AFPAK and more

Elections and fiddles various

A fiddle A fiddle
It seems that Afghanistan will have to vote again as the first result was 'wrong'. This happens in the EU too. For example the voters in France, Holland, Denmark and Ireland have all had to do it again. The reasons are very different I hear you say, well if you insist. However, do remember that no EU country that first voted yes has been asked to vote again. Is this a fiddle funny or what? Election fiddles take many forms, Hamid Karzai has been caught out on the classic election fiddle but there are far better ways of working than this old style. He should take a leaf out of the Nulabour book on how to do things and introduce postal voting. The Nulabour run North Birmingham postal vote scam shows the way.

Experts in corruption at work in Afghanistan.

Help for a corrupt country?

better than a burka?better than a burka?

Der Spiegel has an interesting article on the German bombing of the two tankers and the aftermath. In the article there is this amazing statement:

The Italians were responsible for judicial reform. Credible prosecutors and courts are a rarity. The formula for justice in Afghanistan is simple: Anyone who can afford it can act with complete impunity. Drug barons, mafia kingpins, landlords and business people can all buy court rulings.

You don't say, whereas in Italy drug barons, mafia kingpins, landlords and business people never subvert the impartial administration of the law.

Dodgy helicopters?

Not an uplifting tale to tell

Mi26 Mi26

Spin, in the political context, is a big part of the way thing are done in the UK. Almost a month ago we wrote Spin is back . In this post we pointed out that Nulabour's helpmate-cum-spinner, Damian McBride, had his thoughts dutifully printed in the Guardian, Daily Mail, Spectator and on the BBC website, maybe other places too.

News management is one thing but a news blackout, how do they do that? Over on EU Referendum Dr Richard North has a disturbing tale to tell, see HERE.

Twitter arithmetic

The significance of numbers

Frankie Howerd Frankie Howerd

As predicted the death toll of UK soldiers in Afghanistan has exceeded 200 in 8 years. This totemic figure will ensure that the media spotlight will shine brightly, for a while, on a number of issues given a trial run recently - equipment shortages is an obvious one. But let's wait and see for it's unlikely that anything related to strategy will be part of a wider public debate.

Tragic as the 200 deaths are they have to be seen alongside the 30,000 over 5 years in NHS hospitals from superbugs, reported in the Telegraph. Over the same period as the war in Afghanistan this would be 48,000 deaths. What a strange world it is, the deaths of soldiers only jars the national conscience when the figure has a certain resonance, yet deaths from superbugs appear to be running at over 100 per week. But the only hint of a debate, which soon turns into a bipolar rant, is when MEP Daniel Hannan makes his opinions of the concept of 'Big State' as related to health provision known on a US TV news programme.

Death toll 171 (update: 222)

Afghanistan casualties


Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe and Trooper Joshua Hammond were blown up in a Viking vehicle. This brings the numbers killed in Afghanistan to 171. Six more soldiers were seriously wounded in the same incident, adding to the hundreds wounded in action.

Inadequate equipment including vehicles such as the Viking and 'Snatch' Land Rovers are partly responsible for killing and maiming our troops. Richard North writes that 35 percent of our dead in Afghanistan have occurred in poorly-protected vehicles. When such issues are discussed in Parliament the chambers are largely bare. These are not 'important' topics whereas a subject such as fox hunting is discussed for hundreds of hours of parliamentary time to packed chambers.

The country wants to leave Afghanistan. Our politicians can't even be bothered to discuss the war properly and the procurement system is a shambles. So it really is time to leave before more lives are lost or damaged.

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