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Saturday 15 April 2017

Final hope for democracy in Turkey

Tomorrow's referendum in Turkey on that country's version of Germany's 1933 Enabling Act is, by all accounts, on a knife-edge. If Erdogan wins, he can exercise unrestrained executive power of a sort unseen since Nazi Germany. If he wins, Turkey also loses any chance of joining the EU, her NATO partner status will be in doubt, the migrant deal risks unravelling in time for the peak Summer travelling season and all hopes of Ataturk's secular Turkey will vanish.

Of course, if he loses, everyone expects him to to the achieve exactly the same ends by unconstitutional means. He's hardly going to put his hands up and go quietly, is he?

Sometimes the BBC's correspondents, isolated from the fake-news hothouses of Salford Keys and Broadcasting House, forget their remit and tell the truth. Mark Lowen's report here is really worth a listen. 

A young lady colleague once returned from a holiday in 'unspoilt' Turkey to report that each day a group of unshaven village grey heads, in threadbare grubby shirts buttoned to the collar and old lounge suit coats from the 1950s, would gather to keep the beach under observation. There was no direct interaction, but the visitors were all too uncomfortable to wear bikinis or to enjoy using the beach. These then are Erdogan's supporters, the illiterate bigoted Islamist peasantry of an 18th century Sultanate. God help us all.

Wednesday 12 April 2017

Cameron ran a bent Referendum campaign say MPs

This won't be the headline in your MSM papers, which focus on a minor report footnote that a DOS attack may have slowed the website processing those registering to vote in the last days before the Referendum, but that this did not affect the outcome. 

However, the meat of the report is in Chapter 5 - a litany of criticisms of Cameron's misuse of public funds and of the machinery of government in an attempt to skew the result. The verdict, even clothed in the politesse of the old chums club, is damming. Cameron was bent. Never Again. 

Hmphhhh. Told you so.

Sunday 9 April 2017

Peace in Syria?

When I write 'peace in Syria' I don't of course mean the sort of peace that the West gifted to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Libya, or indeed anywhere we've interfered in the past decade or so, where we've left a legacy of death, terrorism, economic collapse and failed governance. Only the most reality-challenged drug-addled FCO PR person could term those conditions 'peace'. So let's define our terms - what must peace mean for Syria?

No Entry to Salafism - No opportunity can be given to Salafist Islamists, the West's mortal enemies, to increase their power or influence in the region. This includes Turkey, Sunni Iraq, KSA, Kuwait, the gulf states and the various barbarian head-choppers.

Non-sectarian and tolerant society -  A future Syria must allow Shia and Sunni, Christian and Kurd, Alawite and Jew, to live in peace and freedom with no sectarian discrimination. Much as the country worked under Assad before the 'Salafist Spring', which saw deluded fools in Western government mistake Islamist uprisings for democratic urges. 

Russian influence preserved - Any settlement must preserve Russian influence and port / military facilities if the settlement is not to lead to wider causes of conflict

Self-determination - Allow the Syrian people to choose their own leaders and form of government - which may not be the same as Western forms of government and self-determination

Safe return for refugees - A safe place to which refugees currently in Jordan, Palestine and Turkey (as well as Europe) can safely return and rebuild. 

Now it might be that President Assad actually offers the best opportunity to meet these objectives. I don't know. 

However, I am sure that if the US and our own blundering, inept, mistaken FCO conspire to give us yet another Salafist-dominated failed state exporting Islamist terrorism and from which millions of refugees flee, all for the sake of global corporate oil or gas pipes, that we will hang the bastards from the lamp columns in Parliament Square. They're drinking in the Last Chance Saloon over Syria.