Your are viewing a read-only archive of the old DiS boards. Please hit the Community button above to engage with the DiS !
(or all LGBT?)
Like he says, it goes beyond the remit of his current post, and, despite what the people of DiS think, it's in no way a priority in a lot of African states.
caring about homophobia
Just saying it's not a top priority issue. Which it isn't in lot of African states.
because she's clearly defending a law that criminalises homosexuality on the ground that it protects there notion of traditional values. Its not that repealing the law is 'not a top priority' but rather that the law fits squarely with her idea of good government.
was passed in March last year. Sounds like it is something or a priority for them.
to make consensual same-gender sex a first degree offence punishable by 10 years in prison. It's currently regarded as a misdemeanour and only punishable by 1 year in prison.
His current post doesn't require him to derail the focus from vital issues (power, clean water, food supply etc) to more 'trivial' matters.
As he says in the video, you can look at his track record in the UK to know where he stands on the issue.
Never mind the civil rights, let's deal with the important stuff!
And isn't Blair a Catholic now? We know where that church stands on the issue.
he actually challenged the pope on the issue, however all that really shows is that he's only prepared to engage when on a platform where it's convenient for him.
but an equally valid position would be one that says that it's not reasonable to support and empower a political culture that is so fundamentally illiberal. In the video the nobel peace prize winning) president indicates that Liberia gets what it requires from the AGI and no more. At what point does liberal intervention become de-facto acceptance of illiberal prejudice?
Which may say a lot about how bad some of the things he's done are.
definitely my all-time favourite Prime Minister.
if we're talking worldwide, Silv, sure.
that kid cracked me up!
Always thought i'd be one of those "i'll vote Labour 'cos my dad did" types, but as i've got older i've realised it's much more important to vote fot whichever party has the most charismatic leader. When Labour had Blair, it was them. Now it's Clegg (and i'd vote for him again).
The only way the Labour party could regain my vote would be to appoint someone like Sadiq Khan or Diane Abbott as leader.
Similarly with the Tories, it's Pickles or no-one so far as i'm concerned.
four year deal
I agree with him in this. He comes across as a politician avoiding the question, but it is clear that the president of Liberia would not budge on this matter.
Whilst I know that organisations should, and can, focus on more than one thing, I think it is clear why Blair did not want to express an opinion. If he outright stated that homosexuality in Liberia should be legal (which I obviously would welcome happening), he would clearly alienate himself and the Africa Governance Initiative from assisting the Government and people of Liberia with things that assist the whole population.
whether it's morally just, to continue to work with a goverment who are so set on persecuting minorities.
Particularly since anti-lgbt legislation doesn't just advocate jail time for lgbt people, but as some of the people who have lived there have said, by its nature it creates an environment where the beating, murder and abuse of minorities is allowed.
But is that good enough reason to remove all help and support from a country, just because they don't follow or support your moral view?
Surely that is more morally unjust?
Furthermore, I think there could be a good argument to suggest that an improvement in basic infrastructure and health could lead to an increased liberalisation in the views of the country.
but rather than there's a risk that support will be rejected if Blair and his organisation responded non-judgementally but honestly to the issue. In that situation the moral choice belongs to the Liberian government. It's also a fairly good acid test for which governments are extreme enough to be off genuine harm to their citizens and shouldn't be supported in the first place.
As to the idea that improved infrastructure and opportunity can make an opportunity more socially liberal, you have to ask at what point a country is advanced enough to no longer have an excuse for social prejudice? Nigeria is 44th in the world GDP rankings and 2nd in Africa. Homosexuality remains a felony and the country's senate passed a bill making knowledge of or support for same-sex marriage a felony punishable by 5 years imprisonment. Obviously national GDP is not synonymous with social progress but equally a wealthier and more developed society cannot be guaranteed to be more liberal, and relying on the development of infrastructure and opportunity to diminish prejudice is decidedly dangerous.
On a vaguely related note, omar sharif's grandson recently came out as being both gay and half jewish. He's Eygptian so from the Arabic end of Africa but his concerns about prejudice in his country is pretty relevant:
but wewerewolvesonce said "its arguable however whether it's morally just, to continue to work with a government who are so set on persecuting minorities" and I was responding to that.
I think, as you states, GDP is a misguided tool in this instance. I was hinting more at improvements for the poorest members of society.
I guess my point is whether it is a good idea to take a moral stance on one issue to the detriment of the rest of the citizens of a country.
In general though I agree with you that no single issue should dominate any debate about support or aid but Africa's increasingly extreme response to homosexuality looks less and less like an aberration and more like an entrenched position in which nations support and reinforce each others positions. From Egypt and Nigeria to one of the worlds newest and poorest country's, South Sudan, making it one of the first issues they addressed as a new country, Africa's religious objections to homosexuality are hardening into legal persecution.
The only comparable situation is the status of homosexuality in Arabic countries where homosexuality also carries the legal threat of imprisonment and the social threat of ostracism, persecution and the possibility of violence. We gloss over the human rights records of Arabic countries because we need their oil, and we gloss over the human rights records of African countries because they're are disadvantaged to the point of societal collapse (and we sometimes need their oil) but at some point we have to consider drawing a line or be considered hypocrites.
that he looks frail were accurate, so don't want to land myself in hot water here, but presumably his reaction speaks a thousand words?