View Full Version : Politicians you trust/admire/respect etc

02-01-2005, 11:46 PM
my default position on politicians is that i hate them, cos they just seem unable to open their mouths without lying,

but, gracious as i am i will give credit where it's due, admittedly there may be the odd decent apple amongst em, tho they usually seem to get rotten as soon as they get a whiff of power or publicity...

so, in luka's immortal words, draw attention to the ones you hate too. :D

02-01-2005, 11:58 PM
We used to have a poster in the office i worked in at Heathrow, i remember it from my first day there 10 years or so ago.

http://brikistan.org/africa5.jpg "The emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. "The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for the Revolution, the guarantee of its continuity and the precondition for its victory.
I found that most inspiring
He was Nelson Mandela's 2nd wife's 1st Husband, killed in a plane crash which she maintains was an assassination, he continues:

"...The main objective of the Revolution is to destroy the system of exploitation and build a new society, which releases the potentialities of human beings. .This is the context within which women's emancipation arises."
he said some other cool things too:

International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.
Unity and victory are synonymous.
"And you say Marxists don't have style!"

03-01-2005, 11:58 AM
I gotta say that I don't know if I trust or admire him, but I sure as fuck respect
Senior Minister (former Prime Minister) Lee Kuan Yew

For those that don't know, Lee Kuan Yew is the man who led Singapore to independence and was its prime minister from 1959 until 1990 and remains a dominant political force here.

Basically he's your textbook benign dictator. Political dissent was utterly squashed and the country was run according utterly to what he thought was right for the people. Human rights and democracy were negligible considerations.

But what he achieved is to turn a small island of 3 million people with no natural resources (not even fresh water) and take it from undeveloped colonial status to one of the richest countries in Asia. And not only that but to create a state where violent crime (or crime of any sort) is virtually non-existent as is poverty and homelessness. A state where despite having Asia's worst climate and highest energy consumption, air quality is among the best in the world and where the healthcare is amazingly high quality and available to all. Where anyone can own their own house through the government CPF system, and where all pensioners get a decent level of support due to the same program. A state where three separate races coexist relatively (but not completely) harmoniously.

Singapore is not utopia, but it has to give you pause for thought to think what can be achieved, firstly if you only have to govern a small city-state. And secondly what one man can do with a vision if he's not hampered by the mechanisms of bureaucracy.

So I reckon, if you believe in any shape or form in leadership and responsibility and paternalism in politicians (and I dunno if I do or should, but we are saying "if" here) then you have to respect LKY...

03-01-2005, 03:45 PM
LKY = Bandung Generation, like Machel
kinda scary dude tho :eek:are you allowed to post here?
(put that illegal durian away quick!) :cool:

03-01-2005, 04:09 PM
A friend of mine did some work for Singapore narcotics bureau and they told him that there are between 5 and 6 thousand drug users in the city and they know the names of 70% of them but don't arrest them because they don't consider them a threat to social order. Occasionally an opposition politician gets arrested for oral sex or a french chef gets busted for coke dealing but otherwise low level dissent is pretty tolerable.

They certainly aren't worrrying about a few internet posts and a one-off grime night attended by 15 people, put it that way!


03-01-2005, 05:06 PM
my default position on politicians is that i hate them, cos they just seem unable to open their mouths without lying,

but, gracious as i am i will give credit where it's due, admittedly there may be the odd decent apple amongst em, tho they usually seem to get rotten as soon as they get a whiff of power or publicity...

so, in luka's immortal words, draw attention to the ones you hate too. :D

hang on! didnt you meet tony benn and think he was quite imprssive? ive always thought tony benn was a bit special.

ken livingstone gave me his parking ticket/voucher once in camden in the early nineties (wilderness years). there was about 25 minutes on it, which was enough time to pop into rhythm records. since that day ive always thought he was quite wonderful, the cheapest vote he ever picked.

also my uncle Paul Tyler is an MP for the Lib Dems in Cornwall. hes a lovely man and id be hard pushed to imagine him indulging in anything very cynical. (though of course some may scoff hes "structurally evil" whatever the **** that means)

03-01-2005, 05:26 PM
well yes
wedgie's particularly a favorite of my mum.
however, my gran says that she knew him as a lad and he was a bit of a sickly weed :(

04-01-2005, 12:21 AM
i respect new zealands helen clarke

04-01-2005, 12:54 PM
that's a pretty poor selection i'd say...1 revolutionary leader with vision & 1 benign dictator...doesn't really say much for political history does it? tony benn...hmmm...oh sorry & one new zealander...not sure i can come up with any really...ummm...always quite liked tam dalyell...at least for his independence...& find qaddafi pretty interesting...at least for his revolutionary ideas & committal to non-alignment...though no doubt he's a darkside corruptist & apparently has his blood changed once a month...

04-01-2005, 02:01 PM
oliver craner is a big oona king fan. and she has done good work by all accounts, on a pragmatic level, rather than a lets hold hands and change the world together brothers and sisters level.

i don't know much about her myself though.

04-01-2005, 03:52 PM
Tommy Sheridan is a fuckin dinosaur but I admire him for his nuts and secondly for giving up all of his Scottish MP's salary that is above that of the wage of the average working man. That's true socialism, that is. I can picture him marching to Jarrow and protesting against means testing and stuff. Like a rootsman politician or something.

04-01-2005, 04:17 PM
also on the dinosaur/rootsman tip, i have lots of time for dennis skinner...been v quiet of late but has quite a turn of phrase
benn is a trooper but that interview with saddam was somewhat dubious.....at least he's not as much of a preening stalinist as galloway.

05-01-2005, 01:01 AM
Sincerity is what they seem to lack these days :rolleyes: (at the risk of sounding like old fart)

Oona http://www.oneworld.net/ezimagecatalogue/catalogue/variations/5841-100x150.jpghttp://cam.derringer.co.uk/Press/OonaKing/crw_11194_sm.jpghttp://cam.derringer.co.uk/Press/OonaKing/crw_11188_sm.jpghttp://www.mytowerhamlets.co.uk/images/your%20community/Oona-King100.jpg
is a remarkable success, i reckon she is sincere (http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article1583.shtml ) but is a faithful party animal, far as i know, (jon's neck o the woods i think?)

is just out there, in a class of his own: a most sincere turncoat secular tribalist arabist islamist nationalist pan-africanist jamhuriyist he seemed to turn on his heels prettydamfast following saddam's plummet? key freeper (http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39f395524c07.htm) quotes from backintheday
If Abu Nidal is a terrorist, then so is George Washington.
We are capable of destroying America and breaking its nose.
American soldiers must be turned into lambs and eating them is tolerated.

tony b http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/arts/2003/05/08/alig_benn.jpg
on the other hand seems on the up these times, ripe for secular canonisation: absoloutely no shortage of blossoming sincerity (http://www.channel4.com/news/2003/02/week_1/04_saddam_benn.html), tho somehow by now a little out of his time. an inspiring life...

All war represents a failure of diplomacy.

red ken http://www.4reference.net/encyclopedias/wikipedia/images/RedKenCarSticker.jpg & gorgeous george http://logo.cafepress.com/0/494156.104770.jpg
both have apparently come thu enormous media shitstorms with a certain amount of integrity, both have righteous agendas; i respect ken for kicking the drivers, and george for opposing the war (tho not shaking hands with saddam, either) but both seem to have a certain sleazy careerist streak & love of public adulation. having had the dubious pleasure of meeting gorgeous in the flesh i'd rate him low on the sincerity scale

Dennis 'skinup' Skinner & Tommy 'nutta' Sheridan i know little about,

Helen 'backflip' Clarke i also know zero....

luka, backjob, owen, please tell me more...

(more pictures please :D less tea, vicar:mad: http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/03/entertainment_enl_1069325687/img/laun.jpg (http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/03/entertainment_enl_1069325687/img/1.jpg )

05-01-2005, 03:59 AM
Basically, Ol' Tommy started out in Militant Tendency, got arrested a couple of times for protesting outside Faslane nuclear power station. He got a bit more moderate and was extremely active in protesting the Poll Tax, getting arrested again for trying to stop a warrant sale. He got elected to the Scottish Parliament in '99 as Scottish Socialist Party member (I voted for him!) and immediately started causing a ruckus, boycotting the opening ceremony and tabling all sorts of motions that would never get passed calling for extreme wealth redistribution and the like. What I didn't realise is that he resigned last month. Oh well...


He's the one on the left. Big up the old school...

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july02/nicholson/figure4.jpg http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/scottishhistory/images/modern/scr/trongatetank.jpg

05-01-2005, 12:28 PM
one of the fun things with sheridan, and his ilk, is that they're extremely good at public speaking. a rather obsolete talent maybe, but i've seen sheridan speak a few times and been fully ready to man the barricades afterwards. that's what we need now, more agitators! ;)
skinner is an old left labour MP, has been around since 1970ish....i can't quote anything off the top of my head but always came across as being v cool for general rudeness and derision to tories and monarch...he's not allowed to be called 'right hon.' or something because of this...i also saw him speak once. a friend complimented him and asked why he was still in the labour party....response was along the lines of 'fuck off', which is less cool

06-01-2005, 01:07 AM
marcos (http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/01/303427.html)

wangari (http://nobelprize.org/peace/laureates/2004/)

hugo (http://www.schnews.org.uk/archive/news465.htm)

bob crow (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3850251.stm)
(was stopped by security guards at the Houses of Parliament after inadvertently trying to enter the building with a 10-inch sword in his bag:eek: )

06-01-2005, 01:46 AM
http://www.m2001.szm.sk/Daffy.jpg gaddaffi 4 rewch

here (http://www.stariq.com/Main/Articles/P0005026.HTM)'s an interesting article on gaddafi's past and future career( with astrological charts)

from: الجزيرة (http://aljazeerah.info/Cartoons/January%202005%20Cartoon%20Links.htm) Gaddafi pays off the west
"Yes I pay 3 Billion in order to solve my problems"

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8744/center1.jpg (http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8744/readgb.htm)

06-01-2005, 08:59 AM
My favourite gadaffi anecdote is of him demanding western leaders meet him in a small, traditional tent, which he would fill with fart gas throughout the meeting in order to unsettle them. Could be totally fictitious, mind.

06-01-2005, 10:33 AM
sounds pretty credible to me...i mean wouldn't you?

john eden
06-01-2005, 11:00 AM
Oona [...]but is a faithful party animal, far as i know, (jon's neck o the woods i think?)

If you mean me, she's Tower Hamlets, not Hackney, but it is close. I think Oona is a bit of a mixed bag really - she is a "Blair's Babe" and seems entirely comfortable within the New Labour machine, but she is afaik way better than Diane "I'm sure the black parents of Hackney will understand why I have sent my son to a private school" Abbott.

I suppose it's trite, but you should never "trust" politicians, even those you admire or respect.

06-01-2005, 01:07 PM
hmm bethnal green's luka's yard innit?

i still can't get past the sublime pun of 'abbott & portillo' enough to actually listen to any of the garbage they spout... :D

any more nominations?

06-01-2005, 01:25 PM
Oona's a slighlty divine lady. And she's Bethnal Green & Bow. And she's half-Jewish. And she's got fucking Galloway on her back. And Craner on her campaign team.

06-01-2005, 01:42 PM
you're not a party member are you oliver?
being half jewish does not make one cool, cf nicholas sarkozy
i think i ought to post some pics really. here is skinner chastising someone or other

are we limiting this to politicians who are alive? cause i'm running out of people that don't make my skin crawl...

06-01-2005, 02:35 PM
So am I the only card-carrying Labour Party member here then, eh?

06-01-2005, 03:42 PM
I just mentioned that she's half-Jewish because it's a little known fact and it's something about her that interests me and is a reason that her views on the Middle East interest me, unlike that rat Galloway.

06-01-2005, 03:43 PM
And yes, I am a member of the Labour party.

06-01-2005, 03:45 PM
fair enough, my gran's a member and she's ok
what are oona king's views on the middle east?

06-01-2005, 03:50 PM
My grandparents were Welsh Tories.

I don't belong in political parties to be honest.

My reasons for joining Labour were convoluted and may be mistaken.

Oona's views are, actually, fairly unastounding, common sense, etc. ...

a half-Jewess who's nastier about Shamir than Arafat...


06-01-2005, 03:55 PM
and she wants pre-67 borders!

New Labour's a pretty convoluted canopy anyway.

I like Ed Balls and I like Dennis Skinner.

I think Peter Hain is fucking hilarious. MP for Neath with fake tan and real Rolex and and soft brown quiff: genius!

06-01-2005, 03:58 PM
Actually, the pre-67 borders thing is quite astounding, come to think of it.

06-01-2005, 04:02 PM
actually my grandparents were CPGB but joined labour about 30 years ago when they moved to cumbria and found there weren't many supporters of 'actually exisiting socialism' up there....i once asked why it was this and not, say, the prague spring that made them leave....

that article does make her sound eminently sensible...thankfully not living in bethnal green i don't have to choose between her and a protest vote for someone i find abhorrent
there's a trot councillor in lewisham who is standing. hmmm

Randy Watson
06-01-2005, 05:17 PM
If you like Oona, Craner, try and get to meet her Dad. Preston King is a professor of political philosophy and one of the most impressive people I have had the pleasure to have met. A very cool future father-in-law ;)

06-01-2005, 05:49 PM
Smears and more smears!

I forgive you, Randy Watson, because of your excellent name.

The Kings are a talented family.

06-01-2005, 07:42 PM
personally these 2 fuckwits really make me vexed


Isaias & Meles (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/273922.stm)
President of Eritrea & PM of Ethiopia

Their socialist liberation fronts fought against occupation of Eritrea by the Ethiopian Derg Dictatorship, which was overthrown & Eritrea was liberated. I was a firm supporter.
When the 2, former firm friends and staunch political & military allies, became big bosses they soon began a war over an insignificant sliver of territory on the edge of newly independent Eritrea. The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives in set-piece trench warfare without any territorial gain, and has defied resolution (tho recent news (http://www.irinnews.org/report.asp?ReportID=44947&SelectRegion=Horn_of_Africa&SelectCountry=ETHIOPIA-ERITREA) is positive in that there has been no further escalation recently)
They've also started repressing their own people, destroyed press freedom, fighting with secessionists, playing the ethnic card...

Fucking gutted,10 years ago the situation looked really positive, even the americans were playing a constructive part building regional alliances, but now that situation is shit :( :mad:

Caption: Left: Even now Shabia(occupation) Right: Our Challenge is a Mass Challenge

the Massawa Road

good art, but shit politics

06-01-2005, 11:54 PM
hello first time poster so might cock it up.

can i just say Backjob's fart gas anecdote is brilliant?

in the first category, ones to if not admire at least look on fondly/uncritically i have to say my favourite Kenyatta anecdote is when he was attending the 1945 Sixth Pan-African Congress in Manchester with the likes of Nkrumah and one local food and drink magazine editor (i'm from there myself) has always maintained that Kenyatta lived in the city for a while, selling fast food, and he sold 'Jomo-burgers'.

surely complete cobblers of course but i'd like to believe (i know he lived in the UK).

speaking of contemporaries Illinois Democrat Barack Obama is quite interesting, currently the only African-American state senator. a man of Christian faith i was reading his pre-election bumf and it was all fairly solidly progressive, quite good stuff.
what's interesting about how fairly skewed the debate about Israel and the Palestinians is in the USA is that even Obama - quite a darling of the moderate liberal-left in the USA, AFAIK, etc. - even he, his only leaflet comments on Israel just extended to a show of support for those targeted by suicide bombers. all good common sense and reasonable of course but not a peep about any legitimiate grievances the 'average' Palestinian in a camp, say, might have.

he ran against Alan Keyes, a candidate parachuted into Illinois after a sex scandal (brilliantly, involving the woman who plays Seven of Nine on 'Star Trek', the actress Jeri Ryan, Jack Ryan's now ex-wife) forced the Republican Jack Ryan to bow out, and apparently this was the first time a state senate seat was contested by two African-American candidates (from the two main Yank parties).
i'm pretty sure Keyes lost his chips when he made some immoderate comments at one stage about Nazis, Jews, etc.

as for Oona King, the whole Eid mubarak cock-up was an eye-opener.

er and as for the other category, it seems, i dunno, a bit, er, not pointless but i just don't know, to finger a political figure from a country that ain't either a democracy or currently free from turmoil/etc. ('nuff respect to Sufi for their answer above) so i'll go with another Yank for the hell of it.

incoming Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn.
he's the chap who quite charmingly advocates capital punishment for abortion physicians [i'm not a huge fan of the other Okie senator, another Republican called James Inhofe, not least for some fairly dumb things he's said re. the Abu Ghraib scandal].
i suppose slagging off right-wing American senators from the Bible-Belt is too easy and showcases my snobbery but heck...

07-01-2005, 12:13 AM
oh good i've been waiting ofr you to turn up scottie me old son

07-01-2005, 12:23 AM
sorry to be sentimental and you'll think i'm bollocksing you but i really have missed you... :o

there's a lot of really bloody smart people on this message board - some good stuff on all sides in the American power debate.
well, of course, when i say all sides i mean Craner versus everyone else... :p

07-01-2005, 12:39 AM

07-01-2005, 12:42 AM
Kenyatta lived in the city for a while, selling fast food, and he sold 'Jomo-burgers'.
well, according to my kikuyu homies it was Uhuru Kenyatta (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/2326895.stm) , Mzee Jomo's son, who was running a restaurant in manc before being hurried back to Kenya as a Moi KANU stooge ...

http://www.earthstation1.com/Civil_Rights/Pics/TN_Jomo('BurningSpear')KenyattaLeaderOfMauMauPremi erOfKenya.jpg
Jomo 'Burning Spear' Kenyatta


07-01-2005, 12:47 AM
http://www.dissensus.com/images/icons/icon14.gif Nelson (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4151159.stm) (

07-01-2005, 01:03 AM
aw cheers sufi so it was partially true (damn you Schofield of City Life magazine, M1 for your rusty research)

thanks for the welcome what a great board this is!
sufi, a question i have a hunch you may know is Alex de Waal currently working for the UN ( or the NGO Justice Africa? )?
is Rakiya Omaar with do you know African Rights?

07-01-2005, 01:05 AM
bless Nelson during these sad times for he (and screw Cheney for his voting history)

07-01-2005, 11:57 AM
Havel = the don.

In a related vein I have a soft spot for Ignacy Paderewski because he managed to be both an internationally renowned pianist (he also composed), and Prime Minister of Poland (albeit for just two years).

07-01-2005, 12:22 PM
scottdisco...lovely portrait of american politics at a level we never get to hear about...love the seven of nine details...nicely salacious...but you have to respect gaddafi for his trouble-making if nothing else...nice long tradition (during the cold war at least) of canny rulers winding up both sides in turn...which is why gaddafi is on my list...also have a soft spot for ho chi minh as a young pastry chef in paris turning up to the treaty of versailles to have a chat with wilson about his fourteen points (ho chi minh had a few points of his own about vietnam) and being told to piss off...which just goes to show...what if wilson had listened? if that's not enough ho chi minh also invited the jewish diaspora to adopt north vietnam as their homeland...(at least that's how i remember it)

07-01-2005, 12:51 PM
how do I post a picture?

07-01-2005, 01:00 PM
slightly different in ie or moz but basically:

the buttons will help you sort out the tags...

g'wan! :)

07-01-2005, 01:05 PM
thanks soof!

I have, like, zilch genuine political heroes.

Some people who come close are:

Yitzhak Rabin RIP


King Hussein bin Talal RIP


Vaclav Havel


Queen Rania al-Abdullah


As for Paul Wolfowitz, here's some background to his argument for US re-engagement with the Indonesian military, which is otherwise hard to stomach:



So I guess it's like, the only way to reform the Indonesian military is by engagement, rather than isolation, which, as proven, makes no difference.

07-01-2005, 01:15 PM
But it's still hard to stomach.

07-01-2005, 02:15 PM
certainly third the Havel, second the Rabin (oh and everything rewch says).

perhaps Walesa in a similar stripe (though Craner on zilch seems fair enough) although he wasn't an actual politician when he did the stuff he's famed for so i dunno.

a query for Oliver actually, what do you really think of Hain? just hilarious or what?

i applaud the tan, the strange accent (Ian Holm's strangulated mid-Atlantic drawl in 'Garden State' similarly perplexing), the anti-apartheid days, the practical use of getting help for asbestos poisoning victims down in the Valleys (huge local politics/pragmatic stuff victory), oh and the hair is quite good too.
also the anger and hectoring tones whenever Tony Blair gets hit with a flour bomb/Otis invades the chamber/&c is quite good telly.

i am not so keen on a ludicrous comment he made a couple of years ago re. Iraq (if you don't know what i mean i'm afraid you'll have to trust me because i can't find it online but it was widely reported in the press at time etc) where he basically rubbished anti-sanctions campaigners (including the good and noble folk of the Cambridge campaign group CASI, well not that he referenced them directly but he was speaking in umbrella terms) in a foolish-aside kind of way and not one politician at the time challenged him (IIRC) which was a disgrace.

actually i recall Cohen in the Observer being a bit confused about sanctions against Iraq.

07-01-2005, 02:26 PM
cheers for those Oliver have to read 'em.

especially timely given Gam are now piping up about the relief effort and its intricacies.

re. the below letter from ETAN to Powell just out of interest has ETAN's second demand been met?

just interested.

(and a little - http://yayasanhak.minihub.org/mot/cons92z%20-%20Adam%20Damiri.htm - history from the same people)
soz, not worked out linx yet :o

07-01-2005, 03:04 PM
What were the arguments about sanctions (Cohen AND Hain) our of interest?

I was a bit fucking confused by sanctions, I have to confess. I was even more confused by 'smart' sanctions.

I admire Hain for the reasons you mentioned, most specifically his strong anti-apartheid stand from back then, although I wish he wouldn't go on about it, it rather ruins the effect.

Hain is obviously ambitious and vain and ludicrous - I don't mind these vices.

A big problem with Hain is that he suffers from Blairite smarm - which is only slightly worse than the Brownite chip and plus, or thus, you can't help suspecting doses of insincerity, back-sliding, squirming, affected vapidity etc.

Ann Clwyd's my favorite Welsh MP by a wide margain. I adore her.

You're not buying my vote for the Jordanian monarchy, are you Scott?

07-01-2005, 03:20 PM
isn't hain just a classic example of old rock'n'roller syndrome? bit like jagger with his knighthood...

isn't wolfowitz just asking for permission to sell guns? & send officers to the school of the americas where they can learn proper (& effective) counter-insurgency techniques like all the south american military graduates? ("I think, if you bring an Indonesian officer to this country to participate
in kinds of programs that we have officers from many nations participating

still liked some of his more tortured syntax:

"But I do think that we can have a useful, maybe a very important, at least
useful positive influence in that process, and that is very much, I think,
part of helping to strengthen democracy in Indonesia," he added...yes paul...then you can sell them so,e better weapons & strengthen those ties you made whilst you were the ambassador

interesting that he talks of islamic countries with state religions...wonder whether iraq under saddam had a state religion...?

07-01-2005, 03:23 PM
hey, what's with all the questions?

07-01-2005, 03:28 PM

07-01-2005, 03:34 PM
Only joking. Wolfowitz isn't a businessman, though, is he? He's an academic. He has a peculiar strategic take on these issues. I suspected something behind this flirtation with the Indonesian military machine because guys like Wolfowitz don't renege on their principles easily, unlike guys with no principles, like Cheney.

Wolfowitz worked in Indonesia for a long time and loved it. He helped unseat Marcos in the Phillipnes and stills talks about punishing those responsible for war crimes. I was rather taken aback by his latest...

...but it does make a certain kind of sense. Giving a boost to the moderates within: it's probably exactly what they need...

07-01-2005, 03:47 PM
>You're not buying my vote for the Jordanian monarchy, are you Scott?

i might actually Oliver! TBH i'm just a little dumb and really don't know enough to comment without feeling guilty (note it doesn't stop me elsewhere...)

whatt am i saying haha?!

no i do actually, in seriousness.
yes i do.

but what of the successor?


>What were the arguments about sanctions (Cohen AND Hain) our of interest?

well i can only definitively find one Cohen reference which is below

the thing that caught an eye is "The liberated zone of Kurdish northern Iraq has to cope with the same economic sanctions as the rest of the country, but it doesn't have Saddam. The mortality rate for under-fives in the North is 72 per 1000, as against 135 in the Centre and South."

i thought i'd read other things in the past but i've had a half-hearted googling for a few minutes and can't really find anything substantial (it's mostly name-calling) so mayhaps i made it up. at any rate that will do (i think i've read more of the same but my internet research of course leaves something to be desired).

basically - and i realise i sound like the most simplistic New Internationalist puff-piece here (here i go apologising for contrary views) - but it should be obvious and Cohen's big boo-boo is to flag up those rates.
one reason why under the sanctions regime those mortality figures were so different region on region was because in the liberated zone oop north there were a shed-load of different NGO's and agencies working, helping, providing aid and comfort.
so that was a significant helpful factor as to why you get that discrepancy in numbers.

i'm not apologising for the old regime in Iraq or anything, just noting a fact that is kinda so basic Cohen really should have picked up on it - perhaps i've overlooked something here and will be left with egg on my face when someone steps in to point out something blatant i've missed, but as far as i can tell, Cohen is being pretty much disingenuous (even if he doesn't know it!).

i do admire Clwyd myself for all the obvious human-rights envoy reasons although it must be noted you can find in places like medialens some compelling criticism of her from principled anti-war perspectives.
but what do i know.

i like rewch's point on syntax, he's like a less readable Rummy is Wolfie i guess.

as Oliver has said Wolfowitz at least has consistency (opposing regimes in the 1980's that the American govt was giving succour to etc) and i would be very interested to know his views on whether he thinks the EU should remove its embargoes against China.
because public opinion in some countries such as the UK and USA seems to be in favour of maintaining them, whereas political opinion in some EU states of course wants to remove them.
i realise improvements in Indonesia mean an analogy with Beijing is really quite a bloody big separation of degrees (does this make sense? i mean Jakarta is certainly less reprehensible than it used to be whereas Beijing seems about as reptilian as ever so my analogy is kinda out of proportion mebbe) but if he is for constructive engagement does this mean he would favour warmer ties between the EU and China?
of course he's not expected to have a position on it but if the answer were - for sake of argument - no he doesn't favour warmer ties because he thinks Beijing is still too far beyond the pale, then have we found a chink in his otherwise usually unimpeachable armour of 'consistency'.

sorry for the above it's all incoherent bollox i know but still.
Oliver, as for Hain on sanctions i'll either try and find something and report back but if i can't get anything you'll just get one of my bigoted screeds from a fuzzy memory (that never was).
that do ya?

07-01-2005, 03:52 PM
FWIW i agree w' Craner.

07-01-2005, 04:01 PM
on a slightly related topic - and it won't be online now because after a few issues they close their free-view to the general browser - there was some interesting correspondence in the NY Review of Books a bit ago, comparing and contrasting India and China.

one chap was talking of China's fabulous growth and not at all exactly ignoring the human rights angle but kinda uncomfortably attempting to brush it under the carpet a little whilst he discussed concrete living standards improvements etc but just talking Asian values i suppose, and the other chap was pointing out the elephant in the room of this bloke's argument.

but the bloke talking of economic growth took a look at India and with reference to various regional problems there, the status of Untouchables, etc proceeded to proclaim not everything in India quite rosy.

and they were just going back and forth with each other, arguing merits. it was quite interesting.

i realise looking for similarities is often a warmer more admirable exercise than looking for difference but bugger it.

this is a question i have for anyone but has anyone ever been or currently etc a party member?
i know Craner was with Labour. or still is.

lapsed my Labour membership a few years ago, joined when i was 18/19 (crucial time moving away from the cod-Marxisms of one's A-Level years in my case after all) and persuaded to by the Blairite head of my SU who wanted to recruit useful idiots like me to engineer a 'coup' against the SU Labour group where i went to uni because he felt they were unhelpfully 'Old'.

there were a lot of funny debates and then that was that.

07-01-2005, 04:24 PM
Oliver just said "So I guess it's like, the only way to reform the Indonesian military is by engagement, rather than isolation, which, as proven, makes no difference."

which raises a question.

hypothetically let's say Country A is a shining paragon and Country B has a vile despot for a leader.

Country A genuinely KNOWS isolating B hasn't worked so they try 'constructive engagement'.

now someone who we might label a cynic (well i just did) says constructive engagement is a euphemism for 'blood on our hands' and insists on the right to opine not in my name.

what do you do?
i'm just wondering because i'm a proper fence-sitter and am all confused, genuinely so, no malice on my part here.

it's surely too easy to carp from the sidelines?
or do you think carping from the sidelines is ever vital and morally healthy?

i mean, it beats the hell out of me, as the Americans say.

i think my views in this arena are coloured by one particular lecturer who taught me undergraduate Chinese politics because he was a Sino-UK industrial/commercial relations specialist (he took a dim view of the Asian values argument it must be said) and forever getting called up to trade committees to explain stuff and he tried to encourage his pupils to think 'carefully' about things but that just left me up in the air.

what does anyone think?
i just realised my blanket questioning rather foolishly forgets the importance of 'case by case'.

07-01-2005, 06:35 PM
i realise the question above reads dumb-ass to any non-partisan student of much American foreign policy but hey i'll provide the rope but i can't tie a noose.

what i wanted to say was to dear O, i'm sorry i can't find what i was talking about with Hain specifically.

at least i've not looked very hard i admit but anyway.

but he slurred anti-sanctions campaigners (i first read about it on page 2 of the Daily Express) by saying campaigners had fallen for Baghdad propaganda on the issue.

here is something on what he said

i don't think it's quite what i was thinking of (i remember his condemnation being stronger) but it gets to the gist of the matter.

i suppose, to get down to brass tacks, the article below gets stuck into Hain on the same subject

although Hain is conciliatory below

i don't want to be pompously going off on one about Hain (but you are...) but the chief anti-sanctions voice in the UK, back in the day, Cambridge-based CASI, were fair-minded, tough, and eminently sensible.
they have a great FAQ-type page below that rebuts shilly-shallying the likes of Hain might once have faffed about w'
(point no 7 was clearly never read by Nick Cohen, BTW)

and Hain should have read

07-01-2005, 07:07 PM
i realise the above links don't deal with all the controversy that's arisen over the OFF scandal but to be perfectly frank a lot of the media coverage of this in the USA is, essentially, innuendo.

if all the things UN critics are saying happened did happen then fair enough let's have accountability but it's difficult to have a balanced discussion of the OFF scandal etc. in the States right now because the American media machine etc is so ludicrously anti-UN for the time being (and i'm not denying there are a great many things we shouldn't slag the UN off for, as i believe the board here might have already discussed, of course i'm not), so it really is difficult to get to the nub of the matter with all the mud flying around.

so for the time being a politically-motivated witch-hunt is pretty much what's going on, so i don't think occasional CASI reliance on UN documents back then etc invalidates any of their arguments or, indeed, moral force.

07-01-2005, 07:09 PM
bugger me it's just me here isn't it, i think i need a word with myself outside.

i'm off for a fish-fry cheers

07-01-2005, 09:15 PM
...OK i admit the above characterisation of American media on UN is amplified and something (OK, very, to be fair) of a simplistic sketch (that said there is some dumb shit said about the UN but hey Fox are fair and balanced so what you gon' do) but it's for sake of banter and argument so fair dos i plead.

anyway i know plenty of people that like to stir the stereotype marked 'Nasty Ol' US Media' ranging from the extreme - my dad (Lib Dem voter, broadsheet-reader, FWIW) who on the blower to me the other day (he's on Blighty time, i'm currently in Chicago) was all 'so are the papers and telly covering the tsunami over there?'; it's like 'bloody ell dad, i know they're parochial, but even the Yanks aren't THAT insular!!'

- to the subtle,
e.g. a second cousin of mine (British) who teaches world affairs/US foreign policy at George Washington uni in D.C., and when she's back in Albion feeds her Guardianista dinner parties all they want to hear about the evil Yankee right-wingers (by all accounts) even if - imo - it sounds like a right load of caricatured, unfair dross.

anyway i'm getting ahead of myself...

07-01-2005, 10:23 PM
bugger me it's just me here isn't it
nah, but you seem to be spinning along so splendidly, why should anyone want to interrupt? :D

14-01-2005, 01:39 PM
And I just want to say that, contrary to certain smears, I didn't join Labour because I fancy Oona King.

If you must know, she fancies me. She kept calling me up in the middle of the night, begging me to help her destroy Galloway in the upcoming local election.

I said yes because I'm nice.

sorry dont know how to quote thing,
but say I wanted help destroy galloway how would I got about it (I live in Bethnal green and quite like onna king, and much rather have her repressenting me than that total numpty Galloway)

14-01-2005, 03:41 PM
Sufi posted a pic of marcos in balaclava and pipe. Apparently pipe smoking is now very fashionable among mexican students. ;)

Anyway, here's some good marcos stuff:

“Wisdom does not consist in knowing the world, but in imagining the ways it should go to become better”

“the great world power has not yet found the power to destroy dreams. Until it does, we will keep on dreaming, that is to say, we will keep on triumphing"

“Neoliberalism […] imposes a total war: the destruction of nations and groups of nations in order to homogenize them with the Northamerican capitalist model. A war then, a world war, the IV [which, oliver, makes yr war on terror wwV ;) ]. The worst and cruelest. The one which neoliberalism unleashes in all places and by all means against humanity”

“A world war: the most brutal, the most complete, the most universal, the most effective”

“[zapatismo seeks,] against the international of terror representing neoliberalism, […] the international of hope. […] The international of hope. Not the bureaucracy of hope, not the opposite image and thus the same as that which annihilates us. Not the power with a new sign or new clothing”

“our weapons are words […] not as a way of communicating something, but of creating something”

15-01-2005, 12:15 AM
I know, I called it WWIV without compunction right after Woolsey. He beat me to it, the bastard.

I hope we win. I don't want to be ruled, or even threatened, by theocrats. (Boom. Bang. Pow.)

As for beating Galloway: the disgrace is that, despite dear Oona having a bit of crush on me, the Labour beaucrats are too busy vetting my Kurd sympathies to process my membership, which means they may yet forfeit my considerable charm and talent, which would be a pretty damn bad indictment of them, I think.

I have a first class literature degree and a Roman nose and I'm well up on Syria.


15-01-2005, 12:16 AM
Andrew, email me above.

15-01-2005, 12:47 AM
supporting the war didn't play too well in bethnal green. i find it hard to imagine galloway winning but people tell me it's inevitable.

15-01-2005, 11:03 AM
Well yes, there's that. I don't think it's inevitable, though.

15-01-2005, 02:48 PM
nor do i.

15-01-2005, 10:15 PM

Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, excelled himself last year.

He's not a hero or anything, he just did what any human being would do in the same situation. That, these days, is rare enough to warrent respect.

His speeches continued to criticise the Uzbek Government and he was championed by the opposition.

Some even carried placards outside the embassy saying: "We Love Craig Murray."

Mr Murray spent a long sick-leave in London last year, but returned to public life with vigour and even let a British TV crew film him in a bar in Tashkent.

He was expected to return this week to Uzbekistan after the summer break.

He never went back to Uzbekistan, and even faced disciplinery hearings by his party back home. A disgraceful episode.

Half the problem is with the notion of 'a diplomat' anyway. Funnily enough, Perle and Frum analyse this conidtion with some aplomb in An End to Evil, but for rather different reasons. Or, at least, with a rather different agenda.

Craig Murray: a man in tinted glasses who you can trust.

15-01-2005, 11:27 PM
And I do appreciate the fact that he insisted on being interviewed in a bar.

Precisely what I would have done in his situation.

A man after my own heart.

Isn't there a rapper called Craig Murray too? Or is it Kraig?

15-01-2005, 11:37 PM
yeah didn't he do 'the most beautifullest thing in the world' or something?

produced by erick sermon was he?

16-01-2005, 02:36 AM
diplomat = civil servant not politician

16-01-2005, 02:42 AM
nuff respeck for 'just like music', but ....
unfortunately also disqualified on a technicality :( ;) :D

16-01-2005, 01:23 PM
his name is keith murray

17-01-2005, 11:55 AM
I know nothing.

08-12-2006, 05:38 PM
Jean Kirkpatrick RIP (http://www.aei.org/)

08-12-2006, 06:54 PM
No mention of Lech Wałęsa so far?

polystyle desu
11-12-2006, 07:45 PM
Trust (possibly) , admire and respect - Barack Obama

11-12-2006, 07:48 PM
Trust (possibly) , admire and respect - Barack Obama

Aside from what he says, what has he actually done to make you admire him? Not a loaded question, I'm genuinely curious about his actions so far as a senator.

polystyle desu
11-12-2006, 08:06 PM
Well, he seems smart and talks well, is at least aware and is putting himself out there
while gaining a bit of momentum.
His almost announced run has already shaken up the field.
Is a member of post -civil rights black pols so he doesn't carry the same polarizing baggage as say, Rev. Al Sharpton , Jesse Jackson.
And at the wise age of 45 and one term as senator , he's not a corrupt white fart (or worse).
More raw potential then experience ... as opposed to processed !

26-12-2006, 09:01 PM
as far as i know obama has done very little besides be charming

30-12-2006, 11:47 PM
Obama won't run. He can't. Nice chap. Bu no experience. No nothing. Best thing he can do, run for vice, buy some experience, like Cameron should've done. And I wish him the best of luck (the former, not the latter, obviously).

Political heroes for the 07?

Jalal Talabani

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Others waitng to touch their toes. (Very few.)

30-12-2006, 11:48 PM
I always loved this thread.

31-12-2006, 12:10 AM
I was not too impressed with him after hearing this (http://www.newyorker.com/online/content/articles/061030on_onlineonly04) interview with David Remnick. He seemed a bit lightweight (but pleasant, yes) and bereft of grand visions, more the pragmatic, slightly wooden, type. He was not very eloquent either.

31-12-2006, 06:05 PM
But the kids love him.