Tuesday 10 December 2013


Was I the only one who was more than a little nauseated at the sight of David Cameron at President Mandela's service today?

There is no doubt that the President himself would have forgiven Cameron for wanting him dead nearly 30 years ago, he was that kind of guy. After all he forgave the people who very nearly did kill him. The puny Cameron pales into insignificance by comparison with them, but I can't help thinking that the posh boy was only there today because it wouldn't have done not to have been there. And besides where else was he going to get a selfie with the US president even if he did have to share him with the Danish Prime Minister. (Just imagine, the PM of a ting country with 5.5 million being photographed with the President of the USA. Who'd have thought it!)

I was pleased to see that STV news gave no coverage whatsoever to Cameron and led with Mr Obama's speech, the arrival of Robert Mugabe, and the meeting between President Raúl Castro and President Obama along with the grief of Mrs Mandela and her family. 

The report that I read in the Guardian similarly ignored Mr Smarmy Eton Pants. So if he hoped that some of President Mandela's glitter would rub off on him, it looks like he was sadly mistaken, because he didn't even get coverage on the UK news.

Over 100 senior statesmen from all over the world attended the service in South Africa today, including two French presidents, four American Presidents, the Chinese Vice President, and the German President and Chancellor, in stark contrast to his arch hater's funeral, to which no American President and No French President bothered to show, despite invitations being sent. Likewise Angela Merkel and President Gauck were not in London for Thatcher's obseques.

Many many other leaders from around the world attended, including the Secretary General of the UN, the King of Holland and Crown Prince of Spain.

I wonder if Cameron was the only one there who saw the event as the fulfilment of something he had wanted since 1985.


  1. tris

    listening to Cameron one might be forgiven for
    believing not only was Cameron a founder member
    of the military wing of the ANC.
    But he also shared a cell with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island,
    sharing all his hardships for 27 long years,
    In fact just what has Nelson Mandela got over David Cameron???

    1. Hard one to answer, Niko. I didn't hear what he had to say. They didn't cover his part on STV, But if they had I would have switched it off. His voice brings on nausea in me.

  2. I heard that Blair the war criminal was there as well hypocrites one and all.

    1. Ibet Desmond Tutu wasn't best pleased about that rat turning up.

      But it must have been a real slap in the face to the Tories in particular and Great Britain in general that 4 US presidents (and one possible future president) and 2 French presidents turned up in SA and none came near their heroine... not to mention the Germans and all the royalty.

      It fair cheered me to see him honoured while she who called him a terrorist was not, except by her own adoring clique.

    2. TV showed Blair sitting all by himself at end of row with no one near him - I wonder why?

    3. Hmmm...

      Maybe because even in the horrible world or top level politics, some people are simply beneath contempt. People may be able to put up with Robert Mugabe and Raúl Castro, but the Blair thing is a step too far.

      I'd have spoken to him if I'd have been there. He wouldn't much have liked what I'd have said though.

  3. Obama had some damn nerve to turn up at Mandela funeral and praise peace-makers, non-violence et cetera when his evil drones are systematically murdering whole villages!

    1. You got a point. America is hardly the most peace loving nation in the world. I readily criticise Britain for going to every war at every opportunity to prove it's immensely rich and powerful and important, but it only does it when it gets instructions from the President of the Disunited Kingdom of Britain and NI.

    2. Incarcerating people and complicit in torturing them shows he is no better than Bush or even worse as he is in self denial.

    3. He did it all for him too.

      Nothing selfless about Blair. It was always for him him him.

      And now even Rupert murdoch doesn't like him any more.

      I wonder if anyone spoke to him.

  4. Tris

    I wonder if one of the reasons that Gauck and Merkel weren't there is that they were both from East Germany and the milk snatcher was vehemently anti-reunification?

    I say one of the reasons becuase there are so many!

    1. Yes, I think you may have the answer there.

      Germany was already a much more powerful economy that the UK, thanks in part to better government with more vision, and a realistic approach to a mixed economy. To take on 30+ million poor people living in many ways in the 1950s with a completely broke economy was surely something only a massive economy like Germany could do.

      A reunified Germany would eventually be even more powerful that West Germany, and put her beloved Britian (and therefore her) even more in the shade.No one was greater than Britain, except of course Ronnie.

      Maybe it's because she was a horrible old bat and very few people liked her.

  5. Tris

    To be honest only saw a little of it and a funny photo of Miliband looking lost as Bill Clinton shared something with Clegg. I won't go an about Mandela, there are many people who can write better than myself about his life and know more, I just hope that people don't start fighting over his legacy anywhere in the world.

    I suppose one thing that wasn't surprising was that no one bothered to ask Cameron about his involvement in the digusting Tory Youth Wing of the 80s, and not really Youth given he was in his 20s so no argument of youthful ignorance there. The media coverage as usual was appalling but we have come to expect that now, the Mandela they described was made out to look like some cartoon character and like the tragedy in Glasgow their use of words and language is so disgusting, in this country the news has become a cheap channel five drama that serves no one but the state.


    1. I must admit, Bruce, I've been waiting to hear someone ask Cameron about his change of opinion. You're right. Had he been 16 and a passionate right winger who hated black people and anything that upset the inalienable right of white men to rule the world it would heave been perhaps understandable, given his upbringing and fabulously privileged education. But he was working, in his mid 20s.

      I think we have the right to know which one of these adults is "our" prime minister. Is he in fact a white supremacist or the Mr Cuddly PR man he likes to make himself out to be?

      The trouble with the news on tv, I think, is that it they have to fill 24 hours a day with it, and they haven't got the material!

      I say though, Clegg must have been over the moon when Clinton spoke to him, even if it was to tell him to fetch another coffee and make it snappy!

      Do you know if anyone went from Scotland, or were we obliged to be represented by Miliband, Clegg, Cameron adn Rothsay?

      I'll say this for Miliband. At least his background suggests that he was genuinely a supporter of Mandela and not simply jumping on the bandwagon.

  6. The President of the United States has “some damn nerve” to “turn up at Mandela funeral” ……”prais[ing] peace-makers” when “evil drones” are “systematically murdering whole villages.”

    OK, so Dean has simply taken leave of his senses. But as for “You got a point.” A POINT???? OH PULEEESE!!!!!!

    I’ve mostly given up on trying to counter the left wing European hysteria about “OBAMA’S” predator drones and the wildly inflated claims about innocent casualties. True enough that the assertion of “systematically murdering whole villages” is bizarre even by the normal standards of hyperbolic anti-American rhetoric, we were at least spared the endlessly parroted phrase about drones being “controlled by joy stick from California.”

    As for the evil “OBAMA,” never mind that you are talking about the leader of the Party in the United States which is dedicated to disentangling Mr. Bush’s wars, and is under a constant drumbeat of criticism from the war hawk Republicans every time a new troop withdrawal is announced.

    But leaving the routine anti-American sentiments aside, what any of this has to do with the propriety of the President of the United States representing his country among “100 senior statesmen from all over the world” escapes me. For that matter, even if that suggestion were to somehow meet the test of sanity, does it seem just a bit bizarre to single out Barack Obama for your war policy criticism, considering that George W. Bush was in the audience?

    Finally, I’m no expert on the history of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, but I seem to remember that Mr. Mandela was not invariably a pacifist in his personal ideology. At one point, he embraced violence and was guilty of sabotage as he cozied up to totalitarian Communist regimes and blood drenched dictators like Castro when it suited his purposes.

    So the evil Obama honoring the memory of the evil Mandela. Sounds right to me! Two can play the mindless game of moral absolutism and character assassination.

    1. Well, I felt that he did have a point, not essentially about Obama but about the USA in general. It's quite difficult for me as a Scot to criticise the constant war mongering of the Brits and the appalling mess they leave behind them wherever they go, without remembering that it is the USA which demands (and gets from the morons that run Britain) a faithful servant that will do anything that it is told.

      Bomb Afghanistan. Yes Sir
      Bomb Iraq. Yes Sir
      Bomb Lybia. Yes Sir

      And Syria was only saved by the fact that Labour lied through its teeth about their intentions. Cameron agreed to put it to the vote (which he technically is not obliged to, because war and killing people comes under Royal Prerogative and not parliamentary prerogative), because Labour assured him it would back him. That would only leave the Celtic parties and the Greens in opposition, parties that are too small to count.

      Labour then changed its mind. Possibly for decent reasons, possibly because they knew it would be horrendously embarrassing for Cameron to have to explain to the President.

    2. Tris, I appreciate the distinction between governmental war policy and the bizarre personal demonization of Obama which has appeared in the UK and Europe, and which was reflected in spades by Dean's comment.

      No country should pursue a war that is not in its national interest, although I don't think that you can be a world power and alive both at the same time without the willingness to take military action when the situation calls for it.

      Of course the Bush wars were totally unjustified and disasters for everyone involved. As for Syria, I'm not sure what you do about the use of chemical weapons in such a situation. Ignore them or be willing to take military action if sanctions fail I guess. Interesting that BOTH Cameron and Obama ultimately decided to take the issue to their legislatures. Commons said NO to Cameron, and it seems likely that Congress would have said the same to Obama. Why did Russia act as it did? Maybe an American attack on a Russian ally would have been embarrassing for Putin, but without Congressional authorization, would Obama have acted militarily? We'll never know.

      So the GOP war hawks are now furious at the President for avoiding war in Syria, and for undertaking negotiations with Iran which may avoid war there. While at the same time, Dean has him systematically murdering whole villages. So which is he, a weak kneed pacifist liberal or a blood drenched war criminal? Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. But that's why we pay him the big money and give him that great airplane to fly around in...LOL.

      Take care...and happy holidays to all.

  7. PS: Having just posted my comment, I see that we have a solution posted which resolves the quandary of Obama hatred in the presence of George W. Bush. To wit:

    "Incarcerating people and complicit in torturing them shows he is no better than Bush or even worse as he is in self denial."

    This is so bizarre, I wouldn't know how to refute it rationally. Except to inquire what people exactly you think have been illegally incarcerated during the Obama administration, and how Mr. Obama's explicitly rescinding Mr. Bush's interrogation policies and practices makes him "complicit in torture."

    As for being in "self denial," I doubt that Mr. Obama has that problem. He probably understands better than anyone else the old American axiom that the Brits and Europeans are invariably either at your feet or at your throat. Ironically, the cheering at the stadium in Johannesburg yesterday would seem to lend a certain irony to a discussion involving the hateful attitudes of his European "allies."

    I don't know what I wish could resolve these attitudes. Perhaps a new election in America could push the Democrats aside and one of our fine Republican politicians would arrive at the White House. As long as you imagine such evil intentions on the part of the President of the United States, maybe you should actually have to deal with one of our finer Republican war hawks. How does nuclear war in Iran sound to you? That was just suggested by a Republican politician last week. Those Obama negotiation policies are just so dreary don't you think? (George W, Bush's VP was all in favor of war in Iran, BTW.)

    Returning to the theme of the article. After reading these comments, the urge to vomit is not confined to your side of the Atlantic.

    1. Close Guantanamo was his pledge before election where waterboarding or torture in the real world is still in full swing. The problem I have with the American administration is there perceived arrogance to change the rules to suit their agenda which I call hypocritical.

      It's the rulers not those over who they rule over that I am condemning no matter what country they are from.

  8. Just curious CH. Does the political process in Britain ever make it impossible for a Prime Minister to carry out a program or policy that he advanced in the last campaign? Perhaps that's less likely to happen in Britain's Parliamentary system than in the United States where no less than three constitutionally independent political powers (the Executive and two independent legislative branches of Congress) must agree among themselves before ANYTHING can be done. Agreement that seldom happens when, like today, political power is shared between the two warring political parties.

    It was on day one of his first administration that President Obama issued an order that Guantanamo must be closed within a year. Then the critical issue of what to do with prisoners who remained unrepentant in their hostility toward the United States became an issue. He met a solid wall of opposition from both parties in both branches of Congress, and from almost all of the states. Not only that, other countries refused to accommodate the prisoners on THEIR soil too. So the closing of Guantanamo is stalled, but remains a second term goal of the Obama administration. Nevertheless, radical Muslims crying Jihad against the USA are not going to be set free on the streets.

    Your view that Mr. Obama has simply changed the rules to suit his agenda in no reflects the reality of American politics. The actual information about the politics of the Guantanamo problem is on the internet for all to read.

    Now it's a prison, and that can't be pleasant. But I can tell you that water boarding and torture of prisoners is not going on there or anywhere else under US (or anyone's) authority. That WAS a policy under the George W. Bush administration, but one of the first orders of the Obama administration was to ban the use of water boarding and all forms of torture in interrogating detainees.That can also be easily verified.

    These issues were policies of the George W. Bush administration, and it's a mess that's difficult to clean up. There's lots about the Obama administration that I don't like, but that he didn't keep a pre-election "pledge" is surely not one of them.

    I don't like the slow pace of Afghanistan disengagement. I don't like the secrecy and lack of political accountability involved in the predator drone program. I don't like the fact that it's been a CIA operation, rather than a more open and accountable military program. I don't like the NSA surveillance program, and I don't like the efforts of the Obama administration to hush up Snowden. I don't even like Mr. Obama's obviously disingenuous assertion that he welcomes open discussion of these matters which he obviously considers to be of the highest national security concern. Wrong headed in certain national security policies maybe. Complicit in Guantanamo and George W, Bush torture policies? Most assuredly not.

    1. Danny

      perhaps you Americans could arrange rendition for ch
      to Guantanamo. We in the republic would be very gratefull

    2. Syria is a vexed question, Danny

      Who, was it ever discovered, actually used the chemical weapons? Assad or a rebel group. And even if we know the answer, do we believe it? Not here anyway. After all Colin Powell had, he assured us, seen the WMDs that Saddam didn't have. (Must have been a vivid dream.) And Tony Blair;'s 45 minute warning turned out to be a bit of an old fib.

      And who would we be helping if we went in on the side of the rebels. Like in Libya there are so many disparate groups all with their own aims, some of them belonging to or associated with Al Qa'ida. Some not. Would you trust a fool like Willie Hague to know which was which?

      Libya was rescued from a horrific dictator, who when it suited them was Blair (and therefore Bush's) best mate: remember the kiss! And now the place has become a hot bed for terrorism, infecting nearby countries of Tchad and Algerie.

      If someone had some idea of what to do, I would be less against their intervention. But our lot are totally bloody clueless. They don't know anything about foreign affairs except perhaps where the best champagne comes from and where best to deposit your money.

      In the meantime, while we complain about abuses of human rights in wherever the hell in the world, the Uk government throws very elderly people into the street in a British winter with only the clothes they have on, because they cannot afford the tax on having a spare bedroom, and there aren't any smaller houses.

      And its outsourced profit motivated tests for sickness throw people off benefits while they are literally breathing their last in hospitals.

      And we talk about human rights abuses... ?

      Bloody cheeky ********. I think the Syrian government might want to invade the UK to stop this outrage!

      Seriously though we are so incredibly incompetent that our intervention always ends up creating a worse situation than existed before we poked our ignorant noses in.

      Plus of course we are inordinately choosy where we see h8man rights abuses, and where we do not.

      Nothing said about the monster King of Bahrain and his regime that not only murders its citizens, but imprisons the doctors who treat the dying. But then they buy weapons from English weapon manufacturers, so that's OK. And the Queen invites the murdering old bastard to tea at Buck House, which we have to pay for.

      So morally it is a difficult one, but if we are too bothered about these abuses of human rights, maybe we should invade North Korea. But maybe the Chinese would fall out with us if we did that, and stop supplying us with virtually everything that the lower income groups buy in the UK... thereby highlighting just how poor they are. So morality has to fly out the window.

      Even in Egypt, where there was no intervention by our troops, but the fool Cameron was proud to boast he was the first (and only as it turned out) western leader to visit after the Arab spring... the whole thing has gone belly up.

      LOL..As for rendering CH to Guantanamo ...Niko. You behave or I'll have you taken over there with him!

    3. Tris......I'm not really sure how he blundered into it, but Obama has managed to find himself in arrangements with Syria and Iran that promise that we may not have new wars there. The NeoCon GOP is furious about it, and former VP Vader is inconsolable.
      Mr. Obama's banning of torture, water boarding, and rendition as instruments of US policy came at a bad time. Now we've lost valuable tools that might have been used against the Tea Party Republicans. And we won't be able to accommodate Niko's request either....LOL.

    4. Well given Darth's financial interests I'm not in the least surprised that he is inconsolable. "His" company must have made billions out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

      I must admit, although I'm one of thes weird people who is simply against all violence except in the very last resort, the image of the likes of Sarah being waterboarded does have a certain appeal. Or even better than blonde bimbo whose name escapes me, but will doubtless trip off your tongue...

      Very satisfying.

      Are you sure there isn't room for at least Niko. He's quite small, and doesn't take up much space...?


    5. Tris....Yes the old VP's company fared very well in Bush's wars. As for a right wing blonde bimbo other than Sarah who deserves waterboarding, I'd need more information. There are just TOO many possibilities.....LOL.
      I'll see what I can do about accommodating Niko in the rendition program.. The problem is that Bush's Attorney General considered himself to be Bush's personal lawyer and provided legal opinions "made to order." Obama's AG on the other hand considers himself to be the enforcer of the constitution and laws of the United States. So he's harder to deal with when you want your legal opinions tailor made. ;-))

    6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann

      I'm afraid I misled you with the wrong hair colour.

      Michele Bachmann was who I meant.

      As for Niko... I think I could promise a mention in the New Year's honour list, if only....

      See what you can do.


    7. Ah yes Tris.....of course....the insane Bachmann! She's not running for reelection in next year's midterms, so surely we'll be hearing a lot more from her as a FOX political commentator. FOX is of course the only media outlet on earth that still takes Sarah seriously.

      Hmmmm....a possible place on the honours list! Now THERE'S real motivation. I'll certainly work on that special new rendition program. :-))

  9. Our PM can do what the hell he wants no matter what was in his manifesto which is why we live in an elective dictatorship not a democracy and sadly that is where the US is headed as its original constitution is being dismantled over this imaginary war on terror.

    The vote stopping the bombing of Syria was stopped by accident in the HoC here as that was not the intention of the Labour motion as it was supposed to only delay a vote before joining the carnage.

    I will accept your word on waterboarding as being stopped but I must say it is the first time I have heard it said anywhere.

    Hopefully after we have got our independence next year it will shackle the rUK global influence and will help the US reassess its foreign policy which is influenced by the financiers in Wall St and the City of London.

    I accept Obama has more integrity than Cameron but I still don't trust either of them.

    1. Jeez, it would be bloody hard to have less integrity that Cameron.

      Cheesy bastard.

      I actually think Obama is a decent bloke who is being hamstrung at every turn by a load of totally loonies who will hand the head boy of the world job to the president of China pretty damned soon, if they don;t get themselves sorted out.

      Even the Republicans think they are nut jobs.

      Still the Uk has its own tea party... Ukip.

    2. @ CH.....A healthy distrust of politicians is not a bad instinct. And I agree that Bush's "war on terror" was a distinct threat to constitutional governance, as such a war is never ending and can be used to justify all sorts of extra-constitutional "war powers." This was what allowed the torture policies in the first place, as George W. Bush's Department of Justice wrote legal opinions "to order" specifying presidential powers that gave Bush carte blanch. In abolishing those practices, Obama simply ordered that the pre-existing laws in that area be enforced. At least that's my recollection of the legalities of it, as a new Obama administration Justice Department took over and overturned the Bush policies on treatment of prisoners.

    3. I think it would be reasonable to say:

      Bush was a complete and utter bastard. He manipulated, just as Blair did, to have his war. I imagine that the brains behind it must have come from elsewhere. Darth Vader is my best guess, given the fortune that his business interests made out of it. But people like Powell must have been complicit. Blair was too. He is a liar and a cheat. It is to Britain's great discredit that he hasn't been sent to the Hague fas a war criminal. He knew the information was false, but went ahead. Unlike Bush he cannot claim to be terminally stupid. Just terminally wicked.

      Obama is not perfect. So much was expected of him. After 8 years of Bush there was so much to put right. Basically he's a good guy, who also can never hide behind the excuse of stupidity for his failings.

      He hasn't done all he said he would do. No one ever has, i would think. In Scotland we are still waiting for a few of the SNP promises. In the UK virtually nothing has been done that was promised and a great deal that was not promised has been carried out for ideological reasons.

      He's far from perfect, but he's a bloody site better than Bush or either of the two Republicans against whom he won.

      Personally, I have a problem with anyone who goes to war, unless he is on the verge of being attacked himself. But I'm a wimp; a peacenik, and probably largely unrealistic about international affairs.

      I'm probably as naive as Robin Cook, all these years ago, who vowed to follow an ethical foreign policy. With Blair at the helm what an idiotic promise.

      I can at least believe that Obama has done somewhere approaching his best. I would never have believed that of Bush, Blair, Brown or Cameron.

    4. Tris....I agree completely, including your analysis of Obama. He's very smart with good intentions, but has some failings in the art of hard knuckle Washington politics. The less than four years of Washington experience showed up quickly in the one term Illinois Senator when he assumed the presidency.

    5. @Danny

      A healthy distrust of politicians is not a bad instinct.

      That doesn't say much about the quality of our governance under democracy when that is the underlying trend mind you an honest MSM would help in addressing some of the problems, maybe one day.