Publicising the New Book 25


As legal sharks Schillings caused my publisher to back down, causing me to have to self-publish The Catholic Orangemen of Togo and Other Conflicts I Have Known, we have needed to think imaginatively about promoting the book. One plan will involve promoting some individual short quotes. I have been through the book and extracted some personal favourites, which I need to whittle down to about ten.

Any of these strike anyone as particularly attractive or a turn off?

Autobiography is a form in which individuals observe sharply the failings of others, but are themselves near-perfect.

It is not always the man society finds most respectable who is likely to try to do what is right.

Thousands of senior British diplomats, civil servants and members of the military knew of our policy of acceptance of torture.

You don’t have to be a saint to call torture when you see it.

Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring.

Blair believed that he alone was the judge of right, and did not care how many had to die to prove it.

Blair’s policy of “Projection of hard power” was simply the return of formal Imperialism.

In conflict with Cook over ethical foreign policy, Blair would always overrule his Foreign Secretary, especially if the interest of the UK arms industry could be invoked.

The great fallacy of the Blair years was that foreign conflicts could be seen in black and white, as goodies versus baddies.

George Washington was fighting for the right to keep black people in chains.

Executive Outcomes ?” as enthusiastic a band of white killers as has been unleashed on Africa since King Leopold ran the Congo.

UN official, I regret to tell you, too often means corrupt and untrustworthy.

Having met Spicer, I was worried about his intentions and didn’t trust him.

A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?” the privatisation of killing.

The Sandline Affair was a deeply squalid plot to corner the market in Sierra Leone’s blood diamonds.

It was the old story ?” trained white men go in, shoot up a load of Africans and gain control of key economic resources.

Sandhurst has been responsible for educating those who generated untold repression and economic ruination in Africa.

President Abacha died in bed with three hookers, from an overdose of Viagra. I quipped that it would take days to nail down the coffin lid.

The Customs and Excise team told me that the recommendation was that both Spicer and Penfold be prosecuted for breach of the embargo.

The dossier was returned to Customs and Excise from the Crown Prosecution Service the very same day it was sent. It was marked, in effect, for no further action.

The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be the hallmark of the Blair years.

Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq, including thousands of British and American soldiers, but some people have made huge amounts of money from the war.

Tim Spicer has made a fortune out of the Iraq War.

Tim Spicer has long been an advocate of shooting civilians in case they have bombs.

Butchering your live victims’ limbs with a machete is only more horrific in its immediacy than planting a car bomb or bombing an Iraqi town from the air in your invulnerable jet.

I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

Isaac was the product of the sores of Africa: he was a hardened killer, but he was also the little boy forced to kill his own mother.

Having led the way in African nationalism, Nkrumah was pioneering the forms of economic mismanagement that were to destroy the economies of the continent and bring starvation and immeasurable suffering to millions.

Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London.

Africans have destroyed their own regional trade, for the protection of corrupt private interests.

These first years of Rawlings in power unleashed political terror on Ghana which outstripped anything done by British colonial rule or by Nkrumah.

“That’s about the right number,” opined the Prince, “We have about six hundred and fifty MPs, and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time.”

There are some things that are too weird even for me, and the lower reaches of the Royal household are one of them.

Personally, I never understand why people accept honours, when there is so much more cachet in turning them down.

The United States, in what seemed to me an absurd example of political correctness, sent a delegation of blind election observers.

I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.

In West Africa, among people who wear silk suits and are driven in Mercedes, the standards of truthfulness sadly leave in general a great deal to be desired.

Valerie Amos is the very antithesis of a democratic politician. One of the Blair inner circle, she rose to Cabinet level without ever having faced the electorate.

At launch over one third of Travant’s first equity fund came form DFID. A few months afterwards Baroness Amos, ex DFID minister, joined the board of this profit-making private equity firm.


25 thoughts on “Publicising the New Book

  • ziz

    Thousands of senior British diplomats, civil servants and members of the military knew of our policy of acceptance of torture.

    Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring.

    Try a bit of German and invert the object and ad a few adjectives.

    Inability to care is the proud hallmark of the successful diplomat

    Torture, its practice and policy, is something which runs through the ranks of senior British diplomats, civil servants and members of the military like the name of a seaside town through a stick of rock.

    etc., etc.,

  • kath

    I copied all the comments into a file, read through it as fast as possible, and deleted all except those that made the highest impact. (This is regardless of my sympathies or my opinion of the importance of any statements – it was just a matter of those which made an instant impact on me – and I aimed to delete most of them. Obviously the content of some of those I deleted may be more important, but they didn't stand out so immediately.) I ended up with the following ten and hope this response is of some help:

    Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring.

    The great fallacy of the Blair years was that foreign conflicts could be seen in black and white, as goodies versus baddies.

    George Washington was fighting for the right to keep black people in chains.

    A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?" the privatisation of killing.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq, including thousands of British and American soldiers, but some people have made huge amounts of money from the war.

    Tim Spicer has made a fortune out of the Iraq War.

    I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

    Africans have destroyed their own regional trade, for the protection of corrupt private interests.

    I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.

    In West Africa, among people who wear silk suits and are driven in Mercedes, the standards of truthfulness sadly leave in general a great deal to be desired.

  • Akheloios

    I'd ask Cory Doctorow, he's an expert at self publishing and free speech on the net. He writes on the BoingBoing Blog and I suppose that's where to find his contact details, there or his personal site of http://craphound.com/

    He seems to make enough money self publishing, though he's a fiction writer as opposed to autobiography.

  • ken

    I listed those that I thought would have the most impact for people unaware of the background to your book, and it just happened to total ten. Here they are:

    Blair believed that he alone was the judge of right, and did not care how many had to die to prove it.

    Blair's policy of "Projection of hard power" was simply the return of formal Imperialism.

    Executive Outcomes ?" as enthusiastic a band of white killers as has been unleashed on Africa since King Leopold ran the Congo.

    UN official, I regret to tell you, too often means corrupt and untrustworthy.

    It was the old story ?" trained white men go in, shoot up a load of Africans and gain control of key economic resources.

    Sandhurst has been responsible for educating those who generated untold repression and economic ruination in Africa.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Iraq, including thousands of British and American soldiers, but some people have made huge amounts of money from the war.

    (…… delete "some people" insert "many profiteers"?)

    I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

    Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London.

    I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.

    Hope that helps.

    Good luck.

  • Miguel Martinez

    I suggest that each website/blog which decides to support you be left to decide on its own.

    This is because:

    a) we the supporters have different kinds of public and interests – my readers for example are Italians who may know enough English to read the book, but may not know the names of most British politicians; so a sentence which would be terribly effective in the UK might be meaningless to them

    b) the more variety there is, the less Google will punish similar-sounding material

    Good luck!

  • Peter

    "I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody."

    – was the one which stood out to me. Reason is that when I bought Murder in Samarkand, I did so because it was your eye witness account. Such a book is more compelling than one written by a researcher.

    The quote above is the one which makes it clear this is another eye witness account, and it immediately makes me want to know who the other people were and why you were meeting with them…

    The others are interesting but, to be honest, don't work as hooks.

  • Tom Kennedy

    My threee favourites are:

    I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

    "That's about the right number," opined the Prince, "We have about six hundred and fifty MPs, and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time."

    The United States, in what seemed to me an absurd example of political correctness, sent a delegation of blind election observers.

  • Sam

    The killing ones:

    I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

    [A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be] the ultimate privatisation ?" the privatisation of killing.

    Though with the last one you might cut the first half of the sentence for sheer impact-without-sense.

    Good luck!

  • Ruth

    Here are mine – all about British corruption particularly the theft of resources and the sale of arms carried out secretly by the UK government and concealed by its control over the courts.

    Executive Outcomes ?" as enthusiastic a band of white killers as has been unleashed on Africa since King Leopold ran the Congo.

    Having met Spicer, I was worried about his intentions and didn't trust him.

    A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?" the privatisation of killing.

    The Sandline Affair was a deeply squalid plot to corner the market in Sierra Leone's blood diamonds.

    It was the old story ?" trained white men go in, shoot up a load of Africans and gain control of key economic resources.

    The dossier was returned to Customs and Excise from the Crown Prosecution Service the very same day it was sent. It was marked, in effect, for no further action.

    The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be the hallmark of the Blair years.

    Tim Spicer has made a fortune out of the Iraq War.

    Tim Spicer has long been an advocate of shooting civilians in case they have bombs.

    Butchering your live victims' limbs with a machete is only more horrific in its immediacy than planting a car bomb or bombing an Iraqi town from the air in your invulnerable jet.

    Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London.

    I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.

    Valerie Amos is the very antithesis of a democratic politician. One of the Blair inner circle, she rose to Cabinet level without ever having faced the electorate.

    At launch over one third of Travant's first equity fund came form DFID. A few months afterwards Baroness Amos, ex DFID minister, joined the board of this profit-making private equity firm.

  • john

    When advertising always emphasize the benefit for the purchaser of the product, for this kind of book I guess this is what are we going to learn that we didn't know before. So I think you need one which sums up the book as a whole, reading through them the book appears to be quite diverse.

    Having said that

    "I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody."

    and

    "Isaac was the product of the sores of Africa: he was a hardened killer, but he was also the little boy forced to kill his own mother."

    stand out.

  • geomannie

    "I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody."

    That's the one that made me stop and think. I've been in that room as well.

  • Frank Bowles

    Hi Craig

    Happy New Year

    I'll spend a bit more time on this and email you some thoughts but I think the unanswered questions for me are:

    Who are you really aiming the book at? (sympathetic public, politicians, world leaders, Telegraph readers, students?)

    What is the impact you want it to have? (a movement for some sort of change, a better understanding of Africa, a smile at the high jinks in the embassy)

    That focus will make it easier to figure the best quotes to appeal…

    Cheers

    Frank

  • Hitler

    My faves:

    Tim Spicer has long been an advocate of shooting civilians in case they have bombs.

    "That's about the right number," opined the Prince, "We have about six hundred and fifty MPs, and most of them are a complete bloody waste of time."

    A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?" the privatisation of killing.

    Isaac was the product of the sores of Africa: he was a hardened killer, but he was also the little boy forced to kill his own mother.

    There are some things that are too weird even for me, and the lower reaches of the Royal household are one of them.

    I was myself to encounter more electoral fraud in Blackburn than I ever did in Ghana.

    I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody. (Perhaps shorten it to, "Craig Murray: the only man in the room who has never killed anybody". In fact, you could probably stand to adjust the wording of all of these)

    You want to stay away from taut generalizations about Blair, the Bush people, etc, because, while true, it's not news (and therefore not intriguing) to most people.

  • Neil Hoskins

    Blair believed that he alone was the judge of right, and did not care how many had to die to prove it.

    Tim Spicer has made a fortune out of the Iraq War.

    (War profiteers have always (rightly) been despised)

  • Jari Markwort

    Hi Craig,

    Happy New Year !

    My favorites are the following:

    Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring.

    I realised that I was almost certainly the only person in that room who had never killed anybody.

    A fundamental part of this new Blair doctrine was to be the ultimate privatisation ?" the privatisation of killing.

    The decision not to prosecute in the Sandline case was the first major instance of the corruption of the legal process that was to be the hallmark of the Blair years.

    Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London.

    There are some things that are too weird even for me, and the lower reaches of the Royal household are one of them.

    Good luck with the publication!

    Best regards from Finland

    Jari

  • Andy

    "Tim Spicer has long been an advocate of shooting civilians in case they have bombs."

    "Butchering your live victims' limbs with a machete is only more horrific in its immediacy than planting a car bomb or bombing an Iraqi town from the air in your invulnerable jet."

    "Those who did benefit, massively, were the dictators, their cronies, and the bonus-quaffing Porsche-driving bastards of the City of London."

  • Craig

    Frank,

    You won't be surprised to hear that I hadn't thought about it. I suppose that peculiar creature, the general reader. Things that make the average man think. But we need some of the stuff on Spicer, because he's the one who keeps threatening to sue.

  • Tom Kennedy

    Craig, there's a site that allows you to create your own polls. I've set up a demonstration for you, at http://www.polldaddy.com/p/1248458/ – you can use this as it stands or go to polldaddy.com and set up your own (it's very easy). It could do with better formatting to make more use of the width of the screen, but that's how polldaddy.com does it unfortunately.

  • Charles Crawford

    "Thousands of senior British diplomats, civil servants and members of the military knew of our policy of acceptance of torture.

    Diplomats rather pride themselves on not caring."

    Come off it, Craig! These two are silly, untrue and unworthy. Are you really aiming to publish this sort of thing?

  • Craig

    Charles,

    Well, you knew of the policy not least because you read my telegrams. And interestingly those rendition flights to Tashkent regularly stopped at Szymano to refuel, while you were Ambassador there, so I should be very interested to hear what you did know about extraordinary rendition, waterboarding et al.

    The second quote is a generalisation, and untrue in some cases. Nobody could accuse you of not caring, but then nobody could accuse you of being a typical diplomat.

  • JerryC

    We all agree that torture is a very bad thing. So is 'conventional' warfare.

    On balance, I think that lobbing shells and missiles at the Gaza strip maiming and killing hundreds of innocent bystanders is worse than torturing, say, 100 Palestinians to find out who is launching rockets and then taking out those individuals.

    Yes yes, both are appalling but let's imagine, for the sake of this thought experiment, that there's no third way.

    Which of the alternatives would you choose, Mr Murray? Torture or random maiming?

  • oulwan

    "Yes yes, both are appalling but let's imagine, for the sake of this thought experiment, that there's no third way."

    –JerryC

    There is always a third way, and a fourth way and a fifth way – if your object is to avoid violence and killing. Your question is ludicrous.

Comments are closed.