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Wednesday, April 30, 2008 

Scum-watch: Diverting the blame.

Everyone knows by now that the reason Rupert Murdoch and every single one of his newspapers the world over supported the Iraq war was not because he had even the slightest feeling for the suffering of the Iraqi people, or because he felt that Saddam and his "weapons of mass destruction" were a threat, but because he, like some others at the top of the Bush administration, had been sold the lie that the stealing of Iraq's oil would result in a massive drop in the market price. This was always going to be a fallacy, but few predicted that five years on, rather than the price of oil being $20 a barrel as Murdoch hoped, that it would be six times that.

It would be nice therefore if Murdoch's newspapers took some responsibility for why petrol is now around £1.10 a litre or more, the cost of diesel hovering around £1.20. It was their belligerent and still unrelenting support for the war and also for Tony Blair that helped seal our involvement in it; making it impossible for them to blame the war and the consequent instability in the region for the current all-time high.

Naturally then, the government gets all the blame:

Meanwhile, oil companies — AND the Government — are awash with cash as billions in windfall profits and VAT swamp their coffers.

To make matters worse, Chancellor Alistair Darling wants to turn the screw with yet ANOTHER 2p a litre increase in October.

The taxman stings us for 66p in VAT and fuel duty for every litre costing £1.08 — already a fading memory.

That’s highway robbery.

The Government now faces a re-run of the fuel protests which struck terror into the hearts of ministers eight years ago.

If Mr Darling has any sense, he will stop torturing voters.

As the Sun more than knows, the government is not awash with cash. At the same time, if the Treasury moved to impose a windfall tax on the likes of BP and Shell and their unprecedented first-quarter profits, the Sun and the Murdoch press would be among the first to be squealing at such shocking intervention and injustice. Then again, the Sun was hardly going to hold its hands up and say to its readers, "we're sorry, we're part of the reason why you're suffering so much", was it? Far better then to throw all the blame on the government, and not the speculators, the war or those notoriously easily offended Saudis.

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