Taking The Offensive 65

The local BBC are broadcasting a live TV debate between the “Four Main Candidates” – none of whom has anything interesting to say – on 22 July at 22.15. I am excluded lest I say something voters might actually care about. Like the need to end the war in Afghanistan, where our troops are dying to protect a government of corrupt warlords and heroin dealers, in the interests of the right of US companies to build oil and gas pipelines over Afghanistan from Central Asia.

I have of course been Ambassador to neighbouring Uzbekistan and know what I am talking about. Much better to exclude me therefore.

With Michael Crick of Newsnight following Chloe Smith around Taverham and Drayton yesterday like an obedient if over-excited lapdog, the media are treating the by-election as the coronoation of the blessed Chloe. Time I think that some of the less convenient facts about her were exposed – like her attempt to be MP for Ipswich, which will be very unpopular here in Norwich. The media know about this, but are keeping it quiet not to upset their putative new masters.

So I had fun with this. Hope you do too.


Incidentally, yesterday Chloe was walking along the main road with five minders, while six minor lackeys including Iain Dale ran ahead from house to house rousing the inhabitants and asking them if they wanted to meet Chloe Smith. She went for at least half a mile and not one person took up the offer. The voters may be less inclined than the media to assume they have to vote for her.

65 thoughts on “Taking The Offensive

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  • Anonymous

    Quote: “ICM poll shows growing support for UK presence in Afghanistan” – you don’t believe those people do you? This reeks of fraud. Don’t you listen to the people around you.

    Quote:”…..the Taleban is an evil bunch of misogynistic bastards who need to be put in their place.”

    eddie, I’m sure your heart bleeds for the women of Afghanistan. The Taleban are Pashtuns who want their country back. Evil…..?…well, they eradicated the opium crop in 2001, which saved the lives of countless Brits and Americans by ballooning the price of heroin.

    And here’s another thing….Why do the US pay Taliban to attack their own troops in Iraq? Do you understand the meaning of the word evil, you soppy sod?


  • Ruth

    I can’t wait for an honest man to be put in parliament so he can ask if the UK’s role in Afghanistan is to promote the production of opium in the Helmand province

  • The Grim Reaper

    Slightly off topic, but I can’t help myself.

    George Laird, are there serious human rights abuses going on at Glasgow University that we don’t know about?

  • Rob Speare

    None of the other candidates have anything interesting to say – would that include Rupert Read, of the Greens, of whom you have said this previously:

    “I would vote for Rupert Read in the Eastern Region of England…He sees the need for a society not motivated solely by greed. He is that rare thing in modern politics – somebody who wants to serve, not to rule.”

    Craig Murray, Former British Ambassador

    I used to have some respect for you Craig – not any more.

  • Craig


    Oops, I got the day wrong. Nobody should ever belive anything I say again.


    Rupert is indeed a good man. I fear he is being a bit reined in though – he isn’t saying anything interesting in this campaign so far, certainly not on Afghanistan

  • huntse

    Man says “put an honest man into Westminster”.

    Gets found out in a very obvious lie, told to try to gain power.

    Supporters say “Well so what if he lies? He’s honest, he will expose the lies of those in power.”

    Spot the flaw in this reasoning.

  • Anonymous

    Rob Speare,


    “I used to have some respect for you Craig – not any more.”

    F*ck off with your enlightenment (masonic) name.

    You came to this site specifically to show disrespect, you dissembling creep.

    No mention of Craig on the Radio 4 ‘Today’ report from Norwich North this morning though the less fancied Lib Dems got coverage.

  • ingo

    one must understand Ian Dale, he is in overdrive to promote his candidate because they are clearly rattled by the response from voters, just as Labour, Lib Dems and the Greens.

    Ruper Read is an academic, a philosopher at UEA and a member of the UCU. Instead of playing their game, he should have reminded himself of the fighting clean and fair agreement he signed with Cloe Smith, or at least give a rector of another university and fellow UCU member a break, he knew and choose to go along with the BBC’s choice, Machiavellian style and he will have to live with it.

  • huntse

    “Oops I got the day wrong” – Craig

    Yeah, apart from all the facts, your post was completely 100% accurate. I’m sure you just forgot. You’re back on track. Good luck with that whole “honest man” thing.

  • eddie

    “George Laird, are there serious human rights abuses going on at Glasgow University that we don’t know about?”

    Some of the lecturers are probably being asked to do some work for a change. Never mind Gaza, protect our lecturers!

  • Frazer


    Unlike you, I have actually lived and worked in Afghanistan … Craig is right, a lot of the ex warlords responsible for human rights abuses and drug running are actually members of the exising government and are continuing to export raw opium through Iran in vast quantities.

    Ask yourself why British forces are there..War On Terror, don’t think so..most of the Taliban are in Pakistan.

    Sorry pal, might be appropriate for you to comment on something you know about first hand than rant and rave about Craig.

    Scardey Cat !!!

  • John

    So this guy cannot accurately report the presence of Dale in the right town, at the right time and on the right day and he gets it wrong about the Conservative candidate having ‘minders’.

    And the buffoon thinks he can pass comment about complex politics and Afghanistan?

    Give it a rest, I can see why you lost your job as an ambassador and spend your time at that renowned seat of learning Lancaster ‘University’.

  • Jon

    Crumbs, what a lot of silly hot air is being blown over the this-day-that-day thing. It wouldn’t be important if Iain Dale made the mistake, and it’s not important that Craig made it. I hope, but can’t prove, that if Iain made the mistake, that Craig’s supporters would not be going into overdrive on various blogs jeering about it!

    It’s this kind of schoolboy pettiness that helps turn people off politics. Parliamentary freeloading doesn’t help either, which is why the Conservative candidate – whatever her own personal strengths – will justifiably have a lot of work at the doorsteps.

    I shall be interested to see how Norwich respond to the current political environment, and not just because I support Craig’s candidacy. Will they go for more of the same regular oscillations between the main parties, or will they beat a new path? We’ll see…

  • Jon

    @George Laird – I’d say complaining the Beeb is a waste of time, unless you can get a lot of like-minded people to complain as well. If you do complain, write them an email in a few sentences, since it will – in my experience – get a cursory glance, a cursory reply, and that will generally be the end of it.

  • Jon

    @John – it would be great if you could engage in the real issues, rather than this silliness. My post above was precisely complaining about this sort of thing.

    The “buffoon” justifiably thinks he can pass comment about complex politics and Afghanistan, since he has been an ambassador, and judging from his two books, a highly effective one at that. He is, in my view, a small piece of the establishment willing to look at the hypocrisy of the system, even if at the end of the day, he is still part of the establishment.

    You clearly cannot see correctly why Craig lost his job. It is the provable case that Craig lost his job because he objected to the dishonesty and torture around the ‘war on terror’ policy in Uzbekistan; he was harassed, then essentially forced out.

    So that your cards are on the table, who are you supporting for this by-election, and – if I may be so bold – why do you support them? We can’t have armchair critics pouring water on an excellent candidacy without at least asking them about their motives 🙂

  • Bob

    No offence, but your attacks on Chloe Smith make you look desperate and nasty.

    Ipswich reject? Do you really think anyone will care that she applied to other associations as well as Norwich North. Most people who want to get into parliament have to try more than once before they get selected.

    What’s the point of an independent candidate when you just resort to the same negative campaigning techniques? You could be a Lib Dem…

  • George Laird

    Dear All

    I have read Iain Dale’s blog.

    He seems to have a big chip on shoulder a mile wide.

    His pathetic grudge against Craig has some amusement value but he should seek professional help.

    He seems to me to be a very unhappy member of the gay community.

    If he wants to stop his petty antics and make up then Craig should be big enough shake his hand but don’t let him kiss you Craig!

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • eddie

    George – you still haven’t explained what Human Rights are being compromised at Glasgow University.

    How is Tommy’s trial going? Will he be sent down this time? Appearing on celeb BB was crime enough I would have thought.

  • George Laird

    Dear eddie

    Tommy Sheridan trial starts in january next year.

    I am not sure what will happen to him but he is standing for election in Glasgow North East, if you want to help out then contact the campaign team.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • John

    You see the point Jon I hope, if one cannot report simple actions in a by-election happening a few days ago and its pretty clear he was as wrong as wrong can be, one surely can doubt very much the reporting of other things.

    Now go along and ‘engage’ with that. I could not care less who wins the by-election but please, Craig gets 2000 votes in his attempts, he has about as much chance as George of winning the seat.

    “He seems to have a big chip on shoulder a mile wide.”

    Oh the side splitting Irony of Mr. Laird!

  • George Laird

    Dear All

    Could it be that down in Toryland there is panic?

    Why is John acting like a little bitch on here?

    Is he a tory scout?

    I hope that Smith gets stuffed at Norwich North.

    Tory revival, no chance!

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • Verity

    Isn’t Iain Dale a known vote loser in Norfolk?

    I think it’s called the Iain Dale factor.

    Even with the collapse of the Labour vote it’s clear that Chloe Smith isn’t picking many of those votes up. I expect that she’ll not hold the seat at the GE even if she wins the bye election.

    You should be encouraging him, Craig.

  • George Laird

    Dear All

    The Tories seemed rattled about Craig standing and that is probably why they steam in here.

    Looking for information.

    I say no to the London Carpetbagger Tory Smith.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • Jon

    @Bob – I don’t agree with the suggestion that Craig looks “desperate and nasty”. I think it is relevant that the Conservative candidate tried to stand elsewhere, and that her doing so is something that Norwich voters should bear in mind.

    That said, I am not from the area and I don’t understand the Ipswich/Norwich rivalry, and I don’t think voters should regard that as important compared to the sleaze in Westminister or the careerist/second-job attitudes that most of our MPs (on all sides) seem to have been taking.

    I am in complete agreement with you that campaigns should be free of negative broadcasting and slanging matches, and I guess that would be an area where I would differ with Craig. He is of the “rough and tumble” school of politics, I think, which I don’t subscribe to! I also don’t agree with him on some policy areas – I think low taxation gives rise to social inequality. But even with these differences in mind, I think he is still the best candidate on balance. Aside from the corruption in the Commons, there is a supine uselessness about the whole forum, and it has largely descended into slanging matches and polite support for the militaristic and neo-conservative status quo.

    We desperately need someone to shake that up, and I think Craig would do that. So, despite your misgivings about his style – which is not everyone’s cup of tea – if you are pissed off with Westminster I would urge you to support him.

  • Jon

    @John – I see your point insofar as I understand what you mean. But I don’t think you see my point, which is that if an honest and trivial mistake is made, then let’s not get hung up about it. If the Tory candidate made the same mistake, I would certainly not be getting worked up about it, even though I oppose the Tories generally.

    The govt has lied about Iraq – let’s talk about that. There is not much mainstream honesty about the reasons for the invasion and occupation, such as the re-denomination of Iraqi oil from euros to dollars (a “mistake” the Americans corrected immediately). Only a handful of left-wing groups appear to have grabbed that one, and it isn’t a story that the media will run with.

    Let’s talk about why our soldiers are in Afghanistan, too – whose interests are they protecting? Why is the govt insistent that our foreign adventures save us from terrorism when even our secret services emerge from the dark to say it ain’t so?

    Let’s talk about govt dissembling on ID cards – £6bn spent thus far, and most of the costs hidden in other budgets or behind commercial secrecy agreements. Let’s talk about the dishonesty around Trident – £75bn of public money to be gifted to the military industrial complex on a white elephant. Let’s agitate to abolish new public/private sector deals, which are a *massive* waste of money just to get debt off the public finances balance sheet.

    Let’s ensure that the expenses saga and the second jobs are sorted once and for all. Craig is 100% right that expenses are necessary but should be tightly controlled, and that second jobs are incompatible with serving as an MP. If you get £60K for the job, you’re on more than twice the national average, and undertaking a public service that should be regarded as an honour not an inconvenience.

    So, that’s where the engagement should be – on issues that people care about. Incidentally, I respectfully suggest you *should* care about who wins this contest. The very fact you do not demonstrates, perhaps, the widespread civic disenfranchisement that most of the country is mired in, and we need to change that. Only radical candidates willing to be blunt in Parliament and rude to the right people can offer that, in my view.

  • Derek

    Tom says “I was going to request you fix the rss feed for http://www.putanhonestman.org/ and ask for a contact page but it seems to out of service now – let the conspiracies begin :)”

    No mystery – My hosting provider was down this afternoon. It affected all their users. Nothing to do with any sinister attack.All is working again now.

    What is wrong with the RSS feed?

    Works for me in both Opera and Firefox.

    Any problems you notice feel free to email me at

    [email protected]_can_guess_the_rest.

  • James Manning

    “The Tories seemed rattled about Craig standing and that is probably why they steam in here.”

    We’ll see how “rattled” they are when they win, next Thursday!

    Anyone fancy a wager Mr Murray doesn’t get his deposit back?

  • George Laird

    Dear All

    The Tory cyber patrol steams in and snoops.

    Seems Mr. Manning was about to spew but this came out.

    “We’ll see how “rattled” they are when they win, next Thursday!”

    Let us just hope that London Carpetbagger gets roundly stuffed at the polls.

    Then the poor little rich girl with nothing in common with people of Norwich North can disappear back to her cushy London existence.

    She can go back to cake eating!

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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