Missing pieces: the trial of Craig Murray

12 May

Yesterday Craig Murray – whistle blower, Scots nationalist, former rector of Dundee University, former UK Ambassador and much besides – was sentenced to eight months for contempt of court in his blog coverage of the collapsed trial of former SNP leader and First Minister, Alex Salmond. His offence1 was that of refusing to remove from his site ‘identity jigsaw’ pieces: facts about witnesses, for the failed prosecution of Mr Salmond on fourteen counts of sexual abuse, whose anonymity is protected. The court found that by triangulating Craig Murray’s revelations with other information – other pieces in the puzzle – those witnesses could be identified.

Both sentence and conviction are alarming for a number of reasons:

  • This was the first instance in Scottish history of a ‘jigsaw identifier’ being jailed.
  • Craig Murray is no ordinary member of the public. He is known to many as the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan sacked by Tony Blair in 2004, after outing that country’s kleptocratic leader, Islam Karimov, as one who, besides making his family obscenely rich, boiled political opponents alive. This was inconvenient when, Labour’s “ethical foreign policy” in shreds,2 Karimov was aiding the illegal invasion of Iraq by allowing former Soviet airbases in his fiefdom to service Coalition strikes on Baghdad. More recently, Craig did what mainstream media conspicuously failed to do. He provided detailed coverage of the kangaroo hearings at Belmarsh, then the Old Bailey, over the extradition by the USA of Julian Assange for revealing its dark and extremely long list of war crimes. Craig’s blogs from the gallery were reproduced in full on this site.
  • Craig’s prosecution appears selective, as many have noted.3 In a post on a separate matter, disability rights group TNS made this aside:

In Mr Murray’s case, there can be little doubt that the heavy-handed response to an alleged offence also committed by other journalists including the BBC’s Kirsty Wark is due to Mr Murray’s very clear support for Alex Salmond during the trial that almost had an innocent man imprisoned.

Said Gordon Dangerfield, a Solicitor Advocate who does not represent Craig:

The way in which Craig Murray has been singled out … is a national scandal which should concern anyone who cares about the rule of law in Scotland.

Mr Dangerfield’s words are cited in yesterday’s blog post by Rob Brown, former law lecturer – and Independent and Scotland on Sunday editor – who commented:

In her sentencing statement Lady Leeona Dorrian said the former diplomat’s online articles about the Alex Salmond trial had “struck at the heart of the fair administration of justice”. But there are an unprecedented number of people who believe fairness doesn’t exist in the administration of criminal justice in Scotland; that Mr Murray is the victim of selective prosecution; and that what we therefore now have in this country is the very opposite of impartial justice. Why were a number of legacy media hacks not also in the dock for aiding the “jigsaw identification” of some of Mr Salmond’s female accusers?

  • Two key features of the failed trial of Alex Salmond, also conducted by Lady Dorrian, are the acknowledged ineptitude of the current First Minister’s office. That Nicola Sturgeon’s team handed Mr Salmond a cool half million of taxpayer money, in respect of his legal fees, speaks volumes. More contentious, and even more germane to any reading of Craig’s trial, is the allegation that those witnesses allegedly vulnerable to ‘jigsaw identification’ are all close to Nicola Sturgeon. This is dynamite. It opens up the possibility of said witnesses having colluded with one another and with the incumbent First Minister’s office to engineer a politically motivated prosecution. Here’s an extract from a Guardian report on the acquittal in March last year of Alex Salmond:

In pre-trial court hearings, Salmond’s defence lawyer, Gordon Jackson QC, had told Dorrian there were text messages between complainants, Scottish government officials and SNP officials that raised questions about an orchestration of some of the allegations against his client.

Jackson sought to get some of that material admitted into evidence. In January he told Dorrian the defence believed “there was [a] concerted effort made by people in the government to influence this process, to get it as best they could in terms of criminal prosecution”.

He alleged those efforts were motivated by revenge because Salmond had won his judicial review in January 2019, after the Scottish government admitted it had botched an internal inquiry into two sexual harassment complaints against him.

One of those texts included one sent by Leslie Evans, as permanent secretary the Scottish government’s top civil servant, to another official after they lost the judicial review, which read: “We may have lost the battle, but we will win the war.”

Dorrian refused to allow much of that material to be used in court but allowed other messages to be admitted as evidence.

*

Echoing the character assassination of the truly heroic Julian Assange, claims of sexual abuse – dismissed in the Salmond case; risible in law, politically motivated and never getting as far as formal charges in Julian’s – muddied the waters to bleed men of courage and principle of the ‘woke’ support they should have had by right.

Witness the sensationalism, and ignoring of many worrying aspects of the prosecution of Craig, in this piece by Annie Brown in today’s Daily Record. I’ve emphasised a few of the more lurid passages.

So-called Scots activist Craig Murray has left victims of rape living in fear

This week the husband of Alex Salmond accuser Woman F spoke of how her experience had left her a shadow of her former self. He said it felt like watching the woman he loved self harm when she scrolled through Twitter feeds filled with bitter vitriol directed at her and the other complainers.

Imagine, he contemplated, if these strangers had known her name, if even one had taken their grudge to her doorstep. If Salmond fanatics had their way, the women who accused him would be dragged to a public square for a head shaving 

I am not convinced jail is the ­appropriate punishment for Murray, and it will only enhance his new found martyrdom ...

New found? In 2004 Craig forfeited a glittering diplomatic career for speaking truth to power.

But he has been granted three weeks to appeal and is unlikely to serve anywhere near that sentence.

Annie Brown does not elaborate on why this is ‘unlikely’.

Those who are now campaigning to “free” him are middle-aged or elderly men – the type who think that pesky Metoo nonsense “went too far”.

So a tabloid writer has a penchant for the cheap and nasty, in this case ageism thinly coated in self righteousness – what’s new? There are bigger fish to fry here. THIS middle aged or elderly man (sixty-nine come Michaelmas, so six years older than Craig) does not find MeToo ‘pesky’. That’s too small a word. Nor that it ‘went too far’ – a stupidly strawman put-down which paints principled concerns as a quibble over degree. My objection is twofold:

  • MeToo misappropriates a real breakthrough – securing convictions of sex offenders through mountains of testimony, bearing striking commonality of detail, from victims who could not have colluded – for use in ways that should sound alarm bells. Did Mr Salmond’s accusers know one another? This is no trifling detail.
  • MeToo has the effect, through its ‘court of public opinion’ contempt4 for due process, of subverting a cornerstone of jurisprudence: the presumption of innocence. In this it exemplifies a wider phenomenon: ‘woke’ politics serving, with dismaying ease in the case of an intelligentsia supposedly trained in critical thinking, the agendas of power. Those who challenge a criminal world order, at home or abroad, have a way of turning out to be sex offenders (Julian Assange, Scot Ritter), homophobes (Robert Mugabe, Vladimir Putin) or anti-semites (Jeremy Corbyn, Ken Livingstone). How convenient.

Murray’s name is being heralded in the same breath as Julian Assange and while both have been hailed, often rightly as human rights activists, they have little regard for the human rights of women daring to speak their own truth to power.

I beg to differ. Too many of the Western Woke seem blind to the sufferings of an imperialised world. Those most afflicted by the bombs dropped on, and depleted uranium now littering, the middle east are, for reasons easy to fathom, women. As they are of all ‘our’ wars, and sanctions no less femicidal. I am not one of Annie Brown’s regular readers but will hazard that Craig has been a far more vocal opponent of those crimes on millions of women – mothers, sisters, wives and daughters; all born into the wrong place at the wrong time – than she has.

As British ambassador to ­Uzbekistan, Murray exposed ­violations of human rights there by the Karimov administration. Yet his ethics were tossed aside when he abused the legal right to anonymity of the women who accused Salmond

According to [John] Pilger, Murray is “owed our debt of gratitude”.

For what? Standing by a man who was cleared as a criminal but whose behaviour towards women was sleazy, exploitative and morally repugnant.

No, for standing by principles vital to the rule of law. And doing so when the penalty – unlike that for penning hired vitriol for Scotland’s most widely read tabloid – was severe.

There will be no “gratitude” from Salmond’s complainers, whose lives have been torn apart by their experience of the justice system.

“I don’t like the Salmond verdict so I’ll trash the man as though he’d been found guilty.”

There was no principle at stake.

This claim is highly contentious, a fact Ms Brown fails to acknowledge. Far less does she back up so airy a dismissal of any “principle at stake”.

He acted maliciously, to demonise the women and parade them across the internet like treacherous collaborators who should be subjected to the jeers of the twitterati.

So strong yet so unsubstantiated an accusation is a slur, and goes beyond anything the court, for all its deeply troubling aspects, has found.

Only a tiny percentage of rape and sexual assault is reported to the police and conviction rates in Scotland are at their lowest level in a decade.

Agreed.

Victims are terrified of being ­identified and thanks to men like Murray, they have every right to be.

*

To be clear, I do not dismiss Ms Brown’s more general and less sensationalist point.5 Successful prosecutions of sexual offenders are indeed lamentably low, in Scotland and everywhere else on this sorry planet. Measures to rectify or mitigate this, without jeopardising the right to a fair trial, are to be welcomed.

(Such balancing acts are elusive, however – see #MeToo v the presumption of innocence. In this as in other arenas, individual justice, rooted in the Roman Law on which ours is founded, is not always – if ever – reconcilable with social justice. Yes, there are ways we could ‘improve’ conviction rates for rape. Trouble is, many carry a real risk of banging up innocent men.)

I simply highlight that, for reasons already given, the trial, conviction and sentencing of Craig Murray contains too many egregious aspects for any of us to sleep easy over the implications. Annie Brown has given those aspects dangerously short shrift.

Which matters precisely because there is nothing remotely exceptional about her, or her limited views of the world.

* * *

  1. “His offence  …” See Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh’s comment, below this post. The phrase should be “His alleged offence …”
  2. The abandonment early in Blair’s first term of New Labour’s much trumpeted ‘ethical foreign policy’ placed his first Foreign Secretary in an impossible position. Iraq, in the second term, saw him resign. (He was the only front bencher to do so, though Claire Short, International Development Secretary, publicly dithered.) That Foreign Secretary was Robin Cook, like Craig Murray a native Scot.
  3. The selective nature of this prosecution echoes that of one with consequences – this is not to make light of Craig’s very real ordeal – more severe. Julian Assange published nothing that mainstream journalists had not: which is why the Obama Administration backed away from his prosecution, much as it had wished to pursue it.
  4. On MeToo’s “court of public opinion”, that opinion is overwhelmingly manufactured by corporate media whose corruption, intrinsic and systemic, I’ve set out in several posts, most recently this one.
  5. On the narrow question of whether Craig could have made his case without aiding the witnesses’ identification – if indeed he did so aid – I cannot say. I have not followed the trial closely, and invite input from those who have.

22 Replies to “Missing pieces: the trial of Craig Murray

  1. Craig Murray exposed torture by the British state in collusion with the CIA, while Alastair Campbell who sexed-up a ‘dodgy dossier’ that helped lead to 1,000,000 plus deaths in Iraq, gets to present Good Morning Britain?

    • And here’s me, deemed an extremist for saying we’re ruled by the criminally insane. One of the many dissonances the likes of you and me have to live with is squaring the truths we have discovered with the calm, sober and seemingly reasonable tones of those whose task – objectively, and regardless of what many honest journalists think they are doing – is to assure us that mainstream is moderate, black is white and up is down. See my recent post, Britain decides!

  2. Both the #MeToo initiative – see https://www.rt.com/op-ed/523569-tara-reade-scott-stringer/ – along with what has become the “Woke” agendas provide classic examples of the reality that Death and Taxes are not alone as being the only constants in life.

    Any adult, at least any honest adult, with even only a minimal of life experience will recognise and understand that there is not a single aspect of human existence, nor organised grouping of human society in which some section or sub-section of people involved will not take advantage of to the point of kicking the arse out of it to the detriment of everyone else.

    Tara Reade (link above), in the latest article outlining this succinctly pulls apart the way in which the #MeToo movement has been misused via inconsistently and partisanly applying it for political purposes to the point in which those kicking the arse out of it have totally undermined the original purpose and objective.

    Her reference to the Glen Greenwald article regarding the way sexual harassment allegations are weoponised for political purposes is well worth following up.

    Similarly, with the hijacked Woke phenomena and self-ID. Something which is creating a current and longer term political problem as laid out here by Joan Smith:

    https://unherd.com/2021/05/women-dont-feel-safe-with-labour/?fbclid=IwAR2gxqXUFnEfh50-UI9DU43XEHhBSfALmGqHznwAowdyakVO8T6yvQsKHes

    In essence, Smith’s observation of “good luck (on Labour) winning votes” using this approach is not only applicable to those other parties who have embraced this, like the SNP, Lib-Dems, and both the English and Wallbanger (Patrick) Harvie’s Scottish Greens, it is no different to the approach taken by the Labour Party in particular to its traditional voter base over the past four decades.

    An approach which draws two observations:

    1. Despite Mandelson’s continuing insistence that “they have nowhere else to go” attitude the collapse pf the “Red Wall seats” following years of successful incursions in those areas by UKIP and similar Party’s (the seat won by a twenty year old Tory in this Parish was held by a UKIP Councillor who stood on an independent ticket this time) is indicative that former Labour voters have found somewhere else to go.

    They either vote someone else, like UKIP/Brexit and then eventually resort to voting for the real Conservatives rather than the second rate B Team tribute act that the Labour Party has rapidly reverted to or they vote with their feet by not voting.

    As shown on a previous thread the largest block of the electorate grew by 6 million in 2001 – half as much again of the 12 million who did not vote in 1997. Its only roughly halved in that time and only went down to 14 million in 2017 as a result of the Corbyn surge. Given present circumstances and attitudes in which both the right and the self-identity so called “left” lecture everyone who fails to completely agree with the fantasy realities in their own heads that is likely to increase.

    Yet, having been involved in campaigning and the system training it remains a constant source of amazement that no one bothers to harvest this section of the electorate. Running around in circles attempting to maintain your own voter base and hoping to steal enough of the other gang is an exercise of diminishing returns.

    You could not make this shit up.

    2. Recent reports I’ve received suggest that the post mortem in the steel city from last week differs little from that of previous post mortem’s. The same people mouthing the same platitudes. No real listening or fresh ideas. Cue more of the same mistakes

    Between the fat bloke’s club (and their handmaidens) of the extreme centre and the self identity woke (and their handmaidens) “left” (sic) the safest bet in British politics is the growth of the NOTA electorate as those who can’t stomach either the Establishment Tories in whatever guise (Conservative in England, SNP in Scotland*) simply switch off in droves at the total absence of an alternative.

    * On which, very serious, note it gives no pleasure to encourage at least a minutes silence for the fact that the Last Post has today just sounded at Wings Over Scotland.

    Craig Murray, the main subject of this thread, suggested over the last weekend that in terms of the LP two views exist:

    If you believe that the Starmer project was a genuine belief that a right wing agenda would get Labour back into power, then the Starmer Project has totally failed on those terms.

    If you believe that the Starmer project was a scheme to neutralise any threat from Labour to the vast disparity of wealth in the UK and internationally, then it has spectacularly succeeded.

    Firstly, it seems to me that anybody who believes the Starmer project was ever the former is a fool. It was at best an insurance policy, so that in the improbable event of a Labour victory nothing radical would happen to discomfit the rich. The Labour victory was in itself seen by Starmer’s backers as an event to be avoided, and Starmer’s job was to mitigate any Labour victory.

    Which, as an aside, begs a particular question. Because it ain’t just the LP Grandees, the majority of the PLP and the bulk of the SPADS/paid staff who were complicit in deliberately losing in 2017 and 2019 to get rid of any alternative to the Establishment status quo. There are certainly elected representatives as lower levels along with a proportion of volunteer members who fall into one or other of Murray’s two camps, above.

    Question is, who are the sheep around us who have their head in the sand and don’t realise losing is the name of the game and who are the goats who know and understand this and who are willingly going along with it?

    But I digress: Murray’s position is ironic because in that weekend post he actually defended the self-id issue which forms a significant part of the approach on every issue – gender/sex culture war; anti-semitism; #Me Too etc – which has put him where he finds himself.

    The inconsistency of charging Murray whilst Corporate Media hacks – who receive millions of pounds from Sturgeon’s Government – who have done far worse in this regard is an inherent part of the self-ID woke agenda which, on the basis of a hierarchy of oppression, expects everyone to respect them but has not time for their own criteria when applied to anyone else.

    The rallying cry was once ‘ No Pasaran.’ Today it is “No Reciprocation.” Thatcher’s no such thing as society coming home to roost in a cuckoo which pretends to be the “left” and “progressive.”

    As with the anti-semitism issue so called “left” politicians in the LP, from R-LB, through to Dawn Butler, Angela Raynor et al are on public record as having no time for pre-post modern notions of due process; innocent until proven guilty (though in Scotland this has been taken further in the Salmond Case which treats him as guilty even though he’s been found innocent); right to a defence; and objective based evidence.

    Murray has been found guilty and sentenced (pending an appeal which, incidentally, sees him facing jail coincidentally on the day before he is due to give evidence in Spain for Assange – Go figure) using that very same approach.

    It is bizarre that he cannot see this and continues to defend an anti scientific and extreme individualism at variance with social justice norms.

    And ultimately the point is that this is not standing still. On top of a Hate Crime Bill which saw no place for criminalizing misogyny and protecting women and a GRA in Scotland it is now planned that certain criminal charges will have jury trial removed. One of those areas will be allegations of sexual harassment and rape.

    At which point consideration of the analysis in this extract od what is not an historical document:

    https://press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html
    comes into play.

    Mayer’s argument in this piece centers on the way in which incremental step by step changes are introduced and forced through to a point in which consistent failure to challenge each introduced stage and step takes a society beyond a point in which recovery from the end result becomes impossible from internal forces and sources.

    It seems reasonable to argue we are well along the line here and I certainly would not bet against seeing at some point moves to force a retrial, without a jury, of Alex Salmond. At which point its not difficult to envisage life becoming increasingly difficult across these islands, or at least parts of them, for anyone who fails to toe the line and challenges the Establishment orthodoxy.

    We are already seeing people losing their job, cancelled, attacked, vilified and so on, on the basis of allegations predicated not on objective evidence but on subjective feelings and this hierarchy of oppression used inconsistently for political purposes in the way Tara Reade and Glen Greenwald identify.

    At present it is difficult to see any internally based way out of where we are now and where we are increasingly likely to be heading in regard to the issues explicitly and implicitly raised in this thread by the author. Which leaves only some kind of external system shock as the most likely escape route.

    • I got from you today a link to Wings Over Scotland, the blog – to be precise, the final post after almost ten years – of Bath based Scot, the Rev Stuart Campbell.

      While much of it was over my head, I know a good penner of disgust when I see one!

  3. Steel City Scribe wrote:

    His offence was that of refusing to remove from his site ‘identity jigsaw’ pieces: facts about witnesses…whose anonymity is protected.”

    With respect, I believe the above formulation to be inexact. There was no “refusing”. My own recall is that Craig Murray made it clear very early on that he was perfectly willing to edit out any allusions deemed to be compromising, but such remained unspecified for him.

    • Thanks Fearghas. This is precisely the kind of input I had in mind in my footnote 5 call. Rather than tweak the errant phrase, I’ve inserted a reference to your comment – see footnote 1.

      • Thanks. And apologies, I should have been alert enough to acknowledge your footnote 5 proviso.

        I have just now taken a look back through Craig’s blog in pursuit of the article substantiating my earlier comment. However, I quickly realised it may not be online now due to whole post deletions needed to accommodate an intervening court hearing (back in March). Here anyway are related quotes from a couple of Craig Murray posts which pretty much speak for themselves, and reinforce your own very welcome and helpful article —

        TEMPORARY BLOG CLOSURE (March 24, 2021)
        “In view of our understanding that the High Court has found some articles on this blog to be in contempt of court, and in view of the fact that the Crown Office had sought to censor such a large range of articles, this blog has no choice but to go dark from 15.00 today until some time after tomorrow’s court hearing, when it will be specified to us precisely how much of the truth we have to expunge before we can bring the blog back up.”
        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/03/temporary-blog-closure/

        WHAT A WEEK (March 27, 2021)
        “The blog is back but you will find that the historic articles which gave details of Alex Salmond’s defence in his acquittal at the High Court of Edinburgh have all been removed by order of the court, as potentially identifying complainants. This is I believe a great shame. This blog was literally the only source that bothered to publish the defence case, and the third party evidence of eye witnesses which showed that several of the accusers were actively lying. It is my genuine belief that, were if not for my blog, there would be no measurable proportion of the population that knows WHY the jury acquitted Alex Salmond, and the Scottish Government narrative, heavily promoted by the mainstream media, that this was some sort of erroneous jury verdict, would be entirely unchallenged in public consciousness. As it is, I was only able to inform an active but important minority about the evidence of defence witnesses. That evidence is now removed from this site.”
        https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/03/what-a-week/

        • If I might add…

          You (Steel City Scribe) note in a brief comment (8.50 pm) the disconsolate bowing out today of the Wings Over Scotland uber-blogger Stuart Campbell. His door-rattling departure diatribe is here:
          https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-ship-song/

          And, appropriately in the context of this Craig Murray thread, it should not be overlooked that Stuart Campbell himself posted quite a few articles deploring the ongoing mainsteam smearing of Alex Salmond — despite the Scottish Government’s procedures against him having been declared “tainted by bias” in one court, and his having been declared innocent in another. An example article by Campbell is the following in relation to BBC Kirsty Wark’s own “idiosyncratic” take on events – https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-endless-trial/

        • I should have been alert enough to acknowledge your footnote 5 proviso

          You’d have needed paranormal powers, Fearghas. My footnote was written in response to your comment. I’m all for taking responsibility for our errors but, to borrow from Annie Brown, this is taking things a bit Too Far!

          Thanks for the links to the Rev’s outpourings of admirably controlled fury. Just like me to arrive at the pub at closing time!

          • Just realised that my own comment is not only untrue but absurd. Sorry. Think I’ll just STFU ….

            • No problem at all. I didn’t pursue the matter in my head.

              “Words are the fog one has to see through.”
              (Ray Grigg, The Tao of Zen, 1994)

  4. This conviction is a piece of unashamed and blatant government malice and official spite. As you note above, the same offence – if there was one, was also committed by others, but no-one else has been singled out for prosecution. There’s a pretty fishy smell about all this, and as we all know, the rot begins at the head of the fish.

    • A pattern is emerging of an emboldened ruling class, in Britain as elsewhere, playing fast and loose with hard won rights, liberties and principles of jurisprudence. In Britain alone, this case, Julian’s, and the incoming Police Bill are of a piece.

      Coincidence theorists will detect nothing untoward. The well adjustedly fearful will see rule, by and for the few, tooling up for the disturbances ahead. As I said in a recent BTL exchange on this site:

      In the shape of responses perfected over decades, and informed by lessons from the streets of Belfast and Gaza, our rulers are [preparing] for domestic protest as their capacity to bribe and sweet talk their way out of the crises ahead diminishes. It helps that they control not just the narratives but means of mass surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of twentieth century totalitarianisms.

      • “A pattern is emerging of an emboldened ruling class, in Britain as elsewhere, playing fast and loose with hard won rights, liberties and principles of jurisprudence.”

        Given that a substantially large proportion of the heavy lifting on this is being performed under the umbrella of “progressiveness” and self-identified “left” acting as subjective judge, jury and executioner mob promoting and enforcing this post modernist right wing agenda there certainly seems room for some picking apart that dielectic of “ruling class” as it is currently manifesting itself.

        • In an attempt (a few days ago) to verbally distill our alarmingly looming Scottish experience, I posted the following two comments on the blog of Gordon Dangerfield:

          “Thank you Gordon for this bravely assertive and highly relevant blog post. Of course the Gender Recognition Act will be duly enforced by the Hate Crime Act. Thus arises an intriguing ‘binary’ relationship between extreme individualistic subjectivism and extreme state authoritarianism. Assertion of non-negotiable pseudo-sacrosanct narcissistic power is common to both. Objective law as irreducible sphere of reality is subverted by arbitrary personalism. Might determines right. Autocracy of self-ID is mirrored by autocracy on high.”

          And

          “Speaking (sotto voce) of Big Brother, I happened just now on an Orwell ‘Doublethink’ quote (heading up current article by able young Northern Irish historian Fergal McCluskey). The punchline is: ‘If the High, as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently – then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity.’ (George Orwell, 1984)”
          ——————
          GORDON DANGERFIELD site / blog post here –

          https://gordondangerfield.com/2021/05/09/letter-to-a-friend/

          ——————
          FERGAL McCLUSKEY (FEARGHAL MAC BHLOSCAIDH) site / blog post here-

          https://blosc.wordpress.com/2021/05/10/northern-irelands-centenary-a-study-in-neo-conservative-doublethink-1/

          • an intriguing ‘binary’ relationship between extreme individualistic subjectivism and extreme state authoritarianism

            Yes!

            Apposite quote from Orwell too.

            • Indeed. The parallels in approach from both elements of this binary at different levels is often quite stark:

              https://www.rt.com/russia/523713-lavrov-slams-un-rules-based-order/

              This quote from the above article:

              ““Our Western partners seek to resolve issues in a narrow circle and advance decisions that they are comfortable with, which will later be imposed on other members of the international community through the prism of the ‘rules-based world order’,” ”

              sounds a very familiar approach when considered in terms of individualistic subjectivism and how it’s exponents impose their own narrow purity spiral created world view onto anyone and everyone else.

  5. I do realise I am beginning to post too frequently here. However, those following Craig Murray’s case should know that he has now added info on his blog regarding medical conditions which would be difficult to manage if he is imprisoned. He goes on to say —

    “Now I was reluctant to tell you all this, not only because it is private and I have based my life for years around hiding it, but also because we are going to appeal not just my sentence but the whole judgement. Our case is that I did not identify accusers and that the court’s application of jigsaw identification is far too unspecific. Only after that comes the argument that it is a disproportionate sentence; there is a name for the kind of country that jails dissident writers. But to impose a jail sentence on somebody with my medical conditions, who is officially, by the court’s own report, assessed as both vulnerable in prison and no threat to the community, is simply inhumane. That humanitarian concern will weigh heavier with some people than other arguments, and is why I have decided to release this extremely personal information today. The key point is; this is not an oversight, the court knew all this. And specifically claimed to take it into account in the sentence. I need to check what century this is.“

    ‘MY MEDICAL RECORDS’

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/05/my-medical-records/

      • Thanks for both.

        As for commenting too much, forget it. Blogsites like mine get few comments, though I congratulate myself on their quality. The marriage of nastiness with stupidity and ignorance – each component aggravating the other in a multiplier effect – is common below the line of bigger sites but pretty much absent here.

        A friend tells me me I’m hosting an intellectual salon!

  6. Good update and overview on case of Craig Murray, now appealing against 8 months in prison. Interviews with Mohamed Elmaazi, Deepa Driver, and John Shipton (father of Julian Assange).

    Craig tweets: “A wee bit over the top and unfair on a couple of others, but I am very grateful.”

    THE KAFKAESQUE TRIAL OF CRAIG MURRAY
    (Live on the Fly with Randy Credico, 16 May 2021)

    https://youtu.be/MLjRayVD8rY

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