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How to talk right about democracy

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The Feb 06 revelation that the pre-war ricin plot of 2003, to poison people in Britain, was hatched, not by "Chemical Ali " in Iraq, as first thought, but by home grown terrorists in London, was not given as wide publicity as you might think it merits.The original banner headlines helped to alarm the public and propel the country to war.

Nor that it was dreamt up near Westminster, the "Mother Of All Parliaments", just to further "co*k a snoot " at democracy itself. Very near. In the same place, in fact, as the decision to join the war was made. 'No Mr. Speaker..I will not defer..etc.,etc.'

There was indeed a plot, but not the one in the papers. The ricin plot consisted of saying there was a ricin plot. The story quickly died. Not a single castor bean was ever found.

The ricin plot was soon replaced in the papers by an even more horrific potential scenario ..... the bomb threat to Old Trafford, the stadium of soccer giants Manchester United. 'THEY ARE SURELY NOT GOING TO BLOW UP OLD TRAFFORD?' Yes! It was true! They were surely not going to blow up Old Trafford. Again this silently dropped out of the headlines after no evidence was exclusively found by the dedicated Brit paparazzi. The respectable and clearly innocent young Muslim was released.

To be fair, Tony had no choice about the war, because the die was cast anyway. We were definitely going to war all along. But the decision had been made in an open and democratic forum. The entire Board of Haliburton was given ample opportunity to consider Bush 's proposal and it was a free vote, without undue pressure.

The decision to attack was a measured judgement and the armoured golf buggies were ordered in advance, to arrive when most needed, as part of the "Just in Time " system of business management. And you thought they just lurched to war!

 

'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.

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