I do still from time to time meet up with Newsnight. I actually like Paxman’s contorted countenance as he grasps with the latest implausible interpretations initiated by some cataclysmically corrupt contributor to the daily dissection of the densest, deepest and most disgusting detritus of our society. Yeah, politicians.
He was not there last night and, instead, it was the prim Kirstywark who does not have anything like as malleable a visage as Jeremy. She has a smile – I think – and a grovel but, sadly often appears to be merely catching up. Maybe that’s just the auto-cue. “I am a Dalek and I must exterminate. Oh, sorry, wrong tape.” Anyway, she’s “good on culture” and does the Arts spin-off section of the programme but gets a couple of nights of real skullduggery each week, doing the main news side whilst J rests in the cupboard, scheming which boil he can lance on his next outing.
So there she was and there was included a theme – “Ten Years After”. Incredibly, ten long and disastrous years have passed since Tony Bliar’s UK mercenaries joined in with Halliburton’s United States backed hostile takeover bid for Ay-rack plc. We’ve all watched as the whole Middle East has festered, from Beirut all the way to Kabul as well as now including Northern Africa, as dictators have been slaughtered almost as carelessly as their general public. We saw the “Shock and Awe” as the United States arms industry held a very public trade show, courtesy of the good people of Baghdad. It was very generous of them to allow their city to be used like that but, hey, Halliburton were offering very good rates to rebuild it later. They’d just take those messy oil wells offa them.
Anyway Kirsty had apparently entertained a rent-a-crowd in the studio the previous night to chew over how they all felt about it now, “in retrospect”. There were no corpses lined up to give their opinions, nor kids from Falluja to display their “Glow-in-the-dark” depleted-life-outcomes. There was no film of the beauty of any “Garden of Eden” now emerging from the grim piles of rubble nor description of any inter-faith and inter-tribal harmony emerging anywhere. But apparently they did talk and agree that Ay-rack still needs a bit of work doing. And, hey, the oil is flowing.
Part two of this fulsome tribute to the Military-Industrial complex, Kirsty proudly told us, was to follow tonight. Apparently with no permission from anyone Newsnight had again Broken the Rules. They just will not learn, will they? This time they had illegally gone to the Crypt, exhumed Tony Bliar and transported him through the darkness to the Newsnight studio.
Aghast, I sat there, transfixed. They just could not get away with this, I thought. I could see why there was no Paxman present – “for he’s garlic” I grimly smiled “and he’d probably carry an oaken spear”. The face, unclear behind the haze created by his accumulated blood money, showed, however, the remnants of the Cliff Richard choir boy face-paint-by-numbers kit so beloved by Cherry, his grooming assistant. But now it was flaking and, as repayments on his pact were obviously being made, he looked increasingly drained.
Kirsty showed no remorse and kept a straight face. OK, I mean she kept her only face. Handy that, when you’re surely feeling deeply guilty for what you’re undertaking.
“Given” – and I paraphrase her here, as I took no notes – “Given that Iran is the United States worst enemy and given that they certaainly have weapons of masss destruction, could it not be said that what we have achieeved in Ay-rack, which, as we all know is an ineffectual zombie land only fit to export oil to we victors as its people fester in their hovels, ruled by a sectarian despot. Given all that, which you have given us, shouldn’t you just have left Saddam in place?”
The result was terrible. He opened his mouth. And then words fell off his snake tongue. And I could hear once more the sly malplacing of syllables and the twisted misdirection of thought.
In allowing the pretense to discuss the out and out disaster that the initial invasion of Iraq was and the appalling nature of every action since that time having compounded the problem, Bliar was being given a platform to denigrate and evilize Iran. And, of course, Syria as well. This was not a retrospective – this was out and out war mongering.
He started to tell us how awful things had got for the people of Syria, being killed and all that and, yes, his answer was to further arm the rebel mercenaries so as to increase the weight of the siege and the sum total of death and destruction. “I know a good car-bomb manufacturer” his eyes seemed to say. Once again working as sales rep for the arms industry with the sincerity and humanity of a cornered psychopath. Oh, yes, for that’s exactly what he is.
I turned off the broadcast, hoping that this time, when they return him to the darkness, they throw away the key. For that man embodies the essence of evil. The deaths of far too many good people and the suffering of so many more are etched upon his soul.