Although we have been allowed to learn that Ronnie Biggs has been shagging some slapper from Big Brother (where does he get the energy at his age?) a great many things are still being kept from us. You may not have noticed, but The Slog’s keen eye has spotted that we must not print the name of the volcano from which clouds are variously billowing and drifting at the moment. Although this is an obvious cover story, we are told that, if we do, there will be hate blogging against it, and the Gods may become angrier still.
Well to hell with that. The crater is called Eyjafyoll, although there is still an injunction on how to pronounce the glacier of which it is part, Eyjafjallajökull. I have good reason to suppose that Eyjayoll is in fact a secret base where the Icelandic Government is building an atomic Norse Legend derivative, in revenge for the bankrupting of their country by Russian market blaggers five years ago. The ‘clouds’ we see in the air are in fact the by-product of a failed attempt to aim the world’s first intercontinental volcanic liquidity pool at the New York Stock Exchange. Satellite images suggest that, within weeks, Icelandic scientists will be ready to start firing cod default swaps at the City of London. It’s true, all of it.
President Obama’s State visit is also replete with things we must not know. One such is a secret held tight to the Establishment’s chest for nigh on seventy years. I refer of course to the name of the Unknown Warrior, who is not unknown at all. His name was Manny Goodman, and for a time he was responsible for the triumph of Nazi evil. Although he evaded capture by the Allies for two years after 1939, he was at last persuaded to do something. Churchill knew this was vital for victory: although widely reported as telling the House of Commons that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for many good men to do nothing”, he had been misheard; he actually said Manny Goodman.
Manny assassinated Hitler in 1942 by posing as a vegetarian chef, and then poisoning the Fuhrer’s Black Forest cutlet with tainted gefillte fish. The Nazi High Command substituted a well-known double for the dead leader, but from then onwards German morale faltered. Manny now lies beneath the flagstones of Westminster Abbey, having himself succumbed after being fired at the Nazi Peenemunde rocket site from a high-level RAF bomber in 1944. His name liveth for evermore, only it’s a secret.
For years now, politicians have been asking the media, us, and each other why there is such apathy about politics. The answer is simple: them. Enthusiasm breeds on hope and the triumph of the underdog: as our political classes don’t do either of those things, very few of us can be bothered to listen to them.
The same plaintive questions are now to be heard on the subject of barmy conspiracy theories: why do people entertain them? And the answer again is: politicians. If Obama had not been so unnecessarily mendacious and secretive about the killing of Bin Laden, half the conspiracy theories about it wouldn’t exist. If the NYPD and the DA hadn’t hyped so much of the Good v Evil thing in the Strauss-Kahn case – while ordering a pointless blackout on the maid’s identity – that too would be intriguing, rather than full of cloak and dagger hypotheses. If Family Courts weren’t secret, if lawyers saw more to superinjunctions than the money, if footballers knew how to behave….on and on the ‘ifs’ go. It is all about our extreme culture of State control and poor individual self-control, not the system.
However, we must never forget that some doubts remain in all the above events…and some conspiracies do exist. A year or two ago, Newscorp’s criminal use of privacy invasion became a fully-fledged conspiracy theory – having since 2006 been a minority interest largely confined to the political Left. It is no longer theoretically anything: big wheels are going to jail, and more will follow. The same was true of Watergate for the first nine months – Nixon got overwhelmingly re-elected while the Washington Post was running story after story about a trial of burglary and sleaze that eventually led all the way to the Oval Office, and the only Presidential resignation in American history.
We should also all remember that even when the 60-year secrecy rule upon UK Cabinet sessions expires, things of great import are still held back. If that isn’t an encouragement to conspiracy theory, then I don’t know what is.