In this article, we have attempted to identify the most censored stories of modern times in Britain. We have asked the opinions of one of the most famous and celebrated journalists and documentary film-makers of our time, a high-profile former MI5 intelligence officer, an investigative journalist with one of the most well-known climate-change organisations, a veteran journalist of the Iraq war, an ex-army officer, along with the head of one of the world’s largest charities working against injustice.
One comment from our eclectic group of experts said: “the UK has the most legally protected and least accountable intelligence agencies in the western world, so even in just that field competition is fierce, let alone all the other cover-ups.”
So true have we found this statement to be that we’ve had to split this article into two categories – military and non-military, with a view that we may well categorise surveillance and privacy on its own another time.
Without further ado, here are the most non-military censored stories in Britain since the 1980s, in no particular order. Do bear in mind that for those with inquisitive minds, some of these stories you will have read something about somewhere – but to the majority of citizens, these stories will read like conspiracy theories.
Consequences of American corporate influence over British welfare reforms
The demolition of the welfare state was first suggested in 1982 by the Conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher. Using neoliberal politics, every UK government since 1982 has covertly worked towards that goal. It is also the political thinking used as justification for the welfare reforms of the New Labour government, which introduced the use of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) for all out-of-work disability benefit claimants. Neoliberal politics also justified additional austerity measures introduced by the Coalition government since 2010, and the Conservative government(s) since 2015, which were destined to cause preventable harm when disregarding the human consequences. Much of this is known and in the public domain.
However, what is less known is a story the government have tried very hard to gag. The American healthcare insurance system of disability denial was adopted, as was the involvement of a US healthcare company to distance the government from the preventable harm created by its use. The private sector was introduced on a wide scale in many areas of welfare and social policy as New Labour adopted American social and labour market policies – and the gravity of its effects cannot be understated.
The result? In one 11 month study, 10,600 deaths were attributed to the government disability denial system of screening, with 2,200 people dying before the ESA assessment was even completed. Between May 2010 and February 2014, an astonishing total of 40,680 people died within 12 months of going through a government Work Capability Assessment. The government department responsible has since refused to publish updated mortality totals.
This political and social scandal has been censored, with the author of THIS truly damning report in trouble with the government for publishing it.
Climate Change, what a British oil giant knew all along
For decades, tobacco companies buried evidence that smoking was deadly; the same goes for the fossil fuel industry. As early as 1981, big oil company Shell was aware of the causes and catastrophic dangers of climate change. In the 1980s it was acknowledging with its own research that anthropogenic global warming was a fact. Then, as the scientific consensus became more and more clear, it started introducing doubt and giving weight to a “significant minority” of “alternative viewpoints” as the full implications for the company’s business model became clear.
By the mid-90s, the company started talking about “distinguished scientists” that cast aspersions of the seriousness of climate change. THIS REPORT provides proof of Shell’s documentation including emails of what they knew and what they were hiding from the public domain. One document in 1988 confirms that: “By the time the global warming becomes detectable, it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even stabilise the situation.”
It was not until 2007 that scientific research eventually took a grip of the problem and proved what was known all along. However, as Shell did say – it’s probably too late to take effective countermeasures now anyway. There is still persistent quoting of climate science deniers by the fossil fuel industries.
In 2016, the UK was identified as the most extreme surveillance state in the Western world. However, legislation really only came about to legalise its use because of the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013. Prior to that, the British government had created a secret 360-degree mass surveillance architecture that no-one, including most members of parliament, knew anything about. And much of it has since been deemed illegal by the highest courts in both Britain and the European Union.
From operation Optic Nerve, which took millions of sexually explicit images of an unknowing public through their devices, to a hacking operation called Gemalto – where GCHQ stole the keys to a global encryption system with 700 million subscribers. The unaccountable spymasters of the UK have undertaken breathtaking operations of illegality with absolute impunity.
Some other programmes included: Three Smurfs – an operation to turn on any mobile device so it could listen to or activate the camera covertly on mobile phones. XKeyScore was basically a Google search engine for spies to find any data about anyone. Upstream and Tempora hacked into the world’s main cable highway, intercepting everything and anything globally with a leaked presentation slide from GCHQ on this programme expressly stating they were intent on “Mastering the Internet”. Royal Concierge identified diplomatic hotel reservations so GCHQ could organise a surveillance operation against dignitaries either domestic or foreign, in advance.
In truth, Britain is classed as an endemic surveillance state and right now, we only know what has been uncovered by whistleblowers. This is why people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and others are nothing less than political prisoners of Western governments. They don’t want you to know what they know about you. They also don’t want you to know about them, which is why the architecture is there in the first place. It is not for catching terrorists because if it was, the courts would not deem these surveillance systems as illegal.
Evidence-Based Medical Studies
Over the last few years, medical professionals have come forward to share a truth that, for many people, proves difficult to swallow. One such authority is Dr. Richard Horton, the current editor-in-chief of the Lancet – considered to be one of the most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world.
Dr. Horton recently released a statement declaring that a lot of published medical research is in fact unreliable at best, if not completely false.
“The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue. Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.”
Across the pond, Dr Marcia Angell, a physician and longtime Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal (NEMJ), which is also considered another one of the most prestigious peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, makes her view of the subject quite plain:
“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of the New England Journal of Medicine”.
Many newspapers in Britain take the opportunity to indulge in some shameless click baiting and report completely false stories simply to gain visitor numbers onto their website – as in this example by the Mail Online HERE or HERE.
The Skripal poisoning and Pablo Millar
D-notice’s (Defence and Security Media Advisory Notice) are used by the British state to censor the publication of potentially damaging news stories. They are issued to the mainstream media to withhold publication of damaging information. One such case was the widespread use of D-notices regarding the British ex-spy deeply involved in the Skripal/Novichok poisoning case in Salisbury.
(Here are the official D-Notices to the Skripal Affair)
Mainstream journalists, the press and broadcast media were issued with D-notices in respect of a former British intelligence officer called Pablo Miller. Miller was an associate of Christopher Steele, first in espionage operations in Russia and more recently in the activities of Steele’s private intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.
Steele was responsible for compiling the Trump–Russia dossier, comprising 17 memos written in 2016 alleging misconduct and conspiracy between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Putin administration. The dossier, paid for by the Democratic Party, claimed that Trump was compromised by evidence of his sexual proclivities (golden shower anyone?) in Russia’s possession. Steele was the subject of an earlier D-notice, which unsuccessfully attempted to keep his identity as the author of the dossier a secret.
Millar is reported to be Skripal’s handler in Salisbury and if Miller and, by extension, Skripal himself were involved in Orbis’ work on the highly-suspect Steele-Trump dossier, which is thought to be the case (for all sorts of reasons – including these D-notices) alongside representatives of British and possibly US intelligence, then the motivations for the attempted assassination on the ex-Russian double agent was very wide at best. As it turned out, blame could not be pinned on Russia’s intelligence service, the FSB, no matter how hard the government tried. This particular part of the Skripal poisoning story remains buried by the mainstream media.
The City of London – A global crime scene
For over a hundred years, the Labour party tried in vain to abolish the City of London and its accompanying financial corruption. In 1917, Labour’s new rising star Herbert Morrison, the grandfather of Peter Mandelson, made a stand and failed, calling it the “devilry of modern finance.” And although attempt after attempt was made throughout the following decades, it was Margaret Thatcher who succeeded by abolishing its opponent, the Greater London Council, in 1986.
Tony Blair went about it another way and offered to reform the City of London in what turned out to be a gift from God. He effectively gave the vote to corporations, which swayed the balance of democratic power away from residents and workers. It was received by its opponents as the greatest retrograde step since the peace treaty of 1215, Magna Carta. The City won its rights through debt financing in 1067, when William the Conqueror acceded to it and ever since, governments have allowed the continuation of its ancient rights above all others.
The consequence? It now stands as money launderer of the world, the capital of global crime scene with Britain referred to by the global criminal fraternity to be the most corrupt country in the world.
A ‘watchman’ sits at the high table of parliament and is its official lobbyist sitting in the seat of power right next to the Speaker of the House who is “charged with ensuring that its established rights are safeguarded.” The job is to seek out political dissent that might arise against the City.
The City of London has its own private funding and will ‘buy-off’ any attempt to erode its powers – any scrutiny of its financial affairs are put beyond external inspection or audit. It has its own police force – and laws. Its dark and shadowy client list includes terrorists, drug barons, arms dealers, despots, dictators, shady politicians, corporations, millionaires and billionaires – most with something to hide. The shocking Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and Lux Leaks barely scratch the surface even with their almost unbelievable revelations of criminality.
Keith Bristow, Director-General of the UK’s National Crime Agency, said in June 2015 that the sheer scale of crime and its subsequent money laundering operations was “a serious strategic threat to Britain.” And whilst much of this activity is indeed published – the scale of it is not. It is now believed by many investigative journalists that the City of London is managing “trillions in ill-gotten gains” – not billions as we have all been told.
State propaganda – manipulating minds, controlling the internet
Reading this you would think this was the stuff of a conspiracy theory – sadly, it’s not. The government, through its spying agent GCHQ, developed its own set of software tools to infiltrate the internet to shape what people see, hear and read, with the ability to rig online polls and psychologically manipulate people on social media. This was what Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept confirmed through the Snowden files in 2014. It was not about surveillance but about manipulating public opinion in ever more Orwellian ways.
These ‘tools’ now constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda delivery systems and internet deception programmes known to mankind. What the Snowden files show are that the government can change the outcome of online polls (codenamed Underpass), send mass delivery of emails or SMS messages (Warpath) at will, disrupt video-based websites (Silverlord) and have tools to permanently disable PC accounts. They can amplify a given message to push a chosen narrative (GESTATOR), increase traffic to any given website” (GATEWAY) and have the ability to inflate page views on websites (SLIPSTREAM). They can crash any website (PREDATORS FACE), reduce page views and distort public responses, spoof any email account and telephone calls they like. Visitors to WikiLeaks are tracked and monitored as if an inquiring mind is now against the law.
Don’t forget, the government has asked no-one for permission to do any of this and none of this has been debated in parliament where representative democracy is supposed to be taking place. There is no protective legislation for the general public, and no-one is talking about or debating these illegal programmes that taxpayers have been given no choice to fund – costing billions. This is government-sponsored fake news and public manipulation programmes on a monumental scale.
Chris Huhne, a former cabinet minister and member of the national security council until 2012 said – “when it comes to the secret world of GCHQ, the depth of my ‘privileged information’ has been dwarfed by the information provided by Edward Snowden to The Guardian.”
The Guardian’s offices were then visited by MI5, and the Snowden files were ordered to be destroyed under threats that if they didn’t, it would be closed down – a sign of British heavy-handedness reminiscent of the East-German Stasi.
Censorship – Spycatcher
‘Spycatcher’ was a truly candid autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer published in 1987. Written by Peter Wright, a former MI5 officer, it was published first in Australia after being banned by the British government in 1985. Its allegations proved too much for the authorities to allow it to be in the public domain.
In an interesting twist of irony, the UK government attempted to halt the book’s Australian publication. Malcolm Turnbull, current Prime Minister of Australia, was a lawyer at the time and represented the publisher that defeated the British government’s suppression orders against Spycatcher in Australia in September 1987, and again on appeal in June 1988. This is the same man that refuses to assist Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, from his hellhole existence in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The book details plans of the MI6 plot to assassinate Egyptian President Nasser during the Suez Crisis; of joint MI5-CIA plotting against British Prime Minister Harold Wilson; and of MI5’s eavesdropping on high-level Commonwealth conferences. Wright also highlights the methods and ethics of the spying business.
Newspapers printed in England attempting proper reportage of Spycatcher’s principal allegations were served gag orders. If they continued, they were tried for contempt of court. However, the book proved so popular, many copies were smuggled into England. In 1987, the Law Lords again barred reportage of Wright’s allegations or sale of books.
The ruling was then overturned, but Wright was barred from receiving royalties from the sale of the book in the United Kingdom. In November 1991, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the British government had breached the European Convention of Human Rights in gagging its own newspapers. The book has sold more than two million copies. In 1995, Wright died a millionaire from proceeds of his book.
Censorship – The Internet
To the inquisitive and knowledgeable, censorship of the internet by the British government is not news. In addition, there have been many reports, especially from independent outlets complaining about search engines and social media platforms censoring oppositional and dissenting voices.
Already described earlier in this article is the involvement of the authorities in strategies to manipulate public opinion and disseminate false narratives in their aims for control of the internet itself.
A few months ago, the government changed the law to block online content deemed as either pornographic or of an extremist nature to protect those under 16 years of age. It was anticipated that approximately 50 websites would be banned altogether. What subsequently happened was that thousands of websites disappeared from the internet with no court orders, injunctions, notices or justification. Even finding out which websites are on that list is a secret.
Over time, like many pieces of legislation that have been abused by the state, websites and online content that the government of the day does not like will have the perfect tool to simply press the ‘delete’ button, pretty much as they have already started doing.
On another, but related matter, just last week, The Independent had the headline: “Today’s vote will change the face of the internet forever, from an open platform to a place where anything can be removed without warning.” The articles first line reads, “The idea of instituting a regime of petty everyday censorship, that randomly and unfairly damages campaigns, artists and the denizens of the Internet, ought to fill you with rage.” This is how the state slowly takes control of what you read, see and hear.
In the meantime, Britain’s current Prime Minister has refused to rule out censoring the internet like China in future.
Dark Money Taking Power
Soon after the Second World War, some of America’s richest people began setting up a network of thinktanks to promote their interests. These purport to offer dispassionate opinions on public affairs. But they are more like corporate lobbyists, working on behalf of those who founded and fund them. These are the organisations now running much of the Trump administration. These same groups are now running much of Britain. Liam Fox and what was the Atlantic Bridge and the Adam Smith Institute are good examples.
They have control of the Conservative party and are largely responsible for years of work that steered Britain through the EU referendum that ended with Brexit. Tens of £millions have been spent, mostly undisclosed on making this dream to exploit Britain and its people a reality. In fact, almost everything in this article is about such organisations. Those hugely powerful individuals that own search engines and social media platforms along with the banking industry, the pharmaceutical and medical business, the fossil fuel and arms industries – they have reached a pinnacle of unprecedented corporate power.
Some of those fully censored stories pushed below the radar by these corporations include: how over 100,000 EU citizens die every year because of lobbying against workplace carcinogens, how corporate profits and taxes are hidden, the Tory-Trump plan to kill food safety with Brexit – to name but a few. And don’t forget the corporate media who are complicit. There are a handful of offshore billionaires that have the ability to decide what millions should read or see.
The Adam Smith Institute referred to earlier is a good example. It is a mouthpiece for right-wing extreme neoliberal capitalists. With a turnover of over £130 million and an operating profit of nearly £17 million, it has received millions of pounds in UK government funding. That is taxpayers’ money being used against taxpayers because the ASI does not believe in the likes of the NHS or civil society in general.
Talking of Dark Money – Brexit and the climate deniers
We recently reported about a transatlantic network of lobbyists pushing against action on climate change and (latterly) for Brexit? This group are all based out of one building around the corner from the Palace of Westminster.