Nice to see Brown* speaking out re: the “deplorable” circumstances around Saddam’s execution, naturally only after a certain amount of public hand-wringing and press sanctimony has forced him into it. The reaction to the whole affair bugs me I have to admit. First up, as far as I’m aware every politician that has gone on record has made a point of insisting that they are against the death penalty but the way the execution was carried out was unacceptable. So the condemnation revolves not around the fact that they hanged him, but that that they hanged him in an inappropriate way. If you’re against the death penalty doesn’t the manner in which you kill someone become, y’know, rather incidental? But then again we do still have that special relationship with America don’t we, where hundreds of poor black and white-trash surplus-population are railroaded through the courts and disposed of yearly and we wouldn’t want to critisise the Iraq regime for something that that great Ambassador for civilized values, the States, also practices. So the tenor of the rhetoric is: I’m against murder personally but if you’re not and you must murder people (cultural relativity and all that!), let’s at least do it with sufficient decorum! It reminds me of a headline I saw in the Evening Standard a few weeks ago:“ Ipswich killer “Out of control.” Is this just some Brit middle-class Puritan ethic coming out here? That the most important thing is being dispassionate? Look, we would really prefer it if you didn’t murder prostitutes but if you must, show a bit of restraint, one a week or so, moderation in all things! Same with Saddam, let’s not acknowledge the enormous satisfaction that hanging the fucker must have given to thousands of people including plenty of people in the Bush and Blair administration, the sheer hand- rubbing, joyfully cackling revenge of it all. Oh no, not when an opportunity for sanctimony presents itself. The injunction more than anything seems to be against enjoyment, or rather, openly expressing it, and dare I suggest there’s an underlying racism: see, the Arabs are still driven by bestial instincts and the grossest of pleasures whereas we truly civilized liberal-bourgeoise Christians have superceded all that. Violating peoples fundamental human rights must be done under the guise of a solemn and passionless duty, just like it is in the States, it must be ritualised in such a way that we can pretend that we ourselves don’t get any pleasure from the act of revenge/ exercising our power, its merely a regrettable duty undertaken on behalf of society in the name of a blind justice. Really, I guess it’s a perfect piece of early twenty first century entertainment in that all those people pouring over the photos and watching the youtubed videos can shake their heads in self-righteous indignation at just what a bunch of savages they all are, how backward and go about the business of mercilessly fighting to be top-dog in work, humiliating desperate wannabees on TV, organising paedophile Lynch mobs and clamouring for Huntley et al to be strung up, secure in the knowledge that as a society we have risen above the base impulses which still characterize others.
*Blair has remained silent thus far. He will make a suitably pious proclamation when the time is right. Wouldn’t it be great if it went..
Q: Mr Blair, how do you feel about the recent events in Iraq?
Blair: “Man, I was like …. YESSSSSS, nailed you, you Fucker! Come on! Don’t fuck with the British Empire! Or you KNOW we’ll fuck you up.