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Blair plans Iraq 'honours list'

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, this one's really pathetic.

According to a leaked government memo Blair is proposing an honours list for civil servants who worked on the Iraq disinfo in the run-up to war.

That is to say: the people who worked on the sexed-up dossier (ie those who constructed the lies that led to war at Blair's behest) are to be rewarded.

There are two things majorly wrong with this:

1) The audacity of rubbing the public's face in the dirt. Basically saying: these people lied, they sent us to war on false premises and caused the death of thousands of innocent people on a spurious premise - we're going to reward them.

2) Who the hell is Blair to reward people with OBE's for carrying out his own policy that my friends, is totalitarianism in protean form, unBritish, unprecedented and just not cricket.

There are very worrying signs in Blair's government. He is way ahead of the pack on the road to dictatorship.

Right now they are pushing through a highly dangerous bill which has serious ramifications. Basically it is this:

In the event of a terrorist attack which neutralises significant parts of the government (interesting phraseology and suitably vague) then the Home Secretary (or acting Home secretary) will have full executive powers of Government.

If you live in the UK (or anywhere else that may follow suit) you should be worried. The UK has no Constitution - the Government is the final arbiter, ie it makes the law.

In the event of 'terrorist attack' that 'neutralises' Parliament's power to make these laws, the acting Home Secretary will have all the powers of Government

That is to say, he will be the Government. Solely. Any law he passes will be law. Perfectly legal in International Law if this Bill goes through.

I'd say that's cause for concern.
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post #2 of 13
I'll leave the country the day when Blunkett becomes the government.

If I ever meet the guy, I'll take a baseball bat to his head. At least he wont see it coming.
post #3 of 13
Have we suddenly moved to Bizarro Britain? I would expect an extremely negative public reaction: after admitting that the intelligence was wrong, how can he expect this to work? If this is real, then will the opposition be able to exploit it successfully?

It seems that it's hard work sexing up dodgy dossiers.

Quote:
If I ever meet the guy, I'll take a baseball bat to his head. At least he wont see it coming.

You just earned a place on his special list. It's for your own good.
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post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Stoo
If this is real, then will the opposition be able to exploit it successfully?

There is no opposition.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #5 of 13
More like "will the oppostion actually live up to their name for once?" then.
Stoo
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post #6 of 13
Hysteria and a line about killing a blind man with a baseball bat, welcome to AO. Which bill are they pushing through? Do you mean the Civil Contingencies Bill ? Here, read the PDF. Link to Parliament

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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Alex London
Hysteria and a line about killing a blind man with a baseball bat, welcome to AO. Which bill are they pushing through? Do you mean the Civil Contingencies Bill ? Here, read the PDF. Link to Parliament

Yep - that's the bill and it does what it says on the tin.

Is it that you think the mechanics for totalitarianism are not being put in place or that you think they could never be put in place (in jolly old Blighty) ?

Btw: before the run-up to the run-up to the propaganda to justify the invasion of Iraq, someone else on another board called it 'hysteria' when I mooted the possibility that after Afghanistan would come Iraq.

If hysteria is what it takes to wake up the snoozing sheep (even though the truck is just about at the abatoir gates) then we need more hysteria imo, if it needs to go to 11 then bring it on.

Now what about that Blair and his 'honours list' eh ?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #8 of 13
Have you read the Bill? Where does it bring a Totalitarian state? There is no mention of full executive powers that I can find, nor the neutralisation of parliament. It is an emergency powers bill, as such it repeals like-minded bills going back to the 20s, 30s 40s etc. Any emergency regulations have to go before parliament and are time limited to 30 days from their passing etc.. IMO the last time Blighty was totalitarian was during WW2 so of course it's possible here, just not through this bill.
As for the leak about honours, civil servants are always on these lists. You vehemently disagree with the policy over Iraq, fair enough.

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" It's like you've achieved some kind of irrelevance zen, or...

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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by Alex London
IMO the last time Blighty was totalitarian was during WW2

It was mildly authoritarian at most, but that's hardly surprising, given that it in was war-time and under a Tory-led government.

But distinction of such nuances is often lost on youth.

Should Britain be visited by actual state of war once again (and no, I'm not talking about some far-away South-Atlantic escapades or some Mesopotamian adventures) and for more than a decade, then democracy and the rule of law might begin to erode under the pressure of constant warfare.

Anyway, it would neither be the first nor the last time such rewards are bestowed upon civil servants for whatever pretexts.
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post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
But distinction of such nuances is often lost on youth.

Wow! Such arrogance!

It's a complete fallacy to believe that only war could bring even the slight erosion of democracy and the rule of law.
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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by bunge
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
But distinction of such nuances is often lost on youth

Wow! Such arrogance!

To observe there is some nuance between mild-authoritarianism (such as that of WW2 Britain) and actual totalitarianism?
To read the description as totalitarian of WW2 UK, or present-day UK, or US, etc., written by relatively young people and to observe that said nuance is lost on them?

Quote:
Originally posted by bunge
It's a complete fallacy to believe that only war could bring even the slight erosion of democracy and the rule of law.

Perhaps if you didn't attempt to paraphpase me and then to reply to yourself, you'd be less confused.
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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Immanuel Goldstein
To observe there is some nuance between mild-authoritarianism (such as that of WW2 Britain) and actual totalitarianism?
To read the description as totalitarian of WW2 UK, or present-day UK, or US, etc., written by relatively young people and to observe that said nuance is lost on them?

You cant be talking about me Immanuel - I'm officially a grumpy old man.

You're right though, what we are seeing is a proto-totalitarianism. It's not the finished article.

All the ingredients are in place:

unquestioning and unthinking brainwashed sheep-like populace

establishing the 'fact' of the 'demon-foreigner' who is to be blamed for all woes

gradual systematic erosion of rights of the citizens

placement of apparatus to quell dissent should it be necessary

a granted blank-cheque for our 'leaders' to lie on the grandiose scale without fear of any recourse


It just needs fine tuning. Maybe another grand-stand 'terrorist outrage' and we're ready to roll.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally posted by segovius
You cant be talking about me Immanuel - I'm officially a grumpy old man.

It was a general observation based upon life experience in the time between 1950 and 2000, rather than a judgement of individuals.
You individually could as well be a grumpy old man or among the young at heart for all I know, but I take your word for it.

Quote:
You're right though, what we are seeing is a proto-totalitarianism. It's not the finished article.

There are several trends which could lead to worrying consequences, but it's not even comparable to the Weimar republic atmosphere circa 1925.

Quote:
All the ingredients are in place:

unquestioning and unthinking brainwashed sheep-like populace

What I mostly note is apathy, and there is much questioning and even discrediting of the model of representative democracy and mixed-economy (which has been the common stapel of the developed world, to varying degrees sicne 1945), whether in favour of some wild vaguye revolutionary utopia, a return to some factice industrial-age laissez-faire dystopia, or to some fundamentalist mirage; with the occasional apologia for strong leadership be it the kind of the now gone stranglehold of Mexico's PRI, or of Malaysia's Asian values paternalism.

Quote:
establishing the 'fact' of the 'demon-foreigner' who is to be blamed for all woes

It seems to me the identity of the demon varies according to how one identifies one's own affiliation, which is why those comfortable in the company of a televangelist like Pat Robertson would not be in the company of a Telequranist like Yusuf al-Qardawi. Needless to say (but I do, for the sake of the innocents and the perplexed) I would be very uncomfortable around both characters as well as their comparses from other creeds.

Some would see the demon in whatever ethnic/religious/national group they identify with themselves, just to to be safe from being racist, making them no better than those seeing the demon in whatever ethnic/religious/national group they don't identify with.

So we have not one major hysteria directed against one single group, but multiple hysterias each with its own demon of choice.

Quote:
gradual systematic erosion of rights of the citizens

Having lived through the nineteen-fifties and sixties I found developed democracies have mostly progressed in that department (and I look like a foreigner in most of them).

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placement of apparatus to quell dissent should it be necessary

For an opinion diverging from that of the government to be dissent and for an apparatus to quell it, there first needs to be a prohibition of all such opinions.
While the existing state of affairs is not liberal enogh to my taste at some times, and rather too tolerant of actual incitement at others (but then my own opinon on the matter is not a relevant yardstick), it is, all in all quite reasonable.

Quote:
a granted blank-cheque for our 'leaders' to lie on the grandiose scale without fear of any recourse

Forgive me if I find blank-cheque and grandiose a little to vague to comment on.

Quote:
It just needs fine tuning. Maybe another grand-stand 'terrorist outrage' and we're ready to roll.

As long as the majority of the populations in your kind of countries keep enjoying peace-time prosperity and a relative public order, such outcome remains unlikely. But should said populations experience a deep long-term upheaval that would shatter their everyday existence (whether a war or some other kind of acute crisis), then you should start worrying.

Experience from the twentieth century also shows that in most countries where totalitarian dictatorship took hold, it was immedialtely preceded by a weakening of the state leading to violent chaos.

So I won't be joining in any such hysteria for the time being, despite my cultural predisposition toward that.
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