Thursday, May 12, 2011

Democracy: Near and Far

An old friend from University is on his way home from Nigeria, where he was an international observer on the recent general elections in that country. Some 500 people are estimated to have been killed during this election.  Including 10 young students who were manning polling stations.  Ironically, I understand that the elections this year have generally been "free and fair" and the "best poll in Nigeria for decades".

Before we get too smug in this country, I think about our own long history of internal political violence which lasted until relatively recent times. The last armed rebellion in this country (mainland) was by Chartists in Newport, Wales in 1839. Picture is of Jacobite clansmen at the Battle of Culloden 1745. 
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