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44 thoughts on “Geneva

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  • glenn_uk

    Stab-proof vest might not go amiss too, not to mention a decent smiting-stick…

  • Mary

    and your bodyguards….

    I wish you and Michael Andersen and his team well at the festival.


    In a glaring example of double standards, Uzbekistan enjoys the support and complicity of Western nations including the United States yet it is one of the worst dictatorships in Central Asia. It is a dictatorship that imposes forced child labor in the cotton fields and whose cruel repression towards its citizens peaked on May 13, 2005 with the Andijan massacre. On that day, under the pretext of a terrorist attack, the army opened fire on thousands of civilians assembled to express their displeasure with the government. Hundreds of people, including women and children, were killed.

    Following this event, the darkest chapter in post-Soviet Uzbekistan, the EU decreed an embargo on arms sales to Tashkent and called for an independent investigation.

    The embargo was lifted in 2009 following what were called “positive developments” although no proper investigation has been carried out. Clearly state inte- rests took precedence over the principles of human rights. President Islam Karimov has skillfully presented his country as a bulwark against Islamic extremism, facilitating the access of Western forces to the territory of neighboring Afghanistan. Moreover, Uzbekistan has become a major supplier of gas to European countries.

    In 2007, Uzbekistan escaped once again, thanks to diplomatic support from a discredited committee at the UN Human Rights Council, despite a UN report establishing systematic human rights violations in Uzbekistan. To date eight UN Special Rapporteurs are still waiting to be allowed to return to the country.

    In the face of the increasing isolation of the people and civil libertarians in the country, will the international community continue to close its eyes?

    Carole Vann
    21h 00

    Massacre in Uzbekistan
    Michael Andersen • Ouzbékistan/Kirghizistan/Grande-Bretagne/France/Allemagne/Suède • 80´
    More Details »|| Reservation for A film, A topic, A debate »

    Debates after the film :
    More information »

    Keynote Speakers :
    Andersen Michael|Loersch André| Murray Craig|Poujol Catherine| Tadjibaeva Mutabar|

    A trailer here for Massacre in Uzbekistan:

  • A Node

    …and some Ferrero Rocher.
    “Ambassador, with these Rocher, you’re really spoiling us”

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    “The foreign secretary has written to colleagues to remind them that the agreed position of the coalition government is not to comment on the case justification for the war until Chilcot has reported.

    The Foreign Office has prevented the release of telephone conversations between then-UK PM Tony Blair and then-US President George Bush in the days preceding the invasion.

    In 2004, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that the US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter.

  • Mary

    That brought a smile John. The gesture the young student Bliar made was quite prescient in several respects.

    W***** does after all rhyme with Banker.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Good luck Mr Murray. Do not forget to take couple of millions quid otherwise they will not share even a second with you.

  • John Goss

    Mary, thanks for linking the Oxford Union debate speech of Mr Murray. It was a witty opposition to the motion with some shrewd observations. I loved the Jehovah Witness/ Al Quaeda quip. Very good.

  • Mary

    How very nasty of Ms Caselli. It’s a game. Really? Not for Mr Chavez it isn’t. I keep saying that the BBC is revolting. It is.

    Irene Caselli BBC News, Caracas

    It is a waiting and watching game in Caracas – waiting for concrete news about President Hugo Chavez; watching should an election be needed to choose his successor.

    The government has insisted that Mr Chavez is still running the country, albeit from his hospital bed.

    The majority seem to accept this. A recent opinion poll found that 57% of Venezuelans believe Mr Chavez will recover, but 30% think he will not return to office.

    Amid the uncertainty, opposition parties have been in talks to select a single candidate should a snap poll be called.

    Whoever they choose would face Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, Mr Chavez’s own choice to be his successor.


    Hugo Chavez ‘battling for his life’, says VP Maduro

    Very sad if true.

  • Mary

    Yes John. I especially liked the part where he was very animated and listing the injustices including what the Israelis do to the Palestinians.

    I have just read this moving tribute by Jeff Halper, that doughty fighter against the house demolitions – ICAHD, to Stéphane Heassel.

    A Voice and Presence Passes: Remembering Stéphane Hessel (1917-2013)

  • Gary

    Perhaps Gulnara’ can talk you through her disastrous pop career funded by the same sources you described.

  • Herbie

    Great speech at Oxford, Craig. You’re a natural at extemporising whilst hiding the craft. Almost Joycean. And, good luck in Geneva too.

    Someone posted something from Ken Loach on QT, and following up I then came across this Classic between Ken, and Michael Heseltine.

    It’s rare, if ever, to see such issues in debate on the BBC these days, though it was routine in the 1970s/80s

    Whilst the issues are as real today as they ever were, we just don’t see them addressed on TV these days. That’s not quite true. We do see them addressed. We see them differently addressed. We see them on what’s called “Reality TV”.

    “Reality TV” encourages us to think of types rather than individuals. It’s quite medieval in that respect, but lacks the medieval sense of whole. It seems to present these types in a zoo-like way, where they’re somehow outside and beyond the whole of which we and they are but parts. And, that’s quite a good trick. That’s “divide and rule” in seemingly subtle form.

    Anyway, let’s see how Ken and Micky on the Make, get on.

    The major difference between the positions presented by Loach and Heseltine, is that Loach looks at the big picture and how it all interacts, whilst Heseltine only wants to look at parts.

    If you look at the big picture you want to know how all the parts work together. that’s what all thinking people do, and should be doing. It’s common sense.

    Heseltine isn’t a stupid man, far from it indeed. Big picture thinking will have been second nature to him, all his adult life. How else could he have planned his well documented ascent.

    Why is it then when he comes on TV, he only wants to talk in parts.

    Therein lies the problem, the ruse, the disease.

    At least he had the decency to appear suitably embarrassed. Americans don’t, and that’s something to be more imminently worried about.

    Roman Jakobson is quite good on this stuff, Well worth a read.

  • Indigo


    Many thanks for the link to the debate.

    Craig got his points across well and seemed to carry the room with him nine times out of ten … but the tenth was notable; Israeli stealing of Palestine land. Not a clap (I don’t think, although I’d have to look at it again to make sure).

    Maybe it was my imagination but the atmosphere seemed suddenly strange … almost as if there were a general embarrassment … a fear to applaud?

    I found this a bizarre reaction from an audience that apparently accepted his other arguements (and apparently those of his fellow speakers in opposition) and voted in favour of rejecting the motion.

    Craig, have I imagined the atmosphere?

  • Anon

    That brought a smile John. The gesture the young student Bliar made was quite prescient in several respects.

    Didn’t someone (teenage/student perhaps?) ask him once (in some “meet the people” type event) what the teenage Tony Blair would think of him now and Blair replied something along the lines of “He’d hate me.”

  • Clark

    Indigo, 1 Mar, 11:54 pm;

    “…but the tenth was notable; Israeli stealing of Palestine land. Not a clap […] the atmosphere seemed suddenly strange … almost as if there were a general embarrassment … a fear to applaud?.”

    No, you didn’t imagine it, I noticed it too. But it may have been partly because Craig lapsed from his humorous and light-hearted presentation to a moment of obviously heartfelt and genuine anger. People are scared of anger these days; public speakers are expected to be “objective”, detached, aloof, especially when describing the suffering of people oppressed by the establishment’s allies.

  • Mary

    Poor old dear. I hope she has not been consuming Brown Windsor Soup.

    Q As the Heir Apparent is the P of Wales, why can’t he pop over to Swansea to deputize?

    Sky News have a reporter based outside Windsor Castle, speculating on the likely sources of infection. Was it the Royal London Hospital opening in the week (a PFI btw to cost £100k pa for 30 years)^ or was it the investiture for the Olympic athletes? What nonsense. Anything but the really important matters.


  • Indigo


    Glad that that someone else noticed and it wasn’t just my imagination … sad that the audience couldn’t empathise.

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