Wednesday, January 17, 2007

the clock on the wall says five minutes to midnight

Take it Blair! The OECD are laying the boot in about this whold BAE systems corruption scandal – or at least the part of it that involves Saudi Arabia (not to be confused with the South Africa allegations, or the Tanzanian air traffic system and probably a hundred and one other dodgy deals involving secret slush funds).

The thing that has entertained me most about the whole caboodle is the impassioned defence by the government of what is clearly serious fraud and criminal practice but, as it's been carried out by a massive company, it's basically ok. This sends such a delightful message. The main get-out clause? National security and protection from terrorism of course! Yes, all that terrorism that arises from other countries not buying arms, that's the stuff. Oh, and jobs. Yep, crime is fine, just fine, as long as it pays the bills... hang on, isn't that what most organised crime achieves? The whole thing is absolutely ludicrous, once again it's like the government is being run by a bunch of school kids making dares with each other to see what they can get away with. Sure it's naïve to expect the government to actually have principles (although they've certainly been banging on to plenty of other countries about how to do things proper like), but when you've been found out and all you can do is come out with "um…the wider public interest outweighed the need to maintain the rule of law" while BAE says something along the lines of 'if we didn't participate in bribes then someone else would' you're at a new low.

Meanwhile the decision on trident looms closer (another plus for BAE?) and another volte-face; we've dropped national law about serious fraud, hell, why not break some (more) international conventions while we're at it. Who needs nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament anyway? We've got the fucking bomb.

And tick goes the doomsday clock, 11.55pm, five minutes to midnight, here we are close to the end of this wild ride of self-determination/self-extermination, nothing left but to hold on tight and enjoy this orgy of military might, imaginary growth and greenbacks while the world turns and burns and burns and burns and burns and burns and burns and burns and burns and burns and burns and... wait, did I mention principles earlier?


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