We’ll always have Paris

I’m old enough to remember the IRA, the UVF, the Red Army Faction, Scritti Politi and the Miners Strikes. Both of them. All of them, except possibly the band, were supposed to be the worst thing ever, dedicated to destroying our way of life. Then the Ayatollah, Sadam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, the guy in Korea and all the other Worst Things Ever.

I grew up near Warminster, where the School of Infantry was and is. The police said there had been a car-chase through the grounds of Longleat house, them chasing the Bader-Meinhof gang. Except Detective Chief Superintendent Dennis Greenslade said that was bollocks when I interviewed him. Whether or not, an Army officer opened his front door one morning and someone shot him dead. It was a time when, when I found a six-wheel armoured car in a shed at the back of the Territorial Army centre where I went to shoot every Thursday evening, I wasn’t really surprised. It’s how things were.

As I got older other things happened. I went to Israel and walked into the middle of an ambush. I went to the US and had police sticking a pistol in my stomach. Years later the US Navy drew on me again. None of these things are fun. My step-sister walked down the street in London and minutes later  a car she had walked past exploded. A friend walked past Liberty’s window shortly before it blew out into the street. I was close enough to another bomb to hear the bang and see the black smoke billowing up afterwards.

And none of it works, because governments do not give a stuff whether or not civilians get killed. That’s the way it is. They can’t, apart from anything. The purpose of terrorism is to terrorise. It wasn’t me that said that, it was Lenin, who knew a thing or two about terrorism.

The IRA blew up shed loads of stuff in the UK. It didn’t work because it isn’t supposed to. I don’t understand why people don’t understand this. Dead civilians are dead civilians. People don’t like it but they don’t do anything about it, except run around screaming about freedom while they take some more of their own away. Which is what they’re supposed to do: be terrorised. This isn’t difficult stuff to understand.

The IRA got what they wanted when they blew up Canary Wharf. Suddenly, with the prospect of massive financial damage to the City of London instead of massively permanent damage to ordinary people having a night out, the British government revealed they’d been lying to their own population for years: they did talk to terrorists after all.

I’m not advocating bombing the VAT office, convenient though it might be. But I am sick of the gibberish being spouted on the TV and the radio and the press about how “France is at war with terrorism.” It doesn’t mean anything. It’s like saying you’re at war with the sky, or water, or turquoise.

We kill people every day of the week. We, the UK and the USA, killed over 100,000 civilians in Iraq, without any argument from anybody except maybe it was a lot more people than that, but then, we didn’t count. They literally did not count.

We are asked to believe more and more preposterous nonsense each time. The Twin Towers fall down because a fire burned through steel but it wasn’t hot enough to burn one of the hijackers’ passports. Amazingly and astonishingly, in a terrorist attack literally the day before the G20 conference on terrorism, the day after the entire British press was crowing about the extrajudicial murder of a man their searing analysis dubbed Jihadi John, in case the public couldn’t say his real name and had to be fed baby talk instead, another passport was found at the scene of the crime. A Syrian one, amazingly conveniently, one that even some of the press are now saying may have been fake. So just please, don’t bother telling me about how much you care about it, unless you care about all of it.

I am fed up with this. I am fed up with being lectured on the meaning of global war by people who live with their mum. I am fed up with people advocating the mass murder of other people when their experience of being shot at is playing Call Of Duty. I am fed up with morons killing each other. I am fed up with being told ‘we’ are better than ‘them,’ that when we kill them it’s fine and when they kill us it’s murder and the sky is going to fall in unless we kill more of them. I am fed up because I thought Alf Garnett was dead and instead he’s alive and well on social media. I am fed up with people wrapping themselves in a flag one day and not giving a toss about the murder of the same number of other people literally the day before, when for example, 121 people were killed in Yemen by an Allied US and UK airstrike on a civilian hospital, the same way another hospital was bombarded by Allied artillery for 90 minutes last week.

We still pretend to wonder why these things happen. It’s because they always have and they always will until we stop doing them. Until we stop thinking of them and us. All we ever have is us. All of us. Whoever we are.


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We are with ISIS in Syria.

This morning the Church of England has condemned the Prime Minister, David Cameron,’s ‘incoherent’ Middle East foreign policy. They didn’t say he was one of a small number of public school boys so far out of their depth that Boris Johnson looks like a global statesman in comparison but they didn’t really need to. These are desperate times. Don’t you know there’s a war on? There usually is, after all.

So what about ISIS? They’re a threat to our whole way of life, apparently, the same way everything that happens in the Middle East is supposed to be a threat to our way of life. They behead criminals, which is what about 45% of the UK wants to do anyway, so that’s obviously unacceptable. We’d kill people a nice way. Out of sight, for a start, so we don’t have to see what we paid someone to do for us. They’ve left thousands of people stuck on a mountain without water. We’ve sent them phone chargers though, so at least they can see what Jeremy Clarkson has to say about it on Twitter. When I was a boy American comics were full of cartoons about muscle-bound GIs stuck on a hill until the crates of chewing gum and ammunition floated down out of the sky to let them break out, take Berlin and get on back home  to Marylou-Anne gahdammit. The comic writers didn’t forsee the ‘chutes opening and grateful Yazidi refugees taking time out of their hectic schedule of despairing and dying of typhoid to pick up some style tips from Wallpaper online.

So we should be doing everything we can to stop ISIS, shouldn’t we? Obviously. But we didn’t. We did the opposite. We protected them. This isn’t my opinion. This is what Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said. He’s a Republican, from a rootin’ tootin’ right-to-carry state, the kind of place where if you’re out driving of a night time and see a gopher at the side of the road it’s acceptable behaviour to stop your car, open the glove box, pull out your .38, get out and shoot it. It’s about the size of a long rabbit. It doesn’t even bite people, which in the circumstances seems foolish. I’ve met people from Kentucky who’ve done exactly this. Shot small gophers, not bite people you understand. They were normal, nice people who were fun to be around. Apart from the guns and death thing and back then I liked guns a lot.

But anyway, why were we with ISIS? Because they hated Al-Queada. We hated Al-Queada, which was presented to us as The Enemy, the same way the guys in the grey uniforms and different shaped hats were throughout the twentieth century, rather than the loose alliance of pissed-off foreign people who thought they’d been sold down the river by the West after they were paid to fight the Russians in Afghanistan then told thanks guys, see you but not if we see you first when the Russians went home.  We armed the mujadheen in Afghanistan all through the 1980s and 90s. We gave them Stinger missiles to shoot down Russian helicopters. We gave them a bounty if they could bring-in a Russian SVD sniper rifle There are so many references to all of this on the web that I really haven’t got the time or the inclination to cite them. Do it yourself. That’s what Google’s for.

Or you could do what David Cameron does. Make your opinion on what the” facts” are or what to do on who makes the loudest noise in the media. And remember, the media lies. And lies. And lies. They’ve got chemical weapons. It doesn’t matter that we sold them to them. They’ve got weapons of mass destruction. Like the atom bombs that Israel has which it’s rude to mention, apart from the fact the baddies didn’t have WMDs at all. That was just made-up. They’ve got missiles which could strike our bases within 45 minutes. Everyone wanted to think that meant places like Purbright and Warminster, not Cyprus at the very outside, and they couldn’t meet that timeframe anyway, and that’s what things like Iron Dome anti-missile missiles are for in the first place and we won’t hear a word against that, will we? Most of all though, they’re trying to destroy our way of life.

What does that even mean? If it means that some Middle East countries might put a price on the oil we’ve built our entire economy on, which was stupid, that we don’t find convenient or acceptable then our wonderful free markets should be able to sort the problem out. Markets are efficient, after all. The most perfect of all economies. So why shouldn’t we pay four times more for what’s left of the oil? Because like any spoiled child, we don’t want to. And it’s not fair. What we should do is go round the housing estates where there aren’t any jobs and get the brightest kids there to put a uniform on, then nobody really has to care if they get killed or not. They’re Our Brave Boys, fighting for our way of life, or the right to fill every Tesco car park with second-hand Range-Rovers, which is pretty much the same thing.

We do not give a fuck what happens in these countries. We do not care if every woman there gets raped or stoned to death. If you think that’s outrageous then direct your outrage to the fact that the government we installed in Afghanistan demands that wives are obliged to fulfill their husband’s sexual desires. That’s the law. If they don’t – and let’s face it, the Kabul Anne Summers shop probably isn’t much to inspire anyone – they can be starved to death. Us. We did that. It was against the law before our favourite Afghan changed the law there. Do we care if Arab women get stoned to death? We certainly didn’t care when a Saudi princes was beheaded in a carpark for playing away. We made a documentary about it (Death Of a Princess) and then decided not to show it, in case it upset ‘our way of life.’ Not the way of life that doesn’t generally behead women for shagging someone they perhaps ought not to have done, but the way of life that likes Saudi oil.

So let’s do what we always do. Let’s have a war. It doesn’t matter what side we pick, or who or what we’re fighting for, or how many times we change sides. That never happens. You won’t see any mention of it in the media. Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania and it’s Rude To Mention It anyway.

Vote for Rupert Murdoch, which in the UK should suit most people because you don’t even have to bother voting. Just remember when you don’t then you do. You vote for how things turn out. All of it. You wild non-voting rebel you.

And please, don’t go to the Remembrance service. Dying to support a pile of lies is a big enough insult to deal with, without people wrapping themselves in your shroud.




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