Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Northern Ireland is run by the mob

Following the collapse of the Robert McCartney murder trial, you can understand why Northern Ireland is referred to by some as "Sicily without the sunshine".

The paramilitaries may not be bombing Belfast, but they continue to shoot, stab and maim anyone who stands in the way of their criminal activities. The rule of law is fast becoming replaced by the rule of Omertà. But the politicians in London and Dublin have been too busy congratulating themselves to notice. They consider Northern Ireland to be a showcase to the world on how to achieve peace and aren't going to let anything so trivial as organised crime overshadow it.

But organised crime isn't trivial. It blights the lives of millions and will ultimately hurt Northern Ireland just as much as the troubles did. Do the people of Ulster really want their country to end up like Sicily where 80% of businesses have to pay protection money and where the local population live in fear of the Mafia, knowing that theirs is the only authority that counts? If I was Tony Blair, it's not a legacy I'd be proud of.

I'm tired of hearing that "Something must be done about Mugabe"

So Mugabe has "won" another sham election, and is feted by his fellow African leaders as a statesman....so little has changed in Africa. People will continue to cry out "something must be done" and of course precisely nothing will be done.

I am struggling to understand why so many on the left continue to revere the UN as a holy institution after their failure in Srebrenica, Rwanda, Darfur, and now Zimbabwe. In fact the tragedy of Zimbabwe points to the total failure of transnational institutions altogether. So long as the Middle East, Africa (with a few exceptions), Russia and China continue to be run by dictators, the UN and African Union will have little clout.

And I'm not sure what the solution to Zimbabwe is. America and Britain are too tied up militarily to liberate Zimbabwe and even if they did, the whole world (and the liberal intelligentsia) would accuse them of colonialism, and it's not even clear who or what would fill the vacuum left by Mugabe.

The most likely scenario is that Zimbabwe will just carry on imploding to the point that most of her population will have fled abroad and even Mugabe's supporters will be starving. Then presumably there will be a coup with yet another dictator to take Mugabe's place.