The EDP 40

The Eastern Daily Press – known locally as the EDP – is one of Britain’s regional newspapers with surviving real influence. It is said to be still the highest selling newspaper in Norfolk. My grandparents had the EDP delivered every day, plus the North Norfolk News on Fridays (and the Pink’Un on Saturdays). They would never have dreamt of buying a national paper.

It was founded in the mid nineteenth century by the leading Norwich families – the Colemans (of mustard fame), Jarrolds (publishers and booksellers) and the Copemans. There was another family too but their name escapes me. What the Copemans did apart from the paper I am not sure, but they ran the paper literally for generations and produced at least one great editor, Tom Copeman, an inspirational man of a radical turn of mind, In the early 1970s, Tom retired to Sheringham, where he lived three streets from us.

I think I first got to meet the retired Tom at a Third World First meeting when I was about fourteen. He was, I think, quietly amused by my strong desire for justice allied to ignorance of – well, almost everything. We formed an unlikely friendship and I used to visit him on winter’s evenings, sit on his floor,and drink his coffee, chat and learn. I would meet people who to my small world seemed extraordinarily cosmopolitan. (You will laugh at me, but when I went to Chicago at the age of 20, I was asked if I wanted some pizza, and I had never heard the word before)!

I remember Tom telling me he had been sent to Arctic Russian – Murmansk I think – to link with the White Russians and fight the bolsheviks. It had been a complete shambles; they were not equipped properly for the Arctic and casualties had been very high, despite never really working out who they were meant to fight. The terrible futility and suffering of it all had convinced him that wars should only be fought in direct self-defence.

Tom left an imprint on my political thinking which undoubtedly helped me form the broadly liberal views I have stuck with since those days. If it were not for Tom and a few others like him, I would not have been the only person to quit the FCO or security services over what the government has finally admitted is a policy of using intelligence obtained by torture.

All of which I hope leads you to understand why I was a bit hurt to read this in the EDP today:

Mr Murray was appointed British ambassador to Uzbekistan at the relatively young age of 43, and was dismissed from the post in October 2004. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office denied any controversy and said it was for “operational reasons”.

He separated from his wife, with whom he has two children, after starting a relationship with an Uzbek woman whom he met while she was working as a belly dancer in a night club. She followed him when he left Uzbekistan and they married in May.

I do trust that, in the interests of balance, the EDP will publish a detailed history of the love lives of all the other candidates for the last seven years.

Sadly, the EDP has become perhaps the most rabidly Conservative paper in the UK. Its coverage of the largest political demonstration the UK has ever seen was, amazingly, even more biased than that of the Sun. The EDP ran an editorial denouncing the “ragbag coalition” of people it characterised as Marxists, supporters of dictatorship, pacifists and swampies. If there are over a million of those in the country, we are in trouble.

I hope the EDP has very deep pockets, because it employs as a columnist the well known libeller, Tory Iain Dale. Dale recently admitted guilt in libelling Tom Watson MP, and cost the Mail on Sunday 350,000 pounds including all costs. I have a notion of how I might find I am able to fund my Norwich campaign…

Iain Dale is of course all over the media nowadays and has become a political force to be reckoned with. In fact, through his EDP column, we can now see what psephologists are dubbing the “Iain Dale effect” for the Tories.

The “Iain Dale effect” can be seen most clearly in North Norfolk, where Iain Dale was the Tory parliamentary candidate at the last general election. Look at the council results last Thursday for North Norfolk.

Look at that map. You can immediately see Iain Dale’s constituency. Just join up those two big yellow blocks. Against the trend in the rest of Norfolk and the rest of the region, in North Norfolk there was a swing from the Tories to the Lib Dems of seven per cent and the Lib Dems had a net gain from the Tories of four seats.

That’s the Iain Dale effect.

The Tories of North Norfolk have sensibly dumped him in favour of some fat Norwich solicitor. I do hope he turns up in Norwich North to campaign against me. Could be just the boost I need.

I can’t let that map go without congratulating Brian Hannah on his victory in Sheringham. Brian’s father Joe was my grandfather Henry Grice’s best friend. Joe taught me to cut hay with a scythe, which is much harder than it looks. I shall stop before I drown in nostalgia.

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40 thoughts on “The EDP

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  • Richard

    That is a bit rum really – nice bit of bias/slur in the catalogue of events. Hmm.

    I was speculating with one of me chums as to the impact media has had on elections – that no bugger buys regional papers anymore so people get most of their views from crappy TV news – which therefore give rise to swings in voting that are both novel and strange – couple that with turnout etc and…..

  • Craig

    David T

    I deleted that for a comment about Nadira which, while perhaps not maliciously meant, was certainly untrue in the sense people will understand it.

  • David T

    You asked why people were interested in your love life.

    Your love life is remarkable, and was of relevance to your former profession.

    Evidently, you’ll delete me repeating what you have yourself said about your mental health, or describing your wife’s former job.

    However, you can’t expect newspapers not to report on it!!

  • MJ

    “…I was a bit hurt to read this in the EDP today”

    The knives are out Craig. This is perhaps why you got all those visiters yesterday.

    If the forces of darkness can stop you getting on TV, they’re not going to let you get a fair run in a bye-election. If you think the dirty tricks to which you were subjected in Blackburn won’t happen in Norwich then think again. They probably see this as an opportunity to crush you once and for all.

    Fasten your seat-belt, it’s going to be stormy ride. Hope I’m very very wrong.

  • David T

    OK Craig… but it does make me feel well disposed towards you. You’re a classic English eccentric in the great tradition of this country.

    But that does make you fair game: because it is funny, and vaguely titillating.

    cf, for example, Lembit Opik and his relationship with the Cheeky Girls. People find that sort of thing amusing.

  • James

    Many mistakes are made in print – we all know that – we see retractions on a regular basis in most newspapers and on blogs.

    Iain Dale mistakenly wrote that Tom Watson was a recipient of the email from McBride. When notified of the mistake he publicly apologised, removed the comment from his website and notified the Mail of the mistake (too late to retract).

    It was a mistake – nothing more or nothing less. Obviously Tom Watson sat next to McBride in Downing Street and wouldn’t have needed to be included in the email to know what was going on. But that is a different issue.

    In comparison to the entertaining Iain Dale – you appear to be a complete tit.

  • Craig


    I have never libeled anyone or had to retract anything. And if you are only entertained by someone who shares your own political views, I am sorry.

    Yes, we all make mistakes. Iain’s cost the Mail on Sunday a great deal of money. Why is it wrong of me to mention that?

  • Craig

    Management of manic depression is a difficult subject. I opt not to take lithium – as do a great many other manic depressives – because it has a dulling effect on the mind, at least in my perception. There are other forms of treatment, including psychotherapy (by genuine NHS psychiatrists) and other drugs, such as venlafaxine, when really needed. Like other manic depressives, I can function perfectly normally 99% of the time.

    When you have achieved a continuing career as distinguished as mine, held the positions I have, written books which have sold as well as mine, made close personal friends with Presidents and Nobel Laureates as I have, and given up a lucrative position on a human rights principle as I have, you can start to call me a farce.

    As the football crowd would say: “Who are you?”

  • David T

    The last comment should have been in your name, Craig.

    But this:

    “When you have achieved a continuing career as distinguished as mine, held the positions I have, written books which have sold as well as mine, made close persoan friends with Presidents and Nobel Laureates as I have, and given up a lucrative position on a human rights principle as I have, you can start to call me a farce.”

    You see, this is why you are such good value!

  • eddie


    Good value indeed. The Wind in the Willows springs to mind.

    “The world has held great Heroes,

    As history books have showed;

    But never a name to go down to fame

    Compared with that of Toad!”

  • Craig

    Oh, for those who don’t know, David T is better known on the net as Harry’s Place, and eddie is a freuenter of that site too.

    Plainly from now through the by-election campaign we can expect a constant stream of nasty comments from this very specific New Labour and pro-Zionist lobby on this blog.

    If I were a politician I would close or moderate comments. But I am not, so I will leave comments free.

    They do actually have a good piece today on the truly horrible BNP person who just got elected.

  • Abe Rene

    The exchange with detractors reminds me of something that Billy Graham said in an interview once about fighting for his country – ‘if I felt that my country was wrong, then I would have a very difficult time.’ It seems that this kind of trial was your fate. You were pressured into giving up a highly paid and prestigious position in society because of your unyielding stance on the wrongness of our government accepting evidence from torture, and refusing to keep silent about it. You haven’t lost your capabilities, and are trying hard to apply them in other areas. I hope you find fulfilment in the end, whether or not you succeed in doing a Robert Kett in Norwich!

  • eddie

    They are not nasty comments Craig. As David T says, you are loveable, but a tad pompous and your decision to stand in Norwich North confirms that as does your ludicrous statement about consorting with presidents etc – 99.9% of people in this country have never heard of you, so you must accept that this comment is pompous, and what would the world be like if we weren’t allowed to comment on people who put themselves forward for election? I can assure you that your comments on Blair and other Labour figures are generally much nastier than anything expressed above. For the record I am not a pro-Zionist.

  • anticant

    If being randy is a condition called “hypersexuality”, don’t most normally healthy people qualify? Absence of libido is a sign of depression.

    There’s nothing wrong with being randy. The moral issue is how each of us deals with our randiness.

  • Craig


    Certainly I agree that most people in the UK have not heard of me. But I am indeed on terms of genuine friendship with several presidents and ex-presidents. I had one on one meetings with a Vice President last week and with finance ministers from two other countries. No, I am not famous like Jade Goody. But that is not the only measure of a person.

    Both you and David T have been criticising me on the net for ages for some reason, but you both refuse to actually read my books, which have sold very widely. If you did you might understand why it is not sensible to describe me as a “Farce”.

    Try this one, eddie. Phone one of the UK’s largest remaining industrial plants – Siemens Industiral Gas Turbines in Lincoln. I have bought directly from them, through my own company, some 20 million pounds worth of export orders in the last year, and thus kept a lot of British people in work at a very difficult time. See if they think I am a farce.

    Yes, of course you can call me pompous. You can call me what you want.

  • eddie

    It is quite possible to be loveable and pompous at the same time. I don’t understand your comment about Siemens and I’m not sure I want to know, especially as you have been pleading poverty elsewhere. I am reading David Aaronovitch’s book on conspiracy theories at present and it is very good, and also very relevant to some of the people on this site, which includes a fair dose of racists by the way. I will try to get round to yours one day – I was not aware that I had “refused” to read them – I generally read books that interest me.

  • dreoilin

    “especially as you have been pleading poverty elsewhere”

    Eddie, he just said “not for profit”. Read, man, read.

    You are a real pain in the neck.

  • eddie

    I know what not for profit means, thanks. I do not understand the context of his remark. It is not something he has ever menetioned before – i.e. his “own company”.

  • George Dutton

    “Both you and David T”


    One of the same?.Their posts are VERY similar in style and tenure.This has been pointed out before (by others on here) when eddie posts another poster suddenly appears as if to back him up or visa versa…Strange.

  • dreoilin

    George, they’re “socks”.

    Tell us who the racists are, Eddie. It might be worth a laugh or two and I could do with one. Thank god Craig has a sense of humour which rarely seems to fail him.

  • dreoilin

    “I know what not for profit means, thanks. I do not understand the context of his remark.”

    Then don’t take cheap shots about poverty.

  • Craig

    As I mentioned on the blog last year, I was called in to help the government of Ghana with short term measures to mitigate an energy crisis caused by changing rainfall patterns and failing hydro-electric supply.

    Ghana got ripped off by a series of highly corrupt deals in this area. That’s why they asked me as someone known in Africa as an anti-corruption campaigner. It is also why the company is strictly not-for-profit. I am the Chairman of Atholl Energy, but I take no salary even. Air fares and food, basically.

  • eddie

    you mean make? The not for profit point came later. As I said, I don’t understand the context as Craig had not mentioned his own company previously. There are plenty of not for profit companies where directors are paid well. If you can explaing it to me please do so, if not I suggest you hold fire until you know the context.

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