The Catholic Orangemen – First Review 14

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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14 thoughts on “The Catholic Orangemen – First Review

  • jailhouselawyer

    I so much wanted to republish a large extract from the Arms to Africa chapter, unfortunately when I tried to copy and paste it on my blog the text turned out to be gibberish.

    I have no time for Spicer nor Schillings.

  • RickB

    Kudos to you Craig for writing the book and taking the leap into web publishing to fight the scumbags, there is some debate on it but a fair number of writers say it aids their sales in the long run. I would also add that Togo made me go back and re-read Samarkand, one book enriched the other (and I paid for MiS so at least you got some cash for that!). Of course this does rather mean you have to make it a nice round trilogy now!

    I'm glad I could help. You fight the good fight, the government may not want you representing it but you are serving the people admirably.

    [Also I loved in Samarkand this line-

    "Mental illness is a different country, difficult to explain to someone who hasn't been there."

    So from a fellow passport holder of that land, I salute you.]

  • OrwellianUK

    Hope you don't mind me 'publishing' the following here Craig. I have already published it on medialens and my own blog,

    Open letter to the BBC:


    Yet another example of pure propaganda on the BBC evening news, 12th January:

    A torrent of Israeli spokespeople, rationalising mass murder, followed by a reporter discussing the massacre in terms of whether the public opinion in Israel is behind it or not, then capped off by the ignorant statements of Israeli civilians, unchallenged, without context to the genocide inflicted on their Palestinian neighbours over several decades and intensified in the current onslaught by their Government.

    Where are the Palestinian voices?

    Where is mention of the Occupation? The endless cycle of Israeli Apache Helicopters and F16 air strikes, Blockade, Torture, Bulldozing of Homes with People inside, Wire Fences, Walls, Apartheid Policy, Missile Strikes, Sniper Fire against Children, endless Checkpoints and Humiliation, Beatings, Theft of Land, Theft of Water, Theft of Dignity?

    What if it were you? What about the Palestinian right to resist this racist policy of Genocide? Supposing this was Iran perpetrating this atrocity and not Israel?

  • Stevie

    Thanks Orwellian, your actions also inspired me to complain to the BBC.

    Great reviews for the book Craig – well done!

  • Davide

    Hi Craig.

    Have you thought of publishing it as an audiobook? with your skills in public speeches it should be relatively easy for you to get a great spoken version out in no time.

    Sales of audiobooks on itunes or audible for example are getting very successful recently.

  • Sabretache

    Further to Orwellian UK

    The thing that struck me most forcefully about last nights BBC TV news at 6:00pm was the most blatant example I have yet seen of the uncritical presentation of Israeli propaganda as hard factual news. It was footage of an Israeli missile being launched towards 'Palestinian Militants' then (allegedly) diverted by the pilot responsible for its launch and guidance because he noticed civilians close by. That is a pretty exact paraphrase of the BBC commentary. It was unbelievably crass. Presented with the sort of credulous child-like enthusiasm you might expect from a review of the latest video game. No criticism or question; just aired as typical of the actions of humane Israeli pilots earnestly seeking to distinguish between 'militants' and 'civilians' from several thousand feet and to impress us with the pin-point accuracy of it's clever, humane civilian avoiding weaponry.

    And why is it that the Israelis have 'forces' and 'soldiers', but Palestinian only have 'terrorists', 'militants', and occasionally 'fighters'? – Rhetorical question that, because it's so damned in-you-face obvious, even when recited by clean-cut lady presenters with ernest tone and concerned faces. I find it pretty much impossible to watch these days, and only do so to keep tabs on just how crass and servile they can get.

    The BBC – like most of the Western – media are clearly in total thrall to a very impressive Zionist propaganda machine. The really sick and sad thing is that they appear blissfully unaware of it.

  • CorrespondentOnline

    Mr. Murray,

    Thanks for the book. It is a very entertaining read, and it is good that some of this information should be more widely known,- especially the low character of our rulers. I'm glad that it is being noticed on blogs like Dale, Old Holborn and Sabretache.

    So far your writing has been biographical.I would be interested to read something from you about international affairs that is less personal, more reflective and more comprehensive. For instance, you mention the French support for dictators who dispense diamonds to politicians, but don't mention the Chinese, who are reported to be gaining influence and resources by an even more pragmatic attitude. What does British diplomacy achieve, apart from opportunities for politicians and diplomats to strut and bombast? If most of the foreign service was just sacked would British interests really suffer? If you and your colleagues had not existed would the world be noticeably different? Wouldn't there just be a slightly different assortment of snouts around the trough? Why has the promotion of British interests been replaced by missionising for the religion of 'leftism'?

    Your experience should enable you to write revealingly about what is happening behind the scenes. I wish you well, and look forward to reading more of your books.

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