Little Green Footballs

Friday, September 23, 2005

The wisdom of Boris

Here's a fantastic piece by Tory MP Boris Johnson. I wonder if Charles will dub him a dhimmi, commie, moonbat or whatever?

What a shambles. What chaos. And how quickly it all seems to be getting worse. Looking at those pictures of a Basra jail, pulverised by the British Army, it seems hard to believe that it was only six months ago that the very same British Army took me to see a jail in the very same city.

I was there with a couple of Labour MPs, and a leading Welsh Nat, and we inspected the premises in our best Duke-of-Edinburgh way, smiles stitched tightly on, hands behind backs, and we all agreed that it was really rather impressive. I am not suggesting that a Basra jail is exactly a Mark Warner holiday - I remember the terrible fug and the black hole full of 34 juvenile offenders, some of them in for rape and murder, and the way they clutched at my legs and begged for "forgiveness".

I remember the poor illiterate Iranian women and their children, the terrible sanitation, the gap-toothed grins on the faces of the men who crowded round the bars as we passed.

But on the whole, we MPs were agreed that much good was being done here, and being done by the British. The governor sat on his plastic brown armchair and gave a long speech of thanks to HMG, and I noted that we were instructing the Iraqis in some precious ideas: the concept of habeas corpus, the notion that a suspect was entitled to a lawyer, the complete inadmissibility of torture or beating - that kind of thing. Then we were bundled back into our flak jackets and into the armoured convoy, and I came away with the impression - whether brainwashed or not - that Britain and the fledgling Iraqi government were working together, with the utmost dedication, to rebuild public confidence in a humane and durable criminal justice system.

And now, on Monday, I learn the reality of the relations between the British forces and the Iraqi police.

Read it all.

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