Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Brown Praises Chinese Premier's "Commitment to Local Democracy"

Rachel Sylvester has an excellent article in the Telegraph today contrasting the differences in approach to foreign policy of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. In essence, she labels Blair a crusader and Brown a plodding pragmatist. Towards the end of the piece she comes out with this corker...

While Blair championed a Gladstonian moralistic approach, Mr Brown prefers the more cautious Palmerstonian attitude. When he returned from China recently, he commented on how impressed he had been by President Hu Jintao's commitment to local democracy.
Tell that to the Dalai Lama and the people of Tibet!!! What an astonishing thing for Brown to say. And wasn't Palmerston the architect of 'gunboat diplomacy'? I'd hardly describe that as cautious.


Anonymous said...

Clearly reference to local democracy is not the same as reference to foreign policy.

China does practise local democracy. It's suppression of dissidents within its own border is fierce, but comes from central government, not local officials.

I much prefer a pragmatist to a crusader. A pragmatist would have ensured the post-war co-operation of Syria and Iran in advance of invading Iraq.

Anonymous said...

Iain - China does practice local democracy, but largely because to do so helps to shore up the wider regime. Read Mark Leonard's excellent What Does China Think? for more. See http://www.amazon.co.uk/What-Does-China-Think-Leonard/dp/0007230680/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1205840358&sr=8-1

scotch said...

Hi Iain, O.T. but only because you wouldn't answer on T.
Please tell me "exactly [your] experience" of being stalked.
It's pretty important that when you make these claims you're able to back them up. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find Brown is looking at the Chinese Communist Party as a model for the UK

Anonymous said...

May I commend to the assembled company's attention the splendid Ann Treneman's parliamentary sketch in today's Daily Murdoch:


What an hilarious skewering of our wholly inadequate and unconsciously hilarious prime minister. He really is a joke too funny to be laughed at.

Anonymous said...

This does a considerable diservice to Gladstone. He meant it, Blair used human rights as an excuse to drop bombs.

This whole "moral" condemnation of China's role in Tibet is sickening in a nation whose role in Krajina, Republika Srpska & Kosovo has not only shown a contempt for the concept of people being able to choose independence but has involved our assistance in genocide of these people. Whatever one says of the Chines they cannot be accused of being remotely that vicious.

Anonymous said...

I recently re-read Ziegler's biography of Melbourne, in which Palmerston plays a major part.

Applying the adjective 'cautious'to the latter seems a tad misjudged.

Not a sheep said...

China's version of democracy is one that Gordon Brown envies. No troublesome opposition party to delay his brilliant policies and a tame parliament to rubber stamp his decisions.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's a disgrace that western leaders generally appear to be queuing up to lick Chinese dictator-ass. The motive appears to be business - compare for example with the ongoing comments of Digby Jones, former Tory, captain of industry and now NL spokesperson. who apparently thinks that Britain should be just like China, labour laws and all. The total lack of human rights and any kind of accountability of the "government" (self-appointed oligarchs) in China apparently appeals strongly to our own leaders!

Good one though Nick Clegg for being the one British politician to speak out openly against them.

Going to the olympics is an absolute disgrace and the British team should be prevented from entering.

Andy said...

I would just like to defend Gladstone's reputation from this simplistic comparison. Blair and Gladstone had completely dissimilar attitudes to military intervention. To call Blair's foreign policy "moral" in the way that Gladstone aspired to be is silly. Gladstone fought the Midlothian Campaign on withdrawal from Afghanistan. To say that a man who once said Remember the rights of the savage, as we call him. Remember that the happiness of his humble home, remember that the sanctity of life in the hill villages of Afghanistan, among the winter snows, is as inviolable in the eye of Almighty God, as can be your own. is like Blair because they both professed to morality is bonkers.

On the wider issue of Brown's foreign policy "pragmatism", I think that essentially translates to disinterest. He is happy to let the foreign office, which is pragmatic by default, just plod on, under the seemingly weak leadership of David Milliband. Whilst a military crusader is a bad thing, pragmatism is not the only other option on the table. Brown could be much more muscular diplomatically. He has not been, and that is a shame.

Anonymous said...

What a cock-up

Anonymous said...

Blogger scotch said...

Hi Iain, O.T. but only because you wouldn't answer on T.
Please tell me "exactly [your] experience" of being stalked.
It's pretty important that when you make these claims you're able to back them up. Cheers.

Tobey-Morey-Showlait solicitors

My client has been advised NEVER to respond to stalkers. See the post on this topic.
Therefore my client will not be answering any questions from stalkers.
As your repeat posting on this issue shows my client has been given good advice.

Your sincerely,
Mr O R Noco.

Helen said...

"Whatever one says of the Chines they cannot be accused of being remotely that vicious."

You reckon? I think even Xinhuanet, the official Chinese news agency might disagree with that. It never ceases to amaze me how utterly self-obsessed people are. Of course, anything our government does is more important - though I think you may find there were people in Bosnia and Kosovo who quite agreed with it and their self-determination is as important as that of the local Serbs - but to have no idea at all about what goes on anywhere else is quite staggering.

Oh and while people are talking about "local democracy" in China, they might like to define democracy. Local party bosses are very powerful and Beijing often can do nothing about them. That is hardly democracy. And yes, the local bosses put down opposition quite severely as well.

Old BE said...

Not much to crow about re local democracy here either. Most council decisions are forced upon them either overtly or by the way the funding formula is tweaked every year.

Anonymous said...

Scotch - Please tell me "exactly [your] experience" of being stalked.

Why the morbid fascination? Looking for tips?

It's pretty important that when you make these claims you're able to back them up.

Iain doesn't owe you anything, you excitable twerp.

Anonymous said...

as astonashing as Margaret Thatcher's referal to Nelson Mandela being a terrorist, and using it as a justification to maintain trade with apartheid south africa?

Anonymous said...

Brown is trying to push himself as an international figurehead, but Blair will always make him look like an amateur.

Newmania said...

I didn`t know Palmerston was cautious didn`t he order an attack on Greece because someone knocked over a British fish and chip shop or something. The Don Corleone incident ..(or something )

I rather approve of pragmatic foreign Policy and I would like someone to answer the following question about the whole thing.


WHAT is the point of us financing a bloody great army and backing the US to deliver world peace when France Germany and Italy pay nothing enjoying a super standard of living dividend ?
If it is because we have global commitments which mean our perspective must be wider then what on earth are we doing in the EU and usually being ordered around by these non players

Surely our foreign Policy objectives are not joined up. When politicians want to play at 19 century Diplomacy we are a world power.When they want less democracy and more executive power we are a small EU island dependent on the good graces of the continent

Has anyone worked out what exactly anyone who is not a politician gets from the whole game of soldiers.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading an eye witness account in The Guardian by James Cameron describing the exodus from Tibet of the Dalai Lama. He and his retinue departed from the unimaginable luxury of their palace carrying, gold, silver, jewels, silks, tapestries, embroideries, paintings in a display of opulence and decadence that contrasted savagely with the poverty, degradation and near starvation of the Tibetan peasants whose religious obligations required them to work ceaselessly to keep the Dalai Lama in the luxury he required.
I've never understood the way in which otherwise sane men and women chamnpion the Dalai Lama in his attempts reinstal himself as the lord of a nation of slaves.

strapworld said...

Iain, I cannot believe you missed the editorial in the DT! It, almost, agrees with your excellent article last week.

The Conservative Front Bench Need fighters!!!

It states:::____

At a time of almost unprecedented economic uncertainty, the electorate expects to turn to the country's political class for some indication of clear coherent leadership. When global instability coincides with a widespread loss of confidence in the government of the day, opposition parties have a responsibility to offer genuine alternatives to what voters believe to be inadequate or wrong-headed policies.

To fail to rise to that challenge is not simply to commit a self-defeating mistake: it is to devalue the democratic process, which must offer voters a real choice if it is to be meaningful. The Conservatives appear to have decided, for what they quite shamelessly describe as short-term electoral advantage, not to present any consistent systematic rebuttal of the tax-and-spend economic philosophy espoused by the Labour Government.
Let it be said here that we defer to no one in our wish for a change in government, and for a robust, successful Conservative Party to take the reins of power. But, obsessed as it is with short-term electoral tactics, we do not see in the current Parliamentary Party anything of the leadership that this nation needs in a time of crisis.

We would like to be wrong and fervently hope we are – but we are unable to divine from the Conservative's response (or lack of it) to the current economic crisis anything which would hold out the hope of a change in administration leading to a better, more certain future.

That is not to say that the current administration is any better – far from it. But the electorate deserves a more than a choice between the lesser of two evils, and the Conservatives have no right to expect our votes simply because they are less worse than the alternative.

In that context – as a "candid friend", if you like – we want to see in Mr Cameron and his shadow team, a powerful, effective leadership that can inspire confidence and lead the nation through what are undoubtedly going to be dark times.

We are, unfortunately, still waiting.

WHO, Iain, Can disagree with this Sound Advice!!

Anonymous said...

If you don't know anything about China, Iain, don't post about it.

Anonymous said...

So what are you saying Iain?

Can we expect a Cameron government to tell the Chinese, 'Get out of Tibet or else!'

After all it was a Conervative Government that handed back Hong Kong without a whimper.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 3.17

Come now. It was a Conservative government which handed Hong Kong back to the 'freeholder' Chinese government at the end of its lease, as agreed by treaty at the end of a discreditable war of which the British government of the time should have been ashamed. Peripheral parts of the territory were also handed over at the same time, since they would have been wholly unviable in isolation without the major portion.

Had the British government failed to observe the terms of the lease, one of two things would have happened. Either:-
[1] the Chinese government would have gone to arbitration, and won to the vilification and humiliation of the British government, or
[2] the Chinese Army would have invaded, essentially unopposed, to the vilification and humiliation of the British government and armed forces.

Paul Linford said...

Palmerston may have been the architect of gunboat diplomacy but he was also the architect of a foreign policy approach which put British interests first, as summed up in the phrase: "We have no eternal allies and no perpetual enemies. Our interests are perpetual and eternal and these we support."

If Brown is seeing the obvious good sense of this in the light of where Blair's "Gladstonian approach" got us, then fair play to him.

Chris Paul said...

Blimey Iain, wake up. The centre are of course happy for the people of Tibet to decide which pavements get resurfaced, and what colour to paint the lamp posts, to control local planning, to manage the village pump.

Accession from China is the polar opposite of "local democracy".

David Lindsay said...

Not content with turning China into the Serbia of the East, bits of which can be cut off willy nilly, the Han (ethnic Chinese in the ordinary sense of that term, and a sizeable ethnic minority in Britain) are being turned into the Jews of the East, with "Tibet experts" and such like popping up all over the place to denounce them as everything short of dirty money-lenders, to accuse them outright of living in someone else's country, and to blame them for the violence against them.

It is one thing to say that there is limited freedom and no democracy in China. But who elected the Tibetan "government in exile"? And who elected the Dalai Lama as a specifically political leader? Even the Pope is elected by somebody. And nobody suggests expanding the Vatican City State to the size or population of Tibet and several adjacent provinces.

Western visitors to Tibet in the Forties and Fifties observed that the Dalai Lama and his courtiers ran the place. Indeed they did, with ninety-five per cent of the population in serfdom, with only one very particular form of religion permitted, and with ruthless suppression of non-Tibetan cultures, exactly as is currently being attempted at the Dalai Lama's instigation if not under his actual direction. That is the story here. Yet the reverse is being reported.

The Dalai Lama and his courtiers did not misgovern Tibet as a sovereign state, as which absolutely nobody has ever recognised it. They misgoverned Tibet because successive Chinese Emperors and Republics let them. By all means let there be freedom throughout the multi-ethnic and indivisible nation of China, including multi-ethnic Tibet. But that is not at all what the Tibetan non-government in non-exile wants.

As an anonymous comment on my blog puts it:

"The Tibetans are a Chinese ethnic minority. There are 55 ethnic minorities in China that make up about 160 million people. Their different cultures are celebrated on TV and protected by law. They have their own political parties, they receive favourable treatment in education and development, and the government even helped them to develop their own written languages using the alphabet.

These are hardly the policies of a government afraid of heterogeneity. The ethnic minorities are flourishing and this is not propaganda - it can be seen with your own eyes if you dare to open them.

So it's no surprise that the Chinese think the Tibetans are better off now than they ever have been. They used to live under a feudal theocracy. They had no education or sanitation and most people couldn't read Tibetan or enjoy the culture because they were the uneducated underclass.

Now, most people receive an education and can read Tibetan but the government still has work to do to get the nomads to send their children to school. Nomads rarely get a good education. School is compulsory in the UK and it should be compulsory in Tibet, too. Nomads can be unruly, too - just look at what they're doing in Sudan.

There's also the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama has done such a fantastic job of marketing himself to the west, he has almost become a westerner. What a kind and benevolent man - wouldn't you like to just give him a hug?"

No, I would not. Would you? If so, then why? Because you are an ageing hippy who thinks that pre-1959 Tibet was Shangri-la? Because you are an old Cold War Trotskyist, like the neocons? Or because you are an old Stalinist like Martin Jacques, still fighting for Soviet rather than Chinese domination of global Communism?

Anonymous said...

The tory leader when to china too and took cash for access. I say both main leaders have failed the moral highground on china. Up with Chinese democracy.

Anonymous said...

There will no doubt be a few articles from the left praising China and condemning the Tibetans in the weeks to come.

Anonymous said...

Desperate Dan - I've read some unadulterated drivel on blogs over the last three or four years, but this is the best yet.

The Dalai Lama didn't live in luxury, and still doesn't. The paintings were thangkas - religious paintings.

Do you think the Potala Palace was warm? There was no glass in the windows, up their on the high Himalayan peaks. As a monk, the Dalai Lama wore a simple robe with no sleeves, and simple sandals in the coldest weather.

I don't know which James Cameron you refer to, but the Dalai Lama left Tibet in the 1950s, he was in his teens, and walked over the snow-covered Himalayas to the safety of India. He didn't have "a retinue". He had three or four devoted monks with him. They carried precious religious icons. The Dalai Lama owns nothing personally.

I have no axe to grind, but your post is religiously illiterate, vicious, deeply uneducated drivel that I was stung to post.

James Cameron was writing in the 1950s?

Anonymous said...

Helen the death toll in Tibet runs at between 10 (Chinese government figure), 80 (Tibetan "government in exile" figure) & 100 ((Dalai Lama's figure). That is under no circumastances comparable to the at least 6,000 murdered under our rule in Kosovo or even the 210 murdered in the single Dragodan mass grave close to the UK headquarters. Had our media coverage ben based on a concern for human rights the coverage over the years of our genocides in Kosovo & Krajina would have ben at least thousands of times greater than the coverage of Tibet whereas, in fact, it has ben almost wholly censored.

Look at Krajina. We assisted our openly genocidal, openly Nazi friends in the ethnic cleansing of 500,000 people & genocide of probably half of them. I do not think you can honestly claim that our leaders have demonstrated, over Krajina & other areas, 1/10,000th as much concern for human rights as the Chinese leaders have demonstrated in Tibet (& that is not to say anything nice about Chinese behaviour).

The fact is that our media are making a big play of Tibet whereas they have spent 18 years deliberately lying & censoring to help unrepentent (ex-)Nazis publicly committed to genocide to carry out their programme.

Of course our victims in Yugoslavia were "Untermensch" whereas the Tibetans are a strange & magical people unsullied by worldly cares, or so we are told.

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay - Sanitation and proper heating would have come to Tibet, as they have come to the whole world. The people weren't being deprived beforein the service of some potentate, because the Dalai Lama lived exactly the same life as they did.

I read Heinrich Harrer's Seven Years in Tibet with absolute fascination. And I read Younghusband's account.

The Dalai Lama was chosen by senior lamas as a baby. He didn't appoint himself. He has the same legitimacy as the Pope. And more than Gordon Brown.

The Tibetans had a unique culture and the Chinese deliberately vandalised it, as Tony Blair deliberatly attempted to vandalise Britain. It couldn't have remained aloof on a peak forever, but it was a strong and ancient culture. Eventually, it would have melded with the modern world without Chinese brutality and trying to breed the uniqueness out of the Tibetan people.

Sometimes your posts are interesting, David Lindsay, but ethnicity is your King Charles's head and you're very chippy with it.

M. Hristov said...

Local democracy has long been an palliative given by autocratic regimes to make the autocracy seem marginally democratic. The Zemstvo in Tsarist Russia being the classic example.

The place to look for the future leaders of China is not in the local democratic organisations but in the Chinese Communist Youth League.

We are entering a very difficult time. There is a noticeable weakening of the U.S.A. and a notable rise of China. We can’t just bomb or invade them China. They are too powerful.

Blair’s foreign policy was based a schoolboy comic idea of good and evil. Once he decided a nation were bad they were beyond redemption and fit only for endless bombing and‘or invasion. Conversely, if he decided they were good the they got endless encouragement and a visit from Mr Tony himself. Serbs - bad. Kossovo Albanians - good. Mr Tony kept quiet when those good Kossovar Albanians invaded Macedonia and had to be resisted by NATO, because of a fear that Greece and Bulgaria would be drawn into a new Balkan war.

Gladstone was more subtle but in some ways similar. Weak opponents were attacked, such as the tottering Ottoman Empire and used for political propaganda. It was noticeable the Russians did all of the actual fighting for the liberation of Bulgaria, a cause that Gladstone had previously championed. The Conservative’s foreign policy was portrayed as immoral and Gladstone’s foreign policy held up as beyond reproach. He got into serious difficulties when he failed to organise the relief of General Gordon, who was besieged in Khartoum. This tarnished his claim to the moral high ground, although not as mush as Iraq tarnished Blair’s identical claim.

Palmerston was not cautious. Indeed, he was the originator of ‘gunboat diplomacy”. The most notable example of this being the “Don Pacifico” affair. Palmertson ordered the Royal Navy to he blockade Athens, in order to demand compensation for an obscure Portuguese Gibraltan Jewish man, Don Pacifico, who happened to be a British subject. Don Pacifico’s wife and child having been attacked by a Greek mob.

The more serious “Trent Affair” was an international diplomatic incident that occurred during the American Civil War . In November1861 the USS San Jacinto intercepted the British mail ship Trent and removed two Confederate diplomats. The envoys were bound for Great Britain and France, in order to press the Confederacy’s case for diplomatic recognition by Europe. Palmerston wanted to send a very sharp dispatch to the U.S. This could well have led to war between Britain and the U.S. and an alliance between Britain and the Confederacy. An extremely ill Prince Albert rewrote the dispatch, to make it far less provocative and it was sent, as amended by Prince Albert. This avoided war.

Palmerston was hardly cautious in his private life. He impregnated a housemaid at the age of 80. The Conservative’s got hold of this information. Disraeli was asked if this fact should be leaked to the press, as an election was coming up. No, he said, the old man would sweep the country if the electors find out about his virility. Eighty being extreme old age in those days.

Imagine the mock horror “The Daily Mail” would project, if such a thing happened nowadays. No politician could survive such exposure, let alone the leader of a party but this was well before the founding of the tabloid press, under Lord Northcliffe and also well before full democracy.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
I don't know which James Cameron you refer to, but the Dalai Lama left Tibet in the 1950s

James Cameron was a very distinguished British journalist (b.1911 d.1985) who made his reputation for his reporting of the Korean war in the early 1950s. He worked for the Daily Express, Picture Post, News Chronicle and Guardian as well as doing a number of documentaries for BBC television.

Anonymous said...

10:58 - Your point? The Dalai Lama lived a spartan life by anyone's standards. On top of the Himalayas, not just with year round snow, but fierce winds and no protection except his monk's robe and his sandals. And that's how he walked all the way to India. The Potala Palace, on top of the Himalayas, has windows, but no glass.

The Chinese - and I am an admirer of the Chinese - regarded him as a threat and decided to destroy him and Tibetan Buddhism. It was a terrible misjudgement. The Western world was deluged in Save Tibet, Liberate Tibet, Free Tibet bumper stickers. My neighbour in my impasse in my town in France had a Tibet Libre bumper sticker on his car.

Anonymous said...

10:58 - nice to know that James Cameron was not just a journalist, but a "very distinguished" journalist.

I can't be bothered to trawl back through the 30 or so "anonymous" postings on this thread to identify the anonymous poster who doesn't agree with me. My points stand on my arguments.

Argue your case. You cannot.

Anonymous said...

10:58 - Well, as long as he worked for The Guardian and the BBC, that's OK, then. Read Heinrich Harrer, who worked for neither and therefore wrote independently.

Also, he spent seven years in Tibet. Not a weekend.

Anonymous said...

Albert M. Bankment said...

"Had the British government failed to observe the terms of the lease, one of two things would have happened..."

Entirely wrong.

The Chinese were expecting to negotiate an extension of the lease. Hong Kong was handed over because the evil and absurd Thatcher regime blundered into the talks and started talking about how to effect a handover.

Anonymous said...

The Chinese are a great people but the Chinese empire must be destroyed. Tibet for the Tibetans and all that - not only is that the right thing but it upsets commie-loving lefty-fascists.
The Chinese should get back behind their wall and stay there.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"Read Heinrich Harrer, who worked for neither and therefore wrote independently."

It is not surprising that you are keen on Heinrich Harrer. He was an enthusiastic Nazi and was a member of the SS. Right up your street.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9.15 you have managed to produce the cartoon version of everything that is wrong with the western concern for "human rights" in Tibet. It is not pro-Tibetan but merely anti-Chinese.

Anonymous said...

Iain, Hu Jintao is not the Chinese premier. Wen Jiaobao is the Chinese premier. Just to be clear ...

Anonymous said...

11:14 Vicious Little Toad ... I know nothing of Heinrich Harrer's politics, but he certainly was sympathetic to the Tibetans.

Neil Craig - 100% wrong. As the old saw goes, why open your mouth and prove what people had only suspected?

Ben - Correct. The Chinese were horribly misguided over Tibet - especially given that they already had 1bn, in those days, people to bring up to speed right there in China. They really didn't need a tiny kingdom up in the Himalayas to get involved with. And still don't. Having lived among the Chinese, I can see that the concept of 'face' can be productive. It often causes people to be very pragmatic and come up with solutions.

But it can lead to tragedy, as in Tibet.

'Seven Years in Tibet', by Heinrich Harrer is a rivetting read, irritating little flea-like anonymous, point-scoring trolls aside.

Little troll: I am so uninterested in your infantile little contributions that I almost fell asleep over my breakfast tea. You should think about marketing your posts as soporifics. "Ten numbing posts a day mailed directly to your mailbox! Sleep within five minutes guaranteed or money back!"

David Lindsay said...

Well, let's pass over Verity's utterly absurd suggestion that the fabulous opulence of the Dalai Lama and his entourage was "spartan" and "just like everybody else" lived in Tibet up to 1959.

Verity is true to the neocon party line, I'll give her that, what with the likes of Cameron and Bernard Kouchner coming out in favour Tibetan secession, the first stage in China's planned dismemberment, which - in western China just as in Bosnia, in Kosovo, in Iraq (in all but name, and dubtless soon in name as well), and soon enough in Kashmir and in Chechnya - will mean Islamic states where none previously existed.

The noecons continue to pursue remorselessly the attainment for themselves of the privileged dhimmitude of Moorish Spain. And to hell with everybody else.

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay said...

"coming out in favour Tibetan secession"

Tibet is an independent country stolen and colonised by the invading imperial hordes of China. If China can have Tibet then Britain should get India back.

Quite amazing how some people can only relate to the world by denying clear truths and propagating nonsensical fictions. It must be some form of mental affiction.

Anonymous said...

Verity said ... 'Seven Years in Tibet', by Heinrich Harrer is a rivetting read ...

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll read it as soon as I've finished 'Mein Kampf'.

David Lindsay said...

"Quite amazing how some people can only relate to the world by denying clear truths and propagating nonsensical fictions. It must be some form of mental affiction."


If Tibet can be independent, then so can Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex and Kent. No wonder that this cause is so popular among the Lib Dems, among whom the English equivalent has had a following, carried over from the old Liberal Party, since their inception.

The sheer scale of the population transfers that would be necessary to partition multiethnic China into a Tibetan homeland and a Han homeland (plus at least 54 others, presumably) are practically impossible to imagine. The whole thing would make the partition of India look like the resolution of a Parish Council boundary dispute.

Even the Dalai Lama is officially opposed to independence. He is also opposed to any boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay - Have you ever seen those places? How would they get gold? Do you think people popped up and down the Himalayas carrying gold? What the hell for? The Indian government had to support the Dalai Lama for the first few years he was in Dharamsala, until Westerers started kicking in.

Yes, Tibet can be independent because it was always independent. And frankly, if Mercia wants to be independent, why say them nay?

"Even the Dalai Lama is officially opposed to independence. He is also opposed to any boycott of the Beijing Olympics."

Oh? is that why he threatened to resign yesterday? Is there any subject on this planet on which you do not sincerely believe you have a better grasp than any other living being? -- and feel an urgent need to share your specialised knowledge with the crowd

The twirling bundle of stupidity known as 3:16 - and that is two digits more than his IQ - I don't know Heinrich Harrer's politics, but that he spent seven years in Tibet tells me he wasn't overly-ambitious to get into the Nazi high command.

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay said...

"The sheer scale of the population transfers that would be necessary to partition multiethnic China into a Tibetan homeland and a Han homeland (plus at least 54 others, presumably) are practically impossible to imagine. The whole thing would make the partition of India look like the resolution of a Parish Council boundary dispute."

So the Tibetans have to be tyrannised into being a slave race for their own good. How very benevolent of the lefty-fascist tyrannical oppressors.