As I new it would, my piece on Benazir Bhutto has created a choppy sea with friends and comrades reminding me that Miss Bhutto was not all bad and perhaps I should forgive her corruption as they are all at it in Pakistan. One comrade sharply reminded me that I should stick to writing about Ireland and Turkey as I obviously know nothing about Pakistan. He then enforced this fact by reminding me that the political party that Benazir’s father helped create and which she led, the Pakistan Peoples Party was an affiliated to the Second Socialist International. As if that fact alone gives it a clean bill of health and makes it beyond criticism. Thus now that Miss Bhutto has been laid to rest in the ground and we have had sight of her last will and testament, I thought I might in a comradely way confront my critics.
Whilst it is perfectly true that I am no expert on Pakistan nor its politics, I do know a class enemy when I see one; and any criticism I made of Benazir Bhutto was based on that fact alone. Nothing my critics and others have written about her of late has made me change my mind or reassess my opinion. I have never doubted she was a class enemy ever since I first read the statement she made to Tariq Ali, in which she said that she could not afford to be on ‘the wrong side of history’. With this comment alone Benazir not only repulsed me, but she had also forewarned me that she was both ignorant and arrogant; which is a dangerous combination within a politician as it is likely to be a recipe for disaster and so it proved.
If anything events that have taken place since she was murdered have reinforced my belief that politically she was rotten to the core. For what loving mother would have willed the leadership of a major political party to her 19 year old son, and if she was not corrupt why insist that her husband Mr Ten Percent Zardari becomes prince consort to that poor boy whilst also acting as keeper of the party books. For Miss Bhutto could not have been blind to the fact that Mr Zardari was hated and despised both within the PPP and in the nation as a whole. If any one wishes to understand more fully the depth of Miss Bhuttos corruption and links with the US administration, Tariq Ali’s article in the November issue of the London Review of Books might be a good place to start.*
Finally one of the most depressing things about this whole Benazir Bhutto story, apart from the people who have had their lives stolen needlessly in its wake. Is the way the British media have handled this story, for me this was best summed up in the London Guardians headline of today, [31.12.07] ‘My mother said democracy is best revenge–Bhutto son.’ A kid and a crook get anointed, not elected to lead one of Pakistan’s main political party’s and the Guardian with that headline alone dips the word democracy in the gutter.**
*Daughter of the West–Tariq Ali, http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n24/ali_01_.html