The Rich, The Poor And The Oppressed

Inequalities of wealth exist not only in the West.

Granted, the tame news media will often highlight the income of politicians and how they benefit from public life, as was seen in the British expenses scandal, but there is more to it than that. Not unsurprisingly political leaders around the world try to enrich themselves and what we see in the West is comparatively small beans.

The Guardian describes how the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao’s family has accumulated billions:

“China has lashed out at a US newspaper report that premier Wen Jiabao’s family has amassed vast wealth worth at least $2.7bn (£1.68bn), censoring the New York Times website and questioning the paper’s motivations.

The story said Wen, widely seen as the humane face of China’s top leadership, was not directly linked to the holdings. But the association with such a fortune was in stark contrast to the man-of-the-people image he has cultivated.

The detailed account, based on company and regulatory filings, said several of Wen’s relatives had become extremely wealthy since his ascent to the top leadership, controlling assets whose total worth is more than the GDP of Burundi. In many cases their holdings were obscured by layers of partnerships and investment vehicles involving friends, colleagues or business partners. “

Wen Jiabao is not an exception, as the case of Xi Jinping shows:

“As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment, according to public documents compiled by Bloomberg.

Those interests include investments in companies with total assets of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company. The figures don’t account for liabilities and thus don’t reflect the family’s net worth. “

This is original article in the NTY, Billions in Hidden Riches for Family of Chinese Leader.
Continue reading

BBC Understatement, Racism and Rounding Up

I was about to put out a number of individual posts, but it is probably more worthwhile to include them in a round up:

Surprise, surprise, neofascist killer, Breivik took drugs before going on his murder spree.

I wonder if the chess playing Israeli boycotters will avoid the games of Boris Gelfand?

The singing neo-Nazi, Gary Marsden I’Anson, is on his uppers.

Whilst I had appreciated the level of uranium enrichment completed by the Iranian regime, the actual volume and size of the material, some 6 tons of UF6 enriched to 3.5 percent, was a shock to me. That is a lot of enriched uranium.

Searchlight on Journalist falls for EDL’s absurd claims.

Norm on How much more murder (in Syria)?
Continue reading

Joking Obama, Lenin’s Demise And Elections.

I haven’t done a round-up of news snippets for, what seems like, ages.

President Obama jokes.

More than 70 years on and people are still concerned about Lenin’s demise.

Why I can’t really say, but had Lenin stayed in Switzerland then conceivably millions might not have been murdered or Russia not run by dictators and kleptomaniacs. Speaking of which, Putin was re-elected as President of Russia.

Be afraid, exultant Greek neo-Nazis warn rivals.

Not forgetting the other election, in Serbia.

Arrested by a robot? Almost.

Opposing the State in China is costly, emotionally, physically and has a toll on families.

Cheerful news from Hope NOT Hate.

These military tribunals might have the trappings of legalism, but they are wrong and ultimately detrimental. The New Yorker has the lighter side of them.

Will Straw’s take on election techniques over at Labour list.

Syrians vote in election dismissed as a sham.

HMG’s continued negligence towards those affected by Thalidomide.

Finally, the CST on Lessons From Nick Griffin and Jeremy Corbyn.

Not A Word About Tibetans, Only Israelis

Some Israelis want to perform a Hebrew version of the Merchant of Venice in Britain.

Not unsurprisingly some members of the English intelligentsia are annoyed.

Some thespians would like to attack the Israeli government, but can’t, so they settle for attacking Israeli actors.

Apparently, the National Theater of Israel is guilty of some crimes in the eyes of these members of the English intelligentsia.

Even the actors’ trade paper, The Stage, puts a negative spin on the matter.

Astute readers will notice, however, an almost deafening silence when it comes to the National Theatre of China.

There’s no talk by English ‘lovies’ of China’s colonisation of Tibet, the invasion some 60 years ago nor of the murderous treatment of Tibetan civilians.

None of that resonates with said hespians, but should some Israelis want to perform a play in Hebrew then all hell breaks loose.

Engage describes the issues.

The Stage’s welcoming article on the collaboration of Scotland and China’s National Theatres in 2010.

I do hope that those genuinely concerned with human rights will inform themselves on China’s rule in Tibet and avoid posturing.