Thursday, 14 January 2010

Movement in Uganda - and Archbishops over breakfast.

Here's an article from a Ugandan news website that is quite hopeful:

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has cautioned those advocating for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill to “go slow”, saying the matter was a sensitive foreign policy issue.

David Bahati tabled a private member’s bill late last year making the offence of homosexuality liable to life imprisonment.

The President, while addressing the NRM national executive council meeting yesterday, said although Ugandans should not allow their values to be compromised, they should equally not move ahead with the issue recklessly.

Museveni said he had been questioned about the bill by several foreign leaders, including the Canadian prime minister, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He said Clinton called him for over 45 minutes over the issue. (I almost sympathise with the guy - have your ear chewed by HC for 3/4 of an hour must be like getting coshed verbally! And his African patriarchal sensibilities would not enjoy be on the receiving end of a lecture from one of the most powerful women in the world!)

“I told them that this bill was brought up by a private member and I have not even had time to discuss it with him. It is neither the Government nor the NRM party. It is a private member,” Museveni told the NRM meeting at State House Entebbe. (This is hog manure - does he really think anybody believes that a Private Members Bill from a Govt backbenchers wasn't tacitly vetted by the Whips and/or Party managers?)

“It is my judgment that our foreign policy is not managed just by some individuals. We have our values and our stand, historically and socially, but we need to know also that our partners we have been working with have their systems,” he added as members murmured in disapproval. (He's learnt that he who funds the gravy train, calls the tune - or as Lydon Johnson once said: "Once you have them by the balls, the hearts and minds will follow"!)

Museveni narrated that the gay community in New York organised a rally and invited then President Bill Clinton.

“In that rally, about 300,000 homosexuals attended. I challenge you. Who of you, MPs, has ever had a rally of 300,000 people, other than me? Even for me, it is not often that I get those numbers,” he said. (Not that the fellah's an ego-maniac like!)

The Cabinet, he added, had decided to call Bahati and discuss the bill with him. (Oh goody!)

“This is a foreign policy issue and we have to discuss it in a manner that does not compromise our principles but also takes care of our foreign policy interest,” he said as the MPs shouted: “No, no, no!” (Or at least makes sure we get the nice aid cheques and I don't get grief, rather than plaudits, at CHOGM and ANOTHER ear bashing from Hilary!)

He said when he talked to Hillary Clinton, he informed her that people come from Europe with money and woo young people into homosexuality. (Doubtless convincing HC that he was a raving half-wit - but at least he's OUR raving half-wit!)

Museveni warned that those against development in Africa use this opportunity to de-campaign Uganda.

He told the meeting that Uganda was due to host a conference of the International Criminal Court (ICC) but some people were opposed to the venue, arguing that Uganda was violating the human rights of gays. (Too right they are!)

The Bahati bill wants to impose a life sentence on homosexuality and the death penalty on aggravated homosexuality.

The latter is defined as sex with a minor or a disabled person, where the offender is HIV-positive, a parent or a person in authority over the victim, or where drugs are used to overpower the victim.

Under the proposed bill, promotion of homosexuality attracts a prison sentence of up to seven years, while anybody failing to report the offence within 24 hours risks imprisonment for up to three years.

By hopeful, I mean the President is more or less directing that this bill gets dropped PDQ because donor nations have made it clear they are mucho p**d off with it and will cut aid (and therefore the gravy train for the governing party and its pals). Pressure works. But it needs to keep up until this bill is dead, buried, kaput and gone.

BTW I caught the Archbishop of York on the radio this morning, whilst munching my toast soldiers. He really wasn't all that impressive trying to explain to John Humphries where God was in the Haiti situation. The Christlike God argument kinda went missing without sense (leaving 2 toast soldier munching Edinburgh MTh's as confused as John Humphries) but he was pretty good in sticking the boot into Mad Pat Robertson who has said Haiti got in the neck for signing a pact with the devil to get rid of their French colonial masters during the Napoleonic wars (Not that it might not be a worthwhile price to pay for not being ruled by ze snail and horse eaters!). Quoted his mammy: "Don't point fingers - because fingers will point back at you!" and suggested Mad Pat learn to read the Bible properly!!! Gaun yersel' wee man! Mad Pat, of course, is the heidcase preacher who backed Ronnie Raygun for President and Saviour of the US of A and all affiliates from the evils of Commies, Jimmy Carter and Gawdless Liberals. The Poor old boy is obviously not happy at being ignored by those in power. Course, if he had read enough history to realise that Haiti wasn't a colony in the time of Napoleon III (who was only born AFTER Haiti achieved independence from France), we might take him seriously. On second thoughts, he's a televangelist - we'd still ignore him!


  1. This "pact with the devil" talk is an old lie spread by a lot of evangelicals in the US. There is no evidence of this. Also, this sort of talk makes it sound as though the devil is an "evil" god in an equal power struggle with a good God. Don't you think that theology is way off base?


  2. Off base theology? Off planet really. But you make a good point: that it is good old fashioned dualism in a Christian sports jacket. That was a bit of St Augustine's Manichee heritage that he never quite broke free from.

  3. Pat Robertson is a pit dweller, and he is trying to drag as many people down into his bottomless pit of hatred and stupidity as he can.
    As to your main point, I'm not at all surprised that the President is a little concerned about the possibility of the gravy train drying up in the face of such egregious legislation. Good! He should worry!! I hope Hilary picks up the phone AGAIN... after she's done getting us in Haiti with meds, food, water, and rubble removing equipment.
    But more importantly... what is a "toast soldier"?

  4. A toast soldier: well, when one has a boiled egg for breakfast, traditionally you eat it with a slice of hot buttered toast cut into fingers (to dip in the nice runny yolk). The toast fingers are known as toast soldiers for some reason. My theory is it goes back to the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty, the egg being Humpty with his head bashed and the toast being "all the King's soldiers and all the King's men" who "couldn't put poor Humpty together again".

  5. Ah, sopping up the mess after poor Humpty's "accident". I think he was pushed. :) Thanks for the explanation.