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29 March 2007

British humbug

Did you hear the snigger as Britain complained that Iran had broken international law

By Mark Thomas

It is an awkward question to ask but did anyone else hear the rest of the world sniggering?

I thought I heard it, that’s all. The sequence of events went like this: the unfortunate British soldiers were kidnapped by Iran, Britain announced that Iran had broken international law… and that was when I thought I heard a global giggle, though it could have been a snort of derision.

A similar noise was heard when Mr Blair announced that Darfur should have a no fly zone over it, a mocking sound, the sort of suppressed laugh that you might expect to hear were Jeffery Archer ever to make any pronouncements about the welfare and health of prostitutes.

The amazing aspect of the government’s behaviour is its state of denial, Britain has little or no moral high ground because of Iraq, and the New Labour government just can’t seem to accept their monumental failure and wrongness over Iraq.

Consider Geoff Hoon, being defence secretary will be the crowning point of his career. As such it is unlikely that he will ever condemn the invasion of Iraq and his role in it. He is probably proud of his part and I reckon every now and again he must glimpse the flames of Baghdad on the telly, nudge his wife on the sofa and say,” I did that. “That was me.” Smiling with the grin of three year old showing his parents a turd in the potty. I assume he does this as the only other response is for him to fall to his knees , screaming , “What have I done?”

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But at some point Hoon, like Blair must surely look at the score card and see the 2 million Iraqis internally displaced, refugees in their own country. They must see the Iraq Body Count website which only lists reported deaths, claiming the number of reported Iraqi civilian deaths as between 60,000 to 65,000.

We know Blair saw the Lancet study which estimated the number of civilians deaths to be closer to 650,000. We know Blair saw it because Number 10 tried to rubbish it, despite the MoD’s chief scientific adviser describing the Lancet’s methods as “robust” close to “best practice” and “balanced”.

So they know that nearly 10% of the population are refugees and 2.5% of the Iraqi population has been killed as a consequence of Bush and Blair’s military action. They also know: that more than 3,000 American troops are dead, that more than 100 British troops are dead, that the Iraqi Prime Minister doesn’t even want to be Prime Minster and that Iraqi oil is being divvied up like war booty.

And on the plus side for the invasion: the world got to see Saddam Hussein lynched on video phone.

Meanwhile, in the absence of any international moral standing the fate of 15 British soldiers in Iran is dependent on Margaret Beckett … poor bastards! Look at her and ask yourself if you would leave the fate of 15 humans in her hands, well would you? I wouldn’t trust her to feed the goldfish for the weekend.

Hain scale of cynicism

A few weeks back Peter Hain appeared on TV saying that Rory Bremner‘s hoax call to Margaret Beckett was breeding cynicism in the British public towards politicians. Imagine the cynicism required for Hain to say that. The amount is so great that I believe we should use the word ‘Hain’ as a measurement for cynicism, combining his name with the 8 points of the Richter scale. So just about anything Tessa Jowell says would register about a 2 on the Hain scale and going up to 8 on the Hain scale, for just about anything that Hain says.

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