Podcast: On Britain’s bloody imperial past, and present


Craig Murray, scourge of the Blairite establishment during his time at the Foreign Office, and critic of the SNP after the party’s refusal to let him stand as an election candidate, is always an interesting listen.

Craig Murray
Craig Murray

This weekend he visited the Newsnet studio to discuss current event in the US and elsewhere with our regular host Derek Bateman.

And, in true form, the man who was Ambassador to Uzbekistan until he objected to that country’s oppressive style of government, has a book to promote. He has written a fascinating account of Scots-born Sir Alexander Burnes, a distant relative of the great poet Rabbie Burns, and one of the British Empire’s earliest and best-known spies. Burnes died in Kabul as he attempted to make peace during the first Afghan War in the 1830s in one of the most colourful episodes of the British Empire.

You can tune in by clicking on the audio file above, via your usual podcast channels including iTunes, or using our RSS feed: http://www.buzzsprout.com/57229.rss

Newsnet.scot podcasts are professionally made to enhance your listening experience. Please support our ongoing media services by subscribing whatever you can afford. Thank you.

Craig Murray’s book, Sikunder Burnes, Master of the Great Game, is published by Birlinn; £25. Available from the publisher, or all the usual online retailers and good bookshops. Craig Murray also blogs here.







  1. A Scottish State disna need ony EU “sympathy” Craig. Scotlan’s main problem is no the Poles, its thon one million English immigrants tae Scotlan wha votet Naw. Thair culturally programmed tae vote agin Scottish nationhood.

    • I understood there was less than half a million English born voters in the referendum and half as many again Scots now living in England.

      And you assume that they all voted remain.

      • Heritage and family is a strong conditioner. The vast majority of second generation colonists will align with that force. In many cases, particularly within the land owning and professional upper middle classes where their social status relies on the perpetuation of english colonial control, it is common for that conditioning to run back many generations.

    • Historical census data indicates English born people to be the largest single immigrant group to Scotland over the last 100 years, and particularly evident in managerial and professional roles. Most ‘recent’ census data is now a bit out of date, and unlikely to be accurate anyway, or take account of recent rises in immigration over the last 5 years or more (e.g. those moving away from English cities (perhaps due to increases in immigration there, and also to access superior/free public services in Scotland etc). Voter registration increased by almost one third for Ref14, which was unprecedented (or unbelievable even). In addition to recent ongoing influxes, in my view this phenomenon could also be partly explained by registration of people living in RUK and owning holiday homes, 2nd/3rd homes, BTR property portfolios in Scotland, plus student rented properties, which totals several hundred thousand properties. As far as I can see there has been no research done to establish this was not the case. Voter intention surveys indicated over 80% of English folk living in Scotland would vote No in Ref14 (and a greater likelihood to vote), which is almost double the figure for those born in Scotland. That appears to suggest significant cultural differences. So one million may seem high, but only if you believe in outdated census data and dismiss the potential for ‘jiggery pokery’.

      • Well, we’d better not let them vote next time, then. What an appalling set of insinuations. Maybe you’d better join UKIP.

        • There is something to be said for allowing only those born and living in a country to vote on major constitutional matters, e.g. Luxembourg, David Cameron’s Brexit Ref etc etc etc. Had this been the case in Indyref1 2014 Scotland would have been independent by now.

  2. […] It has been a bit hectic, with over 100,000 unique visitors to this little blog in the past 24 hours. For a change of pace, here I am chatting with Derek Bateman, with a chance to consider the broader sweep of political events and historical trends. From the excellent Newsnet Scotland. […]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here