Swatting A Fly 11

Charles Crawford’s continued efforts to get someone to pay attention to his dull blog continue to centre on me. He wishes to challenge me to a public debate on diplomacy and ethics.


If you search YouTube you can find some 40 videos of me speaking at various places. Not one of the videos of me was posted by me. I have more invitations to speak than I can accept, and have regularly sold out some big venues like the Edinburgh Book Festival. I can’t see any videos of Charles on YouTube.

Charles’ repeated challenge is a bit like Sheringham FC challenging Manchester United to a match, and then complaining they won’t take them on.

Anyway, I suppose I had better humour the poor old chap. One should always respect one’s elders. We had better do it soon before he drops off the perch. But it is less simple than it sounds. “Diplomacy and Ethics” is, as he suggests, a fascinating theme, but any debate needs a defined subject which crystallises the area of disagreement so as to allow for clear choices, and reduce the chances of a dull dance around definitions. A debate between just two people also offers difficulties of format to make sure they really interact.

You also need a venue and an organisation. We have one kind offer, but the venue is somewhat small.

Maybe we should go for the room at the RGS where the Burton/Speke debate was arranged. Or – and this might be fun – the Locarno room at the FCO!

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11 thoughts on “Swatting A Fly

  • Jaded

    Maybe do it outdoors somewhere? BBQ afterwards with refreshments or something? We all the vote the winner of the debate and the loser foots the bar bill. 🙂

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig – I did some investigative work on the case, and wish to present the evidence as at 8th May, 2009:-

    1. Yours is the only reply by way of “comment” to Charles;and

    2. I have a suspicion that I am the only one who has bothered to visit the guy’s blog – but will have to investigate further to obtain additional evidence.

    See below for evidence in hand to date:-

    ” 7th May 2009

    Craig Murray has married his partner Nadira .

    My warm congratulations (and I mean it).

    Once the honeymoon is over, I invite Craig to think about setting up that debate at long last on Diplomacy and Ethics or something along those lines?

    One venue has already been kindly offered.

    But a debate on this subject having only myself there without Craig would be rather one-sided?

    link to this post

    1 Comment View Comments | Add Comment

    8th May 2009

    Craig Murray

    Thanks Charles! Replied on my blog.”

  • George Dutton

    “But a debate on this subject having only myself there without Craig would be rather one-sided?”

    How about…Murray and Galloway v Crawford and Dale.

    As for a venue?,George Galloway’s radio show?.

  • anticant

    Which of you will be Darwin’s Bulldog Huxley and which Soapy Sam Wilberforce?

  • David W


    You have my contact details from my offer last weekend of a debate venue should you wish to contact me regarding the possible format and logistics of the debate.

  • Polo

    Much as I like Galloway he doesn’t play fair on his radio show. Shutting off the mike on one’s opponent is not fair and doing it on the spot, partly to wrongfoot him, is particularly not cricket.

    What about a monster Skype conference call? < Only Joking. >

  • Charles Crawford


    More like Glenn Hoddle (me: great player who never quite fulfilled his potential, pity about the zany ideas) challenging Paul Gascoigne (you: great player who also fizzled out, pity about the wild tackles and excessive partying) to a ‘juggle your balls’ contest?

    Or even two fading West End luvvies wildly swinging their handbags at each other?

    The Locarno Room at the FCO would be iconic, apart from the risk of it being torn to pieces by the hordes of jaded FCO people fighting to get in. How might we allocate tickets to the public?

    As you know, we have had a proposal of a ‘moderated discussion’ rather than a set-piece debate. That is maybe a wise idea as it allows arguments to be framed in a more cogent and systematic way.

    Anyway, I think that the occasion would be instructive, so thanks for accepting.


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