Sunday, 8 April 2012


In a world where the greed, self-interest and all-too-often just sheer, plain stupidity of ‘free-market’ capitalism has finally brought us to the brink of the global tipping point into the Abyss this week has reminded us of one battle that really IS crucial in helping shape a better world for the future.

The local matter of whether Establishment newspapers and multimillionaires should be able to collude to spread lies about those who dare challenge them? No. Don’t be stupid – far more important than that. I’m talking, of course, about that legendary champion of democracy, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his on-going battle against cancer.

This week saw him flying to Brazil for further treatment which will hopefully see him fit enough to contest the forthcoming election on October 7th 2012. For the sake of Venezuela’s poor and ‘ordinary’ people that he should be able to do so is absolutely essential. Being able to also continue the example he has offered to so many others internationally in empowering them to also throw off the manacles of the corrupt ‘Washington Consensus’ is no less so.

Having first been elected back in 1999 that Chavez is a brave man is beyond question – a fact acknowledged even by the likes of the infamous former George W. Bush regime in America that was quite happy, let us not forget, to covertly support and initially excuse the attempt to have him abducted and murdered back in April 2002. Not that such behaviour is anything new for the US ‘champions of democracy’ of course. In fact it is standard practice.

Chavez for those who do not know any different than the propaganda spread by right-wing newspapers has won countless political battles and elections, and, just as importantly, has done so again-and-again wholly legitimately under the watchful gaze of international election monitors. He has proven not only that a better way is worth fighting for – but that it can begin to be achieved if only you can keep going and have long enough to deliver.

It is also I suggest a truth equally as relevant to us here in affluent Jersey as it is on the other side of the world in the slums and barrios. Put it this way. The bottom line is that whatever his undoubted faults the principle of what Hugo Chavez and his supporters are striving to do in reclaiming their oil rich country from the corrupt and parasitic ‘elite’ minority that have bled it dry and exploited it for their own ends for generations is a torch of hope for all committed to equality and justice in the 21st Century.

We must only hope Hugo Chavez is given enough time to complete the transformation by winning what is likely to be his greatest battle in trying to reclaim his health. Should he do so another election victory ought to prove a doddle. I can only wish him all the very best.

Jersey does not exist in a vacuum – no matter how much our ruling ‘elite’ would wish it so…

Anyone who doubts the relevance of the Venezuelan situation locally really should try and get hold of a copy of the award-winning documentary ‘The Revolution Will Not be Televised’ that I blogged about only a couple of posts ago; the John Pilger film ‘War on democracy’ likewise.

Forget the ‘oil’ aspect of the economy there – it is the moral that all who think they have the right to ‘more’ and/or to hold power just because they are already rich needing to be confronted that is important. Such a world view belongs to the dark ages - period.

After all, who could forget the sick and twisted hypocrisy of the super wealthy Venezuelan ‘elite’ rattling their jewellery and chanting ‘Democracy! Democracy!’ whilst tearing up the Venezuelan constitution and bundling off the elected president to be murdered; while the massed ranks of the ‘peasants’ who had wanted nothing more than to be treated equally were locked out in the streets?

Indeed, it is amazing how terrified of equality and of being held to account for their actions such people are whatever their country of origin; how desperately they will seek to hang on to or regain power.

Chavez’s example is, indeed, an inspiration. But what we in Jersey really do have so very much to learn from our far worse off contemporaries both in Latin America and even in so much of Europe is simply about standing up together and saying that ‘enough really is enough!’ and showing that we really mean it. Should we begin to do so in numbers then truth and justice really WILL win out in the end.

Yes, the recent elections as I have commented before were a significant disappointment; the hijacking of the independent Electoral Commission and continued attempts to fatally sabotage the Committee of Enquiry into the ‘Historic’ Abuse scandal even more so.

But in the words of that other great democrat Mahatma Ghandi: ‘First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win’ By my reckoning – tough as things seem right now - we’re actually already three quarters of the way there!

So Keep the Faith & Keep putting the truth out there for the entire outside world to see. It is what vested interest-driven, ruling ‘elites; everywhere hate and fear more than anything because it takes away their ability to control. That and anti-establishment politicians who just keep coming back...