The Idols - Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Hmmm...that'll be the Bush and Blair declaration that the war is over then, rather than any reflection on what's actually happened in Iraq. With such a lack of timing and sensitivity that it is on a par with the arrival of a clown at a funeral, The Idols cover version of John Lennon's Happy Xmas (War Is Over) reeks of a bizarre collaboration between Downing St., ITV and 19 Management.

After all, it doesn't require that great a leap of imagination to see Tony Blair telling Simon Fuller about what a great idea it would be to have a song played over the Christmas period telling his subjects, previously known as voters, that the conflict in Iraq, having been little more than a minor infraction to begin with, is now well and truly over. And so Uncle Tony pulls the strings to have Ant and Dec tell us that the war is over, life is great, Saddam's in the bag and go back to your turkey and stuffing and never mind the body bags and the nightly bloodshed on the news reports.

War is over? Tell that to the families of the 79 Americans, the 19 Italians, the 7 Spaniards, the 2 Japanese, the 2 South Koreans, the 1 Pole and the 1 Colombian killed in Iraq in November alone. Then track down the families of the unknown number of Iraqis killed in the same month and give them the same message to see if they believe it. Though you'll be hard pushed to do the latter given that no one, particularly not the coalition forces, are counting the number of Iraqis killed in the conflict.

I tell you what I'd like to see and hear come Christmas morning. Let's resurrect the old idea of a live broadcast with which to do a few good deeds. Noel Edmonds occupied Telecom Tower three, four Christmases running and this year, let's hear it for Ant and Dec to take Pop Idol into the downtown Baghdad or Tikrit. Anyone else want to watch Fatty, Speccy, Spiky, Gimpy and the other nine idols, not to mention the kids of the Sylvia Young stage school who make up the choir on this single, sing this to the Iraqi people whilst dodging bullets?

And where's Yoko Ono in all this? Not a peep out of her to date, which is surprising given how much she loves not only the sound of her own voice but also the hoisting of St. Lennon upon us. The release of this single is a sick, sick joke and shame on anyone for buying it.

Whilst you're getting fat and dozing off to the sound of this on Christmas day, try hard to forget about the dozen or so Iraqi, American, Italian and British families who'll be far from convinced the war is over as they make their way to military compounds to identify their fathers or husbands.

War Is Peace. Freedom Is Slavery. Ignorance Is Strength.



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