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ROLL up, roll up! Get your tickets here for the cinematic blockbuster of the year — Iraq War III The Movie: This Time It’s Even More Pointless.
Featuring a cast of thousands (of innocent civilians) Iraq War III will be brought to you in glorious Technicolor, mainly red, with special effects that you simply won’t believe provided by the experts at industrial might and tragic.
Iraq War III The Movie is brought to you by the people behind such previous entertainment extravaganzas as Blame it on the Taliban, Iraq II: The Musical which featured such-show stopping numbers as “Don’t put my daughter in a grave Mr Wolfowitz” and You Only (Bomb) Libya Twice.
“Absolutely brilliant — five stars,” says the Daily Mail. “Needs more explosions,” The Sun. “Hang on a minute!” — the UN.
Yes that’s right, not for the first time this column is in the invidious position of writing for publication when Britain may or may not be at war again.
This time last year David Cameron was handed a spectacularly humiliating lesson in the workings of democracy and the rule of international law when, due to mass public outrage, his plans to bomb Syria were thwarted.
It was tempting to picture him after that narrowly averted debacle in the guise of a Scooby Doo villain — “I would have got away with it if it wasn’t for you pesky peaceniks, lawyers, judges, International Criminal Court…”
This time round however it does not require a great gift for prognostication to predict that the bombers will be taking off imminently, what with the newly founded unionist triumvirate of Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all apparently eager to spill some foreign blood, probably in lieu of actually being able to bomb Scotland.
Even Dominic Grieve wouldn’t sign off on that one.
But then, what better way to recement the union than get together to blow the hell out of someone else in a haze of jingoistic bloodlust and felonious fraternity.
And what a fraternity it is, the US, Britain and France are in the process of launching airborne death on Iraq aimed at destroying terror group Isis, principally known for flagrant human rights abuses and the brutal execution of prisoners with the active support of… er, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Does anyone else spot the irony there?
But when the Saudis and Egyptians torture people and summarily kill them that’s different obviously because it’s “cultural” and of course there’s the small matter of them buying billions of pounds of weapons from us.
Yes, sadly it would appear that by the time you read this Cameron will be one step closer to surpassing Tony Blair’s record for most pointless slaughters perpetrated by a serving prime minister.
Blair, unsurprisingly, is well up for it. He’d bomb his reflection if he wasn’t so in love with it.
But, on a lighter note while continuing the theme of blatant hypocrisy and the sinking feeling of deja-vu, on to those wacky boys and girls in the Democratic Unionist Party.
The DUP has been somewhat subdued of late what with the recent much-unlamented demise of their totemic demagogue the Arch-Bigot, Papa Doc Paisley.
Their noses have probably also been put out of joint having been pretty well eclipsed in the sectarian stakes by the Scottish referendum row.
So what better time for a night of the long knives and a touch of judicious pruning of the more unpalatable figures in the party.
Party leader Peter Robinson wielded the stiletto in a surprise purge on Wednesday night which saw two of the party’s big beasts — Edwin Poots and Nelson McCausland — bit the dust.
They say a week is a long time in politics but seeing as both Poots and McCausland are avowed creationists for them it’s probably about 2.5 seconds.
With regard to McCausland the only real shock is that he lasted as long as he did, so tainted by scandal and dogged by allegations of corruption is the now-former social development minister.
He came under severe pressure to quit last year after allegations of major political interference in attempting to ensure the retention of NI Housing Executive contracts worth millions of pounds by maintenance firm Red Sky.
This was despite Red Sky having been previously stripped of the contract for over-charging and inferior work.
He faces further allegations of misleading the assembly over talks he held with double glazing firm Turkington — which just happens to be a major DUP donor — and allegations of a deliberately discriminatory social housing allocation policy in north Belfast. And that’s just for starters.
It would appear McCausland took the old adage about God helping those who help themselves very much to heart.
Poots, who regular readers of this column may recall describes himself as “an opponent of evolution,” finally lost the health portfolio after becoming so toxic Russia’s Federal Security Service was considering using him as an alternative to polonium.
Showing exactly where the DUP’s priorities lie, Poots was not sacked for his rabid homophobia or general incompetence — neither of which is necessarily a barrier to success, being essentially prerequisites for DUP membership — but for refusing to implement further spending cuts.
However anyone hoping against hope that this departure might bring some sanity to proceedings need only take a cursory glance at the CV of Poots’ successor Jim Wells.
Wells is described as a prominent member of Stormont’s all-party pro-life group, opposed gay pride and is, yes you guessed it, a proud creationist.
Plus ca change.
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