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.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Ingrid Betancourt

Well done to the Colombian military for rescuing former Green Candidate for President of Colombia, Ingrid Betancourt, and three US defence industry contractors from their years as hostages of the FARC narco-terrorist organisation.

I wonder if those people on the left in the UK who campaign against Britain and the US helping to train and equip the armed forces that pulled off this amazing rescue are celebrating her freedom with the rest of the world or are depressed by this setback for those seeking to overthrow democracy in Colombia?

63 Comments:

Anonymous James said...

Will you join in with the condemnation of the Colombian military that has seen Colombia become the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionists?

8:40 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Bob Piper said...

What a stupid and childish post this is. Presumably the equivalent is to say that those like you on the right who support the British and US military forces are in favour of extraordinary rendition, torture in Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay.

Grow up for fuck's sake you juvenile!

8:43 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I'd condemn human rights abuses by both sides, but chosing between the two, I want the Colombian government to win the civil war and I think we should be helping them to do that, and using that help as leverage to ensure they respect human rights.

PS Bob I am in favour of extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo Bay (but not torture in Abu Graib).

8:56 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not getting enough comments on your blog?

You really do have a talent for the puerile.

9:20 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

Those in the left?

I `m not following this .You are a life time Labour Party employee in one way or another
Are there actually people to the left of you? If you are not left wing why don't you join the Conservartive Party and help get rid of Brown high taxes and superannuated social models that have demonstrably failed ?Surely being left wing is what the Labour Party is for...

Genuinely confused of Lewes

PS Stoke Newington eh ,I had to leave Islignton due to the abysmal schools. Emily Thornberry got her lot into a Potters Bar Grammar , Diane Abbot used private education and Ruth Kelly also evaded the catastrophic state pre prisons .


Which school are you sending your children to ?

10:15 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Sorry, I think the bizarre way in which elements of the left in Britain hero-worship the anti-democratic left in both Latin America (FARC, Castro) and the Middle East - and in the past hero-worshiped aspects of Leninism and the Soviet Union is what's puerile.

Large parts of the left have been campaigning for years to undermine the Colombian government and to undermine US and British support for it - they need to be held to account for that.

10:19 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Don't New Labour support despotic regimes? Saudi Arabia comes to mind.

11:06 am, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep - those hard left types and their crazy ways...

....like, erm, Ellie Reeves?

"I don’t think we should give military aid to Colombia while human rights abuses continue."

http://www.tribunemagazine.co.uk/2008/03/28/howells-does-u-turn-on-colombia/

How whacky is she?!

11:08 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I deliberately said "left" not "hard left". A lot of otherwise sensible people seem to have got confused about this one.

11:39 am, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Luke Akehurst said...
"PS Bob I am in favour of extraordinary rendition and Guantanamo Bay (but not torture in Abu Graib)."

Luke, you cannot be serious surely?

12:48 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, you could say Ellie is "confused". Maybe that's how she ended up on both Labour First's slate, and on the Grassroots Alliance slate.

Did you vote for her despite her confusion, and her support for nasty anti-Colombian paramilitary fellow travellers?

12:53 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Shamik said...

Presumably the equivalent is to say that those like you on the right who support the British and US military forces are in favour of extraordinary rendition, torture in Abu Graib and Guantanamo Bay.

Yes.

Any objections?

I'd like to know how many of those held at Guantanamo were 100% innocent.

If by turning the thumb screws on the extremists a terrorist plot is uncovered and thousands of lives are saved then, yes, I am in favour of it.

1:03 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

I voted for Ellie because I agree with her about lots of other issues. She believes very passionately in the "Justice for Colombia" campaign - I've obviously got a slightly different position.

We also disagree about proportional representation - I support it, she doesn't.

The one thing Ellie isn't is confused - she has very strongly held beliefs on a range of subjects and has expressed her disagreements with me where we have them in a forceful (but comradely) way.

I doubt there is anyone in the Labour Party who agrees with 100% of what any other member believes.

1:09 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

You can always depend on Shamik to post a comment that makes me look relatively leftwing.

1:09 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Luke people like you is what's wrong with this party! and I can assure you I'm no old Labour, but I believe in certain principles uphold by left wing people, what are you now going to start defending right wingers against lefties? know your friends. Pulling your blog out of my blogroll had enough.

1:24 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Because I don't consider violent revolutionaries who fund themselves through the drug trade, kidnap people and hold them hostage in awful conditions, murder others and seek to overthrow democracy to be in any sense meaningful on the "left". Aside from some rhetoric and slogans, what differentiates FARC from the mafia?

Their victim Ingrid Betancourt who was an anti-corruption campaigner and Green candidate has a lot more claim to be representative of the "left" than FARC do.

1:36 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Because I don't consider violent revolutionaries who fund themselves through the drug trade, kidnap people and hold them hostage in awful conditions, murder others and seek to overthrow democracy to be in any sense meaningful on the "left"

No, probably you support extraordinary rendition, more commonly referred to as the crime of kidnapping, and Guantanamo Bay, the complete denial of the rule of law.

1:52 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

If you think there is a moral equivalence between democratic governments detaining enemy combatants suspected of terrorism, and terrorists detaining a Green election candidate whose only crime was to naively go campaigning in the wrong town because they were supporting a peace process, I really worry for you.

2:17 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Luke, I think you'll find that most of the left's concerns about Colombia focus not on support for FARC (perhaps you'd like to list the organisations and individuals that actually support them; they'd all fit into a minibus I'm fairly sure); no it's out of legitimate concern about the way in which trade unionists are killed with impunity. I note that when others have brought up the fact that Colombia has the highest rate of trade unionist killings in the world, you've simply ignored them.

And saying that we should help one side 'win' an unwinnable (on both sides) civil war strikes me as impractical and stupid. But then NewLab have form on that. This conflict needs resolving, not winning.

2:18 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Well, whilst I have no truck with those who captured Betancourt, neither do I have any truck with the current Colombian regime. Read Amnesty's reports on the country - corrupt and violent from top to bottom.

I don;t think that Betancourt would be an admirer of the Colombian regime either.

2:33 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

E10

I'm not ignoring the killings of trade unionists, but it is important to note that Amnesty and Human Rights Watch say that FARC are responsible for some of these attrocities as well as rightwing paramilitaries.

I already said I condemn human rights abuses by either side (3rd comment down in this string).

But the starting point has to be there is only one legitimate side in this conflict - the elected government.

I'm not even sure "civil war" is the correct phrase to describe what started as a revolutionary uprising but has degenerated into mere criminality. If drug barons spouting Marxist slogans annexed Waltham Forest and kidnapped Sian Berry as a hostage we'd expect our armed forces to try to defeat them militarily.

2:37 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

seek to overthrow democracy ..

Well that is also the whole point of the Labour Party .There is no meaningful way to have a democracy without free property owning people not beholden to the state as an employer .
You can retain the form of democracy as in Zimbabwe in the continental left centre monopolies ( buttressed with PR ). As the state has expanded in terms of people more than % of GDP so the sheers number of dependents create a client vote that tends to a permanent managerilaist bureaucracy in what Mandy called the “Post democratic age” This is why the phrase Democratic Socialism is if anything less meaningful than the phrase “hot ice”. ...as Soljenitsin pointed out ...
We see the symptoms of this anti democratic instinct in the bribes given the DUP and the lies told about the ratification of Lisbon now thankfully also opposed by the Poles.
It is a species of Liberal woolly minded thinking , at best ,that conceives it is possible to extend the state and yet retain democracy . At worst an outright con along the lines of devolving the Celtic fringe as if this would not involve an attack on English rights.
This is an interesting thread from the point of view of latter day Kulakl ( Southern , white male married , working /Private sector SME , English ) there appears to be a vital distinction being drawn between the “Hard left “ and the presumably Blairite wing .
I would dispute there is any such real distinction under Bliar spending increased by about 30 % which is of the order of income tax so the right soi disant , of the Labour party is still terrifying bent on destroying free England and Conservative England by any reasonable measure.


Still , you were , in the spirit of the socialist people `s popular front of something making fine distinctions about wither which football team or country you all support ...do go on.....

PS
If this is really the right of the Labour Party I am will pop in I think as I am convinced it will take a real rejection of socialism such as was pretended in 97 for labour to be trusted with tax payers money ever again. Looks like some fond dreams are going to be trampled on along the way ...

poor dears

2:38 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

If you think there is a moral equivalence between democratic governments detaining enemy combatants suspected of terrorism, and terrorists detaining a Green election candidate whose only crime was to naively go campaigning in the wrong town because they were supporting a peace process, I really worry for you

No need to worry about me, Luke, as that is simply your dishonest interpretation of what I wrote. I think that the state sponsored kidnapping of suspected terrorists and their imprisonment without charge or trial is wrong and morally repugnant. It does not become any less wrong if it is perpetrated by a democratic government. The wrongness resides in the act itself. I do not think that terrorists doing it is any better. If you wish to excuse the state disregarding the rule of law as 'moral equivalence' then I truly worry for you.

2:54 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Newmania said,
"There is no meaningful way to have a democracy without free property owning people not beholden to the state as an employer"

At least as an employer the government is accountable to the electorate, which is more than I can say for private business. A true democracy should be one where everyone has a share of the economy from the rich to the poor, and the only way this can be done is through state ownership.

But this debate on free markets and this false sense of freedom is beyond this thread.

Luke you said on the 19th February
that you thought there was a possibility that the communists could win in a free and fair election. Does this mean to imply the communist government is popular?

3:08 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

But this debate on free markets and this false sense of freedom is beyond this thread.


Lucky for you Brother GoPaul if thats the sort of paleo-Marxist clap trap you are still peddling. You should be stuffed and put in a museum ...or just stuffed ..I`m easy ...

3:41 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:03 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:06 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Newmania said...

"Lucky for you Brother GoPaul (sic) if thats the sort of paleo-Marxist clap trap you are still peddling. You should be stuffed and put in a museum ...or just stuffed ..I`m easy ..."

You claim to support democracy yet you don't want everyone to share in the proceeds of the economy, added to that you seem to have an increased intolerance to the left, who in all guises seeks to help the poorest in society.

Simply put you're a tosser.

4:07 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

And another thing, I am fed up with the constant condemnation of Zimbabwe.

Please stop.

Robert Mugabe is a freedom fighter and an anti-imperialist hero.

I really worry for people like Luke who can't see that.

4:17 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Stephen, I agree with the sentiments of what you said. Mugabe successfully increased the number of universities in his country thereby increasing his country's literacy rate. He also improved and increased the country's hospitals. He helped the ANC in it's fight against the aparteid government (as did Castro).

In the Lancaster agreement, we were supposed to compensate the white farmers for the land that was to be redistributed. Also the terms stated that these farmers were to take senior black ground men as apprentices to ease transition. Both of these things did not occur, he ended up giving the veterans excessive reparations and forced white famers out of their farms leaving inexperienced black managers to run the show. This helped contribute to the food problem. His stubborn refusal to take an IMF loan (as it would require a selloff of state assets) contributed to the inflation problem. I can't blame him for not trusting the IMF, I don't, but the compensation amounts were far too generous, added to the extensive government run programmes there was no cash left in the kitty.
That said he has grossly abused his people, the country and the position. Beating up children, women and members of the opposition is truly repugnant which is why I agree he needs to go...NOW!

4:35 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

And another thing, I am fed up with the constant condemnation of Zimbabwe

Nope that's not my opinion. Obviously the person who chose to fabricate a post of mine hasn't the self confidence to dispute my opinion on extraordinary rendition

5:03 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous MichaelC said...

One violent narco-terrorist militaristic organisation defeats another. Your position is against justice for Colombia? Against human rights for Columbian trade unionists?

With people like you in the Labour party, no wonder we've slumped to such an extent.

5:07 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

Nope that's not my opinion.

Please stop imitating me.

I'd rather live under Mugabe than Gordon Brown. At least Mugabe was at one point elected, unlike Brown.

5:11 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

I see simple is your speciality Brother Gopaul . Well the economy does not have ‘proceeds’ whatever your scratch and sniff book of 1940s dogma might imply ,the “economy” is an idea . ‘People’ make ‘proceeds’ and it is from them you wish to steal , take a cut, pass it through a floundering corrupt bureaucracy, and return as infantilising pocket money. Incidentally by this magnificent act of abstract idiocy you remove any point in getting out of bed in the first place and thereby any proceeds to be redistributed.
The left is an alliance of Public sector professionals unions, bureaucrats welfare recipients and alienated immigrants who recommend sacrifices for other people they would not make themselves for their own profit and power. Furthermore as the role all human decency and fellow feeling is taken on by the state people in this ant hill become nasty brutal and barbaric . The actually left wish to fossilise poverty poorest as without there is nothing to justify their seizure of power.


And that is exactly why the Labour Party have disappeared form the South and without radical reform is likely to disappear from mainstream life altogether. You’ll find the dust heap of history first on the left brother GoPaul but I must say I am delighted to find such a intellectual coelacanth still bobbing around in the pond .


Its fucking hilarious ....

5:33 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Michaelc

don't be daft. I'm a trade unionist myself so of course I support human rights for trade unionists in Colombia or anywhere else. But I also support Britain and the US helping train and equip the Colombian military so that a) they act in a way that respects human rights and b) they can defeat FARC.

I oppose not the objectives of Justice for Colombia but some of their specific demands such as an end to UK military training of the Colombians.

We should be helping the Colombian government defeat FARC and using our support as leverage to get the human rights situation in the country improved.

5:37 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:58 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:01 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

Newmania, I take it you're some sort of Thatcherite? More fool you. Great success monetarism was eh?

You said

"You’ll find the dust heap of history first on the left brother GoPaul (sic) but I must say I am delighted to find such a (should'nt that be "an" newmania?)intellectual coelacanth still bobbing around in the pond"

Well people thought fish like the coelacanth were extinct; just proves how hardy an organism it is. What a perfect allegory for socialism! I dare say it will long out live either of us as well as capitalism! If you really believe we have enough recourses to keep going on in perpetuity like this you're more moronic than you sound.

6:02 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob Piper has it about right. You go out of your way to slag off and wind up the left - I mean what does the release of Betancourt have to do with the left of the Labour Party anyway?

If you were looking for comments and interest you shouldn't have got the spoofster to hang up his spurs, he was good for traffic. Maybe it was only him that was keeping your pomposity in check, lest it get a good parodying.

To quote Bob: Grow up for fuck's sake you juvenile!

6:07 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

I said
"If you really believe we have enough recourses" that should have read "resourses"!!!

6:12 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: training the military of a fundamentally corrupt regime is not going to be helpful in bringing democracy to Colombia.

7:14 pm, July 03, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Anonymous

did you only just spot that I "go out of my way to slag off and wind up the left"?

The purpose of this website is to promote the politics of the moderate wing of the Labour Party, to raise the morale of moderate Labourites, and to attack, enrage, irritate and upset Labour leftwingers and supporters of other parties. I think the politics of the Labour left are crap (though some but not all of them are well intentioned individuals) and someone needs to tell them that otherwise they'll never grow out of it.

If you don't like it, don't read it.

11:32 am, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

Well people thought fish like the coelacanth were extinct;

Did they ? !? Coo...

12:27 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

The purpose of this website is to promote the politics of the moderate wing of the Labour Party

Really Luke? I wasn't aware that it was the 'policy of the moderate wing' of the Labour party to support extraordinary rendition or Guantanimo Bay. When did that happen and have you told the electorate yet? I think you do the Labour party no favours by airing your somewhat extreme views. And when has it been 'Labour left' to have a concern for civil liberties and the authoritarian direction this government is taking? It used to be middle of the road Labour policy. It was Blair's tactical wheeze to never be outflanked by the right on 'law and order' issues that had its nadir in the unseemly mess of having to do deals with the DUP - the DUP, FFS - to get 42 days through the Commons.

12:37 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Stephen

you are of course correct. On some issues (mainly foreign policy, defence or security related) I am some way to the right of the Government. On others (mainly education, constitutional reform, trade union stuff and redistribution) I'm some way to the left of the current Government.

12:53 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

The problem here comrade, your views cannot be considered moderate so how can you speak for the moderate (read right) wing of the Labour party?
How dare you claim the deservedly proud mantle of the right wing of the party (of whom I deeply respect yet disagree with)when the likes of Roy Hattersley said New Labour are not even comfortable with the views of Tony Crossland (who would have been a decent PM by the way).
You probably think ole Roy is some rabid lefty agitator. I would argue the voice of the moderate wing of the party is Mersey Mike (probably the most moderate social democrat on this blog and a decent bloke); you on the other hand are an apologist for New Labour, but you would not have it any other way would you?

It’s a shame you made a pot shot at us lefties as we are members of the same party so in a spirit of true Labour solidarity (and maturity) say I really enjoy reading your blog. It is thoroughly entertaining and often when you make sensible comments extremely insightful. I usually start reading it when I come into work and then all through the day during my tea /lunch breaks. I always believe in hearing other people's point of view and you certainly do that so keep it up, it’s a pleasure to disagree with you

1:18 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

Damn right his views are not moderate Comrade GoPaul . Hawkish on Foreign Policy , which unless the Chatham ward are going to raise roaming militia is a big so what , but what about the real stuff ? Redistribution only openly raised its ugly face in Staggers recently and with some apology .This was immediately prior to the Labour Party disappearing from the Polls completely so comrade Luke is really way out in the left field of unelectable doctrinaire socialist anachronisms . You should be proud .


..and just as one socialist paradise . Zimbabwe , slips from view for a bit another stunning victory for Marxist derived redistribution comes into view namely Glasgow East . The life expectancy in parts of Glasgow ( the Labour parts ) is not ,as Nick Clog mentioned , equivalent to the Gaza strip it is , for example ,in Parkhead , 62 whereas Gaza boasts a respectable 72( as does Pyongyang ). Dalmarnock and Carlton have 58 and 54 respectively the latter lower than Gambia .
So for someone to openly advocate redistribution as has been practiced in this wasteland for ten years with homicidal results is what I would call a crazy-man swivel eyed extremist . Comrade Luke has earned his right to be feared by anyone trying to live a decent life just as much as you have comrade GoPaul .

I suggest, comrade Gopaul , and comrade Stephen that brother Luke is acquitted of all doctrinal crimes forthwith .

All in favour ?

1:44 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clearly the purpose of this blog is to promote you! It’s long been an application to join the political elite in the form of a love letter; sadly, for you anyway, it’s turned into a suicide note.

You believe that the policies of the left are ‘crap’ but you remain on the left of the government on most policies where left and right actually mean anything. On the other issues, the difference between authoritarian (or fascist as politicalcompass.org describes it) and libertarian are much more significant.

For someone so keen on winning, as far as I can see nothing else matters to you, you seem to be doing a good job of alienating lots of natural Labour supporters (and previously voters).

2:35 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

Oh give him a break anon , if he doesnot get on he doesnot get paid and if he doesnot get paid he will have to send his ,no doubt delightful, children to state schools in Hackney.

Who would wnat to do that in their right mind ? Certainly not any Labour MP in the area

3:50 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

I suggest, comrade Gopaul , and comrade Stephen that brother Luke is acquitted of all doctrinal crimes forthwith .

Newmania, you are a pompous, arrogant little man who should go and join the Tory party.

Myself and Ravi are more in tune with the British people than you and your master Luke Akehurst will ever be.

3:52 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Merseymike said...

Luke: I have been essentially a moderate social democrat ever since I can remember, I opposed Militant, I supported Denis Healey for leader and deputy, and Tony Crosland is my political hero.

But your approach has made me think that in fact, the new labour right of the party is much more akin to the unthinking fringe workerism promoted by the engineering unions back in the 1970's.

And you dismiss those of us on the moderate liberal wing, who probably don't even think of ourselves as socialists, to the extent where I wonder whether you actually want us supporting the party at all or whether you would really be happier if we joined the LD's.

I don;pt get any sense of encouragement at all from most of what you have to say, and I really do not fit in to the left wing stereotype at all. So, I hardly think you represent those of that more liberal social democratic persuasion.

4:08 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Ravi Gopaul said...

You're a decent bloke Mike, and you're absence from our ranks is our loss. Come back and help us reclaim the party.

Stephen, you hit the nail right on the head!

6:34 pm, July 04, 2008

 
Blogger Newmania said...

Myself and Ravi are more in tune with the British people than you and your master Luke Akehurst will ever be.

Damn I have been outed as a lickle spit cur in service of the counter revolutionary Lukite sect.

" Newmania later confessed in a state televised trial to Akehurstian error and to being an enemy of the people "

Prats, I am a Conservative.

9:50 am, July 05, 2008

 
Anonymous stephen said...

But your approach has made me think that in fact, the new labour right of the party is much more akin to the unthinking fringe workerism promoted by the engineering unions back in the 1970's

Well certainly the desire to justify acts committed by democratic states simply because they are democratic, does seem rather akin to the attempts to justify unjustifiable acts by the Soviet Union simply because it was a 'socialist' state. When Luke justifies extraordinary rendition in these terms 'If you think there is a moral equivalence between democratic governments detaining enemy combatants suspected of terrorism, and terrorists detaining a Green election candidate whose only crime was to naively go campaigning in the wrong town because they were supporting a peace process, I really worry for you', he is using the same thought processes that those on the extreme left used to explain away the excesses of socialist regimes. The badness of an act is determined by the act itself not by the ideology of the person committing it.

10:31 am, July 05, 2008

 
Blogger Janus said...

Betancourt's release IS a wonderful thing, and it is more broadly reflects tide turning in favour of Ulribe's Government's mission, not just to bring FARC to the table, but to cut them out of any future political power. That is a good thing. Their popular support is miniscule, their activities dressed in the veil of political revolution, but fuelled only by the pickings of a poisonous drugs trade. The Colombian Government must prevail in its mission to rid Colombia of paramilitary violence from all sides that revolves around control of drugs and abduction.

Yet there are complexities which mean British, but particularly American military aid (which is more extensive) is problematic.

Firstly and most importantly, the Government by no means has complete control over the army or the police and security services. The situation is far better than it has been and it is getting better, but there is still a lack of accountability over what use British aid would be put to. You still can't trust a policeman beyond the fringes of urban areas. Parts of the army are still corrupt, profit from drugs by permitting or aiding right wing paramilitary activity.

Secondly, even if our Government can make a good assessment of how military aid is used we cannot know for sure that this is the case. Official secrets prevent the release of this information, Ministers are under no obligation to reveal the details of military aid, and they have not responded explicitly the Parliamentary questioning on the matter.

Would they take educated risks? Do we think that they should? Luke I suspect you would accept this lack of accountability, but it makes me uncomfortable, especially as Ulribe's success is so justifiable, for the good of a Columbian people oppressed by violence, and the good of the United Kingdom which still receives such large quantities of Colombia's vitriolic drug.

2:02 pm, July 05, 2008

 
Anonymous MichaelC said...

yes, Luke of course you're right - the CIA has a long history of training organisations that promote the human rights of trade unionists and have our best interests at heart in Columbia too. Not like they'd do anything like overthrow a democratically elected government in Latin America or anything lik that...

6:30 pm, July 05, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Luke you said, “I'm not ignoring the killings of trade unionists”.

But you did, you willfully did, it was only after a second poster referred to the appalling record of Colombian authorities in killing (yes, that’s killing, Luke) trade unionists, that you felt the need to make that statement.

I’m genuinely bewildered as to why you dreamt this thread up, and I can’t help sympathizing with Bob Piper’s comment of ‘What a stupid and childish post this is.’


You chided another poster with ‘don't be daft. I'm a trade unionist myself’. Please Luke shouldn’t you just do a wee bit of self-questioning about that statement, your posting of this thread and where you’re at?

8:51 pm, July 06, 2008

 
Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

Luke, you are being ridiculous.

Condemnation of the FARC doesn't mean that you have to back UK funding for the proxy-murder of trade unionists.

"I'd condemn human rights abuses by both sides, but chosing between the two"

Why?

We're in a powerful position of influence.

I think we should blackmail them not to murder the colombian working class.

Politically, that would also further marginalise the FARC.

7:06 pm, July 07, 2008

 
Anonymous Ted Harvey said...

Luke your anti-civil liberties mindset is becoming seriously disproportionate. Just one example demonstrates just how wacky you’re becoming, you say:

“The onus on people who don't believe in extraordinary rendition is to explain how they would deal with people believed or known to be terrorists at large in third countries. “

On no it isn’t. All of our constitutional and political experiences in the UK and in all democracies throughout modern history has shown that the torture/near torture approaches such as rendition do not work… why else were they some commonly given up? The ‘onus’ is quite the reverse from what you say; the onus is on those who claim (and have been shown before to be hugely wrong i.e. on WMD) to 'know something we all don't know' and so want to circumvent legal process and political accountability. Then (then quite inevitably it follows) they will decry and subvert civil liberties on the basis of ‘protecting the state’ thus it has always been in history.

Where you are going has already here caused you to quite gratuitously side with a South American Government that murders trade unionists as a matter of strategy.

When I read more and more of what you are now disseminating here I’m more and more coming to sense an inevitability of defeat for the Labour Party at the next election. Views such as yours are quite simply driving away swathes of people who value civil liberty and do not accept your McCarthyite fear mongering. As we have already seen, the values of the New Labour project have already hollowed out much of the party apparatus by removing what were somewhat patronisingly described as traditional supporters.

The nearest that I can come to another conclusion is that perhaps you are simply a self-publicist – in the way many of the zealots who hijack Islam are. That’s fine, but there can be dire consequences to your self-publicising needs as with the Quasi-Islamist zealots. Both are dangers to our civil liberties.

3:59 pm, July 08, 2008

 
Blogger Miller 2.0 said...

Luke, I have to fall behind Ms. Reeves on this one!

How on earth can Justice for Colombia be considered for a moment to support FARC?

Do you have one such example?

Sham,

"I'd like to know how many of those held at Guantanamo were 100% innocent."

Would you now? Probably best to put them on trial then, isn't it?!

12:08 pm, July 10, 2008

 
Anonymous James Grieves said...

But I also support Britain and the US helping train and equip the Colombian military so that a) they act in a way that respects human rights and b) they can defeat FARC.

What leads you to believe that a) is at all possible?

12:43 pm, July 16, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape money runescape gold tibia money tibia gold runescape gold runescape powerleveling runescape accounts tibia gold tibia money runescape money runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia item buy runescape money runescape gold runescape items tibia money tibia gold runescape power leveling

1:07 am, August 07, 2008

 
Anonymous Manuel Cardenas said...

"How on earth can Justice for Colombia be considered for a moment to support FARC?

Do you have one such example?"

How many criticisms of FARC are on their website, even two years after this discussion?

The answer: Practically none. I'm not kidding. I carefully looked through their archives and, in contrast to how easy it is to find criticism of the government, criticism of FARC is either non-existent or so well hidden that it's stumped me.

1:53 am, April 06, 2010

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

 
Free Hit Counters
OfficeDepot Discount