Thursday, July 03, 2008

Jeremy Thorpe calls for the assassination of Robert Mugabe

Or at least he does according to the The First Post:
Jeremy Thorpe, the former leader of the Liberal Party, has called for the assassination of Robert Mugabe. Speaking to the Journal of Liberal History, he was asked his views on the Zimbabwean leader. Thorpe, now 79, began tamely enough, saying: "I think he is a ghastly, wicked man", but when asked how he should be dealt with, he hardened his line: "He should be assassinated."
I have been having similar thoughts recently, though there are doubts about how far Mugabe is really in charge any more. And I think people tend to overestimate the importance of individual leaders. Remember how the Israelis used to demonise Yasser Arafat? His death hardly led to a breakthrough in the Middle East, did it?

Thorpe's remarks raises a couple of questions.

First, does this amount to incitement to terrorism? It is now an offence to conspire against foreign governments here in Britain. Looking back at a posting of mine from three years ago, it certainly looks like it.

Second, why are we so squeamish about assassination when most of us are quite happy to entertain the idea of invading a country to overthrow a tyrannical government? That will inevitable involve the death of many people, most of whom will have little personal involvement with the regime.

The First Post goes on to recall that Thorpe was once on trial for conspiracy to murder. I prefer to remember that. as Liberal leader, he called for Rhodesia to be bombed when Ian Smith declared UDI.

Now that's what I call liberal interventionism.


Anonymous said...

Thorpe called for the bombing of the Beira pipeline to deprive Smith's rebels of fuel, not for the bombing of any inhabited area.

But whether the RAF would have been willing to do even that if Wilson had ordered them to is an unanswered question.

Anonymous said...

It was rumoured that Jeremy Thorpe called for the Atomic Bomb to be used on Rhodesian about a sledgehammer to cracking a nut? He was known as "Bomber Thorpe" until his gay lover Norman Josiffe emerged. This was changed to "Bummer Thorpe" quite quickly for obvious reasons.