Norwich North!

Libeler Iain Dale’s Sour Grapes of Victory

I was in some danger of falling into the slough of despond, but I have been rescued by the need to defend myself against the ludicrous attacks of Dorries Dale. That anybody can be quite so graceless in victory is something I find hard to comprehend.

Following his statesmanlike “Craig Murray lost his deposit. Ha ha double ha!” posting, Iain Dale has come out with this one:

Perhaps if he had done anything worth reporting, he might have got some media space, but the fact is that the “honest man’s” sole noteworthy contribution to the campaign was to put out a virtually libellous leaflet about Chloe Smith.

I am not sure what the new Dale concept of “virtual libel” is, precisely. Iain is of course an expert on libel, having recently cost the Mail on Sunday a major amount of money as a result of one of his wild and unfounded articles. Having never libeled anybody, I do not need the proven libeler Iain Dale to give me any lessons.

But “virtual libel” seems to be Dale speak for “Truths the Tories do not want want you to know.”

The facts about Ms Smith in the leaflet in question are these:

She was born in Ashford in Kent

She works for Deloitte Touche

Deloitte Touche were accountants and auditors to RBS/Natwest before the crash

Chloe Smith tried to be selected as candidte for Ipswich before being selected for Norwich

Iain Dale does not think you should know any of this – and all of these facts were totally absent from the Tory literature and from Ms Smith’s own website. It is apparently “Virtual libel” to tell inconvenient truths about Tories.

There was a time when Dale’s blog was worth reading, but sadly it has degenerated into the dullest of party propaganda.

Dale has also published an attack on me in the Eastern Daily Press. It is very brave of that paper to run columns by a notorious libeler. He calls me “scurrilous”, again in relation to my truth telling about Ms Smith.

As a believer in free speech, I have never pursued anybody for libel, or threatened anybody with a libel suit. But I am pondering the moral question of whether, in these particular circumstances, it would be good to pursue the case and recover my election expenses? Dale of course is a known and proven libeler already, so I should not be damaging anybody’s reputation. I should be grateful for your views.

I suspect that Dorries Dale’s ire was stoked by the fact that my article on the by-election was published by the Mail on Sunday.–result-losers.html

The Mail on Sunday is of course the very newspaper who are more careful in their dealings with Iain nowadays, after he cost them a lot of money with his libel. I do understand Iain’s resentment that I am writing on the by-election for the biggest selling national Sunday newspaper, while he is confined to a quiet corner of the regional press, but nontheless I do think he is unwise to allow his jealousy to get the better of him.

Another fascinating point is that it turns out that Ms Smith’s “Job” at Deloitte Touche was to be on secondment to the Conservative Party. Is this a disguised form of political donation to get round disclosure rules? It certainly shows how ludicrous it is to belive that the Tories will control the financial services industry. It’s the other way round, I fear.

The blog will emerge from Norwich North mode and start concentrating on world events again, soon. It is taking me a few days to get over it. I cannot get over the feeling that I let down rather badly the wonderful volunteers who came and gave so much.

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The Fun of Electioneering

I just received a phone call from a very nice lady. concerned that the obstacles being placed in my way as a candidate may be getting me down. On the contrary, I haven’t had so much fun in ages.

We sit down to dinner about 10pm every evening after the day’s campaigning, usually about 16 of us, guitars come out, someone strikes up on the piano and we have enormous fun, except for my singing, for which the politest word is loud.

If we didn’t scare the political establishment, they would not react so fiercely to us. We get abuse from party hacks on the street, while the parties are tellingly polite to each other and connive to keep me out of broadcast events. Lots of flak now coming on the internet from Tories, Lib Dems (see the immensely dull Norfolk Blogger) and Greens, and lots of trolls on this website. I might start a flyposting storm to wind them up further.

A prize of twenty pounds is offered to anyone who spots Chloe Smith in public with less than six minders.

Reaction on the doorsteps can only be described as extremely warm – and we have witnessed many instances of outright hostility in public reaction to the political parties. So despite the efforts of overpaid BBC execs to bolster the political parties, something really interesting is happening with real people here in Norwich North. The challenge is to turn that in to action at the ballot box.

Get yourselves to Norwich now – you are missing a lot of fun!

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Oh, The Shame, The Shame!! I think I’ll Have To Kill Myself

Preening Tory “Dorries” Dale has exposed me on his blog as a “Liar” because I said somethng had happened two days ago, when it happened three days ago.

I guess I’ll just have to give up blogging now…

He does rather fail though to address the point that “Norfolk through and through” Chloe Smith tried to become candidate for Ipswich before settling for Norwich.

The Tories “Norfolk throguh and through” candidate was born in Kent and works in London, even though she claims on her leaflets to live in Norwich. Hell of a commute. Indeed in a Daily Telegraph video interview she clearly states she visits Norwich at weekends. Who was the interviewer? Why, Iain Dale…

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Taking The Offensive

The local BBC are broadcasting a live TV debate between the “Four Main Candidates” – none of whom has anything interesting to say – on 22 July at 22.15. I am excluded lest I say something voters might actually care about. Like the need to end the war in Afghanistan, where our troops are dying to protect a government of corrupt warlords and heroin dealers, in the interests of the right of US companies to build oil and gas pipelines over Afghanistan from Central Asia.

I have of course been Ambassador to neighbouring Uzbekistan and know what I am talking about. Much better to exclude me therefore.

With Michael Crick of Newsnight following Chloe Smith around Taverham and Drayton yesterday like an obedient if over-excited lapdog, the media are treating the by-election as the coronoation of the blessed Chloe. Time I think that some of the less convenient facts about her were exposed – like her attempt to be MP for Ipswich, which will be very unpopular here in Norwich. The media know about this, but are keeping it quiet not to upset their putative new masters.

So I had fun with this. Hope you do too.

Incidentally, yesterday Chloe was walking along the main road with five minders, while six minor lackeys including Iain Dale ran ahead from house to house rousing the inhabitants and asking them if they wanted to meet Chloe Smith. She went for at least half a mile and not one person took up the offer. The voters may be less inclined than the media to assume they have to vote for her.

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Totalitarian Dictatorships Are Very Tidy

Totalitarian dictatorships are generally extremely tidy places. In Uzbekistan, even with major massacres, the streets are sluiced down within a few hours, bullet holes filled in, walls repainted, new flower beds instantly in bloom. There is never any litter, nothing out of place.

Democraries are by contrast messy. Members of the ultra-boring blogging tendency (Iain Dale, Norfolk Blogger) etc have been attacking my campaign for fly-posting. That conjures up unpleasant images of derelict buildings and bridges with scores of tatty mouldering posters pasted to them, for months.

We have been attaching posters, on hardboard, with cable ties, to lamp-posts and other street furniture in the constituency. We have been careful to avoid traffic lights and not to cause obstruction. We will remove all trace after the election. This is the common practice in elections over much of the UK.

The political parties, who don’t want people to be reminded of a wide range of democratic choice, are pretending to be outraged. The council have been going around scrupulously removing my posters. Interestingly, they have not been removing the numerous other posters on street furniture in Norwich, including scores for something called a “Bang Fest”. I don’t know what that is, but it sounds fun.

There are occasions where my poster and another poster are on the same lamp-post. They have only removed mine. The peculiar explanation they give is that mine are the only ones they have received complaints about.

Anyway, much better to keep the lamp-posts free from temporary posters, than have an outbreak of political expression outwith the political parties. Where might that end?

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Ministry of Justice Blocks My Electoral Address: BBC Changes The Rules: UCU Bars Me From Candidates’ Debate


With grateful thanks to famous human rights lawyers Birnberg Peirce, (who advised I had a complete legal right) the Royal Mail have now at the last possible second relented and accepted that I can send out a DVD as an Electoral Communication. So we are going full blast to get it out!!

This has so far been a rollocking campaign of small victories, all achieved because of the friends I have made in my civil rights work over the years. I am both buoyed and humbled.

Every candidate in a parliamentary election has the right to have one “election communication” delivered free of charge by the Post Office.

These are normally rather dull leaflets, so I decided to put my election address on a DVD. It’s rather picturesque and entitled “A Norfolk Journey”. 80,000 copies are being made.

The Post Office is so far refusing to deliver it. The “election communication” must meet the Post Office’s “Reasonable Terms And Conditions” for such communications. These are published. The main ones are that it:

Must weigh less than 60gm – mine is less than 40gm

Must be less than 5mm thick – mine is 2mm thick

Must meet length and width criteria – mine is well inside

Must be securely folded or in a sealed envelope – mine is the latter

Must marked “electoral communication” amd carry printed and published info – mine does

Must be sorted by postcode and address – mine is.

Extraordinarily, the Post Office must also vet the content for libel, incitement to violence or incitement to racial hatred. That is a strange bit of censorship – they don’t check the content of normal mail theydeliver – but my DVD passes that test too.

There is nothing in the criteria at all that says the communication must be in the 14th century medium of printed ink on paper. The regulations are silent on the medium of communication. If you took a DVD in an envelope to any Post Office, you would have no difficulty posting it as a letter.

Yet the Post Office refuses to give permission for the delivery, apparently on the grounds that nobody has ever sent a DVD before as their election communication. They have not actually refused, but have delayed beyond the stage where it is logistically possible to get it out.

They are acting, they say, on legal advice from the Ministry of Justice – prop. Jack Straw! The man who brought you the dodgy dossier on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction.

At the moment, it looks like the voters of Norwich North will be denied my electoral address before they vote – unless we can get a real flood of volunteers in to deliver them ourselves.

Even more sleazy is the BBC’s response to the many complaints about their decision to exclude me from all election coverage. They have started to send out standard replies saying:

one of the key factors they look for is “evidence of past and/or current electoral support” in that electoral area.

Note the BBC’s own quotation marks within that quote. They have tacked on “In that area” to their formal criterion.

When the BBC banned me from all coverage at the last General Election when I stood in Blackburn against Jack Straw, who is blocking my electoral address now, the BBC explained it was because I had no “evidence of past and/or current electoral support”.

I gained 5% in that election – which is a lot better than the 3% the Greens got in the same election in Norwich North. That 5% may have been modest, but it does meet the BBC’s criterion. So the BBC have now moved the goalposts to exclude me, by adding a brand new stipulation “in that area” to their criterion, so the electoral support in Blackburn does not count – despite the fact I might reasonably expect to do a lot better in my own county.

Finally, despite numerous representations from within their own union, the Universities and Colleges Union have still banned me from this evenings candidates’ education debate, despite the fact that I am the Rector of a Univeristy and a great deal more interesting on the subject than the rest of the candidates put together.

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The reaction we are getting on the streets of Norwich North is tremendous, When we talk to people they are sick of corrupt politicians, sick of vast sums of their money being handed to banks, sick of war and the deaths of young men.

There is a real chance in Norwich North to land a real blow on the dinosaur political parties that are so comfortable in exercising ever increasing power over us. If we can win in Norwich North, it will give momentum to the cause of independent people in parliament and could build momentum towards challenging the big party dominance at the coming general election.

BUT – while the ground is fertile, we have to sow the seed. We have an extremely energetic campaign, and those voters we reach are very sympathetic. But still, less than half of the people when asked know that I am standing. The media are wilfully ignoring us.


We have some major campaign surprises up our sleeve which can break through to public awareness and win this, including a first in British electoral history. But we desperately need manpower to do it.

So far 37 volunteers have delivered leaflets for us. That is wonderful, but not nearly enough. There are 79,000 voters in over 30,000 households, and we need to leaflet each one twice more in two weeks, and to speak to people.

I am urging you to get yourself here and help. If you can just come for one afternoon, and deliver a few hundred leaflets, that is already a huge assistance. If you can persuade others to come, that is wonderful. Best of all is if you can come and stay a few days – we have room, but it would help if you can bring bedding. Please come, and please urge anybody you can to come.

We gave to show that an independent can stand against the system without simply being knocked down by the sheer organisational muscle of the big parties.

So please, please come and help me now.



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BBC Prioritises BNP

Totally out of touch with public mood, the BBC is prioritising political parties – any political party – over an independent candidate, even a serious one. The BBC’s Michael Crick has denied any bias by the BBC in refusing to cover me on Newsnight. In Today’s Independent on Sunday, Michael Crick states:

“Oh yes, that’s right, it’s all a big conspiracy, ordered by the BBC governors. Of course it’s not. It was an accident. We’re not obliged to report all the candidates. He’ll have to join the queue behind the BNP and UKIP candidates to be interviewed. It’s much ado about nothing.”

The BBC’s desperation to promote the BNP as ahead of me is scarey. Here are today’s odds from Ladbrokes.

Conservatives 1/9

Labour 6/1

Greens 16/1

Craig Murray 25/1

Ian Gibson 33/1

Liberal Democrats 33/1

UKIP 100/1

BNP 200/1

Bill Holden 200/1

Libertarian Party 500/1

Official Monster Raving Loony 1000/1

Can anybody see a genuine reason why I have to queue behind the BNP for an eventual interview, or why the Greens and Lib Dems have been heavily plugged by the BBC while I to date have not been reported at all?

Bloggers are excellent at free speech issues which affect the interent. But free speech should not be confined to the internet. I should be most grateful if other bloggers would take this up too.


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Norwich Public Meeting Schedule

Crooks Lies and Politicians

An Evening With Craig Murray.

Friday 3 July Norwich Puppet Theatre, Barrack St, 7.30pm.

Tuesday 7 July Norman Centre Mile Cross, 7.30pm.

Thursday 9 July, Norwich Playhouse, 7.30pm

Friday 10 July, Hellesdon High School, 7.00pm

Saturday 11 July, Taverham Village Hall, 7.30pm

Tuesday 21 July, Thorpe Frog Hall, 7.30pm

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A Small Norwich Mystery

When MPs’ expenses were finally published officially, they were redacted to the point of meaninglessness. The Tories are now practising some very curious redaction with the cv of their candidate, Chloe Smith, who is bidding to become the youngest member of the current parliament.

Chloe’s official c.v. begins when she moved to secondary school in Swaffham. Most people’s cvs begin by stating where they were born. Chloe’s doesn’t. That is not very strange. But what is strange is that the Tory party are refusing to say where she was born when journalists have asked. I am told they have been getting quite tetchy about it, even with a sympathetic journalist who was writing a puff piece about the glamorous young candidate.

Now that is a mystery. I genuinely don’t give a hoot if Chloe was born in Basingstoke or Ulan Bataar, and I can’t imagine the electorate care either. (I had a friend at school who was born on an aeroplane en route to a holiday in Malta, which I thought was dead impressive). But why would the Conservative Party not want people to know? Plainly Chloe is English enough even for the nutters of the BNP.

I can’t think of any logical reason for the Tory reticence, except that Chloe’s latest leaflet quotes her as saying “As a Norfolk girl through and through, I’m determined to be the strong voice the whole area needs.” Perhaps if she were born outside the county, they are worried about diluting her local credentials. But if they hadn’t made a mystery of it, I don’t suppose anyone would have noticed. (I am not saying she was born outside Norfolk, incidentally. I really don’t have a clue. I am just puzzled why they won’t say).

Anyway, a free copy of The Catholic Orangemen to anyone who knows either where Chloe was born, or why on earth it’s a secret!

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On Being Insignificant

After an eight hour delay, I have just been telephoned back by what sounded like the most junior member of the Newsnight team. He told me that in the “Editorial judgement” of the BBC, I was not a “Significant candidate”.

I will therefore not figure in BBC coverage other than the mandatory two second caption at the end. For Newsnight, Michael Crick will give the statutory mention this evening.

By denying me any media exposure the BBC are, of course, consciously attempting to make their prediction of our failure a self-fulfilling prophecy, and to silence one of the most known voices against the political establishment in the UK.

I do hope the people of Norwich North will prove the arrogant and super-rich executives of the BBC wrong.

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By-Election Latest

Conservatives 1/5

Labour 9/2

Greens 12/1

Craig Murray 25/1

Ian Gibson 33/1

Liberal Democrats 33/1

UKIP 100/1

BNP 200/1

Bill Holden 200/1

Libertarian Party 500/1

Official Monster Raving Loony 1000/1


From the doorstep experience, I think that is basically the right running order if the election were held today. Fortunately it isn’t, and we have three weeks of intense campaigning ahead of us. I start from lower “brand recognition” than the parties, but am already moving up in public awareness very fast and we have some big campaigning surprises up our sleeves.

Stop posting comments asking what you can do to help, and get yourselves to Norwich to pound the streets and deliver leaflets. There are a few other tasks as well, but 95% of the man-hours we need are foot-slogging. We can provide accommodation – helpful if you can bring sleeping bag or bedding. Whatever you can spare – hours, days or weeks – just get yourselves here.

Our first public meeting is 7pm this Friday at Norwich Puppet Theatre. Ironic venue as I am one of the only candidates who is not a party puppet. Tell anyone you know in Norwich!


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Appalling BBC Bias

The reason the political parties retain their iron grip on power, even when exposed to all as corrupt self-seekers, is that they have the ability, brutally, to grind down all opposition. Trying to stand against it is soul-destroying. I got two hours sleep last night. The Tories are bringing in over a hundred full time workers to the constituency. So far I have eight local part time volunteers, and myself.

BBC Newsnight last night ran a profile of all the candidates – but excluded me. I am truly shocked about it. We have delivered twelve thousand leaflets so far, taken two full page adverts in the local press, and announced and advertised in the media a series of six public meetings for which the halls are booked. Yesterday we had sent a press release specifically to Newsnight. And Michael Crick, who did the Newsnight report, certainly knows I am standing:

So do the bookies, where I am ahead of the Lib Dems and the Greens in the odds – but still very worth a flutter.

Martin Bell has commented “It is very wrong that Craig Murray was not featured on Newsnight. He is a serious candidate, and serious independents must be given fair coverage by the media alongside the major political parties.”

I truly think that Newsnight’s behaviour is outrageous.

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Corrigan Brothers Give Campaign Song

We now have an official campaign song, kindly donated by the Corrigan Borthers. Here is their press release:

Corrigan Brothers have today granted Independent candidate for Norwich exclusive rights to use their MP EXPENSES SONG in his campaign. Craig has agreed to perform the song with the Brothers. Lead singer Ger Corrigan said today, we had originally offered to help pay back the expenses of any MP who agreed to sing a duet of the song with us. We have however received no offers from expense shamed MPs! After reading last Saturday’s Daily Telegraph supplement “The Complete Expense Files” we wholly endorse Craig’s campaign and are delighted that our song will assist in his victory. The last song we did for a politician , Mr Barack Obama (There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’bama) helped greatly in his election and we hope to perform at Craig’s inauguration like we did at President Obama’s”. Go Craig!

And here is their great song:

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Norwich North Campaign Begins

We are now getting established in Norwich North. Our first leaflet is being printed. meeting rooms have been booked, an office and accommodation have been rented. Priority today is to sort out the internet and other communications.

There is still no definite date set for the by-election yet. I have been trying to hire empty shops to use as campaign centres, but the Conservative Party has in some cases got there first and been hiring them for two months – so they obviously expect an early election. But ii is the government which calls the date in this case. I still think July 23rd is most likely – New Labour are going to lose and it would be best to get the bad news out of the way before the summer. But Brown’s instinct is generally to procrastinate.

By law a minimum of only seventeen days notice has to be given for a by-election, so it could be sprung upon us any moment.

There is a genuine disgust at the political parties among the electors of Norwich North. There seems to be a public understanding that the expenses scandal is only a symptom of a party political system that is not functioning and not helping people.

I think we have a genuine opportunity to give the political establishment a real shock here. But I very much need help. We already have plenty of tasks for volunteers to campaign, we can accommodate people and it’s time now to come to Norwich and launch a radical assault on our rotten political system!

If you can come and help, call me on 07979 691085

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Normal Service Will resume….

Sorry, about this folks. I am still in Africa trying very hard to get some odds and ends tied up on the project here before I go. And at the same time – with help from some great volunteers – I am trying to get the logistics in place for Norwich North, and am also writing election literature. So apologies for lack of blogging at the minute. Hope to be back in the UK on Tuesday.

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Norwich North First Poster


Brilliant first poster design here from Brynmor. It needs a little tweaking – I wouldn’t call myself a politician, as I have spent a very large amount on civil liberties campaigning and not made a penny out of it. But it is going to be very strong.

We are going to need volunteers. The election will be in July or September , with July looking more likely. Either way we need to start now. Stevie has volunteered to coordinate.

We need office workers, canvassers, leafletters, drivers, media handlers, IT campaign organisers, graphic artists, printers, fundraisers, volunteer coordinators, diary keepers, candidate cheerer uppers, accommodation providers. There is something everybody can do, of whatever age, however mobile, wherever they are.

If you would like to help, please start by sending an initial email to

[email protected]

giving full contact details, stating what time or resource you might make available, if you live in Norwich or if you can come when you might come, any relevant experience (not that this is required) and anything else that might help. We will work out shortly how to make donations – the offers are greatly appreciated. Accommodation will be available in Norwich for volunteers.

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Norwich North Urgent Help Needed – We Have To Formally Constitute

We need to formally constitute as a political party. And I need volunteers to kick this off for me. Here is why:

One of Blair’s numerous Anti-Libertarian laws was a new provision that the only description allowed on the ballot paper is the official, registered party name. Before Blair you could call yourself what you liked to guide the voters.

If you don’t register a party name, you can just be described as “independent” on the ballot. I am proud to be independent. But if there are several people all described as “independent”, the public in the polling booth might get confused which is which.

Parties can spend as much as they like on national advertising, and have National HQs and party offices. All the main parties have offices in Norwich. The costs of these Norwich offices and their national advertising do not count against the very tight by-election spending limit. An independent standing for election will have his office costs and all advertising counted against his expenses – leaving nothing for campaigning.

So we are going to form “Put An Honest Man Into Parliament” as the name of a party. The electoral commission registration form allows up to two alternative descriptions. The alternative description will be “Put An Honest Woman Into Parliament”. The purpose of the party is to get elected honest non-racist people of independent mind to renew our democracy. Future candidates can use either description as appropriate.

I need someone to download the registration forms and get them filled in today and in to the Electoral Commission. If a commenter on this site who I can recognise will volunteer I would be most grateful. You’ll need to knock up a short anarchic constitution. You’ll have to pay the 150 pound fee till I can get back to reimburse you! You can be the leader 🙂 I think legally we need two members.

I hope to get back Friday but this cannot wait for this reason. It takes 20 days for the Electoral Commission to register a new party. Once the election is called – and it could be called any time – we only have ten days or so to get in the nomination, and the party must be registered by then. So it could already be too late, or we might just make it. If not, we go ahead with the simple independent description.

The party can be registered to a home address for now, but we will quickly move our national HQ to a North Norwich office. We will be undertaking some national advertising, and it is our genuine intention to stand candidates elsewhere come the general election.

In response to all the volunteering offers – yes! All help needed – canvassers, leafletters, office workers, drivers, media handlers, IT campaign organisers, graphic artists, printers, fundraisers, volunteer coordinators, diary keeper, candidate cheerer uppers. Will be looking to establish the office and rent a house in Norwich North very quickly.

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Guardian on Norwich North

Excellent article in the Guardian on my candidacy for Norwich North.

Murray is currently the rector of the University of Dundee and a prolific blogger. The Foreign Office forced him out of his job as ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2003 for failing to toe the British line on intelligence obtained under torture.

Asked if he was standing out of revenge, Murray said: “I wouldn’t put it that way. I want to show the government that it cannot use its power against individuals with impunity, and that honest people can fight back.”

He added: “The point is to encourage more independents to stand. We need more people who genuinely want to serve the interests of their constituents. I’ve always believed that parties are part of the problem and the expenses scandal is symptom of the problem.”

Read the whole thing:

For students of irony, I just received an email from a friend who works in Portcullis House. Apparently some Blairites are hoping I win in order to put more pressure on Brown while slowing the Tory bandwagon!

Given it was the Blairites who had me sacked as Ambassador for disagreeing with their collusion with dictatorship, that is just weird. Some people’s support I can do without.

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