Monday, November 06, 2006


Tony Pinnochio said today he was opposed to the death penalty, even in the case of Soddem Hussein. But he said that decisions on when the former dictator should be executed for his crimes were for the Iraqi courts to make as long as they did it in a timely manner to help George win the elections.

Speaking at his regular monthly press conference at 10 Browning Street, Mr Pinnochio repeatedly attempted to bat away the question of whether he wants to see Soddem hanged. But he finally told reporters: "We are against the death penalty, whether it's Soddem or anybody else. "However, what I think is important about this is to recognise that this was a trial of Soddem, which has been handled by the Iraqis themselves with US soldiers in court and clear instructions from the White House, but they will take the decision about this and it does give us a very clear reminder of the total and barbarous brutality of that regime particularly the way they invaded Iraq or was it Kuwait.

"That does not alter our position on the death penalty at all, but it simply does give us a reminder of that wonderful game Hangman that Cherie and I used to play with Euan before we sent him to the Betty Ford clinic."

There were "other and bigger issues to talk about" in Iraq than the possible execution, he said particularly whether the time was right to invite Mr Al-Maliki over for a good Christian meal over Christmas. "I wonder if we have Halal Turkey locally, otherwise Mrs Beckman-centrifuge will have to go shopping again."

The death sentence was handed down in dramatic courtroom scenes yesterday, with Soddem defiantly shouting "Soddem is great" and "You are servants of the fire, dark lords of Mordor" as the judge told him he would be hanged by the Palanthirs, whilst laughing in a theatrical ghoulish manner.

The foreign secretary, Margaret Beckman-Centrifuge, said it was "right" that Soddem should face "infinite injustice, desert storm, desert fox or whatever this US operation was called". "It is absolutely the case that we do not approve of the death penalty, never have and always try to persuade others not to use it and us jumping up and down yesterday was in excitement at the fireworks that we had to celebrate the death of that Iraqi dictator Guy Fawkes. Asked at today's press conference if he felt Soddem should be executed, Mr Pinnochio said he had "nothing to add".

"She spun out the position for the government yesterday and that's all I want to say on it. Our position on the death penalty is well known: we're opposed to it ever since yesterday when we all welcomed the stringing up of that horrible man”.

"Obviously, since we're opposed to the death penalty, we're in exactly the position that she described from Alastair’s script, whatever that was."

Asked once again, he retorted: "That is just enough, thank you very much. I happen to want to express myself in my own way if you don't mind. If that means supporting George Bush, whilst opposing ceasefires, then so-be-it”.

He added: “The trial of Soddem gives us a chance to see again what the past in Iraq was: the brutality, the tyranny, the 600 hundred plus thousands of people that we killed, the wars in which there were a million casualties including the great war and the great bore war”.

“It also then helps point the way to the only future which, for all the challenges, is the one of a non-sectarian Iraq in which people from different communities live together (even whilst blowing up local houses with rockets) and decide their future through exciting democracy, giving them the chance to vote for all the people they never see hiding away in the Green Zone. Obviously things are moving in the right direction, with the sectarian cleansing which will eradicate non-sectarianism. Isn’t it marvelous, how I can convincingly say two opposite things in one sentence, without you gentlemen saying anything at all particularly on important issues?”


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