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  They also had access to the original unpublished (and much longer) manuscript of the book, under its original title Should Not Be Known.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

    Mary, its only fair that you find the ‘corollaries’ and post them yourself if you wish. Did any of the ‘corollaries’ emphatically retract the statement and concede how foolish it was in the first place? If so, how long did you take to mull over it? And what were your true motivations behind it?

    Also, Mary, what about your petition to God to damn America? Any ‘corollaries’ to that?

    PS What a pathetic, childish tit-for-tat mentality you reveal (in your mind of ‘hate’) with that attempt of a jibe at Jemand.

    PPS Hate your country, or change of heart, you are certainly addicted to this blog — 8 posts already this morning and its barely coffee-time.

  • Komodo

    MC- I see the article mentions that the two students belong to something called the leftist political group Defend Edinburgh. Mr Google informs me that this is a student group within EUSA:

    and not as might be assumed by the careless reader, a sinister expression of international anarcho-syndicalism.

    I was baffled by the police account: the two had not been forcibly removed but ‘detained’. Detained somewhere else. To which they would have had to be removed, and had they resisted, forcefully.

    This was apparently done under the terrorism act. To legitimate students (who would have had campus cards, I guess) in an area which may have been designated by someone somewhere as restricted, but was not signed as such? My opinion? Is. FFS.

  • MC

    Komodo – yes I think FFS covers it. I think it was a ridiculous over-reaction by campus and royal security to two students loitering around a part of Old College usually reserved for management and VIPs. Although from Mr Google and a few friends who are still connected to EUSA it looks as though some young politicos are trying to turn the whole thing into an attack on privilege and the Royals.

    Like you, I think the police account is waffle. Cheers for getting back to me.

  • Komodo

    You may have missed this in today’s Guardian, MC:

    Some sort of dissent is clearly valid. My reaction is that as the Royals are obviously an extremely successful brand, we should float them on the Stock Exchange and privatise the buggers. Neatly removing any claims as to copyright on the Queen’s head on stamps.

    Sauce for goose, sauce for big fat edible male bird.

  • Macky

    @Anon (x 3!), Res Des, Jemand, Villager,

    Re getting your kicks by beating up on Mary whenever you can, in this case over an out of context sentence; context is everything, she said it whilst remarking on particular aspects of how the power systems operate in this Country. It’s rather reminds me of Jon’s bizarre intervention when AlcAnon recently let off steam iro the NASA website shutdown by cursing the Americans, as Jon also chose to ignore the relevant context, and focused on certain words in isolation; Context, I repeat, is the only logical way to undertsand what is being meant, something you must have surely forgotten from your basic English lessons at school.

  • Jemand

    Dear Mary,

    Our Aborigines are doing much better, thanks for asking. And there are fewer leaky boat immigrants making the journey to Oz over perilous waters although just recently more died at sea for no good reason. But some people don’t care enough to mention them.

    Hi Macky!

  • Gary

    Yes, you are right regarding access to the legal system regarding challenging businesses. It is also the case with Local Authorities. Their is a whitewash Obudsman, then you have to engage laywers at huge expense which makes it too much of a gamble for ordinary people.

  • anon


    I agree context is everything – and Resident Dissident has provided plenty of context – it is not just a single remark but a series of them targeted at the people of this country. You may think it is “patriotic propaganda” when our troops honour their predecessors who fought against fascism – most people who love their country don’t. If Mary wants to stop people repeating her previous statement then she should stop making remarks that support her original statement or at least have the grace to apologise for them – my family lost a number of relatives fighting fascism in WW2 and I for one are not going to allow such remarks pass by quietly. I daresay you will start your pathetic whining asking for all those who disagree to be banned – which appears to be the only tune you have at present.

  • anon

    CTUL has clearly been sat upon by his Russian friends if takes his understanding of the ICJ’s role from a article provided by Assange to his paymaster. So what international law has the UK broken by letting Assange go to the Supreme Court in respect of his appeal against extradition to Sweden and then seeking to carryout that courts decision? If we were to invade the embassy then there might be a case – but that hasn’t happened and the ICJ doesn’t try people for thoughtcrime, much as you might like them to.

  • Komodo

    Isn’t everybody in the chain, from Mary onwards, tending to take everything as a personal attack here? Mary goes OTT, sure. Point taken, long ago. It’s what she does. You aren’t going to change her or push her off the board, and who’s to say you should? Scroll past her daily news bulletin and make your own doubtless trenchant points, if that’s a problem.

  • anon


    My disagreement is with the points being made by Mary – who for all I know may be a wonderful person in real life and quite different from her keyboard alter ego. If Mary or anyone makes a point which others disagree with then I don’t see why the writer should believe they should be immune from criticism providing it is expressed politely – and I have no problem whatsoever with the same being applied to myself. The problem is then rather than disagreeing is that the whole thing then tails off into interminable and inconclusive arguments with others being drawn in to the argument – might I suggest that if anyone does not wish to continue the argument either they shut up or just say “I disagree” rather than crafting what they see as a suitable inflammatory response which will actually change nothing.

  • Komodo

    might I suggest that if anyone does not wish to continue the argument either they shut up or just say “I disagree”

    Precisely. Though in the interests of not prolonging this particular spat, “I disagree”….

    Harping on about a remark of Mary’s and presenting it as if the complainant were some sort of outraged patriot…for months…is just plain bloody obtuse. Or intentionally disruptive, which may perhaps not fit your case, but sure as hell fits Villager’s, RD’s and Rubbaduck’s. Picking on a careless bit of phrasing and banging on about it for weeks – come on, look at yourselves.

    BTW, I’d like to see a moratorium on the word ‘hate’ on t’internet. It’s usually used to stand for ‘seriously dislike’, as in ‘I hate bananas with mustard’, and almost never applied to something really hateworthy. Perhaps that’s the real issue; linguistic imprecision. But we all have imprecise moments, don’t we? Don’t we? Please don’t make me have to look for yours….

  • fedup

    my family lost a number of relatives fighting fascism in WW2

    Other than the royals which family did not lose any members in the WWII?

    Further what has this got to do with the price of the eggs in the fucking farmyard?


    Macky, as you have noticed, this is the fucking pattern on this blog to pick on the individuals and keep on nit picking. This of course is passed as “debate”, and the opponents are absolved from their nefarious intent on disrupting the flow of data, and harassing certain individuals who support the Palestinians and loath the ziofuckwit vermin for what they are.

    The text book conduct of the unimaginative ziofuckwits and their stealth support structure is an all too apparent modus operandi for anyone who has come across these specimens roaming the internet and crapping it up. Just note the various “contentions”, which surprisingly have a uniformity and even more strange are somewhat unanimously picked up by a certain group of the operatives around here, to be bandied about.

    Bizarrely the said ziofuckwits “sock puppeting” are not checked by a certain pooh bah, who would be immediately outing the offenders in a jiffy, if it were others committing the said crime. However, those of us used to all manner of dirty tricks carry on regardless which is even more fucking infuriating to the ziofuckwit wankers.

  • nevermind

    I’ll second Komodos request for scroll past, whats the point in winding yourself up every time Mary posts a relevant point, to be honest I’m a little concerned about such fixation.

    RELAX boare’s, there’s more to life than petty bickering. It also detracts from real good discussion and debate.

    This is newcomers saying so, people who have not posted here before, they are turned off by this. Self constraint should be perfectly understandable to any god fearing person, whatever god it is.


  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

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

    Personally I wasn’t especially critical of or exercised by that comment of Mary’s because I saw it as a rhetorical device and a cry of exasperation to round off whatever she was posting about at the time. There are probably few of us – even people who would recognise in calmer moments that there are many worse places to live in than the UK – who haven’t at least thought the same at one time or another.

    What interests me more, however, are her subsequent qualifications, eg about it being the power structures/system that she really hates; those reminded me a little of what Orwell once wrote about Britain being a family with the wrong members in charge. But they do seem to raise the following question : IS a country/people not, at least in large measure, the power structures, and ARE the power structures not, at least in large measure, the country/people?

  • CTUL

    Poor anon, still pining for the patriotic cannon fodder of your imagination, when it wasn’t them who saved your family’s servile cringing asses, it was us. Even now, Anon is hopelessly ignorant about the result of his cherished, fancied war: the law governing asylees and the principles governing human rights defenders, as well as Article 19 and General Comment 34. The right Assange defends mostly pertains to people with integrity and courage, of course, but others here might find it of interest if you don’t.

  • Mary

    I have just revisited this thread for the first time since yesterday morning. I note the venom from the vituperative ‘Villager’ who yet again reveals his true nature.

    Macky I appreciate your comment but please don’t waste your time and words on the little gang of playground bullies. I won’t. They really need to find out who does hate this country.

    Two suggestions for them.
    1. The gang of vultures who have gone off with their lucre from the Royal Mail share offer.
    eg ‘Lansdowne Partners, one of the world’s biggest hedge funds, has taken a massive stake in the Royal Mail sell-off, sparking controversy that not enough stock was given to U.K. pension fund managers.

    Royal Mail’s shares opened 36 percent higher at 450p, way above the government’s offer price earlier this week for the U.K’s mail delivery service of 330p.

    Lansdowne, along with sovereign wealth funds including ADIA (Abu Dhabi), KIA (Kuwait Investment Authority), GIC (Singapore) and Norges (Norway) were all given allocations of around £50 million ($79 million), according to people close to the deal.’

    2. The executives of the companies who have exploited the tax law to defraud HMRC of £35billion.

  • Villager

    Morning Mary, what an unexpectedly lovely autumnal morning it is! I propose we do not turn it into a Black October.

    Habby makes a valid point — one that hasn’t been made before; thinking laterally, which is the undoubted value he brings to this blog. Else we can all sit here in an echo-chamber of a ‘blox’ (just made that word up).

    It is true, you, he, Macky, even Passerby/Fedup are ‘society’; society is us, therefore, I am society. Now the point i have strived to make is that you/one cannot change society by changing the super-structures of society. If you really want change — fundamental transformation — one can, and in that sense has to, change one’s self. Only then will we have real, sustainable change.

    As for the Royal Mail, rip-off, it is quite disgusting and should be the subject of an investigation. I didn’t follow the lead up to it closely, but were shares easily accessible to your ‘average’ Joe Blog?

  • Passerby

    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.

  • Villager

    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.

  • Mary

    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.

  • resident dissident

    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.

  • Mary

    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?

  • resident dissident

    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.

  • nevermind

    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!

  • Jon

    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.

  • Jemand

    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.

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