Murray Sayle

Murray Sayle, a veteran foreign correspondent, died in September 2010.

Diary: The Makiko and Junichiro Show

Murray Sayle, 17 October 2002

A personable, middle-aged woman, humiliated beyond bearing, bursts into tears. Her boss reacts with a crude male-chauvinist taunt, and fires her. Their tiff starts a scandal and stalls a nation’s economic recovery, maybe the world’s. A villain is arrested, more run for cover. This is the Makiko and Junichiro Show, and it has kept the Japanese population glued to its TV screens...

On the night of 30 January 1972, Murray Sayle was sent to Londonderry to report on the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed civil rights marchers by the British Army Paratroopers – ‘the Bloody Sunday of Irish legend and British embarrassment’. The article he wrote didn’t agree with the official line. ‘There must be some other explanation,’ he later said. ‘There are only two that are remotely possible: a deliberate massacre or a monumental bungle. There is a fork in the road.’ The article was never printed, and his copy was discarded. He failed to find it on his return to the Sunday Times office; his report was not among the documents deposited in the Public Record Office in Kew after the official Inquiry. Twenty-six years later, in February 1998, it reappeared, unearthed by the new Inquiry. In what follows, he returns to Derry to give evidence.

A spectre is haunting America: the spectre of anti-Communism. In a word, Vietnam. Only three weeks into the bombing war in Afghanistan, the dreaded word ‘quagmire’ headed a New York Times piece by the Vietnam-era commentator R.W. Apple Jr, pointing out the ‘many echoes’ between the new conflict and the war America tries hard to forget. A rash of articles erupted,...

By the wise contrivance of the Author of nature, virtue is upon all ordinary occasions, even with regard to this life, real wisdom, and the surest and readiest means of obtaining both safety and advantage.

Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments

On 13 March President George W. Bush wrote to four Republican Senators informing them that he would not be ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, aimed...

It is nearly ten years since Japan was about to take over the known world. Until a month ago, the United States seemed unable to put a foot wrong. Then it, too, showed ominous signs of faltering. Can Japan’s mysterious ailment, whatever it is, be spreading? Japan came third last in the OECD’s table of industrialised and would-be industrialised member nations’ growth for 1999,...

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