Daily Archives: August 18, 2008


New Labour Regrets End of Military Dictatorship in Pakistan

General Musharraf was a smooth-talking dictator, but no more than that. He instituted military rule in an illegal coup and continued to govern in the interests of himself and a narrow elite, continually rolling back surviving vestiges of the rule of law in Pakistan. Under his rule Pakistan stagnated and the economic gap to neighbouring India grew so large as to be insurmountable for at least a generation. Dictatorship does not fight extremism, it promotes extremism in desperate and repressed opponents with no legitimate outlet for opposition.

It says volumes for where our far right New Labour government now stands on world affairs that they regret the political demise of this odious dictator. Here is David Miliband, the neo-con muppet who is New Labour’s hope for political revival:

“The Musharraf years yielded significant dividends… It is important to highlight President Musharraf’s commitment to tackle terrorism, to promote dialogue with India, especially over Kashmir, and to root out corruption,” he said.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/18/pakistan

Yeah, right. Come to think of it, why don’t we have military dictators all over the developing world? Plainly Miliband holds that these dusky foreigners need the smack of firm government. Why Miliband believes that rooting out corruption is a good thing, while his own government pro-actively harbours and protects it in the BAE scandal, is beyond me.

Miliband is no more than a foolish, shallow little disgrace. Despite New Labour’s best efforts, this is still in many ways a lovely country. It is both astonishing and appalling that it should be represented by someone as insubstantive as Miliband.

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Another Dull Attack

I have been very busy the last few days giving interviews about Georgia – largely because there seem to be few others who are against missile systems and NATO policy, without being Putin apologists.

Anyway, there is a rather lame but surprisingly extended attack on me in the Sunday Times over my comments on the Fringe. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/scotland/article4547834.ece

This is a particularly poor piece of journalism as the newspaper failed to contact me for comment. There are also a number of extraordinary omissions or distortions. To clarify:-

– I have never accused the Fringe of failing to promote Nadira’s show. They got the Fringe office to comment on something I haven’t said. I did point out they had listed it in the wrong category. If the Sunday Times had asked them to comment on that, I imagine they would have agreed they had done so. Promotion in general has been very good.

– Nadira’s show has had super reviews. It has had in Edinburgh in total (that I can find) two five star, four four star and two three star reviews. The Sunday Times has chosen to quote only from the two three star reviews.

– My complaint was very plainly that one publication had reviewed the Show without actually seeing it. That is obvious from the blog entry below. It is completely out of order for the Sunday Times to omit what my complaint actually was.

– I am very happy with audiences. An average of fifty is brilliant for the Fringe at 1.30pm.

– I stand by my more general comments that there is an excess of bad comedy and loutishness at the Fringe nowadays. I am not against comedy. I love good comedy.

Here are some of those reviews. Unlike the Sunday Times I am giving you a representative sample of one 5, one 4 and one 3 star review.

http://www.broadwaybaby.com/fringe/reviews/thebritishambassadorsbellydancer

http://edinburgh.threeweeks.co.uk/review/4638

http://living.scotsman.com/music/Musical-review-The-British-Ambassador39s.4356893.jp

I suppose that I should be beyond being upset by a foolish piece of journalism like this. But the lack of professionalism of the Sunday Times, and their obvious malice, is very annoying.

The Murdoch press remain great cheerleaders for Alisher Usmanov. Stuart MacDonald appears to be trying to outdo his Dirty Digger stablemate Mark Franchetti in the worst journalistic standards stakes. But I think Franchetti is still ahead.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/10/mark_franchetti.html

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