10 things you can do to resist hard Brexit

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0 things you can do to resist hard Brexit

Adam Ramsay 28 March 2017

As Article 50 is triggered, here’s what you can do to stop Britain’s slide to the hard right. Add your own suggestions in the comments.

Whichever way you voted in the referendum, hard Brexit is not about fulfilling a democratic mandate to leave the European Union. It’s about Theresa May’s government using the process of leaving the EU to force through its hard-right Daily Mail agenda – at a high cost to the majority of people living in the United(ish) Kingdom. Here are ten ways you can resist, and we’d love to hear more from you in in the comments below.

1)    Join a migrant solidarity group

Jimmy Mubenga, Wikimedia

What Brexit will mean for those who moved to the UK from other European countries is still up in the air. But let’s remember that there are already huge numbers on the rough end of Britain’s increasingly brutal anti-migrant rhetoric. And as Brexit fails to transform Britain into the Land of Hope and Glory that Boris Johnson and UKIP’s Nigel Farage promised, we can be pretty sure about who will get the brunt of the blame from the prime minister who, as Home Secretary, brought us the infamous racist van.

Long before Brexit, there was the tale of Jimmy Mubenga, a 46 year old father of five, who was suffocated to death by the G4S security guards on his deportation flight. Right now, there’s people like Manchester’s Abbey Kyuyene, who faces being deported to Uganda, where he can expect to be imprisoned for the rest of his life because he’s gay. There’s the child locked up for five months alongside a convicted child abuser simply because he came here from somewhere else. And there’s the hundreds of people we imprison indefinitely just because they want to live here.

There are the families Britain breaks apart because Theresa May believes they aren’t rich enough for love. There’s the horrific conditions we expect many of those seeking asylum in the UK to live in and there’s the people freezing in refugee camps just across the Channel. There are the workers who suffer exploitation rather than risk their paperless status being exposed and there are the families still dying in the Mediterranean as they attempt to make it to European soils.

All of these situations were bad before Brexit. All of them risk becoming worse as the government and its cheerleaders in the press cast around for someone to blame for the fact that Brexit will fail to give people any more sense of control over their lives.

All across the country, there are migrant solidarity groups organising to stop their neighbours being deported, demanding the closure of detention centres and providing a range of kinds of practical solidarity. As hard-right Brexit accelerates, they will need more people, more help and more support. Powerful people like to scapegoat migrants because they believe they can be divided from their communities most easily. Organising those communities to fight back is the best way to scare them off.

There’s Glasgow’s Unity Centre, Liverpool and Manchester migrant solidarity, No Borders, Calais Migrant Solidarity, the campaign to close Yarls’ Wood, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, Stop Funding Hate, Student Action for Refugees, the People & Planet Undoing Borders campaign… and many, many more people organising to support migrants here in the UK. Work out what’s going on near you, ask how you can help, and get involved – whether you speak another language, have research or legal skills, or can phone an airline to help stop a deportation, there are lots of thing we could all be doing to help our neighbours.

2)    Stop the trade deal shock doctrine

Protests against the EU/US trade deal, “TTIP”. Image: stop-ttip.org

One of the most terrifying potential ramifications of Brexit is a Trump-May UK/US Trade deal. And a UK/China trade deal… and… I could go on. While the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy has vast problems, American agribusiness will be very keen to ensure that what replaces it is nothing like the careful environmental protections that eco-Brexiters like Paul Kingsnorth will have been hoping for. With vast corporations desperate to prise open British markets after decades of EU subsidy and protection, one of the most predictable consequences of Brexit is Britain’s countryside becoming the latest item shed in Westminster’s accelerating asset striptease.

One of the most predictable consequences of Brexit is Britain’s countryside becoming the latest item shed in Westminster’s accelerating asset striptease.

And the fire-sale of the English countryside will only be one item in such a negotiation. Expect US health insurance companies, with their famous lobbying heft, to try desperately to bury both mandibles into what’s left of the NHS. Expect all of the worst bits of the EU/US Trade Deal to be regurgitated back onto the table. Expect the return of some version of the ‘Investor State Dispute Mechanism’ corporate courts, which have been used to ban regulations designed to protect us from cancer or workplace accidents because they damage company profits.

And expect people to organise against them. Global Justice Now and War on Want have so far led the fight in the UK, working with partners across the world and winning astounding victories along the way. Of them, the former is probably easier to get involved with, as it has groups across the country. You can join here.

3) Stand with Scotland

Forth Bridge, George Gastin, Wikimedia Commons.

The Conservative party made very clear before the referendum that they expected to keep the UK as a whole in the single market. As such, May doesn’t really have any mandate for her hard Brexit. But the situation north of the Tweed is worse: Scotland voted by 62% to remain in the EU, and yet people here face being dragged out against their will. May hasn’t even been willing to consider any of the potential ‘special deal’ options proposed by the SNP, Labour and Lib Dems in recent months, along lines I once called a ‘Reverse Greenland’. The only democratic way to resolve the constitutional conflict between the result of the 2014 independence vote, the 2016 result, and the situation Theresa May insists on dragging Scotland into is another independence referendum.

Last night, a majority of members of the Scottish parliament voted to hold such a referendum. For Westminster to block it would be a democratic outrage. And yet that is what Theresa May seems to be proposing to do. Pressure from outside Scotland will be key if Scots are to be allowed to vote on their constitutional future once more.

Write to your MP and demand that they allow they people of Scotland to vote on their constitutional future. (But make sure you read the next point first.)

4) …and with Northern Ireland

The Peace Bridge, Derry, Northern Ireland. Discovernorthernireland.com

If Scotland faces a democratic deficit, the North of Ireland faces disaster. Like Scotland, people in Northern Ireland voted to Remain in the EU. Unlike Scotland, there are significant reasons why Brexit will be a particular problem for people there. The imposition of passport and customs controls along the border between the North and the Republic will cause real economic harm. It will provide another opportunity to return to the old days of sectarian discrimination. The chances that border posts will become a target for violence, which could then escalate, are not trivial.

The chances that border posts will become a target for violence, which could then escalate, are not trivial.

And it’s not just the border. The EU and its human rights laws provide the framework for the Good Friday Agreement which has brought two decades of relative peace, and gave a constitutional framework in which people could be either Irish or British in both identity and citizenship, and live side by side without violence.

So far, the British establishment has got away with treating Northern Ireland with disdainful disinterest. In the run up to the European referendum, their unique case was largely ignored by politicians and the media. In the run up to their recent election, no one paid any attention. It’s only with the death of Martin McGuinness and the collapse of negotiations this week that the media has started to take note.

What should happen in Northern Ireland? It’s too easy for those not from there to propose simple solutions: a united Ireland is certainly tempting, and may be the solution, but that’s as contentious a question as ever. Certainly, we need to make sure that the British government realises that there are people outside of Ireland who care about it. And so, again, a simple place to start may be writing to your MP and demanding at the very least that they do all they can to prevent a hard border. You might even want to include points about both Scotland and Northern Ireland together.

5) Take part in a Reclaim the Power action

Leaving the EU means leaving behind inter-state collaboration on one of the defining issues of our time: climate change. And that means grassroots action will be more important than ever. Fortunately, the good folks at Reclaim the Power (whose name long predates the similar sounding Brexit slogan ‘take back control’) are organising a wave of direct action against the fossil fuel industry, and offer you the chance to get your hands dirty in the fight against the fossil fuel industry. They tell you how to get involved here.

6) Confront racism where you see it

Image: http://blacklivesmatteruk.org/

For people of colour, racism is a lived experience and, well, you don’t need some white guy telling you what to do about that. But for those of us who aren’t from racialised groups, we’re going to have to up our game. There has already been a surge in reports of hate speech and worse since Brexit, and we all need to play our part in stopping it. Check out groups like Black Lives Matter UK and see what you can do to help, and stand up to the racism which surrounds us all, whether that’s a quiet conversation with an uncle or confronting fascists in the street.

7) Read up on what the British empire was really like

Caricature of Cecil John Rhodes,Punch Magazine, public domain.

It often feels like a lot of this couldn’t have happened if Britain had ever come to terms with its colonial history. British imperialists really weren’t the cheerful engineers, kindly building railways for people in far off lands that our culture keeps trying to tell us about. It was all a lot more blood and torture-filled than that. And there is a whole lot more that most of us could be doing to learn about what really went on, and how it is Britain really got rich in the first place.

Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, find a few books or articles about what the British empire was really about – ideally written by people from the places we colonised – and begin to sample a flavour of the carnage and plunder that the UK unleashed on the world for centuries. One thing you might want to do is start with one war from the list below, find a book or article on it by someone from the colonised group, and take it from there:

The Opium wars; The Carnatic wars; The Anglo-Cherokee war; Pontiac’s rebellion; The Anglo Mysore wars; The Anglo Maratha wars; The American Revolutionary war; The Irish Rebellion; The Kandyan wars; The Anglo-Turkish war; The Xhosa wars; The Ga-Fante war; The war of 1812; The Anglo-Ashanti wars; The Anglo-Burmese wars; Canada’s Rebellions of 1837; The first, second and third Afghan wars; The Anglo Sikh wars; The Flagstaff war in New Zealand – and in fact the New Zealand wars in general; The Anglo-Persian war; The Black war; The Indian Rebellion; The First Taranaki war; The invasion of Waikato; The Bhutan war; The Klang war; Titokowaru’s War; The 1868 ‘Expedition’ to Abyssinia; The Red River Rebellion; The Anglo-Zulu War; The Sikkim Expedition; The Anglo-Zanzibar War; The Boer Wars; The Anglo-Aro War; The British expedition to Tibet; The Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War; the Irish War of Independence; The 1920 conflict between British forces and the Dervish State; the Great Arab Revolt in Palestine; The British–Zionist conflict; the Korean War; the Mau Mau Uprising; the Cyprus emergency; the Suez Crisis; the Border Campaign against the IRA; the Falklands War. (Just a few, then.)

8) Join a trade union

 

photo: Timm Sonnenschein, TUC.

Brexit is also likely to mean a significant attack on rights at work. But, while the EU certainly helped drag Britain forward, it’s not international treaties which created the real pressure for workers’ rights in the first place: it was workers themselves organising for basic safety standards, weekends, paid holidays, sick pay and decent wages. Without the EU, we’re going to have to get good at that. Check out the TUC website and work out which one is for you. If, like millions of people, you’re already a member but aren’t involved, then get in touch with your union and find out what you could be doing.

9) Start paying for your media

Fewer and fewer people are paying for the news they read, watch and listen to. This means that journalism is more and more dependent on ‘native’ advertising and the patronage of vested interests, blurring the lines between editorial decisions and business or political ones. We can’t fix our politics without mending our media. And that means paying for it. You can set up a regular subscription to openDemocracy here – but whatever media you read and value, support it.

10) Come to the Convention on Brexit

openDemocracy is proud to be a media partner for a major national convention on Brexit, where we will have the conversations that have been largely absent from parliament and the media. It’s happening on 12 and 13 May in central London and will be the first large-scale event to offer organisations and individuals the chance to take part in crucial debates about the United Kingdom’s future, the wider changes that are sweeping western democracies and to debate and strategise together about what to do next.

Be there.

 

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UK facing court battle over right to BDS

UK facing court battle over right to BDS

Foreign minister Boris (The clown) Johnson promoted economic ties in Jerusalem last week. (Israeli Goverment Press Office)

A court challenge against British restrictions on the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is going ahead, according to human rights campaigners.

The British government had undertaken to prevent local councils from using pension policies to protest against the arms trade and repressive regimes, particularly Israel.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign is seeking a judicial review of the British government’s policies. The campaigners have been informed by a judge that the review can proceed “as soon as possible” after 1 April.

The campaigners are seeking to overturn changes to the rules on local authority pension schemes, announced by the British government in October 2015.

The Conservative government also published guidance in February last year that was intended to discourage the use of BDS tactics.

Publicly-funded bodies were told these amounted to a “BDS ban” – although closer reading of the text revealed this not to be the case.

But in June 2016, the first case to cite the “ban” failed in the British high court. The case – led by anti-Palestinian lawyers – targeted decisions by a number of local councils to support the BDS movement.

Attack on protest

The government tried to justify the October 2015 pension measures, claiming they aimed at stopping the “growing spread of militant divestment campaigns against UK defense and Israeli firms.”

But speaking to The Financial Times, one top pension official accused the government of “ridiculous nannying”

He said that “the government should stop sticking its nose in. If a democratically elected council body wishes to pursue an investment strategy with money generated by council taxpayers, they should be able to.”

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign said the judge had agreed the case was of “significant public importance.”

Ben Jamal, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s director, said the guidance on pension schemes “represents a wider attack on people’s rights to protest about Israel’s violations of Palestinian human rights, including via the promotion of the peaceful campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions.”

The legal fight is being supported by War on War and the Campaign Against the Arms Trade.

The UK government’s increasingly open defense of Israel comes in the context of growing Israeli-backed efforts to restrict BDS activities across the world.

In the US, there has been a wave of laws aimed at punishing and silencing activists. But campaigners and human rights lawyers have fought back, often successfully drawing on constitutional protections to free speech.

American interference in the Brexit referendum

Hedge-fund mogul Robert Mercer helped Brexit campaign: Report

Robert Mercer in New York in 2014 (file photo)
Robert Mercer in New York in 2014 (file photo)

An American hedge-fund mogul who contributed to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign played a crucial role in the campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, according to a report.

Billionaire Robert Mercer, an owner of the right-wing Breitbart News Network as well as data-analytics companies, is a close friend of Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader and leading Brexit campaigner.

In the lead-up to the June 23 referendum on the EU membership, Mercer directed his data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, to provide expert advice to Farage associates on how to target undecided voters on Facebook, The Observer has learned.

The services were kept from the electoral commission.

Cambridge Analytica, which has 25 years of experience in military disinformation campaigns, claims to use state-of-the-art technology to build psychometric profiles of voters in an attempt to target their “emotional triggers” in elections.

“They were happy to help. Because Nigel is a good friend of the Mercers. And Mercer introduced them to us,” Andy Wigmore, communications director of Leave.eu, told The Observer.

British politician Nigel Farage speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. (Photo by AFP)

“What they were trying to do in the US and what we were trying to do had massive parallels. We shared a lot of information,” he added.

The Trump campaign also reportedly paid millions of dollars to the company to persuade swing voters to cast their ballot for the real estate tycoon.

The strategy involved harvesting personal data from people’s social media profiles and using the information, combined with artificial intelligence, to decide who to target with individualized ads.

Farage dined with the US president and his advisers in Trump International Hotel in Washington this week, praising them as being part of a “global revolution” that began with Brexit.

British Foreign Policy and the UK Weapons Trade

British Foreign Policy and the UK Weapons Trade

By Matthew JAMISON | Strategic Culture Foundation | 24.02.2017

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By Matthew JAMISON | Strategic Culture Foundation | 24.02.2017

Back in the halcyon days of the election of the first Labour Government in Britain in over 18 years, the New Labour Foreign Secretary Robin Cook expounded a radical shift in British foreign policy making, declaring that the Labour Government of Tony Blair would put human rights at the heart of it’s foreign policy with an «ethical dimension». This was quickly christened by the British media as New Labour’s «ethical foreign policy». Questions were raised at the time how a country with such a large weapons export industry could conduct an ethical foreign policy and that question is as pertinent today as it was back in 1997. In his party conference speech, the first as British Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, paid ritual homage as many British Foreign Secretaries have before him, to his belief in human rights and reflected that: «After a long post-war period in which the world was broadly getting more peaceful the number of deaths in conflict has risen from 49,000 in 2010 to 167,000 last year».

Sadly, Britain has contributed to many of these deaths. According to a study carried out with official UK Government figures by the Independent newspaper, Britain is now the second largest exporter of arms around the world, and according to Freedom House since 2010 has sold weapons to 39 of the 51 countries ranked by Freedom House as «not free». What is even more disturbing is that out of the 30 countries ranked on the British Government’s own human rights watch list, the British Government authorizes the sale of weapons to 22 of those. Indeed, according to statistics from the UK Government’s own Trade and Investment body the UK has sold more weapons on average over the last ten years than Russia, China and France combined. All exports of British manufactured bombs, bullets, weapons and other munitions must be signed off and approved by UK Government Ministers with licenses granted.

Most of these arms are sold to Middle Eastern regimes, which have serious human rights issues, if one were to apply the standards the UK Government sets on human rights. In 2016 alone Britain sold over 3 billion pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia. It is odd how the British Government which constantly lectures other countries on their human rights records can sell weapons of mass destruction to regimes like the Saudis who carry out routine be-headings and lashings of their own citizens as part of their penal code; subject women to severe restrictions such as forbidding them to drive; provide funding to Madrassas that indoctrinate and radicalise young Muslims in the ways of jihad etc. The list of human rights violations could go on. But the British Government, despite wrapping itself in the language of human rights, feels very comfortable within its own «ethical conscience» in allowing shipments of British manufactured BL-755 cluster munitions to be used by the Saudi Government in its war in Yemen. Unexploded remnants of cluster munitions have proved deadly for Yemenis, killing or injuring at least 85 civilians, including children.

Since March 2015, the UK Government has approved £3.3 billion in military sales to Saudi Arabia, yet in November, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office concluded, despite considerable evidence to the contrary, that there was no «clear risk» of serious Saudi breaches of international humanitarian law in Yemen. The British Government has continued to sell arms to Saudi Arabia despite the Saudi Government’s vastly different approach and record regarding human rights which is incompatible with the British Government’s professed commitment to «universal human rights» and the problems that emanate from Saudi Arabia regarding Islamist extremist terrorism and radicalisation such as the fact that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers where from Saudi Arabia and the emerging information that certain sections of the Saudi Government may have been complicit in the funding and training of the 9/11 hijackers. Saudi Arabia is not the only regime that does not conform to the UK’s own professed beliefs and standards in human rights that the British supply dangerous and destructive weapons of death to.

The UK Government sells arms to Bahrain which has used British arms to quell internal dissent; Burundi, which is being investigated by the UN for human rights violations and The Maldives, which in 2015 jailed its former President, Mohamed Nasheed, for 13 years following what critics said was a politically motivated show trial. The UK Government has also authorised the sale of massive amounts of arms to Egypt despite the coup against the democratically elected President Mohammad Morsi and the violent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood that followed. The British Government approved licences for the sale of £7.7bn of arms in 2015 alone. Then there have been weapons scandals in the past involving the British Government and the UK arms industry. There was the shocking Arms-to-Iraq affair of the 1990s when it came to light that the British Government had endorsed and advised on the sale of arms by British companies to Iraq, then under the rule of Saddam Hussein. Ironically, some of these British made and exported weapons to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had been used by the Iraqi regime during the first Gulf War of 1991.

All of this raises serious questions regarding how the British Government can profess to on the one hand be a force for human rights and run a foreign policy based on «universal human values», upholding democracy, human rights and the rule of law and yet on the other hand maintain a massive arms trade of deadly weapons around the world, arming regimes that are the exact opposite of what the British Government professes to believe in and defend when it comes to human rights. At the heart of the British Government’s position on «human rights» is hypocrisy when examined within context of UK arms sales. The British Government maintains a saintly image of itself and believes its own rhetoric that it is a great force for «universal human rights» around the world despite the contradictions in its policies and behaviour and that the British have higher standards and more noble beliefs than other cultures and countries when in reality this is not the truth. What the British Government hates above all else is to have its self-image shattered and exposed for the two-faced hypocrisy that it is. They are unable to effectively answer the inconsistencies and contradictions of their rhetorical image on the one hand and the reality of their behaviour, policies and practices on the other when confronted with reality. It is high time for the British Government, if is serious about its rhetoric on human rights, to scale back its domestic weapons export industry.

Britain’s sickening infatuation with israel continues

Britain’s sickening infatuation with Israel continues

 

Iran still the victim of unshakable Israeli influence over the UK’s political establishment

By Stuart Littlewood

Here in the UK the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has initiated a judicial review in a bid to halt UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia on suspicion that they are being used against civilians in Yemen. The indiscriminate nature of Saudi air-strikes makes it highly likely that British weaponry is being deployed in breach of international humanitarian law.

The slaughter has been going on for nearly two years, leading to a humanitarian crisis of appalling magnitude and great cruelty. Since the Yemen campaign began the British government has granted export licences for more than £3.3 billions worth of war equipment when there was a “clear risk” that some of it would be used in violation of all norms of human conduct.

It is claimed that the government has ignored warnings by senior civil servants and its own arms control experts, and some records of expressed concern have gone missing. This is no great surprise when we discover that export licensing is overseen by none other than the secretary of state for international trade, Liam Fox. For Fox has “form” as a crazed stooge of Israel and a sworn enemy of Iran.

Fox, while secretary of state for defence, was quoted on the Conservative Friends of Israel website as saying:

… We must remember that in the battle for the values that we stand for, for democracy against theocracy, for democratic liberal values against repression – Israel’s enemies are our enemies and this is a battle in which we all stand together or we will all fall divided.

And in June 2015 Fox declared:

It is logical to assume that Iran’s intentions are to develop a nuclear weapons capability and any claims that its intentions are exclusively peaceful should not be regarded as credible… Iran’s nuclear intentions cannot be seen outside the context of its support for terror proxies, arguably the defining feature of its foreign policy. The risks are clear.

Fox was forced to resign as defence secretary in 2011 following scandalous goings-on between him, his “close friend” Adam Werritty, the UK ambassador to Israel and Israeli intelligence figures allegedly involved in plotting sanctions against Iran.

Liam Fox and his friend Adam Werritty

Liam Fox (left) and his friend Adam Werritty

Just lately, Prime Minister Theresa May has accused Iran of working with Hezbollah, interfering in Iraq, sending fighters to Syria to help Assad, and supporting the Houthis in the conflict in Yemen. The British government, of course, can meddle where it pleases and recently concluded another huge arms deal with the Saudis which, says Mrs May, is for the sake of long-term security in the Gulf. She argues that the same extremists who plot terror in the Gulf states are also targeting the streets of Europe: “Gulf security is our security.”

However, public pressure to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia is now so great that the government has adopted a new export licensing scheme that hides the value and scale of weaponry being supplied.

The reason for the British government’s current hostility towards Iran was plain from what David Cameron told the Knesset in 2014:

A nuclear armed Iran is a threat to the whole world not just Israel. And with Israel and all our allies, Britain will ensure that it is never allowed to happen.

That position carries forward into the present day and beyond, and serves as an excuse for the rednecks who rule our political swamp to carry on being unpleasant to the Muslim world.

After sucking up to Trump Britain rolls out red carpet to another of the world’s undesirables

Theresa May lost no time in welcoming the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to London. The two leaders this week agreed to establish a new UK-Israel Trade Working Group to strengthen their existing trade and investment relationship and “to prepare the ground for a post-Brexit trade agreement”. What good that will do in the face of rising popularity among the public of boycotting everything Israeli remains to be seen.

Regional issues, including Syria and Iran, are to be on the agenda for discussion. And regarding Palestine May repeated the mantra that – “We remain committed to a two-state solution as the best way of building stability and peace for the future” – though she doesn’t say what that will look like.

Netanyahu also met Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and they sat alongside the desk on which the Balfour Declaration was composed in 1917. As for the forthcoming Balfour Declaration centenary celebrations, a statement said that May invited Netanyahu to attend events taking place in the UK “as a guest of government” and that Netanyahu “also invited her to visit him in Israel”.

Netanyahu didn’t miss the opportunity to warn that Iran “seeks to annihilate Israel” and called on nations to back renewed sanctions against the Iranian regime.

Israel’s ‘nest of spies’ in London

I looked up one of my old reports about how Craig Murray, a former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, argued five years ago that British policy was being driven in an underhand fashion by the Israel lobby. He linked Matthew Gould, the then British ambassador to Israel, with the Fox-Werritty scandal and raised questions about meetings between Gould, Liam Fox and Fox’s strange friend Adam Werritty. Werritty was referred to as Fox’s adviser but according to reports he was backed financially by Israel lobbyists and had no security clearance and therefore no authorised role.

Matthew Gould

Matthew Gould’s relationship with Liam Fox, his friend Adam Werritty and the Israeli intelligence service Mossad leaves many questions to be answered

Murray, with many useful contacts from his days as an ambassador, claimed to have serious evidence connecting Gould with a secret plan to attack Iran, but the Foreign Office and the Cabinet Secretary blocked questions. (To read Craig Murray’s story, “Matthew Gould and the plot to attack Iran”, click here.)

In it he pointed out that

Matthew Gould does not see his race or religion as irrelevant. He has chosen to give numerous interviews to both British and Israeli media on the subject of being a Jewish ambassador, and has been at pains to be photographed by the Israeli media participating in Jewish religious festivals. Israeli newspaper Haaretz described him as “not just an ambassador who is Jewish, but a Jewish ambassador”. That rather peculiar phrase appears directly to indicate that the potential conflict of interest for a British ambassador in Israel has indeed arisen.

He went on to say that Gould stood suspected of participating with Fox and Werritty “in a scheme to forward war with Iran, in cooperation with Israel”. The stonewalling by the Cabinet Office and Foreign Office led Murray to conclude that “something very important is being hidden right at the heart of government”.

Labour MP Paul Flynn remarked that no previous ambassadors to Israel had been Jewish so that a conflict of interest and accusations of going native would be avoided. He was immediately rebuked. Flynn also asked about meetings between Werritty and Gould, as some reports suggested that Gould, Werritty and Fox discussed a potential military strike on Iran with Mossad. “I do not normally fall for conspiracy theories,” said Flynn, “but the ambassador has proclaimed himself to be a Zionist and he has previously served in Iran.”

Fox had earlier made the idiotic claim: “Israel’s enemies are our enemies”, and the Jewish Chronicle hailed him as “a champion of Israel within the government”. Furthermore, Fox continually rattled the sabre against Iran which, of course, is no threat to Britain but regarded by Israel as a bitter enemy. Iraq too was Israel’s enemy, not ours. Yet Fox, according to the website TheyWorkForYou, voted “very strongly” for the Iraq war. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Afghanistan.

Given that Fox so eagerly waved the flag of a foreign military power and was a man with dangerous beliefs and demonstrably weak judgement, how could those who appointed him not see that he was unfit to serve as a Minister of the British Crown – unless they were similarly tainted?

When the Werritty relationship came to light Fox jumped before being flung from the battlements. But instead of melting into obscurity he has now been rehabilitated into the senior ranks of government and is once again a Minister of the Crown. And after watching the trail blazed by our former Jewish ambassador to the Jewish State, we now gawp with fascination at the inevitably messy conflicts of interest arising from Donald Trump’s pick for US ambassador to Israel – David Friedman, a Jewish lawyer with scant respect for international law or Middle East sensitivities.

Despite the strong whiff of misconduct, David Cameron rewarded Gould by making him head of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA), which includes e-crime, working with private sector partners on exchanging information, and engaging with international partners in improving the security of cyberspace and information security. Did it seem right for such a person to be in charge of crucial security matters at the heart of our government? What was in fellow Zionist David Cameron’s mind when he appointed him?

Could it have had anything to do with the UK-Israel academic collaboration ventures with cyber research funding, which involve partnerships between British and Israeli universities and cover research areas such identity management, regulating cyber security, privacy assurance, mobile and cloud security, human aspects of security, and cryptography?

Both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on digital cooperation in March 2014. And Gould’s new appointment came at a time when the Cameron government was lecturing us on threats to national security and announcing plans to trawl through our personal emails and web browsers in order to “keep us safe”. Question was, who would trawl Gould’s private emails?

The vipers in our bosom

CAAT expects a decision on the judicial review on arms to Saudi Arabia in four to six weeks. In the meantime, an undercover Aljazeera investigation has revealed that a senior political officer at the Israeli embassy in London, Shai Masot, was plotting with stooges among British MPs and other vipers in the political snake-pit to “take down” senior government figures, including Boris Johnson’s deputy at the Foreign Office, Sir Alan Duncan, a noted sympathiser of the Palestinian’s struggle. This should have resulted in the expulsion of the ambassador himself, the Israeli propaganda maestro and Netanyahu’s pet, Mark Regev, who took up the post last year. Regev is the sort of person no sensible government would let into their country. But he was let off the hook and the affair hurriedly smoothed over with an announcement from the Foreign Office that the matter was closed.

Israel's UK embassy spy Shai Masot

Shai Masot plotted with stooges among British MPs and other vipers in the political snake-pit to “take down” senior government figures

Craig Murray, however, has been digging again. The Foreign Office deflected his many questions and dismissed the idea that Masot was anything more than a member of the technical and administrative staff at the embassy. “This is plainly a nonsense,” says Murray. “Masot, as an ex-major in the Israeli navy and senior officer in the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, is plainly senior to many who are on the Diplomatic List.” He concludes that the Foreign Office is complicit in

a large nest of Israeli spies seeking to influence policy and opinion in the UK in a pro-Israeli direction. That is why the government reaction to one of those spies being caught on camera plotting a scandal against an FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] minister, and giving £1 million to anti-Corbyn MPs, was so astonishingly muted.

All this and the recent UN resolution 2334, which condemned Israel’s continuing squats on Palestinian land as illegal and an obstacle to peace, has done nothing to disturb the cosy relationship between Her Majesty’s Government and the obnoxious Israelis.

On the contrary, after May’s meeting with Netanyahu a Downing Street spokesperson said they focused on, yes, cyber security:

In their discussions, the prime ministers committed to working together to build on our longstanding relationship and the strong ties that already exist between our two countries in a wide range of areas, from trade and investment, to innovation and technology, and defence and security. They talked about the important work we do together on intelligence-sharing and cyber security, and committed to talk further about how we can deepen this cooperation, to help keep our people safe.

Sitting comfortably?

Boris Johnson pushed for UK to continue selling weapons to Saudi after funeral bombing

Source

https://www.rt.com/uk/376974-boris-johnson-saudi-weapons/video/

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pushed for continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia in the wake of a deadly airstrike on a funeral in Yemen which killed 140 people, it has been revealed

In a letter to UK secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox, published by the Guardian and dated November 8, Johnson wrote: “I am aware you have deferred a decision on four export licence applications to supply the Royal Saudi Air Force with equipment which could be used in the conflict in Yemen.”

He advised Fox to proceed with the arms sales. “The issue is extremely finely balanced, but I judge at present the Saudis appear committed both to improving processes and to taking action to address failures/individual incidents.”

He went on to say “the clear risk threshold for refusal … has not yet been reached.”

Fox then recommended the licences be approved in light of the assessment provided by Johnson.

In his reply to Johnson, he warned of inherent risks because of the “grave situation” in Yemen and other reasons which were redacted.

“I agree that this is an extremely complex situation and that the issue of clear risk is extremely finely balanced. In the light of your assessment and [REDACTED] recent advice I accept that we should continue, for the present, to assess export licences for Saudi Arabia on a case-by-case basis,” Fox wrote

However, he added that, “In doing so I want to be very clear with you about the risks inherent in making this decision, not just because of the grave situation in Yemen.”

On October 8, the funeral of the father of a prominent Houthi leader was attacked in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, killing 140 people and injuring 534. Witnesses say nothing was left at the site but “a lake of blood.”

Rebel leaders accused the Saudi-led coalition of deliberately targeting the funeral.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition, which has been attacking Houthi rebels since early 2015, initially denied its involvement but later agreed to investigate the attack.

The inquiry team found: “Because of non-compliance with coalition rules of engagement and procedures, and the issuing of incorrect information, a coalition aircraft wrongly targeted the location, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries.”

The letters between Johnson and Fox were among documents disclosed in court proceedings this week, as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) faced the government in a judicial review of the decision to continue licensing arms exports to Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom’s widely criticized offensive in Yemen

In the landmark case at the High Court, CAAT and other campaign groups are arguing British arms exports are not compatible with UK and EU legislation because they have been used to illegally kill Yemeni civilians.

The four-day judicial review ends in the closed court on Friday.

In November, the government rejected calls by two parliamentary committees and human rights groups to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia, arguing that the weapons were not being used in “a serious violation of international humanitarian law.”

Britain has come under frequent criticism for continuing to supply arms to Saudi Arabia in the face of repeated atrocities in Yemen. The UK has made more than £3 billion ($3.6 billion) from arms sales since the military campaign began in March 2015, which has seen 11,000 Yemeni civilians killed.

Britain has supplied fighter jets, bombs and missiles to Saudi Arabia, and provided training to Saudi pilots participating in the war. It has also admitted to exporting 500 cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia in the 1980s.

Does israel call the shots in British politics?

Does Israel call the shots in British politics?

By Linda S. Heard | Intrepid Report | January 27, 2017

Russia’s alleged attempt to sway the results of the US presidential election pales by comparison to Israel’s proven infiltration of Britain’s political sphere. However, whereas the US political establishment is up in arms, threatening a new round of anti-Russian sanctions, the British government has done its utmost to sweep the explosive findings of an Al Jazeera undercover reporter under the rug.

This is, of course, unsurprising. Israel is a special case, uniquely permitted to get away with anything from snubbing international law and UN resolutions to inserting spies and working against unsympathetic politicians in the US Congress and UK Parliament.

Much has been written about the power of the Israeli lobby in the US, and its ability to destroy the careers of out-of-step lawmakers. One of the most controversial exposés was “The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy” by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, that smashed taboos and brought down an avalanche of criticism on the writers’ heads.

However, the extent to which Israel’s emissaries have succeeded in manipulating British Conservative and Labour MPs, as well as student bodies and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, had evaded the spotlight until now; a spotlight that quickly dimmed due to the government’s conciliatory responses.

Indeed, its reaction to hard evidence of a plot—discussed by a senior Israeli political officer based in Israel’s London Embassy, and the Conservative Party’s deputy chairman’s chief of staff—to take down two influential politicians, Sir Alan Duncan and Crispin Blunt, was not only muted but bordering on the apologetic.

The Israeli propagandist conceded that Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was solid on Israel, but referred to him as “an idiot.” If Johnson was offended, he did not show it. An apology from Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev was all it took for him to announce he was closing the book. The offending political officer later resigned, but when the dust settles he will probably resume his duties elsewhere in the world.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May was also keen to put a lid on the matter and screw it down tightly. A spokesman confirmed the UK-Israel relationship remained strong. May’s personal affiliations are no secret. Her rapping of former US Secretary of State John Kerry on the knuckles for his branding of the Israeli government as “the most right-wing in history,” which it certainly is, spoke volumes.

At a Conservative Friends of Israel lunch in December, attended by 200 MPs, she praised Balfour’s historic letter as demonstrating Britain’s vital role in creating a Jewish homeland, and displayed her rose-colored spectacles with the words: “It is only when you walk through Jerusalem or Tel Aviv that you see a country where people of all religions and sexualities are free and equal in the eyes of the law.” In any other forum, that statement would have been met with derision.

May rejected a call by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn—an unabashed pro-Palestinian politician who features large in the lobby’s sights—to open an investigation into Israel’s reach and methods to sway the country’s democratic process.

An unnamed minister in former Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet, who is afraid to reveal his identity for fear of “a relentless barrage of abuse and character assassination,” asserted in the Daily Mail: “British foreign policy is in hock to Israeli influence at the heart of our politics, and those in authority have ignored what is going on.” He condemned successive governments for allowing “Israel influence-peddling to shape policy and even determine the fate of ministers.”

To imagine Israel’s apology was genuine would take a leap of credulity. Mossad’s former motto was “by way of deception thou shall do war,” and that secret war is ongoing. As usual, Israel’s government has gone on the offensive, out to shoot the messenger, in this case Al Jazeera.

Organizations affiliated with Israel have asked the UK’s communications watchdog OFCOM to probe the televised expose for its alleged lack of impartiality and anti-Semitic content.

If the Palestinians are hoping that the US or UK will ever emerge as unbiased intermediaries in their struggle for a state, they should think again. Many years ago, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek column “Does Israel rule the world?” The answer is not yet, but due to indoctrinated, fear-ridden, bribed or religiously/ideologically committed politicians, it is quietly shackling the power centers in Western capitals while conniving to silence the voices of the brave.

Linda S. Heard is an award-winning British specialist writer on Middle East affairs. She welcomes feedback and can be contacted by email at

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