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Slating Lukashenka September 17, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Nice to read a random bollocking for Lukashenka. Well, he wasn’t arrested in New York, against my wishes, and is now, no doubt, safely back on his throne in Minsk, issuing decrees and watching ice-hockey. Once in a while ‘we’ (it’s a big we; include yourself if you come from a functioning democracy) could do with reminding ourselves that our politics are pretty god-damned fantastic in comparison. We really do have a choice. We really can get rid of the sods if we’ve had enough of them after however many years. I haven’t got into the German election nearly as much as I ought to have – it is now home, after all (though I can’t vote) – but I had a little feeling of pride watching my Russian beloved agog in front of the TV debates. He’d clearly never seen anything like it. All the candidates sitting around having a fairly abrasive yet good-humoured debate, haranguing each other and being harangued by the audience. Standard fare for you and me, perhaps, but not for our post-Soviet cousins.

It’s a strange affair. Maybe we in ‘the West’ think education is the key. Educated people will, axiomatically, be political. They will establish sound institutions. Run a good state. Yet eastern Europeans are the best educated people – generalising, of course – I’ve ever met, yet their political culture is naive and gullible (on the whole). Which isn’t to say that people aren’t political, for they are, yet I heard many an educated person in Russia whooping at the TV set whenever Lukashenka came on, spouting bollocks, and was accused myself of spouting western propaganda whenever I said, ‘Excuse me, but aren’t you whooping for a wanker, rather, who disappears journalists and politicians who speak out against him?’ Lukashenka and Putin are on surprisingly similar paths. Let’s see if Putin mysteriously finds a way of amending the constitution so that he too can go for a third term in 2008.

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