Fake news from right-wing think tank to undermine Independence campaign

The Times

Described as ‘a transatlantic think tank based in London‘, the Henry Jackson Society has lots of ‘previous’ on bias and lack of transparency of its donors.

In 2014:

A rightwing thinktank, accused of pushing an anti-Muslim agenda, has pulled funding for two parliamentary groups which focused on homeland and international security after refusing to disclose its donors to the Commons’ standards watchdog.


In 2017:

They were accused of running an anti-China propaganda campaign after the Japanese embassy gave them a monthly fee of £10,000. The campaign was said to be aimed at planting Japan’s concerns about China in British newspapers.


Most damning, research by the University of Bath’s Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy in 2015 reported:

This report examines the history, activities and politics of the Henry Jackson Society (HJS), which we argue is the leading exponent of neoconservatism in the UK today grounded in a transatlantic tradition deeply influenced by Islamophobia and an open embrace of the ‘War on Terror’.


In July 2013, the HJS cast serious doubt on the SNP’s proposed defence strategy for an independent Scotland:

Click to access HJS-In-Scotlands-Defence-Report-LOW-RES.pdf

The SNP rebutted the HJS findings but the report seems to have disappeared:

Defence report slammed by SNP, Scottish National Party, 2 July 2013, http://www.snp.org/mediacentre/news/2013/jul/defence-report-slammed-snp

Today’s intervention by the HJS and the Times, days before the Scottish Elections, is below:


The latest ‘research’ is by Dr Paul Stott. Stott was reprimanded by his employer, University of London in 2019, for telling Grime artist Stormzy to say “thank you” to the country that “helped bring him up” instead of accusing it of having a problem with racism.


Journalist Katherine O’Donnell has tweeted at length on the HJS report and suggested that it is:

a) an exaggeration by right-wingers with the intention of casting shade on the forthcoming Scottish election and thereby the legitimacy of its winners,

b) a real and substantial threat to democracy or

c) the punchline of a laughably incompetent plot?

She concludes:

By any measure this is not good journalism. It should not be on a front page in this form and certainly not anywhere at all without a health warning to readers about its source, the Henry Jackson Society. What a mess The Times has become.

More at: https://twitter.com/kathy__odonnell/status/1389273292587118595

Footnote: Who was Henry Jackson?


Henry M. Jackson (1912-1983) came from a working class Scandinavian background and was elected to the House of Representatives for his native Washington State in 1940. He was an ardent New Dealer, trade unionist, supporter of the early civil rights movement and environmentalist. He was centrally involved in such measures as the Land and Conservation Act, the Wilderness Act, the National Seashore Bills and much else. He was the scourge of corporate interests, particularly power and oil companies, who objected to his enthusiasm for nationalisation and price controls.

Who was Henry Jackson?

Eh? They might want a rebrand, new name?

The Times

17 thoughts on “Fake news from right-wing think tank to undermine Independence campaign

  1. Ah, but….. wis the President o Iran no educatit at the Cally Yoonie? In fack, he came back tae dae a PhD, tae! Diz that no prove therr must be influence?

    It’s a good joab wiv goat they right wing fascist organisations tae keep an eye oan things like this. Wis thon Jim Murphy no a member?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doesn’t the British state have an organisation dedicated to countering “false narratives”,expounded by forces deemed hostile to their interests,by broadcasting and publishing UK propaganda?
    These right wing people would be the first to leap to the defence of agencies acting in this manner if they perceived it to be assisting their world views.
    Whatever next?
    Russia,China,the EU?
    They have not exactly been making friends and influencing people of late and many have reasons to be hostile.
    All that the UK has to do with Iran is give back the money they stole from them aka sanctions.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The ones meddling in Scottish elections are the Tory/unionists. They have been since 1928. Lying, cheating, spying. Keeping it secret under the Official Secrets Act. Dumping nuclear in Scotland. MacMillian without a mandate. Taking Scottish resources and revenues, illegally. The McCrone Report. The Brexit illegally meddling. The illegal wars bombing the world to bit. They have been sanctioning Iran illegally for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The west support Iraq in the Iraq -Iran war. They supported Saddam. Then they illegally blew Iraq to bits for the Oil. Saudi took down the Twin Towers, They dance with them for donations and funding. Royalty and politicians. The most repressive regime in the world. Second largest spend on the military, pro rata, in the world. After the US. The UK has been illegally selling them weapons since the 1960’s. Against International Law.


  5. O/T If you plan to listen to the leaders’ TV debate this evening, reflect on what follows when an inevitably aggressive Douglas Ross talks over Nicola Sturgeon as she answers his predictable, context free charges the poverty-related attainment gap in Scotland. Reflect on what follows when Ross’ Unionist allies seek to make out that Scotland’s government has been exceptionally bad in not closing this gap more quickly or completely. Recall that according to Audit Scotland the gap is closing but not fast enough.

    This is from the Education Policy Institute’s ‘Education in England: Annual Report 2020’ (https://epi.org.uk/publications-and-research/education-in-england-annual-report-2020/ )

    The EPI finds that:
    – ‘the attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has stopped closing for the first time in a decade. Policymakers have not succeeded in responding to earlier reports warning of a major loss of momentum in closing the gap.

    – ‘disadvantaged pupils in England are 18.1 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs – the SAME GAP as five years ago. (my emphasis)

    – ‘the gap at primary school INCREASED increased for the first time since 2007 – which may signal that the gap is SET TO WIDEN in the future.

    ‘The stalling of the gap occurred even before the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the education system.

    ‘Researchers have identified the increasing proportion of disadvantaged children in PERSISTENT POVERTY as a contributory cause of the lack of progress with narrowing the disadvantage gap.’

    The Guardian reported on this in 26 August 2020: ‘Attainment gap between poor pupils and their peers in England is widening: study suggests gap in primary school is increasing due to rising levels of persistent poverty

    ‘After years of slow progress, researchers says efforts to close the attainment gap have stalled. Disadvantaged pupils are 18.1 months of learning behind their peers by the time they finish their GCSEs – the same gap as five years ago – but in primary schools the gap increased for the first time since 2007, up from 9.2 months in 2018 to 9.3 a year later.’

    ‘A key factor, the EPI (Education Policy Institute) says, is the rise in the proportion of pupils who live in persistent poverty, up from 34.8% in 2017 to 36.7% two years later. In some areas the GAP IS EVEN WIDER with poorer pupils in Blackpool, Knowsley and Plymouth more than TWO FULL YEARS OF EDUCATION BEHIND their peers by the end of secondary.’

    So, stalled for some and getting worse for others as against closing but not by enough!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. OT

    I failed to reply to iusedtobeenglish on the previous thread, as there were quite a few questions being asked. All I say in reply here though is, feminist theory and practice is not a unified voice and I’m almost certainly not sufficiently engaged to cover all aspects of gender equality. Though I do know a bit about how to fight both cultural patriarchy and institutional racism.

    World Bank Handbook for Gender-Inclusive Urban Planning and Design


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.