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Ingrid's Obituary


Ingrid Says... Pitt of Horror Website Message

July 2006

Ingrid Says....

DEMOCRACY n
(Greek 'demos' The Community, 'kratos' Sovereign power') Government by All the people, direct or representative: form of society ignoring hereditary class distinctions and tolerating minority views.

Ingrid Pitt Ready For Action

That seems clear enough. When we want anything done we all get together and, by a show of hands, Shazam!. But of course nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. How do you get everybody together? Even in a relatively small country such as Great Britain there are around 60,000,000 voters - taking Democracy in its simplest form. That's where the representatives come in. And simplicity departs. Politically active people, quite naturally, have an agenda all their own. To get support they have to convince others that what they want is identical to what they want. Then the Representative has to convince other Representatives that they also want it and feel strongly enough about it to enact a law.

There are many different interpretations of the Democratic process. Take the UK for instance. The idea is to vote for a political party which, in turn, elects one of its own to act as Prime Minister. So there is always a chance that the top man is not someone that even the voters who voted for the party, wants. In this case there is some satisfaction in knowing that even the Leader is not omnipotent. That he must bend a knee before an unelected, non-democratic, Monarchy. The Monarch is virtually powerless but does take ceremonial precedence over the Prime Minister. Very much like the bloke who stood on the foot plate of a Roman General's chariot when he was lauded by the populace. Just to make sure that he didn't get ideas above his station he would whisper in the General's ear, "Remember, you are only mortal". Personally I find a lot of satisfaction in that situation. I'm sure the Queen feels like whispering that telling phrase on many occasions. There is also the House of Lords. The Second Chamber. This at one time was invested in a body of people that were there by right of birth. This has been chamfered down a bit until the balance is around fifty percent right-of-birthers and the rest are appointed by the partisan government of the time. It is a system that has been seen to have many problems. Lord and Lady Smiff has the sort of ring to it that is lacking in the mundane, Mr. and Mrs. The popularity of the peerage is bolstered by popular films such as Star Wars where everyone who is powerful seems to have a title. Whereas in the old days the Lords came to the House mainly to make sure the status quo was maintained, now many of them do it to pick up some spare cash and be seen on TV in their pantomime outfit.

American Democracy has a different and they claim, a far superior approach to the subject. American voters vote principally for the Leader. The Leader is Supreme. He bows a humbling knee to no one. He is advised by Congress which is divided into two Houses which are voted in to represent the people. The House of Representatives and the Senate. But even these two powerful organs of government can be suborned to the President's will in an emergency. The USA has a written Constitution and a Bill of Rights which sets out what the citizens expect from the laws of the land and what the Government expects from the people. A current joke suggests that they should give it to such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan as they are not using it at the present time.

France has a similar Executive to American but boasts a Prime Minister as well as a president. There are many more countries which claim some sort of Democracy. Always welcome by the USA which proclaims that its greatest wish is to encourage Democracy throughout the world. Whether this will ever be attainable is disputed. Especially in the Middle East.

The Coalition welcomes the display of Democracy in Iraq. It proves that, even though the cost in lives is greater, and the quality of life is worse, than in Saddam Hussein's time, the people of Iraq long for Democracy. This may be a simplistic view of what the people of Iraq long for. They were promised that, if they voted in a Democratically elected government, all their troubles would melt away. With the support of America they could look forward to a long, safe and fruitful life. What they have got is more chaos and death and no evidence of a solution in sight. But it is a Democracy and we like Democracies - so that's all right. So what about Palestine? I am half Jewish and have suffered for it. I was 11 years old when Israel became a fact. I remember my Jewish mother's elation and her pride that the Jews at last had a homeland. But to get this they supplanted the indigenous Palestinians. Naturally a lot of the Palestinians were not at all happy with this and have been making their feelings felt for a long time. They could be side lined because they relied on the Palestine Liberation Army to put their point across for them. And the members could easily be tagged with the Terrorist label. Even more significant was the fact that they did not have a Democratically elected Government. Then, unexpectedly, they did have an election and a party, peopled by acknowledged Terrorists, got the mandate to rule in the name of their constituents. Now there's a problem.

Israel, a bona fide Democracy, backed by the all-powerful USA and given the nod by Britain, could not find a path, or road-map as it is slickly called, to an accommodation with its displaced neighbours. And America refuses to acknowledge the Democratically elected Government of Palestine.

So the conundrum here is: When is a Democracy not a Democracy?
Answer: When it is not acknowledged by the USA.

Which brings us to the nub of the problem. Iraq is a country out of control and, whatever the marker is to define a civil war, is heading that way by the minute, if it hasn't already passed it. Backed and eulogised by War President George W Bush and Tony (Yessir GB) Blair.

Israel: a country which is formed of citizens who have been reviled and tormented through the ages. A wealthy country. Cannot find compassion for the ex-residents of the country they annexed. The best It can offer is overwhelming fire power every time an incident happens on its border. Encouraged by War President George W Bush and given the nod by Tony (Yessir GB) Blair.

Palestine: a country asunder. Until Yasser Arafat's death it was something of a politico/religio fiefdom. It was universally accepted by the West that if it wasn't for Arafat an accommodation could be made with the Palestine people who were being held in check by the terrorists running the country. So the Terrorists, Hamas, decided to prove that they were not terrorists but Patriots by going to the country. In an election, which nobody has been able to seriously fault, the Patriots of Hamas won. But do the West acknowledge that they are dealing with a country that has grievances, a country that is united in its expression of grievance and a people not willing to be scared off course because they are seen as a pathetic, murderous set of savages not fit to be negotiated with but to be exterminated? Of course not. While Israel rages, Iraq burns and Afghanistan, another putative embryo Democracy, winds up for another blood bath, sanctions are taken out against the Democracy of Palestine without even the suggestion of a unilateral peace move which might lead to a solution. Let's start putting the Arabs in their proper nomenclature and call them Semites. Perhaps then the PC lobbies will begin to take notice and start to see the problems of the area in a different light. But I doubt it. The Palestinians have neither oil nor nuclear capacity so they are bound to lose in this Democratic World.

Meanwhile the West strides manfully on, breeding hatred and Terrorists. Providing the fertiliser which nurtures resentment and a chasm between the Middle East and the rest of the world the like of which has not been experienced since the Crusades. So now we have another problem. Another country which claims to be a Democratic Republic, North Korea, has demonstrated that it has a long range weapon capable of reaching America. Americans, quite rightly, are terrified by this. It is the first time in its history that America fears attack from outside its borders. I doubt that anyone in Europe can imagine how devastating this must be because we have lived with it for the last ninety years or so and seen many of the great and ancient cities of Europe razed to the ground. It will be interesting to see what happens. Whether the War President will want to hang another Iron Cross in his windscreen beside his woolly dice or have a shot at something which doesn't futilely kill thousands of young men - of whatever nationality - and breed even more fighters who can be labelled Terrorists, is up for debate. And then there is the Iran situation. Iran looks at what the Democratic Imperialists are doing around the world and wants a chance at defending itself when its number comes up.

In years to come the present conflicts in the Middle East will make Vietnam look like a military master class in strategic warfare.

In spite of this I will still be attending the Memorabilia Show 12th - 13th August in Birmingham.

The Writings of Ingrid Pitt