Burnes Programme 88


I have just returned from recording a very long interview for Radio Scotland for a programme they are doing on Alexander Burnes in their series on great explorers. Just a few snippets of mine will be used in a half hour programme, but I have enormously enjoyed working with the BBC’s extremely knowledgable producer and research historian on this and I think the programme will explain why I am so enthusiastic about rescuing Burnes from obscurity. I will let you know the broadcast date.


88 thoughts on “Burnes Programme

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  • rob

    Let’s hope they broadcast you this time. It’s deeply worrying how you get censored. BBC producers are typically honest but are being got at. Good luck.

  • glenn

    Ace! You’ve piqued my interest in this Burnes character, I look forward to buying your book in due course. Signed, as you have the others, preferably.

  • Stephen

    Having read his Wikipedia account I can see why you feel a connection with Burnes rather than some of the British Crown’s other emissaries to Bukhara who met rather stickier ends there.

  • ingo

    What an Ignorant reply indeed Mary, but thats the norm, unless you swoon and support their titttle tattle trivia programmes, you don’t get attention.
    I wonder how many of our BBC employees have double loyalties or even receive double pay, to find out we would need a spy amongst the spies.

    Moreover Stepehen, nobody ever got hold over anything in Afghanistan, apart from the sticky end you so mentioned, it is run by tribes and warlords that do not want to adopt our pace, rules or regulations.

  • Stephen

    Ingo

    Bukhara is now in modern day Uzbekistan (alhough I think most of the locals are Tajiks) – and rather than being run by a warlord it had its own Emir (who considered himself to have equal status to Queen Victoria) – and it didn’t lose its Emirate status until 1920, although it was part of the Russian Tsarist empire for part of its history. Quite distinct from Afghanistan and a differnt history all together. The Emir used to throw his enemies off the top of one of the many towers in Bukhara – so the tradition for brutal endings is not something that was started by the modern day rulers of Uzbekistan.

  • mary

    The bastards have done it again.
    .
    Contact lost with #FreedomWaves to Gaza in Eastern Mediterranean
    Posted by Kev

    Irish and Canadian ships sailing with Freedom Waves to Gaza are likely being illegally boarded and commandeered right now by the Israeli military in international waters – or they are about to be. Freedom Waves to Gaza organizers have been unable to make contact with the MV Saoirse since our last communication with the boat at 10.58.

    At 11:12 am (Irish time) Israeli forces made radio contact with the Tahrir and asked them to state their final destination. Canadian boat organizer, Ehab Lotayef, responded: ‘The conscience of humanity’ and when the Israeli forces repeated the question again, asking for the boats’ final destination, he replied: ‘The betterment of humankind’.

    “We have lost contact with the Saoirse and Tahrir – there seems to be a communications blackout,” said Laurence Davis, spokesperson for Irish Ship to Gaza. “Up to now we had been in regular, scheduled check-in call contact with the Saoirse. Given Israel’s stated intent to illegally board the ships, it may be that this has already happened.”
    .
    “If Israel has yet again illegally boarded peaceful boats sailing to Gaza through international waters, then it means that this rogue state thinks it can still act with impunity despite worldwide condemnation of its attack on the Flotilla of 2010. We are deeply concerned for all passengers and crew aboard the two boats, given Israel’s disregard for human life on the 2010 Flotilla in which 9 activists were shot dead,” says Claudia Saba, an organizer of Irish Ship to Gaza. “We’re calling on people to take to the streets in emergency solidarity rallies.”
    .
    The Freedom Waves to Gaza initiative is a non-violent, civil society movement to challenge the unlawful Israeli blockade of Gaza. Despite months of political, military, secret service, and bureaucratic interference, the Irish Ship to Gaza and the Canadian Boat to Gaza had managed to reach international waters. Bios of delegates on board the Saoirse are available here: irishshiptogaza.org/?page_id=494
    .
    http://irishshiptogaza.org/?p=816

  • Stephen

    Mary

    Has it struck you that perhaps one reason why the BBC is being so dismissive of the complaint is that the complaint letter seeks to attribute all the deaths in Libya to NATO strikes – when the discussions by both the BBC and Reuters are regarding all the deaths which occurred in Libya, including the not small number inflicted by troops loyal to Gadaffi. I would expect someone who has a duty towards neutrality to avoid getting into conversations with those who quite obviously have a political axe to grind – and start throwing around accusations even before the journalist concerned has a chance to respond. A simple question as to why the BBC’s range of estimates did not extend to the figure mentioned by Reuters would have shed much more light on the matter.

    If the BBC has any sense it will have told its journalists not to get involved in answering loaded questions from wherever they come in the political spectrum and to pass the matter onto complaints department, and I wouldn’t criticise the journalist concerned for acting as he did – just as I wouldn’t criticise one for not responding directly to the many claims by BNP supporters regarding the treatment of their party and leader. Don’t fight with a chimney sweep unless you are prepared to get dirty isn’t without some truth.

    You may wish to note for your future reference that asking loaded questions is not the best way to get answers.

  • Ron Pariah

    Stephen
    If someone believes in their work and in what they have written, it’s not hard to write a brief, factual, polite response to a loaded question. However, given Mr Beale’s points in his response to another email, further down that Medialens page, I doubt very much he has anything coherent to say.
    .
    In case you haven’t read it, he says it’s legitimate to question whether defence cuts under David Cameron leave the UK vulnerable because someone shot Yvonne Fletcher a number of years ago. He also claims to be able to speak for the majority of Libyans on the matter of their views of the Gadaffi regime.

  • ingo

    Misunderstanding Stephen, somewhat slipped south. Still, looking at some of the Tajik warlords, Dostum would be an example, one could argue that they mostly act as one would expect a tribal leader would act. Dostum acts horrendous and controls his people by fear. I hear he is welcome in Uzbekistan as much as in Afghanistan, not that this would bring me to call him a diplomat, he’s a kept man just as Karimov, but he controls the Termez crossing points.

    I also think that could be involved, or knows who was involved/killed Richard Conroy, a british civil servant who died on board a plane flying from Termez to Tashkent, apparently he was shot according to Craigs account in ‘Murder in Samarkand’, one of many murders, no doubt. Richard was looking into the use of termez as a drugs highway, as far as I can remember.

    So those who are pasionate about politics and those who question NATO’s resolve in Libya and reporting over should not really interconnect with the BBC, they get these awefull stock responses from the BBC, to write in and complain>
    When it is the BBC which at every step advertises and swoons about its interconnectivity, its open access and how much care it takes in its customer affairs. Rivalry is another point, Medialens can do as the BBC cannot do, despite being funded by a tax.
    I have given up corresponding or responding to their output, its a futile waste of energy, time and CO2.

  • Komodo

    @Mary:
    (hope this works)
    Stephen Wikipedia is a mine of information on many subjects.
    Fixed, sort of.

  • Komodo

    One more try:
    Stephen Wikipedia is a mine of information on many subjects.

    Imagine Stephen crossed out if not.
    Apologies for digression.

  • mary

    Wonder which MP he worked for in 1999. Hope it wasn’t Foxy!
    {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Beale}
    .
    He has been in all the right places to make useful contacts. The HoC, Brussels and Washington. He’s been to Afghanistan and even Guantanamo. You would think attending the trials at the latter hellhole would have turned his stomach and have made him head for the nearest open country.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/jonathan_beale/2006/10/about_jonathan_beale.html

  • mary

    Israel is now throwing its toys out of the pram. It has cancelled its membership of UNESCO.
    .
    Israel cancels UNESCO membership
    By Middle East correspondent
    Updated November 04, 2011 07:57:46
    .
    Israel has cancelled its membership of UNESCO in protest at the UN agency’s vote to admit Palestine as a full member.
    .
    Israel has already taken other measures in retaliation for UNESCO’s move, which saw 114 UNESCO states agree to accept Palestinian membership.
    .
    Palestinian leaders are hoping many more UN agencies will follow suit and that it will boost their hopes of similar recognition at the UN itself.
    .
    But Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has now ordered a halt to Israel’s financial contributions to UNESCO in protest.
    .
    The US has also announced similar action. The US provides around 22 per cent of UNESCO’s funding.
    .
    Israel on Tuesday suspended tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority and it has accelerated construction of thousands of Jewish houses in a West Bank settlement.
    .
    UNESCO said the cut in funding from the US will threaten some of its programs including Holocaust education and a tsunami warning program.
    .
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-11-04/israel-cancels-unesco-membership/3626454/?site=sydney

  • Stephen

    Komodo

    You forget that I have been to Uzbekistan, before Craig and just before the extent of the torture regime came to light, so in this case I do actually know the stuff abouth Bukhara – also in Thubron’s travelogue if you care to look.

  • Komodo

    Stephen,

    Freely conceded. Your style of writing is eerily similar to Wiki’s…though in this instance I find you innocent of Hari-ism.

  • Phil

    It’s funny, really. I can understand China being touchy about Taiwan joining international bodies, but Israel doesn’t even claim the WB and G as Israeli territory. Does it speak for Palestinian interests in the bodies it doesn’t want Palestine to join? If a Taiwanese person needs consular assistance in a place with no Taiwanese representation, the Chinese embassy in theory will help them out. Does Israel do that for West Bank or Gazan Palestinians?

  • Komodo

    No injuries, according to the IDF. Now everyone will be incommunicado and being treated like crap, so we will see if there are any injuries when they are released. In a week or two.

    It’s even funnier than you think, Phil. Look at the comments on the JPost article on the flotilla to establish the depth to which the howling Zionists who read the rag consider that they have an absolute right to do what they want in territories to which their claim is uncertain.

  • mary

    https://ambafrance-br.org/local/cache-vignettes/L328xH292/g20-g8a-fd467.jpg
    Nouveau monde Nonvelles Idées NOT
    .

    Quelle pagaille!
    .
    G20 leaders in Cannes have ended their summit with a plan to boost growth and rebalance the global economy.
    .
    The continuing eurozone debt crisis has dominated the summit.
    .
    In a closing press conference, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “We will fight to defend Europe and the euro.”
    .
    He said the G20 had agreed to boost the resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and would agree on specific steps by February.
    .

  • Komodo

    We will all go together when we go, or Big Nuclear Society, slot

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelis-fear-missile-attack-on-iran-will-bring-war-to-region-6256910.html

    “Discussion between Britain and Israel over Iran intensified with a visit to Tel Aviv by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, and the arrival in London of the Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak. Mr Barak saw Sir David – who was also holding talks with the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) chief of staff Benny Gantz – before flying to London for a trip which included meetings with Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, and William Hague, Foreign Secretary. Officials emphasised that Sir David’s visit was one of a regular series by UK defence chiefs to see their Israeli counterparts and had been arranged many months ago.”

    Yeah, right.

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