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55 thoughts on “Refreshed

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  • writerman


    I’m glad you liked the play. I thought it was good too. It was lucky for me that I was in London and able to hear it.

    I do think it’s telling though, that it was framed as a comedy, which allows it licence and space, like the licence given to the fool at court. On the other hand this framing inside the safety of “humour”, does mean that one doesn’t take the content as seriously as it deserves, with all that that implies.

    Still, that is far, far, better than nothing. You’re right to feel pleased

  • CraigE

    Hi Craig,

    I read Murder in Samarkand last summer and was applied at the behaviour of our government and their treatment of you. I have also bought the Catholic Orangemen of Togo but have yet to read it. I’m keeping it for the holidays! I think I might need some strong drink to get me through it without exploding!!

    I have installed the radio Downloader suggested in an earlier thread and it has worked well, putting it straight onto iTunes so I can enjoy the play on my iPod.

    Keep up the good work, never let the B****ds grind you down!!


  • Martin Burns

    Re Independent MPs: I assume you’re restricting yourself to Westminster here, as Margo Macdonald has been twice elected as an Independent to the Scottish Parliament. Albeit not in the 1st past the post section (which maybe makes it more extraordinary)

  • mary

    Excellent news. Many people I know heard it and all said it was good. Not many knew of what you have exposed Craig and what you stood up for. If only there were people like you in the HoC.

    I have just been watching PMQ. Brown doesn’t seem to be bawling so much today and has his Darling alongside to display what good friends they are. What hypocrites they all are.

    Behind Ms Harperson is sitting a lump of NuLabour lard whose gut is so large it is resting on his thighs. Repellent.

    PS Brown is now saying sorry to the child migrants to Australia. More electioneering hypocrisy to show us his ‘soft’ side. How about the Chagos Islanders and many other native peoples and nations displaced by the eM-Pyre?

  • Clark


    my heart sank when you announced you’d be running for Norwich North. It’s the voting system… Guessing from your personality, when you vote, you just vote for who you believe in. I don’t – I vote tactically. Most people, I suspect, don’t even go that far; politics in the media is framed as Labour vs Conservative (or one of those vs LibDem in certain places), and that’s all that most voters ever think of.

    I would have liked to come and help with the campaign, but my circumstances didn’t allow this. I would have done so, fully expecting a peroid of depression following the vote. I watched the bookies’ odds hopefully, and as it turned out you secured a decent number of votes. You were very disappointed, as I’d expected, and I was very glad when you cheered up.

    In the end, structure is more important than individuals. “Macrocosm dominates microcosm”. The cells in our bodies moderate their reproduction because otherwise our immune systems will kill them. Politicians become corrupt because the system includes no effective mechanisms to prevent and punish corruption.

  • Herbie

    Came across a relatively recent post by Charles Crawford, in which he mocks you for the radio play:

    It’s a curious mixture of inane argument and invective, so much so indeed that it alerted me to the possibility that Mr Crawford had felt himself rumbled on the rather more substantive point about which he had blogged in August 2009, namely “complicity in torture”.

    In that piece Mr Crawford argued, using what he describes as, “the best available formal legal pronouncement upon the subject”, that the UK govt cannot have been complicit in torture:

    It’s probably worthwhile revisiting his definition with the further information we now have to hand, especially given that he seems unwilling or unable to do so himself, preferring indeed to remain strangely silent on the matter.

    According to The Hague, the following elements are required to show evidence of complicity in torture:

    (1) knowledge that torture is taking place

    (2) a contribution by way of assistance, which

    (3) has a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime of torture itself

    We know that the UK govt and its agents were aware that torture was taking place so the first element is satisfied.

    We further know that UK govt agents were present and provided questions to be asked of those being tortured. In providing these questions to be answered the UK govt agents will have a reasonable expectation that the answers will be extracted under torture. Indeed in this context each question posed is itself an invitation to torture and a further aggravation of this complicity, thereby satisfying the second and third elements of the Hague definition of complicity in torture.

    So you see, it’s not altogether unsurprising that Mr Crawford prefers not to revist this matter, about which he was so confident in August 2009. He’s reduced to scrabbling about in the muck, mocking a radio play.

    It’s either silence, distraction or even advocacy of torture, in the manner of Bruce Anderson and others. That’s all they have left when rumbled.

    Perhaps he now feels rather diminished by the whole affair. He could always apologise of course, but then that would demand character and integrity; a character and integrity so rare in public life, but amply conveyed by David Tennant in a recent radio play, funnily enough.

  • Clark

    Re: Herbie’s points above:

    “(2) a contribution by way of assistance, which

    (3) has a substantial effect on the perpetration of the crime of torture itself”

    Stiching up an inconveniently critical ambassador surely falls into this category. Ironically, the government may have been technically innocent of complicity in Uzbek torture until they framed Craig.

  • tony_opmoc

    Stirling performance by the New Labour candidate on the youtube video at Norwich. He should go far.

    Whilst he appears to be able to talk complete and utter nonsensical bollocks whilst sober, it takes me around 10 pints of speckled hen.

    Completely astonishing results

    Chloe Smith (C) 13,591 (39.54%, +6.29%)

    Chris Ostrowski (Lab) 6,243 (18.16%, -26.70%)

    April Pond (LD) 4,803 (13.97%, -2.22%)

    Glenn Tingle (UKIP) 4,068 (11.83%, +9.45%)

    Rupert Read (Green) 3,350 (9.74%, +7.08%)

    Craig Murray (Honest) 953 (2.77%)

    I will hang my head in shame now, and disappear and annoy people elsewhere when pissed – well try to – unless Larry turns up.

    I have been alcohol free all week, though this may only last for another few hours.

    Sorry. Maybe I should do Youtube videos and join the Labour Party.


  • algernon

    On the Norwich youtube vid, particularly the question on Afghanistan…

    …i cringed at Ostrowski’s party-line bullshit spewing forth. Noticed that you Craig were leaning on your hand which looked like it doubled as a clamp that was restraining you from ripping apart his non-argument. Although he seemed to be ripping apart his own words ok all by himself.

    Then for Ostrowski to come across as a blithering fool and still come second with 18% of the vote, well i can see how one can become disheartened with the electoral process.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, I agree, Mary, this saccharine and lachrymose business of governments constantly saying sorry makes me want to throw up. It’s more stupid soap opera generated by tabloid politics and this is a dynamic into which nearly all politicians seem to have bought. It’s garbage. Oh, we shot your son in the head: Sorry. Oh, we tortured your son to death: Sorry. It’ makes it all okay, right? No, of course it doesn’t. History is history: it happened. If the govt is accepting legal liability, then they should compensate the injured party and makes sure whatever it is doesn’t happen again. That’s it.

  • Bananas in the Falklands

    .biz sites are of no consequence. This .top level domain has been ruined by spammers.

    The radio adaption was a nice introduction for the many who don’t read books on a weekly basis.

  • mary

    Letter in the Morning Star –

    Let’s hope the warmongers take note of these BBC treats

    Tuesday 23 February 2010

    The BBC broadcast two memorable plays last weekend.

    First, on Saturday afternoon, was Murder in Samarkand about the British diplomat Craig Murray who was the first to unmask the use of such countries as Uzbekistan – to which he was British ambassador – by the governments of the USA and UK in their “war on terror” to institutionalise torture in the treatment of “terror suspects” arrested anywhere across the world.

    Then on Sunday evening was I’m Still the Same Paul, a tribute to Paul Robeson – with Lenny Henry playing the part of Paul – and recordings of Paul’s inimitable singing of the freedom songs playing an equal part.

    Much of the BBC equivocation with the warmongers can be forgiven when they produce a weekend like this. And though the Robeson play had to have some section on the terrors of Stalin, the best line of the play was Essen Robeson’s commiseration to Paul that “perhaps the next revolution will be better – this one was just a trial run.”

    Paddy Apling


  • mary

    Another travesty of British justice.

    Cooking the Bloody Sunday report

    Wednesday February 24 2010

    Eamonn McCann

    The Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward has asked the Bloody Sunday families to trust his proposed arrangements for publication of the report of the inquiry into the killing of 13 civil rights marchers by paratroopers in Derry in 1972. In meetings with the families, Woodward has said he intends to retain the report for up to 14 days after it is handed to his department

    The Northern Ireland secretary Shaun Woodward has asked the Bloody Sunday families to trust his proposed arrangements for publication of the (…)

    NB 4,500 pages of report @ £200 million (estimated cost of enquiry) = £440,000 per page

  • MJ

    Craig: could you possibly upload that MP3 of the play to rapidshare again? The download limit has been reached for that type of account. Thanks.

  • Titus

    That Guardian review is excellent, it really does hit the important core of what the play establishes. I thought the play was excellent and I really enjoyed it.It wasn’t perfect, but I imagine (having not read the book yet) that in terms of transferring the book to a one and a half hour radio play that Hare did a magnificently skilled job, and I’ll admit that the bit with the guy at the end with the flowers made me cry.Tennant is an excellent actor. As to the Labour guy answering questions on I.D cards you link to, thats hilarious ‘ I personally would like to pay 30 pounds for and I.D.card’ that isn’t compulsory?. I know they ran or were planning to run a test of it in Manchester. Which is their favourite test ground for this type of thing, including the scanners in the airports, which were being tested long before the very very dubious ‘UNDERPANT BOMBER’, a suggested biometric pub and club entrance scheme and a recent crackdown operation on the Manchester streets last week which included making people walk through metal detectors on their night out, because thats what you want on your night out isn’t it, a good scanning?.

  • Craig

    MJ –

    Wasn’t me that uploaded the MP3 – Perish the thought, I have a contract with the BBC!

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    Indeed a travesty of British Justice

    Next month MPs will vote on legislation to renew (or repeal) control orders under the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act. The issue will be voted on in parliament on Monday 1 March.

    1. Write to your MP and ask them to vote against control orders next month:

    Contact your MP using:

    2. Please sign the online petition from Liberty calling for an end to control orders:

    More information

    Will Parliament Rid Us of the Cruel and Unjust Control Order Regime? By Andy Worthington

    Five years of control orders by lawyer Frances Webber

    Also see:

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq


    Young people who took part in the mass demonstrations against

    Israel’s attack on Gaza in January 2009 are being handed down

    jail sentences for minor offences. A protest has been called

    this Friday 26 February at Isleworth Crown Court and there

    will be a public meeting, open to all, in Parliament next

    Tuesday 2 March (details below).

    Friday’s protest and Tuesday’s public meeting will be in

    support of those now being treated so harshly by the courts,

    and to defend our democratic right of protest.

    Israel’s barbarism — which devastated Gaza and left 1400 dead

    — brought tens of thousands on to London’s streets, including

    the demonstration of over 100,000 on 10 January 2009.

    Numerous complaints were made about police aggressive

    behaviour on the Gaza demonstrations. Thousands of protestors

    were ‘kettled’ — illegally held for hours and only released

    after the police had obtained their names and addresses.

    In the months that followed the demonstrations, over 90

    protestors were arrested — most of them Muslims, many of them

    teenagers, often in intimidating dawn raids. More than seventy

    of those arrested were charged with disorder offences.

    The courts are now hearing these cases. The defendants

    pleading guilty are being tried first and the sentences have

    been draconian. The judge has made clear that he is issuing

    deterrent sentences.

    We are seeing first-time offenders receiving two and a half

    years imprisonment for minor offences which would not normally

    face custodial sentences.

    It is hard not to conclude that this is a concerted attempt by

    the police and judiciary to criminalise protest, intimidating

    in particular young Muslims.

    Meanwhile, there has been no investigation into the aggressive

    and often violent policing on the Gaza demonstrations, despite

    the high level of complaints.

    And while these young people are facing years in prison for

    protesting against Israel’s war crimes, no one is being held

    to account for those crimes, which have been fully documented

    by reports from the United Nations, Amnesty International,

    Human Rights Watch and others.


  • Richard Robinson

    “Cameron loves the book – he finds it both tasty and chewy.”

    “Murder in Samarkand, now available in strawberry and Ghanaian-chocolate flavoured editions”.

  • Jon

    Off topic. @Craig, today you are referenced in a Media Alert from Media Lens, who are on form as usual – see link.

    —- quote —

    Craig Murray, former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, reviewed Frank Gardner’s performance:

    “Yet again his grave but reassuring features have been delivering smooth propaganda, this time from the comic opera re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reinvasion of parts of Helmand – an operation which is costing the UK taxpayer £2 billion this month, and the US taxpayer very much more…

    “One of Gardner’s favourite tricks is to call ordinary Afghan courtyard houses ‘Taliban compounds’. It is not a compound, it is a house. Perhaps Afghans don’t live in things we would recognise in Acacia Drive – but they are their homes.” (Murray, Weblog, February 15, 2010;

    —- end quote —

  • glenn

    Comrades – I do have a rapidshare account. If someone could provide me with the mp3, I could upload it and it would have unlimited downloads. Best way would be to put it on the 10-limit share, but make sure I’m one of the 10!

  • Polo


    The width of your Umida photo is driving your print off the right of the screen both there and in your main blog.

    Makes it very difficult to read.

    You might try reducing the size of the photo.

  • anno

    Protesters about Gaza saw, on AlJazeera, a reality of UKUSIS violence which they were not exposed to in the Iraq war. Similarly, the systematic depletion of UK plc’s finances by bankers, was not exposed before. One can assume that in both cases the lifting of the lid was intentional and planned.

    If the Zionist policy has changed from the covert to the overt, it suggests to me that they want to acquire some glory for restoring things to normal now that Iraq and the UK have been tamed for the next two generations. The promises they made to Blair about Iraq and to Brown about the economy will be fulfilled, so that future generations can be fooled into seeing them as our saviours.

    Their ultimate goal after all is to be restored to the position of being ‘the chosen people’. For now the whole world is being ‘kettled’ while they achieve their material goals. The whole world is being given a draconian sentence for not realising their ‘supremacy’.

    Then, when Jesus pbuh returns, inshallah, the sufferings they have caused the world for two thousand years will be condemned by one raised finger of censure from their rejected prophet, inshallah. Every single one of them alive will believe in him at that time. Anyone who is fooled by their apparent power either to destroy or restore, is going to get a very nasty surprise.

    Quis custodet ipsos custodes? Judges and politicians beware!

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