Craig Murray

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Murray speaking in 2007
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Craig Murray (1958–) is a former British diplomat and current writer who is considered by some an expert on international affairs but is considered by others a conspiracy theorist with traces of antisemitism. He writes mainly on his own blog at CraigMurray.com but also for other fringe publications such as The Truth Seeker, and has published a memoir, Murder in Samarkand (2006).[1][2] This book was adapted by David Hare for BBC Radio Four, starring David Tennant as Murray.

He is a defender of Julian Assange and has some unorthodox views on sex. And he is himself the subject of various conspiracy theories, which claim conspiracies of Jews or the British state are trying to silence him.

Born in Norfolk in 1958[3], he was a diplomat appointed British ambassador to Uzbekistan in 2002, until he was removed from the job in 2004. He claims this is because he was criticising human rights violations by the Uzbek government.[3]

Ideas[edit]

Murray has argued that Britain's voting system is corrupt and fraudulent and election results are not to be trusted. He particularly raised concern about the increasing use of postal votes.[4]

According to Murray, the idea that Russia is not responsible for the 2018 chemical weapons attack in Salisbury, England.[5][2] He has suggested that Israel may be responsible, and on Twitter suggested that the parliamentary group Labour Friends of Israel were involved in a cover-up to attribute blame to Russia.[6][7][8]

Legal disputes[edit]

In 2007, his blog was shut down in the UK by lawyers for Uzbek business magnate and football fan Alisher Usmanov,Wikipedia and in 2008 he was the subject of legal action from "private security contractor" Tim Spicer over a book he was yet to publish.[9]

In 2017, he was sued for libel by Jake Wallis Simons, associate editor of the Daily Mail Online.[10] The offending article has been taken down, but seems to have been connected with allegations of antisemitism in the British Labour Party. Anti-Israel (and possibly antisemitic) blog Rehmat's World claims this is part of an organised campaign against critics of Israel[11] — presumably an international Jewish conspiracy (It isn't clear that Murray goes this far). The case was settled in November 2017 with a statement that "Mr Murray accepts that Dr Wallis Simons is not a liar, and Dr Wallis Simons accepts that Mr Murray is not an anti-Semite. They are both pleased to have resolved this dispute amicably."[12]

He is also a supporter of Scottish independence. It is claimed by fans of Scottish Nationalist conspiracy theories that he is being targeted by the powers that be as part of a wider scheme to destroy the independence movement.[13]

In 2021 he was found guilty of contempt of court for blogging during former Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond's (unsuccessful) trial for sexual assault and attempted rape: Murray was judged guilty of trying to influence the jury and of "jigsaw" identification of the complainants, i.e. providing information to allow them to be identified.[14][15]

Antisemitism or anti-Zionism[edit]

Murray tends to blame Israel for lots of things well beyond the oppression of the Palestinian people (see above), and a book collected his writings in this area was entitled Zionism is Bullshit: Selected Speeches, Interviews and Writings: Volume 1[16] (which Murray claimed he was banned from advertising on Facebook).[17] Because of this, he has been accused by sources other than Wallis Simons of associating with and defending anti-semites.[18][19][20] (He was also inadvertently caught up in an antisemitism scandal when SNP MSP Sandra White retweeted something containing an antisemitic cartoon and a separate link to a Murray article[21] but that does not reflect on his own opinions.)

Murray has repeatedly spoken out about what he sees as the excessive use of "antisemitic" as a slur or way of shutting down criticism of Israel, comparing attacks on critics of Israel to McCarthyism and calling Israel an "apartheid state".[22] He has also defended Ken Livingstone against repeated allegations of anti-semitism.[23]

Murray is fond of using "Zionist" as an indiscriminate insult for his enemies, throwing the label at Christopher Hitchens, Nick Cohen and Melanie Phillips (this in a blog post celebrating Christopher Hitchens' death).[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. Review: Murder in Samarkand, David Leigh, The Guardian, 12 August 2006
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Novichok Story Is Indeed Another Iraqi WMD Scam, Craig Murray, The Truth Seeker, 15 March 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 See the Wikipedia article on Craig Murray.
  4. British democracy: no better than Uzbekistan's, Craig Murray, The Guardian, 8 April 2008
  5. UK's claims questioned: doubts voiced about source of Salisbury novichok, The Guardian, 15 Mar 2018
  6. Craig Murray Goes Conspiracy Again!, Harry's Place, March 15 2018
  7. [1] CraigMurrayOrg on Twitter, 7:58 AM - 15 Mar 2018
  8. Russian To Judgement, Craig Murray, Mar 13, 2018
  9. A national disgrace, a global menace, and a pre-democratic anachronism, George Monbiot, The Guardian, 15 July 2008
  10. Save Craig Murray, Craig Murray, 6 Sep 2017
  11. UK – Jew editor sues ex-diplomat for supporting Palestinian, Rehmat's World, 7 September 2017
  12. The End of the Affair, Craig Murray, 7 Nov 2017
  13. 'Save Craig Murray' — former UK Ambassador and Dundee Uni rector being sued by the Daily Mail for libel, Reddit, 2017
  14. Craig Murray loses contempt of court case over reports of Alex Salmond trial, The National, 22 March 2021 (paywalled)
  15. The World Darkens a Little More: I May Have to Spend Some Time as a Political Prisoner, Craig Murray blog, 22 March 2021
  16. Zionism is Bullshit: Selected Speeches, Interviews and Writings: Volume 1 (Collected Political Works of Craig Murray), Craig Murray, ed Kirsten E MacDonald, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 23 Jun 2017
  17. Interview with Craig Murray, Randy Credico and Dennis J Bernstein, Mint Press News, 1 Feb 2018
  18. Guardian legitimises Craig Murray's anti-Israel conspiracy theory on Russian spy poisoning, UK Media Watch, 18 March 2018
  19. My Anti-Racist Comments on Israel, Craig Murray, 29 Apr 2016
  20. [2], Marlon Solomon (supergutman) on Twitter, 26 Sep 2017
  21. Sturgeon says sorry for MSP's retweet of antisemitic image, The Guardian, 12 Nov 2015
  22. The New McCarthyism – The "Anti-Semitism" Hysteria Gripping the UK, Craig Murray, CraigMurray.com
  23. Ken Livingstone: Stubborn and Wrong, But Not Anti-Semitic, Craig Murray, 5 April 2017
  24. Christopher Hitchens RIP, Craig Murray, 16 Dec 2011
  25. Hitchens and the anti-Zionists, Dave Rich, Community Support Trust, 20 Dec 2011