Saturday, 29th December 2007.

Howdy true believers.

I hadn’t intended on posting a rant this year, but a couple of bits in the news over the past few days have really twisted my melon and I felt the need to vent!

First of all, Her Royal Highness The Queen has announced her New Years Honours list. I’m all for rewarding people who contribute to society, Dolly the Sheep’s (cloning pioneer) Ian Wilmut I can understand, Jacqueline Wilson (children’s author) yep fair enough, but Kylie Minogue, for services to music?!?? Good god what’s going on? First of all, she’s not flipping British; secondly, it’s hardly music is it?

Also, added to this list is Richard Summersgill, the Director of Child Benefit and Tax Credit Offices (HM Revenue). This ladies and gentlemen is the same government office which is seemingly responsible for the loss of 25 million personal records in a nationally recorded sham! Never mind that, lets slap him on the honours’ list and let him reap the financial rewards that go along with recognition of the appointment.

Considering the usual claptrap of celebs that get awarded; this is bad, even by the usual poor standards of whoever makes the decision. I personally support a total rethink of this system to ensure it rewards those who genuinely inspire and enhance our society and not some total gobshite who has been seemingly rewarded for making a total balls-up of his job?

Secondly, my rant today is going to be about the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. I am sad to read about any loss of life; however I totally abhor mankind’s tendency of overinflating the memory of someone after they pop their clogs. When my father passed away I was determined to remember him as a man who had his faults (And like in me there were many), but was of unmeasured influence and inspiration to me. Anything else would have seen his memory become distorted and twisted and he might as well not have existed at all.

As for Benazir Bhutto my own recollections of this apparent martyr and savour of Pakistan centre around the fact that she was educated at Harvard and Oxford Universities, seemingly rose through what is, in my personal opinion of course, a totally archaic medieval based misogynist society where women are second place (even more so than in the UK, nuts and zoo magazine readers for example).

Further to this, I remember her being sacked and cited for corruption, and it has always been my belief (and seemingly of others) that she had totally capitalised on the abstract poverty of the Pakistani people during her time in power. How much of that is truth I honestly can’t say, however I am a firm believer in the saying that “there is no smoke without fire”. Unless of course you are in zero gravity.

Anyway, there are now conflicting reports of how she died and already there are clear signs that she is becoming the martyr amongst ‘her people’ that she intended on becoming, ignoring the advice of security appointed to her and succeeded in pointing a subtle figure at the head of the military government Musharraf.

I always have a great interest in news from the region, purely to understand the culture which I have made part of myself and regularly look at message groups and forums written by Indians and Pakistani’s. The one thing that I think they all generally agree with (which is a rarity in itself) is that Pakistan is entering into something of a ‘do or die’ waypoint.

Strength and stability must come from somewhere; I personally can’t see where because Bhutto herself was seen as an ‘alternative’ to those already in power and that speaks volumes for the sorry state regarding the options available to the Pakistani people (almost as dire as the choice in British politics I might add).

I very much hope that something steps in fairly soon, the last thing we want is for a spinoff culture to make a religion out of her distorted memory and for her to be considered a holy savour. Most atheists, including myself, are generally sceptical on how it is all too easy it is for people to start believing in old wives tales centered around corruption and hiding the many inadequacies of society rather than addressing them directly!

Anyway. Rant over. Wishing anyone who reads this a very Happy New Year in 2008!

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