Saturday, May 06, 2006

Relatively inconceivable (or inconceivably relative)

Ewen MacAskill suggests that one purpose of the Blair reshuffle, beyond using the excuse of crappy local election results to fire or demote some of the biggest embarrassments-who-aren’t-Tony-himself, was to rid himself of an obstacle to his lap-dog agenda, Jack Straw, the now-former foreign secretary, who announced a couple of weeks ago that military action against Iran was “inconceivable.” I had the feeling at the time that, to quote Inigo Montoya, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Someone needs to ask Margaret Beckett at the earliest possible opportunity what she could conceive doing to Iran.

I’m not hugely worried by the BNP (British National Party) local election wins, but perhaps that’s because of how amused I am that the place they did really well is Barking (11 seats out of 51).

John Bellinger of the State Dept told the UN Committee Against Torture that the US has been responsible for “relatively few actual cases of abuse and wrongdoing.” Relative to whom, he did not say. The Spanish Inquisition? Josef Mengela? Jack Bauer? Still, I’m sure the UN CAT (or do they prefer UNCA T?) was appropriately impressed by the relativity and lack of actuality of the cases of abuse and wrongdoing committed by America (torture, of course, we do not do. That would be inconceivable).

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