Those of us who are on the political Left have long known how subjective the UK media is, but the advent of 24 hour TV news channels have taken this distortion of world events to new heights. Take a look at how BBC News24 and Sky News are reporting General Pervez Musharraf claim that he has been re-elected as President of Pakistan. Both channels are proclaiming that the Pakistani dictator has been elected with an overwhelming majority. Indeed Sky News has a permanent ticker tape on screen claiming that ‘President Musharraf wins landslide Victory’.
Oh really, I don’t think so as there has been no legal national and democratic Presidential election in Pakistan. What actually occurred was that the General’s cronies in Parliament had a round robin and decided to give their benefactor another term in the Presidential Palace.The opposition parties saw this mockney vote for what it was and would have no part of it. Not least because under Pakistani law General Musharraf is ineligible to stand as President for a number of reasons, some of which the Nations Surpreme Court is to decide on when it next meets on October 17th. Thus it became urgent for General Musharraf to re-claim the throne before the Court met, so his security services could get to work bullying the members of the Supreme Court to reach a decision in favor of their master. Whether the members of the Supreme Court stand their ground remains to be seen, but with the Pakistani legal profession increasingly asserting its independence we can but hope.
It is also interesting that the USA’s thus the UK’s favorite dictator is now portrayed on British TV screens dressed in civilian cloths’ and at the hustings which as no democratic election took place one must presume where a mock up of some sort. Pervez Musharraf like his predecessors as military Dictators of Pakistan has spent the last eight years being seen on TV dressed in military gold braid of the type so admired by satraps throughout the world. Yet it seems the BBC and Sky libraries have not a single frame of the new ‘Mockney El Presidency’ in his military uniform, for he is now being portrayed in civilian cloths, presumably to make him appear to be like any normal democratically elected head of State..
General Musharraf opinion on democracy and democratic accountability should be of interest to all democrats, the incompetent satrap seems to believe all that matters is to gain a majority, that the vote takes place only amongst his own supporters is of no importance, nor is the fact that out of the 164,741,924 souls who make up the population of Pakistan, the General gained the votes of only 252 of them; and as I have aforementioned every one a Pervez Musharraf crony. What matters to this winner of what Sky News calls a ‘landslide victory’ is that majority. I will leave this Pakistani paragon of fairness and democratic accountability with the last words,
“Democracy means majority, whether there is opposition or no opposition. A majority, a vast majority have voted for me and therefore that result is the result.”