Breaking the Depleted Uranium Ceiling 176

It is an astonishing fact that, despite near universal recognition now that the war in Iraq was a disaster, no major British social institution is headed by a single one of the majority of the population wo were opposed to the war.

Every Cabinet Minister actively supported the war. Of the fifteen Tory MPs who rebelled and voted against the war, not one is a minister. Civil servants officially have no politics but privately their opinions are known. There is not one single Permanent Under Secretary of a UK government department who was known to be against the war and most were enthusiasts. Simon Fraser, PUS at the FCO, was an active Blairite enthusiast for the war. Though no Blairite, the Head of MI6 Alex Younger was also an enthusiast.

The BBC was of course gutted following its revealing of the truth about Iraqi WMD, and the subsequent murder of David Kelly. Following the ousting of Greg Dyke, both Governors and Directors-Generals have been known supporters of the war. Of the 107 bureaucrats in the BBC who earn over 100,000 pounds pa, insiders estimate that only five were opponents of the war. Craig Oliver – who has now left the BBC for Cameron’s media operation – and James Purnell are absolutely typical of the BBC Iraqocracy.

Every current editor of a UK national newspaper supported the Iraq war. At the time of the war there was one editor opposed – Piers Morgan – who subsequently became a derided and marginalised figure. Not only are the editors firmly from the neo-con alliance, but the high profile commentators who cheered on the war – David Aaronovich, Nick Cohen, Melanie Phillips, John Rentoul, Rod Liddle etc. – have all seen their careers flourish. None has suffered from their appalling lack of judgement. There is no similar raft of commentators who were against the war who enjoy such constant media promotion and massive salaries. Many, like Peter Oborne, have suffered unexpected career glitches. There is no head of a major TV channel in the UK who was against the war in Iraq.

The theme runs through all the public professions. Of the hundreds of academics who took firm positions against the Iraq War, I cannot find a single example who went on to become a University Vice-Chancellor or Principal. By contrast actual war criminals Richard Dearlove and Valerie Amos were parachuted into academic leadership posts. The Chiefs of Staff of the armed forces were all true believers, compared to the massive scepticism that existed among senior officers.

The Iraq test even extends into the heads of institutions apparently quite unrelated, such as City of London banks and insurance companies. There are a tiny number of heads of FTSE 100 companies who were against the war.

It is not that there is an Iraq test. It is that Iraq is the touchstone for adherence to the neo-liberal consensus. All these professionally successful people share a number of attitudes, of which support for the Iraq War is a good indicator. There is a very strong correlation between support for the Iraq War and fierce Zionism. But there is also a strong correlation between support for the Iraq War and support for austerity economics. The strongest correlation of all lies in support for the Iraq War and for “business-friendly” tolerance of corporatism, TTIP, multinational tax avoidance, low taxation and marketization of public services including in education and health.

To return to where I started, the quite extraordinary thing is that there is a near-universal recognition in wider society that the Iraq War was both completely unjustified and a dreadful strategic blunder. Yet its support is a major pre-condition for membership of the governing elite.

The answer of course lies in its value as an indicator for a broad range of neo-liberal consensus attitudes. That is why both the SNP and Jeremy Corbyn provide such a threat to the Establishment, through denying those attitudes. The fascinating thing is that the SNP and the Labour Party could be the only public institutions in the UK of any note with an anti-Iraq War leadership. The significance is that, in slightly different ways, both the prominence of the SNP and of Jeremy Corbyn are the result of a public revolt which the Establishment has been trying, absolutely desperately, to cut off.

Ed Miliband did not actually vote against the Iraq War, contrary to popular myth. Having both the Labour and SNP parties led by people who reject the raft of values symbolised by the Iraq test, who have broken through the depleted uranium ceiling, is a massive, massive threat to the meritlessocracy. Institutional control appeared to be complete and impermeable. Suddenly they face the danger of the opinions of ordinary people carrying weight. Expect the media control mechanisms to whir into still greater overdrive.

176 thoughts on “Breaking the Depleted Uranium Ceiling

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  • BrianFujisan

    Those People…Iraqi’s Libyan’s Syrian’s.. Yemenis.. Afghans.. ECT…They Know who’s behind all the Slaughter – US. as Puppets to The cretins over the Ocean

    Check oot this from 01; 57 Mins, From Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Prof. Manuel Hassassian –

    And Prof Finkelstein Here at the same event in Renfrew 30th August

    AND Lastly….It was Great to meet The Dude… Listeningwater was the one asking Why one Day.

    Me n Norman –[email protected]/20989097786/in/datetaken/

  • KingOfWelshNoir


    ‘You might say we – as people – are becoming more tolerant, peaceful and generally enlightened. Not that this shows much in the corrupt, filthy governments worldwide – of course. But even they must undertake their governance with a wary eye on public opinion, in a manner never experienced before.’

    I agree with you. My worry is, the elite—who in the past had to treat the populace with a wary eye lest the mob turned up at the palace gates with their pitch forks—have acquired the technological means of control undreamed of in former times. The surveillance state obviously, but also advent of the cashless society is particularly sinister. It could become very difficult to be a member of the awkward squad—the sort who writes blog posts like this—if your bank card continually stops working.

  • giyane

    Mark Golding

    In last week’s post from Tarpley, Thierry Meyssan states that the Russian planes M13s in Syria are not capable of carrying bombs. They are fast fighter jets that can shoot down Turkish and Israeli jets which are giving air support to Daesh ground attack operations.

    The ground to air Patriots along the Turkey-Syriab border were removed because Turkey attacked the Kurdish YPG when they weren’t supposed to so that Erdogan could get a lttle Falklands factor before his November elections because he lost last time.

    Update on Syria here:

  • giyane

    I think the Russian jets are to protect Iraqi Turkish and Syrian Kurdistans from further Turkish aggression. Erdogan thought he could do what he liked if he gave USUKIS an airbase to hit Damascus from. US policy is divided between those of benign superpower mind and nihilist zionists.

    If they are divided, why can’t they be ruled over as well? It’s uncle Sam wants an injection in his bum.

  • Mary

    There’s been a delay. The Liebour Partei have just sent out 120,000 ballot papers.

    Labour leadership election in chaos after it emerges more than 120,000 ballot papers were sent out only last week
    7 hours ago –

    So with the Bank Holiday and no deliveries from last Saturday until yesterday, who knows if they will arrive in time.

  • Mark Golding

    Thanks for the update Giyane; in war games truth is so precious it has to be surrounded by a barrage of lies – Maskirovka versus Mossad is impossible so in this case Israel is the loser.

  • Mark Golding

    RD – No it does not- ‘little green men’ is a BBC contrivance or maybe aliens, nevertheless if you grab my hand I’ll pull you out the quicksand.

  • Resident Dissident

    “in war games truth is so precious it has to be surrounded by a barrage of lies”

    Not a philosophy that I subscribe to but worth remembering when reading the posts of Mr Golding and co in the future. Better

    “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

  • Mark Golding

    No RD – Mark Golding & co are not part of the Kriegspiel, we are inside looking through a very wide window.

    I note Andy Burnham in your link Mary is telling us the fish he caught was ‘this big.’

  • Dreoilin

    “So with the Bank Holiday and no deliveries from last Saturday until yesterday, who knows if they will arrive in time.”

    A friend on Twitter tells me she believes most were delivered yesterday.

  • KingOfWelshNoir

    Res Dis

    The Orwell quote is brilliant, trouble is I’m pretty sure he never said it. It’s quoted on a thousand conspiracy websites, but never with a source. If I’m wrong and he genuinely did say it I would be very happy to be corrected.

  • Mary

    I heard this Badawi woman haranguing Ken Livingstone on the World Service version last night. She interrupted and interjected throughout. If proof was needed that there is an anti-Corbyn agenda within the state broadcaster, this is a perfect example of a BBC stooge at work.

    BiBiC’s final stab at JC : 4 episodes of Hardtalk on Wed 2/9

    Although I doubt it is the ‘final’ stab.


    I remember Badawi cosying up to Cherie. Emetic stuff.
    Rendezvous 2012

    Badawi got her come uppance from Camden Council so there is justice after all.

  • Mary

    The brave and brilliant Jonathan Cook writing from Nazareth on this piece from Craig.

    Corbyn and challenges to political power
    2 September 2015 –

    ‘Here Craig Murray, a former British ambassador to Uzbekistan who has been in the diplomatic wilderness since he turned whistle-blower on British collusion with torture more than a decade ago, makes a very simple observation that can help us understand what Chomsky is talking about.

    Murray notes that among today’s crop of senior politicians, media editors, top diplomats and university vice-chancellors, almost all supported the Iraq war in 2003. Not only did such support not harm these individuals’ careers but it appears to have propelled them to even greater things.

    The careers of prominent critics of the war, conversely, have tended to suffer. And all this despite the fact that there was huge popular opposition to the war at the time. The folly of the war was obvious to ordinary people but not, it seems, to our brightest and best.’


    Realised that he is yet another famous JC!

  • Petra

    Great article Craig. Thanks for that. Interesting to note too that the recently appointed Vice Chairman of the BBC Trust, Sir Roger Carr (a serial trougher), is also Chairman of BAE Systems the company that supplies arms to countries such as Israel and has UK Government contracts for Trident. What a cosy arrangement for the UK propaganda war machine.

  • Geoffrey

    Inconveniently, the Daily Mail was consistently anti the Iraq invasion,and the Libyan one too (Despite Melanie Phillips).

  • Salford Lad

    Off topic, but for the attention of Mary. As is not well known,one of the reasons for the ethnic cleansing of Gaza is because of the deposits of oil/gas in its offshore waters, which Israel wish to exploit,
    Recent discovery of a massive gas find in nearby Egyptian waters has upset Israel plans to become a ‘player’ in the gas supply industry. This will also reduce pressure on SYRIA, which is the route that Qatar and Saudi Arabia wish to open,if they ever succeed in removing Assad.

  • Geoffrey

    “Every current editor of a UK national newspaper supported the Iraq war” -Paul Dacre did not. Nor invasion of Libya or Syria. Nor Guantanamo, or “extraordinary rendition” for that matter.

  • wendy

    ive been investigating this clique of broadcasters who appear to act as gatekeepers as well as promoting narratives (possibly smears) that craig has outlined across our printed and broadcast media.

    so far i’ve uncovered a tight nit group Iain Dale Jeremy Duns David Aaronovitch Hugo Rifkind Nicky Campbell Nick Cohen James o’Brien Maajid Nawaz Maher Shiraz Louise Mensch Tom Holland
    Milo Yiannopoulos Sam Harris Petrie Hosken Nick Jode john Sargeant Daniel Finkelstein Stephen Pollard Andrew Gilligan Jamie Bartlett Tazeen Ahmed Jane Corbin John Ware Douglas Murray

    generally if theres a pro war islamophobic smear/scare its probably one of the above will be behind it along the line

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Britain should consider itself lucky under the circumstances as the war criminals in the USA, especially former Vice President Dick Cheney, still continue to blab away about whatever they want without it being put in any kind of context, or receiving any kind of rebuttal.

    Just look at how The Guardian has handled his new book, just repeating his claim about still wanting to use torture in the war against terrorism, and adding all kinds of self-serving, biased assertions by him about how it has, and should be conducted in future.

    The bastard should have been removed from office for war crimes, vast mismanagement of government operations, and cover ups of much it has done.

    Blair only followed in Cheney’s footsteps, and Th Guardian’s misconduct goes on daily and concerns much more than what is happening in Palestine.

  • Daniel

    “The polling closes on 10 Sept. Tomorrow week.”

    I haven’t received my polling card yet and I have a feeling I won’t get it. None of the people I know have received theirs either.

  • Daniel

    “Realised that he is yet another famous JC!”

    The judgement of all those who voted for the Iraq war must be called into question. On that basis alone I and all my friends and family will be voting for Corbyn, that’s of course if we receive our polling cards on time. Now, if a layperson like me was informed enough of the facts on the ground as early as 1998 to know with 99.9 per cent certainty that there were no WMDs, how is it possible that politicians’ apparently didn’t?

  • Blegburnduddoo

    I phoned the Labour Party last Tuesday. They told me there had been a “hold up” but confirmed that I was registered as a supporter and would receive my ballot form on Friday. It hasn’t arrived so far. I just now managed to get through to the Party on 0191 246 5004 after a lengthy delay and was told that it has been sent and I should get it in the next day or two. However, they will send me a duplicate immediately. They said that the closing date remains the same so I have to return it promptly.
    I have complained to Electoral Reform at [email protected] who said he would investigate. I have also kept my union Unite informed.

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