Whenever I read a Transparency International, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch report about Rwanda I know that a certain buzzword shall be emblazed all over the first page and shoved down our collective throats. Democracy. That ancient Greek political philosophy is, if we are to believe the folks at World Audit, kicking our butts.
According to World Audit, an organization which compiles its figures by plagiarising different NGO reports, Rwanda is ranked a lowly 131 in the world; it’s even beaten by the basket-case that is Iraq, which is ranked 128 in the world. That is despite, just recently, having had parliamentary elections that were declared free and fair.
Well, events worldwide have made me chuckle. The United Kingdom, the ‘home of parliamentary democracy and the Magna Carta’, is reeling under a scandal, that sounds like something that one should happen in Myanmar (which is ranked 150th in the world) and not in a nation that is ranked 9th in the world in democratic practice.
A British Conservative Member of Parliament was arrested at his home on the 27th of last month for receiving top secret leaks from a government insider. The MP, Damian Green, isn’t just a normal Tory backbencher; he is the Shadow Home Office Minister. But the arrest wasn’t the biggest deal; members of Scotland Yard raided his parliamentary office without a search warrant.
As anyone who has watched crime movies knows, a search warrant is essential before police enter someone’s private space-office, car or home. Well, the police had nothing of the sort. They entered the Parliamentary chambers, without a warrant and ransacked the MP’s office.
While that doesn’t sound like a big deal but, as Number 9th in the world, shouldn’t they be better examples to us ‘undemocratic sods’?
Number 34 in the world, Greece, is not doing much better. Greece, home of Athenian civilisation, is suffering under the ‘Right of Protest’.
Violence is nothing new in Greece‘s frequent demonstrations, where the right to protest is considered an intrinsic part of democracy. Despite general public grumbling, the occasional Molotov cocktail and tear gas volley during a protest march is considered normal.
But, and I am willing to be corrected in this belief, is torching peoples shops with Molotov cocktails an essential part of democracy?
In the wise words of the ancient Greek rhetorician Isocrates, when he was commenting on Athenian democracy: “Our democracy is self-destructing, because it abused the right to freedom and equality, because it taught people to consider impudence as a right, illegality as freedom, rudeness as equality and anarchy as happiness”.
I’m sure that he’d be happier with Rwanda’s version of what democracy REALLY means, than what the rioters in Athens, believe as their ‘democratic right’.
Last night, listening to BBC’s flagship news programme, ‘News-hour’, I learnt that, according to a panel of UN experts, Rwanda was actively supporting Gen. Nkunda’s fight against the Congolese government.
Well, if the report didn’t say anything of the sort I’d have eaten my hat. I haven’t seen the report, but all I can comment about is this; the host of the programme, Julian Marshall, wasn’t being as unbiased as he should have been.
Despite the fact that the report also revealed Kabila’s shady dealings with the FDLR, Mr. Marshall went on and on about the fact that Rwanda was found with it’s “hand in the till”.
To all those sentimental sorts, this report will put the fear of God into you.
As the news report says “A young Chinese woman was left partially deaf following a passionate kiss from her boyfriend.
The 20-something from Zhuhai in Guangdong province arrived at hospital having completely lost the hearing in her left ear. The doctor who treated the girl in hospital was quoted in the paper explaining what had happened.
“The kiss reduced the pressure in the mouth, pulled the eardrum out and caused the breakdown of the ear.”
Well, there it is…be careful. Have a wonderful weekend.