I Bet They Did 173

The Daily Telegraph let slip a most revealing fact:

“the BBC insisted that the play not be uncritical”,


The BBC was not insisting that the play be not uncriticial of a New Labour government which agreed to use intelligence from terrible torture in Uzbekistan, and cooperated with torture worldwide in the extraordinary rendition programme.

The BBC was in fact concerned that those facts were not given too much prominence compared to diversionary criticism of me for not being a teetotal monogamist, which is of course much worse than being a warmongering torturing murderous bastard.

Nadira was wondering when the media would stop calling her a lap dancer, when they would start using her married name, or mentioning her acting achievements (including the fact that she plays multiple characters in David Hare’s adaptation of Murder in Samarkand for Radio 4, in four different languages).

The answer I fear is never, not even in the Guardian:


nor in the EDP


I will say however that I think David Hare had done a tremendous job and produced an excellent play which is both entertaining and profound. As I gather is usual for David, he did a tremendous amount of research, even travelling to Tashkent to interview eye witnesses as well as holding a meeting with the FCO to get their side of the story. I am actually quite relieved that the production does not simply rely on my word for the key events.

Please do publicise the broadcast by whatever means are at your disposal.

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173 thoughts on “I Bet They Did

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  • tony_opmoc


    It has never afflicted me to that extent. If I feel that bad, like I KNOW I have finally LOST Someone I am Completely and Utterley Totally in Love With – But Realise It Is Never Going To Work

    Then I Just Cry Myself To Sleep

    And in The Morning I wake Up, and it is like the end of a Chapter.

    I have to go on, and try and not make the same mistakes again.

    I probably am, my sister definitely is – like Craig

    When she should have been the happiest person in the World

    Yes her daughter was born about 12 weeks too early, and despite the odds she survived in the incubator and fought for life

    And She found Life and Was and Is a Completely Normal Human Being

    My Sister Couldn’t Handle It

    She Tried To Kill Herself – The Young Mother With a Perfect Baby – And Loving Husband

    She Turned The Gas On

    And Stuck Her Head in The Oven

    If She Had Done This Two Years Previously, She Would Almost Certainly Have Suceeded in Killing Herself

    But Her Husband Was a Gas Engineer

    And He Had Already Converted Their Home in Yorkshire To North Sea Gas

    I did suggest to Margaret Thatcher that they should perhaps mix some nitrous oxide in with it as well

    You see when I was 15, I did a little experiment, and left it bubbling away at the end of the lab, whilst our Science Master was trying to tell us how chemical reactions work

    And then – Everyone Started Laughing

    But Margaret Wouldn’t Have It

    Whilst it was very easy to Kill Yourself With Coal Gas, it is Far More Difficult with North Sea Gas.

    My niece Now Has 4 Children and Lives in America and is a Black Belt in Karate

    My sister lives in Derbyshire and is Still Not Happy, That She Wasn’t The Baby of The Family and I got the job.

    She Mood Swings Like Fuck.

    But She’s O.K.

    She does the most Tremendous Art when She’s Manic.

    Her IQ is off the scale


  • tony_opmoc

    I guess some people have never been in love and they don’t know what it feels like, or maybe they were in love but were too afraid to actually do anything about it.

    I guess it was like she thought…

    I actually can’t write it from a girls point of view – but I’m sure its the same.

    You are so Much In Love

    That You Are Not Sure What To Do

    You see if you do nothing, nothing happens and you stay sad and lonely – and she may well feel the same as you – but that moment of communnication never happenned, because you were just so frightened. If you asked her, and she turned you down, then suicide was the only sensible option.

    And you didn’t want to die, and you didn’t want to lose her – but do…

    And then go on

    And you try the opposite approach – far too much far too soon

    And you frighten her away

    And then you try the slow approach again, and after 6 months as being just friends – she says she is thinking of going away with her friends…

    And I burst into tears

    Aren’t I invited?

    So her friends dissolve away, and we borrow her sister’s tent


  • tony_opmoc

    I Try and Do My Best Re US/UK Diplomatic Relations

    I have been asking her to come over to the UK for over Two Years

    Sure, I know She is Sometimes Completely Nuts, But sometimes she comes out with the most amazing evidence and says things that even I find hard to believe…But I reckon She is a Good Girl and Two Weeks Drinking British Bitter Off Her Californian Grass will do her Good.

    Yes She Looks a Lot Like My Wife


    First of all watch this film

    The Holiday


    It features a place not that too dissimilar to yours in California ( I have seen your place on Google Earth, and know about your dispute with one of your neighbours )

    Meanwhile, our place isn’t that disimilar to, and that far from the Chocolate Box village on our side of the pond, in fact sometimes we go there for Sunday Lunch

    And our village is nearly as beautiful

    And our friends are lovely ?” and would welcome you and be delighted by your company

    So do you fancy a House Swap?

    You come to England (Less than 1 hour from Central London)

    And we come To California

    We live in Your House for a Couple of Weeks

    You live in Our House for a Couple of Weeks

    You see, Our Daughter has fallen in Love with Several American Boys at University, and has been invited.

    No Money Involved

    We just swap houses

    Or you could just come over by yourself

    At the top of our house we have a guest room.

    It is actually quite Big, and has its own en-suite shower and toilet

    And we’ve got too nice cats, who always seem to want to sleep with our guests ?” but the door does close, though I think we have probably lost the key to the door

    But you will be perfectly safe and welcome, and I think you will have a good time.


  • tony_opmoc


    We know a Lovely Girl From Moldova, is that near the Ukraine?

    She works for a friend of ours in a Greek Island

    They have taken her in as if she is a part of the family and spends a lot of her time looking after his Grand Children

    None of them speak great English, but they keep inviting us back and we understand each other completely most of the time

    They are all going on about the Greek economy being fucked?????

    Well, they are all lovely people on this incredibly fertile island with the most glorious food

    Sure it Pisses Down like Fuck in The Winter, but the Summers are Glorious and The Food Wonderful

    And They All Smoke Like Fuck and Live To About 110 Years Old

    I think it Maybe The Centre of Human Civilisation

    Though I haven’t seen any decent Rock Bands There



  • Richard Robinson

    “Now that our politicians have got themselves and us and Europe, as well as the US, into this monumentally stupid position, and we are not allowed to shoot them because they are an endangered species”

    I can’t see that, there seems to be no end to them. But, keep theology out of politics, I reckon, yes. People who believe in absolutes often don’t really seem to _do_ politics, do they ?

    And, incidentally, “Talking of Fish, There are places in Pakistan where you can see the great fish swirling round the black sewer-spouts into the river.”

    I remember seeing exactly the same thing, somewhere near Falmouth, when I was a kid. Huge great sewage pipe sticking out into the sea, look for the end of it and that’s where to go and catch as many mackerel as you can carry, no problem.

    They’re not bad eating, either.

  • tony_opmoc

    Useless Cunts

    Look I Couldn’t Give a Fuck About American Football, But I want To See The Who Live

    And My SkY+ Box is away for Repair and Won’t Arrive Back for another 6 Hours

    I thought you were supposed to be able to do all this stuff on the Internet

    I could ask my Son, but that would be cheating

    He Knows BANDWIDTH

    Some people think of a little fibre connection and he is utilising a Tunnel of them

    What was that about Dark Fibre?



  • tony_opmoc

    O.K. So Maybe it Was on BBC For Free, But I don’t Watch TV Live Much and When I do I expect it To Be in High Definition, and Can Also Rewind It and Skip Through The Boring Bits Like Some Cunt Like Me Talking His Book


  • tony_opmoc

    As strange as it may seem I was actually working at Midnight at the Turn of The Century

    And I was completely confident that Everything Would Continue OK

    But it Didn’t

    Nothing Worked, except for the most primative forms of communication

    Not only was the Mobile Communication Completely Apparently Non Functional

    But so was the Ordinary Land Line Phones

    I was Trying To Get Data Through

    And All These Humans Were Phoning Each Other Up and Wishing Each Other a Happy New Century

    And Then it All Went To Fuck, even though all the computer systems worked fine

    We Got Dick Cheney and Tony Blair and 9/11

    So Tell Me When I can See The Who

    They are Just a Band


  • tony_opmoc

    Unless you have been a Kind of Roadie You Have No Idea How Heavy Some of the Fucking Gear is…

    And you Never Know what The Venue is Going To Be Like

    You Might Get a Palace with a Thousand Cheering Kids

    Or You Might End Up in a Tiny Little Pub in The Middle of Nowhere and Its Like The Final Darts Match of The Season and They All Seem Extremely Nationalist England Supporters with Their Really Short Hair and You are Kind of Black with Really Long Dreadlocks

    And you Walk into the Pub – and ask The Guv – Where Do We Set Up Mate?

    And He Says – Over There Where They are Playing Darts…

    So what the fuck do we do?

    We say Hello Mate…

    We are the Band Tonight – and The Guv has asked to set up here – but we will wait until you have finished

    And they finish the game quickly and move all their stuff out of the way – and help us set up

    And the band blows the pub away


  • tony_opmoc

    Most people even in England and even many Indians who have never actually been there think that India is about the same kind of place like for example is East Anglia

    But India is an Enormous Place Full of Different States Which are Largely Self Governing and Really Should Be Recognised as Independent Countries In Their Own Right – and Hundreds of Different Languages and Dialects and Cultures – Largely Untouched and Unknown By The Rest Of The World

    Its Like an American Thinking He Has Done and Knows Europe cos he stayed a few days, a few miles away from where his Plane landed.

    Sure, I’ve been to Africa too


  • anno

    Richard Robinson

    Why would anyone want to_do_politics? The definition of Politics is the service of self-interest. The definition of Faith is the service of God’s commands. I only discuss politics to analyse the self-service of politicians in order to protect myself. We are all absolutely fed up of Bush and Blair wrapping up greed and lucrative contracts for services in their war zones in the tinsel of faith. It’s pretty disgusting to have to listen to Alistair Campbell’s fig-leaf of emotion. Where was the feminine side of his personality when he was castrating the BBC for telling the truth about Iraqi WMD?

    Distasteful though it may be to some, it is absolutely essential to spike, once and for all, the US Christian/Zionist Far Right’s religious justificationing for worldwide aggression against Islam.

    Surah Baqarah, Holy Qur’an: Authu billahi minashaytanirrajeem. ‘ Evil is what your faith commands you to , if you ARE people of faith.’

  • anno

    BAE paid 1p ( a mere £ 40 million ) to avoid going to court. The blood on their hands and their politician allies like Jack Straw is only tomato Shut-up. How could you possibly imagine otherwise or cast aspersions on our juicetice Minister?

    Do they burn the coffin when they cremate disgraced politicians? or do they tip the body out ready for another service in the next door chapel, to keep up with their busy schedule?

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Tony – chill.

    Scutineer: As I understand it, ‘inquiry’ is the North American English spelling for use in relation to everything and also is the British English spelling for official investigations. ‘Enquiry’ is the British English spelling for use in relation to everything else.

    But language is mutable and usage changes constantly.

    Just like 45-minute claims…

  • Vronsky

    The problem is that under any of the proposed electoral systems, politicians will remain self-selecting. I used to be an advocate of fixed (and short – 3 year) terms for politicians, and maximum lengths of service (ten years or 3 elections, whichever comes first) but as history unfolds I see more and more that sortition is the answer. A political class cannot be controlled once it has been allowed to emerge.

    And I’d apply something similar to the civil service.


  • ingo

    European court has decided that we cannot get away with excluding prisoner from voting. It is said that two of the wests arch devils are letting their inmates tick a box.

    Would that mean that a party could question the whole election if the Government does not open the doors to our correctional facillities?

    I’m looking forward to canvassing in prison, must make sure to leave the pocket knife at home.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Why would anyone want to_do_politics?”

    Because the alternatives are even worse ?

    “The definition of Politics is the service of self-interest”

    Given that competing self-interests exist, what else would we want them to do ?

    Self-defence, you say ? case in point. Other peoples’ self-interest isn’t necessarily yours, the things you think are in your self-interest might not necessarily be the same things I think are in mine. Hence, “politics”. What else are we going to do, kill everyone until there’s no-one left standing to disagree ? or find ways that disagreeing can be done without it being the end of the world ?

    I agree, that the sight of what goes on under that heading can be fairly appalling (it’s why we’re all here at this blog, no ?); so, we’d like it different, if we could see a way towards that. That’s politics, too.

    What I mean is, the choice seems to be between that and the mindset that “deeply and passionately believes” that he’s right and is prepared to acccept “collateral damage” (other peoples’ deaths) on the strength of it.

    If it reduces the amount of business that’s done across the pointy end of a gun/IED/Tomahawk, it probably starts with something in its favour.

  • Eamonn Dwyer

    As a writer myself who has been on a number of BBC training schemes, there is a relatively innocent explanation for the mandarins making sure your character was not handled ‘uncritically’ – it’s simply more dramatically interesting for a protagonist to an unalloyed force for good. Giving them an emotional flaw, an achilles heel, makes them much more empathetic as we see ourselves in them. It’s a cliched ploy, but a resonant one – how many films have you seen a brilliant but womanising/drinking/gambling protagonist?

  • Richard Robinson

    “it’s simply more dramatically interesting for a protagonist to an unalloyed force for good.”

    Given that they have an experienced playwright writing them a play, it seems odd that they’d not expect him to know that already ? Do they micromanage all their stuff that way ?

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