A bill that would make the death sentence mandatory for gay “repeat offenders” has been reintroduced in the Ugandan parliament, a move likely to draw fresh condemnation from western aid donors.
Well, yes. The death penalty for a victimless crime is utterly obscene and quite frankly such a government does not deserve aid. And no, we shouldn’t be building bridges in the ’stan either. We should have gone in hard and fast, snagged the baddies and burnt the bodies and then fucked off and let them wallow in their own crapulence. We should not be taking tea with twinkly tribal elders with beards you could lose a medium-sized mammal in who don’t want anything to ever change. I saw on the tellybox a couple of years ago a junior US Army officer (a Lt or Captain of engineers) eating his own teeth in frustration after a meeting with such. Yes they did want the primary school rebuilt, but only for boys and only to teach what they “needed to know” - the recitation of the Qu’ran. The US Army officer also noted (after the meeting - he was offering work for young fellas from the village) there weren’t many young fellas about. Guess what they were up to? Yes, they’d gone a Talibanning! He looked about an inch away from calling in an air-strike on general principles. “This is PBR Streetgang…”
Much like a similar twinkly elder with a similar beard in Pakistan who said in a twinkly manner following the influx of foreign aid-workers rebuilding his local primary school after a terrible earthquake, “Just the Qu’ran and just for boys or we’ll kill them and burn the school down.” You know I felt extremely sorry for the poor folks in Pakistan following that terrible natural disaster but after I heard that old git I began thinking awful things like, “Well if that’s their view then fuck ‘em”. This elderly chap specifically noted that not even the lads needed to know mathematics or science - just the Qu’ran. Which is why his village (what was left of it) looked like a goat-fucker’s paradise with a level of infrastructure that my iron age forebears would have been embarrassed about. I mean there was fuck all there and they didn’t want anything else. So bugger them, frankly.
At this point I need to make another comment. This is deeply ironic. The UK military is (due to defence cuts) cutting the number of Gurkhas. We are doing this whilst overseas aid (including Nepal) is ring-fenced so our overall spend on Nepal is the same but we have fewer of those ineffably hard bastards dis-ordering Mrs Kirchner’s pantyhose. Moreover guess what the single most effective means of overseas aid is? It isn’t government and it isn’t charities. It is very simple and if you have lived in a major British city over the last 20 years you shall know it. It is folks coming over here, getting a job and wiring money to their rellies. It is effective because after Western Union (or whatever) take their modest cut it’s all gravy and it’s wonderfully targeted. The same applies of course with the Gurkhas. Time to get out Ms Lumley again! I mean if we give money to Uganda they’ll only spend it on rope to hang queers and the rest they’ll waste. Children will die of diseases that just don’t happen here but some high-roller will get a swimming pool and a third car with a three-pointed star on the hood. You doubt me? I have a phrase to counter that, “gap year”. Very popular with the upper middle-classes here in a sort of white-man’s burden way (and yes it’s just as fucking patronising) because it elicits the same responses, “But how could you cope with seeing the poverty…” Seeing poverty is easy. Being poverty isn’t. Did you know Addis Ababa is a par-tay town due to the number of posh kids doing something for their CV? Does fuck all for the lokes. And if the posh kids are environmentalists who object to electricity on principle via their iPads then they are making matters worse. The great famine in the ’80s was largely due to deforestation for cooking and heating. I mean when you, dear reader, want a pie do you have to chop a tree down? No, thought not.
I was oddly enough conceived in Zambia (not a million miles from Uganda). My parents were teaching for the FCO. They lived in Luanshya in the copper-belt. It wasn’t a bad town but that was entirely due to the mine that built schools (do you want the illiterate shot-firing?) and hospitals and even ran a small farm which was the only source of fresh fruit and vegetables other than imports from Rhodesia. Nowadays Zambia exports fruit and veg to Zimbabwe - so complete is the devastation Comrade Bob has wrought. I guess invoicing is an issue - the average Zambian wholesaler has to leave space for an unspecified number of additional zeroes. Uganda was a hell-hole then due to Idi Amin (King of Scotland). My parents went there (wonderful game parks and such) but the cost of admission was a case of Marlboro and a bottle of Scotch and a number of USD to the “Border Guard Benevolent Fund”. My parents also had another aim in mind. The Zambians (who had a space program - they did) employed a whole load of teachers from all over. Many were Indian and had relatives in Uganda so my parents took in the lions and leopards and also ran valuables out of Field Marshall Amin’s wonderland. Now I’m not saying my parents were secret squirrels as such because it is easy to secrete gold and diamonds around a Ford Cortina 1600E if the border guards are (a) already pissed (b) ripped to their tits on cannabis and (c) you have 200 ciggies Americano and a bottle of Johhnie Walker for ‘em. Of course if you actually had cannabis on you you were for the high-jump despite the fact your arresting officer almost certainly had a spliff on the go at the time. Attempting to cross that border without your “passport” of booze (and it had to be pukka Scotch) and ciggies (Camels or B&H would do at a push) would lead to the fella having jump leads from a filched car-battery applied to the scrotum and “his” (for that is how they thought*) wife being “enjoyed” repeatedly.
But that was then… How much has changed? Well, Zambia is doing better (due largely to the hike in Copper prices because the likes of me keep buying electrical thingies, Zimbabwe has starving billionaires and in the “Rainbow Nation” of the RSA they are raping lesbians to “cure” them. Well, at least they aren’t eating each other anymore. Yes, my Dad does have a clipping from the Times of Zambia about an outbreak of cannibalism in a remote province. Guess what the headline was? If you thought, “Gobblers Strike Again!” you’d be right. Apparently this was an isolated outbreak of that sort of Tom and Jerryism which had spread from Congo where it was (probably still is) rife. Forty years ago the Congo was the Heart of Darkness. Still is and indeed was when the Belgians were behaving like epic cunts there. The Belgian Empire - for fuck’s sake! Anyway my Dad had a pal who’d been into Congo and got out by the skin of his teeth. He’d seen a market-place there where slaughtered nuns were on sale. On hooks.
I guess what I’m saying is that governmental foreign aid doesn’t work. Foreign people coming over here and wiring money home does work. Because if they just got a text from their uncle back in the old country and he needs to rebuild the hen coop or fix-up his scooter or whatever then that is what the money shall be spent on. It will not be spent on greasing already greasy palms or on grand-a-night hookers or half-arsed attempts to sell India Typhoon jets - God knows what The Sarcophagus did to clinch that. But don’t believe me. Believe a lad I temped with about ten years ago. Tunde was from Nigeria. This is almost an exact quote, “I love Nigeria - my friends and family are there and I love the music and the food but I want a proper job (he was doing an MSc in Computer Science at Sunderland University) and I can get that here - back in Nigeria nothing can be done without bribes, nothing”. I can imagine how wearing that was to a decent, productive soul like Tunde.
I should perhaps leave the final word to Tunde but I can’t help but add this gem…
This is a Communist-era Georgian (Think Tblisi, not Atlanta) curse…
“May you have to live on your salary”.
*That is not a reflection of the general populace. Just the sort of cunts who think, “Border guard - that’s the job for me!”. It’s pretty universal. The difference is whilst the US’s TSA are arseholes of the first water they are still under the rule of law and the Constitution and such whereas this mob was under the diktat of Idi Amin. Big difference.