Down From the Mountain 426

I had been spending the last few days living here in Avatime district while visiting Ghanaian friends nearby. Away from internet, TV and any other distraction, it has given me a chance to ponder what next to do with my life.

This has been a real problem. Have submitted Sikunder Burnes to the publishers, and while there is still editing and proofs, a huge amount of time is now free. My determination to dedicate myself to working for Scottish independence led to my comprehensive rejection by the SNP. This left me confused as to what I might usefully do with my life. I suppose the question I have been pondering is, what good am I?

I have come up with a potential answer, and will out it later this week.

Climate change deniers should come to Ghana. Not only have changing rainfall patterns devastated the hydro-electric system, life has become extremely hard for farmers. The last decade has seen the highly predictable wet and dry seasons become wildly unpredictable. It has been unseasonally raining heavily on me all over Ghana. The situation is extremely difficult for farmers. Mango farmers are now praying for relief from the rain for the next six weeks or the mangoes won’t flower. The continuing rains may already have adversely affected next year’s harvest. Meeting cocoa farmers today. Am now in Kumasi.

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426 thoughts on “Down From the Mountain

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  • Agent Bertram


    I was saddened to see that you were not accepted by the SNP. Personally I feel that you would have been a great asset. However I can also see why they said no. They would perceive you as being too much of a loose cannon. A man with a mind of his own, not conforming to the SNP requirement? That would not do at all.

    However, I do hope that you will help in whatever way that you can, to enable Scottish Independence. The referendum was a stitch up from start to finish! MI5 and the BBC both working to scupper the will of the Scottish people.

    BTW. My Beloved who is a retired Senior Civil Servant is, very quietly, a huge fan of yours.

    Best wishes

    William Frederick (author of the Bertram & Gertrude Amsterdam spy thrillers)

  • Frazer

    Cheer up old pal..All of us go through this at some time or other…personally, I decided to take a break from 20 years of Aid work and do something completely different for a year or so..starting with Doune and now signing on to drive a large truck with 15 tourists from Iceland to South Africa in December trundles on..

  • Giyane

    PV solar in the UK has been held up by the Feed in tarrif which has been hijacked by spiv salesmen/women. We in the UK have to adopt a low consumption mentality , not over-heated offices, water that is human temperature, fresh air coming from windows instead of plant that costs too much to run.

    I would have thought that Africa would be a good place to start that low consumption model because one is not trying to create the north pole in Dubai or a tropical climate in Scotland. The whole heating/cooling industry is based on false assumptions about what the housewife wants, i.e. what for a minute period of time humans have become accustomed to live in.

    2 or 3 solar panels will heat your water all year round in the UK, and a few logs will keep you warm if you have the proper insulation. Nobody should sit on their bum and freeze without using their body to keep warm. Nobody should sit inside to avoid the mid-day heat because inactivity makes you bored and makes you notice the heat.

    Bureaucrats, disconnected with reality and forcing others to see the world through their daft prism of war, colonial control of resources, need removing from power, not boosting, like the monster of Islamic State, Erdogan. Just because they have the power to create the illusion of democrat consent doesn’t mean that anyone agrees with them.

    Laws governing high-consumption Western heating/cooling should be scrapped and start again.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    My determination to dedicate myself to working for Scottish independence led to my comprehensive rejection by the SNP. This left me confused as to what I might usefully do with my life. I suppose the question I have been pondering is, what good am I?

    It’s a good question to ask, but I don’t think it’s the one you’re asking. You have a very clear idea – correct or not – of your own worth, and felt aggrieved when the SNP didn’t take you at that estimate. You’re not good at starting from scratch, and in my offensive opinion need to decide what you’re good at before committing to doing it reasonably cheerfully at whatever level it is possible to enter. I’d suggest diplomacy is out, however.
    This comment is informed by personal experience, btw.

  • Francisco

    You’re an excellent writer and raconteur so why not continue doing that, as well as continuing with your blog? I enjoy your posts and the comments and always look forward to them. All the best.

  • MBC

    I am a great fan of yours and would be hugely sorry, personally, if you gave up on Scotland. I have felt that urge often myself. A friend once asked me, you are so passionate about Scotland, but what has it ever done for you? Good question. But I am a Scot, and the ties of love are huge, even if unrewarding. It’s not the worst place to be, and I occupy myself with civic tasks where my input is welcome. My just surviving and remaining here in Scotland makes me part of a vast wall of defence of fellow Scots who tough it out here, that were it to crumble, would be infinitely worse. As the Declaration of Arbroath said, it is not for honour, riches or glory that we fight, but for freedom alone. That most noble of things that no man of worth ever lays down, except with life itself.

  • Bob Costello

    Craig, I don’t know if you will remember me but I was the guy who was responsible for roping you into talking at the rally we organised in Dundee recently.
    When you were refused selection by the SNP (more especially the first time)I posted quite bit on it through the various Facebook pages I am a member of, basically expressing my disgust at the way you had been treated and the lack of poor judgement displayed by the SNP. During this time and in a discussion with a now prominent SNP politician it was put to me that indeed you were “a loose cannon”, to which my reply was “I would rather stand by a loose cannon than a loose pop gun of which the SNP would appear to have a ready supply of.
    Since then and more to do with the way we were treated concerning the rally in Dundee and the obstacles put in the way of it, together with the large amount of abuse by members of the SNP, I have given up my membership of 30 years.
    The point I am making is that you do not necessarily need the SNP to campaign for independence, in fact I feel the case can readily be made that they are in fact an obstacle on the road to independence at the moment. The best of luck and a fair wind in what ever new course you plot in your life.


    I’m sure Craig will continue to speak and write – but to what end?

    While the SNP claim to have a monopoly on Independence issues there is no reason why non-SNP groups/individuals should not have their part to play.

    But it seems Craig is looking at another field of battle.

  • Robert Crawford

    Craig Murray.

    Stand against the SNP on a “NO Fracking” ticket in Falkirk.

    You only have to beat the Occupational Therapist!

    With your credentials it should be a dawdle!

    The other thing is to find a quiet place, on your own, and ask the Universe what you need to do to be of service to others. Service is much appreciated by the Universe.

    Whatever you decide, give it laldy!

    All the very best.

  • MBC

    The SNP hold most of the castles at the moment but are reluctant to venture out of them in case they risk all their hard won ground by prompting a crushing counter attack. Whilst their being holed up in their fortresses can seem like they are not doing much, the significance of that is that if these castles were to fall to the enemy then our situation would be far worse. Their conservative position of holding steady is probably the right one for them and for Scotland.

    But they are not the whole answer. It takes a variety of actors to secure independence.

    The good news is that there is now a wider Yes movement of freelancers and loose cannons, like yourself, and their roles are vital and actually complimentary. Because the loose cannons constantly chafe and fray at the edges worrying and wearing down the enemy and driving up support amongst the people whilst their activities cannot be laid at the door of those who hold the castles.

    There is an old Viking law that goes: ‘Use varied means of attack’.

    You are much needed in that role but must put your wellbeing and survival first. Surviving the field of battle is crucial to the battle outcome.

  • Andy Borland

    If you’ve nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all.
    Not a maxim one of your posters pays any heed to obviously ….

    I was one of the many Falkirk citizens Craig who was delighted when you put yourself forward to stand as a SNP candidate.
    That bruising experience is hugely revealing of ‘modern’ party politics & reflects dreadfully on SNP corporate management.
    Their & our loss.

    How exciting though to embark on another adventure; the road less travelled & all that 🙂

    Onwards & upwards sir, onwards & upwards!

  • vronsky

    Your foray into SNP politics has not been without effect. Here, many people left the party, with your rejection as a candidate prominent among the reasons. The dominoes are still toppling and it’s difficult to see what the final effect will be – but it won’t be negligible.

    I recently had sight of an anxious email from the local branch secretary, fretting that only 25 tickets had been sold for the fundraiser for the local MSP’s Holyrood campaign (and he a cabinet minister!). This, from a nominal branch membership of almost a thousand.

    So sometimes the law of unintended consequences has a happy outcome and perhaps you wrought better than you knew.

    I hope you find work that pleases you but if boredom sets in, you know where to find me, my weird lady, and the rest of the gang. We always have a plan. Coffee at least.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    That bruising experience is hugely revealing of ‘modern’ party politics & reflects dreadfully on SNP corporate management.

    From which we are to conclude that the SNP is out of step…

    Not a maxim one of your posters pays any heed to obviously ….

    Looks as if that’s for me. If so…

    You have noticed that I don’t massage Craig’s ego, or anyone else’s. Up to him if he wants comments only from sycophants, but the evidence suggests that this is not his intention. I support free speech, as he does, even if you don’t.

  • Mark Golding

    Craig- Without prejudice your moderation and conciliatory expertise, knowledge of maritime law, flair and genius are somewhat put-down and allude to pfft by your lesser peers.

    To that end I would attempt contact with Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian ambassador to London with a view to restoring trade, scientific and economic co-operation with Russia.

    If we can make pragmatism the basis of our relations with China, then why not Russia too?

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    How about starting a blog where you get reasonable people to start threads with serious articles, and people are allowed to post responses, provided that they sign up at a reasonable subscription rate?

    Then you could ask like-minded persons to give donations.

  • fwl

    The more problems life serves up the more She (life} likes you. What’s the publication date?

  • deepgreenpuddock

    Bob Costello-interesting read. I have been aware for some time that the SNP is unlikely to deliver independence.
    It is all very well laying the blame on MI5/BBC/Media etc but the problem is that the SNP is really a product of its past and has only very slightly emerged from its chrysalis.
    Its larval roots lie somewhere in the 1930’s and a nationalism that leaned rather close for comfort to the dominating themes of the times(Nazism/Fascism) and its appeal depends much on a Walter Scott romanticised notion of Scotland ‘the pure’, and a glorified version of the Kaleyard, Bonny Scotland, and the Glorious(ignominious) failure of Bonny Prince Charlie and the ’45, his belief in the divine right of kings, and in the cosy connections to the Broons and the People’s Friend. In many respects it is a confection of highly dubious half-thoughts and emotions rather than a proper political party.

    At the heart of nearly all nationalisms and even , dare I say, ‘freedom movements’, is the cringe of fear. There is much comment about the nature of Zionism (at its roots a mutated response to fear and oppression) here, but I wonder if this is just yet another variation on this mix of unreason and emotion-just as there is powerful suspicion that anti-zionism is connected in some way to an emotional condition, rather than a coherent reasoned, evidential outlook.
    That does not mean I am not minded to seek Independence for Scotland or a supporter of Israel.
    I believe independence could make a lot of sense, but the sham of the SNP and its inherently inward looking nationalism and ‘liberal’ economic outlook is difficult to attach to.
    They have done nothing to take forward any argument that re-invigorates the idea of collective action or strengthen the idea of community, or mitigate the effects of income inequality, except in some superficial, symbolic ways, and their economic position is much as New Labour -always trying to look ‘reasonable and informed’ and always tracking the neoliberal agenda in order t avoid beeing depicted as ‘naive’ or ‘fantasists’. I will accept that the SNP has adopted some of the language of the left, and has developed a dissenting voice, and I admire Nicola Sturgeon-she is a very considerable political asset, and they have made some effort to instigate new debate about nuclear weapons(all good) but I am rather sceptical that the SNP is able to move to a position that can seek independence detached from the emotional appeal. I think that is the true reason for the referendum failure. at the end of the day more people vote cautiously and veer away from the unknown. It is only with compelling argument and evidence that such an argument can be won.

  • Anti-NWO

    There is a gap in the market for a dedicated “Facebook” of approximately 100m dissenters worldwide. A place where a greenwald or a CM or a snowden may instantly bounce latest issues with like minded followers, yet not be in the thrall of corporatist big boys like google,snoople,facebook,etc. All it requires is a venture capitalist (who may or may not see his/her investment multiply a thousand fold) to take a gamble on the hosting/servers/backroom coding boys/security/marketing/etc costs, supporting a solid patron fronting the site like a CM with a track record in the whistleblowing “business” – that should keep you busy for the next 10 years, if it only snuffs out just one al-Ghouta like false flag it will have been well worth it.

  • Republicofscotland

    It’s the SNP’s loss Craig, not snapping you up when they had the chance, political opportunities in Scotland yet may come for you.

    As for the SNP, after independence (and it will come) opportunities will arise for frank spoken men such as yourself, for like me many voters might not vote for the SNP in a independent Scotland.

    Newly formed parties with radical and bold ideas could win the day, and who’s to say you won’t be in the mix, when the time comes.

    If Osborne somehow forces Tax Credit cuts through, and the Tories along with London Labour renew Trident against Scottish wishes, add the British Bill of Rights and a possible EU exit combine these with EVEL, and the likelihood of Scottish independence doesn’t look unobtainable in the near future.

  • TonyB

    What Good Am I? by Bob Dylan

    What good am I if I’m like all the rest
    If I just turn away, when I see how you’re dressed
    If I shut myself off so I can’t hear you cry
    What good am I?

    What good am I if I know and don’t do
    If I see and don’t say, if I look right through you
    If I turn a deaf ear to the thunderin’ sky
    What good am I?

    What good am I while you softly weep
    And I hear in my head what you say in your sleep
    And I freeze in the moment like the rest who don’t try
    What good am I?

    What good am I then to others and me
    If I’ve had every chance and yet still fail to see
    If my hands are tied must I not wonder within
    Who tied them and why and where must I have been?

    What good am I if I say foolish things
    And I laugh in the face of what sorrow brings
    And I just turn my back while you silently die
    What good am I?
    Copyright © 1989 by Special Rider Music

    PS The Aussies showed how to act gracefully after losing to a better team despite 3 bad calls by officials.

  • fedup

    from sycophants, but the evidence suggests that this is not his intention. I support free speech,

    Somewhere along the line you have become bitter, and somewhat twisted. I remember the very first interaction I ever had with you;you were kind, respectful and above all helpful and encouraging.

    As the years have progressed there is less and less of that dragon and more and more of the new dragon, that I no longer enjoy interacting with. There is a difference between “free speech” and “freedom to be rude”!

    As an aside the modern life and its pace is a hell of lot more confusing as the fluidity of the alliances increases that are directly proportional to their fleeting lifetimes. Fact is Craig gave his all to the cause of the SNP and protocol suggests for SNP to reciprocate and consider Craig as an asset and not a liability! Alas the petty politics and traditionally atavistic constructs that thwart any would be threat in the form of rising stars and outsiders from infiltrating the inner sanctums rule that the outsider is sacrificed and disqualified from the word go!

    Those whom have not traveled the path would have little idea about the way the long knives are outed from sheaths to be used in various scenarios of disqualification that are constructed as the knives are sunk in and twisted.

    Craig you have done well to rethink and solve your way out of the problems that are not of your making, nonetheless are affecting you very much so.

  • Joe

    SNP have lost out Craig! On climate change; no one with a few neurons firing can think that the climate is not already in the throws of a major change, the problem is who is to blame. Authorities like to blame humans for climate change because it feeds our narcissistic, delusional belief that we are the center of everything, and also keeps the “common man” in thrall to those authorities in the equally delusional belief that authorities actually care about the effect of the changing climate on humans. They are, of course, quite interested in how they can personally profit from it.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile the greatest ecological disaster since Noah’s flood is quietly going unreported in many papers.

    Indonesia is on fire, like the Siberian Traps that burned relentlessly 250 million years ago Indonesian forests have over a 120,000 fires raging out of control.

    The fires are man made and are a annual event to clear vegetation, to reclaim land for building on, generally corporate buildings.

    Unfortunately Indonesian forests grow on billions of tonnes of peat, which lies just under the top soil. The peat bed has caught fire, releasing billions of tonnes of CO2 gases mainly methane.

    It’s compounded by the fact that corruption and Fascism are rife in Indonesia, many people have died already and species such as the Indonesian Clouded Leopard are in danger of extinction, due to the severity of the fires.

    Global Forest Fire Watch say it’s a ecological disaster.

    Scientist claim over a billion metric tonnes or a (gigaton) of carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere this year already.

    Scientists also claim that the planet is estimated to have less than 1,000 gigatons of carbon dioxide left to emit to have a chance of keeping global warming below two degrees Celsius.

  • YouKnowMyName

    MG your advice to Craig, to forge closer links, is unfortunately going against not just Scottish politics but deeply funded geopolitics. Your idea was supported on BBC R4 Question Time this weekend by the Lord Michael Ray Dibdin Heseltine, Baron Heseltine, CH, PC no-less. He was suggesting now is exactly the time for growing connections, but whilst maintaining a distance from Vlad Vladimirovitch, somehow. That was before the bomb on the plane.

    I’ve just trawled through the European Commission’s five-year-plan, recently published. Great stuff, manages to not mention east of Kiev once, whilst suggesting ever closer ties to faraway small islands & large fading western empires.

    Craig, why not travel round India & China for 6 months, then come back refreshed!

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