One can, to a certain extent, sympathize with the view, held by more than a few people of our acquaintance, that Britain's government is being hypocritical in criticizing that of Iran over the quelling of protests in the matter of the recent elections there.
Whether the election was fairly run or rigged is one matter but whether the use of force in quelling potential riots was acceptable is entirely another. Under the existing British Labour government, peaceful protesters have regularly been treated with violence by police, including the appalling beatings meted out to the Countryside Alliance protesters against the ban on fox hunting, respectable and mainly middle-aged or older people who were doing absolutely nothing to deserve it.
The Countryside Alliance supporters had marched to Westminster without incident and some were standing still, unarmed and showing no indication of intent to cause trouble of any kind. One respectable and pleasant-looking lady of a certain age was smashed across the head with a baton before our very eyes - more shocking than most of the things I have witnessed in a life that has been spent witnessing shocking sights with alarming regularity.
Interestingly, although we happened to see that event live on television, it did not appear in the news the next day, or ever again and is not even on YouTube.
The current prime minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown, is an unelected leader, irrespective of whether he is a good one or otherwise. A Britain promised a referendum over a matter of national importance discovered it had been lied to when the referendum never happened and the government of the day did exactly as it pleased.
What, exactly, gives the British government the right to pass comment on current events in Iran, I wonder?
Labels: Britain, elections, Iran, protest, violence