The Plastic Hippo

January 18, 2016

With friends like these

Filed under: History,Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 2:00 am
Tags: , , ,
All our yesterdays

All our yesterdays

Before we all get too carried by the lifting of western sanctions against Iran, it might be worth taking a moment to consider quite how we define friend and foe, ally and rival and, perhaps more importantly, bosom buddy and hated enemy.

A cultural package tour of the historic glories of Tehran, Qom and Isfahan or a relaxing beach holiday at Bandar Abbas on the delightful Strait of Hormuz seems rather tempting even though the Axis of Evil continues to flourish and what with the war on terror going ever so well. It might be nice then, just to share sweeties with our new best mate and simply ignore our old best mate who is now sulking in the far corner of the playground. With oil below 30 bucks a barrel and even the UK government expressing “disappointment” that Saudi citizens are being beheaded in the street, the family that was our best mate is loading up the C130s with bullion and warming up the Lear Jets ready to re-locate to Monaco, Manhattan and Mayfair. Mercifully, no identity papers will be required as these desperate souls are obviously refugees fleeing from a violent insurrection. Amex – that will do nicely sir.

With the UKs renewal of the American Trident nuclear deterrent cash cow being the latest smoke screen to be employed to prove that Corbyn is a threat to national security, praise is being heaped upon Iran for its courageous and sensible decision not to develop those nasty nukes. Regardless of the stuff that Israel is reprocessing and stockpiling below the Negev desert, Iran`s pragmatic approach is not shared by the UK government who insist that its first duty is to protect the nation against any potential eventuality so the UK will remain a forward base for the USAs nuclear arsenal. One potential eventuality is President Donald Trump ordering Prime Minister Boris Johnson to incinerate Lesbos during a crisis confusing refugees with late-night cable television for the discerning gentleman.

If we are now good pals with Iran because Iran is being well behaved, then we need to look at some of the others kids being naughty in the playground. It is highly unlikely that sanctions will be imposed on bacon and Carlsberg lager if Denmark is serious about confiscating what few possessions refugees arrive with. Swiss chocolate, Hungarian goulash and Polish vodka will continue to be consumed regardless of the worrying behaviour being escalated by floundering governments desperate to appear popular. If history is to be believed, we are a short step away from extracting gold fillings from the teeth of those wishing to cross the razor wire.

It is not that far right xenophobes ever went away or realised that being unpleasant and taking pride is displaying breathtaking ignorance was not, in any way, considered cool. What is disturbing is that governments who once either ignored or dismissed the shouting cavemen with a taste for big boots, camouflage trousers and leather jackets now attempt to appease these numbskulls with talk of protectionism, nationalism and overt racism. Even more worrying is the spectacle of fringe nonentities presenting symptoms of profound neurosis taking to politics to frighten the populous and further their own careers. We can justifiably ask what kind of Grade A industrial strength hypocrite would exploit human misery and suffering to promote a dubious political agenda. Since the alleged events in Cologne on New Year`s Eve, it is astonishing to discover the number of be-suited bigots and tattooed skinheads who have now embraced feminism and the inalienable right of women to go unmolested unless, of course, the men doing the molesting happen to be white. If men attacking women is the justification for closing borders, the next logical step is to place every man under house arrest and secure his wife and family a place of safety.

Looking back, the cold war between the West and the Soviet Bloc seems quaintly simple. Two massive populations both ruled by a bunch of crooks aiming mutually assured destruction at each other in order to keep the masses frightened and compliant. Now, the long dormant far right and far left are emerging from their hiding places and are making some noise only this time the polarisation is within nations, cities, towns and villages. The faces of the bunch of crooks encouraging division might have changed but the basic premise of irrational hatred remains.

Groups like the Danish People`s Party, the Austrian Freedom Party, Vlaams Belang in Belgium, Ataka in Bulgaria, Front National in France, the National Democratic Party of Germany, Golden Dawn in Greece, Jobbik in Hungary, the Italian Northern League, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, the Greater Romania Party, the Slovak National Party, Sweden Democrats, the Progress Party in Norway and the wonderfully named Soldiers of Odin from Finland share similar ideological dogma and blinkered reasoning as our own dear Kippers. The sweet irony is that within two minutes of being together in the same room, they would be calling each other racists and knocking lumps out of each other.

It is tempting to laugh at these specimens along with Trump and obese, middle-aged, heavily armed Americans in combat fatigues defending Oregon from communist racoons but as history suggests, the more you ridicule them, the more vengeful they become. Remember that “rag-tag” bunch of losers calling itself ISIL or that funny little bloke with the weird haircut and funny little moustache?

Once again, sides are being taken between two extremes with vast swathes of rationality left ignored in the middle. It would seem that the theory of evolution, and remember it is just a theory, is still a process and would appear to have a long way to go. Some of us, however, prefer the sound of diplomatic rapprochement to the noise of rattling sabres.

Oh, and a little bit of humanity wouldn`t go amiss either. Play nicely and be friendly.

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