A wish list for 2009
Some predictions for international highlights of the new year...if justice were to prevail in the world.
: Tony Blair is arrested at Heathrow Airport as he returns from yet another foreign speaking engagement (receipts since leaving office: £12m). He is flown to The Hague to stand trial for war crimes for his part in the illegal, unprovoked attack on a defenseless country, Iraq, justified by proven lies, and for the subsequent physical, social and cultural destruction of that country, causing the death of up to a million people.
According to the Nuremberg Tribunal, this is the "paramount war crime." The prosecution tells Blair's defense team it will not accept a plea of "sincerely believing." Cherie Blair, a close collaborator who has compared her husband with Winston Churchill, is cautioned.
: Following the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the United States, his predecessor, George W. Bush, is arrested leaving the Church of the Holy Crusader in his home town of Crawford, Texas. He is flown to The Hague in War Criminal One (see above for prosecution details). Laura Bush, after a plea bargain, agrees to give evidence against the former president, "for God's sake."
: Former vice-president Dick Cheney shoots himself in the foot hunting squirrels following a prayer breakfast in Hope, Florida.
: Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest and assumes her rightful place as the democratic head of the government of Burma.
: All American and British troops leave Iraq, including the "300-400" British troops who are to stay behind to "train Iraqis" and do the kind of special forces dirty work almost never reported by embedded journalists.
: All Nato troops leave Afghanistan.
: The British government calls a halt to selling arms and military equipment to ten out of 14 conflict-hit countries in Africa. The chairman of the arms company BAE Systems is arrested by the Serious Fraud Office.
: The British Department for International Development ends its support for privatization as a condition of aid to the poorest countries.
: Sir Bob Geldof and Bono visit Tony Blair in prison, suggesting a worldwide Crime Aid gig to raise money for their hero's defence.
: The Booker Prize winner Anne Enright apologizes to Gerry and Kate McCann, parents of the missing child Madeleine McCann, for speculating in the London Review of Books about the possible involvement of the McCanns in the disappearance of their daughter.
: Gordon Brown is kidnapped, hooded and forced to listen repeatedly to his 2007 speech to bankers at a Mansion House banquet: "What you as the City of London have achieved for financial services, we as a government now aspire to achieve for the whole economy."
: Tony Blair is sentenced to life imprisonment and beatified by the Pope.
If you think none of this will happen, you are probably right. But beware 2010...
First published in the New Statesman.