Daily Archives: April 25, 2005

Outspoken ex-envoy takes aim at Straw

BLACKBURN (Reuters) – Outspoken ex-envoy takes aim at Straw: “SACK JACK” is the simple message emblazoned on luminous green posters adorning an old army fire engine in the town square. “Hit the road Jack Straw. Don’t you come back no more,” blares an accompanying tune as shoppers wander by in the former mill town of Blackburn. The dated “Green Goddess” fire engine has been commandeered as a campaign bus by an outspoken former ambassador who left the diplomatic service in a row over torture in Uzbekistan and is now battling his old boss, Foreign Secretary Straw, in his own constituency in the May 5 election… “My campaign is about the lack of ethics in foreign policy and the abandonment of international law just to please George Bush,” Murray told Reuters. “Blackburn can send a powerful message of discontent,” he added… Murray’s 21-year diplomatic career came to an abrupt end late last year after he was withdrawn from Uzbekistan. He had accused the West of tacitly endorsing torture by accepting bogus information extracted by duress from prisoners in the authoritarian Central Asian state that has become a key ally of Washington…

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Overview of the antiwar Independents

The Independent – The independent charge: A record number of independent candidates are standing at this general election, aiming to capitalise on growing disillusionment with party politics… Britain’s former ambassador in Uzbekistan is standing against Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, in the Blackburn constituency. Mr Murray was removed from his post after he accused the British Government of turning a blind eye to torture in Uzbekistan. The Foreign Office retaliated by accusing him of drunkenness and trading visas for sex with local women. Despite being cleared, the 45-year-old Scot was condemned for speaking out publicly. He is campaigning on Britain’s foreign policy, especially the war in Iraq and MI6’s alleged acceptance of intelligence obtained under torture.

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