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Udays numbered

Udays numbered

I THINK everyone agrees that it's right to feel sorry for the people of Iraq who every morning wake up and look at the ceiling and then remember that Saddam Hussein is still their president. And then, as their feet touch the cold floor, they recall that his son, Uday, is the second power in the land. But think how depressing it must be for them knowing that there is not just one Uday, but 13 of him - the original, and 12 doubles hired to throw assassins off the trail.

To make the deception convincing, each of them is swaddled in luxury and required to throw his weight around in the generally swinish manner of Uday No 1. The chances of avoiding these doppelgangers must be slim - imagine, I don't know, 13 Michael Howards criss-crossing the country at all times.

Still, some sympathy should be reserved for the lesser Udays. According to one who has escaped and turned up in London last week, Uday sometimes gets drunk with them and then fires off a few pistol shots in their general direction, just to remind them who's boss.