Despot Challenge: World Tour Latest

Arab Spring

Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria …will Londonistan be next?

Expectant crowds gather on Edgware Road
Iranian warships wait to enter the Regents Canal

Article originally published in GTG April 2011

London Tues Apr 25th:
As revolutionary fervor sweeps the world it seems no totalitarian regime is safe

The Twitsphere is rife with speculation that the next hot spot will be on the Edgware road London. Despite a council imposed news blackout, the outside world is being kept up-to-date by a flurry of postings on Facebook, Twitter, and Camping & Caravan websites. Latest postings report that a crowd of at least 15 protesters has congregated outside Poundstretcher declaring a free-state of Londonistan and demanding that Westminster Council relinquishes it’s ‘colonial’ rule of W2

Yellow lines drawn in the asphalt
But Westminster council is defiant, proclaiming it will not give up without a fight and will continue it’s ‘glorious’ struggle to the last parking meter left standing

Support for the old regime is however ebbing away. Reports suggest that an elite brigade of traffic wardens has already defected and in a display of solidarity has joined the crowds, still wearing their parking attendant uniforms in brazen defiance of their former masters

In a desperate attempt to cling to power the council has resorted to recruiting sub-contract wardens from the neighbouring boroughs of North Kensington and Camden. Feeling no affinity with the local population, these mercenaries are using brutal and inhuman method, even clamping wheel chairs and milk floats

Pleading for an end to the suffering, the residents have demanded NATO intervene on their side, but the RAF has rejected the appeal explaining that it’s two remaining operational jets are busy on a UN mission supporting Al-Qaeda in Libya

Celebrations as N.Africa discovers democracy…well nearly

The world’s chattering classes are enveloped in in a feeling of collective euphoria as country after country sweeps away authoritarian regimes and promise to bring freedom and democracy to their trouser wearing populations

One by one, dodgy despots have either been forced to quit or been swept away by their former subjugates who can now look forward to living in modern, prosperous and free democracies

That is, just as soon as the ‘interim’ military juntas decide to hold elections

Colonel Gaddafi offered political asylum in Scotland

Holyrood, Tues Apr 26th:
A ray of hope for the embattled Libyan leader. In his darkest hour his old ally, the Scottish Government has come to his rescue with an offer of asylum and a lifetime’s supply of shortbread

Scottish officials insist that they have made the offer purely on compassionate grounds: Gaddafi’s doctors say that he is suffering from a crushing deflation of his ego and may only have months to live

Libya rescue farce – Government apologizes

The government has apologized to UK taxpayers for botching February’s rescue mission in Libya.

In its rush to be seen to be doing the right thing, the government forgot to check if those it was rescuing were UK taxpayers, or even if they were British

Out of the 500 people ‘rescued’ it turns out only a handful were UK taxpayers, consisting of a small group of plane spotters from Reading, a TV journalist who didn’t actually want to be rescued and a Grey Town man who had run away to join the Foreign Legion but was feeling homesick

The balance consisted of 250 relatives and associates of Colonel Gaddafi, 90 Zimbabwean mercenaries seeking asylum, 75 non-British EU citizens, 50 ex-pats from oil related industries, 30 arms salesmen from the Ukraine, and an East London mini-cab driver who had lost his way driving home from Trafalgar Square on New Year’s Eve 2009

Cash Machine
The RAF crew became suspicious about the authenticity of the ‘refugees’ after a couple of hundred of them asked if the crew wouldn’t mind making a quick stop-over in Zurich so that they could visit a cash machine

On arrival in the UK the non-EU refugees were offered counseling, £500 emergency spending money, keys to their new homes and an official Home Office contact list of recommended Human Rights and Immigration lawyers, while the British refugees were given a cup of tea and directed to the bus station. The RAF crew were given redundancy notices*

Nevertheless the Foreign Office has hailed the mission as a success overall. Echoing Churchill’s words of tribute to the Battle of Britain pilots, the minister was moved to say ‘ Never have so few owed so much to so many’

* update: the RAF crew have subsequently been reinstated, but only for as long as it takes NATO to install a new regime in Libya, meaning their jobs should be secure for the next 10 years or so…