The January British dossier, quoted by Colin Powell in his persuasive UN Security Council speech earlier this week, was knocked up by a bunch of clowns at Downing Street, labouring under the auspices of the former Daily Mirror journalist Alastair Campbell, from some PhD student's thesis and a 1990 book called "Saddam's Secrets"
So, this information on which we are basing our decision to go to war, to risk the lives of thousands and possibly millions of people, which could have unforeseen consequences in the Middle East, America and Europe, is not in fact the work of our assiduous, semi-respected intelligence services and those of our neighbours, but rather the work of Alastair Campbell's assistant and some tosspot who compiles Downing Street's website.
What really, really astounds me is that they even replicated the grammatical and spelling errors in Ibrahim al-Marashi's PhD. For Pete's sake, didn't any of you people *ever* copy someone's homework at school? You *always* change the word order and correct the spellings, that's just common bloody sense.
It shows an utter contempt for the voters and for the dishonorable denizens of the fourth estate. Both will punish them.
To think they wouldn't get caught, that they could so nakedly try to manipulate public opinion with information which -- judging by the number of disgruntled leaks from MI6, MI5 and the Foreign Office -- is exaggerated and partisan at best, and downright dishonest at worst, is an insult to our intelligence. the traditional Friday pub straw poll would suggest that people aren't just narked about being lied to, they're actively angry.
They've made Tony Blair look like an absolute pillock and discredited all their information, which is a shame because I am willing to bet that a great deal of it is sound. If I were the Right Honorable Member for Texas North, I would be going in for some serious arse-kicking this weekend.
There's a big anti-war demo planned for next weekend. I wouldn't be surprised if that ended up larger than the anti-poll tax demonstrations in 1991. The anti-poll movement led to a riot in London that caused more than £4 million damage, widespread public insurrection, and eventually brought down Margaret Thatcher (may she contract painful a haemorrhoidal condition). I wonder what this one will bring.
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Kill Me Now, Pt 1: This week, I read Dangermouse/Penfold BDSM slash. Wrongness! Wrongness everywhere!
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I'm not against war under any circumstances, even though I profoundly disagree with my government's stance on the issue, so I wouldn't feel right about going on the anti-war march. Fortunately (ho ho ho) the decision has been taken away from me.
The bastards upstairs have asked me to work that day, and the idiot writing this has agreed. The minute I sent the email to say that I would work, I felt like an oppressive ten-tonne cowl had gone over my head.
So. Not doing it again after next week. Nope. Definitely Not. Honestly.
But the war would be good news if I were to want extra work: there are always more late shifts when you're going for a 3.30am slip edition to get in news of the bombing raids. It's a good timezone for London, an even better one for the night-time news bulletins in the US. We will get to see lots of shiney rockets go bang. Well, hurrah [/sarcasm]
It's a scary thing when a Bill Hicks sketch about the 1991 Gulf war sounds as if it was written this morning, and every single point in it is absolutely true.
I did contemplate posting some stats about defence spending, the cost of war and so on, but you could get 'em all yourself if you were interested. I don't want to bang on about the possibility for war because it is *so* depressing and I don't have anything new to say.
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I held off on posting about the Michael Jackson film on Monday because I didn't want to post spoilers, but really they should have retitled it
Let's leave aside the bad weirdness. I don't think that Michael Jackson would abuse those children in a sexual way; he seems rather revolted by sexual references. The !!inappropriate!! alarm was sounding pretty much from the beginning, and reached red-alert Vworp! Vworp! factor 10 when it came to his own children. I would definitely not be letting any child of mine within 50 miles of Neverland.
However, Michael Jackson claims he was manipulated and the film was edited to paint a picture which didn't relate to reality.
What the hell did he expect?
I cannot for the life of me understand what his advisors thought they were doing, letting Bashir have reasonably unfettered access for eight months. Martin Bashir may have been a relatively sympathetic audience for Princess Diana, but there is reason to believe he had much less editorial freedom for that film. Also, there were sanctions if he decided to monster Diana, an establishment that would rally round for damage limitation if nothing else.
Michael Jackson has already been monstered by the British tabloid press, who are some of the most rottweilerishly unpleasant people on the face of the planet. (And since I used to work for a tab-with-pretensions, I know whereof I speak.) What on earth made them think that Bashir would pull his punches, given the compelling, unsettling weirdness of his subject and the fact that Jackson cannot possibly impose any sanctions on Bashir or ITV?
Some have argued that Martin Bashir pulled the fake sympathy pose to elicit revelations from Jackson, and pushed him to answer difficult questions when his subject was clearly agitated and upset.
That's probably true. Martin Bashir was manipulative. However, that's his JOB, and if Michael Jackson isn't bright enough to realise that, too bad.
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Kill Me Now Pt 2: the Smallville story isn't going away from the mentalscape.
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I bought the new Tom McRae album, Just Like Blood this week. They're really pushing McRae as the new David Gray, Mr Angst-ridden Guitar Bloke, but he's a little more twisted than David Gray and his new album certainly isn't so immediate as White Ladder
He's opted to take the orchestral route, rather than being one man and his guitar, and I'm not sure it works. His songs thrive on being claustrophobic and intense, but the broader arrangements open them out and dilute their power. (or perhaps I am just not used to the album yet) I can recommend his first album though. Twisted, strange lyrics, spare arrangements, and perhaps a little too much sixth-form poetry, but I forgive him anyway.
I notice that the record company has opted for a TV advertising campaign this time around, with slots on VH1, the Q Channel and so on. I hope this doesn't mean that I've missed the chance to see Tom McRae somewhere intimate like the Borderline because he's going to be playing barns like Earl's Court. That would be double-plus ungood.
[I know where Tom McRae lives. Found out by accident. This makes me feel like stalker-girl.]