“With grateful thanks to famous human rights lawyers Birnberg Peirce, (who advised I had a complete legal right) the Royal Mail have now at the last possible second relented and accepted that I can send out a DVD as an Electoral Communication. So we are going full blast to get it out!!”, writes Craig Murray in a blog of July 9 ( http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/ ).
The Post Office was refusing to give permission for the delivery, apparently on the grounds that nobody has ever sent a DVD before as their election communication. “They are acting, they say, on legal advice from the Ministry of Justice - prop. Jack Straw! The man who brought you the dodgy dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction”, writes Murray.
“Every candidate in a parliamentary election has the right to have one ‘election communication’ delivered free of charge by the Post Office”, he explains, “These are normally rather dull leaflets, so I decided to put my election address on a DVD. It's rather picturesque and entitled ‘A Norfolk Journey’. 80,000 copies are being made”.
The video, which has also been distributed via the Internet, includes a piece on war, in which he states, “We should only ever send people to die in self-defence”, and concludes with, “If I’m elected to parliament my hope will always be that we shall only ever fight in self-defence. I hope we’ve learned our lesson, and that for the last time we’ve gone invading other countries and stealing their resources.”
Later in the video, he relates how he came to be British ambassador in Uzbekistan, where he blew the whistle on torture. As part of the so-called War on Terror, “the CIA were sending people to Uzbekistan in order to be tortured, and the UK was getting the intelligence from this torture”, he said.
He went on to say, on the video: “Now the UK and US governments were in collusion, and were getting the material from that. I blew the whistle on it, because the things I’d learned at Sunday School, the values I’d acquired from Norfolk just told me that that was simply wrong. I couldn’t think of any way that we could go along with it When I blew the whistle on it I actually believed that ministers must not know about it, that it must be happening by mistake. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It was in fact British policy to collude in torture. That is now acknowledged, although when I blew the whistle back in 2004, the government denied it. People at that time did not realise yet, that the government lies. The government lies over Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Deliberately and knowingly lies, and I at the time was the British ambassador, and I can tell you, we did know that there were no weapons of mass destruction. So, I decided that that career was not for me”.
In his blog, Craig Murray complains also of marginalisation by the BBC. “When the BBC banned me from all coverage at the last General Election when I stood in Blackburn against Jack Straw, who is blocking my electoral address now, the BBC explained it was because I had no ‘evidence of past and/or current electoral support’”, he wrote. In response to complaints in the current campaign, the BBC are now sending out standard replies saying, “one of the key factors they look for is ‘evidence of past and/or current electoral support in that electoral area'”.
“I gained 5% in that election - which is a lot better than the 3% the Greens got in the same election in Norwich North”, writes Craig Murray, “That 5% may have been modest, but it does meet the BBC's criterion. So the BBC have now moved the goalposts to exclude me, by adding a brand new stipulation "in that area" to their criterion, so the electoral support in Blackburn does not count - despite the fact I might reasonably expect to do a lot better in my own county.
In a previous blog, on July 6, he complained that he was being blocked also in educational circles. “Before the election was called, we had booked halls for the meeting schedule which you have seen. One of these was Hellesdon High School this Friday, 10 July”, he writes, “The school has now phoned to say the Governors have decided not to permit my meeting - despite Nick Clegg having already held a by-election meeting there”.
“This is not just unfair, it is illegal”, he wrote, pointing out that the Electoral Commissions rules state: '6.1 Once an election is called, candidates are legally entitled to use publicly funded schools and other public meeting rooms for election meetings free of .charge.....'. Following this complaint, the school was forced to reverse its decision.
He complained also of being excluded from a debate organised by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU). “This time the excuse for banning me is that I did not score highly in a poll which was conducted before I was a candidate and in which my name was not mentioned!”, he wrote.
Jack Straw, in his previous position as Foreign Secretary, once famously told a Labour Party conference that he was bringing democracy to Iraq. “Rubbish”, cried out veteran Labour Party member Walter Wolfgang, before being detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Democracy, of course, has to be properly managed.
* Craig Murray’s video, ‘A Norfolk Journey’, can be seen online at:
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0RHI7VV5kE
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGoUUtmaPV0
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1DlSG0hEMY
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjXMC0VALFs