Monday, April 14, 2008

A Way with Words

It’s difficult to find anything good to say about Robert Mugabe but if there had been a verbal jousting contest last week between him and the Prime Minister of Great Britain, there’s little doubt who would have won the prize. Or in this case, the coconut.
For whilst Mr. Brown was castigating his ungrateful electorate, telling them that they would not recognise the booming economy he had engineered for them if it were handed to them on a skewer with Béarnaise sauce, Mr. Mugabe stuck to a telling one-liner.
Gordon Brown speaks from the Roget’s Thesaurus of Parliamentary Platitudes, published a few years ago by the firm of Wriggle and Squirm (edited by A. Blair).
Mr. Mugabe tells it like it is, in this case for once. Brown, he says, is a tiny dot on this world.
He would have got more applause had he used the word blot but one can’t have everything.
It is not, perhaps, quite in the same rich vein as the words used to the Duke of Windsor when he was Governor of The Bahamas. Remonstrating that Alfred du Maurigny had not addressed him as befitted a member of the Royal Family, du Maurigny replied:
“Sir, you are but the governor of a pimple on the arse of the British Empire.”
Not surprisingly, the Duke tried to have him hanged subsequently on a trumped up murder charge.
But Mugabe was right. Brown is proving himself to be not only a dot on the horizon but a pretty insignificant one at that.
Rhodesia, if we may revert to its proper name for a moment, was one of the better products of an often flawed colonial empire. It was both loyal and productive, even with the antagonistic Ian Smith in charge. Replacing him with a repulsive bully such as Mr. Mugabe has proved to be, was one of the classic errors of judgement of a former Labour government.
The population, both white and black, have been suffering for years under this tyrant with barely a murmur of complaint from Britain.
Now Mr. Brown has searched to find the right words. He is a well read man and one would have thought that he could do better. No hint of positive action as was taken against an equally ruthless tyrant, Saddam Hussein.
He said the situation in Zimbabwe was “appalling” and that the world’s patience was “running thin.”
But of course there’s no oil in Zimbabwe.


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