Sunday, 1 May 2011

Saif Gaddafi and the Princess' Hat

So it appears that Saif Al-Arab Gaddafi has been killed by a NATO air strike. Saif was 29 years old and the youngest of Muammar's sons. There are also reports that three of Muammar Gaddafi's grandchildren have also been killed. Saif Al-Arab is not to be mistaken for Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi who has been seen on television numerous times over the past weeks supporting his father's actions.

There is something a little odd since it was reported recently that Saif Al-Arab had defected to the rebels' side. The report appears difficult to confirm and so quite what Saif Al-Arab had to do with events in Libya are uncertain. It would seem ridiculous speculation to suggest that his father ordered his execution for defecting and then orchestrated this explanation to gain sympathy and to blame NATO and the Western World for immoral and ruthless behaviour. It would, however, be a convenient way of killing two birds with one stone. Given the number of other bizarre constructs and explanations given for events in the past this would not be outside the bounds of possibility in terms of ridiculousness but it would be a particularly heinous and ruthless event if it were the case.

So one is left not knowing to what depths Colonel Muammar Gaddafi might sink in his attempts to wreck revenge on Libyan people for daring to rise up against him and to save not only his own skin but his power and wealth as well. Knowing that Mr Gaddafi senior is quite happy to kill innocent children by blowing them up in a Boeing 747 over Lockerby one can't help not worrying too much about his feelings (if he has any) about the death of a son.

Given all the strife in the Middle East and North Africa one expects many people will have a celebratory reaction to this news. It is so tragic that human beings act in such ways that these sorts of things have to happen. It is so sad for each and every individual who has been killed, maimed, injured or otherwise harmed by these conflicts. But above all else I think each and every one of us has the inherent responsibility to act on our own moral perspective as a human. All of Gaddafi's children have the option to disagree with their father's policies. All of them have the possibility of opposing him or walking out. Not easy I'm sure but there perhaps lies the big issue. It is always easier to take the easy route when threatened by authoritarian figures. And I guess it is up to all of us to stand against oppression whenever we can in our everyday lives.

This brings me on to Princess Beatrice's hat. When I saw a picture of poor little Beatrice wearing this monstrosity in the name of fashion the first thing it reminded me of was the courtiers and high society of the early Georgian period. At what age do we become supposedly responsible for our own actions. If this were done to a minor I would call it abuse. It is deliberate ridicule. It is obscene to the point of asserting superiority because one is not allowed to criticise the hierarchy. It is the emperor and his new clothes. Although I applaud art and creativity and in another context would welcome the experimentation and the strange evocative nature of the bizarre, this is unfortunately the hierarchy of British society. Beatrice was attending a Royal Wedding where many ruthless dictators under the guise of "royalty" were invited as part of the hierarchical structure of power mongers the world over. Many of these individuals are in the controversial and diplomatically awkward position of being currently engaged in evident ruthless suppression of millions of people. If I were a member of the Royal Family I would feel it necessary to refuse my invitation because of my moral stance. I don't object to people being frivolous and having fun. I don't object to princes wearing fascist uniforms at fancy dress parties but this kind of fatuous naivety in the face of the relentless killings being evidenced in the Middle East and North Africa at an "official" event which is maintaining the authority of the powers that be is not acceptable human behaviour. It is not a case of your sister or a local family splashing out and having a bit of fun. Unfortunately these people hold significant positions of power and authority. They have a very real effect on other people's lives. In Britain there are too many people without homes and too many children living in poverty and being abused. There are too many criminal bankers and politicians running away with the money which is other people's livings. The hierarchy has a responsibility to narrow the wealth gap not increase it. They have a responsibility to help foster fairness and a humane society or they are not fit to hold their positions. So although if this were a local wedding of a local average couple I would simply think this was a rotten design for a hat in this case I think it is an insult to the majority of the people of Britain and to the billions of desperate people the world over including those suffering in the Middle East.

So we have a questionable story of a colonel's son being killed by an air strike and a questionable hat on a princess. Life is so weird.

1 comment:

  1. I'm far more worried about the hat than some arab