Vote Early, Vote Often
Zimbabwe has been to the polls and once again
we optimists have been
confounded by outright corruption triumphing in the face of not
even half-empty rhetoric.
The screwed up newspaper footage tumbled hopefully
MDC supporters forming long, untidy yet photogenic queues day after
- could this be South Africa c.1994 all over
again?... It wasn't, it was Zimbabwe in the twenty first century
'free' world was duly outraged when everything turned out exactly
everybody had said it would all along. Though, clearly, not so outraged
to be inclined to do anything about it.
Before, during and immediately after the inevitable
result was announced Jack Straw regularly flitted in front of the
cameras denouncing, denouncing, denouncing: "We do not recognise
the result nor its legitimacy", one would not have been surprised
if he had continued sotto voce off camera "In fact, we intend
Zimbabwe completely." For while Tony talks of "healing
the scar that is
Africa" we have yet to see him laying on hands.
The dictator Mugabe dictates at will the image
of the racist western whitemen and our
unwelcome imperialist interference in Africa's affairs to Zimbabwe's
state-controlled media., So incumbent is this interference that
no-one in the West seems able to lift a finger to stop him
(Straw will not even ban
"Look dad! I is the President!" - http://www.drparsons.fsnet.co.uk/georg.html
of African self interest, man of the people, - for who is it
that is railing so loudly, so impotently, so insincerely about Mugabe's
Bush. A man who would have difficulty finding Africa on the map,
George Bush Jnr, 'President' of America - champion
way that would have many African despots blushing with embarrassment
blatant perversion: son of a former president (who had also been
the secret service) supported by corrupt financiers and global oil
keen to plunder his countries natural resources. He gains an acknowledged
minority of the popular vote but steals the election thanks to electoral
misconduct disenfranchising minorities in a state controlled by
All this democratic process then needed was rubber stamping by a
Jeb Bush appointed Florida Attorney General
and the Bush Snr appointees to the Supreme Court.
The same George W Bush while complaining so
loudly about democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe, Iraq, Sudan,
North Korea and others, conveniently overlooks his own bombing of
civilians in Afghanistan and is kinda forgetful about the US
provision of armsto Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Columbia, countries not
exactly feted as open societies.
(Noam Chomsky http://uk.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=25530)
"It's my party and you'll do what I say!"
And then there is Tony Blair.. Emperor Blair,
a very schizophrenic democrat;
one day he gives us the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly
and the GLA,
the very next he rigs the Labour party's internal elections for
candidates for the same. Happily the devolution genie was out of
and popular choices Rhodhi Morgan and Ken Livingstone succeeded
their party's politburo attempted puppetshow. Tony has no such worries
sitting Labour prime minister cannot be removed by his party. Even
Tories are more democratic than that, as Mrs T. would have told
you. (Or she
would have done before last week's announcement that she has officially
her mind. Was this news to anyone?)
Despite his seemingly enormous popularity with
the electorate and what he
had promised before he attained power, he doesn't trust us to choose
should go into the second chamber of parliament. Although he "believe(s)
that a modern Britain deserves better than an Upper House based
on birth and
privilege", he thinks that removing its independent elements
and packing the
benches with appointees grateful for his patronage is an improvement.
"In my view, the second Chamber is a revising
Chamber. We do not need two
Chambers competing against one another. This Chamber is the proper
for democratic authority and overall control, and that is why I
believe in a fully elected second Chamber, which my right hon. Friend
Benn) believes in." T.Blair 1/10/2001
"Voting with our feet up."
Actually Blair is not as popular as his massive
majority suggests, more
people voted for Major's Tories in '92 than Blair could inspire
in '97 or
'01. Maybe Zimbabwe is more democratic than UK, in their election
was greater than 70% with MDC supporters queuing for days to cast
probably knew would get lost on the way to the count. And even better
Zanu PF strong-holds where in some cases the turnout was 112%.
This is in sad contrast to our last General Election
where there was a pathetic turnout
of 58%, the lowest since 1918, as voters shunned the process. Now,
Australia Britain is a free country and voters can stay at home
if they so
choose, I am happy with that, but it delighted Jack Straw too and
really, really annoyed me. He had the pomposity to claim that the
of people electing not to elect him were demonstrating "the
"We will find after the election there are
loads more people who wanted a Labour victory than actually turned out to vote."
"So the state of the moral authority will
paradoxically be greater than that
of the vote."
What a democrat! Even Mugabe could learn a thing
or too from that!
What should we do to improve this situation?
First of all sign up with
Charter 88 (http://www.charter88.org.uk)
Then I have a few modest proposals of my own which I will present
Part two: "The Politics of Contentment; Apathy rules UK",
5th September 2001