Once again a fascinating read with Merkel striking out against Mugabe with Brown out of sight.
Before his elevation Brown made a song and dance about Africa with a well-publicised tour. I have always thought this decision to say away a very grave mistake. Yes the British government does need to make moral statements – and more importantly act with dignity. No dodgy arms deals or in humane super prisons. This seems like a child taking away the ball. Problem is when it’s dealing with African states European leaders have very little moral standing anyway. The nineteenth century scramble for Africa as sealed in the Treaty of Berlin, and from then on there were no holds barred, Germany included. What Angela Merkel said might have been to the point, but actually it’s not that simple.
Another formerly discredited leader had come to town, setting up a tent outside Lisbon. To me made the point perfectly:
“Also making his voice heard this weekend was Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, who has set up base in a tent outside Lisbon. He called on Europe to compensate its former African colonies. ‘The riches that were taken away must be given back somehow,’ Gadaffi said in a speech. ‘If we don’t face up to that truth, we’ll have to pay the price one way or another – through terrorism, emigration or revenge.’ “ Source Observer 9/12/2007.