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A lively speech

Robert Mugabe, that noted expert on the alleviation of Third World poverty, has been holding forth at a UN meeting in Geneva about the Internet. He may have left the Commonwealth, but he hasn’t lost any of his certainty of his own rightness and wonderfulness.

Here is my favourite bit of this BBC report:

He said there was no point in providing poor people with computers unless they were also given electricity and a phone network to run them.

Good point. And come to that, what’s the point in people having computers if they are starving to death or being beaten up or killed by government thugs?

I also liked Mark Doyle’s nicely ironic final paragraph, inviting comparisons between the monster Mugabe and all the other tyrants down the years who have also been rather bad people …

Opposition leaders in Zimbabwe may condemn Mr Mugabe for acting oppressively at home; but here in Geneva, many delegates – whether they agreed with him or not – were impressed by a lively speech.

… but who have likewise softened their various blows by making lively speeches which impressed everyone, whether they agreed with them or not.

4 comments to A lively speech

  • Dave F

    I was about to post elsewhere on this. But I thought it might be useful to compare and contrast Mr Mark Doyle’s strange distortion with what the agencies report on Comrade Bob’s latest mad rant: that it was an attack on press freedom.

    Reuters (in part):
    Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe launched a virulent attack on Western media on Wednesday at a world summit on making better use of information technology such as the Internet to help poorer nations.

    In his first foreign excursion since quitting the 54-nation Commonwealth, Mugabe railed against new technologies, saying they were used for espionage and to weaken the Third World in the face of “a dangerous imperial world order led by warrior states and kingdoms.”

    “Beneath the rhetoric of free press and transparency is the iniquity of hegemony. The quest for an information society should not be at the expense of building a sovereign national society,” he said in a scathing address.

    Mugabe, who shut Zimbabwe’s only major independent newspaper in September, withdrew from the Commonwealth at the weekend after the group of mostly former British colonies renewed a suspension imposed over its human rights record.

    Other developing country leaders at the summit took the opportunity to urge rich states to do more to help them boost the use of technologies such as the Worldwide Web and mobile phones as a springboard to economic growth.

    AP (in part):
    Calls for a free press are a smoke screen, said President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

    “Beneath the rhetoric of free press and transparency is the inequity of hegemony,” said Mugabe, who is listed by the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders as one of the world’s “predators of press freedom.”

    Mark Doyle (In part):

    Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has attacked global inequality and what he described as the imperious attitudes of the United States and Britain.
    His speech stood out from the mostly bland interventions of other world leaders at this internet summit.

    They generalised about the great potential of internet technology and the need to spread these advantages to the developing world.

    Vintage Mugabe

    Mr Mugabe, by contrast, said there could be no just information society without more social equality.

    “The deadly televised spectacle of an unjust war of occupation in Iraq based on blatant lies was a dramatic example of a false and failed global information society founded on the twin aggressive impulses of shock and awe,” he said.

    This was vintage Robert Mugabe – taking the subject of the day, an internet conference in Geneva, and applying it to his fight against what he sees as latter day imperialism.

  • Hmmm yet another dictator the Euroleft media will learn to love.

    “The deadly televised spectacle of an unjust war of occupation in Iraq based on blatant lies was a dramatic example of a false and failed global information society founded on the twin aggressive impulses of shock and awe,” [Mugabe] said.

    If just for this lovely utterance…

  • I doubt that the ‘Euroleft’ or any other media will be making a hero out of Mugabe. His appeal seems to be mainly confined only to the black African established, kleptocratic elite. Mugabe is despised by many, if not most, on the left in the West. Don’t forget that he is Peter Tatchell’s No.1 hate figure.

  • He was very well spoken for a sociapathic genocidal despot. Or would that be psychopathetic deranged serial killer.

    Here on the left-coast of California I am still waiting to hear from some lefty self-proclaimed “Liberal” who is even mildly concerned about the state sponsored famine of Zimbabwe.

    Of course I am sure that they would talk about what great rates of literacy they have in Zimbabwe, what with their Socialist leanings and all.

    People who have starved to death don’t read newspapers. Or vote against the current government either.