93 thoughts on “I’ll Be Back

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  • David McCann

    Welcome back Craig. We all look forward to your analysis of the Megrahi affair. Im sure you will bring some sanity to the shrill media outcry.

  • dreoilin

    @not Eric at August 30, 2009 11:07 AM

    I think p’raps you mean Eddie? He probably considers his work “done” (as if he made any difference.) Didn’t he appear in the lead-up to the by-election? Creep.

  • Tartarus

    Craig didn’t show me much sympathy when I was feeling low and made a comment about how depressing British sport was to me as a child. Craig spouted some nonsense about wonderful English summer days and the sound of leather against willow. I simply cannot stand these romantic pictures of Britain that bear no resemblance to reality for most of us.

    Politicians ignore what young people want, and like Craig, attack those who don’t agree with them.

    We have old men and women in government who don’t give a damn about anyone – except themselves!

    Craig seems to have herded together quite a lot of sheeple on this site, those who unquestioningly believe British ambassadors do good around the world.

    British ambassadors played a pivotal role in 1952 in attempting to overthrow the democratically-elected Iranian government – a role that came to an end when the Iranian government got wind of the British plan and kicked them out. Britain was broke after WWII and needed control of Iran’s nationalised oil industry to keep the UK economy afloat. Britain eventually got its way – with U.S. help! – in installing their chosen dictator, the Shah. Iranians were subsequently impoverished, and so, naturally, became very hostile towards Britain and America.

    Nothing has changed. The role of ambassadors seems to be largely to implement the foreign policy of the British cabinet. A large part of that policy is aiding British corporations in stealing the wealth of other nations, particularly poor nations, and in propping up U.S. foreign policy.

    For instance, the news media claims British troops have brought “democracy” to Afghanistan. Well, if that’s their role in the world, why aren’t they in Honduras? Where were they when one million poor, black, Rwandans were hacked and butchered to death? And why didn’t they do something about all the dictators that the U.S. has installed and propped up over the decades, such as Suharto of Indonesia, one of the most brutal dictators the world has ever seen, the CIA wrote? Probably because many of those tyrants were installed with British help. Britain was also friendly towards Pinochet, another U.S.-installed tyrant. Pinochet was a good guy because he set a “wonderful” example – he allowed Western corporations to pillage from the Chileans.

    If Craig attacked British ambassadors, and told us exactly what they do, I’d believe he was genuine, but he doesn’t, so I’ll always have my doubts. For instance, if Craig is such a good guy, why the hell does he want to be mixed up with all these crooks in office?

    The government is now starting to treat us in a similar way to how it’s been treating foreigners over the decades. If the public continue to behave like sheep, they are going to find themselves penned in – for good.

    The general election next year will bring NO, OR WORSE, CHANGE.

  • Clark

    Tartarus,

    have a look about the site; you’ll find Craig’s criticisms of Charles Crawford, another ambassador. Read Murder in Samarkand; you’ll find Craig’s criticisms of ambassadors in general. Yes, I’m afraid you may be right about the general election, but we have to try, don’t we?

  • mike cobley

    Tartarus – forgive me but you seem to be striking out wildly at everything to do with Craig and this site. I dont understand you when you say – “if Craig is such a good guy, why the hell does he want to be mixed up with all these crooks in office?”

    Standing for elected office does not automatically mean that you become a corrupt toady overnight. Nor is it the case that every MP is corrupt, although the mainstream media seems to depict them as such – the majority of people stand for office because they believe they can do good things for their constituents, fact. Its also true that many become disillusioned when they discover how little power ordinary MPs have. But a Member of Parliament does have one extraordinary power, that of being able to grab headlines and say what needs to be said so that what needs to be done stands a better chance of coming about.

    You sound very cynical about politics in this country; I would advise that you transform yourself into a skeptic, since a cynic always believes the worst of everyone, and has abandoned hope. Have you abandoned hope?

  • coyb

    glad you’ve come round and I, like everyone else, look forward to reading your next post.

    I for one would like to hear your opinions on the Swine Flu. A brave journalist called Jane Burgemeister has filed criminal charges in Austria against Baxter and Avir Green Hills Biotechnology for producing and distributing contaminated bird flu vaccine material this winter, alleging that this was a deliberate act to cause a pandemic.

    Similar charges have also started to be filed with Police in Holland and other European countries and the Czech republic has refused to accept the vaccine because it isn’t safe.

    http://www.theflucase.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=328&Itemid=95&lang=en

    As human rights issues go, I don’t think there could be a more pressing issue than this at the moment. Whats your opinion Craig?

  • Jon

    @Tartarus – you’ve not been reading for long enough if you reckon that us folks here are “sheeple”. Most of us here, I think, are intelligent and politicised folks frustrated at the lies and faux news that passes for analysis in mainstream discourse these days. I am sure Craig would quite happily condemn Western tinkering in foreign democracies through the ages, as would most of us here.

    @Craig – excellent news. Take your time, write a bit more of your book, spend time with the family – and come back when you’re ready. Best wishes!

  • Strategist

    Look forward to your return, Craig, in your own good time.

    I for one will not criticise you if you let the blog become less all-consuming of your time and post only when moved to unleash a zinger against the worst and most outrageous hypocrisies.

  • tony_opmoc

    Powered By The Sun

    [Report this comment] [Ignore this user]

    Posted by: tony_opmoc on Aug 31, 2009 2:53 PM

    Current rating: Not yet rated [1 = poor; 5 = excellent]

    In the UK we don’t cheat much

    We put a Music Festival On Attended By About 20,000 People That is Powered By The Sun

    Now I know I get slagged off Remorselessly By Global Warmers On Here – Where I Point Out The Physics and Maths – That it Can’t Be Done…

    But The Guy Brought Up This Massive Solar Array on His Diesel Powered Lorry (soory – but I have to tell the truth)

    And It Was a Really Lovely Sunny Day…

    And They Pulled It Off…

    Running it From Solar Power On The Day….

    I Was Well Impressed With My Videos Of The Bands

    hIGH dEFINITION vIDEO aND sTEREO sOUND

    The Content Is Fucking AMAZING

    I’m Talking About The Best Bands In The World Playing in My Local Solar Powered Park

    The Kids Blew EVERYONE AWAY

    12-13 Years Old Doing Their Own Stuff Better than Led Zeppelin

    Do You Have Village Festivals in America?

    Tony

    Control By Fear Doesn’t Work – Encouragement Of Children’s Inate Skills and Love Works Wonders

    I think I have just had one of the most wonderful days in my life…

    Loads of our friends came back afterwards…

    And saw what I had done

    The videos and stuff – but they really came back because they wanted to be with my wife Julie – she has got such a heart of gold and has been absolutely wonderful and friendly and giving to Everyone

    Just a smile and a friendly welcome and remembering the details of someone you haven’t seen for years…

    The years melt away

    We are just so happy living here

    We have got such wonderful friends

    And we support each other

    We live in a Village in England

    I Reckon You Get All The Real Natural Talent At Solar Powered Gigs….

    The Dark Girls with their Beautiful Skin and Dark Hair haven’t fucked it up – by putting articial chemicals on their skin and hair

    The Light Girls with their Beautiful Skin and Blonde Hair haven’t fucked it up – by putting articial chemicals on their skin and hair

    You see we are talking Real Country Girls Here – They are not interested in all this artificial shit and eat the best food on the planet grown locally on their own farms or back gardens

    FREE

    I think My Video Today – That Is The Video I Took With My High Definition Video Camera and Stereo Microphone – and I Religiously Monitored The Sound Levels Too Is Completely Fucking Wonderful

    So I have started emailing the bands – and saying stuff like…

    If you email me your postal address – I will send you all the files

    I can’t be bothered with editing or sending DVD’s round – their Dad’s can do that

    We are going away on holiday soon –

    But the bands played for Free today

    And I did their videos for Free

    So I give the content to the Musicians for Free

    Tony

  • Gretchen Hendrie

    Dear Mr. Murray,

    I am very sorry you lost the election. Your platform was superb. I would have voted for you in a heartbeat! I guess the Brits are as moronic as Americans these days. (Change, he will bring us change — yes, but what kind of change?) What fools! You and Hillary Ben would have been two of the very finest MPs. Here in Chicago, as you know, our politics are extremely corrupt, indeed. Our mayor is a complete dictator, who is trying to foist the Olympics on us against our will. Our aldermen are all supine sycophants of the mayor. The mayor recently privatized our parking meters for the next 75 years so he could rake in a billion and a half dollars for him to run through now. Our governor was perp walked out of his house last December. He was the first Illinois governor to be accorded such an honor. When the FBI came to arrest him, he emerged in a jogging suit, jogged in place for a while in front of them, then lay down on the ground and curled up in a fetal position. Soon he will be joining Governor Ryan in the big house — we all hope. Clearly, we could use a man of your integrity and intellect!

    Listen, I count on your good commonsense and insider information. I regularly read The Telegraph so I desperately need your views to counter the bad influences I pick up from that publication. Without your input, I was forced today to print out all sorts of Guardian articles on Lockerbie, when I should have been doing my work.

    Now I have to read those articles, when just a sentence or two from you could have sorted the problem all out to my satisfaction and saved me so much time.

    Hurry back, we need you! I loved your comments on the swine flu — the Pepys diary takeoff. Well done! I work at The University of Chicago — yes, I heard you when you visited our campus — where the powers that be appear terrified of that particular epidemic. For a while, every person who entered the building was forced to wash their hands in front of a security guard. Yet, they are so miserly that they have laid off a lot of clearning staff and we are always running out of paper towels to dry our hands. They also sent an e-mail urging employees who were sick to call in sick! Normally, hospital employees get a black mark by their name if they call in sick. It is called an “occurrence”. Too many occurrences and its curtains for you! Yet, suddenly they were begging people to call in sick. I could tell they were genuinely scared. Then they sent out a congratulatory memo saying that they had done a “magnificent job” of preventing the plague. Ha!

    Anyway, we miss you — hurry back!!! I hope Baby and Nadira are well.

  • ingo

    Tony, you seem to have greta fun, but those who wanted to go to the Big Green Gathering saw their fun cut off by last minute objections by local police council and fire brigade. The Government could not stomach that money would be raised for the climate change camp, that activists of all sorts of NGO’s would meet and get together, so they told the local service providers to object at the last minute with spurious demands.

    The Big Green Gathering was cancelled because of Government directions, a sign that the Kings north and Yorkshire actions have hit the nail on the head.

    Not informing the police of one’s campaign actions is healthy and a reaction to harrassment, false arrests and trumped up charges, all methods to split the movement, to tie some of them up in pathetic court cases and restrictions, so please understand their reactions, some of them are for resons of self preservation.

  • Abe Rene

    “@ Abe: “Warning: semantic stabilizers are off-line” Posted by: Clark at August 30, 2009 1:24 AM”

    Eh? I’ve heard of mood stabilisers, strait jackets and even dilithium crystals (in a Trekkie shareware game), but semantic stabilizers? Antidepressants consisting of a Socratic dialogue about meanings? That’s a new one to me. Not that Craig needs any of these now that he has recovered, of course.

  • Norwich Boyo

    Hi Craig

    We need a voice like yours in politics. It might not be a voice that can seduce people with shiny promises or sweet serenades that appeal to people’s baser whims, telling them what they want to hear, rather than practical truths. You may not entice the masses with bland platitudes, but you are the voice of conscience and reason, something sadly lacking in today’s political spectrum. Though you might not have the majority viewpoint and run with the herd, you balance it out by saying what is right and what would benefit and protect the people. We need somebody to say this, as there are clearly nowhere near enough as it is! Don’t give up, otherwise murderers and liars like Jack Straw will get away with their crimes, and we aren’t going to let that happen, are we?

  • Jim Hutchinson

    Craig, You may have been out of blogging salts for a day or two, but I’m confident today’s top story will get you fired-up and back to normal.

    This afternoon Dr. Jim Swire, who lost his daughter on Pan Am 103, reiterated his opinion that Ali al-Magrahi’s trial was flawed. Sky News then reported the Scottish Justice Secretary,

  • David McEwan Hill

    Kenny McAskill did not visit al Magrahi’s cell to tell him that if he didn’t drop his appeal he wasn’t going home.

    If Sky News reported that it is a lie. (No surprise there then)

    I have sent this post on to Kenny McAskill.

    Al Megrahi realised that he could not go home to spend his last few days or weeks with his family if the appeal was to go ahead in any meaningful way and he reluctantly dropped the appeal while joining calls for a full enquiry that would clear his name -probably posthumously.

    The SNP Government was very keen on the appeal going ahead and is now keen on the Public Inquiry which the UK is likely to prevent as it would very firmly point at US/UK collusion in history’s most disgraceful stitch-up.

    Dr Jim Swire has publicly stated for several years that he believed al Megrahi to be innocent. I’m afraid the English audience are very far behind on this issue. Very few informed people in Scotland believe the verdict now and are joined by Prof Robert Black who arranged the Cape Zeist trial, the UN observer at the trial, several ex CIA operatives who were involved who have recently broken cover to denounce the manipulation and invention of evidence and many more respected public figures. This however is irrelevant to the actual relase which was done in complete accordance with Scots law on compassionate grounds.The crime or the sentence have nothing to do with the reasons for the release.

    There is a huge and co-ordinated attack going on against the SNP Scottish Government on this issue trying to imply that there was some back-stairs collusion on the release with the Government in London.

    The SNP has just released all the papers on this and there was no such thing.

    The Labour, Tory and LibDem parties are making complete fools of themselves on this issue and the most current opinion poll shows a sharp rise in support for the SNP Government.

    I suspect this is the issue that will split the union.

  • Clark

    @ Abe:

    it’s a phrase I blurted whilst trying to argue something more complex than my state of inebriation permitted. It was inspired by “Warning: Inertial dampers are off-line”…

  • logosity

    Abe: ” … semantic stabilizers? Antidepressants consisting of a Socratic dialogue about meanings? That’s a new one to me.”

    @Abe: it’s actually not such a bizarre notion. Maybe you should read Lou Marinoff’s best-selling book “Plato, Not Prozac: applying philosophy to everyday problems”, or “The Big Questions: how philosophy can change your life”? Tim LeBon’s “Wise Therapy” is also a good resource for counsellors. Socratic dialogue is one of several techniques that can be very helpful to someone troubled by distressing thoughts.

    Suppose you feel bad because of something that happened to you: you could of course swallow some antidepressants in the hope to cushion the blow or compensate for your low energy levels (different drugs work in different ways). But at the end of the day you’ve still got to face the world and come to terms with whatever brought you down in the first place. Pills won’t resolve an existential crisis. If your mood dropped because of what something meant to you, or what you mean to others, then surely it’s constructive to examine that meaning and find a new way of conceiving or relating to it.

    Craig’s downer wasn’t spontaneous: it followed a disappointing result in the Norwich North by-election – disappointing to him, that is; many of the campaign team were rather more sanguine about it. His personal interpretation of that result is what needs to be re-examined. Lots of people have already suggested more positive perspectives here on this blog. The real road to recovery is paved with philosophy, not drugs.

    @ Clark: the “semantic stabilizers” metaphor is actually quite an apt one. Meaning isn’t an objective substance out there in the world; it’s a subjective relation created by minds and standardised by interpersonal communication. Linguistic meaning is fairly easy to standardise, by demonstration and correction (esp. for infants), dictionaries or other reference sources – as it depends on intersubjective consensus. However, the way you interpret an event in your personal life is rather more pliable; there are no ‘dictionaries of emotional semantics’ mapping election results onto an individual’s cherished values, particularly in the case of an unprecedented independent campaign. Consulting people with a different perspective can certainly help, and Socratic dialogue is one of the best ways to focus the discussion. This is indeed a method of ‘stabilizing semantics’. Alternatively, if you choose to mull things over in private, you will inevitably dwell on your original impression, which will trigger the same emotional mechanisms and prolong the depressive state until something else pulls you out of it.

    If you want a sympathetic ear, you should avoid ‘pull-your-socks-up’ advice from commonsense advisers; it’s best to find someone trained in counselling skills. Most counsellors look for dysfunctional patterns of emotional response, but if the emotions are appropriate then their psychological interventions don’t apply. Cognitive therapies are good at addressing a certain type of emotionally-biased thinking, but often encourage methods of emotional distraction which don’t really resolve the issues. There are people with relevant expertise in reasoning, existentialism and morality who also have training in counselling skills and psychology: they’re known as philosophical counsellors.

    This may sound like some odd new-age hybrid of academia and psychology, but in fact ‘philosophical’ counselling is the original form, chronologically prior to both psychotherapy and psychiatry. It’s the most appropriate form of ‘counsel’ for puzzles demanding complex analysis, critical thinking, and assessment of personal values. It doesn’t rely on models of mental illness, cognitive disorder, personality types or even dysfunctional patterns of emotion; instead it prioritises logic, intuition and inquiry. Marinoff calls it “therapy for the sane”: if for some reason a client is genuinely incapable of following a logical argument, they are referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist. Parody it if you want to, but you’ll only betray your ignorance about how the practice is actually carried out.

    Craig is going through the slow process of coming to terms with the election defeat in his own way. He seems to prefer to deal with it alone; though he sometimes issues candid pronouncements on this blog, he doesn’t engage in personal dialogue. This self-reliance implies that he habitually shields himself against persuasion by others: it’s a valuable skill for an ambassador but makes it more difficult to calibrate personal opinions that may have gone off base. Hence the longer period of private cogitation and reflection.

    While this blog offers an arena to air ideas and receive feedback, it’s rather too public to share half-formed personal thoughts (and it’s prone to hijacking by people with other agendas). It’s better to talk things over in a more confidential and focused setting with a counsellor until your personal thoughts have stabilised. There are several practitioners in the UK, and Craig is aware that he has one on call should he ever wish to talk over the issues that are vexing him.

    Best wishes, Craig.

  • Rita

    The correspondence between Westminster and Hollyrood clearly shows the decision to release Megrahi was made in London – purely in the interest of BP shareholders.

    Tony Blair, had previously told the White House Megrahi would not be released under the prisoner exchange scheme. Straw simply shifted the goalposts by making Megrahi eligible for release on compassionate/health grounds. The deal for oil and gas, will be worth up to £15 Billion.

    The fact that Megrahi’s trial was fatally flawed is being lost in a US media manufactured Westminster v. Hollyrood slanging match. The last thing Black Bush wants is a proper investigation into Lockerbie.

    I hope Craig gets his teeth into this palpable miscarriage of justice.

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