Daily archives: May 23, 2009

Britain’s Got Talent – Vote For Julia!

I was sitting in my study working on Alexander Burnes when suddenly shrieks came from the living room. I went to investigate and was really surprised to see Nadira’s belly dancing colleague and our friend Julia Naidenko on Britain’s Got Talent. What is more she got through!

Julia is a lovely person. A few years ago she asked me to edit her book on belly dancing, but I didn’t have time because I was finalising Murder in Samarkand. Probably a poor decision on my part! Nadira and Julia used to practice in our living room while I was writing, which may explain the odd bit of dodgy grammar. Julia is very modest, too, She was in touch with Nadira this week and didn’t mention she had been on the show.

Nadira and Julia are both very serious about their craft. I was very proud when the Observer published of Nadira’s show:

‘A subtle dancer who ripples like water under wind”.

Most of the belly dancers currently working in London (you learn some esoteric stuff on this site!) are Brazilian showgirls. While undoubtedly alluring, what they do is not really belly dancing.

Julia is a great belly dancer. There is both dedication and skill behind what you see as beauty and effortless grace.

And remember the idiots of UKIP and the BNP would have kept Julia out of the country!

Brilliant, Julia!

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Support Nadine Dorries’ Freedom To Blog

It is now confirmed that Nadine Dorries blog has been taken down by her webhosts after threats by lawyers acting for the creepy and anti-democratic Barclay Brothers. I particularly dislike them because they destroyed the Scotsman, which was once a good newspaper.

Nadine Dorries had accused the Barclay Brothers of outing the sleaze about MPs in their Daily Telegraph as part of an anti-democratic plot. The same accusation was in this Independent piece at 2am yesterday. The Independent has edited it out. Annoyingly there is no sign of a google cache.


Nadine has completely lost it, after being caught lying about the location of her main residence, in order to cash in on the second home allowance. Her sense of entitlement has been getting up people’s noses for the last 24 hours. I cannot better the writing of Mr Eugenides:


I have spent most of the past six years working against torture, and have met many victims, in some cases dead victims. So Nadine’s whinge that MPs were being tortured after being found out was extremely annoying to me.

But the bullying action by the Barclay Brothers against a blog is another example of the use of our absurd libel laws to silence freedom of speech. No court has ruled that Nadine was libellous. She did not have the chance to defend her views in court. She was simply and effectively silenced, and her entire blogging corpus taken down.

There are numerous ironies to this story. Here are a few:

– The Barclay Brothers have stopped Nadine when she was very effectively digging her own political grave.

– Nobody took seriously her argument that the sleaze revelations were an anti-democratic conspiracy by the Barclay Brothers. The Barclay Brothers will bring far more opprobrium on themselves by this action than was cast by the original accusation.

– If they go through with a libel action, the money Dorries stole from the taxpayer could end up with the even less deserving Barclay Brothers. Bloody Hell!

No doubt Nadine’s blog will still be back up and hosted somewhere safe. But this is a wearing process. When Usmanov did exactly the same to me, we had to change our main url from co.uk to org.uk. We lost ranking for three years worth of links: our technorati score tumbled overnight from 370 to 28, and still hasn’t fully recovered. Neither have our google or wikio rankings.

Bloggers can dispute heartily. We use our free speech sometimes to quarrel – I have been doing that too much lately.

But when free speech in the blogosphere is attacked, we have a tradition of standing together. I have benefited from that more than most. I will stand now by Nadine. If she wants her article republished, I will do so here..


You will find Nadine Dorries offending article in full in the comments section below. I do not agree with her, but I do agree with her right to say it. I know it is there and accept legal responsibility for it.

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Google Knows Guido

This won’t make any sense unless you first look at this rather good and amusing piece on Paul Staines’ blog, about the predictive suggestions Google gives you when you type “Gordon Brown is”.


Then go to google.co.uk, and type in “Paul Staines”, and see what predictive text Google suggests.


As Paul says so wisely “GOOGLE KNOWS”.

Those google predictive text suggestions for Paul Staines:


Did Paul not have the sense to try this on himself before putting out the results about Gordon Brown? Paul has not so much been hoist by his own petard. His petard has been doubled up, set on fire and rammed up his arse.

As you so acutely observed: Google knows, Paul, Google knows. Couldn’t agree with you more.

Feel free to try it for Craig Murray, incidentally. I don’t know how google order their suggestions – it’s not by most results. Most searches, perhaps?

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