Archive for Free Speech

Gray and Keys lose jobs for sexism, what about Loose Women?

So Sky Sports presenter, Andy Gray and Richard Keys, have lost their jobs for making off-air sexist comments.  Why?

They haven’t made any sexist comments on the air, only privately.  Someone has deliberately and vindictively leaked recordings of their private conversations to destroy them.  Why were the cameras recording private conversations and how did someone manage to accumulate a collection of recordings of off-air, private conversations and get them on the internet?

Will the presenters of lunchtime trash TV programme, Loose Women, come under similar scrutiny for their on-air sexism?  Every episode of Loose Women consists of a couple of interviews, a bit of gossip and the rest is made up of sexist comments and jokes about men.  Why is it acceptable for a gaggle of middle aged women to base an entire TV programme around slagging men off but it’s a sackable offence for a TV presenter to make sexist comments off the air to male colleagues who clearly took no offence at them?

I’ve said it before: straight, white English men are the most discriminated against section of society.

Burn the Quran Day

A church in Florida plans to hold a “Burn the Quran Day” on September the 11th, despite universal condemnation both at home and abroad.

The church preaches that “Islam is of the devil”.

Back in 2005, the Danish newspaper, Jyllands Posten, published cartoons depicting the muslim prophet, Mohammed.  The newspaper was threatened with bombings and the cartoonist received death threats.

The response from the “international community”?  Calls for moderation and criticism of the newspaper and cartoonist for offending muslims.

And in 2006, three boys were expelled from an Islamic school in Australia after they were caught pissing on bibles and burning bible pages.

The response from the “international community”?  Well I don’t remember seeing it on the news or in any newspapers over here.  There were no spontaneous protests from christians calling for the boys to be beheaded.  The boy’s father blamed the school.

Still in 2006, muslims protesting in London about the newspaper in Denmark publishing Mohammed cartoons waved placards calling the murder of people who insult Islam and other “anti-British slogans”.

The response from the “international community”?  Calls for moderation and criticism of the newspaper and cartoonist for offending muslims.

And a regular sight at any anti-American or anti-west protest by muslims, the burning of the Stars & Stripes:

The response from the “international community”?  I think you know the answer already.  The Stars & Stripes is second only to the bible in the list of revered objects in the USA but the “international community” seems to think it’s ok to desecrate it if you’re a muslim.

People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

EDL protest marred by UAF violence

The English Defence League (EDL) held a “static protest” in Bradford yesterday which was typically marred by violence.

The original plan was for the EDL to hold a march through Bradford but the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, Sir Norman Bettison, successfully got the Home Secretary, Theresa May, to ban any protest marches in Bradford this weekend so they held a “static protest” instead.

UAF Leader arrested for conspiracy to organise violent disorder

UAF Leader arrested for conspiracy to organise violent disorder in March 2010

But wherever the EDL go, of course, the extreme left wing fascist group, Unite Against Fascism (UAF) follow to wreak havoc.  The order to ban the EDL from marching no doubt came from her boss, David “Cast Iron” Cameron who is a supporter of the UAF fascists (the list of MPs supporting the UAF was removed after it was splashed all over the papers but nothing ever disappears forever on the internet).

Yesterday’s EDL protest was met with opposition from both the UAF fascists and The Muslim Community.  The two factions – the EDL and the UAF/Muslim Community – were supposed to have been kept at a safe distance from each other but the UAF/Muslim Community protesters mysteriously made it to within a few yards of the EDL protesters.  The UAF/Muslim Community gathering place was half a mile away from where the EDL were allowed to protest.

There is a lot about yesterday’s protest that doesn’t add up.  Why were the UAF thugs and Muslim Community allowed to get so close to the fenced in EDL protesters?  If the EDL were the trouble makers, why did the UAF and the Muslim Community have to be stopped from getting at the EDL protest by a physical blockade of police vans and a line of mounted police?  Why have the police told the media that EDL protesters threw a smoke bomb at the UAF/Muslim Community protesters when this video clearly shows the trail of smoke from the smoke bomb being thrown from the UAF/Muslim Community protesters at the EDL protesters?

The media’s coverage of the protests is equally suspect.  Sky News provided live coverage which apparently showed the smoke bomb being thrown at the EDL protesters but they continued to report it as being thrown by the EDL.  And despite there being two separate protests yards away from each other – the EDL and the UAF/Muslim Community – the rotating banner said “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”, implying that the EDL were the only ones kicking off when clearly they weren’t.  Another strapline was “Smoke bombs, bottles & stones thrown during English Defence League demonstration” – but who threw what?  It was both sides but the strapline revolving underneath says “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”.  Another said “One EDL supporter taken to hospital after injuring his leg” – how did he injure it?  Was it an accident or was he hit by a brick or a bottle?  There’s no interest from Sky, it’s all part of the “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”.  What about the EDL supporter with cuts on the back of his head from what looks like a bottle injury?  How was he injured?  Again, no interest, it’s part of the “English Defence League Demonstration in Bradford”.

One of the arguments used by the UAF thugs and The Muslim Community as an excuse to ban the EDL march and whip up anti-EDL hatred in Bradford was that the EDL protest might see a return to the Bradford of 2001 when The Muslim Community and non-muslims rioted after David Blunkett, as Home Secretary, banned a National Front march but allowed a march by the extremist left wing Anti-Nazi League (now merged in the extremist left wing UAF) to go ahead.  Sound familiar?  The Muslim Community dictates the agenda in Bradford because the authorities can no longer control them.

The EDL have a right to protest, yes, but we must not allow them to provoke us into violence.
Ratna Lachman, Bradford Women’s Peace Project

I’m surely not the only person who sees something wrong with this comment?  If The Muslim Community turns to violence – which they did yesterday and have done at every EDL protest – then it’s because they’ve been provoked into violence.  How has this been allowed to happen?  Why have the Brits allowed extremism in The Muslim Community in Bradford to reach such epidemic proportions that a protest march by people opposing Islamic extremism could “provoke” them into violence?

We thank people for their patience and support so far and we hope to have protesters removed from the city as soon as possible.
West Yorkshire Police “spokesman”

Again, I’m sure I’m not the only person to see something wrong with this comment either.  It is the job of the police to keep the peace and enforce compliance with the law, not to run people out of town like a wild west sheriff.  The EDL have a right to free assembly and peaceful protest.  They also have a right not to be harassed or attacked and the police have an obligation to protect those rights.  But instead, the objective of West Yorkshire Police was evidently to deny them their rights and to remove them from Bradford as soon as they could in case the EDL’s presence in the city provoked The Muslim Community into violence.

So what now for the EDL?  Almost a year ago I wrote about the EDL following their march in Manchester and again in April this year following a protest in Dudley.  At both protests the EDL were portrayed as the trouble makers with little mention of the UAF thugs despite the ratio of arrests to protesters being 1 in 250 for UAF and only 1 in 1,333 for the EDL – 3 arrests from 4,000 EDL protesters and 6 arrests from 1,500 UAF thugs.

I said that I had no interest in ethnic nationalism and I still don’t but I wonder if perhaps I’ve misunderstood the EDL?  Their website says they’re only interested in opposing Islamic extremism and the creeping influence of Sharia and not race so maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt?  Some of their members are clearly more interested in white supremecism than opposing Islamic extremism but then that’s the same of any organisation that is even vaguely involved in any type of nationalism.  Even the Campaign for an English Parliament – a group that is extremely defensive of its non-partisan civic nationalism – has had problems with members or supporters who have developed an unhealthy obsession with race politics (we’ve rooted them all out to the best of my knowledge) and the English Democrats have some very unsavoury characters in their ranks despite being a primarily civic nationalist party.  The EDL have no control over who chooses to support them and the beliefs those people hold and it’s unreasonable to expect them to filter out the undesirables from the thousands of people that turn up to their protests.

The problem the EDL have is that they are a porous organisation.  They have to be to attract the kind of support they get at their protests.  The downside of this is that they are open to infiltration from all sides.  They have obviously been infiltrated by the likes of the National Front, the BNP and other ethnic nationalists and it is inconceivable that the police and security services haven’t already got people in the EDL chain of command.  The trouble that both lots of infiltrators cause at protests is bringing the day the EDL is proscribed closer.  One of their protests has been banned now, that sets a precedent for suppressing them.  Banning one of their marches establishes them as “wrong”, the next step will be to ban them from having any sort of protest and then to ban the group altogether.  The violence at protests will be cited as justification for banning them and the cost to the taxpayer of policing their protests will be used to convince the general public that banning the EDL is a good thing.  The UAF fascists and The Muslim Community will be exempt from the bans despite them being the cause of most of the trouble at EDL protests because they’re not “wrong”.

The media has already been mobilised against the EDL – a collective blind eye is turned to the UAF fascists and The Muslim Community whilst the violence and thuggery perpetrated by the extreme left is blamed on the EDL.  Despite being apolitical, the EDL are described as “far right” by politicians and the media, following the “right is wrong” mantra that the left have managed to implant into the collective psyche.  The left have managed to convince most of the population that the left wing nationalist socialist BNP are “far right” whilst the forces of anti-fascism are exclusively left wing which of course makes right wing bad and left wing good.  The truth is that the BNP are a left wing party, fascism is a centrist ideology incorporating both left and right wing ideologies and there are as many – if not more – anti-fascists on the right as there are on the left.  Opposing radical Islam and unfettered immigration does not make you a fascist, no matter what the vicious thugs in UAF and failed communists in the Labour Party say.

England is not Britain

England is not Britain

Not only are the EDL not “far right” but they are not English nationalists either.  English nationalists know the difference between England and Britain.  Glaswegian muslims are not English nationalists and they don’t ask “Why are they against the United Kingdom?”  England is not Britain and the English Defence League is not English.

So, back to my question a few paragraphs up: should we give the EDL the benefit of the doubt?  I am inclined to believe that the core few people that started the EDL and probably the majority of their supporters are not ethnic nationalists.  I agree that radical Islam has to be dealt with and I agree that Sharia is a cancer that needs to be excised and most people will agree with the EDL’s stated objectives and raison d’être.  What the English people need is a leader – someone in tune with English public feeling and clever enough to take on both the media and the British establishment.  The EDL and its leader, Tommy Robinson, have done a lot in a short amount of time but they aren’t going to lead an English revolution because the EDL is a tainted brand and the danger is that the EDL will end up tainting English nationalism as a whole through guilt by association, just as we are starting to win the war against Englishness.

I certainly won’t be supporting the EDL for the simple fact that they are British nationalists and I am an English nationalist and because I have no desire to get my head caved in by some psycho communist or a member of The Muslim Community for being on the “wrong” side of the police line.  That said, I would still be interested in observing an EDL protest first hand and if anyone from the EDL wants to arrange that, feel free to get in touch.

Recommended reading on the EDL and UAF:
Nourishing Obscurity
The Anger of a Quiet Man

The English Defence League’s … robust … report on yesterday’s protest is here.

Pakistan launches Facebook rival

Facebook fans in Pakistan will no doubt be pleased to learn that a home-grown rival to Facebook has been released following the site being banned in the country …


Let’s talk about immigration

If there’s one topic that can cause heated discussion, it’s immigration.  For too long it’s been a taboo subject and public criticism of unfettered discrimination has been left to the far left BNP, assorted nutjob organisations on the fringes of mainstream politics and a relative few individuals prepared to put their heads above the parapet.

But there has been a change lately and immigration is no longer the taboo subject it was.  It seems that the more full the country gets, the less jobs and houses there are to go round the people that already live here, the more people talk about the proverbial elephant in the room.

The facts are quite simple.  At this point in time, according to the Office of National Statistics, there are 2.45m people living in the UK that don’t have a job whilst there are only 480k job vacancies.  That’s 5 people currently living here, relying on unemployment benefits, for every job vacancy.  In 2004 there were half a million homeless people in England alone and the figures are rising year on year.  According to Property World, we need to build a quarter of a million new houses every year just to keep up with population growth and currently about 100,000 per year are being built.

So there aren’t enough jobs for the people already living here, nor are there enough houses.  But the British government still allowed a quarter of a million immigrants to move here in 2008.  Where will they live?  Where will they work?  Or, as they have to have somewhere to live and work before they can move here (EU citizens excepted, of course), where are the homeless people already living here going to live and where are the unemployed people already living here going to work?

We cannot sustain economic immigration and it will be a number of years until we are able to do so.  Unemployment and homelessness needs to be down to the 10’s of thousands before we can sustain economic immigration.  It’s not about race or religion or skin colour or any other minority qualification, it’s about maths and logic.  The country is full.  The country is broke.  We can’t afford to pay people not to work because the jobs they could have been doing have gone to people moving here from another country.

The LibLabCon are talking about a fairer society in their general election campaigns but there is nothing fair in increasing the already unsustainable competition for the woefully inadequate supply of jobs and houses.  It’s unfair on everybody who lives here, whether they can trace their ancestry back to the Anglo-Saxon settlers or whether they’re first generation immigrants who’ve been here barely 12 months.  The unemployment and homelessness crisis that’s exacerbated by immigration affects us all.

The BNP and their racist clones aren’t the solution to this problem.  Closing our borders to all immigration and “sending the darkies home” isn’t the answer.  The only party with a sensible and fair policy on immigration is UKIP – ban all economic immigration for 5 years and then introduce a points-based system for all immigrants, including those from the European Empire.  That gives us 5 years to get people already living here into jobs and houses and then allow only the people we need to come and live and work here.

Is it cos I is white?

The Demon Headmaster Jack Straw has backed down on trying to remove the defence of freedom of speech from a new law making inciting homophobic hatred a criminal offence.

The Lords prevented the Ministry of Injustice from removing the right to freedom of speech four times before Jack Straw finally gave up.

This new law – along with the laws against inciting racial hatred – are wrong and unnecessary.  The divide the population into two – those who are automatically victims and must have special protection and the rest of the population who are automatically pigeon-holed as racists/homophobes/miscellaneous -ists/-phobes and have to prove their innocence if they are accused of offending one of the afore-mentioned “victims” because of their race/colour/sexuality.

Crimes such as murder and assault are instinctively wrong, it’s something built in as a species.  But crimes such as homophobia or racism are crimes of conscience, the imposition of a set of morals on the whole population with serious penalties for those that don’t live their lives according to the morals of others.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with homophobia or racism or other types of discrimination but I don’t think that we as a society have a right to impose that moral view on the whole population and punish people for not having the same morals.  If someone commits a crime, it doesn’t matter whether they were motivated by their victim’s colour or religion or sexuality – they have committed a crime and the crime isn’t worse because the victim was black or a muslim or gay.  If someone abused me in the street, I’m no less of a victim because I’m straight than I would be if I was gay.

This is a bad law, made marginally less bad by the intervention of the House of Lords.  We really have to put a stop to this ridiculous situation where more and more groups of people are identified as automatic victims who require specific legal protection.  It’s just wrong.

Nick Griffin on Question Time and UAF thugs strike again

Nick Griffin will be on Question Time tonight in front of what is probably going to be the bigget TV audience Question Time has ever had.

And the reason why Griffin is going to be getting this huge amount of publicity?  Because the anti-democratic, anti-BNP idiots have made such a fuss about him appearing on the BBC that almost every news channel and major newspaper at home and abroad has been talking about nothing but the BNP and Question Time.

The Tories have obvously got jealous of the publicity that Liebour is getting from the fascist left wing thugs at Unite Against Fascism and set up their own anti-BNP protest group called “Nothing British”.  I wonder if Camoron will leave UAF and join “Nothing British” instead.

Protesters have been causing trouble outside the BBC studio all day and 25-30 people managed to break in and had to be removed by the police.  Can you guess who the protesters are?  Yep, Unite Against Fascism.  Again.  The lawless far left extremist thugs supported by the Liebour Party, David Camoron and senior civil servants and police officers all over the country.

The BNP are a nasty, racist party but they are a legal political party (despite what that idiot Peter Hain says) with two MEPs and have a right to impartial representation on the BBC.  The “no platform” policy hasn’t worked, nor have the senseless, anti-democratic attacks on them by fascists like Searchlight and UAF.

The BNP need to be given enough rope to hang themselves, the more they’re attacked, the more support they get.  The BBC were absolutely correct to invite Nick Griffin to appear on Question Time as the leader of a legitimate political party and a democratically elected MEP and I can’t wait to see Nick Griffin make a complete dick of himself in front of millions of people.

As I was typing this, I noticed that Old Holborn has previously found details of the Home Office funding Unite Against Fascism.  State sponsored thugs violently supressing opposition to the government … why does George Orwell come to mind?

German Police dig up grave to retrieve flag

Hindu swastika elephant coinGerman police in Passau have dug up the grave of a neo-nazi to remove a swastika flag that was thrown onto it when he was buried.

The swastika is banned in Germany, along with other symbols of Naziism and the glorification of Naziism.  It is illegal to posess a swastika (presumably Hindu’s are allowed a swastika as it’s a religious symbol) in any form, to do a  Nazi salute, to say that Hitler wasn’t a bad man (he was but some people think he wasn’t), to deny the holocaust happened (it obviously did but again, some people think it didn’t) and it’s even illegal to play a world war 2 computer game that allows you to win as the Nazi’s.

Best of all, under the European Arrest Warrant you can be arrested and deported by German police and charged with breaking their laws in England, they don’t even have to provide evidence of your “crime” before they deport you and you don’t get to appeal beforehand.

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BNP to speak at Oxford Union

BNP leader, Nick Griffin, is to be allowed to speak at an Oxford Union debate on free speech.  He will be joined by David Irving, a historian who was jailed in Austria for the thought-crime of saying that the Holocaust never happened.

It was looking a bit iffy for Griffin and Irving after protests against them being allowed to speak, some of them co-ordinated by Unite Against Facism, a group of gobshites who think that it’s perfectly acceptable to ban free speech and democracy to defend free speech and democracy.

Dr Julian Lewis, Tory MP for New Forest East and Shadow Defence Minister, has resigned his life membership of the Oxford Union in protest and Trevor Phillips, head of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights (formerly the CRE), has also publically objected to the invitation.

I don’t like the BNP and I don’t like Griffin but freedom of speech isn’t a privilege, it’s a right.  To ban someone from speaking at a debate on free speech because you don’t agree with what they say is wrong.  The BNP is a legal political party and, no matter how offensive you find them, they have a right to exist and a right to preach their filth.

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Schillings need some PR help!

Google search results are notable fickle with the top match changing a couple of times a day as a site starts to challenge the top match.  A couple of times today the top result for “Schillings“, the lawyers at the centre of the Alisher Usmanov censorship battle, has turned up a couple of websites closed down in their anti-free speech offensive.

Now, this is all well and good should the sites in question come back up soon and the original content still be available because it means Google will turn those sites up as a top match for “Schillings“.  However, this is a bit dubious with Bloggerheads and Craig Murray as both blogs are still unavailable as I type.  That’s the bad news.  The good news is, the Schillings website is weak in Google terms and is ripe for a Googlebomb.

Personally, I will be linking the word Schillings to Chicken Yoghurt’s list of websites that are covering the story.

Channel 4: Blogosphere mugging for Usmanov

This appeared on the Channel 4 News website yesterday: 

As Roman Abramovich gets his man at Chelsea, another Russian oligarch is making waves at Arsenal.

Alisher Usmanov, who this week increased his stake in Arsenal to 21 per cent, has taken exception to some of the fans’ websites repeating allegations first aired by the former ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. Now his legal moves have sparked a revolt in the blogosphere.

Alisher Usmanov was jailed under the old Soviet regime for corruption. He says this was politically motivated – and that he was a political prisoner who was then freed and granted a full pardon once Mikhail Gorbachev came to power as president.

The lawyers’ letters began flying a couple of weeks ago. What started it was, according to his lawyers, “false, indefensible and grossly defamatory” allegations against Mr Usmanov on the website of outspoken former ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray.

Mr Usmanov’s lawyers wrote to Murray and to his internet service provider asking them to remove the allegations.

Former Uzbekistan ambassador Craig Murray has found some unlikely allies from across the political spectrum.
Murray refused and, facing the threat of a libel suit, his internet service provider took down his website.

Lawyers’ letters also started landing in the inboxes of people who had linked to Murray’s site – in particular, Arsenal fan websites.

Facing the threat of being shut down, they removed the links.

If Usmanov thought that was the end of it, it wasn’t.

Over the last 24 hours it’s become an internet cause celebre. Craig Murray has found some highly unlikely allies from across the political spectrum.

Over 100 high-profile bloggers have now posted on it and, as we found, some are brazenly posting the original Craig Murray article that started this all off.

I don’t know if I’m one of the “high profile bloggers” he’s talking about but I am proud to have taken part in this and in posting the original article that Usmanov has been trying so hard to censor.  This isn’t because I get some peverse kick out of fisking people in the public eye (although I must admit I do enjoy it from time to time 😉 ) or because I think it’s “cool” to do this sort of thing.  Craig Murray’s book which contains all the accusations Usmanov is trying to censor from the blogosphere now has been out for over a year now and despite begging him to sue him for libel, Murray has yet to receive a summons to defend his claims.  Instead, Usmanov has hired thugs in suits to intimidate bloggers and web hosting companies into censoring criticism of him.  Craig Murray’s hosts – Fast Host – even went as far as editing a post on his blog to remove something he said and replace it with their own comment saying that lots of people disagree with his claims!

The long and short of it is, Usmanov has had over a year to challenge what his rotweillers claim to be libellous comments but has chosen not to do so.  Judging by the effort he is putting into bullying people who will struggle to defend themselves, he clearly wants to stop the accusations from being publicly available but the fact he has failed to do so through the courts means the only reasonable conclusion to come to is that the comments are – at least partially – true.

We bloggers are in the fortunate position that we are not subject to the censorship of editors or shareholders but it doesn’t mean that there is nobody out there trying to stop us saying what we want.  I have been threatened with legal action over things I’ve written in the past.  Usually they threaten me with slander which is when it’s spoken, not written down – always a good indication that the “lawyer” they’ve spoken to has an office somewhere between their ears.  But I’ve always written what I believe to be true and if I’ve got the information third hand then I say so – an example of how good netiquette can also save you from getting yourself sued.

Bloggers have a responsibility not to abuse the privelleged position they are in.  Some people don’t have the same right to free speech that we do in the civillised world.  But we must also protect that privelleged position – today it’s a Russian/Uzbekh (alleged) criminal, tomorrow it could be the government that are trying to stop you from criticising them.

ISP’s censor top blogs

Veteran bloggers Tim Ireland, Bob Piper and Boris Johnson have had their sites pulled by their ISP’s for criticising Alisher Usmanov, the alleged dodgy geezer who is trying to buy Arsenal football club.

People who have been into the blogging scene for a while will know that things like this have happened a few times in the past but that the censors never win.

Ironically, Bob Piper the person who did a picture of David Cameron bloacked up for Bob Piper once threatened legal action to bloggers carrying a copy of a page that he thought he’d deleted – the page in question is, and always has been, available on this blog (Naughty Bob Piper).  The Sun got a High Court injunction banning the publishing of images of a journalist they used to try and entrap George Galloway MP.  The blogging community published hundreds of copies of his picture and the injunction was set aside because it was unenforceable.

The latest attempt to supress free speech comes courtesy of Alisher Usmanov’s lawyers, Schillings of London.  Schillings are apparently well known for this sort of thing although I’ve not had any experience of them.  Yet.

No doubt they’ll be in touch soon – the post by Craig Murray, the former Uzbekh ambassador and author of a book which criticises him, which Schillings are trying to censor is as follows:

September 2, 2007

Alisher Usmanov, potential Arsenal chairman, is a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist

I thought I should make my views on Alisher Usmanov quite plain to you. You are unlikely to see much plain talking on Usmanov elsewhere in the media becuase he has already used his billions and his lawyers in a pre-emptive strike. They have written to all major UK newspapers, including the latter:

“Mr Usmanov was imprisoned for various offences under the old Soviet regime. We wish to make it clear our client did not commit any of the offences with which he was charged. He was fully pardoned after President Mikhail Gorbachev took office. All references to these matters have now been expunged from police records . . . Mr Usmanov does not have any criminal record.”

Let me make it quite clear that Alisher Usmanov is a criminal. He was in no sense a political prisoner, but a gangster and racketeer who rightly did six years in jail. The lawyers cunningly evoke “Gorbachev”, a name respected in the West, to make us think that justice prevailed. That is completely untrue.

Usmanov’s pardon was nothing to do with Gorbachev. It was achieved through the growing autonomy of another thug, President Karimov, at first President of the Uzbek Soviet Socilist Republic and from 1991 President of Uzbekistan. Karimov ordered the “Pardon” because of his alliance with Usmanov’s mentor, Uzbek mafia boss and major international heroin overlord Gafur Rakimov. Far from being on Gorbachev’s side, Karimov was one of the Politburo hardliners who had Gorbachev arrested in the attempted coup that was thwarted by Yeltsin standing on the tanks outside the White House.

Usmanov is just a criminal whose gangster connections with one of the World’s most corrupt regimes got him out of jail. He then plunged into the “privatisation” process at a time when gangster muscle was used to secure physical control of assets, and the alliance between the Russian Mafia and Russian security services was being formed.

Usmanov has two key alliances. he is very close indeed to President Karimov, and especially to his daughter Gulnara. It was Usmanov who engineered the 2005 diplomatic reversal in which the United States was kicked out of its airbase in Uzbekistan and Gazprom took over the country’s natural gas assets. Usmanov, as chairman of Gazprom Investholdings paid a bribe of $88 million to Gulnara Karimova to secure this. This is set out on page 366 of Murder in Samarkand.

Alisher Usmanov had risen to chair of Gazprom Investholdings because of his close personal friendship with Putin, He had accessed Putin through Putin’s long time secretary and now chef de cabinet, Piotr Jastrzebski. Usmanov and Jastrzebski were roommates at college. Gazprominvestholdings is the group that handles Gazproms interests outside Russia, Usmanov’s role is, in effect, to handle Gazprom’s bribery and sleaze on the international arena, and the use of gas supply cuts as a threat to uncooperative satellite states.

Gazprom has also been the tool which Putin has used to attack internal democracy and close down the independent media in Russia. Gazprom has bought out – with the owners having no choice – the only independent national TV station and numerous rgional TV stations, several radio stations and two formerly independent national newspapers. These have been changed into slavish adulation of Putin. Usmanov helped accomplish this through Gazprom. The major financial newspaper, Kommersant, he bought personally. He immediately replaced the editor-in-chief with a pro-Putin hack, and three months later the long-serving campaigning defence correspondent, Ivan Safronov, mysteriously fell to his death from a window.

All this, both on Gazprom and the journalist’s death, is set out in great detail here:

Usmanov is also dogged by the widespread belief in Uzbekistan that he was guilty of a particularly atrocious rape, which was covered up and the victim and others in the know disappeared. The sad thing is that this is not particularly remarkable. Rape by the powerful is an everyday hazard in Uzbekistan, again as outlined in Murder in Samarkand page 120. If anyone has more detail on the specific case involving Usmanov please add a comment.

I reported back in 2002 or 2003 in an Ambassadorial top secret telegram to the Foreign Office that Usmanov was the most likely favoured successor of President Karimov as totalitarian leader of Uzbekistan. I also outlined the Gazprom deal (before it happened) and the present by Usmanov to Putin (though in Jastrzebski’s name) of half of Mapobank, a Russian commercial bank owned by Usmanov. I will never forget the priceless reply from our Embassy in Moscow. They said that they had never even heard of Alisher Usmanov, and that Jastrzebski was a jolly nice friend of the Ambassador who would never do anything crooked.

Sadly, I expect the football authorities will be as purblind. Football now is about nothing but money, and even Arsenal supporters – as tight-knit and homespun a football community as any – can be heard saying they don’t care where the money comes from as long as they can compete with Chelsea.

I fear that is very wrong. Letting as diseased a figure as Alisher Usmanov into your club can only do harm in the long term.

This text is available from the Google cached version of Craig Murray’s website and from other websites and blogs.  Whether Craig Murray is right or wrong in what he says, he has a right to voice his opinion.  If Alisher Usmanov or his lawyers, Schillings, have proof that this is libelous then they should seek redress through the courts.  The fact that they simply threaten ISP’s and the media with legal action instead would suggest that the evidence doesn’t exist.

The fact also remains that not only has Craig Murray’s website been taken down but other websites that refer to it have also been taken down.  If someone wants to talk about a public figure or talk about someone else talking about a public figure then their right to do that must be protected.

You can do something about this.  Alisher Usmanov is a rich man but he cannot realistically take on hundreds or thousands of people.  Copy the text above to your website or blog and help protect free speech.