A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


It's being reported that General Pinochet has been given the last rites by a priest.

I wonder how much of what he did or ordered to be done as dictator of Chile he ever confessed and sought absolution for?

And how many of the socialists, trade unionists and democrats who were his victims had the consolation of receiving the last rites as they were bombed in Allende's presidential palace, tortured to death in the national stadium or military barracks or thrown to their deaths into the Pacific from military aircraft?

There are very few thoroughly evil personalities in world politics, but Pinochet was one of them. During his 17 year rule, which overthrew a previously stable democracy, he is thought to have had 3,000 political opponents killed, about 30,000 tortured and another 70,000 detained.

And this was a regime that many British Tories openly praised ...


Anonymous Duncan said...

Absolutely Luke. I couldn't agree with you any more.

5:58 pm, December 03, 2006

Anonymous observer said...

I'm just gobsmacked you haven't written some rant in defence of him and his single-minded patriotism to his country, fight against left-wing loonies, pacifists, tree-huggers, etc, blah, blah, yawn, yawn.

12:27 am, December 04, 2006

Blogger Sham said...

Observer, why don't you bugger off.

Pinochet was evil, pure evil. That image of Thatcher and him a few years ago is one of the most sickening images ever.

12:53 pm, December 04, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely agree sham. Observer, why don't you go back to the school playground where you can call everyone who expresses an alternative opinion a facsist. Pathetic.

11:35 pm, December 04, 2006

Anonymous Kit said...

You do know that Allende said he was a Marxist, don't you?

Erm, I hope that's not the noise of you sharpening your icepick there, Luke.

10:39 pm, December 05, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

If you read through previous posts you will see I describe myself as a Marxist - a la John Reid -(though Duncan explained that in his view I am not one) - though definitely not a Leninist. Allende wasn't a Leninist either, he was democratically elected and a member of a Socialist International member party, not a revolutionary. Ironically, if my understanding of 1960s/70s Chilean politics is correct, Allende's democratic Socialist Party was to the left on almost any social and economic policy criteria of its highly orthodox Communist Party allies. In Allende's coalition were also a smaller Social Democratic party and some non-socialist radicals and dissident Christian Democrats. All of them were Pinochet's victims.

10:57 pm, December 05, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would you care to offer me a wager?

8:01 pm, December 07, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd stop short at saying Tories openly praised 'the regime'. They maybe praised Pinochet for aiding us in defeating Galtieri, but I believe that's as far as it went. How about we get more folks on the Left criticising Fidel every now and again? After all, he's responsible for far more deaths in his homeland than Pinochet ever was.

12:22 am, December 15, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Ewan, a few choice quotes from Mrs Thatcher - Pinochet "stopped the communists taking Chile"; and "I'm also very much aware that it is you who brought democracy to Chile".

This blog is always attacking Castro - I'm an equal opps hater of dictators of both left & right.

9:11 am, December 15, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never attacked this blog ie. Castro. It was merely a generalisation.

Regarding Thatcher, she has a point. Pinochet introduced the economic reforms known as the Miracle of Chile, that led to pluralism and therefore a great stride towards democracy.

11:30 am, December 15, 2006


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