31/10/01 – Hallowe’en News
Tony Blair goes East – an end to terrorism. Metal doors on planes. Good times coming to an end? No more dumped cars, though.
Tony Blair was not stunned in Damascus when the bombs weren’t going down well. If the smiles look uneasy, that’s not surprising. Syria doesn’t support Israel and isn’t happy. “It is difficult to come here and do anything, but let’s at least try”. The NY attacks are changing things – new relationships, one small bridge built. Tony’s odyssey. Blessed are the peacemakers – not around here they’re not. Syria is vital – it’s hard-line, an enemy of Israel. We have a common interest in peace. They all stand clapping Assad, but little really changes. Syria is linked to terrorism with infographics. Syria will stick to a removal from the occupied territories. We join our friend in Jerusalem. What will he achieve? Two messages: support for the “coalition”, stop the drama. Hoping for a historic declaration in Saudi Arabia. Remember the prize.
Warplanes keep dropping bombs – on a “stronghold of the Taliban”. The Muslims would like the war to stop for Ramadan, festive peace. Relentless bombings continue. Over the past few years, we’ve always fought during Ramadan, say the Northern Alliance. They cheer the bombs. Inflammation of public outrage. Thank you.
American people should stay calm. Bush throws a ball to represent life continuing. Ministers are losing the battle for the hearts of mind for the British people. Duncan-Smith is talking about a confusing war, confusing messages. You need to sing from the same hymn sheet. The government says thank you, but fuck off. Thank you very much. Bulletproof doors that have locked doors. A man on a plane points at the door – BA and Virgin point out the hinges. A repeat of the incidents of September 11. Richard Branson says its great, experts say it’s dangerous. Pilots are against the doors – they are a marketing device. But the airlines are convinced.
No new cases of foot and mouth. The government wants rights to kill any animal with the passing of the “Animal Health Act”. What will the government kill? Sheep farmers may have the most to worry about. Or sheep. Empty fields, ovine holocaust. A farmer speaks of vaccination, cutting vet’s wages, contractors back and forth, tourists. A cool reception.
Confidence has dropped to its lowest level. A woman in Bluewater tells us that people are pessimistic about the economy but reckon they’ll be alright. An uneven picture “They want to buy!” “People were devastated”. People have more money because they’re not going on holiday. Manufacturers are having a horrible time. 2 million letters don’t get there on time every day. Beta interferon for all. Dumped cars are big magnets for arsonists. Watch out if you’ve got a shit car. Woman in a green jacket shouting over the sound of crushing metal. Sir Peter will receive one and a half million pounds. Farmers are taking advantage of climate change. Global warming supplying the pickle industry with walnuts. Climate change. Obviously.
Party leaders have portraits. Anna Ford half-smiles. Charles Kennedy makes people laugh.
A New Theory of Distraction | The New Yorker -
4 weeks ago