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Political Peccadillo
Thursday, January 29, 2004
  Blair, Top-up fees, Kelly, Hutton, BBC and The Sun: Diffusing the clouds

Within two days Tony Blair’s government has seen the top-up fees higher education bills pass the first vote – by five – and been cleared of any malfeasance in Lord Hutton’s inquiry into the death of MoD weapons scientist David Kelly. Gloat on.

Well TB has passed the biggest week/test/enema of his career. In the clear the cretinous smile will stay fixed on for some time. He can now look forward to implementing the Higher (Price) Education Bill. And he was exonerated from any wrongdoing into the death of Kelly, who, the report says, could not have been expected to kill himself like that and what was he doing talking to journalists anyhow? The 45-minute stuff was NOT a sex-up inclusion but a minor factoid already there and based on the quality intelligence (?!) they had at the time. Better than that, the BBC was singled out for criticism – Gilligan, Sambrook and co are all amateurs. Davies and Dyke have already resigned. Blair is considering action on the BBC. We can gloss over who leaked the report to The Sun: can’t have been anything to do with no 10 (but very handy that the biggest opinion former among the masses was able to get hold of it first).

The Mutton retort is a fuggin huge document (740 pages – 340 odd the report, 350 odd appendices – plus CD-Rom, for £70; or free online) and is a remarkable piece of blustering obfuscation designed to clear the government of lying about WMD/reasons for invading Iraq in the minds of those publics. Even though that was not the remit of the report and it does not talk about the motivation for the invasion of Iraq in a wider context beyond the erroneous 45-minute claim (which, according to the retirement pension-mindful Lord Button, is not erroneous because the government included it in their dossier of evidence 'in good faith', irrespective of whether it was right or wrong). The motive for the invasion was wrong; the initial reasons given bullshit; the further explanation even more so. Only Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy has seemed to see through this pretence of doing right over a death and has called for a separate inquiry. “It is not a report on why we went to war in Iraq and many people up and down the country want a report on that” – forthrighted BBC1’s Andrew Marr, perhaps remembering for once what side he was on.

Said Blair: "It leaves no room for doubts or interpretation. We accept it in full…. The allegation that I or anyone else lied to this House or deliberately misled the country by falsifying intelligence on WMD is itself the real lie” – THEY BELIEVED THIS SHITE. Iraq Survey Group inspector David Kay can go on as much as he likes about the lack of Baathist WMD but it’s item 5 on the agenda and people have switched off by then.

The BBC, as state broadcaster, is a sitting duck. It cannot criticise government too sharply otherwise it will be shot/shut down amid a hail of accusations of Stalinist structures and it cannot act as an unexpurgated mouthpiece for government propaganda, much as Campbell and co. would like it to, as it would rightly be seen as an instrument of an overpowerful executive. What to do with this irritatingly objective and publicly accountable institution? Hand the ammunition to News International organs and let them shoot it down and benefit accordingly from the absence of a public service broadcaster (as well as nicking all their journalists). As with the NHS, if the Tories tried to undermine the public service ethos of the BBC in this manner there would be civil unrest on a scale beyond the few pub scraps in Hampstead that this episode has (probably) provoked.

If there is one lesson to the public from Hutton it is to keep away from things you don’t understand; you can’t be trusted to understand why politicians do things; the governing classes are superior, so either aspire to join them (without actually doing so, please) or get fucked because we haven’t got time for slow coaches who don’t understand, like Dr Kelly (more on the relationship between the public and govt in our next blog).

Gilligan should have led on the sheer faulty intelligence of the claim rather than whether the govt knew it was wrong. But he is ‘guilty’ only of dramatic use of language, writing for Associated Newspapers and being a fat man who fits no suit. Oh, and getting involved in a personal spat with Alistair Campbell (like he’s the only one to object to the Maxwell protégé’s pragmatic abuse of journalists and journalism). He didn’t blatantly fabricate a story, as a Sky journalist did (he’s dead though).

The BBC’s over-protective stance at the time was misjudged, but there are not many media orgs where the publisher, director and chairman oversee every strand of copy ever released. That’s ‘defective’ editorial procedure for you. Regarding the naming of Kelly, there was probably no explicit identification. But trained lawyer Blair and co know how to pull the media in a certain direction without implicating themselves. Basic manipulation even before the legal sophistry of the report.

Students get stuffed

As Blair has again threatened public services (earlier today in a Guardian-sponsored ‘summit on public services’ in, er, Rickmansworth) : “The lesson the Labour Party in Government should not learn is to shy away from radical reform. A future fair for all. That is our mission. Cease to meet the challenge of the future – the reason for the reforms in education, health and crime – and we cease to have a purpose in Government. My purpose in politics is governed not by doing the job, but by what the job can do. It’s the only basis worth being Prime Minister. When our further reforms, to which I will turn in a moment, are published in June, and taken to Party Conference in October, they will not be a retreat from reform but a quickening of its pace.” Prime sinister indeed.

The government triumphed by turning top-up fees into a vote on Blair's premiership but the quintet quorate may ensure that no more policies like this are dumped on the PLP by the centre-right market heads who advise Blur. Especially when the last manifesto carried an explicit commitment to legislate against the introduction of top-up fees. This policy process (of Blair being convinced of the market reality of private treatment centres carrying out ‘non-urgent’ NHS work/privatisation of the Forensic Science Service/National Air Traffic Control/London Underground/Council Housing stock/Government IT projects etc by the various KPMG, Anderson/Accenture, IPPR wankers who have seeped into no. 10 in growing numbers since 1997) is malign and corrupt; much like the relationship of the Sun with the establishment.

Political anathema as these developments undoubtedly are, WhoreCull still aims to see past the resolute short-termism/addiction for a private fix of the government in higher education. People already had more faith in the integrity of the BBC than the govt anyway, while clearly those who opposed the war – and the growing numbers seeing that continued involvement in Iraq is nigh-on-disastrous – are not going to pay any attention to the Hutton findings because – as discussed above – the war was a grand guignol from the off.
 

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Wednesday, January 21, 2004
  Educational eugenics


US Govt No Child HomepageGregPalast.com

President Bush used the State of the Union address to defend the No Child Left Behind Act, which was passed two years ago. It aims “to create the best educational opportunities for our children and to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed” through constant analysis of both pupil and institution – very much like the over-concentration on league tables, etc in the UK. "We are regularly testing every child... and making sure they have better options when schools are not performing,” Bush said.

This modern trend of complete accountability not only ignores the American principle of local differences and local say in education, but there is an immigration issue here too. The present level of immigration and migrants doing the worst jobs in the service sector for the lowest pay, while economically acceptable, is a political anathema to Republicans. The masked Texan has been characteristically duplicitous on immigration by recently granting an amnesty for illegal immigrants (good for the Hispanic vote, if you believe that most Hispanic Americans vote(d) for Bush because they hear(d) him speaking Spanish rather than listening to what he was saying). This is clearly a case of “last call before massive fences go up along the US border with Mexico'.

Future illegal immigrants, if they aren't shot by border guards, will not find poorly paid work so easy to come by as Huxley’s Morons will have been brought to life as a defined social class in the US. That appears to me to be another potential outcome of Bush’s proposed social engineering masquerading as heart-rending kiddie-concern. Catch those not performing early and lock them into a cycle of stupidity that will be exceptionally difficult to break, although some definitely will break it; even without the Soma. Certainly there will be insufficient $$$ forthcoming in federal or state budgets to improve the educational/social landscape under another Republican administration.

New York journalist Greg Palast was forthright on the ‘No Child’s Left Behind’ act, arguing this point that it won’t necessarily be the catalyst to improve any kid’s record, but will simply be an early marker of his or her likely future status. Addressing Bush, he said: “You know and I know that this is not an educational opportunity program – because you offer no opportunities, no hope, no plan, no funding. Rather, it is the new Republican social Darwinism, educational eugenics: identify the nation's loser-class early on. Trap them, then train them cheap.”

Check out the US Dept of Education's highly illuminating powerpoint presentation here.
 
Friday, January 09, 2004
  Trash programme host axed after Arabs blamed again

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3383589.stm

There is a strong suspicion that Robin Smallboy Milk is the first right-wing Christian suicide columnist. No doubt he’ll keep his job with the Socialist (his word) Richard Desmond but he has martyred his personal BBCTV judge-in in the name of his views and the ‘bravery’ you need to make such comments in today's politically correct society (one Culler believes that future right-wing comment on this will produce an average of 58 conflations per sentence).

With such a stunningly ignorant and bellicose spew, the controversial, nay cretinous narcissist surely has one (dangerously vapid) eye on the US ‘market’. Such rabid bollocks would be more than welcome on Fox News and would serve to distract some US viewers further from having a personal view through the combined weapons of an English accent and the spurious assumption of credibility that the fact he was a Labour MP (1974-1986) bestows.

Robert Kilroy Silk (born Nigel Shat in Ventnor, Isle of Wight, 1170) is known to most people in the UK as a TV presenter of dubious motivation and ability. To some Cullers he is also regarded as a cultural cancer that latched onto the US early morning TV format ‘before anyone else’ and set about emotionally assaulting most of his disadvantaged guests and creating absurdly simplistic moral paradigms that enabled him to apply his own, bespoke moral balm that made/makes him feel good about himself.

Kilroy was, of course, gloriously and memorably trashed once before on C. Morris’s excellent Jam – the sketch was presciently titled ‘The day Kilroy lost his mind’ and featured him crashing in supermarket freezers and pissing on Dixons’ TV screens. It is possible that Robert has kept this effrontery to his status in the said mind. In an interview with the Reader’s Digest (see below), Chris Morris, sorry, Rob Kilroy said he was “totally impervious to criticism outside of his family”, in answer to a question about what he thought his best trait was. This excessive protestation leaves us convinced that such a fevered and sociopathic ‘face’ becomes irrational and unreasonable when someone abuses him and practically genocidal when someone takes the piss out of him.

Hopefully, a prize fucker has been smoked out but we await the response of the PR spin gurus and other malign cosmetic surgeons before celebrating the demise of such a demented celebrity fistula too heartily.

As most of us have contributed to this silver fox’s excessive wages for 18 years, the BBC has to not only sack this parasitic failure but kidnap him and drop him in Tehran along with 9,000 Persian copies of the Sunday Express article in question, illustrated by his telegenital face. “Take care of yourself” fucko.

http://www.readersdigest.co.uk/magazine/kilroysilk.htm


 
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