Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Death first?

This article at the BBC is interesting in that it suggests that a substantial number of people in Britain would be willing to go to prison rather than have to carry ID cards. I hate the idea of being forced to carry an ID card around and have to show it when asked, but I really don't know if I'd be prepared to go to prison for my convictions. I guess, when push comes to shove, I'm a bit of a coward. I've always be awed by people that did put their convictions before themselves – Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela in particluar – and have wondered what would happen if I were put into that situation. Either way, I don't think that ID cards are going to be the testing point. This camel can take many more straws yet.

A break in the Dynasty?

So Sonia Gandhi has decided not to become India's next prime minister. Judging by the popular reaction, her popularity remains unabated, and, if anything, has increased, meaning that she can act the Elder Statesman from the back, without having the pressure of being PM. Maybe I'm being too cynical here; reports have said that she did seem visibly emotional when announcing her decision and she does strike me as an honest person. It's nice for someone that embedded in the political web to honestly say that power was never their ambition, even if some part of me does regard that with cynicism.

It seems that the economist and former finance minister Manmohan Singh will take her place as leader of Congress and be the next prime minister. It will be interesting to see how he gets on.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

BJP loses Indian election

Okay, so it sounds like a newspaper headline (and a poor one at that), but I couldn't think of any other (moderately polite) title. The BJP have lost control of the government in India and the current prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, has resigned. It looks like a coalition led by the Congress Party is going to take over.

I've never liked the BJP because of its religious/nationalist views which have always worried me in what is supposed to be a secular state. Their policies, including their handling of the Ayodhya dispute have seemed divisive and dangerous. Mind you, I've got mixed feelings about The Dynasty coming back to power, but looking at it, it's the lesser of two evils, as far as I'm concerned.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Irony in Israel

It's sad that an Israeli cabinet member has advocated throwing Palestinians out of Israel. Sad that a community that has been persecuted for so long now taking the opportunity to do the same on those weaker than itself when, of all people, they should sympathise. Of course, I realise that I'm in no way saying anything original here, but I think that the point is important enough to worth reiterating.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Question about comments

Currently when a new comment is posted to the blog, I get an email telling me about it, but I don't think anyone else will get an email if someone replies to comments. Should I allow other people to be notified when a new comment is left (it will be optional, so don't worry about getting unwanted messages if you don't want to)?

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Home of the free, eh?

This is more than a little bit worrying. If a fifteen year old boy's artwork can be considered a threat to national security, then there's something wrong with your country.

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