Friday, September 21, 2007

Craig Murray

One of the symptoms of British cultural decline seems to be that Britannia can't get the servants any more. Maybe it was ever thus, but I can't recall cases in times past (OK, one - Harold Smith) like David Shayler, the not-very Secret Service man, Katharine Gun, who obviously hadn't read the job description when she applied to GCHQ, or Craig Murray, sent to lie abroad in Uzbekistan for the good of his country, but who found that task not to his taste, becoming "determined not to let the regime's abuses be drowned out by the country's newfound strategic importance".

Now there's no doubt that the Uzbek regime was and is highly unpleasant. We gave up boiling dissidents to death years ago. But the job of an Ambassador is primarily to act in the interests of your country, not as a human rights ambassador to wherever you're posted. As a human Mr Murray was rightly outraged and horrified. As an ambassador ? Makes you wonder how we maintained ambassadors in Moscow and Berlin all through the 1930s.

But that's by the by. Mr Murray, unsurprisingly, is no longer an ambassador (the UK government paid him off with six years salary as redundancy - can I have a job please ?) and since then he seems to have morphed into a fairly bog-standard Guardianista critic of America, Israel, WOT, Guantanamera etc (you see, it's all our fault there's torture in Uzbekistan) with one major difference - privileged access to a lot of information, so there's a fair chance that when he utters fact rather than opinion he knows whereof he speaks. (I would still be wary of naming an Iraqi churchman as an alcoholic MI6 informant, though - do you want him to turn up in a ditch somewhere ? With less knowledge than Mr Murray has, I'd have thought that's putting at risk the life of someone who's done you no harm.)

You may have noticed over the last few years the odd ex-Soviet oligarch shifting themselves and the former, now-privatised State assets over to a country where Mr Putin's long arm is less likely to reach, unless you like sushi that is. The latest is one Alisher Usmanov, who's transforming some of the former property of the Soviets into chunks of Arsenal football club. Mr Usmanov is from Uzbekistan, and Craig Murray posted about him on his website bluntly accusing him of not being a very nice chap. Mr Usmanov's lawyers, the wonderfully named Schillings - more like 50 groschen if you ask me - sent what I believe used to be called a 'blue frightener' to Mr Murray's web host, Fasthosts of Gloucester, who promptly pulled the plug - taking out the blogs of Boris, Tim Ireland and Bob Piper to boot. Great viral marketing, guys.

Chicken Yog has the details and if you want to know what the allegations are, you'll have to go to a site maintained by those nasty Americans that Craig has so little time for. Try searching for "Craig Murray" here, or enter "Craig Murray Usmanov" into Google. Or try here, where Mr Murray's ghost stalks the corridors. Or here.

Btw, say ArseNews, if you find any IP addresses from the range -
in your logs, they’re Schillings. Just thought you’d like to know that.


Anonymous said...

As in the Alms for Jihad case this again demonstrates how easily British libel law can be used to supress freedom of speech.

My advice to authors everywhere: don't use a British publisher; don't use a British hosting company.

DJ said...

You know, I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the folks slobbering over Murray's scribblings are the same folks who say that, yes, Saddam was a bad guy, but at least he kept order in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but Saddam never used his stolen money to buy any shares in our football clubs. There's only so much shit the GBP will put up with.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to congratulate you on not falling into line with the sob sisters of Blogdom who seem to think that the laws of the land, which rather frown on calumnies written without supporting evidence, do not apply to them. Mr. Usmanov's lawyers have just administered a long overdue reality check.

It has been suggested that Murray is eager to have his day in court. Well, if he's that keen he could print his own leaflets and stand outside Usmanov's house or office and distribute them. That way he would get his day in court without involving innocent third parties like his ISP. But he had better be very sure of his facts!

Laban said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Nick Cohen in The Observer:

He is also frightened of being sued - as is everyone else. Britain's repressive libel laws are becoming a threat to security and racial harmony. 'Saudi money is now a major source of income for London libel firms,' one lawyer told me. 'School fees and second homes depend on it.'

Anonymous said...

Schillings? Who they?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.