First World/Third World, Sheer Hypocrisy On Crime

2012-07-18 12:53

Now, Here's the thing. I lived in Zimbabwe for 23-years and South Africa for 27. I'm now 60 so that's all but 10-years of my life lived in glorious cinerama, technicolour, stereophonic-sound Africa. A continent of huge contrasts, of rapidly growing gaps between the rich and poor - the haves and have-nots. Crime riddled maybe, corrupt beyond belief, perhaps, but, oh, Africa, my Africa, I miss you so.

Sounds ever so British, actually.

My heart lies deep inside the "dark continent" but my ageing and often not so sensible head regularly informs me that I did the right thing by moving to Cumbria in the UK three years ago. The right thing in that having once been stricken with cancer (thankfully now in full remission), I needed to look into the not too distant future at looming medical expenses which I might not necessarily have been able to afford when real old age strikes. And a decent old age pension has something to do with it too.

There were other reasons, too, but escaping crime? Naw! By taking sensible and recommended precautions, living in South Africa is as safe as anywhere in the world and I won't have anyone telling me otherwise. In fact I'm sick of being asked/told about the crime situation in South Africa by just about everyone I meet. Likewise the corruption. I'm tired of defending Africa and its fabulous people, but I won't of course stop doing it. These issues came into my mind just the other night and I decided, for what it's worth to point out a few pertinent facts.

Here in "First World" UK in recent and present times, I've picked up stories in my daily trawl through the media that would have done honour to the front pages of the likes of The Citizen or The Mail and Guardian in Johannesburg. The obvious one was the long-running saga of MPs here fiddling their expenses, big time. Thousands upon thousands of pounds disappeared into the deep pockets of corrupt politicians who claimed for such niceties as second homes that didn't exist, transport they didn't need or luxury installations and renovations in (one of) their homes just because... well, just because they could.

Daily there are reports of corrupt businessmen, politicians, sportsmen and others being jailed for this so-called "white-collar" theft and none of this, repeat, none of this, is one jot different from the reports emanating from South Africa.

Then there's the crime:

* Last week a 94-year old woman was beaten nearly to death by a gang of yobs;

* During the London riots last year a pensioner was beaten to death by a "hoodie" simply for trying to extinguish a fire in a litter bin. And yes, the less said about what went on during the riots, the better;

* The phone hacking scandal which looks like it might soon reel in David Cameron and some of his cohorts;

* Regular stories of child murders and abuse;

* Pensioners in care homes and hospitals being beaten and otherwise abused;

* High rates of infection in hospitals (which some authorities have tried to hide) and the deaths of babies in high-care units, any of which would cause an enormous scandal in any country.

* A mother and her young daughter die in a burning car - a double suicide, after being harassed to distraction by a local gang. In this instance the police had responded to nearly 30 prior complaints without doing anything at all - until the mother decided to end their hell.

The big issue here right now is whether or not proven terrorist Al Qatada should or should not be sent back to Jordan for trial in case it infringes his "human rights". The European Court of Justice says Britain cannot send him back in case he is tortured. Yes, this spineless, weak-kneed government decided they might send him back but guess what? They got their dates wrong, allowing Al Qatada to launch an appeal against his deportation (again), something that might take years, Worse, he might be free to roam the streets again until his appeal is heard. Italy and France have got it right - they ignore the European Court and go ahead anyway. The last time Italy did that they were fined a paltry £18 000 by the court, an amount most British taxpayers would be happy to stump up if it rid the country of this scum. Britain is in thrall to European institutions, their risible dictats and their "human rights/health and safety" so-called concerns.

Last week my next door neighbour had his van's windscreen smashed in by rampaging teenagers, just for the hell of it. And for dessert, they shattered the windows of five other vehicles in the same street. We know what will happen. They'll get off with a community service order, maybe a small fine and then back on the streets to do it again. Honestly, the criminals here are laughing at the justice system.

Sound familiar to South Africans?

You are not alone any longer, riding the crime roller coaster, screaming to be let off as your stomachs heave in rebellion. Which is why, quite honestly, I don't see an awful lot of difference between First and Third World environments apart from the fact that thankfully we don't have electricity load-shedding in a bid to save energy. What we do have instead are enormous, ugly onshore and offshore wind farms which allegedly cut down on CO2 emissions. When the wind blows.

So, South Africans, Namibians, Zimbabweans, count your many blessings, bless your Africa and think of those of us who, rather than getting their daily vitamin D supplement from the sunshine, rely on our cornflakes.

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