Daily archives: May 3, 2013

McCormick Con Exposed the Truth about Iraq

It is tempting to treat the jailing of fake bomb detector salesman James McCormick as comedy, so risible were his completely bogus detectors. Indeed, one day I have no doubt we shall be seeing a television film treating him as a lovable rogue; the con-man figure is the staple of many movie plots. He will probably be played by Alfred Molina.

But the seriousness of the case goes much wider than the fact that people have probably died as a result of the non-protection of his fake bomb detectors. This case speaks volumes about the Iraq the western armies have created. We are continually told the media that the war, justified on weapons of mass destruction – a much bigger con, killing far, far more people than Mr McCormick – is post hoc justified because at least we brought democracy to Iraq. What we brought, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, are the world’s most corrupt governments. According to the widely respected Transparency International, Iraq is the 169th most corrupt country in the world and Afghanistan the 174th. Out of 174.

It does not take a great deal of acuity to work out that McCormick’s bomb detectors – which contain no working electronics – are fakes. He did not succeed by persuading buyers they really worked. He succeeded by persuading Iraqi officers, officials and ministers to accept cash in return for buying rubbish with state funds – most of which funds were supplied by the American taxpayer.

But McCormick was just small beer. He was the unauthorised con. The authorised con involved more money by a factor of twenty million; it was a multi trillion dollar con involving entirely fake and planted evidence as a justification for a war in which millions were killed or maimed, the infrastructure of a modern country bombed back to the Middle Ages, and vast personal fortunes made in the arms, mercenary, military support, banking and oil industries.

Yes McCormick should be in jail. But those much, much more guilty are walking around, opening libraries and giving lecture tours.

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We Earned Them Votes Tonight in South Shields

“We earned them votes tonight”, said Emma Lewell-Buck. The House of Commons has gained a social worker who can’t speak English. The auto-didacts of the early Labour movement would have been horrified. I am aware that the readers of this blog are among those who believe an inability to communicate in standard English is a mark of authenticity; I fear my view is that it has been a hundred years since the state education system in this country was so patchy that there is any reason beyond sloth for inability to follow the most basic of grammar.

But she spoke truth in one sense. They did indeed “earn them votes”. Producing fraudulent postal ballots by the thousands is very hard work, and the Labour Party in the North of England should perhaps be congratulated in bringing back aspects of manufacturing heritage in this regard.

*This was the first parliamentary constituency election in British history in which the postal ballots outnumbered the polling station votes. UKIP beat New Labour in the polling booth ballot boxes by a very clear majority, according to my mole in the count.

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