Daily archives: January 12, 2009

The Catholic Orangemen – First Review

I think this is the first review of The Catholic Orangemen, from Ten Percent. If the reception is generally like this, I shall be pretty happy:

I enjoyed it immensely, found myself at page 100 before I knew what hit me, a testament to fascinating subject matter and an easy friendly style. It’s fascinating to learn more of how our embassies work (or don’t, it also works as a companion to le Carre’s recent books in providing more background detail to the machinations of power) and the reality of New Labour politicians (Amos!) and their far too close relationship with business all the while slickly marketing themselves as great states-people. His account of Africa and our role in it is useful and pragmatic although like me I’m sure there will be differences of opinion here and there. But as with Murder in Samarkand it is a forthright account of a man who we can recognise, with faults and weaknesses but a core determination to do his best, his pesky loyalty to democracy and human rights is the thing that tellingly makes him different from the establishment. Careerism, party/class loyalty, greed, tradition seem to have trumped all other considerations in many of the well known names who crop up. For example it’s interesting that the ‘ethical foreign policy’ that Robin Cook tried to implement was steadfastly opposed by Blair in No. 10 from the outset. And the passages where Craig, in Sierra Leone peace talks, realises he is the only one in the room who has never killed anybody, show the difficulty but necessity of peace negotiations.


I also extracted this from the comments:

Terrific read from start to finish. Before the end of the third paragraph I was forced to eagerly cancel any and all plans which would interfere with my finishing the book.

“It was possibly the worst thing I had ever done, and my conscience was bothering me. As my wife Fiona was nudging our overloaded Saab 9.3 around a Polish lake, through fog so dense it looked like solid mass, I felt uneasy. Mariola had been perhaps the nicest, kindest, gentlest mistress I ever had. Her red curls framed a face of pre-Raphaelite perfection, her lithe but well curved body was the incarnation of allure, and more precious still, her soul was deep, gentle and romantic. She was also discreet, reliable, faithful and inexpensive. Yet I was running away, leaving the country without even saying goodbye. Worse, without even telling her I was going. I hadn’t been able to face it. I just left. What a bastard I was. I reached up to the steering wheel and squeezed my wife’s hand for comfort.

What I was doing to Mariola was really, really bad. Even worse than sleeping with both her sisters. I wondered if they would tell her.

I had hugely enjoyed my time in Poland as First Secretary at the British Embassy.”

From there on it gets even more interesting!

Johan van Rooyen

It is genuinely nervewracking offering up something that was so much work, and is rather unconventional, and not knowing what the reaction will be.

If people could add reviews on Amazon that would be helpful. It might also be good if someone was able to update wikipedia with some of the information from the book – notably Tim Spicer’s carefully presented entry.

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The Doctrine of Greater Eligibility

We were taught at school to detest the early 19th century reformer Owen Chadwick and his “Doctrine of lesser eligibility”. What this meant was that it should be less eligible – desirable – to be on benefit than off it. Chadwick’s plans led to the cruelties of the workhouse system – though cruelty was not Chadwick’s intention.

Nadira and I have to move from our small Shepherds Bush flat, with a baby on the way and my children often visiting. I don’t want to buy in a still falling market, so I was looking to rent again. More space means moving further out, so we were looking at a nice house at Ealing Common.

The house had three bedrooms and was for rent at £2,300 per month. The rental market is also falling – not plummeting like the purchase market, but floating gently downwards. So we offered £2,100 and agreement seemed very close.

Then Ealing Council stepped in and offered the owner £2,700 per month to take it for social housing.

Obviously I admit to some personal frustration, but it is plain in this case (and I don’t know how many houses Ealing Council are taking) that the government intervention is radically distorting the market, to the detriment of private renters.

Chadwick’s doctrine of lesser eligibility was abused to harrass the poor. But we have an opposite doctrine at work here. If you are on state benefits you can get a level of housing that self-reliant working people are priced out of. That seems wrong too.

I await the howls of left wing rage!

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Charity Performance

In a recent post I called Gordon Brown a two-faced cunt. That brought a howl of protest from those who felt I was insulting the female sexual organ.

I do apologise, and to make amends should let you know that Nadira is appearing in three charity performances of The Vagina Monologues at the New Players Theatre in Charing Cross on 19 and 20 February at 7.30pm, and 21 February at 8pm.

You can find the details and buy tickets here:


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Those Friendly Peace-Loving Supporters of Israel

I received the following email yesterday from [email protected]

russian email? But i’ll write to u in English..

Not only you are an ugly looking man,but you are born dickhead.heard your satanic speech against Israel and how you hate it.U deserve death.ASAP

I replied as follows

As I presume you feel the poor children of Gaza also deserve death, I am in good company.

If you want to try to kill me, I live at 31 Sinclair Gardens, West Kensington, London W14 0AU.

Nearest tube is Shepherds Bush. I do hope that is helpful.

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Lawyers Schillings, acting on behalf of mercenary commander Tim Spicer, persuaded my publisher to pull out of publishing my new book, The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflcits I Have Known. Tim Spicer has made millions from the war in Iraq, and the UK has become notorious for the ability of the rich to close down criticism because of the massive costs – often hundreds of thousands of pounds – of defending a legal action.

There is access to the courts in big libel cases only for the ultra-rich. So much so that just a simple letter like this


can kill a book. This process is known in the trade as “Chilling”. Schillings are the acknowledged leaders in chilling.

But the law was formulated in an age when a limited number of printing presses were the only means of mass communication. Not only does this not apply in the digital age, but by using the “Streisland effect” we can make sure that any attempt at “Chilling” results in ten times more people actually reading the book. Eventually this will discourage clients from using firms like Schillings, and hopefully put the leeches of repression out of business.

So as a lesson to Schillings and their potential clients, here is The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known. I am making it available across the internet, absolutely free to read. You can find it here:


(At midnight my platform is refusing to upload, saying the file is too large – how embarassing! I hope we will get our own hosted copy up in the morning, when I can get help).

Let me be clear: there is no libel in this book – it is all true and based on my own eye-witness account. It contains not libel, but rather truth some people wish to hide.

It is going online in the next 24 hours in over thirty jurisdictions – Schillings will have their work cut out trying to get all those taken down, and it would make a dent even in Spicer’s bank balance to try.

So please read it, pass it around, copy it and post it to your site. You will be striking a blow for freedom, and you will ultimately contribute to making libel lawyers poorer.

If you want a hard copy, I have self-published and had some privately printed. You can buy it here.


I should be most happy if people wished to buy the book – you can widen the effect by giving it as a present! My last book, Murder in Samarkand was a non-fiction bestseller, so Schillings have cost me a lot of money. It will be more than worth it if we can get the truth out more widely, and strike a blow against the libel laws.

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