Monthly Archives: January 2012

Somebody’s Got to Say It: She Was the Iron Lady…..Period!

I have always admired former British prime minister, Baroness Margaret  Thatcher.  And although I haven’t always agreed with some of her politics — notably her pro-apartheid stance and the introduction of the poll tax — in her heyday, she was undoubtedly a strong and decisive woman who led from the top, took substantial risks and wasn’t fazed by standing alone on key policy issues. The Russians didn’t tag her the “Iron Lady” for nothing. And as a supporter, I am hugely looking forward to seeing her biopic ” The Iron Lady” over the next few days.

Since “The Iron Lady” opened in the UK, approximately two weeks ago, there has been a lot of hullabaloo over its accuracy and the emphasis on Baroness Thatcher’s illness. Biopics are almost always controversial. “Malcolm X” was controversial and so was “Ali” and “JFK,” to name but a few. It just isn’t always easy to cramp an illustrious career into an average  2-hour long film, hence the conclusion from some film critics that biopics just don’t work.

I am rather miffed that the biopic highlights the former prime minster’s present poor health. Even though she has been quite poorly for some time now, Baroness Thatcher is now 86 and her illness is far removed from her political career, which ended roughly 20 years  ago. Hopefully, those who will go to see this film will be far more interested in the portrayal of Baroness Thatcher’s rise to fame and glory, and her political achievements, than the aging process and dementia.

What’s more, it really and truly pains me when people jump on any bandwagon for their own selfish interests, and are totally oblivious to the hurt they cause others in the process. In a recent interview with “The Guardian” newspaper, former Tory cabinet minister, Jonathan Aitken, said of the film that he was “uncomfortable and a bit upset about the vehicle of the dementia-ridden lady who flips in and out.” But then in true hypocritical fashion he reveals that Baroness Thatcher exhibited signs of dementia when she attended a dinner party at his home a year ago:  “She suddenly started to talk about Keith Joseph [the politician credited with inventing Thatcherism], then later about the preparations for her wedding.”

Aitken also recounted a fellow former Cabinet member at his dinner party asking a question about David Cameron, but Baroness Thatcher obviously didn’t get who David Cameron was…”

Now some may excuse Aitken’s telling tales out of school as nothing but a sly strategy to whip up enthusiasm and publicity for his own biography of Baroness Thatcher, but I think his indiscretion smacks of a betrayal of sorts. How would he feel if, in 15 years time (age 84),  he wet himself at a dinner party, due to a medical condition, and his host went public with that information?  For heaven’s sake, the Iron Lady is now 86 years old!  How many of us will make it to 86, much less, gracefully?

Jonathan Aitken surely owes Baroness Thatcher a profound apology for his indiscretion. And when his book is eventually published, Aitken should be compelled to make a significant donation from the proceeds to a charity that promotes research into conditions of the brain including dementia.

The video clip posted below shows Baroness Thatcher in full bloom at her last prime ministers questions in the House of Commons. Oh what good memories of the way she really was.

Advertisements

Obama Sure Has A Sexy Singing Voice

We always knew that he was ultra suave, but Barack Obama definitely added to his sex appeal a few days ago at a New York fundraising event, where  he sang a few bars of Al Green’s mega hit Let’s Stay Together.  Based on that beautiful crooner’s voice alone, I think he merits a second term in office.

This is the video……

Nigeria: A Boko Haram Republic Or A Future U.S. Military Base?

The national anthem of Nigeria hails the country as “one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity.” But when one reflects upon Nigeria’s somewhat chequered past, it is quite clear that even when the anthem was adopted in 1978, freedom, peace and unity was more a thing of hope than reality.

Nigerians are a resilient people. And despite wholesale embezzlement of public funds, pseudo democracy and long-standing austerity measures, the average Nigerian has managed to survive — albeit by careful scrapping.  But terrorism is a totally different kettle of fish. Since 2010, the terrorist group Boko Haram has sustained a steady campaign of bombings in northern Nigeria. And with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration having very little grip on internal security, the urban guerrillas now have the country on lock-down.

With the Nigerian administration being evidently clueless on how to effectively contain Boko Haram, one wonders what then is the African Union (AU) doing about the volatile situation? Well, if Africa cannot sort out her own problems, there’s always “global rent-a-cop” ready to charge to the rescue.

The U.S. clearly has a vested interest in Nigeria. Most of us know that already know that the U.S. always closely follows the crude oil trail, just as files follow animal feces and garbage. According to Professor Paul Lubeck of University of California, Nigeria “is a major source of petroleum and natural gas for international markets, especially for the U.S., because it’s outside the Persian Gulf, it’s close to American refining, and it’s of a particular quality of oil that many gallons of gasoline could be developed from every barrel of oil.”

It is therefore little wonder that the U.S. is closely watching the situation in Nigeria. The White House spokesman, Jay Carney, released a statement on Boxing Day saying that the Obama administration contacted the Nigerian government over the Boko Haram Christmas Day church bombings, offering to help bring those responsible to book.

Strangely enough, I am always somewhat wary of U.S. involvement in global political situations.  There is just too much spin, deceit, manipulation, misinformation and self-aggrandisement for my liking.  Consequently, it’s quite understandable that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is pussyfooting over whether to accept U.S. help or not.  But of course, this doesn’t diminish the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan and the AU ought to step up to the plate ASAP and demonstrate true and effective leadership at such a critical time.

Nigeria the Boko Haram Republic is just as bad as Nigeria the U.S. military base.  Neither is a viable option worth exploring.  And as these are clearly testing times in the already chequered history of the sleeping giant of Africa, there is no better time for Nigerians to resoundingly invoke the part of the national anthem that says:  “O God of creation, direct our noble cause. Guide our leaders right, help our youth the truth to know……….”