Thursday, November 24, 2005

Iran: dysfunctional Oligarchy or functioning Democracy.

An interesting question, perhaps.

As is the definition of a 'purge'. This 2002 BBC article about the British Conservatives included the subheading 'Extremism purge' when talking about the 'Monday Club' and Ian Duncan Smith (who they?).

Meanwhile, this article about Iranian President Ahmadinejad
talks of 'a series of purges of officials.' , while the theme of the article is that the President is facing stiff parliamentary opposition. The ideas that he is both all powerful, as the purges are indicating- take a look at this Guardian article- and that he faces a meaningful democratic opposition, are difficult to combine. Needless to say, the BBC take the line of least resistance by emphasising the parliamentary opposition rather than the purges.

It's interesting in the context of John Simpson's avowal that 'Iranian politics are as complex and sophisticated as any I have observed around the world.'

It's also interesting in the light of the numerous efforts the BBC have made to educate me about 'caviar fishermen', 'Iranian basketball', and other rich and strange features that apparently marry with the expectations of the Iranian authorities who let Beeb journalists reside in Iran.

The presumption of such journalism is that in my prejudiced ignorance I need to be informed about the human side of Iran. On the contrary, I suspect the Iranian polity of being only too human, with a political elite corrupt as well and undemocratic and inept. But then, I have no way of knowing.

I honestly don't think it's worth the BBC's being there if all they can do is operate as modified PR agents for the regime.

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