Friday, 17 November 2006

From Sublime To Ridiculous

Some months ago I deleted my blog. I was short of time. I decided to concentrate on taking my Photography A level (as well as work of course), and for a time at least, I decided that the blog had to go.

Now I have finished the Photography A level (straight A's of course) and have started drawing my Pension; so although I am still working I have decided to take an extra day off a week - 4 day working week - which leaves time to pick up again on the blog.

Last month I spent a few days in London. I stayed in Brixton, as usual, and as usual I took great pleasure from the vibrancy, the liveliness and the rich diversity within that community. It puts into perspective for me all the religious hysteria evidenced by politicians and the media here in Britain. I stood in the street, with my camera, taking photographs unless people objected (which they almost never did), being passed by people from a dozen races and religions, in a variety of modes of dress, fully veiled, or in Rasta dreadlocks, or Catholic Nuns, and none of them was worrying about any other.

While we are worrying (or not) about whether Jack Straw is right to ask women to uncover their faces in his surgeries, women in Zimbabwe are dying, on average, at age 34. Men manage, on average, to last until age 37. This is nothing to do with religion - this is a despot wreaking havoc in a country which used to be the bread basket of Africa. And yet it appears that no one is willing to do anything to support the opposition to Mugabe. Have neither we nor the Americans the power to influence South Africa? That is the country which might just swing things in Zimbabwe - if only they felt the need. The South Africans, out of all of Africa, should understand the meaning of oppression.


Disillusioned kid said...

Welcome back to the blogosphere! Am I your first commenter?

The South African government are silent on the situation in Zimbabwe in large part because the issue of land reform (which Mugabe used as a justification for the infamous farm expropriations) is a salient one in SA as well. (See e.g. remarks by Jacob Zuma, who may become Thabo Mbeki's successor as leader of the ANC.) This doesn't justify anything of course.

As for the ability of the US or UK to exert any influence, I wonder if there isn't a danger of this being counterproductive. Mugabe's rhetorical anti-colonialism is legendary and there is a danger that by confirming many of his allegation we may only increase his credibility.

Finally (and I really hadn't intended to go on so long, nor sound so negative) there's a question of what opposition we should support following the split in the MDC at the end of last year.

Edster said...

Tim, was wondering where your "It's getting warmer" blog went to.

It's been a long while since I've been able to get on and actually blog myself.

Hope you're getting on well.