the Disillusioned kid: More of the Same Please, Mr Murray
| Email | Home | Linkage | Profile |

Friday, April 15, 2005

More of the Same Please, Mr Murray

I found this article via Craig Murray's new weblog:
Britain’s parliamentary election campaign is heating up, with politicians grappling with the familiar themes of the welfare state and the economy. In the northern English constituency of Blackburn, though, Uzbekistan has emerged as an unlikely central election issue, as Britain’s ousted ambassador to Tashkent, Craig Murray, challenges his former boss, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Murray is running on an independent ticket, and is making British foreign policy towards Uzbekistan and Iraq the central issues of his campaign. While Murray believes he is on the right side of the issues, he admits his chances of defeating Straw seem slim. The Labor Party has held the Blackburn constituency for the last 60 years, and in the last general election, Straw dominated the Blackburn race by winning 53 percent of the votes cast.

Ordinary voters "are not really that interested in Uzbekistan," Murray recently told a EurasiaNet correspondent in an interview. However, a large percentage of Blackburn’s voters are Muslims, and Murray hopes to tap into their dissatisfaction over Straw’s support of the global "war on terror" and detention-without-trail of co-religionists in Britain...
Murray is probably massively understating the point here. Ordinary voters aren't just "not really that interested in Uzbekistan." Most of them probably don't even know where it is. No doubt, the politically aware sections of society are little better. I have tried to follow the situation in Uzbekistan and the West's relationship with Karimov regime quite closely here, hopefully with some success, but it is an issue which most of the radical left have seemed largely uninterested in and few other bloggers dedicate much time to. George Monbiot's excellent article on the subject (the inspiration for my interest in the country) being the major exception.

While I remain dubious about the value of running in elections I sincerely hope that Murray's campaign goes someway towards putting right the widespread ignorance about the brutality of the Karimov regime. The mere fact that Murray has addressed anti-war and lefty rallies (notably the Stop the War Coalition demo on March 19 and a RESPECT Coalition rally) is positive, because it suggests that those who have campaigned so vociferously against the invasion and occupation of Iraq are beginning to tie in other aspects of British foreign policy which are similarly distasteful. There may even be some hope of a serious campaign around the issue. Watch this space.

Side Projects

Carnival of Anarchy
The Peace Pipe
UK Watch Blog


Against the Current
Culture hits and gendered bits
Daniel Randall
In The Water
Mike Wood
On The Barricades
Pizarro's Sword
Space Cat Rocket Ship
Surveillant Assemblage
TashCamUK FotoPage
The Naked Lunch
The Peace Pipe
The World of the Dynamite Lady


Anarchoblogs Blog
Arte & Lingua
Barker in Valencia
Blood & Treasure
Bombs and Shields
Born at the Crest of the Empire
Chase me ladies...
Chicken Yoghurt
Craig Murray
Dead Men Left
Disreputable Lazy Aliens
Empire Notes
Friends of Al Jazeera
Global Guerillas
Guerillas in the Midst
I Blame the Patriachy
Informed Comment
Janine Booth
Lenin's Tomb
Life of Riley Blog
Media Watch Watch
Neil Shakespeare
NO2ID NewsBlog
One Hump or Two?
Otto's Random Thoughts
Pitch In For Uzbekistan
Run over by the truth
Solidarity With Iraqi Workers
Shut Up You Fat Whiner!
Sudan: Passion of the Present
Talk Politics
The Anthropik Network
The Daily (Maybe)
The Devil's Kitchen
The Disillusioned
The f-word
The Head Heeb
The Killing Train
The Revenge of Winston Smith
The Socialist Unity Blog
The Wicked Truth
Theory of Power
Things I Don't Have Time For
This (Fresh) Gringo
This Is My Truth
Thumping the Tub
Time The Dreaded Enemy
UK Watch Blog
UK Poli Blogs
Under The Same Sun
What Fresh Hell Is This?
Where is Raed? (RIP)
Who Are You to Accuse Me?
Words and Rocks
Z-Net Blog


Asbo Community Space
Eastside Climate Action
Faslane 365
No Borders
Nottingham Student Peace Movement
Refugee Forum
Stop the War
Sumac Centre
The Demo Project

Ivory Towers

Anarchist Studies Network
Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice
Postanarchism Clearinghouse


Anarchist FAQ
Chagos Discussion List
Chagos Support Forums
Electronic Intifada
Future of Iraq Portal
Index of Political Blogs
Indymedia UK
Iraq Occupation Focus
Refuser Solidarity Network
Socialist Unity Network
The New Standard
UK Chagos Support Association
UK Watch
Weekly Worker

The Progressive Blog Alliance

Register here to join the PBA.