The Independent has been running some great front page stories, covering serious issues that the other papers ignore. It's a smart move commercially as much as anything else. In these online days, newspapers aren't up to date, they carry yesterday's news. By picking important but ongoing stories, The Independent, unlike all other newspapers, isn't giving the impression of being behind the times.
Last week they ran one of these front page splashes about the fortunes being made by private companies getting contracts from the UK government in Iraq.
This riled DfID Minister (and, unfortunately, my constituency MP) Hilary Benn who responded with twaddle even he can't really believe:
Decisions about Iraq's future and its development are being made by the Iraqi people.
So, given that less than 1% of Iraqis think occupying forces give any improvement in security and over 80% want troops to leave, are they going to do so any time soon?
To whom they go for help, advice and expertise is a matter for them.
I must have missed the Iraqi referendum that picked Halliburton.
Iraq has already come along in a short time but there is a huge job to be done to change it from a dictatorship to a democracy. That's where we are helping.
Ah right. And the oil wells are just a nice little bonus.
I need a new thesaurus. The one I have in front of me doesn't list 'democracy' and 'foreign-dominated free-market capitalist client state of the USA' as synonyms.