Sunday, 14 June 2015

Five reasons the MI6 story is a lie, according to Craig Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

There you have five reasons the story is a lie. 

The site is under a strong denial of service attack from a bot trying to crash it by overloading with millions of pings from multiple locations. I presume the objective is to take down the revelation of the fake MI6 Snowden story, which had been read by tens of thousands already and is now really taking off.

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

I don't know how much truth there is to any of this denial of service line, since it strikes me as a lot of effort to go to just to delete a blog post. That said, the MI6 post deserves a wider readership because I reckon that Murray has hit the nail firmly on the head with that one. The Sunday Times story does read like utter bollocks to be honest.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Tories back down on some of Scotland's subsidies

Today was a good news day for Scotland as the partial surrender of the Tory demand that Scotland make cuts of £170 million in its budget has been announced. The Tories have agreed to only £107 million instead, but sources in Tory HQ tell me that much of this will be covered by payments in other areas.

For instance the subsidy which allows the Scottish government to provide the BBC with a backdrop of saltire flags and bagpipe players no matter what the television report is actually about will  be increased and could go towards making up the new shortfall. "The advantage of this is that it will not only please the Scots, but it also means that the BBC stereotype of all things Scottish can be maintained," said my source who only agreed to speak on conditions of anonymity and following a promise that I made to keep quiet about a sex video she made during her days at Oxford thirty years ago.

Some cuts may have to be made in the door to door service that is currently provided to take the unemployed to and from home when they have to sign on, but my source told me that the Tories are hopeful that First Minster Nicola Sturgeon will agree that one car can collect and then take home three claimants at a time.

How will the hard working families in places like Nuneaton take this? My source told me that all is under control: "If they are stupid enough to believe that a vote for Labour last month would lead to a Scottish clan army invading Nuneaton and doing to it what the Soviet army did to Nemmesdorf in 1944, then they will swallow whatever guff we give them," she said. "They will probably think that this report of yours is the truth and that I am not a figment of your over-pornographic mind," she concluded, truthfully.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Charlie Kennedy dies suddenly: Mailoids blame the SNP

The death of Charlie Kennedy at the terribly young age of just 55 has left all of us stunned. As the then leader of the Liberal-Democrats he was the only senior political figure who opposed the war against Iraq in 2003, and he went on to position his party into a serious contender for political power for the first time since the Great War. He felt obliged to resign the leadership owing to too close a relationship with the bottle which I always thought was a pity. When people complained to President Abraham Lincoln that General Grant was a heavy drinker, Abe asked them to let him know what Sam's favourite tipple was so that a crate could be sent to him. The fools who ditched Kennedy and then turned the Lib-Dems into a Tory stooge party before leading it to destruction last month, might have been better advised to follow Lincoln's strategy and stick with Charlie.

Perhaps needless to say, the web's nastier denizens have taken the opportunity to blame the SNP for this tragedy. I am tempted to say that this is what you expect from creatures who really are lower than vermin, but what the hell, let's have the buggers instead.

As you might expect, the Daily Mail's readers are leading the charge, as the screenshots which follow will demonstrate. The interesting thing about these attacks is the way in which other Mailoids jump in to vote up the loathsome comments:

It's also interesting to see how people who object to the nastiness get voted down by the more traditional Mailoids who are clearly in a roll:

If you think that the Mailoids are bad enough, then Wings Over Scotland has proof that Twitter is even worse:

What all these commentators have in common, apart from being scum-sucking Tories, is that they tend to hail from the anally retentive towns of Southern and Midlands England. Chichester, Guildford and Walsall are all nothing more than places on a map to the more civilised members of British society, but they are overrepresented when it comes to the hatred that their inhabitants have for Scotland. The only reason that I can think of to account for that is because they resent that fact that Scotland refused to roll over for another kicking from the Tories or their stooge parties.

They could have done as the rest of us did and voted against the party that makes the rich even richer and reduces the poor to penury, but that would require not just a brain between their ears, but balls that harden in anticipation of the battles to come. Sadly for all of us, the lower middle class really are nothing more than people without the brass to be gaffers or the balls to be workers. It's much easier for these buffoons to blame greedy workers, or immigrants or Scots for their crappy standard of living, rather than fix the blame where it belongs which is with capitalism and the class that moves and shakes it.

As I have said before, the irrational hatred that these comments typify really is a one-way-street. The myth that Scots hate the English is just that, a myth. On the other hand, the sheer nastiness that flows from England into Scotland is real. The root of it, I am convinced, is jealousy. 

Deep down in their souls they know that they have got no fucking balls and they resent anyone who still wishes to take the fight to the Tory enemy.

We should feel pity for them. Pity, mixed with a good dose of contempt.

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Labour starts to purge its Scottish members

Labour appears to have started a purge against those members in Scotland who supported the SNP in the recent general election. Clearly the party has every right to sling out  those members who support other parties, but on so many levels this amounts to bad politics.

First of all, Labour cannot afford to lose any members at all, given that its membership is now less than 10,000 in Scotland. Actually it is probably considerably less than that, but since the party refuses to publicise its official membership figures, the round figure of 10,000 will do for today. 

Secondly, why was this letter sent out by the national party in London, and only copied to the local party in Scotland? If Scottish Labour really is an autonomous entity then surely they should have handled this matter? It looks from this as if London handles everything, even to the extent of slinging out rank and file members. If they do that, how can Scottish Labour even claim to have the remotest degree of autonomy from the central party?

Thirdly, what's with the "Scottish Nationalist Party" bit of the letter. Perish the thought that London Labour wants to get in a final dig at the party that just left them  with their arses hanging out the window on the 7th May 2015, but that's how it looks.

Finally, just how many other members of this fast diminishing party have also received these letters? We know of this one, but the suspicion must be that others were sent out as well, given the level of support that the SNP received from  most of the Scottish left.

All in all this strikes me as nothing more than a desperate attempt to scare what is left of the Labour Party in Scotland back into line. It it unlikely to succeed, as a more plausible outcome would be mass abandonments of the sinking ship, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

The future for Labour looks very bleak indeed

The day after the cataclysm that took place on the 7th May I commented that Labour was "too far right for Scotland and too far left for England." That conclusion is still true as far as it goes, but it was based on a fact that I did not know at the time, which is that the Tories scored highly in the polls with people who voted, whereas Labour scored highest with people who didn't bother to go out and vote. To make matters even worse for Labour, turnout in Scotland was 71% compared to a national figure of just 66%, so it wasn't that the poor didn't vote, it was that the poor in England didn't vote compared to the well off in that country and the poor in Scotland. So let's look at why the Scottish poor turned out to see if any lessons can be learned for Labour from that fact.

It is a truism that when the future battles with the past, the future tends to win. People want a better life and the party that offers that to them will win their support, even if the better life will be at the end of a long road that will take many years to travel. 

The SNP offer that better tomorrow via independence for Scotland. In the meantime, whilst we are all waiting for it to arrive, the party supports the benefit claimants. During last year's referendum campaign an army of young, socialist activists were knocking on doors throughout Scotland, telling people who had not voted for years that tomorrow would be brighter if only the country could throw off the dead weight of Tory England. The slogan "The Tories can have England, but Scotland's ours" resonated with a lot of people who had given up on politics. They registered to vote, cast their ballots last September, and then carried on voting in the recent general election. It was those people who turned out in their thousands to give Labour - or the Red Tory Party as it is now called in Scotland - a good electoral kicking.

Once upon a time Labour was very good at creating such hope, and its failure is in many ways due to its lack of belief in socialism as an ideal to aspire towards. Take the final paragraph of Robert Tressell's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists as a case in point:
But from these ruins was surely growing the glorious fabric of the Co-operative Commonwealth. Mankind, awaking from the long night of bondage and mourning and arising from the dust wherein they had lain prone so long, were at last looking upward to the light that was riving asunder and dissolving the dark clouds which had so long concealed from them the face of heaven. The light that will shine upon the world wide Fatherland and illumine the gilded domes and glittering pinnacles of the beautiful cities of the future, where men shall dwell together in true brotherhood and goodwill and joy. The Golden Light that will be diffused throughout all the happy world from the rays of the risen sun of Socialism.
Could any of today's Labour people create such imagery? If they did, the scrawny titted feminists from the local new university would howl about the male centred wording, before the local homosexual brigade started whining about  their exclusion from the imagery.

More importantly, today's Labour people cannot write as Tressell did because they don't believe in "the risen sun of socialism," even as an aspiration. Their party is now a managerial outfit which accepts the capitalist order and seeks to reward its pushy client base with goodies taken from that order's profits. So the feminists get this and the homosexualists get that, and here's something for the ethnics, and as for the working class, well they can have what's left, if they are lucky.

It is unlikely that Labour can ever change for the simple reason that the young graduates who provide what is laughingly called its intellectual stimulation are not connected in any way to the working class. They are the children of privilege and the working class exist only as a concept to them. In Scotland, the young radicals are likewise the products of the finer universities, but they also tend to be either unemployed or under-employed. Those graduates without a future tend to live in the poorer parts of every city so inhabit public spaces where they interact on a daily basis with the old working class. What you end up with is a bourgeois bubble in England such as Occupy, which has few if any links to the plebeian masses and Radical Independence in Scotland which does.

For Labour to mobilise the non-voters who helped the Tories gain power by their abstentions, it needs to have an army of activists that is comparable to Radical Independence. However, it cannot gain those activists because the ones that it already has tend to be people who have done well out of the changes that have occurred in England since 1979. Their objection is to one aspect of the capitalist order, not capitalism itself. In Scotland, the radical base is different, and is made up of people who are both well educated and are just as adrift economically as any old coal minor or shipyard worker.

Unless Labour can find a way to connect radical activism with the working class under the Labour banner, then the future for the party looks grim indeed.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

SNP MPs in their white roses derail two flagship Tory policies.

I must say that I enjoyed seeing the SNP contingent with their white roses, at yesterday's State Opening of Parliament. It was good to see them make room for Dennis Skinner on the front bench, and they even took pity on Nick Clegg who was invited to take a seat two rows behind Skinner. Magnanimity in victory is a good thing, although Clegg looked like the man who had just been invited to chomp down on a well filled shit sarnie.

The origins of the white rose as an SNP symbol are lost in the mists of the late twentieth century, but the party's elected representatives do wear them for the state openings of Holyrood, so it is nice to see the tradition being brought to Westminster. It had the added bonus of getting the SNP on all the front pages as well, which gave leader Angus Robertson the chance to put on his happy face. He may have been born in London to a German mother, but as you can see from the photo, he has got the art of Scottish amiability down pat.

Photo opportunities and free publicity aside, the SNP has already been instrumental is forcing the Tory regime to kick two of their major polices into the long grass.

The first was the flagship policy of repealing most human rights' legislation, presumably to allow the police to beat confessions out of anyone that fell into their clutches. Many Tories were unhappy with this, but it was the SNP that began to organise cross-party opposition to the ploy, so the credit for the derailment goes to Robertson's crew.

Secondly, the Tory plan for English votes for English laws (EVEL) was knocked back by the SNP all on their own. The Tory wheeze was to change voting in the Commons by altering the standing orders, but Alex Salmond raised this on a point of order and said that such a major constitutional change could not be sneaked through via the back door. The Speaker replied that the matter needed "serious consideration" before he could reply, and since nobody knows how long the consideration will take it looks as if that is another Tory scheme that has been foiled. Just to be on the safe side, a Labour peer put forward the idea of a constitutional convention to discuss the matter fully. That should keep everyone busy until about 2020 I should think...

Looking ahead, of course the Tories will get the bulk of their policies past the Commons, so long as they stay united. However, the SNP has already scored two major hits in the first week of the new parliament and those of us who are still stunned by England's failure to do its bit for civilised government in the general election can just rejoice at that news.

The denizens of Nuneaton are invited to swivel on it all.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Anti-Scottish feeling in England may be based on shame

In a recent posting I pointed out that a lot of people in England seem to be developing an irrational fear of the Scots. As you can see from the above video that irrationality may be hilarious to watch, and it certainly provided John Harris with a chance to throw a sarcastic, contemptuous comment or two at the fuckwits he was interviewing, but this irrationality really is a one-way-street. It travels northwards over the River Tweed, but does not go south.

The vitriol that we see on the web has more to do with the desire of anonymous losers with their multiple identities to cause a stir than it does to anything else. That said, there does seem to be more of it from England directed at Scotland than the other way around. Furthermore, the Scots tend to be attacking the Tories whereas the English trolls are denigrating Scotland as a collective whole. 

At street level you do not get in Scotland the sheer nastiness that is currently being displayed by more than a few English people towards the Scots, as the video shows. To be honest, those of us who live in Scotland are rather bemused by it all, and we cannot figure out quite what we have all done to deserve this hatred.

The election campaign was not fought in Scotland based on hatred of England. In fact, England hardly featured in the debates that took place in Scotland. The fight was between Labour and the SNP over who would be better placed to take on the Tories in Westminster. The SNP won by saying that Labour's record was such that we could not trust the party not to weasel out of campaign promises made unless there was a stronger, more leftist party holding Labour to account.

The notion that the SNP secretly wanted the Tories to win is yet another myth that many in England believe. Nobody wanted that, and the polls showed that both Labour and the Tories were on neck and neck right up until election day itself. So SNP strategy really was based on having a Labour government that was reliant on the SNP to stay in power. Given that both parties are social democratic, it struck most of us as quite rational to choose the sounder party to provide stiffening for the weaker one.

I doubt if many people in Scotland even looked south to England until the day before the election. That was when the Guardian's video reproduced above went live, and when I spoke to people back home who told me about how a fear of Scotland had become an English electoral issue. Until then we just assumed that if we did our anti-Tory bit and people down south did theirs then together we could wave goodbye to Tory rule.

Making sense of this southern irrationality is next to impossible. Britain as a whole was given a serious pounding in the 1980s, but it is as if the Scots have decided, almost one and all, that they are going to have revenge for those years come what may. Conversely, far too many in England seem to take the view that they will smear lube over their own ring-pieces and then bend over for a taste of the super-sized dildo wielded by Toryism.

Could the reason for the vitriol simply be that far too many people in England are ashamed of their own cowardice, and cover it with anti-Scottish bluster?

To be honest, nothing else makes sense.