There can now be little doubt in the minds of independent and free-thinking men and women that the British ruling elite has all but abandoned any pretence of observing the democratic niceties of the post-Cold War era and is now steeling itself for the next phase of conquest and repression. The ongoing coup d’état, which started with the assassination of the antiwar Princess Diana and which continues in the militarization of British domestic and foreign policy under the calculating auspices of the proven war criminal Tony Blair, saw its most recent manifestation in a brilliant diversionary sideshow, the Hutton Inquiry.
The inquiry itself, headed by an intellectually decrepit “Lord” whose hands had already been bloodied in the handing down of imperial British “justice” to Irish Patriots in the 1970s, exposed a manipulative and deceitful Blair administration intent on crafting lies to sell an unpopular war. Yet the final report, shocking in its gratuitous homage to the naked power of the state, absolved the “Prime Minister” of any blame in the circumstances leading to the suicide – some are saying murder – of arms expert David Kelly.
The dispute is notable for four main reasons. Firstly, it provided Blair with a political theatre, refocusing public attention away from the illegality of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Secondly, it provided him with the means by which he could finally bring to heel those factions of the establishment too “liberal” in their critique of government policy. Thirdly, it gave the Murdoch media empire a green light on the government’s continued fealty and its desire to dismantle the BBC in favour of Murdoch’s indefatigable predatory ambitions. Fourthly, it allowed him to send an unmistakable message to opponents of the phoney “war on terror”: Think very carefully about what you say and write, for I have the will and the power to crush you, to humiliate you and to destroy your careers and livelihoods.
The governing British Parliamentary Labour Party, itself an emerging corporate front-end for the arms industry, is now breathing more easily in its other newly found collective persona – a special elite of executive murderers and child killers. Its traditionally pacifist old guard and younger idealists uncomfortable with the new (albeit politically-correct) National Socialism, will continue to raise unsettling questions before they are sidelined and eventually retired or deselected. Like the antiwar and pro-Palestinian George Galloway, they will be deemed irrelevant or marked out as dangerous fringe lunatics out of step with the new order of corporate-military realities.
American readers should be reminded that all this is happening in a country where subject-citizens have no constitutional right to bear arms, indeed have no written constitution at all. Life in the British state has always been a trade-off of personal liberties against fancy welfare benefits and the spurious promise of protection under the common law of the land. In survey after survey the vast majority of the British people, already by means of CCTV the most closely watched in the western world, have indicated that they are only too happy to carry biometric identity cards and surrender most of their residual freedoms in return for greater “security” and progress in the ever-widening and perpetually insurmountable “war on crime”. That their own ruling elite, which history has shown to be ruthless in the brutal suppression of dissent in former colonies and in Ireland, might one day square them through the barrel of a gun and slaughter them as surplus to requirement is an urgent consideration naively absent in their minds.
In stark contrast to America and Ireland, there is no culture of resistance abroad in the British state. Even those in a position to fight and make a stand – such as BBC General Director Greg Dyke, who resigned without hesitation and almost on cue (1) – bowed to the authorities. Such genuflection before one’s perceived social “superiors” or complete surrender of self-worth and personal dignity in the face of state authority is deeply ingrained in the psyche of every Briton, particularly in the English. Yet the speed with which draconian “anti-terror” laws have been slammed through parliament and the brazen Huttonian clampdown on free speech and dissent, even within the outer circle of the establishment itself, suggests that this is not enough to gird the ruling elite against the fearful consequences of the coming social emergency.
It is therefore hardly surprising to learn that President Bush and John Ashcroft, mindful that their own munchkins are tugging at the Wizard’s obscuring curtain of lies, are now studying the brilliant coup d’état that spawned the Hutton Report. American citizens, however, may reassure themselves that when the Big Hit comes, and the goon squad begins its killing spree, they at least have the firepower to defend themselves.
In Britain, it will all be over in a day.
Michael James is a British freelance journalist and translator, resident in Germany for over 11 years.
(1) See: That’s What Friends Are For