RCS Christmas Money
16 hours ago
"So the manifesto we are publishing today is a comprehensive and cohesive plan to change Britain for the better. It will change Westminster and Whitehall for ever. It is a blueprint for reform that is rich in policy but rooted in a core idea of replacing state control with social responsibility.
But it is not a traditional manifesto. We are not saying that we will solve all your problems and, with a snap of the fingers, create a better Britain out of thin air. Because I don’t believe it is in the power of politicians to do this. And in truth, all those phoney pledges and simplistic promises have contributed to voters’ cynicism when it comes to politics."The people of the United Kingdom have a stark choice ahead. Let's hope they don't screw the pooch as badly as we did in the fall of 2008.
"In a week of surreptitious reporting here (committing journalism can be a criminal offense in Zimbabwe), ordinary people said time and again that life had been better under the old, racist, white regime of what was then called Rhodesia.
Western liberals have focused substantial energy on decrying and challenging the moral legitimacy of white minority rule. There was nothing wrong with per say. Challenging racism is noble, except that these liberals usually turned a blind-eye to the far greater cruelty and abuse that became the norm for so many post-colonial and majority-run African nations. Institutional race-based supremacy and legal segregation are ugly and unjust things that offend the werewolf to his very core. The werewolf is not endorsing the restoration of white minority regimes (although as noted by Kristof, those suffering would welcome their restoration). However, they pale in comparison to the genocide, ethnic cleansing, violent tribalism, and economic crimes committed throughout large swaths of post-colonial Africa. Kristof, is taking an important first step in acknowledging that dichotomy and one of the awful legacies of liberal racism and double-standards when it came to advocating for Africa. Good for him.
“When the country changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, we were very excited,” one man, Kizita, told me in a village of mud-walled huts near this town in western Zimbabwe. “But we didn’t realize the ones we chased away were better and the ones we put in power would oppress us.
“It would have been better if whites had continued to rule because the money would have continued to come,” added a neighbor, a 58-year-old farmer named Isaac. “It was better under Rhodesia. Then we could get jobs. Things were cheaper in stores. Now we have no money, no food.”
Over and over, I cringed as I heard Africans wax nostalgic about a nasty, oppressive regime run by a tiny white elite. Black Zimbabweans responded that at least that regime was more competent than today’s nasty, oppressive regime run by the tiny black elite that surrounds Mr. Mugabe."
"The death of Eugene Terreblanche has trained the world’s attention on the state of race relations in the so-called “Rainbow Nation” of South Africa as well as on a recent ruling of that country’s high court in Johannesburg. Terreblanche – founder of the neo-fascist and khaki-clad paramilitary organization, the Afrikaner Resistance League (known by its Afrikaans acronym, the AWB) – was until recently perhaps South Africa’s most vociferous and violent white separatist who agitated for a racially-exclusive homeland for the Afrikaner ethnic minority. Yet, the news reports of the past few days have focused less on his notorious career and more on his being the latest statistic; indeed, according to the BBC, more than three thousand white farmers have been killed since the inauguration of the new, multiracial South Africa in 1994. Although Terreblanche’s murder does not seem to be politically motivated, but, rather the action of disgruntled farm workers who claim that he cheated them, some of his cohorts in the AWB insist that his demise was the inevitable result of an anti-apartheid anthem and its repetitive lyric of “shoot the Boer.” The historic and controversial ditty had been recently revived and appropriated as a theme song of sorts by the fiery president of the ANC Youth League Julius Malema. And, after Malema belted out the song at a political rally last month a high court judge, who is white, ruled that its lyrics were unconstitutional as they incited violence against whites and cautioned Malema against any further performances. The ruling ANC was quite dismayed over the verdict as it regards the song as cultural icon of the liberation struggle and sought to have the judge’s decision reversed in a higher court.
Although to some the claim that Terreblanche’s murder was incited by the song may appear far-fetched, in ethnically-riven societies, the catalytic agency of chauvinistic and provocative music to foment individual and collective acts of violence cannot be underestimated. In the lead-up to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, the Hutu Power regime regularly broadcast songs on the radio which dehumanized the Tutses and justified their extermination. In this regard, I am particularly reminded of a song by Hutu pop composer Simon Bikindi with a similarly repetitive lyric – that of “I hate these Hutus.” In it, Bikindi was not slamming the rival Tutsi but those fellow Hutus whom he regarded as not being sufficiently anti-Tutsi. And, of course, large numbers of moderate Hutus were murdered alongside the Tutses by hard-line Hutus. Bikindi was ultimately indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the grounds that he utilized his music to incite genocide – although he was eventually convicted on a different charge."
"In coordinated attacks, gunmen in armored cars and equipped with grenade launchers fought army troops this week and attempted to trap some of them in two military bases by cutting off access and blocking highways, a new tactic by Mexico's organized criminals."