bliar

The Top Step On The Odium

Having saved The Labour Party, then the UK, then the Middle-East, then the international speaking circuit and many multinationals, the bLIAR wants to come back and save sport (or be Prime Minister again, he hasn’t quite decided).

Tony Blair is to contribute to a Labour Party review of its policy on sport in the aftermath of the Olympics.

The review will look at the lessons of the 2012 Games, which begin later this month, and how to make the most of the event’s sporting and economic legacies.

Mr Blair, who won three elections for Labour, recently revealed he would like to return to Downing Street but acknowledged this is “not likely to happen”. He told the London Evening Standard he had “learned an immense amount” since stepping down.

Maybe he has learned an immense amount but I feel I would be on safe ground if I suggested humility and how to show contrition for war crimes weren’t included.

Red (Rose) Bull & Tory Tosso

So Labour wants  the Bahrain Formula 1 race boycotted and the Tories want to keep politics out of sport.

British Formula One drivers including Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton should boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix, Labour’s Yvette Cooper has said.

“I don’t think British drivers should go,” the shadow home secretary said.

Amnesty International has warned Bahrain faces a “human rights crisis” as security forces clash with protesters.

But senior Conservative MP John Whittingdale said politics should be “kept out of sport if at all possible”.

Furthermore…

But shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter, who chairs the all party parliamentary group for democracy in Bahrain, told BBC 5live he would be “very pleased if the BBC pulled out” of covering the race.

“Organisations like the BBC are giving legitimacy to the al-Khalifa regime, which is… a dictatorial regime, which is killing many of its own citizens,” Mr Slaughter said.

Personally, I think it should be stopped but I find it strange that Labour are saying this about dictatorial regimes whilst their former leader can’t remember anything about rendition to other dodgy regimes and the conservatives are still trying to sell weapons to any other number of them.

Of course keeping politics out of sport is exactly what the Tories will be planning to do in the olympics. I am utterly convinced there won’t be any flag-waving, we’re-all-in-this-together, jingoistic or nationalistic kind of comments at all in the run up to and during the olympics.

Meanwhile of course, the race, the hypocrisy and the slaughter and repression will keep going round and round in the manner we have become accustomed to.

I’M SURE EVERYTHING WILL BE FINE NOW

Climate change, tipping points, oil spill, radiation… all on the way to being fixed because according to the London Evening Standard, Tony is finally on the case.

Well, they use some interesting words. They don’t say “Tony Blair is set to turn his attention toward the serious environmental problems the world now faces. This comes following on from his success in bringing peace to the middle-east, prosperity in all of the UK and a fair and just society”. They don’t say that, as much as Saint Tony of The Church of You-Can-Question-My-Policy-But-Not-My-Motives would have liked them to. What they said was this…

“Tony Blair is set to earn millions of pounds advising an American businessman on how to make money from tackling climate change.

The former prime minister will be paid at least £700,000 a year to act as a “strategic adviser” to Khosla Ventures, a venture capitalist firm founded by Indian billionaire Vinod Khosla.”

Furthermore, if the Standard is right about this, then this not-at-all philanthropic gesture should be viewed in the context of a more pressing crisis that the bLIAR must solve…

He has told friends he needs £5 million a year to fund his lifestyle.

Tony, who has also secretly been a member of The Church of You-Could-Question-My-Motives-But-That-Really-Just-Means-You-Are-Trying-To-Be-Nasty-And-Obstructive for years had this to say…

“Solving the climate crisis is more than just a political agenda item; it’s an urgent priority that requires innovation, creativity and ambition.”

This is presumably the kind of innovation and blue sky thinking that consistently supported more coal and nuclear plants and oversaw a huge airport expansion program. Also, the environmental problems caused by invading countries on false pretexts are to be investigated in a government report that is due to give its findings when everyone is too busy dying of toxic poisoning and skin cancer to notice.

Finally, it is rumouored that Tony is set to join the The Church of I-Don’t-Give-Two-Sideways-F*cks-If-You-Question-My-Motives-Because-I-Am-Stinking-Rich.

U PO KYIN TO LECTURE AT YALE

Tony bLIAR is to lead some classes at Yale University on Faith™ and globalisation($).

Now aside from the further proof that the man has no shame whatsoever, this put me in mind U Po Kyin, a character from the Orwell novel Burmese Days.

U Po Kyin was a corrupt and scheming magistrate in the days of the British Empire. He tried to deceive and steal from both the population of his own country and that of the invaders.  He believed that by using some of his misappropriated wealth to construct pagodas he would do his karma no end of good and therefore be reincarnated as at least some sort of noble beast like a male elephant, which he ranked above being reincarnated as a woman.

At least the pagodas U Po Kyin might have built had he not died without his karma being improved might have had some architectural quality to them. With bLIAR preaching faith and globalisation we are only likely to get nuclear missiles with ‘blessed are the meek‘ written on them and a new piety section in the prefabricated Walmarts that are likely to spring up everywhere.

As he lectures his students I wonder if he will remember the part of the bible about the only time Jesus got extremely angry and threw the money-lenders out the temple or the bit about thou shalt not kill.

MEETING SCOTT RITTER

So you are trying to interview someone reasonably famous. You are not used to doing it and you know there is going to be a scrum to get near him. How would you like to approach such a day?

It certainly wouldn’t be the way I did it, which was nursing a bad hangover. Not only that but at the campsite I had cracked my rib tripping over a tent rope and hitting a picnic table the previous evening. I then slept outside with no sleeping bag (its cold in Scotland). I had to go the campsite because I stayed in the pub too long and missed the last bus home. In short, I was not on top form.

newsritter.jpgG8 alternatives were hosting a massive political meeting in Edinburgh around the time of the G8 at Gleneagles in Scotland. Scott Ritter, Bianca Jagger, George Galloway, George Monbiot, Danny Schechter and so many others were coming to speak. I had a press pass and wanted to speak to a lot of them but I hadn’t really done any hack work before. In truth I found the whole thing fairly demeaning, scrambling toward people you don’t know begging to be spoken to. I will do interviews again, but not the press pack scramble.

I had my first experience of this earlier in the day (when the hangover was worse) and lots of journalists were trying to get a piece of George Monbiot (there is a link to his site here). I lost heart in the venture very quickly. The mainstream media journalists were more or less giving him abuse and I ended up taking sides and giving him a question he could attack rather than defend. I can’t remember exactly what I asked him, it was something like “do you think the corporate greenwash so widely disseminated in the mainstream media is damaging to the public debate?” I think it’s called throwing him a bone, and I am not ashamed of it at all. It was a question he could have a go at so I sat back, didn’t take notes and just enjoyed the looks on the hacks faces as they scowled at me and got abuse from him. Still, I never did get the chance to speak to him afterwards, which was a shame.

Later in the day it was Ritter’s turn. He made a speech similar to many I have seen him make before, aggresively criticising US middle east policy. At the end I started to sidle toward the stage as did a few others. People from the audience were coming up and shaking his hand, saying that they really respected what he was doing and so on. I thought the way people were looking at him was odd – almost reverential. They were congratulating him on his bravery. I think some of them thought it was a matter of time till someone shoots him.

His military past was obvious. Someone asked him something and he burst out with “amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics” at which I had to suppress a smile – the way he said it had ex-soldier written all over it.

Then he talked about being a Republican. I asked him that if that was the case how did he feel going round the world criticising Bush et al. He just replied ‘he’s not a Republican.’ I asked him how he felt as an ex-marine about the fact that in order to speak publicly about the issues he is raising he most often finds himself in crowds full of radicals and pacifists. He talked about the US constitution and how it was mostly written by one left wing guy and one right wing guy who hated each other and that it is all about freedom of speech and that reasoned debate was one of the things that the US stands for (or at least it used to). I neglected to mention that it was written by 50 white males, the vast majority of which were wealthy landowners and that it semi-legitimised slavery and therefore did not include as much room for debate as is popularly supposed.

That day he was talking about plans for Iran that were already at an advanced stage. Just like before the Iraq confrontation his information and output appear excellent, even if you disagree with his historical analysis.

I hope I bump into him again, only without a microphone – and without a hangover.

Here is what he said regarding Iran in 2005

Here is what he said in 2006

Here is what he said in 2007

Osama and US

If you know your Shakespeare well you are doing better than I am. If you know it a bit you will know enough to know that the jesters are very often the cleverest people in the play.

This film is another example of this.

At first glance Hans Blix, Ari Fleischer, Noam Chomsky don’t have that much in common. Even at second glance they don’t, apart from having silly names. What they do have in common is that they were duped by a sacked daytime TV producer (Joel Wilson) and an unsuccessful writer (Jamie Campbell) into appearing in one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

If you add Abu Hamza, Giovanni Di Stefano, Abdel Bari Atwan, the preacher from Dubya’s local Baptist church and plenty others into the mix you end up with something very amusing and insightful.

It was made in 2003, before the war started. The premise is that said writer and sacked TV producer need money so decide to go and find Osama Bin Laden in order to claim the 25 million dollar reward. Figuring that most conventional intelligence tactics are already being used, they determine to think outside the box and find him by unconventional means. In this cause they decide to “get behind the beard of the man and find out what really makes him tick”.

This was after their initial idea of phoning directory inquiries and asking for the “axis of evil” did not bring results. Unsuccessful yet unperturbed they carry on and begin to speak to a familiar group of people, many of whom have met bin Laden.

Rather than looking in the Tora Bora they begin in London. They first call on Abdel Bari Atwan (the editor of the UK’s largest Muslim Newspaper) with whom they discuss Bin Laden’s speciality dish of skimmed processed cheese “from basic milk…I was appalled” says Bari Atwan. He also believes bin Laden to be a master of disguise and said he would not be surprised if Bin Laden is in America wearing an Armani suit.

They move on Tavistock in Devon where they speak to his former schoolteacher Brian Fyfield-Shayler, who says he feels protective of all his students and on hearing Bin Laden was first in trouble thought “you silly sod”. He believes that “we in the West should be looking at what can turn and ordinary…a fairly ordinary… pleasant young man with perhaps a few little quirks into such a person”

Armed with their possible American link (from Bari Atwan) they head to Portland, where Mohammed Atta spent the evening. They spend the evening setting traps with processed cheese to see if this entices Bin Laden out of hiding – in doing this they are actually assisted by the hotel staff.

The bizarre questions and metaphors they come up with during their interviews are consistently funny and although some of their guests are suspicious of what it is all about none of them really catch on. It was broadcast on Channel 4, which might explain the access they manage to get. They are in the Whitehouse press conference, the United Nations (where they doorstep Hans Blix) and they get into trouble very near Bush’s ranch, long before Cindy Sheehan did the same thing.

Neocon author (and member of the American Enterprise Institute) Michael Ladine is next and he thinks (or says that he thinks) Bin Laden is in Iran. He says it is a mistake to call it war and it should rather be called ‘Democratic Revolution’. He is further convinced that what is going on is…

“like the movie ‘the Godfather’. Under normal circumstances mafia families fight with each other – even kill one another over turf and territory and honour and all kinds of things. When the government comes after them the heads of the five families sit down around the table and they make a war plan.”

From this point it has all become too clear to the investigators “Osama, Saddam, Kim Jong-Il, somewhere they were all sitting together, eating spaghetti and mumbling incoherently.”

Although they are being funny with everyone they interview some people do say some rather striking things. Robert Baer, the resigned CIA operative said that he could find Bin Laden within in a month but that it would need the cooperation of the Middle-Eastern governments and that is unlikely to be arriving any time soon. He is not however convinced that catching bin Laden would make any difference.

There are also a couple of voxpops where they have used photoshop to remove Bin Laden’s beard and ask the public if they recognise who it is. One person only wanted to say “I’m not snitching”.

They go to a church where Bush apparently worships. The preacher is making a tirade against homosexuality (apparently gay people are “senseless, faithless, heartless and ruthless”). Also, apparently we all either love god, or we hate god. You are with us or you are against… come on, you know this tune!

It really is a fantastic piece and covers other topics like the relationship of the Bush’s and the Bin Laden’s, the Carlyle group and more. I don’t want to spoil all the jokes and I have only mentioned a few here.

I also don’t want to spoil where there investigations take them and the grand finale.

Watch this, it is hilarious.

Watch it free… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVwTdPyxZhA