If you ever needed proof that the UN should be disbanded, here it is
What’s this foul smell in the air? Must be the alphabet soup of international organisations, all those UNs, EUs, UNESCOs, IMFs, PDQs, SOBs, you name it. Unlike your normal soups, this one has been rancid from the moment it was cooked, and now it’s positively fetid.
If you think there’s nothing wrong with the soup, smell the latest portion of insanity served up by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Its quadrennial review welcomes the views of every member on how assiduously other members protect the inviolability of the human person. The assumption is that everyone’s opinion is equally valid, which is nonsensical whatever field you choose as a testing ground. In the area of human rights, it goes well beyond nonsensical and towards severe psychiatric disorder.
Thus Britain has been criticised for her abysmal record by, among others, Russia, Cuba, Belarus, Pakistan and Iran, those universally respected bastions of human rights. As Nazi Germany isn’t about any longer, she couldn’t take part in the review. Otherwise she would have criticised us too.
The Russians, for example, are upset by the excessive force our police use to deal with riots and also by conditions in our prisons, which ‘amount to torture’. I agree. Our policemen, hard as they try, still don’t quite resemble Carmelite nuns, and our prisons, while approaching the standards of sanatoria, still haven’t quite got there.
Yet Aristotle teaches that all knowledge is comparative. Adapting the Greek’s wisdom to the issue at hand, one has to question, however timidly, the Russians’ moral right to open their mouths on human or any other rights. In fact, only my justly famous tact prevents me from suggesting they take the words ‘off’ and ‘sod’ and arrange them in the right order.
For my sins, as if to atone for the accident of birth, I follow the Russian press regularly. So take it from me: honest cops there are far outnumbered by those who dabble in contract killings on the side. Propensity for sadism seems to be a job requirement in Russian law enforcement. Being arrested there for any infraction at all, a traffic violation, public drunkenness and especially taking part in anti-Putin protests, is all one’s life is worth.
People brought to police stations, and not yet charged with any crime, are routinely beaten and tortured within an inch of their lives, and often beyond that point. Sometimes the techniques applied leave the area of classicism and enter that of baroque.
For instance recently cops in Kazan raped a man with a champagne bottle kept at the station specifically for that purpose. Admittedly, if the bottle contained the treacly, well-nigh undrinkable Russian beverage larcenously called champagne, then that’s the only purpose it could have served. Still, the man died of internal injuries, and his murderers got away with a slap on the wrists.
Inmates spending a few months in Russian prisons often come out crippled for life, if they come out at all. And Lyudmila Alexeyeva, she of the Helsinki group, was savagely beaten last year by cops who were a quarter her age (she is in her 80s).
Alexeyeva was lucky she didn’t get killed. Under Putin, journalism, especially if practised in the opposition press, has become a daredevil occupation: at least 40 pundits have been dispatched in variously inventive ways, from drive-by shooting and defenestration to stabbing and nuclear terrorism (remember Litvinenko?). Even journalists who support seemingly innocuous causes, such as opposing the destruction of a forest in north Moscow, are left beaten up and maimed for life.
During the White Ribbon demonstrations in Moscow and elsewhere, police truncheons saw the light of day, with hundreds of demonstrators having their lights knocked out. And unlike our own Tottenham rioters, the victims hadn’t been smashing shop windows or setting cars on fire. They just shouted their humble requests for unrigged elections, which has to be a capital crime in Russia.
Everything that can be said about the Russians’ stand on human rights goes threefold for Belarus, which is independent from Russia in name only. And Cuba’s record is so exemplary that Miami has become a large Cuban city, its population made up of desperados willing to risk their lives only to escape from that paragon of human rights.
And yet, if we continue to practise what Aristotle preached, the Russians’ complaints sound almost legitimate compared to those coming from Iran and Pakistan. Their Halal beef with Britain is our poor record on multiculturalism, so manifestly inferior to their own. I shan’t carry on about their ethnic strife, responsible for thousands of deaths every year. I’ll keep silent on their mutilated and institutionally abused women, on their dissidents dangling off cranes – and I’ll even clam up on their murdered homosexuals.
Suffice it to say that when they have as many churches and synagogues as we have mosques (1,600-odd and counting – a difference of three orders of magnitude compared to the 1960s), then we’ll talk multiculturalism, and Britain’s record thereof. As things are, I’d rather talk about Christians and Jews being murdered in both Pakistan and Iran with monotonous regularity. And, as a secondary topic, I’d like to discuss the definition of cynicism, and how it ought to be reassessed.
Coming up next: Joey Barton’s lecture on good manners, Myra Hindley’s lessons on bringing up children, Dr Shipman’s advice on care for the elderly. We do have a lot to learn from all of these, so watch this space.
Meanwhile, may I suggest that we stop financing all those international talk shops whose sole purpose is to undermine the West? Let them pay for their own deranged harangues.