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Anorak | When Scientists Attack

When Scientists Attack

by | 22nd, August 2003

‘IN the sport of politics a nickname can help you climb a little higher up the greasy pole.

‘I will probably be found dead in the woods”

‘Red Ken’ Livingstone, ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher and Ronald ‘The Gipper’ Reagan have all bonded with their electorate through the use of a pally moniker.

It’s not surprising that Ali Hassan al-Majid, one of Saddam Hussein’s myriad relatives, sought one out for himself. And so Chemical Ali was born.

It is a trifle unfortunate that he earned his populist identity by poisoning people but the path to political fame is never an easy one.

Now, as the Independent reports, Chemical Ali has been captured alive by the Americans.

The paper has a neat biography of Ali, beginning with the school chemistry set he was given for his eighth birthday and following his scientific progress through a GCSE in Applied Science (A grade) right up to the deaths of 5,000 Iraqi Kurds.

Readers might be a little surprised at Ali’s arrest given that reports have told of his death at least half a dozen times over the past months.

But a man can die only once, a truth illustrated by the case of Dr David Kelly.

Kelly was never given a card in the Enemies of Good Folks deck, but if he had it might have been the joker. Thing is, the joke is either going to be on the British Government, the BBC or both.

But yesterday at the Hutton Inquiry things took a spooky turn. The Telegraph says in its headline that there were “gasps of disbelief at a death foretold”.

The Times hears evidence from David Broucher, a former Ambassador to Prague who recalls a conversation he had with David ‘Walter Mitty’ Kelly.

“As Dr Kelly was leaving, I said to him, ‘What will happen if Iraq is invaded?’ and his reply was – which I took at the time to be a throw-away remark – he said: ‘I will probably be found dead in the woods’.”

Amazing stuff. But the real fun is foreseeing what will happen next Thursday when Tony Blair takes the stand.

Will we see Phoney Tony, George’s Poodle, Bambi or a completely new man..?’



Posted: 22nd, August 2003 | In: Broadsheets Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink