’Puter, You’re attributing too much foresight to Mr. D.P.A. McManus. The “Arabs” in “Oliver’s Army” are not the lumpen Muslims you talk about. The vast majority of that group have always been Subcontinental, the “blacks” or “Pakis” of the unlovely British slang.
So who then are these “Arabs” in London? As you note, it was written about 1978. This helps. London, then even more than now, was the capital of global finance. Another hint.
Dollars to donuts, Costello’s “Arabs” were…Arabs. Wealthy oil “sheiks” of the sort who dominated popular consciousness of the Arab world in the petrodollar ’70s. Then as now, Gulf oil billionaires own a lot of real estate in London, and their conspicuous consumption was likely even more prominent (and suggestive of Imperial decline) in Arthur Scargill’s Britain than Jimmy Carter’s America.
Plus, Juhayman’s seizure or the Grand Mosque of Mecca, which forced the Sa‘ûds’ into their wicked bargain with the Waḥḥâbî religious establishment: immunity from criticism in exchange for billions to proselytize the world’s Muslims with the radically iconoclastic, fundamentalist Waḥḥâbî creed, was still in the offing.
So one doubts Mr. C was extrapolating from present trends.
Or…maybe it was a prophecy! One awaits the inevitable “History Channel” documentary. One suspects they’ll tie “Veronica” to the Sudarium and the Merovingins.
Updated: Cleaned up the paragraphs from the phone posting.
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.