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  They also had access to the original unpublished (and much longer) manuscript of the book, under its original title Should Not Be Known.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. Villager/Technicolour sputtered;

    even Passerby/Fedup are ‘society’; society is us, therefore, I am society

    Your protector/director (no less than Mod) feeding you bum data, somehow does not make it “real”. As for the rest of your “contributions”. Adhering to the dog poo on the pavement principles, I side step.

    PS. you are not society, you would like to be society, alas “liking” and “being” are two differing concepts.



    Pointless to ask Jon, he knows which side of the divide he is at, hence don’t hold your breath for an answer/action.

  2. Come on Passerby/Fedup don’t you have even an ounce of a sense of humour? Let go, just a little bit. How can anyone enjoy life if they’re tight as a tick? Off for some sun and a proper cappuccino.

  3. Sure you aren’t joining Habbadabbadoo at the thé dansant later on?

    I have already been out for a lovely forest walk in the sunshine. The oak trees are laden with acorns, the sweet and horse chestnuts trees have their bounty too and the pigs that the Surrey Wildlife Trust brought in to control the bracken are having a good time. So inquisitive and friendly even to my dog.

    Passerby LOL. We shall wait and see! He’s lurking here on the 4th thread down I see. Like playing hide and seek. So infantile.

  4. resident dissident

    12 Oct, 2013 - 1:20 pm

    I wondered how long it would be before this blog would be visited by a true botox lover such as CTUL. Well first of all I would like to point out that my family lost relatives in WW2 who served in both the Russian and Soviet forces – and that anyone who knows anything about the reverence shown in Russia on May 9 would know that any decent Russian would be as disgusted about Mary’s comments about the Desert Rat’s commemoration as would be most decent people in this country . They would also have not a few unkind comments about how the KGB operatives, from which the current leadership class is drawn, were often in the background hiding from the hardest fightinmg (just read Grossman if you need some confirmation).

    As for his comments on Assange and the ICJ these are just laughable – first it would have to be the Ecuadorian govt, not Assange’s private lawyers, that would need to take the UK Government to the ICJ and then the UK Govt would have to agree to take part in the proceedings. The Ecuadorian govt is not going to do this (the article CTUL refers to is over a year old and it hasn’t happened yet) and there is even less chance of the UK Govt. playing ball.

    As for Article 19 – only a idiot would say that Assange’s freedom of speech has been curtailed in recent times when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary and as for General Comment 34 I somehow think that neither the UK or Swedish governemnts would have much problem in usng one of the available defences for curtailing Assange’s freedom of speech should he be taken into custody – those in custody not generally have a right to make programmes for RT.

  5. How twisted is this troll ResDiss! My two mentions of the Desert Rats were

    1. A BBC presenter announcing a filmed piece about them and then the film not showing up, ‘Miss Sophie Long was then about to extol the virtues of the Desert Rats on their deployment to Helmand but neither the film or David Loyn live from Afghanistan appeared so she stood there looking rather awkward.



    2. A quote from David Loyn who made the film.


    More patriotic propaganda from BBC News with a live report from David Loyn, Camp Bastion, Helmand:

    ‘A lone piper in the Afghan desert heralding the arrival of the Desert Rats, 75 years after they won their name in the sands of North Africa.’

    Starts at about 17:50.


    Last major Helmand handover like no other
    David Loyn Afghanistan correspondent
    1,000 words’


    It is obviously propaganda for war which was my point and which is one I make very often as there are so many examples of it. What will happen to all these redundant presenters and commentators on the BBC and other ‘news’ channels when Operation Enduring Freedom (an ironic title if ever there was one) finishes?

  6. resident dissident

    13 Oct, 2013 - 9:05 am

    The lone piper is playing a lament for the fallen and the Desert Rats in Helmand are there to complete the handover to the Afghan National Security Forces – and almost certainly will not get involved in direct military operations against the Taliban – hardly patriotic propaganda for war as you claim. These are brave men who are in effect beating the retreat who do not propagandise for war because they know what it entails – you owe them an apology.

    Alternatively if you don’t thing that is the case might I suggest that you take your views to one of the many blogs to which armed services personnel contribute.

  7. Playing a lament for the falling soldiers who should not have been in Afghanistan in the first place. There is nothing brave about occupying a country that has been used for decades to manipulate world opinion.

    Why don’t you make yur third Reich comparrison here, Res Diss?, just as Rommel then gave them a kicking in the sands of Egypt, its now the politicians who are doing the kicking, every time they send these men into situations they haven’t got a clue of.

    No difference between the occupyiers of Gaza and those who use drones to kill a majority of civilians, no honour whatsoever.

    The retreating drumbeat was long overdue!

  8. Pointless to ask Jon, he knows which side of the divide he is at, hence don’t hold your breath for an answer/action.

    That’s tedious and inflammatory, Passerby, and a most unhelpful tone to the various debates we might have in the future. Habbabkuk keeps popping up tirelessly, and takes advantage of my taking a break from the blog for a few days.

    As for which “side of the divide” I am on, I’m on the side of fewer people being killed and hurt by war. By your own frank admission, you’re on the other side. I’m not attacking you here – I’m reflecting on a state of affairs that makes me greatly sad.

  9. I suppose it’s about time that I put my pseudonym on the list of those who think that Habbabkuk’s summary banning was unfair, unjustified and demonstrable of inconsistency on this blog. The amazingly regular vulgar, hostile and low value ‘contributions’ from the one or two people who comprise the Fedup/Passerby/Macky gang of little rascals indicate to me that it is politics and not tone that gets you into trouble here.

    If Jon could find a way (ie emotionally) of allowing Habbabkuk’s return and ‘rehabilitation’ while saving (Jon’s) face, I think the blog would benefit from his style of devil’s advocacy.

  10. Sorry Jon. I will NOT be traduced. One csn turn the other cheek too often and one ends up being walked over.

    Hope you’re well.

  11. I watched this, and I immediately did think of the connection. Not only is this an affront to Craig Murray, but it is also an affront to those of us musicians who have played for the British Council abroad. Do the writers of this programme really think that is the quality of music provided for these kind of events?????!!!!! Cheek! I will not be watching this again.

  12. Stewart McKenna

    3 Nov, 2013 - 11:31 pm

    Well said Kirsten, and what about us visiting actors too?

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