On leaving Nottingham last week, Craig Murray’s ‘Murder in Samarkand’ was left unfinished and the book was given to someone who actually had contact with the author when he was in Uzbekistan.The feeling was that the last two chapters of the book were not going to change some of the opinions formed regarding Craig and, while ego would probably empathize with a British ambassador who appeared to be spending a significant part of his time getting sloshed in dingy drinking dens in Tashkent and elsewhere, and who left his apparently stoic wife for a local dolly bird, there is a part of me that says …… well, Craig, it is difficult to imagine that the mandarins in Whitehall were particularly over the moon at your antics. However, that would be missing the point.
Indeed, Craig himself tells us in his latest blog post, ‘Leave of Absence’ , that ‘Murder in Samarkand’ doesn’t only highlight the appalling human rights abuses by the US-funded regime of President Islam Karimov, but also serves as an exposure of the “worst and most unpleasant behaviour” in his private life. Therefore, when reading the book, sympathies for a rather privileged, at times seemingly egomaniacal, philanderer, might occasionally run low, however, this should not result in us shooting the messenger. Yes, an inebriated British ambassador can be an embarrassment for Blighty’s establishment, but it is an embarrassment that can be replaced and sorted out. However, an ambassador who tells the truth about Britain’s collusion in torture? Well, that really does put him beyond the pale, doesn’t it. Therefore, cheers Craig, and if I ever decide to get off the wagon, maybe I will look you up.