As daily it becomes more and more apparent that the so-called Iraqi National Council is widely regarded by the population as a "Vichy" government of collaborators, and almost weekly it becomes apparent that the "war on terrorism" is really aimed at attacks on civil liberties in Britain and the USA, the Eastern Daily Press carries a very apposite letter:
From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, April 8, 2004:
'Tory' policies are everywhere
Southgate Court, Snettisham.
The electorate is supposed to believe that because Norwich North MP Ian Gibson opposed New Labour's market policy of universities charging variable fees, he sided with the Tory opposition in the Commons vote last week.
In fact he was simply challenging another New Labour Tory policy.
The funding of higher education underlines how New Labour (not Labour) and the Tories are ideologically similar.
Since 1997 the simple problem that has beset the Tories is that New Labour has stolen the central Tory orthodoxy of free-market capitalism from right under their noses.
Each time that attack New Labour on any central issue they attack their own doctrine. They only reverted from their own policy of student loans and university top-up fees because New Labour copies it!
Hence it makes no odds who the electorate votes for, Tory policies still win!
Such a bi-partisan political climate greatly influences the medias's political presentation of many key issues and how voters perceive them.
For example the Tories and most of the 'free commercial' press have predictably exploited New Labour's incompetence over the forged immigration documents issue that resulted in Beverley Hughes' resignation, regardless of the racist overtones.
Yet they are remarkable silent over issues like the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly, whose duty was to report on the viability of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to go to war. One would have thought there would be a howl for a full-scale inquiry in the light of a professional medical surgeon finding that his death was not consistent with suicide.
Alas, silence, because New Labour is fulfilling its prime function in British politics - to smash the Labour left at a time when a left voice is more essential than ever before particularly in the light of the worsening situation in Iraq.
Occupations of France and Iraq: similarities
As the attitude and actions of the American forces in Iraq resembles (or is forced by the resistance in Iraq to resemble) the actions of the Nazis in occupied Paris it seems relevant to tell about a novel (semi-non-fictional) about the SOE and resistance in France that I have just finished reading (borrowed from Hingham library):
Early One Morning, Robert Ryan, London: Headline Book Publishing, 2002 ISBN 0 7472 6872 X (hardback); ISBN 0 7553 0093 9 (trade paperback).
The novel is inspired by the lives of the 1930s car racing drivers (Bugatti team) Robert Benoist and William Grover, and of Eve Aubicq, who later became a judge at the Crufts International Dog Show, and with quoted sources including those of SOE and the British Public Records Office.
As a (nearly) octagenarian, with a fairly extensive network of friends of my vintage in France) I am impressed by the author's understanding of the social and political situation in pre-WWII France (including the reason for the French government and ruling class treachery in 1940 AND the imperialist, but in 1941-5 enforcedly anti-fascist attitudes of the British establishment) - and so I can recommend this novel. [It is well to remember that even as late as 1959 Jews were refused membership of the premier golf club at Moor Park, Rickmansworth]. Particularly interesting, politically, are the final chapters covering the post-1945 (partly fictional), but probably typical, "histories" of both those in the Resistance and the Nazi occupation force.
Parallels between 1941/5 and 2004/? are vitally important to understand.
(Churchill - was one of few of his class who realized in 1941 that alliance with the hated communists of the Soviet Union was vital to the future of Britain [or rather the British Empire! - so rapidly disintegrated after the war, by the development of freedom movements in the Empire, AND, probably, to his surprise at the behest of the USA !!]. And yet, at the same time Churchill was looking ahead to the "war against communism" to follow - as I recall being so obviously retailed by certain of the staff when I was being trained at Royal Armoured Corps OCTU at Sandhurst in 1944 - only to be "officially" revealed in his Fulton speech in 1946)
This author seems to have appreciated all the above - and has written a spell-binding adventure novel involving it all.....