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Boko Haram.

Well Nigeria is a right mess is it not? Now I’m not going to retread all the usual arguments as to the whys and the wherefores and such. I will just point out one thing. When I temped I had a Nigerian colleague. He was a decent enough lad which is why he lived in the NE of England and not Nigeria. He had just become pig-sick of the epic incompetence and corruption. He told me quite a lot about it. It sounded ghastly. Now what has this to do with the kidnap of over 200 kids to be enslaved? Actually quite a lot. I would like to think this wouldn’t happen in Britain and that is because we are not hopelessly corrupt.

The Chinese have a saying (don’t they always) that a fish rots from the head down. Now bad things, sometimes very bad things happen everywhere but to kidnap an entire school is something else and as far as I can tell it indicates something deeply rotten in the body-politic of Nigeria. OK, it is perhaps a leap from a bit of brown envelopes full of notes changing hands under the table to outright slave-raiding but is it really? Now I’m not generally convinced of “slippery slope” arguments but… If a polity has no essential moral core or the rule of law then… maybe such depravity can get going.

Note my colleague and his brother felt the need to move continents to get away from the drip, drip, drip of continual petty criminality, bribery and epic corruption. It sort of erodes your moral. I suspect this is why the Nigerian government has done nothing and why that Boko Haram bloke can look so chipper. He knows the Nigerian government is powerless to prevent his depravities and in a sense that is part of the same spectrum which means you can’t get a phone installed without a back-hander.

15 Comments

  1. John Galt says:

    Lets not be too sanctimonious here Nick. It’s still within living memory in the UK that it took 9-months to get a phone installed unless you gave the local GPO engineer or their union rep a bung.

    Not quite selling children into sexual slavery, but a slippery slope none the less.

  2. Mr Ed says:

    In the 1990s, I was driving a Mexican friend somewhere, and on a deserted road I stopped at a red light. He was puzzled, and asked me why I had stopped ‘Para que tengamos ague potable’ I replied (‘So that we may have drinking water’). He almost screamed in disbelief at my comment, and I explained to to him that the same discipline of following the rule of law, keeping to rules and doing the right thing is part of what keeps our water supplies drinkable. Some infantile disordered types might say that a traffic light is a state imposition and not a contractual matter, but nonetheless if people are prepared and expected to do the right thing, and can be so relied upon, then you have the basis of order, then law and then property and then prosperity.

    None of which seem to abound in Nigeria and many other places, unlike, say, South Korea, flattened by war in the 1950s, now much better for decades of work and reward under a fairly good semblance of law and order.

    I would echo JG’s comment though, the Third World was Mussolini’s term for Italy originally, but now it denotes a country where the State is too strong, and civil society too weak.

  3. Paul Marks says:

    Boko Harem – the future of Europe?

    Sadly it appears to be illegal to even honestly discuss the subject of Islam (especially in the context of a changing Europe).

    The status of institutionalised inferiors seems to something that the non Islamic part of the European (and North American?) population have enforced upon themselves – at least what their “liberal” rulers have enforced upon them.

  4. NickM says:

    Good point Mr Ed. Perhaps even more than the RoK is Singapore.

    JG, yes but up to a point we have climbed that slippery slope.

  5. Roue le Jour says:

    The Boko Haram gentleman perfectly sums up why I still enjoy Rider-Haggard.

    “Look at that brute of a slaver.”
    Bang!
    “Good shot, Allan.”

    Logically, once you start to regard your population as property, well, property can be disposed of.

  6. John Galt says:

    It also has to be said that there is a certain something in the national character of Nigerians that makes them arrogant, loud-mouthed, selfish and entitled. Even other West Africans can’t stand them.

  7. Of course the leader of Boko Harem will be killed.

    But the respectable “community leaders” (and not just in Nigeria) believe basically the same things as him (they just use more moderate language).

    In the end force (bullets and so on) will, on its own, not solve the basic problem.

    Only offering people a positive belief system (not Hillary Clinton’s “right to education” and John Kerry’s “democracy – and schools-and-hospitals) will deal with the basic issue.

    Islam offers answers to the basic questions of existence (even the most crude human beings are concerned with these questions – sooner or later), they may be false answers (or even evil answers) but they are answers.

    Offer a positive alternative belief system (not just bullets and bombs) or, in the long term, LOOSE.

    It is as brutal as that.

  8. Lynne at Counting Cats says:

    I’m just gobsmacked that the meejah insist on calling these kiddie snatcher gangsters “militants”.

  9. Mr Ed says:

    ‘Offer a positive alternative belief system (not just bullets and bombs) or, in the long term, LOOSE.

    It is as brutal as that.’

    Is it not more brutal than that? Such people, it seems to me, cannot be bargained with, and cannot be reasoned with, or held to any treaty, any more than a sheep may reason with a wolf. A ram might kill a wolf with a swift charge and goring, but a lamb would be lunch. Those under attack from this movement cannot hope to dissuade them by reason, or even force, but they can stop them by force, if they prevail.

    Those who behave as this lot do are probably beyond accepting an alternative belief system, and frankly is there any moral onus to seek an alternative to elimination of such a foe in self-defence.

    It is those that they prey on who need a positive belief to maintain themselves.

  10. Tim Newman says:

    Bang in here, NickM. What has happened in Nigeria is a symptom of the place, which is in turn a result of the nature of the people.

    And this:

    It also has to be said that there is a certain something in the national character of Nigerians that makes them arrogant, loud-mouthed, selfish and entitled. Even other West Africans can’t stand them.

    Spot on.

  11. Sam Duncan says:

    “I’m just gobsmacked that the meejah insist on calling these kiddie snatcher gangsters “militants”.”

    Actually, what has gobsmacked me about this latest atrocity is that suddenly “the international community” seems to have noticed for once, and the BBC is actually calling a group of Islamist extremists “a group of Islamist extremists” for a change. What gives? Why this one, and not all the others?

  12. Julie near Chicago says:

    That reminds me, I haven’t heard from Mr./President/Dr. Charles Saludo in simply ages. And I was planning to send him my bank-account number any day now, so he could transfer the funds in (or out, whichever it was — I forget).

  13. Lynne at Counting Cats says:

    Sam it seems they only started calling the nutters extremists when the head nutter informed the world he was going to sell the girls into slavery.

  14. John Galt says:

    No doubt prior to that he was a “Freedom Fighter”.

  15. RAB says:

    “Now then, now then, Guys and Gals… straight in at number three in the Sharia Charts… it’s Boko Haram! … ergle gurgle gurgle…

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