Starting the week

First, we mourn the passing of the great Solomon Burke, one of the most awesome and underrated soul singers of his (or any) generation. Nice tributes from Nestor, Funky16Corners, Breath of Life, Fifty Cent Lighter, Muzzle of Bees, Radio Exile and Ethan Jayne. This is one of my favourite of his songs, already posted by Stroppy:

The only reason I’ve not linked to this excellent post before is I wanted to write something more substantial about it, but I haven’t yet, so please just go and read it: Chris Dillow on Ed Miliband on immigration. On a related topic, see Martin Ruhs and Bridget Anderson on Britain’s economic dependency on underpaid migrant workers.

A radically different view on the Tea Party from the one we normally get from the Guardian. [UPDATE: Just notice Carl already posted on this. My view is slightly different from his, as I may write more fully one day if I manage to find time.]

Michael Ezra on our shared obsession: Chomsky and Cambodia. Because of Harry’s Place’s irritating policy of deleting comment threads, I add here a link dug up by Tim B, of Margaret Thatcher interviewed on Blue Peter (a BBC children’s TV programme) from 1988, which is truly disgusting.

Margaret Thatcher:
I think when the Vietnamese have left and when we have some hope of getting a truly representative government in Kampuchea, yes, I think the British government will be prepared to give aid, and that’s what I promised, when I went to see so many of them in a refugee camp. But the first thing, you know, is to get the Vietnamese out. We hope they will go out but it’s going to take a time yet. And then, really, the next thing is to ensure that Pol Pot doesn’t get back into government, because they would all fear him. And so, Prince Sihanouk, who is their head of state, was before the Vietnamese invaded, has been working very hard, with all the other people from all the other groups, to try to make arrangements for a government that will be suitable for everyone.
What do you think we’re going to be able to do to make sure that Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge are kept out of the country?
Margaret Thatcher:
Most people agree that Pol Pot himself could not go back, nor his - some of his supporters, who were very active in some of the terrible things that happened. So, there’s quite an agreement about that. Some of the Khmer Rouge, of course, are very different. I think there are probably two parts of the Khmer Rouge, there are those who supported Pol Pot, and then there’s a much, much reasonable grouping within that title, Khmer Rouge.
Do you really think…
Margaret Thatcher:
Well, that is what I am assured by people who know. So, you’ll find that the more reasonable ones of the Khmer Rouge will have to play some part in the future government, but only a minority part
Britain’s refusal to provide aid to this beleaguered country under the period of the Vietnamese liberation/occupation is shameful, and its support for a government in exile led by the disgusting Prince Norodom Sihanouk and including “reasonable” elements of the genocidal Khmer Rouge is even more so.

Incidentally, while glancing at Wikipedia, I found out something I hadn’t known about Sihanouk: his concurrent marriages to several child brides.


jams o donnell said…
Jesus Bob I had to read that shit from Thatcher just before dinner...
would be curious to know why you published that reactionary tea party article from the guardian. "public housing was a sham, therefore all social spending for the poor is just a limitation on them. therefore we need to cut all social spending. let the people pull themselves up by their boot straps." and the nonsense that the tea party is for "small government." this is nothing new of the right-wing. cut taxes for the rich, and direct government spending towards military spending, policing, prisons, etc. have you asked yourself why precisely now there is a "tea party"? and why those disgruntled conservatives didnt protest bush´s huge military spending? and why their fear of big government didnt drive them to oppose the USA Patriot act?
the blog post about black conservatism was good however. those who delude themselves into believing that obama´s typically democratic politic will help blacks and other poor people of color get out of poverty, will result in a reactionary response, where they do the typical blame the victim game, and there you go, "black conservatism".
Waterloo Sunset said…
The comments thread on the Chomsky & Cambodia thread is worth reading while it's still up. I have to say, I don't think Michael comes out of it that well. It's pretty obvious by now he's happy to justify the killing of civilians, as long as it's the "good guys" doing it.
bob said…
On the tea party, I'll try and do justice to this issue in a later post - I've not got too much time on my hands now (hence a string of pre-written scheduled posts coming up), but my views are too complicated to anseer quickly.

On Michael E at the Cambodia thread, I have significant differences with his analysis. I think he is way, way too generous towards Nixon and Kissinger, to the point at times of whitewashing them.

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