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5.0 out of 5 stars The business of the press is disclosure, 6 Feb. 2010
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This review is from: Hoo-Hahs and Passing Frenzies: Collected Journalism, 1991-2001 (Paperback)
In these acerbic comments, Francis Wheen paints a brutal and devastating picture of the British elite, its Prime Ministers, its politicians, its Foreign Secretaries, its press and its school system as well as work in general.

Prime Ministers
James Callaghan was surrounded by a `gruesome crew of friends' (Ponzi schemers and fraudsters).
Ted Heath was a consultant of the perpetrators of the Tiananmen massacre.
Margaret Thatcher was an opportunistic hypocrite. `She hated quangos, but created hundreds of new ones.'
Anthony Blair was a warmonger (a pre-emptive nuclear striker), a `real cynic' (declaring war on elites only hours before a £ 350-a-head dinner for corporate donors) and `a harlot, prostituting himself to the right-wing tabloids.'

Parliamentarians as hypocrites (war on poverty) and killjoys
Since Labour's victory, the gap between rich and poor households has widened despite Blair's promise `I don't want any forgotten people in Britain'. He became a fierce tax cutter for the rich.
Their slogan is `do as I say, not as I do' in morality, censure and sex matters.
`Sex is like the false hare in front of us, forever out of reach. The horror of horrors is that we may enjoy it.'

Foreign policies, Falklands
Great-Britain seems not to be a very sovereign nation: the agenda of its Foreign Secretary is dictated by Washington.
Concerning the Falklands, `two years before the war, one of Thatcher's favorite ministers had proposed transferring sovereignty over the islands to Argentina.'

Press barons
A big chunk of the British press is in the hands of `a Dirty Digger and a seller of excrement.'
One of Francis Wheen's heroes, Conrad Black, was condemned for money embezzlement from its shareholders.

School system
Quoting H. Fielding, `public schools are the nurseries of all vice and immorality'. Pedophilia seems to be omnipresent as well as physical violence.
Francis Wheen accuses Great-Britain being a nation of child-haters and punishment freaks. `Physical violence against young school children is seen as a bounden duty.'

Nuclear war, Kissinger
Francis Wheen states rightly that `the only absolute defense against nuclear weapons is to do away with them.'
Kissinger is `a man who brought death and destruction to any country unfortunate enough to incur his attention. The full list takes up nearly one page.'

Work (in general)
A quote of P.G. Wodehouse in this formidable book expresses an elementary fact of life for the masses: `most work is a distasteful necessity which nobody in his right mind would ever dream of performing unless he needed the money desperately.'

For a correct interpretation of the Kossovo affair, see F. William Engdahl `Full Spectrum Dominance'.
For an in depth analysis of the J. F. Kennedy assassination, see L. Fletcher Prouty's `The Secret Team' and J.H. Fetzer's `Murder in Dealey Plaza'.

This book constitutes journalism at its best. It will be a reference for all historians of Great-Britain.
A must read.
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Luc REYNAERT
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Beernem, Belgium

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,270