Anglo Uzbek Democracy 43

Uzbek voters have the fun of going to the polls on December 29 to choose between candidates for parliament from four “political parties”, each one of which loudly supports President Islam Karimov. Even the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), so often ready to excuse authoritarian behaviour by its members, has concluded that the Uzbek elections do not offer a genuine choice to the Uzbek people.

Whereas here in the UK, we are to have our democracy “Reinvigorated” by live broadcast debates between the leaders of the three “major” political parties. Which explains why this post is titled Anglo Uzbek democracy. We are urged to applaud as a major breakthrough a TV event that is irrelevant to the key political choices in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and which further enhances the disastrous “Presidentialism” that enabled one man to take us to war in Iraq, by telling lies to overcome the real wishes of almost all his party.

Despite the most concerted and near unanimous campaign of media jingoism in UK history, a consistent majority of British voters are against the costly war to keep the fraudster Karzai in power in Afghanistan, and to maintain security for the drugs warlords who make up most of his government.

People simply do not buy the line that killing people in Afghanistan and Pakistan makes a terrorist reaction in the UK less likely.

The establishment response is to pack the airwaves with military figures on any excuse. Not only are the military, retired and serving, used to openly propagandise for the war, but they turn up to review the papers or choose Desert Island Discs. Doubtless Antiques Roadshow from Chelsea Barracks is being filmed. I should like to hear some soldiers singing a sentimental Christmas song about a mutilated Afghan girl who will never see her parents again after her village was bombed.

But there are very few signs the perpetual propaganda is working. The public remain deeply hostile to the Afghan War. Yet we are approaching a general election, and a “Leaders’ debate” in which all the “Major” parties will firmly support the war and the ludicrous line that it keeps us safe in our beds.

Where, then, is the “Genuine choice” for the UK electorate. There is none. The old joke that, whoever you vote for, the government gets in, has never been more apposite. There is no real choice for the British electorate. Will someone phone the OSCE?

43 thoughts on “Anglo Uzbek Democracy

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  • writerman

    This “choice” isn’t just confined to the UK, Craig. It’s a model one sees all over the “West”; the political spectrum has narrowed. I wonder if this isn’t connected to the fall of the Communist/Stalinist “alternative”?

    It seems that, in the UK one can choose between three “conservative” parties, and that’s about it. The situation is much the same in the United States, a choice between two factions of the same block, the business block.

    Whatever happened to the opposition? Where are they? Effectively, in the UK and the US, there is no real opposition in the legislature. Isn’t it odd that whilst the UK population is strongly opposed to the wars and our “imperial” role in them, this is simply not reflected in parliament? How on earth can one call it a democracy when the views of the people aren’t represented on such a vital issue?

    And this is the crunch. Democracy, in it’s modern form, is dead. All that’s left is a political ritural, we call “democracy”, a peice of theatre, that increasingly resembles a sport like soccer. Clearly, Power in society is not under democratic control, and hardly even influenced.

    I, if I’m honest, don’t think the current system is “reformable”, we seem to be moving away from “bourgeoise democracy”, which for all its faults, was better than what went before, now we are seeing the rise of the strong state, or the national security state, which in many respects has the characteristics of the corporate state, whcih some would define as a totalitarian state, or even “facism.”

    In a totalitarian state, political choice is an illusion, and there is no political opposition, and this seems to describe the UK, where the “strong centre” has pushed all alternatives into the margins.

  • Ed

    In the BBC message boards are anything to go by, the television debates have gone down like a pork chop in a synagogue. Mainly because it’s seen as a transparent effort to marginalise the smaller parties; I guess it remains to be seen if it will backfire, the first-past-the-post system means it probably won’t.

  • Tony

    The spirit of Goebbels lives on – repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth.

    Even the former Archbishop of Rochester now endorses the war in Afghanistan. Funny: when I was at school we were taught by our C.ofE. chaplain that if we were ever perplexed by a morally challenging situation we should ask ourselves what Jesus would do in our place. Clearly Michael Nazir-Ali has a view of Christ’s teaching is a lot different from anything I was taught or read in the New Testament

    Sick people. No wonder politicians command so little respect – they deserve none, because for them the truth has no meaning. Bring our beloved troops home, Blair Bush and now Michael Nazir-Ali have cast them in a role of suicide bombers for which I have no doubt they did not choose to enlist.

  • richard

    Well yes. But everybody has a vote. I am still inclined to think a lot of voters know what they’re up to. Hence they gave UKIP a lot of votes on the grounds that they distrust the EU and the election was otherwise irrelevant and there was Proportional Representation so their votes would really be counted. They elected Boris Johnson, perceiving that Mayor of London is mainly a showbiz job, and with proportional Representation their votes would really be counted. There will be a party standing almost everywhere in the next General Election with a policy to pull out of Afghanistan. Yes it’s the BNP, but if that’s your policy priority…. however, there will be no Proportional Represention, so people will mostly, as usual, vote for the second-worst option to keep out the worst. And the large elements in all parties, probably a majority in the LibDems, will toe the line, as they would not need to do with an STV system.

  • Arsalan Goldberg

    I have never voted, and I never will.

    The only reason why this government doesn’t boil people alive yet is, as yet they have never felt the need.

    But as soon as they feel the need, they will boil people alive as much as their alies.

  • George Laird

    Dear Craig

    Well said about the MSM trying to rig the general election.

    It is a complete joke that only Labour, Tory and Lib Dems are to get a voice.

    At the end of 2009, the people of the UK are still living in a corrupt society managed by the rich.

    The Afghan war is an example that the politicians don’t care to hear or act on the wishes of the people.

    Roll on a hung Parliament.

    Finally, Merry xmas and a happy new year to you and your family.

    Yours sincerely

    George Laird

    The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

  • Tom Welsh

    “I should like to hear some soldiers singing a sentimental Christmas song about a mutilated Afghan girl who will never see her parents again after her village was bombed”.

    Well said. I can never hear any of the incessant news items about our heroic armed forces people and the suffering they endure without wondering why nothing is ever said about the Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis and others who have been killed or maimed. They must outnumber our own casualties by three, four, or even five orders of magnitude. Indeed, if you compare the 1 million plus excess deaths in Iraq alone with the few hundred UK casualties, the hypocrisy is staggering.

    How can that possibly be the case, if we truly believe that Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis are just as important as British people? Yet we continue to think it was only the awful Nazis who thought foreigners were subhuman…

  • Tom Welsh

    As Gore Vidal so pithily summed it up, “…we have only one political party in the United States, the Property Party, with two right wings, Republican and Democrat”.

  • ingo

    Whilst we were busy listening to the Copenhagen non event, the powers to be in Taschkent, in a vain attempt to show off their conrete architecture made their own contributions to the debate, by cutting all the trees down, the only pleasant feature by the looks of the pics.

    apparently there was much outcry about it, but would we ever hear of it?

    Or is it paranoia of a Government that has too many irons in the fire? are they so worried that they cut down vegetation for a more open view for CCTV systems.

    I wish you all a happy yule time, the longest night is over and the sun is on its way back up north, I’m enjoying the snow and the cold, if I shut my eyes and think hard enough, I can smell speculatius bisquits, Gluehwein and candied almonds, Hamburg’s traditional age old Christmas market is only 200 miles to the east, I haven’t been home for yonks, sob sob, Ah well

    merry christmas and ‘guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr’

  • Ishmael

    Like this article. Maybe the majority are to worn out, to tired, to care anymore. The U.K. is not a democratic institution.

  • Ruth

    I won’t vote. Taking part in such an election is basically supporting a corrupt system in whch we are led to believe we live in a democracy. Whichever party gets in doesn’t make major decisions. They are just for show; to make us think we live in a democracy.

  • Ruth

    ‘Insurrection is a genuine choice; so the question is when, not where.’

    This is what whoever pulls the strings is most afraid of. This is why they have in place so much surveillance. When the economic situation worsens people will have little to lose and start to rebel as they’ll realise they are powerless.

    The government is desparately trying to hot up the election so that people think they do have a say and maintain the illusion

  • hawley_jr

    “In practice it makes far more sense to talk of the New Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties as a homogeneous social and economic unit rather than as separate organisations with distinctive ideologies. In other words the real gulf in British politics is no longer between Tory and Labour. It is between a hegemonic Political Class and a population at large which is mainly disenfranchised and increasingly betrayed by what amounts to a conspiracy between the mainstream parties.”

    Peter Oborne, ‘The Triumph of the Political Class’

  • tony_opmoc


    “I won’t vote”

    I won’t either – unless you put yourself up for election and personally convince me of why I should vote for you.

    Whilst I completely disagree with some of your views, I agree with nearly everything you say here.


    Peter Oborne, ‘The Triumph of the Political Class’

    Great book. I’ve not finished reading it yet – and don’t know where it is. I would like to think that one or other of my Children have borrowed it, but after spending rather a long time trying to get them to vote at the last Election – as my Wife and I actually did, at the school they both went to, it was them that convinced me.

    “Come on Dad, be serious. Voting never changed anything.”

    By not voting, you are making a much stronger point.

    For a little bit of light Christmas reading if you are bored after the 19th Christmas Turkey Buttie…you could always read what the Unabomber had to say.

    I personally was surprised. Whilst obviously a complete nutter who’s main views are very different to mine, his analysis of what he perceives of “The Left” is quite brilliant.

    My Wife and I have just been hanging up even more Christmas Lights

    I think she is trying to compete with Blackpool in Fairy Land

    Merry Christmas and Love & Peace,

    I thought what Craig wrote today was beautiful

    “I should like to hear some soldiers singing a sentimental Christmas song about a mutilated Afghan girl who will never see her parents again after her village was bombed”


  • writerman

    The political class are in charge of the electoral system and have it under firm control. With a triplet, party system in operation there will be no change, or even meaningful reform. That kind of change isn’t built into the system, on the contrary.

    So what’s going to happen? In my view things will only get worse and worse, with no light at the end of the tunnel. We are stuck in the tunnel for ever.

    Change will only happen when the ruling “aristocracy” drive the country sufficiently into the ground that they undermine the very basis of their control, in other words, they saw off the branch they are sitting on.

    What’s tragic, for all the little people, subject to their misrule, is that this can, and often is, a terrible destructive and wastefu process, but then the British ruling class are experts at this process.

    War is, usually, the most obvious and ultimate manifestation of this process. Having “lost” two world wars, it was only then that the elite was sufficiently weakened to enable alternative groups to challenge their hegemony over society.

    Now, of course, the “war” is becoming a permanent feature of our society, a conflict that will never be over because the enemy doesn’t really exist.

    The “terrorist threat” is us. We are threatening the rest of the world with terror unless they agree to our imperial demands and pay tribute to us in the form of our control of their natural resources and markets.

    In a way we have moved back in time, or back to the future. Like the scramble for Africa, we are involved in collosal scramble for the world, or more correctly, what’s left of it’s resources, and that probably should include the atmosphere, the “right” to pollute included.

    Can ordinary people resist the gravyard we are being led to by the ruling class? Not within the constricted and controlled structures of a corrupt political system. It is impossible. What is needed is a form of revolution. Unfortunately getting to that stage could take years of decline and misery and the outcome is in doubt. What depressing is that we don’t have unlimited time at our disposal to impliment the changes required, we are pressed for time. If we wait decades then our physical environment may be, probably will be, beyond practical measures to repair it, and our civilization itself will be in grave danger. We cannot keep destroying the environment without eventually destroying ourselves, because we are part of the environment as well.

  • Tom Kennedy

    Tony, doesn’t “Nazir-Ali” sound suspiciously like “Nazi Rally” if you say it quickly?

    On the subject of political parties, there’s a quote I’m trying to source. The gist of it is that political parties are a con trick: the proof is that once the opposition gets into government they never repeal the laws they opposed so vociferously in the past.

    There are almost no ideological differences between the party of government and the main opposition party in any leading “democracy”. It’s not surprising: both are the parties of business and are rotated to give us the illusion of choice.

    Craig, when you were running for Norwich North I asked if anyone knew the history of political parties. You said you would answer when you had more time. If you do have a spare five minutes, or if you or anyone can point me in the right direction, I’d be obliged.

    I wish you and everyone here a Joyous Christmas and best wishes for 2010.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Tom Welsh,

    You said “How can that possibly be the case, if we truly believe that Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis are just as important as British people?”

    The answer is that the propaganda machine conditions the UK population not to think or feel the same about Iraqis, Pakistanis, and Afghans as humans like British people.

    I recall, many years ago, as a student on holiday in Tunisia being on a tourist bus, and we came upon a really bad accident where another bus collided with a car. Many persons were hurt. As we slowly drove by the suffering people, the lady behind me said quite callously as she looked outside the window, “None of ours, just some locals.” And there you have it – for the million of dead and others maimed in Iraq – ” None of ours, just a million or so Iraqis.”.

    Oh, how horrible!

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Democracy? – this just about sums it up:-

    As George Orwell once wrote:

    The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. This new version is the past and no different past can ever have existed. In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not the victory over either Eurasia or East Asia, but to keep the very structure of society intact.

    Herman Goering, Hitler’s second in command, explained the concept of war when he was standing trial at the Nuremberg Trials for war crimes, when he stated, “Why, of course, the people don’t want war,” and that, “Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” When Goering was corrected that in a democracy, “the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives,” Goering responded:

    Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

  • marcus

    What about creating a ‘no vote’ party?

    That way people could be shown that they are contributing to the system- but are also saying there is no-one worth voting for. While logging their none vote.

    In an instant it would destroy the myth that people aren’t voting because they are apathetic.. *substitute the usual naff excuses made by the political parties here*

    I suggest the no vote party have no policies and no-one standing for election.

  • hawley_jr

    @Courtenay Barnett: ‘And there you have it – for the million of dead and others maimed in Iraq – ” None of ours, just a million or so Iraqis.”‘

    Yes, strange, and sad, that we should be like this, when we can all see on TV news that mothers the world over suffer the same anguish and cry the same tears.

  • Anonymous

    At last – Craig, Someone who points out that my beloved Rdio 4 has now become the PR wing of HM Forces. Not only the Army everywhere, but the only crticism of the govt. is Army crticism ( not enough/ the right equipment, lack of sympathy for injured, dead , bereaved etc Army people, only Army people not the poor Iraqi/Afghans). When did the BBC beome the propaganda wing of the Army? I find this truly new and horrible even though I have always known that “whoever you vote for the government gets in” – old saying maybe, but no joke.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours and keep the true flag flying


  • Frazer

    As well to note that the govt in Tashkent has chopped down all the trees in the main park so they can see the newly opened govt building…nice one !

  • Neil Craig

    All 3″3 parties” support catastrophic global warming, all 3 support subsidising windmills, all 3 support EU membership but all 3 promised a referendum on the Lisbon treaty & all 3 broke that promise, all 3 believe in a massive state sector sharing in the “fruits of growth” to employ more people to regulate us. all 3 claim bin Laden is alive & we should be frightened into more regulation by him, all 3 engage in war crimes & genocide, all 3 believe in breaking international law to destroy Yugoslavia, all 3 refuse to mention our dissection of thousands of Serbs to steal body parts by our (ex-)Nazi KLA police (only the BNP oppose such racist atrocities), all 3 support the current state control of BBC news (& all 3 criticise any questioning of their common lies like the “Great global Warming Swindle” on C4), all 3 say it is a “wasted vote” to vote for anybody but the 3, all 3 say we live in a democracy.

  • tony_opmoc

    Neil Craig,

    One of my former Girlfriends was born to Parents who were born in what was then Yugoslavia and though it was never discussed they were Serbs.

    When my country started dropping bombs on Yugoslavia, I was completely horrified.

    You now have just written “our dissection of thousands of Serbs to steal body parts by our (ex-)Nazi KLA police”. I couldn’t believe this was true, because it is like a horror movie I have seen.

    So I did a google search on your words and came up with this…

    “It is not often that the first anniversary of the publication of a bureaucrat’s biography deserves discussion, however this is one. A year ago Carla del Ponte, the Chief Prosecutor of the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal published her biography. In it she confirmed having, 8 years previously, investigated reports from western journalists that NATO “police,” formerly known as the KLA, had kidnapped & dissected, while still alive, at least 1,300 Serb teenagers & that the presumably 10s of thousands of body parts had been flown out of Tirana airports to western destinations. Her team had indeed found a building where 300 of these murders took place together with forensic evidence proving this atrocity. Then she stopped the investigation.

    Since then there have been further investigations proving that such dissections were more extensive than thought & still going on. The EU even appointed a lawyer to look into the matter.

    Over the last year we have seen leader writers & front page articles denouncing the Chinese government for their “heavy handed” breaking up of riots in Tibet in which less than 2 dozen died, most of them ethnic Chinese. We have seen headlines & denunciations of Russia’s action which prevented a Georgian attempt to “ethnically cleanse” the entire South Ossetian population. We have seen massive reporting of the Israeli war against Hammers in which about 800 people died, overwhelmingly Hammers combatants.

    How shameful that atrocities worse in numbers, infinitely worse in cruelty & forming only a part of the crimes carried out under NATO authority have gone virtually entirely unreported by British Press & broadcasters.

    References Del Ponte’s initial report

    Subsequent investigation

    PS Its OK I don’t expect you to publish this. The only paper to publish even one previous letter on the subject was the Scotsman. The late Josef Goebbels managed a similar level, of censorship but then he could send journalists to concentration camps. How fortunate that today’s journalists are sufficiently sensitive not to such threats to prevent them reporting.”

    People simply do not make up stuff like this. I find it hard to take just how EVIL we have become. However, every reference I have found to this so far was written by Neil Craig.


  • mary

    The MOD (or perhaps she approves of killing) are using the Queen to pay tribute to ‘our troops’ in Afghanistan in her broadcast tomorrow. I will not be watching or listening to this crap.

    And while he’s at his good works (sleeping rough for one night – Wow!) HRH Prince William might like to renounce his claim to the throne once his adulterous father kicks the bucket. I am sick of him and his sidekick Harry (‘We do bad things to bad people’ on his cap when he got back from his Afghan war games/photo opportunity) endlessly propagandizing the war.

    More Murdoch crap.

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