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Mark Thomas: Weapons Inspector (2003)

With America and Britain pushing the UN to put Hans Blix's weapons inspection team into Iraq, Mark Thomas forms a citizen's weapon inspectors team in order to examine the performance of the... See full summary »

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Mark Thomas
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With America and Britain pushing the UN to put Hans Blix's weapons inspection team into Iraq, Mark Thomas forms a citizen's weapon inspectors team in order to examine the performance of the two super powers. Starting with Buckingham Palace the group go round a lab in America making anthrax, a nuclear submarine base and a military weapons store just off the M4. Written by Bob the Moo

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31 January 2003 (UK)  »

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Two strong points in 30 minutes - nowhere near his best work
20 April 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With America and Britain pushing the UN to put Hans Blix's weapons inspection team into Iraq, Mark Thomas forms a citizen's weapon inspectors team in order to examine the performance of the two super powers. Starting with Buckingham Palace the group go round a lab in America making anthrax, a nuclear submarine base and a military weapons store just off the M4.

Mark Thomas is very much of a strange beast. At his best he is funny while exposing scandals and shocking truths. At his worst he is just plain silly

  • taking his point too far and just wasting his time. Here he is sadly a


little nearer his worst than his best and really only makes two good points in 20 odd minutes. When the show opens with Thomas trying to inspect Buckingham Palace you can't help but feel he's just being silly rather than insightful or clever. Next he sits outside a nuclear base with little to say.

However later he goes to an anthrax base and raises the issue of how America is exploiting a loophole in the chemical weapons convention by developing chemical weapons supposedly for domestic use - despite the fact that it is by the military for military specifications! Next he raises the issue that, under international law, having nuclear weapons is legal but having them with a threat to use them is ILLEGAL! So if Bush and Blair go to war then potentially they could be in breach of international law by threatening the use of weapons of mass destruction.

However these two points are only a small part of the programme and the rest of it feels a little bit of a waste. Both points are valid but the rest of it Thomas seems to be against the fact that Bush/Blair have put weapons inspectors into Iraq. However to me that seems perfectly reasonable that they should be inspected - why stress this point? The more important issues of where America and the UK are in breach of the same laws is what I'm interested in, making silly gags like wanting to inspect the Queen's palace is not helping anyone.

As a 10 minute film this would have been good but over 20-25 minutes, two valid points are not enough to fill this running time and instead Thomas just does things to wind up the police for no reason but to amuse his activist audience I guess.

At his best, Thomas is very funny and insightful, making jokes and very valid points at the same time. However here he only has two very good points and spends the rest of the time just causing trouble that is neither funny or clever. Nowhere near as good as his best work.


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