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Zimbabwean Canutes

What do you do when you have driven your economy off a cliff? Why, you raise taxes.

Zimbabwe’s finance minister has imposed a string of tax rises to bridge a huge spending shortfall and the effects of drought and slum clearances.
A tax on drinks and cigarettes has been increased by 50% and mobile phone airtime will also be subjected to a 22.5% tax, Herbert Murerwa said.

Zimbabwe is beset with shortages of food, fuel and foreign currency, and rampant unemployment and inflation.

An opposition MP said the extra budget showed that the government was “broke”.

The title is a forgivable slur on King Canute who recognised the natural limits of kingship. With reference to ZANU-PF, it is perhaps more acceptable to use the diminutive of his name, which is, of course, Cnut.

13 comments to Zimbabwean Canutes

  • veryretired

    In a recent thread about animosity towards the US, I made a comment regarding the relentless antagonism which has permeated the intelligentsia, and other cultural authorities, of Europe and Asia since the very founding of the renegade nation which dared to base its society on the concepts of individual rights, capitalism, and private property.

    Now we examine the unfolding tragedy in Zimbabwe, as we have observed in any number of other unfortunate “People’s Republics”, as their collectivist leaders, steeped in all the collected wisdom of decades of theorists who assured them that the all-powerful state would bring about a paradise on earth, instead construct one more level of the inferno.

    It is the other side of the same counterfeit coin.

    As I write this, I am enjoying an afternoon showing of “Moby Dick”, with Gregory Peck as Capt. Ahab. He has just fulfilled Elijah’s prophecy, drowning on Moby Dick’s side, and rising again to beckon the rest of the crew to their deaths.

    And so it has been, again and again, in the drama of politics, and economics, and social structure. How many Ahab’s have we seen in the last few centuries? How many captains, obsessed with hatred towards any expression of individual freedom or uncontrolled economic activity, have steered their ships to their doom, maniacally trying to destroy every last vestige of unfettered thought and behavior.

    The world stands by, spluttering and averting its eyes, trying desperately to avoid the obvious—power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    To acknowledge this simple, yet inescapable, truth would be to admit that most everything they have done and preached and supported for generations has been disastrously wrong.

    The graves fill up, the chatterers wring their hands in helpless despair, and another society is swirled into the whirlpool of “social justice” until it disappears beneath the waves.

    When the day of reckoning finally comes, who will be the speaker for the dead?

  • Thomas Jackson

    I didn’t realize that Zimbabwe was run by the Democrat Party. If it moves they’ll tax it. If it doesn’t they’ll subsidize it.

  • John Rippengal

    Isn’t it time for a regime change?

  • Isn’t it time for a regime change?

    I have taken that view for quite some time.

  • Pavel

    Just another argument that the British Empire had disintegrated prematurely.

  • ArrogantAtheist

    The international left loves Mugabe. And agrees with his policies 100%.

  • John Rippengal

    Perry I doubt very much whether arming the population would lead to anything but massive bloodletting. Don’t forget Mugabe has a large army well stuffed with riches plundered from the Congo.

    It would have to be a sharp hard blow from outside.
    Unlikely unfortunately.

    As a little pathetic gesture of derision why don’t we start referring to Rhodesia and its capital Salisbury.
    To hell with the Zimbabwe nonsense.

  • John East

    I remember all the leftie rebels around 25 years ago baying for Ian Smiths downfall in Rhodesia. I’m sure many of those young revolutionaries are now in their 40’s and 50’s and some of them are occupying positions of responsibility in government, the media, and the civil service. Maybe the deafening silence in response to Mugabwe owes something to their guilt. Rather than admit they were wrong it’s probably easier for them just to ignore what’s going on.

  • John Rippengal

    Unfortunately the capitulation to the Mugabe monkey (I can’t bring myself to use the shortened version of Canute because it’s so easy to mistype that word with a little transposition) was to the best of my recollection by a Tory government, Lord Carrington and Nicholas Soames being delegated to do the dirty deed. With a little military help instead of those stupid sanctions the Mugabe gang of thugs could have been seen off to the benefit of all in Rhodesia particularly the black population; not least the Ndebele.

    The colonial era provided the best government Africa has ever had. We constantly gave in to criticism that it was not perfect, got stupidly guilty and pulled out.. Not perfect was true enough but better than anything before or since.

    Even if there were to be successful intervention in Rhodesia any subsequent government would revert to type soon enough. The problem is African culture. It is just not suited to anything greater than small tribal grouping and even at that is pretty gruesome. When early explorers demonstrated a rifle to a big Uganda chief (could have been the Kabaka) he promptly tried it out on two of his retinue, killing them both, expressing himself very satisfied.

  • John East

    John Rippengal,
    Thanks for the correction. I had in mind the Wilson/Callaghan era, but you are right, the Tories did play a part towards the end of the proceedings.

    Yours in the grimmest prognosis that I have yet seen, that even if we liberated Zimbabwe, it would most likely succumb to another despot. Grim, but perhaps correct, and maybe this has been seen by the powers that be as one reason not to intervene?

  • veryretired

    There are two possible reasons for US inaction in these various African calamities.

    First, most of Africa is considered to be in the European sphere of influence due to the continuing ties from the colonial period. France esp., but others also, routinely take initiatives there that are clearly based on the feeling that there is a special relationship.

    Secondly, the use of US military forces in open combat in central or southern Africa would immediately be exploited by the race pimps in the US to demonize the situation, regardless of the facts. One of the factors in Clinton’s pullout from Somalia was the fear that the reaction to scenes of soldiers killing large numbers of black people in a prolonged conflict would be very negative in the black US community, which is heavily democratic.

    Somewhere along the way in the planning of any military/relief/rescue operation a certain question arises: What do we think we are going to accomplish if we do this? As Iraq, and any number of other military expeditions, can attest, this can be a very tricky question indeed.

  • Robert Alderson

    Unless South Africa supports regime change in Zimbabwe it’s a waste of time trying.

  • Lascaille

    Getting involved in Zimbabwe at all would be a terrible idea – Mugabe would just cite anything we did as ‘evidence of the UK plot to destroy the country’ and the state-controlled press would happily print it, the deluded left and other deluded leaders would believe it.

    Let them starve, let them die, let them get desperate enough to attack Mugabe and his troops and if they succeed, the better for them, if they fail, there might be enough food left over to feed the survivors. If they do succeed deposing Mugabe from inside the country exactly the same sort of leader will take over – only it’ll be Mugabe’s tribe (I forget the name) starving while the winners plunder, as has been the case so often before. There is no mercy shown to the defeated – and rightly so.

    No-one from the west should actually waste any time talking about these petty banana republics: the ‘proper’ solution (a very great force) is rejected as ‘neo-colonialism’ and will never ever get through and the only other suggestion made is a relentless baying for bailouts and handouts.

    Mark Thatcher had the right idea.