I have had for some time. I wish to bring out a book of collected writings.

My working title is “Zionism is Bullshit – Craig Murray and the Need for Dissent 2005-2011“. I want to bring together not just the best entries of this blog, but published articles, and transcriptions of speeches and talks, as well as highlights of evidence to parliament etc. I probably won’t be able to incorporate comments from the blog, as copyright and permission issues look a bit nightmarish.

A book called “Zionism is Bullshit” is going to have to be self published and sold via the internet. That worked fairly well for The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. There are now 74 left of the original 1200 hardbacks printed. Please buy a copy or two, using the buttons on the right. My hubris has been punished, and in the two months since I announced I will be donating 10% of my income to Scottish Independence, my income has been nil (except £64 profit on Catholic Orangemen sales). Like “The Catholic Orangemen“, “Zionism is Bullshit” will be available for free download.

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