Needing to recover from the Village UFO incident, and rocking from side to side still as I try to write my report of the Village Music Festival, I shall be branching out this week. It is Campaign Week!!! Here, I shall fearlessly campaign.

We shall start with Iraq. Iraq has many of the problems of this part of Norfolk, with outsiders coming in and putting a strain on the local infrastructure.

So a while back, our recruiting chap out there had a conversation with some locals. Essentially, people were trying to explode our soldiers and, whatever you think about the actual warry bit, I think it’s generally accepted that we would rather our soldiers were not exploded.

“You couldn’t give us a bit of a hand?” asked the recruiting chap.

Iraqis #1 and #2 drew deep breaths. “I’d like to help,” said Iraqi #1 finally. “The economy’s frankly gone a bit tits up here. And to be honest, being an educated human being, I would also like a situation where people didn’t explode other people all the time. I’m not really into that. Just because we are Arabs and live in this war-torn country does not mean that we conform to your simple Western stereotypes.” He turned to Iraqi#2. “Does it, Abdul?”

“No, Mohammed,” replies his friend.

“The thing is,” continued #1, “We’d be risking our lives. There are death squads. By helping you catch murderers some would consider us traitors. If we help and they catch up with us then…” he tailed off.

“Oh – don’t worry,” we British replied. “I think you’ll find that the war won’t last that long. We’ll win quite easily and then Iraq will be a lovely place. A bit like Switzerland – that is the plan.”

“But with hotter weather,” chipped in his assistant.

“After all, we’ve got loads of experience in this sort of thing,” we continued. “I really can’t envisage anything going wrong, ever.”

Iraqi #2 thought deeply. “Yes, we will help,” he concludes. “Our multilingual skills and local knowledge will be very useful to you, and will help stop your soldiers being exploded. You have convinced us. Switzerland, you say? Will there be Toblerone?”

“Oh definitely,” we replied. “Sign there. I have to pop over to Afghanistan now, where Kenneth Williams and Bernard Bresslaw are causing no end of a nuisance.”


A few months later and, unfortunately, the Swissification of Iraq has hit a few delays. In fact, it’s not going well at all. Iraqi #2’s association with us means that he is now desperate for our protection. Iraqi #1 isn’t that bothered any more – he was tortured and murdered by the death squads a couple of weeks back.

It strikes me that if you’re going to have a system of giving asylum to people who face terror and horror in their own country, then it would be a reasonable idea to start with people who face terror and horror as a consequence of helping you out. This doesn’t seem to be happening. So do we address this, or do we forget the whole thing?

You can find out a bit more about this at Dan Hardie’s weblog, here.

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