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Date: 10/08/06

Digging The Plots

The deep-seated gullibility of my fellow feudal subjects never ceases to provide material for my generally world-weary (and, at times, sincerely insulting) attitude towards them.

This morning was a case in point. Screaming TV headlines, sombre-looking hacks standing outside major public buldings, and the return of that pointless figure, the 'terrorism expert' to the limelight.

So, another dastardly plot has been foiled, has it? Well, it must have been, mustn't it? After all, we were being told so by every news bulletin on television and radio. And they'd been told by the Government, so it must be kosher, especially as MI5 and the Metropolitan Police were also involved.

Consider that last point. The media had been told by:

In other words, the media have parrotted, without any sense either of journalistic rigour or of the ridiculous, the assertions of three organisations whose credibility and reputation have seldom, if ever, stood lower.

And still people have fallen for it. In work today, all I seemed to hear was, "They reckon that...‹foo›...", "They reckon that...‹bar›...". All mere suggestions, presented by the goggle-box as fact, and swallowed as same.

For we have been here before, dear reader. Some of you may remember the 'Ricin Plot' of a couple of years or so ago. The Boys And Girls In Blue (plus the Unmentionables, of course: those brave and stalwart souls whose activities must forever be secret, but whose headquarters - designed, it seems, by the love child of Albert Speer and Nicolae Ceauşescu - nonetheless dominates the Thames riverfront) saved us from a dastardly conspiracy to use poison to kill thousands of our fellow consumers...

...Except that there was no plot. Indeed, there was no Ricin, either. The case ended in acquittals all round, much to the embarrassment of the Government, who had to whip up some scare about insanitary bicycle saddles or something in order to deflect attention away from the fiasco.

And it's the same 'they' who 'reckon' this time, as well. I caught a glimpse (more than enough when you're trying to eat breakfast) of our beloved Home Secretary speaking live on television this morning about the 'Pop-bottle Plot'. Was there, perhaps, just a hint of long rehearsal to his performance? Perhaps a touch of the smug as well? After all, he almost certainly knew of the raids in advance, and would probably have known the day before, when he made yet another intemperate attack upon judicial refusal to roll over and play dead in the face of his agenda.

(At least his colleague, who might go down in history as The Unknown Transport Minister, did look terrified, though whether that was from fear of 'terrorists' or of the company he was having to keep at 7.15 in the morning may only be guessed at).

"We have caught the key players", smirked Reid. Well, I like the 'we': I know the Homuncule Secretary has donned the flak jacket before, but he's to be congratulated on his part in the apprehension of these ne'er-do-wells. What rôle he may have played in the operation will no doubt remain forever secret, although I suspect he went along to fang and hold the family Doberman while its master was being cuffed by the bizzies.

"We have caught the key players", eh? I would have hoped that, even in a country where fundamental rights are held to be conditional on whether the Daily Mail likes the cut of your jib or not, that would be a matter for the courts. Assuming it ever gets to the courts, of course. How many 'major terrorist conspiracies' have we seen 'smashed' in the last couple of years, only for the 'plotters' to be released without charge only a week or two later or, at worst, charged with some minor infringment of immigration laws? Enough, I would suggest, to make one wary of such claims, especially from a political desperado like Reid, trying to hold on to his job.

In any case, even if the matter should come to court, it might reasonably be argued that, by opening his big Clydeside yap to gloat at his success, Reid has irreparably damaged any chance the defendants might have of a fair trial. A little bit of "They reckon..." from a few office workers wouldn't do that, but a little bit of "They did it!" from a senior politician, reported extensively on TV and radio, should do the trick.

Unless, of course, there won't be a trial at all, and that the dozen or so arrested this morning will be held at Belmarsh indefinitely, in that English equivalent of Guantánamo, without trial or charge. Or that any trial will be held largely in secret (strictly because of the need not to compromise our security services, you understand), where the brave corporate media will be reduced to their proper function, namely parrotting the One True Way, as approved by the relevant Department of State.

The media have failed us again, by failing to question, by failing to examine, by treating the statements of senior politicians, top cops, spook-handlers and 'terrorism experts' as if newly-chiselled on stone from Mount Sinai.

The calculation has always been a simple one, even more so since the advent of instant communications:

We have been here before, too:

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

(J. Goebbels)

"It also gives us a very special, secret pleasure to see how unaware the people around us are of what is really happening to them."

(A. Hitler)