Murder in Samarkand – Now a Major TV Series

by craig on October 9, 2013 10:01 am in Uncategorized

The Independent has an article about the new FCO sponsored Mitchell and Webb “comedy”, which was made with FCO co-operation and is openly an attempt to bolster its image – and to make light of, and acceptable, the disgraceful British alliance with the dictator of Uzbekistan.  The argument that this series is based on – and is an attempt to counter the effect of – Murder in Samarkand – is overwhelming.

Not least because the producers of  Ambassadors, Big Talk, attempted to buy the rights to Murder in Samarkand.  They invited me to, and I attended, a meeting in their offices and they had several copies of Murder in Samarkand in their office.  They also had access to the original unpublished (and much longer) manuscript of the book, under its original title Should Not Be Known.   For them to pretend their “Tazbekistan” comedy is unrelated does not just make them lying bastards, it is ludicrous.

I did get solicitors to write both to Big Talk and to the BBC, but unfortunately the lawyers wanted money amounting to tens of thousands to apply for a copyright injunction, and I just don’t have it.

The Independent article takes the opportunity to recycle ten year old slurs against me by the FCO, without mentioning that they were disproven.

I wonder if one of my talented commenters could design an online “poster” for Murder in Samarkand, showing the book, Mitchell and Webb or the Ambassadors logo, and the slogan “Murder in Samarkand – Now a Major TV Series”.  Then we can get it everywhere we can on the web, and the bastards can try and sue me!  That would turn the tables nicely.

The other extraordinary thing in the Independent article is the contention that New Labour had an ethical foreign policy, as though the tabloid humiliation and marginalisation of Robin Cook- and the dodgy dossier and invasion of Iraq –  had never happened.


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  1. Given what the Independent says about the script and the FCO it would seem to be fairly safe to say the programme will not be based on “Murder in Samarkand”. I not sure that a libel action for breach of copyright from something that is the antithesis of Craig’s book would stand much chance of success. Might be better to have a poster advertising the book saying it is not based on the Ambassadors or similar – Waterstones and co are always looking for tie ins – a this is not the book of the series tagline could be quite effective. My advice to Craig would not to get mad but get even.

  2. I wish the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, instead of indulging in comedy, would concentrate on what it is there to do. I am still waiting for a response to questions raised in June in an FOI about Talha Ahsan’s treatment. After writing to the Prime Minister’s Office about the delay I was contacted by an official who told me that the FCO did not operate a policy of racism/religionism and Talha and his family got the same rights as any other UK citizen held in US custody. Talha is in a cell no bigger than a reasonably-sized bathroom, with a small window, 23 hours a day (24 hours when there is a lockdown). This is the same kind of treatment prisoners on death-row get. He suffers from Asberger Syndrome. So on Saturday I asked his brother Hamja what this support amounted to. He gets one visit a year from an FCO representative.

    So instead of addressing important issues they choose to open their doors to comedy programme-makers. The FCO is farcical. It is run by buffoons, cardboard cutouts of Bertie Wooster. It has made itself a laughing-stock! “Can Mitchell and Webb comedy help FCO improve its image?” Will anyone ever take it seriously again?

  3. Bastards.

    So basically the subtext of one episode is whether or not to jeopardise a UK helicopter contract by raising a human rights issue with dictators who routinely boil people alive,rape,murder and torture.

    Clearly the FCO thought this has some comedic or satirical value.That speaks volumes about them.

    And Mitchell and Webb now working for the Establishment.Way to go boys,way to go.

    Like i said:

    Bastards all,complete and utter inhumane bastards.

  4. Craig – An excellent strategy to call them out. Any value in getting an item into Private Eye’s “Street of Shame” page? The decline in the Independent’s standards of journalism is sad to see, but not surprising in a topsy-turvy world. What’s needed is “The World Turned Upside Down” – here are the Billy Bragg lyrics:

    In a different vein, you might enjoy this graphic explanation of Washington’s bipartisan politics:

  5. Good gracious Craig. I thought that had died a death. It is yet more of the disgraceful ‘output’ of propaganda from the state’s broadcaster. None of its employees have an ounce of your courage.

    What is Lebedev’s interest in sponsoring it?

    PS I remember the Kenton Allen stuff.

    PPS Why has Mitchell got the run of the BBC? He is always on and I find him totally unfunny and very pleased with himself.

  6. How about a fighting fund for the legal (i.e. parasites) fees? Exposure needed.

  7. …. The FCO is farcical. It is run by buffoons, cardboard cutouts of Bertie Wooster.

    To which you might have added something like: “likewise the Home Office [aka the Orwellian sounding ‘Ministry of Justice’ as it is now known] in their truly pathetic, fawning subservience to their US State Department superiors

    The treatment of Babar Ahmad is another – and perhaps the most egregious – example to date, of just how fraudulent, nasty, incompetent (pick your adjective because there are plenty more) officialdom in this country has become where ANY suspicion of a connection to the dreaded and supremely phoney ‘war on terror’ is involved.

    Severely beaten up by London’s finest, released, paid £60K compensation to avoid airing details of police thuggishness in court, then re-arrested and held in Max security prisons for 10 years and counting. Extradited to the US on allegations that our own DPP declined to prosecute. The guy had never set foot in the US but, because his web-site was hosted in the US, the US claim jurisdiction and our apologies for politicians just roll-over (Found the balls to decline extradition to Garry Mackinnon though – white and not Muslim so deserving of something different). 50+ years in a US Max security prison beckons and he hasn’t seen any of his children for 10 years – That’s so-called “British justice” for you.

  8. What Anon said, surprisingly enough. They have access to the publicity – you use it!

    Not that Mitchell and Webb were ever (a)that radical or (b) that funny. Get on it before it sinks without trace. I like the idea of the FCO sponsoring played-out comedians, though. Doesn’t it have any of its own?

  9. Wikispooks, your web-page on Babar Ahmad needs updating. It finishes at the most crucial moment when the four policemen who beat up Babar were about to appear at Southwark Crown Court. They did appear, and although they had previously been found guilty in a civil action in which Babar was awarded £60,000, they were remarkably acquitted, though the judge, Geoffrey Riflin Q.C. must have known of the successful private prosecution. Riflin retired the next week showing that the case was tried not in court but in a Gentleman’s club or masonic lodge. Someone should appeal on Babar’s behalf to Dominic Grieve who has made himself quite popular by overturning some judgments.

  10. Firstly, I like the suggestion of using the BBC show to plug Craig’s book. I have to say that I find Mitchell and Webb funny, both as a duo and individually, and having David Mitchell on the BBC is preferable to some of the other ‘talent’ belonging to the corporation.

    Mary, I don’t think there is any recourse to referring to lawyers as “parasites”. It is a demanding profession and the vast majority of solicitors and barristers do not earn the sorts of salaries which many members of the public crudely assume.

  11. Goss

    You forgot one little fact the policemen were acquitted by a jury not the judge. It is also normal practice not to refer to any previous civil cases or convictions in any criminal case so as the jury are not prejudiced in their deliberations on the case in hand. You should also note that the levels of proof in criminal cases are quite rightly higher than in civil ones, where the guilty party can be deprived of their liberty. If you want to criticise the British legal system might I suggest that you first have some understanding as to how it works – and why little matters like jury trials and the burden of proof are of critical importance.

    Quite what all this has to do with this thread is beyond me – perhaps Craig should charge you a fee for allowing you to post your ramblings.

  12. John

    your web-page on Babar Ahmad needs updating

    Yes I know. Problem is there are over 7,000 Wikipedia-like pages on Wikispooks and I simply do not have the time to update them all – much less put up the new stuff that is crying out for exposure.

    You’re welcome to have a go yourself – as is anyone else who can honestly get past this and this

  13. Mary

    So who do you find funny and should appear on the BBC instead of David Mitchell?

  14. MC I know differently on lawyers’ and court fees.

    Anon MYOB

  15. Craig, 

    Can’t you find a lawyer to work pro bono or on contingency? I’d keep up the legal pressure as cheap as possible to ensure that the producers cannot suggest that you have abandoned your claims against them.

  16. Yeah, I don’t recommend referring to lawyers as “parasites” before engaging their services.

  17. Mary, I disagree. I work closely with a range of people in the legal profession and the salaries fluctuate wildly depending on size of firm or chambers, type of cases, caseload and location in the UK. A blanket supposition of a parasitic nature based upon your personal knowledge of fees may not stand up to reality.

  18. technicolour

    9 Oct, 2013 - 1:48 pm

    Another word for lawyers – I’m thinking of the excellent Bindmans, who often work pro bono, for example, and of those who represent the people generally.

  19. I’d be inclined to see what the series looks like before going any further. One synopsis I found indicates that the issue of pimping British exports to a country with zero human rights does not go unexamined, at least. Might you ask for an advance copy?

  20. Who is this poster “Anon”, within twenty new postings “it” has picked on two posters John Goss and Mary. It may be the owner of the blog in which case I defer? Or is it a standard hasbara troll that gets paid to police blogs to stamp out “non conformist narrative”, if so the mod has to immediately ban it.

  21. Aren’t right-on, lefty, lovvie comics wonderful! One day some of them might even pay their taxes.

    In any event, you have my sympathy. At least this medium exists these days and you can get your side of the story out to those who are interested and who don’t take everything the beeb pours down their throats (“factual” or “dramatic” – ie. factual by implication; by sublimation) as gospel. Not much compensation, perhaps, but better than nothing.

    Anyway, I’ve always fancied reading ‘Murder in Samarkand’ but held off buying it because I was unemployed. This post has come when I am ten days into a new job and suddenly flush. You’ve got a sale.

    Ps. Just failed to post the above after getting the captcha sum wrong. It was blank – two = four. I entered ‘2’. Now I know why I was unemployed for so long. Duh!

  22. The duplicitous weasels. Grrrrr

  23. Who is this poster OT who is trolling me for not being “on message” rather than addressing any of the matters I raised in my 3 posts or Craig’s post? I will resist going down the same Stalinist path and asking for the creature to be banned.

    If Mary wishes to ignore my polite question then that is her prerogative.

  24. Rest assured Anon that OT’s posts are not mine.

    You are not the slightest bit interested in what I find funny so don’t pretend that you are.

  25. OT observed

    is it a standard hasbara troll that gets paid to police blogs to stamp out “non conformist narrative”, if so the mod has to immediately ban it.

    Unfortunately due to factors as yet unknown/secret/we are not privy to, there seems to be a high threshold of tolerance for certain disruptive elements around here ie the hasbara agents considering these to have no media monopoly! Take a gander at these, taken from one thread/topic;

    In case you suspect a conspiracy, Mary, please don’t be shy.

    Keep count of the Cuckoos nesting here!

    simply not be deterred to being counted as a cuckoo

    well it wouldn’t take much to pierce you would it you pompous windbag. Just fuck off for once, there’s a good chap.

    Big deal you tin-foil-hatted fucking morons.

    If you’re idiotic enough to think this is

    Now bugger-off you empty-condom eunuch.

    8,540 results Which can be safely projected to be 7857 incidents of insults to the other participants, and yet this conduct has been tolerated for some time.

    Based on the above, don’t hold your breath for any miracles for you to be left unmolested to get on with your debate or reading the others views without getting disrupted and disturbed by the assigned cyber irgun brigade, to mess up this blog, as they do with the other places to stop any kind of meaningful transactions from a new and fresh perspectives.

  26. “You are not the slightest bit interested in what I find funny so don’t pretend that you are.”

    Just not true – the more we can put in the files the more we get paid!

  27. Mark Golding, that is quite a nice poster, well done. One question, the photographs have they been changed enough not to cause any potential copyright squabbles, and shenanigans of the ne’er-do-wells?

  28. One question, the photographs have they been changed enough not to cause any potential copyright squabbles, and shenanigans of the ne’er-do-wells?

    I very much doubt it – but I think that may be the intention as Craig appears to be pretty keen to get his day in court without having to pay lawyers beforehand.

  29. @ Anon at 1:21pm – thank you for educating John Goss in how the British legal system actually works. It would be gracious of him to acknowledge it.

    And to Mary, who calls lawyers “parasites” – would that include Gareth Peirce, who, I believe, is also a lawyer? No, I thought not – which demonstrates the silliness of such blanket statements.

  30. Interesting observing the hasbara here brazenly turning into a modern day Stasi.

    And look what happened to them and their inhumane files…

  31. Aren’t right-on, lefty, lovvie comics who launched their careers in the Cambridge Footlights and were propelled further by their fellow-alumni wonderful!


  32. I really wish someone would produce a series based on the actual book, as much of the content correlates with my own experiences of the country. Unfortunately, I dont think our semi independent media would be allowed show it.

  33. Craig,

    Having been in that world for many years, I can tell you that it should not cost near that much to have a lawyer write a letter to the various production entities. This sort of thing happens all the time, with claims ranging from airtight to delusional. If you had meetings with the company, and they reviewed your material, you would have a strong case.

    I wouldn’t give up on this. Do you have someone who can give you a referral for an entertainment attorney?

  34. Quick question, what is hasbara?

    Like Komodo, I read the synopsis that indicates the series will poke fun at the way the FCO drums up trade. Perhaps that is the bit that was written and filmed when the FCO PR people were out to lunch?

    Although a small amount of satire is a flimsy defence for ripping off Mr Murray’s book.

  35. This is an emetic. I thought it was a wind up at firat. A ‘roast’ is comedic.

    A psychopaths’ gathering in NY. Complete with Yiddish songs apparently

    Waterboarding Is A Big Joke At Cheney Roast*
    A sentimental evening at the Plaza for Cheney, Rumsfeld, Mukasey, and Lieberman. “Really tasteless,” says a guest.
    October 8, 2013

    *Roast (comedy) Wikipedia
    A roast is an event, almost exclusively in the United States, in which an individual is subjected to a public presentation of comedic insults, praise, outlandish true and untrue stories, and heartwarming tributes. The implication being that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good humor and not as serious criticism or insult, and it is seen by some as a great honor to be roasted. The individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a “roast.” The host of the event is called the “roastmaster.” Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been “roasted.”

  36. I agree with Komodo. See what it’s like first. If it bombs you may not want to take too much credit.

  37. @ Jives

    “Interesting observing the hasbara here brazenly turning into a modern day Stasi.”

    And please don’t forget to mention the NKVD, the Gestapo, the Securitate and Shin Beth.

    Seriously, though, I have no doubt that you are on file where it counts.

  38. @Mary

    Its not all employees at the BBC… I know some lovely talented and decent people who work like dogs there for much less pay than they can get elsewhere. They have survived cut after cut and one I know is off work for stress….

    Its the Senior Management criminals and fraudsters like purnell who are the cancer there…

    Anyway after speaking to my friends they reckon the BBC as a broadcaster might not exist in a decade or so…. its more likely to have to become just a content producer for the likes of google, apple and other tech corps may control the medium. If you think – whats the point of channels now?

  39. MC, “hasbara” is presented here in depth:

    I think the word can be useful, but it rather gets bandied about here a lot, and often against people who just disagree with a particular view about the Middle-East conflict, rather than exclusively against people who are proven to be deliberately propagandising for Israel.

  40. From the 6-minute preview, it looks like a very well-made and promising series:

    First-look behind-the-scenes video for BBC Two’s Ambassadors, starring Mitchell and Webb

    First impressions are pretty good. It may even be sympathetic to the ambassador’s moral quandaries. Clearly it was inspired by Craig’s book, though whether that counts as plagiarism I leave to the legal sharks. The imagery will certainly provide a vivid boost to the imagination when re-reading Murder in Samarkand. It will be interesting to see how many anecdotes are lifted straight from the book. Perhaps we should have a prize for the reader who can offer the most page references for scenarios that crop up throughout the series.

  41. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    9 Oct, 2013 - 7:16 pm

    I’m surprised there aren’t lawyers who will represent you on a contingency basis, Craig.

    You would have a strong case, I think.

  42. often against people who just disagree with a particular view about the Middle-East conflict, rather than exclusively against people who are proven to be deliberately propagandising for Israel.

    Yeah there is always elements of good to be found in everyone included in Colonel James Steele. The same chap who set up the the interrogation units in Iraq, and was subject of Searching for Steele.

    It depends on the outlook and the disposition; one man’s enhanced interrogation, is another man’s weatherboarding. The constant barrage of targeted abuse getting classed as a different point of fucking view is a differing view in itself.

  43. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    9 Oct, 2013 - 7:28 pm

    This guy based in DC has quite a reputation for going up against the big guys. I’ve sent him the link to this post.

  44. Agree there Indigo. Sickening. Not content with screwing UK students for their £9,000 pa tuition fees, those universities tie up with a torturing dictator like Karimov, the object of which is presumably to make more money.

    ‘The University of Westminster – has set up a campus in Uzbekistan and at least five others – Cambridge, Bath, the University of East Anglia, the London College of Fashion and London Metropolitan University – have established partnerships with colleges in the country.’

    Two members of the board of trustees of the British Council are noteworthy.

    Simon Fraser – Permanent Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office

    and Baroness Prashar, on the Chilcot Iraq Inquiry whose report is further delayed.

  45. Anon at 1.21 p.m. The judge directs the jury. They were probably all masons too! If you had been awake you would have noticed a previous comment which related to the blogpost. I was responding, as well you know, to a comment ensuing from that made by Wikispooks, as well you know. Why don’t you try to follow the theme? Can’t keep up I suppose. You, and the other shower of shills, are not interested in justice. You try to make a legal point to justify the acquittal of four policemen who beat up a man who has committed no crime and has been kept in custody for ten years without being convicted of any crime. You should hang your head in shame, if you can get it out of the shillmaster’s arse.

  46. resident dissident

    9 Oct, 2013 - 8:31 pm


    On a serious level I’m not sure that British Universities setting up academic links with Uzbekistan necessarily amounts to endorsement of Karimov and they can often act as a platform for developing alternative views. From memory I think that Craig in his book mentions contact with one of the universities on such a scheme and also involvement in student exchange schemes so I’m not sure that he would have such black and white views either.

  47. I’ll be interested to watch the actual show. The synopsis and previews I’ve seen of the show so far sound interesting. I haven’t so far got the impression they’re particularly whitewashing or pretending away problems in the countries their place is modeled on. They are probably not going nearly as in-depth as a more serious show might, but they do seem to bring up some of the moral problems (pushing for a helicopter contract vs ignoring human rights abuses), and some of the humour seems to be of ‘isn’t this twisted’ kind rather than the light-hearted ‘isn’t this fun’ kind, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it inspired at least a few viewers to learn more.

    If you want to educate people about that part of the world, this might actually help, or be something you can use to get people’s attention.

  48. @ John Goss

    From the churlish, vulgar and intemperate tone of your post at 8:23pm you’re obviously not at all grateful to Anon for giving you some free lessons about British justice.

    I’ll give you another one: the judge may direct the jury, but the jury doesn’t have to follow. This is logic itself, since if the judge’s directions were binding, what would be the point of having a jury?

    Now you can call me a mason as well.

    You write to Anon: “You try to make a legal point to justify the acquittal of four policemen”. Yes, he does – the legal point (and the justification, for that matter, is called acquittal by a jury. But hey, what’s due legal process when it produces a result John “Stalin” Goss doesn’t agree with…..?

  49. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    9 Oct, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    Don’t have the time to watch right now…maybe you do

  50. @Mary

    Thanks for the links; their CVs make interesting reading.

    @Resident Dissident

    Call me old-fashioned (or seriously naive if you like) but, in my book, education that ignores ethics … isn’t. The finest statement that I know of that made this perfectly clear is the following:

    I have no knowledge of Craig’s views on the subject but they would have no bearing no mine. And, as far as alternative views in Uzbekistan go, I doubt very much if Karimov would be at all welcoming of such influences.

  51. Solonbabbabbabbabbkuk

  52. A Node you little tinker, is that your handy work?

    That is good too, only the suits should not be white, if you would agree?!

    Jives you made me smile.

  53. Fedup

    No, it’s nothing to do with me. I just found it there.
    I thought the white suits were kinda diplomatish.

  54. OT but still BBC this evening.
    They did a piece about Libya.
    It has taken Britain 2 years and 200 million pounds of bombing to find out that they have destroyed the country of Libya.Europeans can’t set foot in Benghazi and every single thing that Gaddafi said would happen has.It’s gone tribal, become divided and ungovernable.The flow of oil has stopped !!!
    They even managed to paper over his death saying he died after being wounded in a gun battle.
    Lest we forget, he was bombed and strafed by the French Air force , then wounded and captured was murdered at point blank range before being sodomized by some blunt instrument.
    Meanwhile his pearl and birthplace , the beautiful city of Sirte, was flattened by the RAF.
    Dead men don’t tell tales. Wonder what else he was right about ?

  55. As Gaza Dies Slowly, Waiting Game is on
    Oct 8 2013
    By Ramzy Baroud

    A reasonable summary of the continued crucifixion. Almost time for the vinegar soaked sponge to be handed up. So sad.

  56. Here are some I made earlier:

    Knocked them up solely for conventional promotional purposes but provided it’s okay with CM anyone wanting to make a poster is welcome to use or adapt any of the images in the folder linked above.

    Would happily do so myself but I’m abroad and have only my cellphone no Photoshop…

  57. technicolour

    9 Oct, 2013 - 11:38 pm

    OT: (sorry, but) this is rather funny, don’t you think?

  58. technicolour

    9 Oct, 2013 - 11:40 pm

    Sorry, way off topic, browser hadn’t refreshed, so hadn’t read the previous, serious posts.

  59. Wikispooks, 9 Oct, 2013 – 1:24 pm. Yes I read your two links and agree to them, but I tried once before to become party to your site but could not make the connection, whether due to my own incompetence or otherwise. How do I subscribe?

  60. Jives at 10.02. I thought exactly the same thing before I read your pithy comment. Well spotted.

  61. Never mind, Technicolour, after having just argued with a serious ignoramus (I can think of more colourful words but will leave it at that tonight) on the Guardian about Haitian history I enjoyed the laugh … especially the Northern Line …


  62. …. and another poster (thanks Martin)

  63. charlie drake

    10 Oct, 2013 - 12:18 am

    mitchell plus webb
    armstrong and mill miller
    are just a couple of sets of mi5 trained chuckle assets.
    tavistock runs deep.

  64. DoNNy

    Well said…Just Fucking Sickening…and all VERY illegal…as is made plain here – Re wars of agression Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ect Ect

    The United States and its coalition allies have perpetrated serious violations of international law including the breaching of the UN Charter and multiple violations of the Geneva Conventions, the US Army Field manual, and the Hague Conventions. [1]
    Over 600,000 civilians are estimated to have died as a direct consequence of US President George W. Bush’s war against Iraq and its mythical ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ [2] Depleted Uranium munitions has caused birth defects on a massive scale, and will plague this ancient civilization for millennia to come.
    – See more at:

    A Node @ 10;02

    Nice one.

    Jives… Spot on Dude

    Ben @ 4;32 pm previous thread –

    Great news site …Cheers

  65. Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    10 Oct, 2013 - 12:41 am

    Thanks, Brian.

  66. my final effort ….

    ….good night

  67. DoNNyDarKo
    9 Oct, 2013 – 10:25 pm – well said – I agree. Libya is smashed and her people crushed, weighed down and bleeding.

  68. Nice one A Node :)

  69. Lex Irrumare

    10 Oct, 2013 - 3:34 am

    We’ll get some traditional British justice when Ecuador drags the UK into the ICJ in re Assange. Till then it’s American-style courts with zero independence kissing CIA ass. British civil servants are America’s pasty-faced wogs.

  70. Charlie Drake 12.18 am,

    Yep indeed.

  71. “They’re off”, as Peter Dimmock would say, “and first to leave the stalls is the Scottish colt SSE in its green and yellow colours”.

    SSE to raise gas and electricity prices by 8.2%

    SSE customers will see an average 8.2% rise in gas and electricity prices from 15 November, the company has announced.

    SSE said the increase reflected the higher costs of buying wholesale energy and paying to deliver it to customers’ homes, plus government levies.

    The price rises will affect about 4.4 million electricity customers and 2.9 million gas customers, not including those on fixed-price tariffs

    PS I am one of the 4.4 million ‘customers’ ie suckers.

  72. In September they marched. Yesterday they were protesting outside the High Court seeking leave for a legal challenge. Decision today.

    Can you believe that it is proposed to close A&E departments at FOUR major London hospitals?

    ’15 September 2012
    Hundreds march in Ealing against A&E closures
    Families came out to protest against plans to shut four A&Es in north-west London

    Up to 1,000 people have marched through the capital to protest against plans to shut four Accident and Emergency (A&E) units in north-west London.

    MPs and councillors joined two marches, beginning from Southall Park and Acton Park, converging in Ealing Common.

    The A&E departments at risk are at Charing Cross, Ealing, Hammersmith and Central Middlesex hospitals‘.

    Estimated legal fees for these good citizens please MC and Solon? I do not think Gareth Peirce or Bindmans are on hand in this case.

    It is being suggested by the NHS regulator Monitor that India and Mexico can provide good examples for savings in the NHS, YCNMIU.

    NHS must look abroad for new savings ideas, regulator says.

  73. Mark, Donny and Brian. I expect you have heard that the lawlessness in Libya has extended into a 100 strong rabble kidnapping the Prime Minister.

    Libya PM Ali Zeidan Kidnapped At Gunpoint
    The abduction comes amid anger among powerful Islamic militant groups over a US raid that seized a Libyan al Qaeda suspect.

    The military rabble in Eqypt are sending Morsi for ‘trial’.

    Egypt: Ousted President Morsi To Face Trial
    The former leader faces charges of inciting violence following deadly clashes outside his palace six months before he was deposed.

  74. ‘William Hague has said Libya is “a tremendous success story” following recent elections held to elect a new government within the country.

    During a visit to Tripoli, the British foreign secretary admitted that the country still faced challenges with lawlessness, but hoped that a new government would bring security to Libya.

    Mr Hague also pledged that the UK would continue to provide support to the country and expected strong relations to remain between the two nations.’

    Date of the above statement – 16 July 2012!!

  75. Another synopsis here:

    If I had a TV, I’d probably give it a try, in fact. Looks like the FCO’s interest is more ‘What Our Gallant Lads Are Up Against’ than ‘Let’s Diss Craig’, and as such is designed to increase its voter appeal before next, inevitable, round of budget cuts.

  76. Craig gets a mention in this Grauniad piece on Uzbekistan.

    Apols if already posted.

  77. Daniel Rich
    10 Oct, 2013 – 2:27 am
    Will law/s protect us from or against lawlessness?

    Reading that I’d have to say, regarding the attacks on the WTC, that God was certainly gracious to Cheney and his accomplices when he so fortuitously provided them with their “new Pearl Harbor”.

  78. @John Goss

    “Anon at 1.21 p.m. The judge directs the jury. They were probably all masons too!”

    And so what exactly were the judges instructions to the jury in this case?? Despite what you think the case was about trying the police officers not Babar Ahsan – and whatever you may think they are entitled to fair process even if you think that Babar Ahsan is a victim of injustice. For what its worth I also believe that there is a clear injustice (of the US legal system) in the length of time being taken to bring Ahsan to trial – but only a cretin would see this as an argument for perverting the course of justice in a case where someone else is being tried. While a serial supporter of dictators such as yourself might see no problem in subverting court processes to achieve their objectives those of us who believe in democracy do not.

    While for obvious reasons I cannot sue you for libel you should note that the judge and jury now have a pretty solid case and there might even be an argument for contempt of court.

  79. Great effort A node,should it have contact details on were to buy the book.
    How about a book signing session at the nearest bookshop to their inorgural PR announcement. Such opportunity does not come along every day and you should grasp the nettle with your gloved hand. I’m sure that RT would love to come and take a shot of you signing books, maybe badger the Mitchel and Webb imporium, maybe an acidic interview fr their US viewers?

    My congratulations to mitchell and webb for finding such excellent material and for highlighting the torture carried out under and machinations of the Karimove clan in Uzbekistan, not to talk of entertaining the swiss big cheeses living next door to Ms. Gulnara, oh what a laugh they had….

  80. “We’ll get some traditional British justice when Ecuador drags the UK into the ICJ in re Assange.”

    If anybody is frustrating the normal legal processes of the UK and Sweden and hence likely to be called to the ICJ it would be Ecuador not the UK. I doubt Ecuador or Assange would be daft enough to approach the ICJ.

  81. Universal Jurisdiction UK Style July and October 2013

    Alastair Burt protecting Almog and Gantz on their special missions in June 2013.

    Doron Almog

    Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) on what date he gave his consent of special mission to Mr Doron Almog in June 2013; when he gave such consent; and if he will make a statement; [164459]

    (2) what recent discussions he has had with the Israeli ambassador to the UK on the cancellation of a visit by Doron Almog; and if this visit has been rescheduled. [164460]

    Alistair Burt: I agreed on 24 June that the scheduled official visit to London of Doron Almog; Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Chief of Staff for Bedouin Status improvement, constituted a special mission. This visit was subsequently cancelled and has not been rescheduled.

    Immunity from Prosecution

    Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make it his policy to refuse to consent to a special mission by a person who has been the subject of an arrest warrant; [164455]

    (2) what assessment he has made of the first four months of the pilot process for the Government granting consent to special missions; how many such requests have been made seeking express consent; from which country have requests have been (a) granted and (b) not granted; whether any requests remain outstanding; and if he will make a statement; [164461]

    (3) if he will make it his policy to publish all decisions to consent or not to consent to special mission as they are made. [164473]

    Alistair Burt: I refer to the written statement made by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), to the House on 4 March 2013, Official Report, columns 55-56WS. The Secretary of State announced a new process by which we would be informed of visits that may qualify for special mission status. The pilot process has improved the process for communicating and decision making in respect of visits that may qualify for special mission status. Since the pilot’s inception, we have received three such requests. There are no requests outstanding. In view of the confidentiality of diplomatic exchanges, we have no plans to publish decisions about special mission status as they are made. But if those applying for special mission status wish to announce the details of their visit to the UK, they are of course at liberty to do so. Each application for special mission status is considered carefully in view of both obligations incumbent upon the UK under customary international law, and our policy of ending impunity for the most serious of international crimes and a commitment to the protection of human rights. Above this, it is for the courts to decide on the legal consequences of any decision to grant special mission status.

    Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the allegations of war crimes committed by the Israeli Defence forces during Operation Pillar of Defense; and what consideration he gave to such allegations when considering an application for special mission by Lieutenant General Benny Gantz. [164474]

    Alistair Burt: During the Gaza conflict in November 2012, we urged all sides to abide by international humanitarian law and to avoid civilian casualties. There is some evidence that the Israeli Defence Force exercised greater care in the selection of targets and to avoid non-combatant casualties than in previous such operations. However, based on various independent reports into the conflict, there remain important concerns over the proportionality of certain strikes, as well as the high loss of Palestinian civilian life during Operation Pillar of Defence.

    Lieutenant General Gantz visited the UK on official state business and, as such, his visit constituted a special mission.

    Burt’s replacement the smooth Mr Robertson, ex DCMS, hides behind Burt’s skirt here. October 2013.

    Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he was made aware of the relevance of the judicial arrest warrant for Mr Almog when granting the application for Mr Almog’s special mission. [169090]

    Hugh Robertson: When the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), decided on the application for special mission status for the visit of Mr Doron Almog, he was aware that an arrest warrant had been issued on 10 September 2005 in relation to an application for a private prosecution against Mr Almog and that it had been cancelled on 16 September 2005.

    Mr Slaughter: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the purpose of Mr Almog’s special mission to the UK was; which official engagements he attended during in his mission; in which capacity he visited the UK; and if he will make a statement. [169092]

    Hugh Robertson: I refer my hon. Member to the answer given by the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my hon. Friend the member for North East Bedfordshire (Mr Burt), on 12 July 2013, Official Report, column 429W.


    The original attempt to arrest Almog was aborted. FCO interference probable. Straw’s name appears again.
    See London 2005 Escape

  82. Troll issuing legal threats now I see.

  83. Anon,

    Re John Goss comment:“Anon at 1.21 p.m. The judge directs the jury. They were probably all masons too!”

    You really need to brush up on your understanding of libel and law.

    Thye first part of JG’s sentence is correct and the second sentence speculative,a qualified opinion.

    It’d take a special fool to puruse libel over this.

  84. Taking that one a stage further, is “mason” an inherently perjorative term? If I didn’t like bananas, and called someone a banana, would that be subject to the libel law?

    Maybe I should ask a lawyer. Or stop calling people bananas.

  85. You most wrinkled, foul mouthed, belly dragging, smelly banana, you…;)

  86. Komodo egregiously insulted;

    If I didn’t like bananas, and called someone a banana, would that be subject to the libel law?

    Sir how dare you, calling anyone banana?

    Consider yourself slapped by a glove, and make sure your seconds meet my seconds to arrange for the meeting at dawn!

    You may have the first choice of the pillows.


    This is reminding me of the time, the beeb vox pop after some riots up north, interviewing a bunch of lads, who maintained; the dead individual was going about his job, to earn his living, and that police had no right to chase him that lead to his death.

    The deceased was a notorious car thief.

    The head of Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency, which is alleged to have conducted economic espionage against Brazil, has defended the agency’s practices, saying its work is legal and does not target Canadians.


    Come to Libya, where the romantic fires of war, and chaos are burning still. For some of you visiting this exciting country the adventures may include getting kidnapped and tortured by acid getting poured on your flesh, and batteries attached to your genitals too.

  87. Jives, Anon also needs to brush up on his understanding of who Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan are. There seems to be a bit of confusion there. Let us re-outline the case.

    Despite the police having paid compensation to Babar Ahmad for beating him up, a judge and jury subsequently find the police innocent. Do these images convince the doubting Thomases that there was a miscarriage of justice when the policemen were acquitted. I am certainly open to other reasonable explanations other than the decision to acquit was made at a Gentleman’s Club or Masonic Lodge.

  88. Goss

    So how did the judge direct the jury? If you cannot answer this question this just demonstrates your ignorance of the case and how you are not open to the explanations that the jury found reasonable.

  89. Mary

    I issued no legal threat – I specifically said I couldn’t, I just said others had a case to do so. Jives is probably right re the jury – perhaps he might wish to give his view on the judge as well? Or perhaps you might wish to do so rather than juts trolling.

  90. Anon,

    “Jives is probably right re the jury – perhaps he might wish to give his view on the judge as well?”

    Of course.

    In my opinion the judge was a banana,allegedly.

    You haven’t really got to grips with this libel business have you Anon?

  91. John Goss,

    The following point has already been made but it does offer the most likely solution as to why the policemen were acquitted. In criminal cases the burden is placed upon the prosecution to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. In civil proceedings the burden of proof is based upon the balance of probabilities. Therefore, in legal terms it is quite possible to be found liable in a civil proceeding but acquitted a subsequent criminal trial. I find this far more plausible than a nefarious masonic connection or a decision to acquit which was agreed over port and cigars at the East India Club.

  92. Mary

    Aye i’m not surprised by it all.

    The Libya catastrophe Breaks my heart, and then they / we – sent the same evil monster terrorists over to Syria, The elite owned Media make sure these Horrific crimes take place, maybe David Ike is correct after all – The non human monsters

    Meanwhile in the land of the Free

    A few days ago, an angry Park Service ranger publicly admitted that he and his fellow rangers have been ordered to “make life as difficult for people as we can” during this government shutdown. That Park Service ranger would never have received such an order unless it came from the very top.

    The following are just a few examples of how Obama is using this shutdown to make life as difficult for people as possible…

    #1 The Obama administration is doing all it can to keep Americans from even getting a glimpse of Mount Rushmore, but Barack Obama’s chefs have been deemed “essential” and are still preparing his meals.

    #2 Small businesses cannot get loans, but the exclusive gyms that are only for members of Congress have been deemed “essential” and remain open…………..

    #7 A runner has been fined $100 for jogging through Valley Forge National Historical Park, but the military golf course that Obama uses regularly is still open.

    #8 The Obama administration has shut down the Grand Canyon, but the new two billion dollar NSA spy center is still spying on all of us.

    #12 The Obama administration has actually removed all of the well pumps along a 184 mile trail that goes from Washington D.C. to Pittsburgh just so that anyone that decides to use the trail will not be able to get any water to drink.

    #13 The Obama administration is actually attempting to close 1,100 square miles of ocean off of the coast of Florida. It is going to take a tremendous amount of time, money and energy to keep fishing boats out of that area.

    #15 Of course one of the most disturbing abuses of power is how the Obama administration is using barricades and guards to keep military veterans away from open air memorials such as the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial that are normally open to the public 24 hours a day.

    Land of the Free ???? – have to go back a few hundred years for that Malarky…..

    Let me be a free man; free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I chose, free to chose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to trade and think and act for myself, and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.

    Chief Joseph (1840 – 1904)

  93. Actually, the prosecution of the policemen (though relevant) is not the main issue. And Rivlin himself has expressed the hope that Ahmad’s indefinite detention without trial – or charge – could be concluded.

    These are the salient points, and they should concern anyone, regardless of colour or affiliation.

    • Babar Ahmad has been detained for over 7 years without trial and is the longest detained-without-trial British citizen in the modern history of the UK.

    • Babar is held under the UK’s controversial Extradition Act 2003 which allows British Citizens to be extradited to the U.S for alleged offences that took place in Britain. The CPS has repeatedly refused to charge Babar Ahmad in the UK with any criminal offence whatsoever.

    • Over 140,000 people have signed an e-petition calling for Babar to be put on trial in the UK rather than extradited to the US. The issue is therefore of tremendous public importance which requires a full debate with a vote in the main Chamber of the House of Commons.

    • In June 2011, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights called for the UK’s extradition laws to be changed to prevent the extradition of Babar Ahmad and others in circumstances where the domestic authorities had decided not to prosecute them.

    • In June 2011, the Recorder of Westminster, Judge Geoffrey Rivlin QC, said about Babar Ahmad’s case, “I express the hope that the ordeal of a man in detention in this country for a number of years without trial is brought to an end as soon as possible…”.

    • The petition to put Babar on trial in the UK has also been supported by a leading lawyers, academics and celebrities. Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC stated recently that it would be “monstrous and scandalous to extradite Babar Ahmad to the US”.

    • There are a number of other British citizens facing extradition to the US under the same Treaty including Gary McKinnon, Christopher Tappin, Richard O’ Dwyer, and Talha Ahsan. The alleged criminal conduct in all these cases is said to have taken place in the UK, yet the domestic authorities have not prosecuted them.

  94. Cases like that of Babar Ahmad and Julian Assange, and inquiries (whitewashes) like Hutton and O’Donnell are very often led by persons about to retire. This is so they cannot be questioned by their professional bodies, unless Anon has a different explanation, like just a coinicidence, for example. Riflin retired the very next week after acquitting the four policemen who beat up Babar. If the policemen involved, or the jury involved, or the judge involved want to bring an action against me I will defend it. This was such a high-profile case, everybody knew from the previous lawsuit, and from the fact that the police did not challenge it, that the judge would have had to have told the jury to ignore anything they had read to acquit these culprits. But they have probably all been promoted, while Babar, after more than ten years in captivity without a trial, has been broken by a government in which Anon and company can find no fault. Well don’t drag me down to your level.

  95. Brian,

    Wtf is a military golf course??

    It’s got lotsa bunkers right…;.)

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