Apparently August is a slow news month; everyone who is anyone is on holiday spending time with their families. Aside from the annual National Eisteddod in Wales of course and that was rather a more modest affair this year (in my opinion which is linked to the ticket price to get on the Maes). But there were some people busying themselves on somewhat more sinister business; scrutinising the legislative archives with a very particular purpose in mind.
If this had been the case on one continent it would have been uncomfortable enough but the fact it happened in two was for me all the more disturbing. I refer to the shot across the bows fired by the British Government at the Ecuadorian Embassy; unearthing the law enacted after the death of PC Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan Embassy. It was passed to cater for a particular set of circumstances quite different to those to which William Hague attempted to apply it to last month. Whilst I in no way defend the alleged behaviour of fugitive Julian Assange, I was disturbed by the behaviour of the British Government. Just what were our government trying to prove and to whom were they trying to prove it to?
Of course Mr Hague was keen to brush aside accusations of ‘bully boy’ tactics – putting on one side his position as Foreign Secretary you couldn’t conjure up a less threatening specimen of masculinity than fresh faced William (I wonder if he could sing the Welsh National Anthem without encouragement from Ffion). So the Ecuadorian Embassy staff can rest easy now the prospect of Mr Hague wafting a clean copy of a European Arrest Warrant as the smoke clears, (the secret service having ‘blown the bloody doors off the Embassy front door), has been removed. If you had no intention of seeing the none threat through Mr H why did you issue it in the first place? And had you asked Daddy Dave for permission to act thus?
And then this weekend South African Prosecutors levied murder charges on the Platinum miners – that would be the ones whose colleagues had in fact been shot by the Police (in full sight of the world’s media). That action itself appalled me; to then hear that they were using legislation from the Apartheid era was frankly shocking! At what point did this seem to be the right thing to do – these were the laws and behaviours the South African ruling party fought to overcome. Goodluck Jonathan perhaps you’ve taken one too many wives this time and you need to dedicate a tad more attention to running the country.
And then this weekend the charges were withdrawn by the same Prosecutors and the today the miners began to be released. On neither occasion of which I speak was an apology issued or an acknowledgement of wrongdoing. The fact that this type of behaviour has been deemed acceptable on some level is surely a matter of concern; too many out of touch (male) politicians have too much power over the lives of far too many powerless citizens. Tomorrow Big DC will announce his Cabinet reshuffle – I expect to be underwhelmed as it seems to be some bizarre Mad Hatter’s Tea Party; if you only change the person pouring the tea the British cuppa ain’t going to change! One comment I heard today was that Mr Cameron’s main problem was that he couldn’t clone Michael Gove – now that put a shiver down my spine. If William Hague had been given elocution lessons and a trust fund he’d scarily turn into Michael Gove!
The power in Africa is it seems in the hands of women – in addition to the President’s of Malawi and Liberia – it was reported last week that the women of the Togo were withholding sexual relations from their husbands for a week as part of a campaign to oust the President. Inspired by the Liberia protest (for Peace) of a similar nature in 2003. Many women noted that their husband’s might support them in public but back home they were likely to be rather less understanding! Girlfriend’s and I found the whole idea more than mildly amusing for quite different reasons where the phrase ‘chance would be a fine thing’ was most often heard!