Guest Writings
03/02/04 Strange week in politics by Edward Teague

After the rain the floods are promised.

It now transpires that Mark Byford, now the temporary DG of the BBC was at University with … Geoff Hoon… who it transpires once lent his car to Byford to take out his (now wife) girlfriend to propose to her (and no doubt impress her) … however the sight of his double fronted and well buttoned underpants should have warned her … despite this they have 5 kids).

Lord Hutton was of course chosen by Lord Falconer who used to share his flat with the husband of Cherie Blair. Lord Hutton (of NI) it was who helped produce the Widgery Repoprt on Bloody Sunday which was manifestly a whitewash of noble proportions and is now being re-examined at considerable cost and not inconsiderable benefit to m’learned friends in NI and elsewhere. (The meter is at £120Mn plus and running). The main revelation is that Gerry Adams has admitted that when he was young, he was momentarily, for a short misguided time … you know what youth is…a member of the IRA. Well that came as a surprise to everyone, I can tell you … and well worth every penny of that £120Mn +.

Incidentally, a la the fondness of the press for juxtaposing meaningless figures Hows this ?

6 months
Time it takes Lord Hutton to whitewash UK Government, MI5, MI6, MOD, Prime Ministers press Office, Prime Minister, assorted Ministers etc and blame Mr Gilligan for “3 minutes of madness” one may morning at 6.07 am.

2 weeks
Time it takes for Mr Geoff Hoon who is stated to be Minister of Defence to accept examine, consult and approve the trebling of the size of USAF Fylingdales, its buildings and antennae, radomes and other surface structures (no mention of underground ones) staff and associated support services to accommodate as yet unproven (and no doubt yet to be designed) anti-missile, missile defences.

Never let it be said that MR Hoon doesn’t do any work, nor that our troops were sent to invade inadequately armed, equipped and without a clear battle plan.

AS a consequence of reading about the Paris Peace Conference, Woodrow Wilson et al I have been boning up on the history of post Ottoman Iraq (in those far off days of English (i.e not US) Empire they called it el Iraq ). Lord Curzon the For sec previously S of S for India

'My name is George Nathanial Curzon
I am a most important person,
My chin is smooth, my hair is sleek.
I dine at Blenheim, twice week……alleged Belloc but otherwise Anon.

He married a society beauty who died early in childbirth and you may examine the fabulous Peacock Dress at Kedleston Hall, his family seat, which his wife wore at the Delhi Durbah in 1912. This fabulous creation designed by Chloé of Paris was hand made by many skilled seamstresses in India using semi precious stones, gold and silver threads, the wing cases of brilliant scarab beetles, pearls, etc., so the train resembled that of a peacock.

Evidently outsourcing labour to India is no new phenomenom. (Incidentally Patricia Hewitt is this week organising a section of the DTI to examine the effects of outsourcing clerical tasks to British commerce) probably as worthwhile an endeavour as attempting to discover whether there were any WMD’s (whatever they are) prior to the arrival of the invading forces of Empire.

Incidentally I am beginning to have doubts about the authenticity of the “Saddam” captured. Previous photographs show SH had two sebacious (fatty) cysts like lumps on his left cheek, one mid cheek and one lower nearer the line of the lip. Noticeably absent on the evidently drugged photos of the prisoner.

Anyway, Curzon was on record as saying that the last result they wanted in selecting Faisal was “a narrow oligarchy, led by clever lawyers”. It strikes me that is a pretty good description of New Labour and to some extent their coalition, bi-partisan friends over Iraq in Parliament, Blair, Straw, Hoon, Howard exemplified by the anally retentive demi-precise language to which they resort, using words like “resile from that statement”, “I did not call him a liar” (Howard today on Sky News) this in arguing about whether he said Blair was a stranger to the truth.

Their apparent fixation with honesty, probity, integrity, truth overrides and overreaches simple common sense, ie SH had weapons he could launch within 45 minutes. Did no one ask the Spook johnnies what weapons? Where were they known to be located, what would their targets be, what was in their warheads, (Chemicals, bio, nuclear), which armed groups possessed these weapons, did we have photographs? drawings? samples, examples of test firing, satellite imagery of launch sites, transport vehicles? Where did the 45 minutes come from ? Could we launch weapons as fast? If he could hit Cyprus, well why not Tel Aviv?

What was the source, expats, disaffected emigres? Chalabi and his mohair suited apparatchiks (and chicks).

Whatever the evidence it is now called into question by the resigning Ministers. Although I think the only thing I would consult Clare Short about is the relative merits of Oxfam or Sue Ryder as a source for polyester scarves. One can only hope that Isadora Duncan fashion, deprived of her Ministerial chariot she may become entangled in the wheels of a bus (or maybe a taxi).

Dubya's Special Advisor on the Middle East, Condi continues to fascinate, as I am sure she does George. Her overnight stays in the Gubernatorial mansion in Austin, her new riches as employee, shareholder and consultant to Exxon Chevron (associated of course with JD Rockyfeller) and cutesy naming of a VERY large crude tanker for her.

She did of course accompany Dubya on his trip to Baghdad at Christmas but remained non-evident in any of the surrounding brouhaha, razzamatazz and photo-ops, although she was covered in a blanket by George wearing her Oakland Raiders hat (no other items of clothing worn by her appear in press reports at the time).

Miss Rice is a apparently a bit of a whizz on the violin and could by all accounts have made a career of music. She also is known to give pre-match talks to the Raiders – although this does not seem to have had any appreciable effect on their play, or success on the field.

She has remarkably muscular calves and very poor dress sense, or maybe the Irish Green of her suit and twin set when she announced the absence of WMD’s after Mr Kay rather spilt the beans did jar somewhat.

I have just discovered through the cracked mirror of the BBC that the first episode of Dr Who was aired the day after Kennedy (DEM. President (N very Ex) of US) was shot in Dallas.

I remember where I was when I heard of the shooting, but not this historic TV achievement. Perhaps we could set up an enquiry into why this star crossed combination occurred. Maybe even start looking for events the day after 9/11/publishing passenger lists which omit the guys who were said to be the bombers…perhaps Scotty beamed them up there… or am I getting confused?

Anyway I notice the Dubya hasn’t been pushing the pork barrel in our direction and that the post invasion bonanza hasn’t been fattening the company coffers in the willing partners of the coalition. There is a company that clears unexploded ordnance, land mines, stray cluster bomblets, based in Surrey, UK but they are owned by a German company whose Head Office is based in Vaduz, Lichtenstein (who have the highest car ownership per head in the world).

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