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The dedicated fibre optic cable between Downing Street and White City that replaced the earlier cosy channels of communication is in danger of meltdown.

On Friday of last week we were treated to a BBC ‘exclusive’. Twenty ‘Al Qaeda’ personnel had been arrested three months previously in the Yemen. They had ‘confessed’ to planning a truck bombing of the British Embassy there. A connection with Iran was conveniently alleged. By midnight the Iran bit was omitted and by next morning ‘confessed’ had become ‘admitted’. The rawness of the word torture needs to be kept from our sleeping populations, as well as the fact that we provide both the political and electrical stimuli for such.
On BBC ‘News at Ten’ this Friday, the comely Ms Bruce started with a summary which disingenuously gave no hint of what was to follow. Then suddenly there was a previously unannounced item at 10.12 pm. Up popped a ‘jack-in-the-box’ from a place called Sedgefield. He was speaking for a client republic called Libya and announcing that the Colonel was relinquishing his WMD including his nuclear weapon programme. Oddly, we had the ventriloquist but no dummy. Surely the Libyans were big enough boys to speak for themselves or at least alongside those who were applying the armlock. Anyway it was all very satisfactory given that Libyan oil goes straight to the ‘Med’ without a mixture of hostile natives threatening the pipelines whilst liberation and colonisation continue. We saw ‘jack’ with his pop eyes repeated twice more on that ‘News’ and on switching to ‘Newsnight’ there he was again.

This media ‘event’ had been planned for days. The Outside Broadcast Unit had probably arrived chez Blair at midday to ensure sound connections. Dubya followed his friend’s contribution on ‘News at Ten’ within minutes. It was obviously all a very elaborate construction.

Word has it that the Downing Street/ BBC/BBC Emergency Announcement Unit is planning to break into the Queen’s Christmas broadcast. The ‘jack’ will tell us that Ariel Sharon has decided to divest himself of his several hundred nuclear weapons. He will not be speaking himself but instead a still will be shown of Ariel shaking hands with Mordechai Vanunu as he leaves prison after eighteen years in solitary confinement.

And at Hogmanay, amongst all the tartan both liquid and woven, there will be another emergency bulletin. The ‘jack’ will be up there on the ramparts all of a sudden with floodlights full beam. He will announce the nuclear disarmament of GB and fore-swear the exportation of all arms and all future humbug African style.

So there we have it. Peace in our time whilst the nation is slumped warm on its sofa. The BBC/BBC must have worked out that propaganda sinks surreptitiously into the ‘knowing zone’ when the subjects have a working week behind them, some pleasure in store and just that bit of cognitive blunting agent in the veins.