Craig Murray sees himself in BBC drama

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Craig Murray (former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, who resigned after exposing the human rights abuses carried out by “Islam Karimov” and then stood against Jack Straw) on the similarities between himself and the ambassador in the BBC’s ongoing drama, The State Within:

I was first alerted to BBC1’s new conspiracy thriller The State Within by a friend who pointed out some of the BBC publicity to me. It concerned a character in the series, a former British ambassador, whom the BBC described thus: “James Sinclair. An outspoken critic of President Usman and the human rights abuse he encountered in Tyrgyzstan. As a result he was recalled and subsequently fired from the job of ambassador. Seen as an embarrassment to the UK government, who support Usman and have many commercial and strategic interests in the country. Now determined to turn western public opinion against Usman. And to force both the UK and US administrations into withdrawing their support for him.”

Now, if you substitute the very real Uzbekistan of President Karimov for the fictional Tyrgyzstan, you get a description of me precise in every detail. Uniquely so; there is nobody else that description remotely fits. There are other coincidences. When I was ambassador, the Uzbek prime minister was named Usmanov. James Sinclair is an anglicised Scot like me. I live in Sinclair Gardens. Sinclair’s wife has the common Uzbek name of Saida. I have an Uzbek partner. Like me, his tipple is neat scotch (not as common as you might think). Both “Tyrgyzstan” and Uzbekistan are in Central Asia; both have major US airbases threatened by a change of allegiance of the dictator. Both are described by the US and UK as “an ally in the war on terror” and “a backdoor to Afghanistan”. Both have perpetrated a large-scale massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators.

Murray notes that the BBC have strenuously denied that the character is based on Murray, or that the events are in any way based on real events despite the fact that the plot begins and ends with a bombing by the “Islamic Movement of Tyrgyzstan” which turns out to have been a planted atrocity. Something similar happened in Uzbekistan when Murray was ambassador.

Murray notes that there “may yet be a story twist to please the conservatives”; could this be what the British mercenaries - another obvious reference to recent events, namely the infamous “wonga coup” plot, in which a bunch of white mercenaries including a friend of Mark (son of Margaret) Thatcher tried to overthrow the tin-pot dictator of Equatorial Guinea - and their attempt to do something similar in “Tyrgyzstan” was all about? After all, it’s a common US “conservative” stance that the British are not a reliable ally and that more restrictions on British travellers to the US need to be imposed.

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