Murder in Samarkand – Now a Major TV Series 213

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  They also had access to the original unpublished (and much longer) manuscript of the book, under its original title Should Not Be Known.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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213 thoughts on “Murder in Samarkand – Now a Major TV Series

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  • AlcAnon


    That’s an incomplete article from Discovery if you read the actual paper.

    The history of cometary disruption and fragmentation is strongly suggestive of forces beyond gravity playing a signi cant role (e.g., C/1999 S4 LINEAR</strong<, 73P/Schwassman-Wachmann
    3). However, we aim to build a baseline for the expected behavior of ISON during its perihelion passage strictly due to the tidal forces. From this baseline, with historical perspective and the best possible estimates of important unknown variables, we make a prediction about its behavior at, and immediately following, perihelion.

    In other words they state explicitly that with certain comets (such as C/1999 S4 Linear which Ferrin explicitly refers to in his paper) they know for a fact there is something else going on and if Ison is one of those (Ferrin says it is) then all bets are off.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    AA; 1999 from pics looked like another green comet (cyanon gas) and was what originally before break up, several smaller comets looking as one, or smaller comets were result of break-up?

    Something else going on…as in what for instance?

  • AlcAnon

    Something else going on…as in what for instance?

    Good question. Some kind of pressure build up in the interior until it just disintegrates maybe? I guess we have to wait for another paper!

    Btw, Ison orbit details are no longer being updated in the NASA Horizons system I notice. I assume this is due to the shutdown.

  • anon

    Given that Trotskyists have a pretty dreadful record in changing anything I’m not sure that your comparison has much validity – sure there has to be thought about with whom you engage and how, but I’m not sure that the approach of standing outside and doing nothing apart from boycotts and brickbats is sufficient in itself – especially as it tends to leave a vacuum when the dictator inevitably falls. I also got the distinct impression from Craig’s book that he didn’t believe that all his and others efforts while in Uzbekistan were futile – although he may have subsequently changed his mind. It is one thing to bemoan the lack of an ethical foreign policy – it is another to actually start to develop what one might look like

    I would also say if anyone things that the Stop the City/St Pauls demonstrators have had any impact on changing the City then they are somewhat deluded.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Knight and Kevin Walsh, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, used mathematical simulations to study whether ISON will be ripped apart2. Observations from the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as smaller telescopes, suggest that ISON is between 1 and 4 kilometres across. Given characteristics of other comets that have survived close encounters with the Sun, such as 1965’s Ikeya-Seki, the team suggests that ISON is big enough not to be vaporized.”

    “Big enough NOT to be vaporized” Haven’t they known it’s size for some time? I guess astronomers wear suspenders as well as belts to hold up their trousers, AA.

  • Solon

    @ Jives and others

    Of course the focus should be on Babar Ahmad and the time he’s spent inside without trial, and not on the trial and acquittal of the four policemen.

    But who brought up the side-issue of the trial and acquittal of the four policemen? Why, none other than Wikispooks, followed a mere 30 minutes later by…..John Goss! Here is Goss’s post :

    “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.”


    With reference to a further post by John Goss accusing (he would say ‘speculating) the judge and the jury of being masons: it is true that that by itself would not be actionable. However, it might be if the suggestion is that the judge’s and jury’s behaviour was shaped by being masons.

    Which brings me to a wider point : do not rule out that one day, someone – perhaps even the DPP – is going to bring legal action of some kind against a poster on this blog.

  • AlcAnon


    Nobody really knows for sure what size the nucleus of Ison is. In the paper they derive a minimum possible size (a lot smaller than the “best estimate”) based on known data and then prove that should still be large enough to survive barring any unanticipated event. Well Ferrin disagrees and argues there is an upcoming event which can be anticipated.

    Latest data at suggests this event could be occurring now.

    Oct 10, 04.8 UT: Added Whitmer Oct 09 Plot of Rc(ComaDiamIncluded). Added plots of Rc(date) and ReducedRc (date), showing that the “Ferrin Fade” appears to be in progress!
    Oct 09, 00.1 UT: Added Whitmer image and Rc(ComaDiamIncluded) plot. Updated Rc(date) plots. Presented evidence that the color of the tail and coma differ (and the difference is growing with date).

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    From your link, AA.

    “Toni Scarmato has used AstroArt to enhance spatial structure in Comet ISON images. He finds a jet pointed toward the sun, similar to what was seen in HST images taken in April and May, 2013. This is an important thing to verify, for it might allow for the determination of the nucleus rotation period, and possible it’s orientation. Knowing if one pole is pointed to the sun is an important goal, for it could explain the fading brightness since conjunction (after adjustment for changes in Earth/comet distance). Here is the enhanced image for the lastest observing date:”

    Remember the leading ‘jet’ we talked about?

  • Anon1

    I love the way AlcAnon and ol’ Ben Franklin mount their deviation operations on the blog – when things get serious, they start spouting about missing asteroids and comets about to hit the earth or the sun..or not. Pure genius! 🙂

  • Mary

    How your MP voted on the 3rd reading of the gagging bill, aka Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill!! which now goes to the Lords.

    What it is. Video

    ‘The government’s rushing through a new law which, if it passes, would have a chilling effect on British democracy and our right to speak up on issues that matter to us.

    From May 2014, draconian new rules would prevent non-politicians from speaking up on the big issues of the day. A huge range of campaign groups and charities – everyone from The Royal British Legion, to Oxfam, to the RSPB – are warning about the threat this poses.

    It’s telling that so many groups who wouldn’t normally agree with each other have united to oppose the gagging law. Groups that speak out in favour of hunting, windfarms, HS2 or building more houses are joining together with groups who say exactly the opposite.

    That’s because there’s one thing we should all be able to agree on: in a healthy democracy, everyone should able to express their views. And everyone should be allowed to get organised to highlight what politicians are saying and doing on the issues that matter to them.

    Politics is too important to leave to political parties. When we speak up about decisions that affect us and the future of our country, we can often change things for the better.’

    Hardly mentioned in the corporate media.

  • Mary


    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

  • resident dissident

    “A shilling of Anons.”

    Yep – just avoid the points they raise and respond with insults – even when one of them agrees with you about the Ahmad case that isn’t enough he also has to agree that it is all a masonic conspiracy or similar. We can all play the same game e.g. how about a Goss of Dross? Call it haabara rhyming slang if you wish.

  • resident dissident


    You may wish to call it patriotic propaganda – probably because you wish the other side had won 75 years ago – perhpas some of us would call it honouring those who fought for our freedom against the Nazis. Yet another example of your hatred of ths country I’m afraid.

  • Mary

    QE for ever. $13 trillion so far since 2009. We did not telling of this below in bold.

    ‘Bernanke Fed monetary policies have thus boosted financial capital gains and in turn the incomes of the wealthiest in the US and globally, as real disposable income for US households has consistently declined for four consecutive years. As recent data on income distribution from studies of economists at the University of California have shown this past summer: The wealthiest US 1% households have accrued for themselves no less than 95% of all the income gains in the US since 2009.

    Yellen has been perhaps the strongest supporter of out-going Fed Chair, Ben Bernanke’s policies of QE and zero bound rates, which have directly resulted in this lopsided income inequality. So why were liberals so impressed with her as the preferred choice for next Fed chair? It certainly wasn’t for her policies. Or was it?’

    Bernanke’s Backup Gets the Nod
    On Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chair

    Ms Yellen aka Mrs Akerlof

    ‘Yellen was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Anna (née Blumenthal) and Julius Yellen, a physician.[3] She graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn.[4] She graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics in 1967, and received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University in 1971.

    Yellen is Jewish[5] and is married to George Akerlof, a Nobel prize-winning economist and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley. Her son, Robert Akerlof, is an assistant professor at the University of Warwick.[6]’

  • Mary

    How many more time R3D2? I do NOT hate my country. I hate its systems of power and those who operate them.

    Get lost why don’t you. Find another niche where you can join your pals.

  • Anon1

    @ Resident Dissident

    “A goss of dross” – pure genius!

    How about this one (to be savoured after her usual early morning showerà:

    “A hail of Marys” ?

  • Anon1

    @ Resident Dissident

    Could you possibly find and repost the original “I hate my country” post from Mary so that we can see whether or not it was qualifies in the way she suggests above?

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    “Haven’t heard about it in the corporate media? That’s because the deadly and dying global nuclear industry and its allies don’t want you to know.

    That’s why he has organized a petition drive to the UN advocating international expert oversight of, and participation in, management of the Fukushima crisis.

    In this interview, he explains why we must all be involved in this world-historical challenge to human and planetary survival.

    Sign the petition here:

  • resident dissident


    I’m not sure it would help finding Mary’s original post – as she subsequently qualified it the manner she outlined and by saying she loved its people and scenery.

    I could except the qualification about loving its people – if only we then didn’t have comments about sheeple, insults thrown at those who voted for our 3 major democratic political parties, those who support our monarchy (fascisti), those who enjoyed and supported the “Limp Ics” or who enjoy watching or participating in cycling in her neighbourhood and limit her ability to zoom around in a motor vehicle – and now to date she tops that all by suggesting that those Tories who supported Theresa May at their confernece might be put in cells on a cold island and pours scorn on those who wish to commemorate those who died for this country in the fight against fascism (at which I continue to seethe). I’m afraid Mary there are not many people left for you love.

    In response to request for me to get lost – I think I will just stay in that niche where all the British people you have insulted live – and since Private Eye tickles your sense of humour my I refer to their response in the case of Pressdram and Arkell in response to your command as where I might go.

  • mike

    Miliband promises to get tough with energy firms at the Labour conference. A few days later the National Grid warns of winter blackouts. And, today, SSE raises prices and there’s a power cut affecting Stanstead and the surrounding area.

    A connection?

    Come on MSM, even you guys can figure this one out.

  • technicolour

    Resident Dissident: sources for this, please:

    I could except the qualification about loving its people –

    1.if only we then didn’t have comments about sheeple,
    2.insults thrown at those who voted for our 3 major democratic political parties, those who support our monarchy (fascisti), those who enjoyed and supported the “Limp Ics”
    3. or who enjoy watching or participating in cycling in her neighbourhood
    4. and limit her ability to zoom around in a motor vehicle


  • стул

    Good thing anons are anonymous because they don’t know shit about rule of law. They purse their little lips and make all sorts of unsupported assertions. These must be the new breed of spook cadets with 3rd-rate educations: not Etonian toffs with independent means and sound habits of mind, but salesmen.

    Of course Ecuador would go to the venue that called aggression on the USG in The Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America, and voided the USA’s Article 51 invocation in Oil Platforms (Islamic Republic of Iran v. United States of America). They know an independent court when they see one.

    Funny how ‘daft’ little countries kick the US bloc’s ass and set precedents that constrain US satellites’ crimes more and more, over time.

  • Mary

    As Obama struggles to keep the US construct afloat, this is a good analysis of his record by James Petras.

    Obama at the UN General Assembly: Five Years a Zionist Lackey
    Fifteen Minutes an American President

    by James Petras / October 10th, 2013

    Obama’s rhetorical exercise in ‘peace talk’ at the United Nations General Assembly impressed few delegations and even fewer Americans: Far more eloquent are his five years of wars, military interventions, cyber-spying, drone murders, military coups and the merciless prosecution of patriotic truth tellers.

    If his ‘peace message’ fell flat, the explicit affirmations of imperial prerogatives, threats of military interventions and over two dozen (25) references to Israel as a ‘strategic ally’, confirmed the suspicions and fears that Obama was preparing for even more deadly wars.

    Playing the ‘War Card’ in the Face of Massive Opposition

    Obama’s UN speech took place at a time when his war policies have hit rock bottom both at home and abroad. After suffering at least two major diplomatic defeats and a string of negative polls, which revealed that a strong majority of Americans rejected his entire approach to foreign policy, Obama made an overture to Iran. Up to that point few delegates or citizens were impressed or entertained by his ‘new vision for US diplomacy’. According to many experts, it was vintage Obama, the con-man: talking peace while preparing new wars.


  • Jemand

    Come to think of it, I’m not sure if there is any legally actionable grievance in all of this – except for possible defamation.

    Craig’s book tells a story which is supposed to be true, not a creative work of fiction. Any inspiration based on purported facts that do not exactly copy Craig’s choice of words cannot be considered copyright infringements. In this case, Craig’s work is that of a reporter, not an artist so the ideas that are presented in his book are free for people to re-report and rework as fiction.

    I can understand Craig’s objection to the comedic fictionalisation of his experiences, but my position now is that Craig should exploit the opportunity to re-tell the real story to the public to maintain awareness.

  • anon

    Couldn’t agree more – a tie in along the lines of the Real Story behind the Ambassadors etc. would in my view do a lot more good than his current line of trying to encourage a court action against him which would probably only benefit the lawyers.

  • Jemand

    Flaming June [Mary]
    4 August, 2013 – 10:25 am

    Hakluyt is also mentioned on that FCO Association link.

    Hakluyt avoids publicity, but is regarded as having a reputation for discretion and effectiveness among its client base. Hakluyt was founded by former officials of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

    What a stinking rotten country I was born into. No wonder I hate it now.

    . . . . 

    Emphasis is mine.

  • Mary

    Getting your own back now Jemand? Now find the corollaries and put them in bold too.

    PS How are your Australian Aboriginal people and the boat people getting along now under the comedian Abbott?

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