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Home > Politics

I'm a Brutal Murdering Dictator, Get Me Out of Here

21 October 2005

Not since Deirdre Barlow walked unsteadily into the dock, flanked by nervous-looking armed guards, have television viewers been treated to such an exciting judicial spectacle as the trial of Saddam Hussein. Nor has there been a court proceeding with such a carefully scripted - and thoroughly predictable - outcome. Saddam's going to swing. That much we know. So why bother
watching?

You see, the problem with celebrity trials - and celebrity events generally - is that they get boring very, very quickly. By the time each series of Big Brother creaks to its climax most sensible people - those of at least average intelligence - couldn't give a flying fuck who gooooes, leaving it to soup-brained Heatsters to wear away their texting thumbs trying to ensure that Tweedledum is victorious over Tweedledumber. This week saw what is surely going to be the longest celebrity event in history kick off with... wait for it... a one month recess. Now *that's* entertainment. Already Iraqi teenagers are starting to lose interest. 'Man, this sucks. Come, Ahmed, let us go down to the park and drink cider, inshallah.' 'But Qusai! This is the monster who raped your mother and murdered your three brothers.' 'Whatever, text me what happens at the end, innit.'

But - wait - maybe Big Brother is the answer. Maybe the Iraqi Interim Authority could liven things up with a dash of interactivity? Text message voting even. Think about it - there are five people on trial alongside Saddam including Barzan al-Tikriti, Saddam's half-brother and former vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan - all chosen for their quirky and explosive personalities. Why not keep the cameras on them 24 hours a day? Set them little tasks. Give each of them a phone number and have one of them voted out of jail each year. Then, five years later, whoever's left, swings.

And why not? It worked for Jesus.



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