Archive for August 2008
To the President of Georgia,
Did you know that if you poke a bear up the arse with a big stick it will bite your fucking head off?
If so why didn’t you remember this when you decided to take on the armed might of Russia with a few battalions when your main forces are in Iraq? You rushed into a badly planned military adventure and got your arse kicked.
Your reasons were highly ambiguous. You thought you could play Cuba to Russia’s America. Very bad idea, old son.
Lets rewind back a few years to the Czechoslovakia crisis of 1938. Picture the South Ossetians as the Sudetenland Germans and Russia as Nazi Germany. Now picture Georgia as Czechoslovakia and we have a carbon copy of this weeks events.
Lessons were hard learned in 1938 and they have been applied this week. The UN will not act to save Georgia, as it simply isn’t worth the trouble at the minute. When a new, more sensible president is elected, we may do business with him. But he can never be allowed to join NATO, it would make the Russians too paranoid and lead to a new cold war.
The issues your country faces require a diplomatic solution, and now I speculate it will be carried out by a successor administration. But please do not try anything as dumb as fighting Russia again.
Leave the dumb stuff to us, we are professionals.
Please do think carefully about this power-sharing deal Mr Mugabe has proposed. Please bear in mind that dictators do not share power, it is not in their nature. Mugabe does not need Morgan Tsvangirai, in his mind at least. He has no respect for him, openly calling him a cry-baby for taking refuge in the Dutch embassy. This did save his life and preserve the head of the opposition.
The last person who tried power sharing with Mugabe was Joshua Nkomo, who was eventually outmanouvered and fled the country in fear of his life.
All he is trying to do is prise him out of sanctuary so he can kill him and stamp his authority down on the country. Who then could oppose him?
Of course Morgan will have to come out some time, but the conditions and the timing are not right yet. First Mr Mugabe needs to dismantle his internal security apparatus and disband his battalions of war veterans. Then the world may offer a helping hand.
So what now? Well Morgan Tsvangirai needs to address the Hague, Amnesty international, the Whitehouse, and the UN to offer himself as a credible alternative to the pirate Presidency currently holding Zimbabwe to ransom. Once a deal can be struck Mugabe can be transplanted to a country without extredition, maybe the Gold Coast, his Golden escape route. Then free elections can begin and food supplies can be flown into the country.
Then Zimbabwe can be truely great again.
Imagine being trapped physically within the confines of your own body, held down by an invisible hand. Steadily, inevitably becoming unable to move or speak.
Such is the fate of those coping with Motor Neuron Disease., approximately 7 out of 100,000 people, or 5000 alone in the United Kingdom.
It does not affect the senses, or the intellect. You can still see, hear, smell and feel, and your brain will remain as sharp and focused as always. Instead it locks the person away inside their own body.
The most famous sufferer of Motor Neuron Disease is Professor Stephen Hawkins, who has, in spite of his illness, produced some of the most spectacular thesis of the modern age. He is a rare case, in that he has survived more than 35 years with the disease. Normally it is fatal within 3 – 5 years.
Strangely, twice as many men are affected as women. MND attacks the upper and lower motor neurons, leading to wasting of muscles, loss of mobility, and an inability to speak or swallow. It is not something that can be directly diagnosed, it is more a process of elimination.
Sarah Ezekiel was diagnosed with the disease in 2000, shortly before she gave birth to her second child, Eric. Within a matter of months she started to lose the movement in her arms and her speech began to deteriorate. Furthermore it ended her marriage and left her needing 24 hour care.
However none of this seems to stop her. Most recently she held a video conference for Coventry and Staffordshire Universities. The questions ranged from the technology she uses to communicate, to what bank she was with.
Her current method of communication with the outside world is her laptop. Indeed over the last eight years Sarah has become very adept with communication technology. She had a voice synthesiser with a Southern American accent – have a nice day y’awl! Nowadays she uses a chin switch to operate it, which has been causing strain on her jaw and neck muscles.
Organising and managing her own life is becoming increasingly difficult. Most of her carers are paid by cheque, and the facility of paying this is slowly being replaced by chip and pin.
Shopping is a problem, as she cannot use her arms she can neither pay or pack, so she needs her carer’s assistance for that.