I try not to get involved in politics these days. It boils my blood. A friend of mine yesterday pointed out that the news often makes her cry. It does me too. I was chatting yesterday with a French friend about wikileaks, and when I said we old Europeans tend to be cynical about politics, he said ‘no, we’re realists’. Perhaps he’s right, but I for one am very cynical. I wish I could trust a single elected government official. You know my thoughts on this already.
However, I’m actually quite amused by the Wikileaks scandal. Firstly, I don’t believe anything has been revealed that someone with any political understanding didn’t know already. North Korea being a ‘spoilt child’? Only yesterday, I said China would never stomach a war with America using Korea as a pawn. Russia too. Cold war/Asia/East fighting battles on chessboards with pawn nations against Europe/the New World/West hopefully went out of the window with Vietnam and Afghanistan and so on. The pawns fought back with weapons we provided for them and decapitated all the black and white Kings and Queens. So is it any surprise to anyone in the world that China would prefer diplomacy to war? Not at all. Is it any surprise that Washington (I use this term to mean politicians, rather than the American public!) would rather bomb the shit out of them, having failed to learn a lesson in 1953? Not really.
Obama regards (present tense??) David Cameron as a lightweight? Well, didn’t England?? Two thirds of the country didn’t vote Conservative. That’s a lot of people who didn’t believe in him either. Maybe still don’t. To be honest, as a probably slightly central thinker (belief about free education and hospitals weighed out by a right-thinking capitalist approach) I like his fairness. But in my opinion, he’s a bit like that shiny-faced, slightly-plump goodie-two-shoes kid who always had his shirt tucked in and his tie done up properly who’d say ‘Miss… such-and-such has been doing this when you were writing on the board.’ I’m thinking Martin from The Simpsons. Lightweight, probably. He’s not a political heavyweight like Tebbit or Thatcher and so on, but is that a bad thing?
The US has been bombing Yemeni Al-Quaeda camps? Quelle surprise! Yemeni officials have been saying they’ve been doing it?? Yeah right. I’m pretty sure when you look at what’s happened there, you know the US have something to do with it. If I were Al-Quaeda, I wouldn’t look at the damage and think for one single minute that Yemeni troops had done this. Not to mention the fact that most governments are about as watertight as a sieve. I’m quite sure Bin Laden could work out this for himself.
Hillary Clinton has been spying on the UN. Isn’t that kind of her job?? If she doesn’t know what the hell’s going on everywhere, I’d be pretty worried!
My favourite stories are the Prince Andrew ones. Firstly, I kind of like that he’s actually doing something. You have this vague understanding that the royal family are out there ‘doing stuff’, but I’m pleased to hear he’s actually trying to do something useful. I did say trying. Secondly, I like that he is a ‘neuralgic patriot’. If anyone is a neuralgic patriot, I’d hope it was the Royal Family. I’d be pissed off if he’d been calling England names!! I like that he said Americans don’t know geography. I know it’s a very, very sweeping generalisation, but Sarah Palin? Come on. Fess up, America. You’ve got people who like Palin, who voted for her. This worries us. There are four US states where it is ILLEGAL to teach anything other than creationism as the theory of how the world was created, thus making it not so much theory as four states’ ‘fact’ that this happened. In a supposedly secular nation! Four states!! And I like the fact he said ‘English geography teachers are the best in the world.’
Obviously, he’s not met MY geography teacher, Mr Mulroy, who was responsible for losing my GCSE folder and getting me a D. My only D. He talked more about a fireball his grandmother had seen and less about favelas and shanty towns. However, I like that Prince Andrew said our Geography teachers are the best in the world, even if he was exaggerating. Honestly, he sounded like he really believed it. Why’s that a bad thing? I want my Royal representatives to believe, without doubt, that British stuff is best. Apparently, the American ambassador, ‘who speaks 6 languages’, was not impressed by Andrew’s intelligence (or lack of) – did she NOT know Andrew AT ALL before she went to the meeting??! Everybody knows a) Prince Charles is a green-alliance soft-touch who talks to plants b)Andrew is a Hooray Henry of Prince Harry standards c)Edward is probably a bit gay and d) Anne likes horses and swears a bit and is probably a bit like Princess Margaret was. And she was an old lush. Maybe I should be the American Ambassador. I wouldn’t be surprised by Andrew’s lack of finesse or brains. So he’s more like Phillip, who we all know to be a bit of a ‘foot-in-mouth’ pensioner. Is this news to anyone??! Even the pro-monarchy (well, pro-Diana) Daily Express knows these so-called secrets.
US ambassadors think Berlusconi is ‘feckless, vain and ineffective’? Honestly, that’s quite diplomatic. I’d have said a second-rate mafiosi one step down from Mussolini, myself. Some say hanging round with 16 year old Moroccans is a ‘playboy lifestyle’ – I say it’s one year older than paedophilia. Just to point out, the guy is 74. He has hair plugs and bad Just for Men hair dye. Vain?! That’s putting it mildly. This is the man who said Obama was ‘more tinted’ than the last one… feckless? I’d say a rude racist, myself. Accusations of money laundering, corruption and lying – none of which stick because everybody knows he’s got so many people in his pockets. I’d personally have gone for ‘wannabe gangsta-cum-mafiosi-paedophile’ and it’d have been much more accurate. Allegedly. For a man who controls the media in Italy, he’s not very media-savvy. I personally like his justification of ‘it’s better to like beautiful young girls than to be gay’. This is the Italian Prime Minister, people.
Putin is an alpha-dog? Anything we didn’t know?! He’s risen up through the ranks and turned the country around from a corrupt oligarchy to a financially and politically stable place. You don’t do that if you haven’t got a killer mentality and brute force behind you. Human rights not really a strong point, nor Chechnya, but he’s got KGB connections coming out of his eyeballs. This is a man who probably knows YOUR secrets. Let’s not forget, we might have got Gorbachev and Glasnost but then we had the pisshead Yeltsin.
China hacked Google. Really?! As Jake would say, in his uber-sarcastic tones. So, a technologically savvy nation (who invented the world’s first eggless egg) hacked an organisation it was threatened by? Hmmm. There’s a surprise. I’d have been more worried if they hadn’t tried to see what was afoot at Google. I’m not at all anti-Google, having been one of the first googlers back in the day when Ask Jeeves was still popular, but it doesn’t do well for corporations to get involved in politics. China have hacked into other stuff? I’m not surprised. I’d be more surprised if they weren’t spying on everything.
Afghanistan is still corrupt?! Oh My Word!! So one of the world’ major political hotspots has failed to be sorted out in five years, despite a centuries-old mess left by East and West. I like the fact the Afghan VP had $52, 000, 000 on him. Where do you keep that kind of money?!
The CIA have made a boo-boo and arrested (and probably tortured) the wrong person and asked Germany not to prosecute them for their error. I’m saying nothing. But shit like this happens all the time. England were no better with suspected IRA terrorists. We don’t have to look back very far to realise we’ve made similar errors as a country. So who gets to cast the first stone?
On The Daily Beast, the first comment ‘I wish I could say I’m surprised’ sums it up for me. Steve kind of said it all this morning when he said ‘there’s a difference between suspecting and knowing’, which is true, but it still makes me laugh. If any one of these people, organisations or countries didn’t know precisely what was going on, they’re not very good at politics!!
It reminds me a little of someone finding a popular schoolgirl’s diary (the Burn Book, I guess, from Mean Girls) and sharing it around. Nobody is surprised to find their names in it. Nobody is surprised to realise what the other one thinks of them. Still, it creates a scandal because everyone’s upset that the diary is out there. If America is Regina, England must be Gretchen or Karen – are we an insecure rich girl or sweet but dimwitted?? Rumours, gossip and bitchiness. The Burn Book is Uber-Bitch Regina’s secret diary of scandal, gossip and meanness, not unlike some of these wikileaks documents. The school (perhaps in this case, the UN) make everyone fess up and apologise. Maybe that’s what should happen here.
Berlusconi: I’m sorry I said paedophilia is better than homosexuality
Homosexuals: We’re sorry we said you looked like a leather-back turtle
Berlusconi: I’m sorry I said Obama was tinted
Obama: I’m sorry we said you were vain and feckless. We know how sensitive you are about your hair plugs.
Saudi Arabia: I’m sorry we said you should bomb Iran. We’re just mad because they get so much press attention
Iran: we’re sorry we have such a terrible human rights record. We love all of you really.
China: Sorry, Google. I know we should be best friends, what with China having such a high proportion of the internet, but we can’t have you taking over
Google: Sorry, China. We know how sensitive you are about what your people can do. We shouldn’t have interfered in your politics, dude.
US Ambassador: Sorry, Andrew – I didn’t mean to say you were stupid.
Andrew: That’s okay. I forgive you. I shouldn’t have been so nasty about France. Forgive me, France. And so I like Britain? So sue me!
France: Hmmm. Okay, but America, you owe us a big apology for saying we’re thin skinned.
America: we’re sorry; we’re just pissed off you didn’t support us over Iraq
France: I know, but we felt strong-armed, and you need to admit it was a criminal action
America: yeah, we know. Sorry, Iraq. We didn’t mean to say you had WMD… it just got so out of hand. If you’d just have sold us oil at a sensible price…
Iraq: well, what’s done is done. Saddam’s dead now. Maybe you could help us rebuild the cradle of civilisation?
America: fair enough.