07 December 2010

No money for disaster relief but a billion for Man United

So far I have found the cables published by Wikileaks to be an awful lot of very little. Perhaps I am to cynical in my middle age but most of the revelations are not really surprising.

That said, today’s Grauniad published details of one cable that made me angry. It seems that Than Shwe, utter piece of human shit and leader of the Burmese military junta, considered making a $1bn (£634m) bid to buy Man Utd around the time it was facing rising anger from the United Nations over its appalling response to the 2008 cyclone that killed 140,000 people.

Than Shwe was urged to mount a takeover bid by his grandson, according to a cable from the US embassy in Rangoon. It details how the regime was thought to be using football to distract its population from ongoing political and economic problems.

The proposal was made prior to January 2009, Months before the Burmese junta had been accused of blocking vital international aid supplies after Nargis struck, killing 140,000 people.

Than Shwe reportedly concluded that making a bid for United might "look bad" at the time, but the revelation that the proposal was even considered is likely to fuel criticism of the regime's cruelty. The senior general instead ordered the creation of a new multimillion dollar national football league at the same time as aid agencies were reporting that one year on, many survivors of the cyclone still lacked permanent housing, access to clean water, and tools for fishing and agriculture.

The mooted price tag for Manchester United was exactly the same as the aid bill to cover the most urgent food, agriculture and housing for the three years after the cyclone, as estimated by international agencies including the UN.

According to Forbes magazine's valuation of the club at the time, $1bn would have been enough to acquire a 56% controlling stake.

Than Shwe then reportedly coerced and bribed eight leading business and political figures to establish teams and ordered them to spend large sums on imported players and new stadiums.

Another example of how the Burmese regime does not give a shit about the people of Burma. That they would have even considered spending $1bn on Man Utd shows breathtaking callousness. Bastards


Pagan Sphinx said...

I had a neighbor from Burma. And there was also a Turk in the neighborhood. Both family men with phd's; both hated each other and only thinly disguised it. It was interesting!

As for middle age - I'm middle aged if I live to be 101, which I fully intend. :-)

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Just to think that for a puny percentage of $1B one could get a contract somewhere in Palermo to get rid of most of the stinking junta...

jams o donnell said...

101? Try 121 Sphinx!

Now that is a simple and cost effective solution Snoopy!

Sean Jeating said...

For a change I do not entirely gree, Jams.
Many leaked 'news' might not come a surprise, but they do authenticate (if that's the right word) the 'privileges' of people like you and me, hm? :)

Of course, the most 'interesting' part of the leaked cables is about the reactions, hm.
If this would be a diplomatic cable, I'd write: There is something rotten (not only) in the state of the United States, which seem to be governed by a bunch of shameless bastards.
The peace of the night, my friend(s).

Sergeant Pluck said...

Certain people at night ought to put their head on a pillow instead of leaving comments with a bunch of typos and mistakes.

jams o donnell said...

I agree Sean while the actual content does not surprise me it does not mean to say that I am not angered by some or a lot of the content,,, That the US spies on the UN is no surprise does not mean I think it is anything but a reprehensible act.