The Diana-isation of Benazir Bhutto begins

It is amazing how some one's death can suddenly see history and public opinion so radically change. A few days ago Benazir Bhutto may have been the west's best bet for a "friendly" government in Pakistan, but she was also a politician who was, along with her family and political party, widely seen as corrupt.

Both spells in charge in Pakistan saw her government's quickly lose popularity whilst corruption was rife, including large amount of money flowing the way of the Bhuttos. This appears now to be quickly forgotten.

Her friendships too also raised questions about her. She was, according to George Galloway, a close friend of his. For me and for many others this would put a massive question mark against her judgement.

So what had she promised this time that was different from before ? It appears from the news last night that her power base was still amongst the agrarian poor, but as the news journalists have made clear, this was in great part because of the patronage shown by the Bhutto's. In Britain we call patronage by a different name and when you use government funds to pay off large numbers of voters, it has a different name in most other parts of the world too.

And in twists likely to add to the Diana-isation of the cult of Benazir Bhutto, there are more and more conspiracy theories about how she actually died. Only Gavin Whenman has said, in jest I am sure, that it was Prince Philip and the British secret service, but no doubt Mohammed Al Fayed will be pleased that at least the driver for Benazir Bhutto was not a drunk in his employment.

So many have said that Bhutto was the best chance for democracy in Pakistan. This may well have been correct, but it is an indictment of the dearth of good democrats in Pakistan. I fear that in truth Bhutto was not the best chance for democracy but was in fact the best chance for the west and the USA. These things though do not mean the same thing.


Gavin Whenman said...

"Nobody yet has said it was Prince Philip and the British secret service"

I did, in fact I said it in a comment on one of your posts - http://norfolkblogger.blogspot.com/2007/12/was-this-how-bhutto-died.html

Nich Starling said...

Of course you did, and I have modified the post to reflect this. Thanks.

Stephen Glenn said...

I have carefully checked the working on all my Benazir Bhutto postings to confirm that I have not said she was te best option for democracy in Pakistan as that is not my viewpoint.

However, I also notice that I did not make it clear that both her and Nawaz Sharif return to be involved in a democratic advancement from the military dictators that ousted both of them was good.

I think my last post, which I see is echoed strongly is this entry, was more aluding to the spin of this government. Who dispite having unitigated access to the military sources are as trustworthy as a dosier regarding weapons of mass destruction on just what is happening in reagions close to conflict zones.

Their latest proclamation of 'fact' before fact is it would seem determined being the example that I picked up on.

Gavin Whenman said...

Lol, you didn't need to do that - I just wanted to show how heartless I am :-D