Saturday, April 19

Egypt builds new wall along Gaza

Unfortunately, walls do work, whether to keep people in or keep people out, they do work. Walls are characterised by three aspects. One, who makes them, where is it built and what is the point of the wall? The last item relates to whether you want to keep people in or out (or both...).

This this case, it is to keep the Palestinians out of Egypt, unfortunately, the same as that of the Israeli's. And dont forget, the Sinai can be termed as disputed land as well. I have yet to find a good consistent reason why that line on the sand between Gaza and Egypt is there. The consistency has to lie between all the boundaries around Israel and when? But I am drifting from the point.

Again, this wall will work and keep people out. For people who point to the smuggling aspect going on, yes, so was the same with the Berlin Wall. Generally it is not possible to prove a negative but in the case of the Berlin Wall, you can with a greater sense of confidence. You saw the difference even with the same regime on the East German side when the wall came down. So yes, these walls do make a difference. Also see my other general essay on walls as well as how another country, Pakistan, is being fenced in.

Weep, dear readers, read and weep, 10p or ten pea?

Two of the most powerful leaders in the world, one completely incompetent in managing the bloody 10p basic rate of taxation in the UK and the general economy and the other idiot thinking its a ten pea problem.

I do not have any words to describe this story.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

FDI causes child labour, yes? Wrong!

It is almost a truism in the modern day and age that FDI is bad, and one ways that it shows up is that it causes child labour. What nobody see's is the impact on the child itself (see here for an interesting email discussion that I partook in). Blame the foreigner for making our children work, while we are quite happy to have children work as servants or not to provide any other economic way to allow the children to actually study. But its better to kick out the foreign investor, no?

But here's a study which checks what is the impact of FDI on child labour. The authors find that FDI is negatively correlated with child labour and even after controlling for per capita income, the effect totally disappears. Nothing, no impact, zilch, zero, nada.

Another very interesting conclusion that the authors come to is and I quote, "A key policy implication of this finding is that policies that increase the income effects of FDI may be especially useful in combating child labour. Such policies include payroll tax reductions that encourage multinationals to increase employment and wages. Thus, rather than interpreting these findings as an indication that FDI has no effect on child labour, we believe that our results point towards the need for nuanced policy that exploits these indirect effects."

This was a very curious conclusion to draw. I can understand concluding that dont swear at FDI, guys, if nothing, there is no relationship to child labour at all. But why talk about income effects? How will reducing payroll taxes actually help improve child labour? Well, the fact remains that child labour exists because of a variety of factors, not least because their parents are not gainfully employed. Get their parents into employment and you will lop off a very large number of children having to work. Which parent would want to see their children work when they could be playing and studying? But, all those payroll taxes do is to make it difficult to increase employment.

Ronald B. Davies and Annie Voy, The Effect of FDI on Child Labor, Journal of Development Economics In Press. 

Friday, April 18

Dramatic Increase in Private Schools in Pakistan

I quote:

A new report released today by the World Bank calls for a reevaluation of education policies in the context of a dramatic increase in private schools for primary education in Pakistan. Between 2000 and 2005, the number of private schools increased from 32,000 to 47,000, and by the end of 2005, one-third of enrolled children at the primary level was studying in a private school.

While overall enrollments increased by 10 percent between 2001 and 2005, the report says quality of education is lagging. Children in private schools score significantly higher than those in government schools, even when they are from the same village. In fact, it will take children in government schools 1.5 - 2.5 years of additional schooling to catch up to where private school children are in Class 3.

This is indeed good news, more schooling and enrolment can be nothing but good. See the problem of expecting the government to do something about this? even if they do, their performance is poorer comparatively to private education.

Terrorists also want educated youth

For those who think that education is a panacea for all terrorism ills, read this. I quote:

Terrorists and banned extremist groups are no more the sole headaches of
anti-terrorist squads and special operations groups of police departments in
eastern and north-eastern states. Rather, their main headache of late has been sleeper cells, whose members, though not directly involved in terror acts, form the information backbone of underground subversive outfits.
An IB (Intelligence Bureau) review reveals that in the recent past, most banned terror groups have overhauled their sleeper cells to bring in educated youth who do not have police records. The sources said, apart from overhauling sleeper cells, banned outfits had made them more broad-based to place moles in various institutions so far untouched.
“We have specific information that these groups have agents in schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, courts, clubs, hotels and big recreational centres, among other places,” a senior IB officer said. The agents are a wide variety of personnel from medical and engineering students, NGO workers, hotel and club employees and teachers to court clerks. The IB officer said none of them has a criminal background and banned outfits do not involve them in their day-to-day operations. “Their job is to update terror groups on the developments in their respective areas of operation and residence. While some sleeper cell members share ideology with banned outfits, a majority does the job for money,” he said.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Transparency will always be fought by vested interests

Here's a classic example of this adage. More transparency, better it is for citizens and consumers.

Despite opposition from the unions, the state will replace mechanical meters
with electronic ones in all the taxis and autorickshaws in the city.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Mosque Desecrations.....

Remember these two photographs about the desecration of the mosque? The huge amounts of vituperation and anger?

Now see the event today? I quote:
A suicide bomber killed 24 people and wounded more than 30 as they prepared
for evening prayers outside a mosque in south-west Afghanistan yesterday. Most
of those killed and wounded were civilians, including children and old men.

So who is desecrating? And let us not talk about the interesting reactions (or the lack of it anyway....).

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Very amusing travelogue

I was near tears after reading this very funny and amusing travelogue.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Corporate Blogging rules - learn from the military

With more and more corporate blogs around the world popping up, there is even more discussion about how to manage these blogs. For those who are looking for guidance, here's a great list. I liked the last but one rule:
4. Ignore your wife to write that one extra post. There's a reason she's
been lying next to you in lace for the past hour. If that doesn't distract you,
maybe the government needs to relook your security clearance and/or next

Perhaps one day I will learn...

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Workplace racists get jail sentences

I read this in the morning rag and was furious. These buggers are seriously the scum of the earth. I quote:

The men tied their 29-year-old victim to railings, hosed him down with cold
water and even tried to force-feed him bacon – forbidden in his religion, their
trial heard. Some of the bullying, which also included racist comments and
placing an item made to look like a bomb on the victim's locker, was filmed on a
mobile phone camera. The hate campaign against Amjid Mehmood at Amey Mouchel motorway maintenance depot in Bescot, Walsall, had lasted for ten months, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard. Other incidents included setting Mr Mehmood's trousers on fire.

Forget about racism, would you seriously do something like this to your colleague? What are these people? animals? not civilised at all. Absolute barbarians. There is a difference between taking the mickey and blatant barbaric treatment.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Thursday, April 17

Blind woman refused access to pension

This is where I shake my head and wonder at whether people have lost hold of their marbles? how stupid can the guys be? I quote:

A blind woman has been living off her savings for a year after Post Office
staff refused to release her pension because they couldn't recognise her
signature, it emerged today.
Joan Hopton, 81, from Cheltenham,
Gloucestershire, has been unable to get her hands on £4,000 owed to her because
officials say her new signature is not close enough to her old one.
lost her pension card in May last year, but when she sent off for a replacement
she was told the name on her letter did not match the writing on the previous
One of her daughters, Jennifer Lewis, was told to get her mother to
call the company in person, but Mrs Hopton, who is also deaf, cannot use the

Read and fume.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Good news on the logophilia and biblophilia in Arab Lands

See here.

There was a special stand for the foundation of Dubai’s Sheik Makhtoum, who has launched a project to subsidize the translation and publications of 1,000 books a year into Arabic.
The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage has launched a parallel project, called Kalima, to subsidize the translation and publication of Arab works into other languages.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Kenya's cabinet 'soaks up 80pc of the budget'

In other words, to spend 20 pence, it requires 80 pence. But dont get excited, this kind of a skewed ratio is very common. I quote:

Of Kenya's annual budget of £5.4 billion, more than £4.3 billion will go on 93 ministers and their government's general running costs. Only £1.3 billion will be left for roads, schools and hospitals for Kenya's 38 million people.

This reminds me of a time when I was in school. A course called as Military Science was offered in our college. And I was quite puzzled, so I asked one of the chaps who was taking that course. What are you doing that course for? He said, well, because I can get a job in teaching Military Science. So when I asked him, so you are studying Military Science so that you can teach military science to students who are learning military science in order to teach military science.

Does anybody see anything wrong in that argument? Same with what my father told me about this Indian body for promotion of science and technology. All the budget was taken up by salaries. So what on earth and how on earth will the promote science and technology? You cannot travel, you cannot buy anything, you cannot pay even for electricity...


i only wish they had to justify their spending somehow, but too bad, they will never do that.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

British Destabilize Africa:Food Riots Spread as Hunger Deepens

Check out this Executive Intelligence Review. It says, "The energetic British attempts to create chaos and famine in Kenya and Zimbabwe in Africa, take place against a background of worldwide hyperinflationary food price increases and sudden food shortages, which are threatening both to kill large numbers of people, and to bring down governments in the Third World. The developing potential food crisis and famine arise from decades of British and Brussels attacks on national food self-sufficiency, and outright food scarcity policies masked as "agricultural free trade."

hehehe, funny, eh? its not for executives, its for feeble minded pond life, its not intelligence, it is some words strung together without attribution or analysis and sure as hell it is not reviewing anything, but its very funny! :) welcome to conspiracy theories. I think Mbeki is reading this site to get his daily intelligence updates!

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Pakistan agrees to send '71 War Crime accused for trial

Well, that's not strictly true, but given the fact that so many Pakistani's are so excited about war crimes, specially of the Army variety (whether its Pakistani, Israeli, Indian or American armies), I am sure they will be sending all those various Pakistani Army officers and soldiers who did the world's greatest (in terms of people killed in unit of time) genocide in Bangladesh 1971 right over now that this has happened.

(Just kidding!!! :))

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

The Star of David on the Moroccan Flag (thanks, Larry

Thanks to my good friend, Larry Schwartz, this very interesting factoid came to my attention. Did you know that the Moroccan flag had the star of david emblazoned on it? and the reason why they had it was because all wanted to lay claim on the ancestery of Solomon the wise King.

And here's a new word for you, Vexillology, from the Latin vexillum, which, in Roman times, designated the standard of the army, is the study of flags.

read and wonder.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Madness quotes

Today's quote was brilliant :)

If someone does something we disapprove of, we regard him as bad if we believe we can deter him from persisting in his conduct, but we regard him as mad if we believe we cannot. -Thomas Szasz, author, professor of psychiatry (b. 1920)

reminds me of the other quote:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein, (attributed)US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Now Mbeki tries to redefend his moronic stance on Zim

Now Mbeki tries to defend his "there is no issue in Zim" thesis. I quote:

He defended those remarks in New York, saying dialogue was essential to
bring about a resolution to the situation in Zimbabwe, where 18 days after
presidential elections, electoral officials have yet to announce a result.
"The solution to the problem of Zimbabwe lies in the hands of the people of
Zimbabwe," he said.
"In our engagement with the situation, we needed to talk
continuously at all times with both the ruling party and the opposition."

what a git, 3-4 million of Zimbabweans are in your country, you idiot, talk to them. What a morally and intellectually corrupt man.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Wednesday, April 16

Self Determination but this time its for a college in a university

Quite an interesting step for Imperial College to ask to be separated from University of London as it thinks that the Imperial College brand is stronger than the University of London brand. Which means, by removal of Imperial, the rest of the University of London brand has suddenly dropped seriously....

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

What not to do when starting a new job

This was brilliant!

I want my mommy with me if i have a new job, lol. Although that will be dangerous, I am scared spitless of her.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Why import imams from Pakistan? Jacqui Smith is an idiot

Jacqui Smith is the minister for Home Affairs. And guess what she did? She actually went all the way to Pakistan to import moderate imams. Ah! really? and HOW do you define moderate imams? And from Pakistan that too.. Couldnt she nip over to India where we do have moderate imams, imams who have spoken up against terrorism? Imams who have experience of living under secular rule. How about getting some sufis in? But more importantly, what the hell is a government doing recruiting religious leaders? This is the most bizzare thing I have read.

And here's a prediction, these exact mullahs and imams will end up creating more problems than they solve. Because they will be looked upon as government stooges, and the militants will ignore them. These medieval mullahs and imams generally have no idea about how to deal with a modern society and women so end up becoming more extremist anyway. Check out the various expose's, for example, the Channel 4 one, to see what happens when you import mullahs or get into the business of defining who or what is a moderate.

Secularism means that you keep away from this stuff, Minister, do not get involved.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Tuesday, April 15

A good landing is a landing you walk away from


All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Afghan Refugees still heading home

It is indeed a good piece of news that Afghan refugees are still heading home. People are very clear, when they see problems, they leave. and sure as heck, they will not head back to Afghanistan if the situation was bad. That said, its about the same that the Pakistani territory is not under control of Pakistan.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Mbeki's own party calls him a twerp

How amazing, the ANC actually telling that thief Robert Mugabe to step down, in opposition to that moron "there is no crisis" Mbeki's view.

The more I read about Mbeki, the more bewildered I become, how on earth can a nominally intelligent man frankly be so spectacularly stupid. No, not stupid, but actually idiotic and a figure of fun. Does he not realise that he comes across as a moron when he speaks like this? Or perhaps he is so far gone that he doesnt realise this at all?

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

How Pakistan and USA caused famines in Bangladesh

Curious, no? how people forget about the war criminals living in their midst and reach across half the world to talk about another set of criminals? But then, its easier to blame others (specially if they are Jews) than to do something to pull their own to justice.

But here's some sad similarities between Bangladesh of 30 years back and now.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Working with women

As and how I kept on reading this article, my eyebrows kept on rising till I have two strips of hair on my neck. After tons of misogynistic neanderthal like moralising, this caveman ends with Allah knows best. Well, if he did, then why are you talking absolute rot? And he calls it the "truth". In the worlds of a Colonel, "you cant handle the truth".

You know what the worrying thing is? People keep on talking about the bad situation of Muslims, their bad socio-economic development and all that. What is the solution? Well, usually one points to education.

Well, folks, guess what? people who write articles like this are highly educated. Now go figure and weep.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Perhaps the bravest soldiers in the world

Well done, you lads, we are all proud of you. Nice rotation back from Afghanistan.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Porn for Logophiles

A beautiful series of photographs of libraries

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Monday, April 14

I wonder what the OIC will make of this?

The OIC, without fail and very regularly, gives out a statement about how bad the situation is in Kashmir. And now, Afghanistan, a fellow OIC member, is in Kashmir to learn how to handle counter insurgency and counter terrorism methods. Perhaps they should look to Pakistan.... :)

how amusing :)

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

British riot because of food price inflation....

Fascinating article and I quote liberally:

He noted that in just six weeks the price for rice had doubled from 18 pounds to 36 pounds, while the cost of chicken fillets had risen from 25 pounds to 32 pounds. The cost of a range of other ingredients, including ghee and spices, had also gone up dramatically. Due to price rise, he told newsmen that Le Raj's chicken tikka biryani dish will be dropped altogether. For the time being, chicken tikka masala was staying on the menu, but its cost will rise from 8.50 pounds to 9.50 pounds.

Given that Chicken Tikka Masala is the British National Dish, I think the Brits will riot soon on the streets just like the Haitians.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Canadian Police are Pirates?

Heh, this was funny. The Canadian Police do not mind letting terrorists roam free on their land but let somebody protest against the killing of seals and all hell breaks loose.

On the other hand, given the fact that the Canadian police boarded the ship in international waters means that it was an act of Piracy. Now where are the French commando's?

Very amusing, I wonder what the Canadians would say to this now? lol. How funny. .

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Food crisis is because of Globalisation - what rot

The problem with ideologically biased people like Vandana Shiva is that their solutions are usually incoherent and will not resolve the problem. See this interview for example. Do you see anywhere that there is a coherent, pragmatic and possible solution to the increase in food prices? no. Consequently, this entire interview was polemical and frankly bizarre.

See this question. What's the reason for the increase in food prices? And Vandana talks about farmer suicides. She talks about wheat production and then says mutually contraditory things like, "We are still self-reliant in food, but we are being forced to import". The interviewer asked about food inflation and she is talking about paying MORE for food to the farmers. Besides being incoherent, she obviously does not know anything about how end consumer prices are formed, the farmer cut is tiny. She forgets that it is only due to the utilisation of nitrogen based fertiliser that India became self reliant on food.

Consequently, reading the rest of the answers made me wonder. Look at the very short term solution that she is providing: "There is a very short term solution – give up the industrial agriculture using fossil fuels, high cost imports. " The mind boggles, Comrade Shiva, the days that a state could order something like that to happen has long gone. No discussion about the distribution system, no talk about crop credit, no talk about the corruption of the state, no discussions about the deficit financing, nothing about the sheer productivity hellhole of the tiny farms, nothing about the local labour market in India, nothing about the problems with local mandi's, zilch, zero...

But yes, I do agree that Governments have to do something about the provision of food for the poor, but thank god, nobody hears much about what intellectually incoherent suggestions that are being pushed forth like this. This will cause more problems than it will resolve.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

And now religion/ethnicity is a problem in Sudan

Why do you want to know about religion and ethnicity in a census? Read this and wonder. Personally speaking, I see no reason to know about it. The sole reason to know about it would be if there was a civil war, but again, if the Arabs and Africans want to duke it out, then well, here you go with the problem, it would be interesting to find out what the result is?

Ah, ha!, now we understand, see here. The reason why the Arabs do not want to know about religion and ethnicity (which puzzled me, since when did the Arabs suddenly become interested in Secularism?) is because they are actually in a minority and if a proper census is done, their relative demographic weaknesses will be exposed. Fairly typical....

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

And why does the KSA need to know the religion and sect of its citizens?

See, this is what happens when the state gets involved in the religious affairs of its citizens. So, as this blog post says, why is the state asking for the religion and sect of the applicant? One thing which the Saudi blogger forgot was the non muslim citizens and guests of Saudi Arabia.

Quite understandable, non muslims are non saudi's. People from other faith's are in their hundreds and thousands in that country but they will never get their recognition, but anyway, here's why the Saudi's will always face a problem. Who defines what a Muslim is? The 3rd comment was brilliant and I am taking the liberty to quote it here:

“I would like to think that there no such thing as institutionalized
discrimination here”
Isn’t that very naive? How many Shi’ite army officers
are there in Saudi-Arabia? How about Shi’ite ambassadors, governors or
mayors?And how about Saudis who convert to other religions like Christianity?
There’s plenty of institutionalized discrimination in Saudi Arabia. Ask anyone
who has a red iqama in his pocket.

Also see my previous essays which touch upon this topic here, here, here and here.
All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Open glorification of assasins and terrorists in Canada

The Canadian police are considered to be a bunch of muppets is well known. They mess up terrorist investigations, they cannot prosecute properly, etc. etc. In my discussions in a Canadian Muslim mailing list, nobody had a good word to say about their police and political parties. Very very few had anything good to say about Canada, their police, political parties, their foreign policy, you name it. In fact, when i circulated a note about how thankful the world is to Canada for providing peacekeeping soldiers, it landed like a lead baloon and somebody commented that it was bad, specially in Afghanistan. Well, I am not surprised reading about this.

Terrorists and Assasins are openly glorified in Canada? I wonder what Canada stands for in the first place and second, what on earth is Canada doing while letting these terrorists run rampant in its territory? Jihadi's, Tamil Tigers, Khalistani's, you name it, they are infesting that country. Guys, see the example of the UK, you let these buggers run loose and they turn on you, and the first people they cannibalise will be the minorities themselves.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Work or Starve - the option facing child workers

I keep on talking about this issue. You cannot talk about child labour without looking at family earnings. If you remove the employment from the family, where are they going to get the money from to put food on the ground (there IS no table)? So if your shirt is made by child labour, then that is indeed good in many circumstances or its not bad in all circumstances as that money is helping feed himself and in many cases, their families. If you stop purchasing those shirts or cancel that purchasing contract from that Bangladeshi vendor, then remember that you have immediately made several families utterly destitute. Who is now going to feed them?

Read and ponder.

I quote:

Basudeb Maitra Basu, from the Organisation for Disadvantaged Children, a nongovernmental organisation, said: "No parents want to send their children to work, especially in hazardous conditions."
The UK's department for international development says more than 82 per cent of Bangldeshis live below $2 per day.
As a consequence, Basu says, families are "helpless" but to send their children to work.
"They send them to the factories to save their families. They know this is harmful to their kids but they don't have an alternative."

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

School teachers killed in Somalia - future dimmed even more

The jihadi's know their weak point. It is education. More you educate your people, less are they able to be led like sheep. This is why liberal democratic nations have good strong opposition. And again, this is why autocratic countries generally tend not to invest that much in education. Also, let us not forget, for fanatics, education anything outside their narrow thoughts is useless. I am reminded of what the Taliban said, they do not need to know anything outside the Quran, and if there is anything outside the Quran, then if it was worth knowing, it would have been put inside the Quran. What can you do with a mentality like this? But look at what they did in Somalia...

I quote:

"We have discovered the dead bodies of three foreigners and the owner of the Hakab Private English School in the town this morning," said Ayanle Husein Abdi, a local resident.
Some locals said one of the slain Somalis had returned home to build a school and educate locals.

Well, what did I say about these neanderthals cannibalising their own?

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

Sunday, April 13

Hackney Council promotes Islamophobia

It is true, by implementing policies such as this, it is obvious that Islamophobia will increase. Why on earth would Muslim men require segregated swimming times? And I reiterate, it is NOT the fault of the Muslims, but those dunderheads in Hackney Council for implementing a policy such as this. And yes, I do blame them directly for encouraging Islamophobia.

When will the state realise that secularism is the way forward and do not bend over backwards to be more Wahhabi than than Wahhabi's?

How many Bhaskar Dasgupta's are out there?

Inspired by this article, I ran a Google search on my name "Bhaskar Dasgupta". My name is not exactly very common, but despite this, it seems like I am in august company. I share a name with (the top 20 pages only)

  1. Associate Professor in the Computer Science department at University of Illinois at Chicago
  2. Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
    Kanpur - India.
  3. Medical Doctor, is a consultant rheumatologist and honorary Professor at Essex University and Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Westcliff-on-Sea in the UK
  4. Director Horizon Companies.
  5. Somebody senior at AIG, USA.
  6. A Senior civil servant, Under Secretary to the Government of India.
  7. An alumni member of the Bengal Engineering & Science University.
  8. An artist.
  9. Secretary to the Chhandam Centre of Indian Culture.

Reminds me of a joke that my father told me. While he was studying in college, his friends came to pick him up to go to college and shouted his name from the road, "Dasgupta". My grandfather (a very erudite man, had a double MA in those early days of the last century...) came barreling out of the house and growled, "there are 30 Dasgupta's living here, which one do you want?"...

But, just see? we are not alone... (if I have missed anybody, please drop me a note...)

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Mbeki urges patience on Zim - what a moron

BBC NEWS | World | Africa | Mbeki urges patience on Zimbabwe: "Mbeki urges patience on Zimbabwe"

More I read about this idiot, the more I worry about what is going to happen to Southern Africa. If this is the level of intelligence exhibited by this idiot, then the future is indeed dim. No wonder he is being kicked out by his party. Can you imagine? Robert Mugabe, the thug and robber has destroyed his country and is now stealing the election. And what does Mbeki say?

South African President Thabo Mbeki has called for patience over unreleased poll results in Zimbabwe, after talks with its president, Robert Mugabe. Despite growing tensions, Mr Mbeki said there was "no crisis" in Zimbabwe.

Can you imagine somebody actually saying this? I suspect he has been given money or something, otherwise no sane man can actually say that in public that there is no crisis in ZImbabwe.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!