The Fashion for Hypocrisy 234


Hypocrisy seems to be massively in fashion.  This from William Hague renders me speechless: “Be in no doubt, there will be consequences. The world cannot say it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations.”

Then today we have the British Establishment at a closed event in Westminster Abbey in memory of Nelson Mandela.  Prince Harry, David Cameron, all the toffs.  I was never more than a footsoldier in the anti-apartheid movement, but I trudged through the rain and handed out leaflets in Dundee and Edinburgh.  I suspect very few indeed of the guests at this posh memorial service did that.  David Cameron was actively involved in Conservative groups which promoted precisely the opposite cause.

My first appointment in the Foreign Office was to the South Africa (Political) desk in 1984.  The official British government line was that the ANC was a terrorist organization.  I faced hostility and disapproval even when I tried to get action on appalling human rights abuses like the case of Oscar Mpetha (thanks here to Tony Gooch and Terry Curran, they know why).  I got in big trouble for asking how many black guests had been received in the High Commissioner’s residence in Pretoria.

Every day, on a day to day basis, my job involved dealing with members of the British establishment, its political, business and professional communities.  The entire tenor of those meetings was how to prevent economic sanctions, circumvent existing sanctions and prolong the economic advantages to the UK of white rule.  Support for PW Botha was axiomatic.  I have no doubt many of those people or those who worked alongside them are in Westminster Abbey today.

The final extraordinary outbreak of hypocrisy is on the British left.  Russian military invasion of Ukraine is approved by them, because it is an invasion by Russia, and not an invasion by the West.  They are precisely as hypocritical as Hague.  Both think it is OK to violate the sovereignty of other nations, but only by their chosen side.

Until 1917, Russia was an Empire, avowedly so.  Thereafter the Soviet Union was a non-avowed Empire. The Crimea, and the rest of the Caucasus, was not colonized by Russia until the 1820’s onward.  The reason Crimea has a majority Russian population is that Stalin deported the Krim Tartars as recently as the 1930’s.  That was an old fashioned, wholesale  colonial atrocity, precisely similar to the British clearing parts of Kenya for white settlement.

In the mid-nineteenth century, Russian statesmen like Nesselrode appealed to the British in particular, not to oppose their expansion in the Caucasus, because as he said like the British they were white Christian Europeans engaged in a civilizing mission among savages and Muslims.  It was precisely the same colonial motivation the British used.  There is no moral difference, or even overt difference in justification at the time, between British colonization of India and Russian colonization of Chechnya.  Because Britain happens to be an island, we think of Empires as something you get to by ship.  Russia’s Empire happened to be a contiguous land mass.  But Dagestan, Chechnya, and Tartarstan were none the less colonies, exactly as were Kokhand, Bokhara and Khiva, formed to make Uzbekistan.  Yet left wing anti-colonialism does not demand decolonisation by Russia, only the West. Gross hypocrisy.

 


234 thoughts on “The Fashion for Hypocrisy

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  • Ben

    “And don’t forget that the narrative is now that the Jews AND the Nazis have taken over Ukraine.”

    Not only are links missing from certain commentators, they don’t bother to read links. Is this the manner in which debate occurs in topical cultures?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Angrysoba

    “And don’t forget that the narrative is now that the Jews AND the Nazis have taken over Ukraine.

    Again, the conspiracism requires mental gymnastics that us mere mortals are not capable of.”
    ____________________

    Yes indeed. But whereas you and I (and a very few others here) are not capable of those mental gymnastics, we ARE capable of seeing through them when performed by others. That’s what’s important and boy, doesn’t it piss them off?

    PS – I’m sure Orwell wrote something about about that. But Orwell’s not very popular on this blog: quoted surprisingly seldom and when quoted, rubbished (see above). I wonder why? (well, actually, I don’t 🙂 )

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Evgueny

    “From the tone of your posts I infer that you do not wish to be taken seriously. Fair enough, I won’t try any more.”
    _______________________

    You shouldn’t ever have started to. He doesn’t exist.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Black Jelly

    “Yeah, snd I am wondering how long before they appoint a 28 year old dual-israeli citizen like kezerashvili as Defence Minister in Ukraine, as saakashvilli did in Georgia in 2006.”
    ___________________-

    Just for the record, are you opposed to the principle of dual citizenship in general, or do only Israeli dual nationals get your Jelly all-a-quiver?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Ah, mes excuses! Orwell seems to be back in favour.

    When it suits.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    BarbaraZeVul

    Me a Mail Reader?

    I think you’ve got the wrong man – cf. Macky above at 11h39.

    🙂

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Angrysoba (on second thoughts)

    “And don’t forget that the narrative is now that the Jews AND the Nazis have taken over Ukraine.”
    _______________

    Be careful what you say, you’re inviting Mr Goss to come up with one of his many bots of tosh again. I refer, of course, to his “the Nazis were bankrolled by the Rothschilds”.

    LOL

  • Ben

    “But the markets are punishing Russia much more swiftly than the diplomats. A wide range of Russian assets—stocks, bonds, and the ruble—plunged in value today. To shore up the ruble, which is plumbing record depths, Russia’s central bank unexpectedly hiked interest rates today. It ratcheted up the benchmark one-week rate from 5.5% to 7%, and traders report that the central bank has also been spending billions of dollars in currency markets to stem the fall in the value of the ruble.”

    http://qz.com/183182/the-markets-are-punishing-russia-more-swiftly-than-diplomats-ever-could/

    Military threats (yawn)are trumped by the almighty ruble.

  • David H

    John Goss:

    “Political leaders are almost always bastards.” True that. If they weren’t bastards then they probably wouldn’t have any interest in being political leaders. So the trick is to get the least worst bastards and tie them into a system that allows us to live our lives and prosper as best we can. On that score, The UK or The US bastards are preferable to the Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean bastards. They are still bastards, to be sure, but that shouldn’t blind us to the fact that there are worse and more dangerous bastards out there by far.

  • David H

    John Goss:

    “I wish moderators would encourage those who comment to comment on the links that have been posted and not on those who posted them. They should criticise the content not other individuals. It goes against the new policy of the blog which has been a much more pleasant place to visit of late, with a few cranky exceptions. Thanks.”

    With you all the way, there! Engage with the ideas, people. No need for personal insults.

  • Ангрысоба

    Be careful what you say, you’re inviting Mr Goss to come up with one of his many bots of tosh again. I refer, of course, to his “the Nazis were bankrolled by the Rothschilds”.

    LOL

    I’m sure he doesn’t need any encouragement from me. But, on second thoughts, don’t you think it is ***convenient*** that Russia invades Crimea just now when Netanyahu is in Washington. Maybe Putin is part of the Zoionist Conspiracy!!%%&!!**!**

  • doug scorgie

    Macky
    4 Mar, 2014 – 11:39 am

    Wise words from Peter Hitchens

    A very good and serious article Macky but this bit made me laugh:

    “…the alarmist pronouncements of various schoolboy foreign ministers, who really ought to be forced to wear short trousers when speaking in public.”

    I immediately thought of Willie Hague

  • doug scorgie

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!
    4 Mar, 2014 – 11:42 am

    “Well, commenters tend to reveal themselves by the links they supply, don’t they.”

    Is that why you never supply links Habbabkuk?

  • doug scorgie

    Ангрысоба
    4 Mar, 2014 – 12:08 pm

    “Habbabkuk: “I was wondering how long it’d be before we got onto Israel and the Jooos..”

    “And don’t forget that the narrative is now that the Jews AND the Nazis have taken over Ukraine.”

    “Again, the conspiracism requires mental gymnastics that us mere mortals are not capable of.”

    Not true Ангрысоба, there were Israeli Defence Force veterans involved note: (ISRAELI). The fact that they are (probably) Jewish as well is of no consequence.

    I wonder what they were doing there, on holiday?

  • A Node

    off topic, on tune ….singalongawarcriminal

    “Dear Friends,

    George Galloway wants to include your music in his new Kickstarter Documentary – “THE KILLINGS OF TONY BLAIR”.

    We are now accepting submissions for songs by Independent/Unsigned Artists. The music is inconsequential to the subject matter of the film.

    You can send in your music to [email protected]

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Black Jelly

    I asked you :

    “Just for the record, are you opposed to the principle of dual citizenship in general, or do only Israeli dual nationals get your Jelly all-a-quiver?”
    _______________________-

    If you’ve stopped quivering by now, how about answering?

    Wakey wakey!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Angrysoba (14h08)

    Do you think that rasPutin might be a member of the Kremlin Friends of Israel?

  • Resident Dissident

    “A nice little drug town with an unfortunate tourist problem as someone once said.”

    That someone obviously being a person with a warped sense of humour and lacking any taste or tact.

    Clark – I think you will find that it was “Hippins Clough” rather than “Hippins Valley” and that it comes down from Blackshaw Head rather than Heptonstall. You were either very stoned or not with a local!

  • Clark

    Resident Dissident, yes, Blackshaw Head. Heptonstall seems to be the neighbouring parish. I was there in, oh, before Chernobyl blew up, so it’s probably time that’s warped my memories, seeing also that we didn’t light the joint until we’d started down the valley. I was with friends called Martyn and Christina; Martyn was from Bury, about twenty miles away.

    That joke isn’t tasteless, it’s clever. Hebden Bridge is (or at least was) full of stoners and hippies, so it has lots of bookshops, wholefoods, crafts, a good live music scene; you know, hippy things, a nice drug town, friendly. The tourists are a nuisance because they crowd the pubs up in Summer.

  • wikispooks

    More video of the sniping and stomach-churning stuff it is too.

    As with previous posts I have little doubt that Craig will trip straight into damage-limitation mode – “it doesn’t prove anything – could have been either side” – that sort of thing. Others can see the writing on the wall.

    Qui bono?? and why are the West’s latest favourite usurpers so reluctant to investigate these things as Russia demands?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Doug S

    ““Well, commenters tend to reveal themselves by the links they supply, don’t they.”

    Is that why you never supply links Habbabkuk?”
    ________________________

    There could be several reasons:

    1/. perhaps because you once said that you “couldn’t be arsed” to read them

    2/. or perhaps because I’m capable of making up my own mind and writing my comments all by myself

    3/ or even because I’m encouraging people who disagree with me to do their own work for a change. Laziness is the enemy of knowledge and understanding : as Kant once wrote: aude sapere!

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Doug S (again!)

    “Not true Ангрысоба, there were Israeli Defence Force veterans involved note: (ISRAELI). The fact that they are (probably) Jewish as well is of no consequence.”
    _____________________

    Well, it’s true that you’re the only one so far (I think) to claim Israeli involvement in this affair; your fellow Eminences have only got as far as the Jooos so far. Heartening to see that you’re ahead of the curve again! 🙂

  • Winston

    As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn pointed out, it was folly for the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to transfer historic provinces of Russia into Ukraine. At the time it seemed to the Soviet leadership like a good thing to do. Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union and had been ruled by Russia since the 18th century. Adding Russian territory to Ukraine served to water down the nazi elements in western Ukraine that had fought for Hitler during World War 2. Perhaps another factor in the enlargement of Ukraine was the fact of Khrushchev’s Ukrainian heritage.
    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/03/03/washingtons-arrogance-hubris-evil-set-stage-war/
    Washington’s Arrogance, Hubris, and Evil Have Set the Stage for War

    CIA director John Brennan told a senior lawmaker Monday that a 1997 treaty between Russia and Ukraine allows up to 25,000 Russia troops in the vital Crimea region, so Russia may not consider its recent troop movements to be an invasion, U.S. officials said.

    http://www.latimes.com/world/worldnow/la-fg-wn-us-intelligence-russia-ukraine-20140303,0,4657644.story
    CIA reportedly says Russia sees treaty as justifying Ukraine moves

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