Tuesday, December 17, 2002


Those who march against any intervention to help free the Iraqi people from the tyranny they are ruled by might want to take a read of this report in the Independent 'Iraqis would support war to overthrow Saddam.

Funny how the media works sometimes as the actual full report from the respected International Crisis Group in Brussels was published on December 4 and given its topical nature you would have thought that it would have been widely reported.

According to the ICG study:A significant number of those Iraqis interviewed, with surprising candour, expressed their view that, if such a change required an American-led attack, they would support it.

posted by BA on 6:50 AM link

Having been an expat for nearly a decade now I have had long had to deal with the nightmare of being accused of 'going native'. You have to watch the way you speak, the way you eat, certain dress choices, attitudes or prejudices - any can reveal tell-tale signs that those links to home are becoming ever more tenious and there are plenty ready to point the accusing finger.

But how long as the Guardian's Matthew Engel been living in the United States? yet he is already claiming to be suffering from the early signs of conversion and in today's column he comments on War Fever in the US:

Deep down, one may know the cause is ludicrous, but it so dominates the whole of one's life that after a while the victim gets sucked in and starts thinking these people have a point (I speak as someone who caught himself using the word "gotten" in conversation the other day, which suggests total brainwashing).

I do hope this tendency of Guardian journalists to rapidly adopt American speech mannerisms does not afflict Gary Younge when he starts work in New York soon..........you dig what am saying brother?

posted by BA on 6:37 AM link

The political landscape of Britain is changing if the latest poll is to be believed with the emergence of a potential new third party -- The Conservatives.

According to the latest ICM poll, the Tories have fallen to 27% -their lowest rating since November 1998. The Liberal Democrats are now only four points behind on 23%, their highest rating since May 1994, and breathing down the necks of the Conservatives.

According to the Guardian On these figures if there were a general election tomorrow not only would Labour be returned with an even bigger majority but the Tory party chairwoman, Theresa May, and fellow shadow cabinet members David Davis and Oliver Letwin would all lose their seats to Liberal Democrat challengers.

What this poll doesn't show is that in Scotland and Wales the Tories are already the third party. Lacking a credible leadership and lacking any policies that resonate with voters the Tories and their right-wing press have stooped to trying to whip up a 'scandal' around the Prime Minister's wife.

Although the poll shows the public not impressed with the Cheriegate affair, which has dented Tony Blair's personal rating, there is no sign that the mess has hit support for his government as a whole - on the contrary Labour is heading for another landslide victory and the increasingly irrelevant Tories are heading for oblivion. The public haven't been fooled by this sorry attempt to create the impression of sleaze.

The only worry for the left in this poll is what to do when the Lib Dems eventually take over from the Tories as the main opposition party? Many of us have always looked rather admiringly upon the social democracies of Scandinavia but do we really want a political system where the choice is between two centre-leftish liberal parties?

posted by BA on 5:45 AM link

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