Socialist Worker

The world is no longer his oyster

Issue No. 1896

ONE OF the nastiest members of the Bush gang is starting to get his comeuppance. Richard Perle is one of the key 'hawks' behind George Bush, and is known in the US as the 'Prince of Darkness'. Richard Perle has had to back down from his attempt to sue an investigative journalist for libel.

He had threatened to sue the New Yorker after reporter Seymour Hersh claimed he was involved with a firm that profited from the 'war on terrorism'. At the time Perle was a defence adviser to Bush, and also a leading figures in Trireme Partners. Trireme is a 'venture capital fund seeking investments in the defence and homeland security industries'.

Perle's humiliating climbdown comes after he was forced to stand down first as chairman of the Defence Policy Board, which advises the Pentagon, and then to resign from the body altogether. Perle is also on the board of crisis-hit Hollinger International, the media empire which Lord Black ran into the ground after siphoning off huge amounts of cash.

There is now a bloody fight at Hollinger which is consuming Perle and other rich hawks such as Henry Kissinger. An abandoned libel action, an enforced resignation, and business bloodletting. They say bad luck runs in threes. Here's hoping that for Perle it comes in eights, nines and tens.

In this week

100 years ago: 1904

SIGNING OF the Entente Cordiale, the imperialist deal between France and Britain to carve up Africa and Asia between themselves.

Government for the people?

THE US presidential election will be an issue for opponents of the war around the world. So a new website is giving activists outside the US a chance to have their say. By going to you can choose from George Bush, John Kerry and Ralph Nader. So far anti-war activist Nader has around 50 percent of the vote, with Kerry on 45 percent and Bush with just 5 percent of the vote.

Just what the world needs

THE AIR cannon has been hailed as the next great innovation in marketing. Jets of air will be pumped out of special nozzles in billboards and inside supermarkets.

The streams of air will carry scents directly into the noses of customers. The developers say that the air cannon can target an individual nose-leaving other customers unaffected.

BNP's pal in bomb attempt

NAZI nailbomber David Copeland is back to his old tricks. The former British National Party (BNP) member killed three people and wounded 139 in 1999 with a series of nail bombings.

Now officers at Belmarsh prison, London, have discovered him building a bomb inside prison using match heads and nails from prison furniture. He wanted to use the bomb to blow up black prisoners. Copeland was pictured alongside John Tyndall, the BNP leader before Nicholas Griffin.

Queen Mum's plant car

AN UNUSUAL vehicle is up for sale at a vintage car auction later this month. The rather fancy 1946 Humber Snipe was owned by the Queen Mother.

The sale blurb explains, 'This unique vehicle was built to the special order of Her Majesty the Queen Mother. Its prime purpose was to transport Her Majesty's favourite house plants to wherever she was staying on her journeys around the Realm.'

Economical with truth

DID GORDON Brown lie in his budget speech? On 17 March he told the House of Commons, 'Having asked the Treasury to investigate in greater historical detail, I can now report that Britain is enjoying its longest period of sustained economic growth for more than 200 years.'

The next day Socialist Worker contacted the Treasury asking to see the data supporting their claim. After considering this request for ten days, they finally managed to refer us to the Office for National Statistics.

The Office for National Statistics did not have data going back for 200 years and said that data from more than 100 years ago may not be 'as firmly based' as later data. They suggested that we look at their report on economic growth over the last 100 years.

The data in that report shows that Gordon Brown got it wrong. The longest period of sustained growth took place after the Second World War, ending 25 years later in the mid-1970s. The current period of growth started in the early 1990s.

Figure it out

£79.7 million

Profits made by the EMI group in the last year. They announced that they would cut 1,500 jobs and get rid of their least profitable 20 percent of artists. EMI blamed people file-sharing music over the internet for the cuts.

Sweet sixteen

NEW LABOUR'S vision of imposing curfews on young people has become a reality in the town of Wigton. From 9pm until 6am anyone under the age of 16 roaming the streets will be detained by the police. Their parents could be fined £2,500 or locked up for three months.

The police are using the new Anti-Social Behaviour Act to target school children. They will be allowed to disperse any groups of more than two young people on the streets of the town. Amnesty International member Jane Mayes says, 'This curfew is making kids into criminals.'

Obsessed cop

A NORFOLK policeman was sent down last week for a series of offences. Among them was theft of police property. PC Ian Sherring built a bizarre 'shrine' to policing at his Norwich home, with an Aladdin's cave of police equipment. But many of the thousands of items were nicked-from the police.

Who says?

'I wouldn't suggest he should feel secure. I wouldn't propose that any insurance company give him coverage.'

Ariel Sharon, Israeli prime minister last week threatens to assassinate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat

'If we are to combat the avoidable spread of infection, there is no substitute for regular handwashing.'

SIR WILLIAM STEWARD chair of the Health Protection Agency gives official advice on how to defend against biological and chemical weapons threats

'All of these accidents were avoidable. What's happened is criminal in the truest sense of the word and it's been done in the name of profit.'

GIORGOS PHILIOUSIS, Greek construction workers' union on the 13 workers killed in the race to build Athens Olympic Stadium

'The Bush doctrine is that in this new world, we Americans reserve the right to go anywhere, anytime, to beat the living daylights out of anyone.'

RICHARD BUTLER, former United Nations weapons inspector

'Bush and Cheney are a throwback to the Nixon time. Believe me, I know something about the way White Houses work.'

JOHN DEAN, former US president Richard Nixon's lawyer who served four months in jail for his role in the Watergate scandal which ended Nixon's presidency

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Article information

Inside the System
Sat 10 Apr 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1896
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