Open Letter to MI5 Director General Jonathan Evans

Dear Director General,

Because it didn’t make any reference to Muslim hurt and anger and the reasons for it, your address (as reported) to the Society of Editors on 5 November will, I fear, give momentum to Islamophobia in our country and, also, will be counter-productive in its impact on many (but not all) Muslims.

I am not a Muslim. I am a white Englishman who does not subscribe to any religion and who does not buy the notion of a creator and omnipotent God “up there” or anywhere. (I believe God is the name that can be given to the potential for goodness inside each one of us. God so defined is a prisoner in man and it’s my view that the prime task of each and every one of us is to liberate the prisoner within).

It’s true that I dohave an agenda but it is, I think, quite a noble one. I’m a former ITN and BBC Panoramacorrespondent and now an author and public speaker. In my advancing years I’m trying to educate citizens about a critical matter in order to empower them to make democracy work .

Democracy is a fine ideal but it doesn’t work, can’t work, unless the citizens of nations, the voters, are informed enough to participate in debate about real policy options and choices. Informed and honest debate is the lifeblood of democracy and without it citizens have no peaceful (non-violent) way of calling and holding their leaders to account.

It’s my view that democracy exists nowhere in the world and least of all America. There what passes for democracy is for sale to the highest bidders. I think our own system is not yet as corrupt as America’s, but it is the case that our parliament has been pretty much sidelined in the sense that our prime ministers are less and less accountable to it. So what we have in the UK, I say, is the framework of democracy but not the substance. (As I write these words I can hear in the background the sound of the pomp and ceremony of the State Opening of Parliament. What a farce, assisted by the awesomely reverential tone, verging on sycophancy, of the BBC’s commentary. Please, DG, don’t get me wrong. I’m not a republican. I value the institution of the monarchy because its existence is the best guarantee that what passes for democracy in the UK will not one day be completely subverted and replaced by authoritarianism. And there’s a reason why that thought gives me comfort. Shortly after Ted Heath ceased to be prime minister, I asked him what his biggest fear for the future was. He said, “that Britain will become the first police state in the Western world.”)

The reason why I believe it is important to make democracy work can be summarised as follows.

Governments are never going to address seriously the problems which threaten the wellbeing and perhaps even the survival of mankind unless and until they are pushedto do so by informed public opinion, by manifestations of real democracy in action. THEproblem throughout the mainly Gentile Judeo-Christian or Western and so-called democratic world is that, generally speaking, the citizens of nations, the voters,are too uninformed to do the pushing.

The critical matter with which I am currently concerned (and for which much pushing is required!) is the conflict in and over Palestine. I describe it as the cancer at the heart of international affairs, which willconsume us all if, as seems most likely at the present time, a resolution o

f it remains beyond the reach of politics and diplomacy.

On the question of who must do what and why for justice and peace in the Middle East, it could and should be said ? and I do say as often as I can ? that Western public opinion is not merely under-informed, it has been totally mis-informed. To be more specific?.. Since the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, mainly by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing, the Western world has been conditioned to believe a version of history which is simply not true. (In my TV reporting days, and much to my subsequent shame, I was, as most mainstream journalists today still are, a peddler of myths). At the core of this version of history, which can be described as Zionist propaganda nonsense, there are two main myths.

One is that the Zionist state of Israel has lived in constant danger of annihilation, the “driving into the sea” of its Jews. The truth of history is that Israel’s existence has never, ever, been in danger.Not in 19448/49. Not in 1956. Not in 1967. And not even in 1973. Zionism’s assertion to the contrary was the cover which allowed Israel to get away where it mattered most, America and Western Europe, with presenting its aggression as self-defence and itself as the victim when it was, and is, the oppressor.

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