Her Majesty's Ambassador to North Korea, Peter Hughes, is under fire for a blog posting he made which appeared to some as a whitewash job for the dictatorship of Kim Jong Il. The post, made on the blog of South Korea ambassador Martin Uden, painted a bucolic Darling Buds of May description of Pyongyang on election day. Hughes …
The people making the negative comments confuse, as Peter Hughes points out, the ordinary civilians with the oppressive regime. People are people and they will try to get on with their lives as best they can no matter what. I found the post quite interesting because of it paints North Koreans as humans - they should be respected as such.
The corrections in the comments:
'The elections were the same as such events everywhere with voters turning out in their hundreds, but there were no opposition candidates: in fact there was only one person standing for each seat which is why all the candidates were elected with 100 approval; and there was a 99 turn out because the compulsory voting was strictly enforced.'
New Labour's postal voting wouldn't be satisfied with a mere 100% approval.
if you can't read behing the lines on that blog you probably need to give up thinking about international affairs.
Pull the other one ...it's got bells on it.
"His final comment regretted that he did not blog from North Korea because "the technology to set one up is not available to us here". Of course it's available, for technology and words knows no boundaries and thus can be ubiquitous, it is just maybe not supplied or utilised, for some personal political reason?
And Who is frightened of Whom in such Heavy Petty/Petting Games, if the Truth be Told?
He will feel right at home when he gets back to the UK
Databases for everything, CCTV up the wazoo, children getting political indoctrination at school, Gatso and SPECs camera's on every road, ID cards, monitoring all your Emails and phones. Petty jobsworths handing out on the spot fines for trivial infractions and now official police advice on how to brand your neighbour a terrorist using an anonymous denounciation hotline.
Can't even have a ciggy and a drink to forget the twunts running this festering heckhole of a country...
Oh yes he'll love it.
Doing a Galloway Meowww!. Sir I salute your indefatigablity etc etc...pass the sick bag!
What a complete and utter hoon he is. Isn't it odd how these upper class twits seem to love repressive control freak regimes. I bet he's part of the 1% who think Jacqui Smith is the best Home Secretary ever.
"During the afternoons, long columns of schoolchildren can be seen marching through the streets in their blue uniforms with red neckerchiefs, carrying red banners and flags, The children sing songs and chant slogans as they either walk gaily hand in hand, or march solemnly by."
Sounds VERY much like the uniform and behaviour of the Anti-Sex League.
Missing the irony?
"...queues of voters waiting patiently to select their representatives in the country's unicameral olegislature."
"There was a reported turn-out of over 99% of the voters and all the candidates, including Kim Jong Il, were elected with 100% approval."
I've a feeling these may have been written with more than a hint of sarcasm, possibly missed by the blog commentators..?
The curse of intelligence
It's a common problem among intelligent people that they're incapable of saying "I don't know how to do it." and instead come out with bollocks such as "the technology to set one up is not available to us here".
It's called irony. It's rather sophisticated. Can you handle it?
Learning to read doesn't just mean finding out the grammatical sense of a string of words - and good writing does not consist of stuffing a political viewpoint down someone else's throat - although that seems to be the way of the web.
That was an excellent piece of writing by Martin Uden. It uses a fairly common technique of describing a situation where the reader is expected to have some knowledge of the reality with words that appear at odds with that reality thus emphasising the underlying abnormality of the situation. He is showing the reader the facade in the knowledge that the reader will see through it. Maybe he should have advised those thickos who posted to f**k off and read the children's story about the emperor's new clothes and then put their brains into gear before opening their mouths and letting the crap pour out.
Re: The curse of intelligence
Convenient and secure internet access to sites of your choice is more freely available in Burma than it is in North Korea.
Feel free to translate that to 'I don't know how either, lol' if it takes your fancy.
It's a piss take, surely
"if you can't read behing the lines on that blog you probably need to give up thinking about international affairs."
Yes, it looked like a piss take to me too.
Is it bad that...
My first thought was it sounds like a Googlification Camp… then my second thought was that I was wrong and this is where all customers of the Church of Jobbitology get indoctrinated!!
They are watching all of us. I know… I saw…
He's an ambassador
His job is to have a good relationship with the local government, and thereafter try to influence the government in a way that is beneficial to the UK. Is there much point to him writing about how terrible the place is - then he would be kicked out the country and relationships would freeze up even more. If you want negative journalism about North Korea, you can find it in a lot of other places.
Would we expect the American ambassador to spend the whole time complaining about how crap soccer is compared to 'real American football'? It wouldn't go down so well with the locals hence he avoids to so, because he would be fired from his job if he just went around upsetting the locals.
I would like our North Korean ambassador to continue to say how wonderful the North Korean government is in such out of the way blog posts that normally don't get read by anyone but will certainly be read by the North Koreans. People can save their indignation for when such items get put out as an official statement.
For the non-diplomats out there - shouting "You suck." from a distance really doesn't have much impact on international politics.
Is this a subtle hint that Kim Jong Il is a puppet and that some bloke called Oleg is pulling the strings?
I'm holding out for a davidislature.
well, to be fair...
"It's a common problem among intelligent people that they're incapable of saying "I don't know how to do it." and instead come out with bollocks such as "the technology to set one up is not available to us here". "
It's a fair guess that a) wifi access at the Hotel Pyongyang isn't a piece of cake, b) if it is, blogger.com probably isn't a site you can access and c) the IT dorks at FCO in Hemel Hempstead probably aren't begging for the guy to hook up his laptop to a DPRK network!
OTOH, is it possible that when he gets back to Seoul he hands his ink and quill-written scrolls to his secretary to type up...
To those who think he was being ironic
I invite you to consider the premise that he is in earnest, otherwise would it not have been better to say nothing at all.
No IMO this is simply a case of an upper class lefty twit 'going native'
Occams razor -simplest answer is usually the right one.
Wonder if he'll get the job in Uzbekistan?
When a previous employer was Borged by a USAnian BigCo, The Mgt introduced "Town Hall Meetings", wherein we would sit on chairs rejected on the grounds of inhumane-ness by the nastiest of South American secret police forces for three hours while senior The Mgt cockwombles showed us Powerpoint presentations, corporate rock videos and the turd in human form who was alleged to be the HR director, until our eyes bled, or our Gameboy batteries ran out. Attendance was compulsory, unless one could contrive to crash the system five minutes before it started. And after the second one They stopped providing sandwiches, pack of scunners that They be.
I commented at the time that if this was really a "Town Hall Meeting", then the town in question could only have been Pyongyang.
Moreover, no-one has yet mention Kim Jong Il being ronery. Standards are clearly slipping.
1 - He wore white gloves and had only three fingers on each hand, thereby proving that, in common with 99% of HR fuckpuppets worldwide, he was actually a cartoon character made flesh in a Mad Scientist's SEEKRIT laboratory. In Bracknell.
Re: To those who think he was being ironic
"I invite you to consider the premise that he is in earnest, otherwise would it not have been better to say nothing at all."
No, it wouldn't. If you take that view with a country like North Korea, you'd never say anything at all. As others have pointed out, his *job* is to maintain whatever diplomatic relations are possible between the countries. Sitting in an office in Pyongyand saying absolutely nothing for his entire tenure doesn't really fit that job description.
Oh, and the blog is certainly dead-pan, but I can't see any irony.