UKIP's extremism has again reared its ugly head with Andrew Reed, a UKIP candidate at both the 2001 elections and 2004 European elections and an advisor to Nigel Farage, accusing Western governments and the BBC of demonising the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe. The BBC, he claims in the letter below, is responsible for "politically motivated broadcasts" on Zimbabwe. For good measure, he describes Zimbabwe, a country scarred by rigged elections, government intimidation of voteres and opposition parties and in which the leader of the opposition MDC has been viciously assaulted by Mugabe's henchmen, as "essentially democratic". Sometimes the views of UKIP are so sickening that you wonder what planet they are on.
According to Mr Reed's perverse logic, Zimbabwe is more democratic than the EU - he calls the EU a "dangerously non-democratic organisation".
Moreover, he absolves the Mugabe regime of responsibility for the bloodshed and starvation he has inflicted on the Zimbabwean people, arguing that Zimbabwe is "under siege from the international community" and contending that there is no "adequate justification" for humanitarian intervention.
So the UKIP attitude to the plight of Zimbabweans is to blame the EU and the BBC and stick their heads in the sand. Despicable.
Thank you for your message expressing concern about the situation in Zimbabwe. Thank you also for the information to the effect that the Zimbabwean government may now be relying on Angolan mercenaries, an allegation I had not previously heard.
I confess I know little about the affairs of this formerly prosperous British territory, other than that they were severely disrupted, not long ago, by an army of self-styled, latter-day "veterans of the war of independence", demanding lands, and were subsequently rendered extremely difficult by international sanctions, the conventional assumption being that it was the government, which armed and incited the "veterans", in order to dispossess white farmers of their holdings.
However, I am not satisfied with this explanation, given that the white farmers were the back-bone of the economy, and of the government's revenue, and were carefully protected, by the government, for that reason, for many years, until the "veterans" arrived (from where, I wonder?) on the scene. Indeed, given these facts alone - and apart from politically-motivated broadcasts by the BBC - they are the only facts I have, I would be inclined to suppose that the "veterans" were armed and incited by forces hostile to the government, which was able to neutralise them only by surrendering its one substantial source of income to them.
However that may be, Zimbabwe is certainly a country under siege from the "international community", whose neo-colonial policies in Africa are thinly disguised as "humanitarian intervention" in conflicts, which it may well have instigated, just as they were in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Indeed, tragically, the pattern of (1) non-compliant government (2) crippling international sanctions (3) fomentation of unrest (4) demonisation of the government's leaders and (5) "humanitarian intervention" , has already been repeated too often, and, in each case, without adequate justification, in my view.
I cannot agree, therefore, that the further tightening of sanctions and isolation are the solution to Zimbabwe's difficulties; rather, I think, they are part of the problem.
This is not to say that I approve of the European Union's meddling in this matter, or any other. The EU is a dangerously non-democratic organisation with no prospect - unlike Zimbabwe, which has an essentially democratic system - of ever becoming otherwise. The EU, if it ever obtains its constitution, would, moreover, become a very powerful state - unlike Zimbabwe, whose primary importance to the "international community" seems to be its strategic position for taking control of Africa and its mineral-wealth.
I beg you, therefore - unless you know for a fact that what is being broadcast is the whole truth - to take what you hear, from the BBC, about Zimbabwe, the EU and our reasons for invading various other countries, with a large pinch of salt; to concentrate on condemning the bloodshed itself - and seeking the underlying reasons for it - rather than the people who are portrayed by the media as being entirely responsible.
Andrew S. Reed
(Office of the UKIP-MEP's)