"Detention" of PInochet

Philip L Ferguson PLF13 at SPAMstudent.canterbury.ac.nz
Sat Dec 18 18:39:57 MST 1999

Dave Bruce's post on the view of people in Britain to Pinochet's
'detention' and his outline of the conditions of the detention, make the
whole affair seem even less anything for the left to get excited about.

It seems ilke a massive diversion, and waste of time (eg Dave's comment
thatt he extradition proceedings are likely to ooutlast Pinochet, who has a
nice life in 'detention') except that it still serves to legitimise the
idea that the authorities in the imperialist world will decide who is a
criminal in the Third World.

As for the views of ordinary people in Britain, I have no doubt they feel
his incarceration is just and they do this from a standpoint of
sympathising with his victims.  But that's not good enough.  Their view
takes place in the context of British imperialism and the British
chauvinist view that everyone in the Third World is less civilised anyway.
The views of ordinary people in britain on these matters wil be more
convincing when ordinary British people do something about their own war
criminals - from Bomber Harris and Winston Churchill through to Thatcher
(sinking the Belgrano etc) and Tory and Labour governments in relation to

I did like Dave's comments about Jack Straw and the Blair regime.  It
confirms my view of what we are in for in this country (New Zealand) with
the new Labour-led government.  Phil Goff, the new minister for police (and
foreign affairs; interesting combination) also

>has an almost pathological obsession with "law-and-order". (Dave on Straw).

Dave also wrote:
>On many social issues, the Major and Blair
>administrations were/are *far* more reactionary than the Thatcher regime.

Yes, indeed.  And I think a lot of the gullible Labour-voting left in NZ
are in for the shock of their lives in the next few years when we get a
taste of this kind of policy from Helen Clark and her cronies.

Dave then states:
>This is the ground to the Pinochet affair in the UK.

Which should make it even more clear, the Pinochet detention is nothing for
the left to get enthused by.

Philip Ferguson

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