Deja Vu

At Eleven a.m. this morning, the Classic FM channel fell silent for two minutes, in accord with many other stations and channels, to remember the dead who fell in ‘The Great War’, the Second World War, the Korean War, and all the other conflagrations from the Falklands to Basra and Helmand. I had an uncle, his name to us was Uncle Pete. As a very small boy, I can just remember him coming to see my mother in the middle of May in 1944; he picked me up and sat me on the high, old-fashioned mantelpiece in our kitchen, scared me rotten it did! But he smiled when I called out, and swung me down again, safe and sound to sit with our cats while he and his wife talked with my mother.

I did not know, no-one knew that that visit would be his last. He landed on Sword Beach on the 6th June 1944, and died seven weeks later, a casualty of ‘friendly fire’; and lies in a tiny cemetery plot in a churchyard in a Normandy village named Bonnebosq. He left behind a wife and three children.

My own father served throughout that War, having signed up the day after War was declared by a man who some, but only some, believe was the true saviour of Great Britain. That man was of course Neville Chamberlain. I am one of those who believe the reverse is true. The first belief stems from the time which was given Britain to answer the call to arms which was sounded by the Munich Agreement between Germany and Britain. The truth that Germany was outclassed by the combination of French and British armies when Hitler called for the Sudetenland to become part of Greater Germany didn’t even make Chamberlain blink.

He sold the Czechs down the river, because he had been in the First World War, and could simply not imagine “How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far-away country between people of whom we know nothing.” It is true that Britain gained a year and a half to bring her Air Force from a peace-time status to something approaching war status, but we had a standing Army which was a match for anything forecast, and a Navy which was second to none.

If Chamberlain and Daladier, the French Premier, had stood firm at Bad Godesberg and Munich, the Nazi bully would have been shown as a busted flush, a windbag which had been punctured, and the world would probably have been spared the horrors of that which sprawled across Europe, then the Middle-East and then the Far East. They should have stood firm, they had the troops, the ships, the military might to stand up to a Germany which was unprepared for any sort of conflict at all.

As a matter of record, just compare the present day, where we are preparing to throw away a mobile trump card in the shape of an operational carrier, complete with a fully ready, if slightly diminished fleet of Harrier jets; possibly the only method of defending the Falkland Islands against an Argentina which still believes the isles are named Las Malvinas!

No, just cross the ‘t’ and dot the ‘i’; thats fine!

As with so many things in politics, news is only given to us, the great unwashed, the lowly voters and consumers, when it is considered timely. I believe the term is ‘We must control the Story’. This, one presumes, is because if the ‘authorised version’ is issued, or expanded upon, the views of the issuing politicians will be reflected when inhaled by ‘the consumer’.

But what happens when the news or report does not run concurrently with the known views of those sneaky, clever, pro-active politicians? Well, if the politicians sitting around in the White House get some news about, say, the Gulf Oil Spill which doesn’t actually gel with their views or positions; they get the news changed to suit!
They called for an Interior Department review of deep water drilling after the oil spill on April 20th following from the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon drill rig. The White House also called for a six-month moratorium on such deep water drill operations, with D.O.I.s Ken Salazar fronting the push from the White House, stating that “a six-month pause in drilling is needed, appropriate, and prudent.”

So the Interior Department set about the review, calling in seven experts to check their own findings. The experts were brought on board, and the review was undertaken. The Executive Summary was sent to the White House, but two edited drafts of this summary were returned to the Interior Department, and the Department was asked to modify the Summary in the words suggested by the drafts sent back!

The Dept. Of the Interior’s Internal Inspector General stated that ““The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,” and that the draft was worded in a manner that the experts had ‘peer reviewed’ and supported the policy decision to suspend drilling for six months; when in fact the ‘experts’ had neither reviewed nor supported such a decision!

So when the Obama White House gets the experts it approves of, after making sure that one particular expert was kicked off an Energy panel because of his robust views on homosexuality, never mind oil; and then finds out they don’t agree with the policy they were asked to review and approve, the White House just changes the words.

From the desk of the President, that is just about what we have come to expect from this former ‘Community Activist’!