14) The threat to democracy

The Hutton Enquiry was a catastrophic whitewash whichever way you look at it, though it’s the conclusions of that are recorded in history. Despite this, the credibility of the British government was lost with Lord Hutton.

But it wasn’t the government that suffered it was the free press. Whilst Blair stood at the dispatch box encouraging the worlds press to report that Iraq had WMD that could be launched within 45 minutes, the BBC was chastised for not conforming to strict journalistic guidelines. Though Dr. Kelly had intimated that intelligence documents had been “sexed up”, he hadn’t actually said it.

Whilst heads rolled at the BBC, the Mirror Newspaper got an even more obscure beating. The editor Piers Morgan was mysteriously set up by hoaxers that sent fake pictures of British Army personal involved in abuse of Iraqi prisoners. The pictures were published and discovered to be fakes almost immediately. Whilst Piers Morgan was forced to resign little has been heard about the hoaxers apart from the fact that they came from a British Army barracks. The point is – that blatant manipulation of the press is eroding free speech to the point of rusting democracy, and that the British and American example has rubbed off elsewhere.

In Russia following Beslan the editor of the best known daily, Izvestiya was sacked 2 days after criticising the government handling of the crisis. In Israel, Tali Fahima a female that served in the Israeli army, is being held without trial because she dared befriend a Palestinian activist and asked him why he wanted to kill Israeli’s. Across the world a frenzy of copycat abuses persist, fanning the potential for more conflict.

Israel with the nod from Bush has gone off the scale with its attacks on Palestinians whilst In Russia, General Yuri Baluyevsky said “ As for carrying out preventive strikes against terrorist bases, we will take all measures to liquidate terrorist basis in any region of the world.”  North Korea is frightened to death of American invasion and Iran has decided to bluff it out.

Is this the world that Bush and Blair believed Churchill was fighting for?

Kofi Annan the UN secretary General warned in September this year of nations that were using the war on terror as an excuse “to encroach on civil liberties”

“Do not criticize your government when out of the country. Never cease to do so when at home” -Winston Churchill

Though Winston Churchill himself was a master of propaganda and Jacob Epstein believed he would be more suited to the task than fighting in the trenches. It’s probable that both would cringe at the thought of Bush/Blair democracy.