January 2015: Red Tory Murphy Retains Executive Membership of Tory-dominated Ultra Right-Wing Think Tank – The Henry Jackson Society (HJS)
Named after hawkish Democratic US senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the HJS was founded in 2005 to promote a “forward strategy” on global democracy, drawing on strong militaries in the US and EU. The bulk of charitable donations to the society comes from Tory donors such as the Atkin Charitable Foundation, a London-based charity founded by a British businessman turned philanthropist Edward Atkin.
It first financed the HJS in 2010 with a modest £5,000 grant, but subsequently the amounts increased considerably, totalling £375,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Stanley Kalms foundation, named after the Dixons boss, also gave the society £100,000 last year. Michael Gove MP, theTory Party’s Chief Whip in the House of Commons and a leading neoconservative, was a founding trustee of the HJS.”
Murphy, the only Scots MP holding membership, delivered policy speeches at the HJS’s London HQ in 2012 and 2013, has been a member of its advisory political council since mid-2012, despite the views of some of its key staff prompting even the Tory frontbench to end relations with it in 2011.
Labour leader in Scotland Murphy has been repeatedly urged to sever his links with the controversial think tank which is accused of pushing an anti-Muslim agenda. Human rights lawyer, advocate Niall McCluskey, said Murphy should “consider his position” with the HJS. The Spinwatch group, SNP and Greens also called on Murphy to quit the right-wing outfit.
McCluskey, who works with Amnesty International and has dealt with cases involving people facing extradition to oppressive regimes, said: “The problem with the Henry Jackson Society at the moment is Douglas Murray, who has been articulating certain viewpoints that are of concern, that appear to be anti-Islamic. “The question arises whether or not it’s appropriate for the leader of Scottish Labour to be associated with a society like that, if that’s the sort of message it appears to be espousing.
Major financial donor Nina Rosenwald, “also finances the US-based right-wing Gatestone Institute”, which uses its foreign status to publish potentially libellous attacks on British Muslims and pro-Palestine campaigners and organisations. Gatestone also publishes the work of HJS associate director Douglas Murray, who said in 2006 that “conditions for Muslims in Europe must be made harder across the board”…. All immigration into Europe from Muslim countries must stop.”
In 2013, Murray claimed London had “become a foreign country” because “white Britons” were a minority in 23 of 33 London boroughs, and last month he downplayed the US Senate report on CIA torture after 9/11 as “largely or partly untrue”. HJS founder and director Alan Mendoza has also blamed immigration for a rise in anti-Israeli sentiment in Europe.
Last week, the HJS, a registered charity in England, withdrew funding from two Commons groups for MPs on domestic and international security rather than disclose its own sources of income. Commons Standards Commissioner Kathryn Hudson had told the HJS to provide a list of firms donating more than £5000 a year to it, but the HJS refused citing donor “privacy”, and withdrew its support from the parliamentary groups instead. It was subsequently reported that HJS has been receiving large sums from Tory donors.
Professor David Miller, co-founder of Spinwatch, which complained about the HJS in the Commons, said: “When you look at what Douglas Murray has said about Muslims, I don’t understand how it’s possible for the Scottish Labour Party leader to endorse the Henry Jackson Society. “It’s moved from an intellectually respectable conservative position to an increasingly anti-Islamic position.”
In 2012, founder member Dr Marko Attila Hoare resigned from the HJS saying it had become “a mere caricature of its former self”. Instead of a bipartisan think tank, he said it has become “an abrasively right-wing forum with an anti-Muslim tinge”.
SNP MSP Sandra White said: “Jim Murphy should consider his position as an adviser to this right-wing, neo-con organisation – it is an extraordinary role for a Labour leader in Scotland and a huge embarrassment to his party.”
A Green spokesman said: “Scottish Greens stand for peace, tolerance and a welcoming Scotland. What does Labour stand for if its Scottish leader maintains links with what appears to be a lobby group for military and corporate interests?” http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/scottish-labour-leader-urged-to-cut-links-with-right-wing-think-tank.26194695
* There seems to be an ongoing remodelling of Murphy underway, a u turn here, a u turn there. here a change, there a change, everywhere a change, change. Don’t like these principles, don’t worry I have got others seems to be his motto. Well at least we can establish how gullible the electorate is in response to these tactics.
* The path of all Blair’s stooges. Get in bed with the US Military and Industrial complex, and you’re made for life. They even use the old ‘freedom and democracy ‘ New World Order Blair Bush clarion call in a quote here. You may recall that we ‘shocked and awed’ Baghdad for 24 hours to bestow freedom and democracy on the survivors. Murphy is keeping his fingers in every Neo Liberal pie, just like the others. That way lies Non Executive directorships, a Lairdship, a Special Envoy gig, and of course the lucrative £10k a pop lecture tour. He is your classic New Labour gravy trainer, and like all those Labour Lords, Special Envoys, and Former Cabinet Ministers before him, he will eke out a post political career working for the Man.
May I suggest a casual browse on the Ethernet to follow the post Westminster careers of his fellow travellers on the Westminster Gravy Train to illustrate how well these Socialists are doing these days; military equipment and WMD’s, private health care, security firms and so on. Murphy is hoisted by his own petard (sic). WE ‘sweaty Jocks’ will not be fooled again.
* The Friends of Israel links he maintains is a giveaway. Murphy is ultra-right wing despite claiming not to be. Seems to me he is a perfect match for the HJS.
Charles David Powell, Baron Powell of Bayswater Policy advisor to Prime Ministers
* The continued referencing to Scottish labour is irrational nonsense. The is no such thing. Merely a branch of UK labour which channels London orders north and harvests Scottish stooges to pack out the Labour benches. We might as well send inflatable dummies to be deployed as required. The real thing is costly in every sense.
* “Last week, the HJS, a registered charity in England, withdrew funding from two Commons groups for MPs on domestic and international security rather than disclose its own sources of income.” Why does a group such as this have charitable status in the first place? If this group will not disclose their sources of income, then their charitable status should be removed [as should any body, society or institution who fail to supply details of where their “donations” come from].
Denis McShane MP ( Jailed for fraudulently claiming expeses)
* Have a look at the Charity commission website where you will find copies of the last three years’ accounts. The latest reveal that it has a loan outstanding of £225,000 to Lord Harry Dalmeny, Deputy Lieutenant of Midlothian and the son of the Earl of Roseby, a Scottish nobleman. In the Guardian article you quote from there were details of the sources of income that appear to have escaped your notice. ” Much of the money has come from Tory donors such as the Atkin Charitable Foundation, a London-based charity founded by a British businessman turned philanthropist Edward Atkin.
It first financed the HJS in 2010 with a modest £5,000 grant, but subsequently the amounts increased considerably, totalling £375,000 between 2011 and 2013. The Stanley Kalms foundation, named after the Dixons boss, also gave the society £100,000 last year.” If you think the charity is not abiding by the Charity Commission rules you can report it. Finally, it is pretty clear that it is a Tory-dominated think tank which makes a change from the Labour- dominated charities in England. But I agree with you that tax reliefs should not support politically-aligned charities.
* There’s nothing altruistic or ‘progressive’ about the Henry Jackson Society, however it paints itself. It is a single agenda ‘mafia’ – darkly power peddling means to reactionary ends. A craftily cultivated neoliberal world under a controlling US neocon claw. Should suit US acolytes nicely. Like Mr. Blair and Mr. Murphy of that ilk; and Messrs Osborne and Cameron too, come to think of it.
Former Tory MP Michael Ancram, (Marquess of Lothian).
The problem with the Henry Jackson Society goes far beyond Douglas Murray. The organisation is closely linked to the right-wing Eurosceptic faction of the Conservative Party. Another senior HJS staff-member of long standing, Raheem Kassam, recently left to become senior advisor to Nigel Farage and UKIP; while he was working for the HJS, Kassam edited the websites Commentator and Trending Central, where he focused on publishing anti-Muslim material, including articles sympathetic to Marine Le Pen’s National Front and Geert Wilders’s Party for Freedom. HJS eminence grise and financial donor Lord Kalms was expelled from the Tory party some years ago after coming out in support of UKIP.
* HJS President Brendan Simms and Executive Director Alan Mendoza are calling for the UK to abandon Europe; they support the establishment of a European super-state from which the UK would be excluded, but to which it would be loosely linked via some form of association agreement, in the manner of Morocco or Egypt. HJS President Brendan Simms also recently described Scottish independence as a graver threat to Western security than either ISIS or Vladimir Putin. So Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy belongs to an organisation campaigning to take Britain out of Europe, and with pretty extreme views about the national aspirations of half of the Scottish electorate.