Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lange, Bush and Thatch

Well I’ve been away and now I’m back. There are bits of the far South where I can testify that the sun will burn you (and make you sad, sorry, sore, peeled, cancerous ?). Apologies to the poor soul who bumped into this blog by accident (I presume it was so) - thanks for not complaining.

I can also announce that I am still a geek at heart having derived childish pleasure from being conversant with a statistical technique called structural equation modelling (don’t ask).

And here’s my tale for today:

The CIA is morally indefensible. Well at least kidnapping people and then transporting them to compliant allies in order to torture them certainly is. As for Condosleezy Rice trying to sidestep and gamely defend such activities it makes me ashamed to hold a PhD. It appears the lesson here is with academic achievement does not come moral enlightenment (look at me ha !). I cringe though for those in the US who I am sure, feel bitterly ashamed to be represented by such nasty f****rs. Good news the bushboon has admitted that the intelligence he used to argue the case for war was wrong and that going to war was his fault. What I couldn’t see was whether Dick n Don were running the autocue…….. A subtext to all this was the ‘discovery’ that the republican Govt has been buying press coverage (as if Fox news wasn’t helpful enough !) which worries me and brings forth the only original thought of the day.

I was there in 1985 when David Lange gave his speech on nuclear weapons being indefensible. I lived under the yoke of and in the plain knowledge that a four-minute warning was not going to save my life given my location and circumstance. All through my school days the quiet desperation of those thoughts dragged at my soul. This and a few friends changed my life and gave an angry young man a sense of moral direction and purpose. Above all I realised the importance of free thought and an abhorrence of propaganda. It was interesting to re-read David Lange’s speech some twenty years later. Two points stood out specifically. The first was that before giving that speech he was allowed to tour unhindered throughout the US debating this issue. Quite clearly from his delivery he felt that he had been given a far crack at it too. It is difficult to imagine anyone being allowed such freedom in the contemporary democratic joke that is America. The best one could hope was that any message would get lost in the mire of passing news not relevant to America, at the worst one might be stoned by Christian Fundamentalists and misreported by the right wing press. This might be a caricature, but the sentiment is real I genuinely feel that this highlights just what the world and America in particular has lost. Though I am unable to grasp how things got this bad. My second point rests with a reference that Lange made to Margaret Thatcher, my interpretation remains that he, like many saw her as intimidating (which in my opinion was an understatement). Part of that formidable façade was operated through the media. Not the comments in the Guardian about Thatch’s knighthood for the disgraced media warlock Conrad Black and realise that media manipulation was then as it is now. I believe we still cannot see the TV footage of Miners vs. Police at Orgreave colliery (I was there too). The interesting sideline may be that at least then the BBC might have complained these days it does what it is told and shuts up shop in Europe to set up a broadcast rival to Al Jazeera. Now in who’s interests is that, and what exactly is it worth do you think.

Thatch has been on my mind a lot recently, not least because it appears that she is finally losing her marbles. I don’t know for how much longer she we live but these thoughts burn in my mind;

I want to out live her long enough to be as indifferent to her death as she was to the plight of the working men and communities that she ruined for generations under the banner of rationalisation.

I wish to be as crass and arrogant as she was when she sent British Servicemen to war in order to win an election.

I want to be as utterly heartless as she was when she opted to sink a ship full of Argentine sailors who need not have died at all in a war that could so easily have been avoided.

There will be obituaries that will speak of great leadership and reform. But the bitter truth is this. The woman was cruel, heartless and power mad. To this day I find her in presence and in deed to be utterly despicable. My moral fig leaf is this I would be glad if she read this for I will repeat it at here death and at any time afterwards. My only regret is that I will not be amongst those waiting to tramp the dirt down. Should there be a hell, then surely it was made for her.

No comments: