Daily Archives: July 7, 2007


Live Earth

I am not going to be at all cynical about Live Earth. I think it is a wonderful event which will do a huge amount to raise consciousness on global warming, and lead both to support for the green movement, and improved personal energy-saving. The benefits will far outweigh the energy use of the production, and to pretend otherwise is nonsense.

Watching on TV, I am pleasantly surprised by how very much I have enjoyed pretty well all the music. Even some of the musically more dubious momemts were entertaining. I thought Paolo Nutini was a Spike Milligan impersonator until I relaised that really was supposed to be singing, but I ignored that and as a Spike Milligan impersonation it was wonderful.

The only grating note has been Jonathon Ross on the BBC. I am generally a fan, but his inability to treat any of the global warming information at all seriously is annoying. He seems to want to treat the event like the Eurovision Song Contest. By comparison, Graham Norton comes across as someone who knows how to mix comedy with a serious message.

Al Gore’s message and his pledges were very well put over. We all think so much about what a horror we got in Bush, we overlook what we lost in Gore. I still view the fraudulent election of 2000 with disbelief. The extraordinary thing is, at the time it didn’t seem that important, to me at least. What a fool I was.

I thought the Black Eyed Peas were superb, and they seemed very much connected to the message and politics of the event. They were the only thing so far that has bordered on rap. though what they sing about is very different from urban rap. It is in fact probably the lack of rap that explains why I am enjoying the music so much. My guess is that rappers are absent because it involves playing for free to help a movement to save the planet. The rappers are too busy beating up women, driving their hummers, shooting people and writing lyrics to encourage young Londoners to stab each other. There is nothing that annoys me more than trendies in Britain who refuse to accept that an ultra-materialist, violence worshipping, openly extreme misogynistic culture is a bad thing.

Ironing uses a great deal of energy for heating and is completely unnecessary. Next time you see someone in a neatly pressed garment or with a crease in their trousers, shun them. I am going to start a campaign against ironing to save the planet.

Possibly that only seems a good idea because I opened the third bottle of wine to celebrate the arrival of Spinal Tap.

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The London bombs also belong to the new Prime Minister

An excellent article here by Jon Pilger

Just as the London bombs in the summer of 2005 were Blair’s bombs, the inevitable consequence of his government’s lawless attack on Iraq, so the potential bombs in the summer of 2007 are Brown’s bombs.

Gordon Brown, Blair’s successor as prime minister, has been an unerring supporter of the unprovoked bloodbath whose victims now equal those of the Rwandan genocide, according to the American scientist who led the 2006 Johns Hopkins School of Public Health survey of civilian dead in Iraq. While Tony Blair sought to discredit this study, British government scientists secretly praised it as “tried and tested” and an “underestimation of mortality”. The “underestimation” was 655,000 men, women and children. That is now approaching a million. It is the crime of the century.

In his first day’s address outside 10 Downing Street and subsequently to Parliament, Brown paid not even lip service to those who would be alive today had his government ‘ and it was his government as much as Blair’s ‘ not joined Bush in a slaughter justified with demonstrable lies. He said nothing, not a word.

See full article http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article17973.htm

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Moments that make it worthwhile

I received this email today. It is a bit disjointed below because I have removed any detail that might help the Uzbek government identify the sender. It really cheered me up on a morning when I needed it badly!

Dear Craig,

I was going to buy your book ‘Murder in Samarkand’ on the way home in Books etc a week ago as I heard a lot about it lately but unfortunately they did not have any in their store. Today I asked my friend to find it for me and luckily he found it in Waterstones. When I came home the book was waiting for me. I started reading the book and suddenly after about 30-35 pages I noticed my friend staring at me with a really surprised expression on his face”..I was crying, I had proper tears in my eyes. I was amazed that your book is so well written that it made me go through a lot of things in the past that I had back home in Uzbekistan.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself, I come from …, my name is …, (this is my English name, the Uzbek one is hard to pronounce) and am ”. I now have been in the UK for … I live in …. …made me learn a lot of stuff including English. It is amazing place despite quite a few downsides. I did my degree back home in but never managed to find a job in this field as all political places like Ministries etc are mostly … I had a pretty good job and life back home but overall cultural, political and economical strain made me run away at least to have some break and live a stress free life for a little while.

I can not remember exactly now but I think I saw you quite a few times on the TV. I might be wrong but I think you could speak Russian pretty fluently. Things did not change a lot since you left Uzbekistan. Everything is almost the same unfortunately. I am really sorry for all bad things you had to go through in Uzbekistan. I wish it was a place that I could be proud of. All educated people were aware of what was going on when you suddenly had to leave Uzbekistan.

I would like to thank you for writing a book about this completely lost and forgotten part of the world.

Warm regards and many thanks for your wonderful book,

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