Daily Archives: October 8, 2009

Cameron Bullshit – A Viewer’s Guide

I don’t think Cameron is a malicious charlatan like Tony Blair, nor as avaricious – he doesn’t need the money. But there is something of the Blair about him – good looking young politician delivers touchy feely lines of dubious sincerity. One of his concluding lines summed it up for me:

“I see a country where the poorest children go to the best schools.”

Now don’t just admire how fine that sounds, read it again:

“I see a country where the poorest children go to the best schools”.

Do you think David Cameron does see that, really? Do you see that? And if the poorest children go to the best schools, who will go to the worst schools? What does it actually mean in practice? ” I think we should give a few token plebs scholarships to Eton”? “I wish we had someone from a council estate in the Bullingdon Club”? Or that the state schools in deprived inner city areas really will become the very best schools in the country? Does anybody in their right mind consider that to be possible? Or is this just rhetoric designed to neutralise Cameron’s cossetted origins?

There was a rather nastier point of using pretended concern for the poor earlier in Cameron’s speech, when he banged on about the poor single mother who works to better herself, and who because of benefit withdrawal effectively is taxed at 96% on every pound she earns over £150 per week. A crafted standing ovation greeted a ringing declaration that the Conservatives would end the scandal of marginal 96% tax rates for the poorest in our society. But of course the Conservatives would do that, not by lowering the single mother’s tax rate, and not by keeping giving her benefit when she works. They would do it by reducing the benefit she can get if she does not work, thus “incentivising” her to search for a non-existent job supported by non-existent cheap childcare for her children. The Conservatives’ attack on “Welfare Dependency” is motivated by their perpetual nastiness, which Cameron merely disguises a bit better. It is an attack on the poor disguised as social concern.

We are in for a Khaki election, with the parties competing to be the most committed to the ruinous war in Afghanistan. I have to say I do not object to Richard Dannatt joining the Tories. I always argue that we need politicians who have experience outside politics. There have been distinguished military men who have been good in Parliament – like Denis Healey and Paddy Ashdown. But they had the decency to get themselves elected first.

Yes, the true hypocrisy of the Dannatt affair has been missed by pretty well all commentators. The Tories opposed New Labour’s self-serving House of Lords reform, on the apparently principled point that the House of Lords should be reformed to a democratically elected Upper Chamber. Now they announce that Dannatt will be working with the prospective Tory government – from the Lords.

Plainly the Tories have no more interest in democracy than New Labour, and their true intention is just to turn the Lords from Tony’s Cronies to Dave’s Cronies.

Makes you sick, doesn’t it.

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Afghan Elections Fraudulent – Key Evidence Hushed Up in UN and in UK

So determined are the British mainstream media, and all three main English political parties, to maintain patriotic support for the War in Afghanistan, that there has been almost no reporting here of conclusive evidence that the Afghan elections were entirely fraudulent. There are huge discrepancies between the turnout as monitored by UN observers, and as declared by the Afghan “Independent” Electoral Commission. For example:

In Helmand province in the south, where Taliban fighters remain very active, for example, the U.N. estimated that just 38,000 votes were cast while Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission reported 122,376 votes for the top three candidates, including 112,873 for Karzai. In neighboring Kandahar, the U.N. estimated turnout at below 100,000 voters ?” compared to the commission’s official count of 242,782 votes, 221,436 of them for Karzai.

The interesting thing is that the UN itself has been complicit in covering this up, and the true figures have only been released by a whistleblower, Peter Galbraith, who has naturally been sacked. His motives are immaterial – it was wrong of the UN to suppress this information. For sheer bloody minded cynicism, the response from Edmond Mulet, assistant UN secretary general, takes the biscuit. He stated that the UN was mandated to support the Afghan election, not to monitor it.


A smoother but still more cynical confirmation that the UN is going along with fraud came from the Head of the UN’s Afghan mission, Kai Eide, who stated that:

“If one is serious about state-building in Afghanistan, one must allow these nascent institutions to work and to grow. This means allowing them to make their own mistakes.”

This resonates strongly with me because it mirrors exactly the arguments I had with UN officials in Uzbekistan who refused to acknowledge the appalling human rights abuses in the country. In particular, UNICEF point blank would not report the massive use of forced labour of young children in the cotton fields, preferring instead to quote reports from Uzbek government institutions denying this.

Sadly, the majority of international diplomats, Eide and Mulet included, are high living careerists, fleas riding on the back of power, with no principles and with no empathy for the plight of people whose lifestyle does not include an unlimited supply of free champagne.

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