The Philip Cross Affair
18 May, 2018 <https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/18/> in
<https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/category/uncategorized/> by craig
UPDATE “Philip Cross” has not had one <https://wikipedia.fivefilters.org/>
single day off from editing Wikipedia in almost five years. “He” has edited
every single day from 29 August 2013 to 14 May 2018. Including five
Christmas Days. That’s 1,721 consecutive days of editing.
133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over
14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. And I do not use
that figuratively: Wikipedia edits are timed, and if you plot them, the
timecard for “Philip Cross’s” Wikipedia activity is astonishing is
astonishing if it is one individual:
The operation runs like clockwork, seven days a week, every waking hour,
without significant variation. If Philip Cross genuinely is an individual,
there is no denying he is morbidly obsessed. I am no psychiatrist, but to
my entirely inexpert eyes this looks like the behaviour of a deranged
psychotic with no regular social activities outside the home, no job (or an
incredibly tolerant boss), living his life through a screen. I run what is
arguably the most widely read single person political blog in the UK, and I
do not spend nearly as much time on the internet as “Philip Cross”. My
“timecard” would show where I watch football on Saturdays, go drinking on
Fridays, go to the supermarket and for a walk or out with the family on
Sundays, and generally relax much more and read books in the evenings.
Cross does not have the patterns of activity of a normal and properly
rounded human being.
There are three options here. “Philip Cross” is either a very strange
person indeed, or is a false persona disguising a paid operation to control
wikipedia content, or is a real front person for such an operation in his
Why does this – to take the official explanation – sad obsessive no friends
Because the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is systematically to
attack and undermine the reputations of those who are prominent in
challenging the dominant corporate and state media narrative. particularly
in foreign affairs. “Philip Cross” also systematically seeks to burnish the
reputations of mainstream media journalists and other figures who are
particularly prominent in pushing neo-con propaganda and in promoting the
interests of Israel.
This matters because, an ordinary reader who comes across an article
questioning (say) the official narrative on the Skripals, is very likely to
turn to Wikipedia to get information on the author of the article. Simply
put, the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is to make certain that if
that reader looks up an anti-war person such as John Pilger, they will
conclude they are thoroughly unreliable and untrustworthy, whereas if they
look up a right wing MSM journalist, they will conclude they are a paragon
of virtue and entirely to be trusted.
The “Philip Cross” treatment is meted out not just to left wingers, but to
all sceptical of neo-conservatism and who oppose “wars of intervention”. A
list of Cross’s victims includes Alex Salmond, Peter Oborne, John Pilger,
Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Hayward, Diane Abbott, Neil Clark, Lindsey
German, Vanessa Beeley, and George Galloway. As you would expect “Philip
Cross” is particularly active in making amendments to the Wikipedia
articles of alternative media, and of MSM critique sites. “Philip Cross”
has made 36 edits to the Wikipedia entry of *The Canary* and, staggeringly,
over 800 edits on Media Lens. George Galloway remains the “Philip Cross”
operation’s favourite target with a quite incredible 1,800 edits.
Just as revealing are the people who “Philip Cross” seeks to protect and
promote. Sarah Smith, BBC Scotland’s uber-unionist, has had “Philip Cross”
kindly delete references from her Wikipedia entry to family ties that
(ahem) may have helped her career. Labour Friends of Israel’s Ruth Smeeth
MP has had reference to the Wikileaks released US diplomatic cable that
showed she was an informer
<https://search.wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09LONDON956_a.html>to the US
Embassy on the secrets of the Labour Party, deleted by “Philip Cross”.
Right wing columnist Melanie Phillips had her embarrassing climate change
denial excised by Cross.
“Philip Cross” not only carefully tends and protects the Wikipedia entry of
Guardian editor Katherine Viner, who has taken the paper four square into
the neo-con camp, Philip Cross actually wrote the original hagiographic
entry. The Guardian’s MI6 contact, Luke Harding, is particularly looked
after by Cross, as are their anti-Corbyn obsessives Nick Cohen and Jonathon
Freedland. So are Murdoch hacks David Aaronovitch and Oliver Kamm.
There is no doubt that Kamm, leader wirter of Murdoch’s* Times*, is close
the the “Philip Cross” operation. Many people believe that Kamm and Cross
are the same person, or that Kamm is part of a multiple persona. Six times
I have personally had hostile edits to my Wikipedia page by “Philip Cross”
made in precise conjunction with attacks on me by Kamm, either on Twitter,
in a Times editorial or in Prospect magazine. Altogether “Philip Cross” has
made 275 edits to my Wikipedia page. These include calling my wife a
stripper, deleting my photo, removing my reply to attacks made on me by
Kamm and Harding among others, and deleting my refusal of all honours while
a British diplomat.
Neil Clark and Peter Oborne are among many others who have suffered attacks
on them by Philip Cross on Wikipedia simultaneously with attacks by Kamm on
other media. Clark is taking Kamm to court for stalking – and “Philip
Cross” has deleted all reference to that fact from Kamm’s Wikipedia page.
What is plain is that Kamm and Cross have extremely similar political
views, and that the dividing line of those they attack and those they
defend is based squarely on the principles of the Euston Manifesto. This
may be obscure, but is in fact an important Blairite declaration of support
for Israel and for neo-con wars of intervention, and was linked to the
foundation of the Henry Jackson Society. Who do we find editing the
Wikipedia entry for the Euston Manifesto? “Philip Cross”.
*What is particularly interesting is that “Philip Cross”‘s views happen to
be precisely the same political views as those of Jimmy Wales*, the founder
of Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales has been on twitter the last three days being
actively rude and unpleasant to anybody questioning the activities of
Philip Cross. His commitment to Cross’s freedom to operate on Wikipedia
would be rather more impressive if the Cross operation were not promoting
Wales’ own opinions. Jimmy Wales has actively spoken against Jeremy Corbyn,
supports the bombing of Syria, supports Israel, is so much of a Blairite he
married Blair’s secretary, and sits on the board of Guardian Media Group
Ltd alongside Katherine Viner.
The extreme defensiveness and surliness of Wales’ twitter responses on the
“Philip Cross” operation is very revealing. Why do you think he reacts like
this? Interestingly enough. Wikipedia’s UK begging arm, Wikimedia UK,
joined in with equal hostile responses to anyone questioning Cross.
In response many people sent Jimmy Wales evidence, which he ignored, while
his “charity” got very upset with those questioning the Philip Cross
Wikimedia had arrived uninvited into a twitter thread discussing the
“Philip Cross” operation and had immediately started attacking people
questioning Cross’s legitimacy. Can anybody else see anything “insulting”
in my tweet?
I repeat, the coincidence of Philip Cross’s political views with those of
Jimmy Wales, allied to Wales’ and Wikimedia’s immediate hostility to
anybody questioning the Cross operation – without needing to look at any
evidence – raises a large number of questions.
“Philip Cross” does not attempt <https://wikipedia.fivefilters.org/> to
hide his motive or his hatred of those whose Wikipedia entries he attacks.
He openly taunts them on twitter. The obvious unbalance of his edits is
plain for anybody to see.
I have in the past exchanged messages with “Philip Cross”. He says he is a
person, and that he edits in conjunction with Oliver Kamm tweets because he
follows Kamm and his tweets inspire him to edit. He says he has met Kamm
and admits to being in electronic communication with him. That excjange I
had with Cross was some years ago. More recent communication with Cross
(who has now changed his twitter ID to “Julian”
has been less forthcoming and he has not replied:
George Galloway has offered a reward of £1,000 for the name and address of
“Cross” so he may also take legal action.
My view is that Philip Cross probably is a real person, but that he fronts
for a group acting under his name. It is undeniably true, in fact the
government has boasted, that both the MOD and GCHQ have “cyber-war” ops
aiming to defend the “official” narrative against alternative news media,
and that is precisely the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation on
Wikipedia. The extreme regularity of output argues against “Philip Cross”
being either a one man or volunteer operation. I do not rule out however
the possibility he genuinely is just a single extremely obsessed right wing
Finally, it is worth noting that on Wikipedia, an operation to boost the
mainstream media narrative and denigrate alternative sources has the
massive advantage that only information from mainstream media sources is
permitted in political articles.
In conclusion, some images from the edit pages of Wikipedia articles to
give just a little flavour of what I am talking about:
I am slightly concerned lest I am myself getting obsessed. Do you find this
as fascinating as I do?