Diary Entry #3

Sunday morning is always a good time to get political. There's usually programs such as The Andrew Marr Show and The Sunday Politics. The newspapers too are three or four times as big; it used to take me ages to complete my paper round* on a Sunday!

Over the past week I read a couple of articles that got me thinking about 'Western' media coverage. Vice.com ran an article called "A Visit to Europe's Last Dictatorship", a well written but superficial account of Minsk. I think the author (Dave Hazzan) must have written it when he was hungover. Or, as other have pointed out maybe he wrote something he knew the editors would like. Or maybe, people go and find what they want to find. 

Dave writes, "Like most dictators, Belarussian strongman Alexander Lukashenko isn't keen on lots of foreign visitors."  As a Canadian, he could look a lot closer to home to find someone (or some people) that doesn't like a lot of foreign visitors.

After visiting the War Museum he says "Sure, it's propaganda—the Baltic republics were invaded and occupied, not "incorporated" into the USSR, as the explanation panels would have you believe. " I wonder what he would make of The History Museum in Riga. I suppose their version would be the absolute truth. It's all 'propaganda' if you want to use the 'p' word.

This reminded me of an extract in the current book I'm reading, Michel Houellebecq's Submission:

"When people get tired of that candidate, and the centre-left in general, we'd witness the phenomenon of democratic change, and the voters would install a candidate of the centre-right, also for one or two terms, depending on his personal appeal. Western nations took a  strange pride in this system, though it amounted to little more than a power-sharing deal between two rival gangs, and they would even go to war to impose it on nations that failed to share their enthusiasm."

It's no surprise that both 34mag and BelarusFeed ran a parody article!