Notes from the edge

Blair's nemesis?

December 20, 2002
The Iranian

News control

The word oil -- like the substance itself -- has to be refined before it can be sold to consumers. Once the Pentagon, media giants and advertisers have distilled, processed and treated it, oil enters news-speak as "weapons of mass destruction".

So when we hear the US wants to bomb Iraq for its weapons of mass destruction, it is in fact for its oil. Only such honesty would be too, er, crude.

Blair's nemesis?

As Iraq's people await their grim fate, Downing Street has been brought to its knees by a con man -- Peter Foster, a convicted fraudster who had been appointed by the Prime Minister's wife Cherie to handle the purchase of two flats for their son Euan.

Furore erupted when it was revealed that she had duped the Downing Street press office into issuing misleading information about her links to Foster -- the partner of her close friend Carole Caplin.

Last Saturday a tabloid printed transcripts of a conversation between Foster and his mother in which he complained of his treatment by the Blairs' PR machine. Foster's mum claimed they were "gunning for him". He replied: "I know, but I've got a couple of grenades I can throw back." Isn't this language similar to Blair's gunslinging posturing towards Iraq?

He added: "I've got plenty of fucking ammunition I can fire at them."

The Iraqi people may take some comfort from Foster's final threat: "The best thing they can do is leave me alone, otherwise I think I'll bomb."

Friends in high places

I just called my friend Amir and while we were talking I could hear his modem beeping and whirring. "You've got a separate line for internet access?" I said. Having a separate phone line is surely a sign of success. Well done Amir.

Woof woof

Well-to-do Iranians are fond of pets. I'm sure I've seen pictures of the Pahlavis with a dog. The last dog I saw in Iranian hands was so depressed he walked around in circles by the swimming pool and kept jumping in.

Pet protect

I was in a pet shop a year ago with a friend called Parisa. We were selecting a goldfish for a photo-shoot. The store assistant refused to sell us the fish until we had convinced her that Parisa had a big aquarium at home.

"Really?" she said.
"Yes, really."

It was one of those Obi-Wan Kenobi moments.

"There's a white shark in it too."
"There's a white shark in it too."
"The fish is yours free."
"The fish is yours free."

We later released it into the Grand Union canal in Camden. We watched it until it disappeared. Never saw it again.

UK foreign policy

This was British Foreign Minister Jack Straw's response to the 12,000-page dossier the Iraqis handed over to the UN, sorry US: "We don't want to jump to conclusions, but the Iraqis are completely full of shit. They have always have proved full of shit but it would be premature to reach that conclusion now."

Old scores

Israeli settlers (and still they settle) believe God gave them the title deeds to Palestinian land. Surely this claim would not stand in an international court of law. "Yes, your honour, this invisible man signed right here. The real estate agent was Moses."

Blair again

It has been revealed that the Foster case is the second time Cherie Blair has been involved with a con man. The first one she married.

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