Socialist Worker

Inside the system

Issue No. 1694

Inside the system

Kens too close

BARBIE AND Ken are a threat to public morals. That's the view of police in the quiet Dumfrieshire village of Moniaive. The police have ordered Barbie fan Marcelle Bremner to tone down her display of the dolls in the window of her disused shop. That's not because they are worried about Barbie and women's oppression. The police claim it is because of the "graphic nature" of the display, and that it is "lewd and libidinous". But the problem is not the dozens of different Barbie dolls arranged in different poses and costumes.

The problem is the two Ken dolls sitting closely together wearing only Bermuda shorts! The police visited Bremner and said, "Get those Ken dolls dressed... And I don't want those two men beside each other!"

'They're alright for servants...'

ANN WIDDECOMBE is leading the Tories' disgusting bashing of refugees. She believes those who move across the globe in search of work are "economic migrants" who should not be allowed into the country. But Widdecombe was once an "economic migrant" herself. She lived in Singapore when she was child because her father got a job there. Her family was not put through much of an immigration ordeal, however. Here she is with one of their servants.

REFORM of the repressive regime in Morocco is being introduced at a phenomenal pace. The new king, only nine months into his reign, has ripped up royal convention and decreed that from now on his limo WILL have to stop at traffic lights.

Gould slumps

PHILIP GOULD, New Labour's back room spin doctor, has proven less popular at the ballot box than he is with Blair and his cronies. Gould stood in the parent governor elections at Camden School for Girls. His manifesto stated, "I work in politics and I am a strategic adviser to Tony Blair and the government. It has been a central mission in my life to help improve state education." He ended with the plea, "I would like you to vote for me, but above all I would like you to vote." Parents listened to that. But they didn't vote for Gould.

Turn a Nelson eye to it

QUESTION: What do you get if you are a member of military intelligence and you deliberately set fire to a police station in order to destroy evidence? ANSWER: Promoted. That is what has happened to two former army intelligence officers in Northern Ireland. Both now hold senior posts at the army's intelligence headquarters in Bedfordshire, according to the Sunday Times. Both officers were members of a covert army unit in Northern Ireland which deliberately interfered with a police investigation into the leaking of security force files to Loyalist killers.

Sir John Stevens, now head of the Metropolitan police, headed the inquiry. His inquiry uncovered Brian Nelson, an army intelligence officer who was acting as the Ulster Defence Association's intelligence officer. The night before Nelson was due to be arrested, Stevens' office was set on fire. Nelson was still tried and committed for murder, but only because Stevens had made copies of all his files.

The Sunday Times reports one of those suspected of starting the fire still deals with matters relating to Northern Ireland.

Did they adjust your set?

THE MEDIA was biased during NATO's bombing of Kosovo, but just how biased? It has now emerged that military propaganda experts were, for a time, staffing newsrooms.

Two leading US news channels have admitted that they allowed psychological operations officers from the military to work as placement interns at their headquarters during the war.

CNN hosted five officers. National Public Radio (NPR) took three. Both CNN and NPR deny the officers influenced their news coverage, and both stopped the scheme when details of it were published in a Dutch newspaper.

Stupid rich

THE BOSSES' paper, the Financial Times, is worth buying on a Saturday if you want to send your blood pressure soaring. It contains a special supplement, subtley titled "How To Spend It". Its sole aim is to give ideas to those with more money than sense about how to get rid of their dosh. Recently recommended things that you just can't live without include:

  • Hand-blown wine glasses, 62 each.
  • Small crystal dragon knick-knacks, 99 each.
  • Stainless steel kerosene lamp, 285.
  • A Christopher Farr (who?) hand-woven rug, 3,500.
  • A corona wool upholstered chair, 2,290.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Article information

Sat 29 Apr 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1694
Share this article

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.