The Polifix: 9th – 15th July


In this week’s political round-up, we have a city going bust, the continuation of the Eurozone troubles and more violence in Syria. It’s not all bad news though, with the sentencing of Thomas Lubanga and an Egyptian Defiance. Plus Kim Jung Un getting down with the the ladies. 

Morsi vs. SCAF

In the polifix a few weeks ago, we spoke about how the new Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, had big steps to take in the forthcoming weeks and months (actually we said he had ‘Morsi’ to do, but lets ignore than awful pun for now).

Despite some skepticism whether the position had any real power left after the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) made a assault for power during the election, Morsi has actually proved to be fighting the oligarchical military rule.

This week, the president ordered the Egyptian parliament to reconvene to the annoyance of Egypt’s leading military generals, who had dissolved parliament and assumed legislative power themselves. (They did this by claiming the parliamentary elections were invalid, but it all seems a bit coincidental).

The Morsi Meter Is Unimpressed

It was a real move of defiance for Morsi as he hopes to regain some authority and show that he has the legitimate right to such power; after all, that is what elections are for. In fact, he worried the ruling generals so much that the SCAF held an emergency meeting. It is unlikely that the power struggle will go to full-blown confrontation, but it is a impressive step forward for the fledgling president.

The Morsimeter may not think so – actually it seems to think he has done nothing, noting that Morsi has achieved 0 out of 64 of his goals (maybe the website owner gave up quickly?). It’s still better than David Cameron, however, who we believe is currently on a score of -666, followed closely by Clegg on -478. Plus we at the Wessex Scene Politics Section give Morsi a big thumbs up for his action, so he should be pretty pleased with himself.

Lubanga 2012?

This week, the International Criminal Court sentenced Thomas Lubanga to serve time in prison after recruiting and using child soldiers in his Congolese Patriots Militia in 2002-2003. The conflict is believed to have killed around 60,000 between varying ethnic groups

Yay! We haven’t got Kony, but we got Lubanga!

What Ever Happened To Kony?

Well, yes, but calm it down. Firstly, he will only serve 14 years in prison (you can get more for drugs offenses in the US). It is a poor sentence considering the crimes.

Secondly, the ICC has been around for 10 years and this is the first time the tribunal has sentenced someone for war crimes; not a great record considering the extent of crimes against humanity in recent decades.

Some have claimed that it shows how far the international court has come. I beg to differ.

 I Guess That’s Why They Call It Eurozone Blues

Oh yes, its back to Euroland (not a European version of poundland) to give an update of the ongoing European debt crisis. So firstly the good news?


And now the bad. The Euro hit a two-year low on Thursday, falling to a value of 1.2.1725 dollars to the euro.  No doubt the European Central Bank’s decision to cut interest rates is partially to blame, but it shows how the crisis is no closer to being stopped.

In other news, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced $80 billion in cuts and tax increases under a new austerity package; unemployment benefits being eliminated, public workers no longer receiving bonuses and house buying tax breaks abolished are a few of the proposals.

It’s hard to see how such measures will boost an economy, but then again I’m no economist. It is, nonetheless, Spain’s forth austerity plan in seven months. Hardly reeks of success, does it?

Syria Continues To Rip Itself Apart

So a double-header for Syria this week. After the widespread coverage of the defection of General Manal Tlass last week; another has followed in its wake. Nawaf al-Fares, the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, stepped down, joined the opposition rebels and called the regime “the killer of people”, become the highest ranking diplomat to defect.

The Syrian authorities were keen to play the incident down though, claiming the the ambassador had been “relieved of his duties”. That’s management talk if you’ve ever seen it (= lies). 

However, the conflict also came to a head as the Syrian village of Tremseh experienced the bloodiest single event of the conflict with over 200 people killed (some reporting 287 deaths). Helicopter gunships and tanks attacked the village with pro-government militia carrying out execution-style killings.

The UN responded with the full throttle of its mandate; Kofi Anna said he was “shocked and appalled”. Oh dear, Assad must be worried.

Also we are unclear whether his comments were directed at the protests that were aimed at the former head of the UN in the wake of the massacre.


Forget Kim & Kanye. Forget Tom & Kate. It’s all about Kim & Mystery Woman. (Yes, the polifix has gone all capitals for you in order to get your attention with a Daily Mail-esque headline)

This is the news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been seen with a woman, which has started a flurry of speculation worldwide. The women was seen at a performance of North Korea’s Moranbong band, which included a Disney display (the clear hypocrisy and bizarreness in that story are too vast to even mention).

Kim Looking Pretty Happy With Himself

So who is this women? Well, no one knows. (Maybe Kim doesn’t even know her; maybe he just happened to be sitting next to her?). Rumours are that it could be his wife or ‘lover’.

Indeed, experts have gone into a frenzy, with Andrei Lankov claiming it could “show a more human-like, soft on people” attitude from his Supreme leader. A fairly quick jump to conclusion there; or maybe he is saying the North Korean leader may be more approachable and diplomatic if he is ‘getting some’?

In reality, we know little about Kim Jong Un; so we know even less about the ‘mystery woman’. It could just as easily be his sister.

In Other News…

The West get an untimely reminder that the war in Afghanistan is still taking place as an insurgent bomb kills six US soldiers, with violence escalating in the Middle Eastern State.

Libyan elections results show that Mahmoud Jibril, a Western-education political scientist, has beaten the Muslim brotherhood candidate Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, breaking the islamic monopoly that has occurred with other post-Arab Spring elections

Another Californian City goes bust – the third in total – as San Bernardino followed in the steps of Stockton and Mammoth Lakes to choose bankruptcy. You are probably thinking how does a city go bust? Erm. I don’t know either.

Tune in next Monday (no longer Sunday) for your weekly political update; the polifix.


Discussion1 Comment

  1. avatar

    Alexander- as always an interesting article but somewhat spoiled (for me at least) by the reference of Cameron/Clegg which displays your own political views and I feel was unneccessary in a piece about Egyptian politics – if you want to give balance at least make reference to Labours lack of any sensible policies as well!

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