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Corrupt to the Core

Rebecca BrooksWhen the Chilcot Inquiry delivers its report, if ever it does, we can be quite certain already that there will be nothing in it more revealing and informative than the very fact of it having taken four years to arrive – a lot of public memory erasure and dust settling has had to occur.

It has been part of a trail of inquiries, such as the Hutton Inquiry, which was most emphatically not an inquiry into the Iraq War, much less any other public concern about that illegal war and not to mention a widespread concern that Dr Kelly was murdered, concluded from its inquiries into the Death of Dr Kelly that “Nobody could have anticipated that Dr Kelly would take his life”. Marvellous!

Yet it somehow managed, after all that tight focus on Dr Kelly’s untimely death (or otherwise, depending on how you perceive the context), to conclude that “The dossier had not been ‘sexed up’, but was in line with available intelligence, although the Joint Intelligence Committee, chaired by John Scarlett, may have been ‘subconsciously influenced’ by the government”. Marvellous!

While this meshes quite seamlessly and on the same gradient with the conclusion of the Butler inquiry, that “key intelligence used to justify the war with Iraq has been shown to be unreliable”, yet it does nothing at all to allay the widespread and deeply held public conviction that the war was an illegal and immoral act of shockingly aggressive violence that destroyed a civilised nation, caused incalculable death and suffering and was all about OIL (and of course, the personal wealth of its promoters).

This conviction hasn’t gone away, isn’t going away and will not go away until another generation of whitespace minds can be imprinted with another set of equally disgusting falsehoods. But in the meantime, governments will continue to take the form of shabby, uncomfortable alliances of parties that loathe each other, if not themselves and will never, even while they can cling unhappily together, have a hope of being elected on the support of more than 30% of the electorate, nor stave off the endless stream of undisguisable public contempt for politicians, politics and the state of government in the pocket of corporate corruption despite the ardent efforts of a corporate-dominated media renowned for its irrelevance to the political reality of an increasingly alienated and angry population. Yet the House of Lords remain doggedly focussed on the ‘real problem’ – The Inquiries Act 2005 – which apparently is not doing its job of “ensuring that public inquiries are carried out as effectively and thoroughly as possible”. Thus we can guess, extrapolating along the linear gradient, at the sort of ‘improvements’ they will smuggle into the act.

Yet even as the suffering of the Iraqi people, hard upon the violent destruction of their country and their lives, increases exponentially, expands and disperses its seeds to other fertile ground, thanks to the nefarious divisive efforts of their invaders that cultivated the original crop, the oil and the money flow. Follow the money! Showering glory on war mongers who still can have their platform and voice despite the airing of all their shocking sins, on arms traders and football tournament promoters and pharmaceutical executives who bribe and cheat for a living and shamelessly receive their pecuniary rewards along with the bankers and market manipulators who all ply their art to ensure that the conundrum of the ‘wealth divide’ remains eternally unfathomable.

And down at the level of the more ‘at home’ realities of phone hacking and other criminality, which should never, God forbid, be brought into the Parliament but rather, should remain in its right and proper place among the Newspaper Empires and among the police we have a justice system “working as it should”. So all the evidence, which despite having been available and incubated for over seven years and somehow failed in all that time to reveal their crimes, yet proved sufficient and all that was required to convict a big, but not the bigger and certainly not the biggest slimy fish. While the ‘red tops’ are protected they will serve admirably to insulate the Moghuls, who gleefully pop their Champaign corks and increase their swagger and their undue influence as they re-badge and resume “business as usual”.

Yet the stench from the sewer below permeates the air as the rotten legacies of Jimmy Saville and Cyril Smith are exhumed for public airing and sacrifice to appease the Gods, atoning for the sins of an all-pervasive system that nurtured and protected not just two bad apples but certainly a broad network, insulated by the underlings who carry on their work of ‘look the other way’ and ‘business as usual’, of ‘not my job’ and ‘not my problem’ among those most difficult of questions “To investigate or not to investigate”, “To prosecute or not to prosecute”, “To know or not to know”. It lives on and on and on.

So it comes timely to me an interesting quotation that seems to unify and explain, like a universal theory, all that we have observed in the past decade and all that it says about our civilisation and our society, which has sunk so low as must believe there is no such thing as community:

"A Society that is in its higher circles and middle levels widely believed to be a network of smart rackets does not produce men with an inner moral sense; a society that is merely expedient does not produce men of conscience. A society that narrows the meaning of "success" to the big money and in its terms condemns failure as the chief vice, raising money to the plane of absolute value, will produce the sharp operator and the shady deal. Blessed are the cynical, for only they have what it takes to succeed."- From The Power Elite by C. Wright Mills.

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