This article first appeared in the News Letter on Friday November 12…
By Geoff McGimpsey
This week came the declaration from George Bush that water-boarding was a good thing. As ever, George put his policy forward in the style of cowboy anti-hero Alan Ladd. So when asked at his book launch if water-boarding was okay, he drawled: “Damn right.”
In George’s world view, the sheriff gets the girl and the bad guys have it coming to ‘em. I think there’s something deeply romantic about that (if you’re prepared to set aside simulated drowning and other advanced torture techniques). But naturally, those soppy romantics at A Tangled Web were coo-ing over George’s gritty honesty.
According to David Vance: “We don’t live in utopia and until we all do then I believe George W is right.” Damn right!
BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Sunday Sequence’ has invited David on to debate the content of Dubya’s Alan Ladd impression. But ahead of that appearance (on Remembrance Sunday), I would urge David to consider this blogpost from Ultonia:
“This August Belfast saw its last Victory over Japan Day parade by 14 veterans, some who paraded with the help of family members. Allied troops who fought in that Far East campaign were subjected to the waterboarding torture by Japanese soldiers…. Perhaps those who wear a poppy but advocate torture should reflect on that contradiction.”
I’ll wager William Crawley will make precisely this point on Sunday.
But wait… newsflash! More just in from A Tangled Web:
“It’s the political event EVERYONE is talking about.”
Wow. What is it?
“It’s the TUV Annual Conference.”
Also this week, David Cameron was in China to tell the locals how to run their country. The PM’s just bound to be taken seriously, right?
Uber-blog Slugger O’Toole reckoned so. Brian Walker blogged that if Cameron “… isn’t careful he’ll be shaping up as something of a statesman if he carries on like this. Obama, take note.”
Burke’s Corner disagreed. Change will come in China, but not through megaphone diplomacy. He blogged that the PM had “failed to demonstrate… humility and patience”. However, Chekov at Three Thousand Versts felt the balance was just right, saying: “Cameron is able to claim that he upheld and promoted the values of Britain’s government, without proselytising or hectoring.”
So what about the quality of our own democracy?
East Belfast Diary thinks a shared future will only occur when the tectonics of local politics are changed. Jenny Muir said there needs to be “a real choice between parties that base their ideology on territoriality and those that prioritise economic and social issues.”
Hand of History agreed, reflecting that democracy here is designed to recognise “institutional sectarian head counts”. The blogger went on to predict that: “The boogeyman for Unionism this time is a Sinn Fein First Minister, which the DUP will capitalise upon”. Let me guess – only the DUP can stop a republican First Minister? That’s as inevitable as death and taxes, I’d say.
Elsewhere Rodney McCune’s blog has produced the sentence which, for me, should be read by unemployed executives everywhere. Here Rodney shows us how to pitch for work both as a professional and as a political representative: “Political representation, like my work as a barrister, is not just about making an argument, it is about getting results, and getting results often after long hours and through hard work.” Hear, hear!
And finally, Remembrance Sunday is this weekend. It’s a time for a nation to reflect – as one facebook user did this week:
“In memory of my great-grandmother’s brother, Private David Henry Beattie 201844, 1st/4th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. Killed in action 10th April 1917, France and Flanders.”
Indeed. Lest we forget…