Spodobe na okupu

A ponovo i na vlasti.


Since the London transportation network is filled with people who are angry about the inadequate service they receive, its directors have found a solution: posters requesting that people that people not be angry about the inadequate service they receive.

Meanwhile, my local council in Haringey publishes a monthly magazine called Haringey People. In it one can see photos of the councillors wearing large shiny medals around their necks. The magazine must certainly provide hours of pleasure to that audience -- it must be out there -- that enjoys looking at photos of corpulent middle aged men in garish jewelry. It also appears to exhaust the council's reserves of competence.


A new, unstable, short-lived government

So it looks like they have done it after all. In a move many hail as some kind of victory, DS and SPS have agreed to alienate both their supporters and form a government together. Word is that the prime minister will be the current finance minster Mirko Cvetković, a compromise figure in every respect. As a "nonparty" person, he is more or less acceptable to everyone. As a nonentity, everyone believes they can control him. He may surprise people on that second count.

The new government is set to have 28 ministries, affirming the place of Serbia near the top of the world demographically in ministers per capita.

The good news about the government is that neither Vojislav Koštunica nor Velimir Ilić will be part of it. The bad news is that SPS will be, and once again a party with minor support will excercise inordinate power. What is uncertain is whether SPS will use the opportunity to demonstrate that it has the capacity the become a political party, and also whether DS will use the opportunity to demonstrate that it has the capacity the become a political party.

PS: Backstory? -- Here are journalists speculating in Politika that Tadić was compelled to choose Cvetković by party leaders and that his preference would have been .... Vuk Jeremić????? But how little does one have to respect (even) Tadić to imagine anyone, even him, seeing Vuk Jeremić in any position where something might depend on him?


War criminals: What are they good for?

Mr Župljanin has had a tough decade of it, if anyone is to judge by his lament. He says "we have never had any support in Serbia from the democratic authorities," if you can imagine that. And as for the democratic authorities? They couldn't liquidate him, they couldn't arrest him, they couldn't get past their amusement at Mr Lovre's personal ads, they just couldn't do much. Where would we be without Mr Župljanin, without his "enormous suffering and superhuman efforts," and without his self-pity? In a much less bemused world, that's where.

Bozza: "Response to a silly and hostile suggestion"

If you do not like living in London while it has a buffoon as its mayor, you may wish to look for a new home in the Caribbean. If you say the preceding, you may be encouraged to return to a former home in Australia, or at least to vacate a present place of employment. And if you like living in the United States either while it has a buffoon as its president or in anticipation of its having a nonbuffoon, you could be expected to pass something that looks like this test.


With reference to the previously posted item, Morgan Tsvangirai is clearly not a reader of this blog, or he would know that he is looking for protection from the wrong source.

While you were away

Well, while I was away, actually. While I was moving to what I hope will become a reasonably permanent new home amongst the sushi bars of Muswell Hill, Owen (who will be known to readers of this site as a regular commenter) was keeping the world informed of the progress of the lawsuit by Hasan Nuhanović and members of the Mustafić family before a district court in the Netherlands.

The plaintiffs are suing the Dutch state for the failure of its military forces, which were present in the area as members of UNPROFOR, to protect their relatives during the Srebrenica genocide in 1995. Rizo Mustafić, Ibro Nuhanović, Nasiha Nuhanović and Muhamed Nuhanović sought protection at the UN military base in Potočari, but were soon afterward delivered to the Bosnian Serb forces by the members of the Dutch military who were bound to protect them. The lawsuit seeks to establish that the military forces are guilty of gross negligence of their duty to protect civilians, and that this was a result of state policy which placed emphasis on the safety of soldiers at the expense of the obligation to protect civilians.

If you care for 198 pages of pleading, you can dowload the writ of summons (translated into English) at the plaintiff's firm's web site. It is a PDF, and since they are lawyers they have a little shrinkwrap agreement for you to click before you can get to it. Or you can listen to an interview with the lead lawyer by CBC, followed by Ramush Thakur's comments on the responsibility to protect.

Paul Vallely sets out several of the issues in the case for The Independent. Plaintiff Nuhanović and his lawyer set out their case to Reuters in an interview. Attorney Liesbeth Zegveld (bio) gives the theory of the case with admirable succinctness to the BBC. Some unexpected uncertainty came about just as hearings were about to begin when the judge who had been overseeing the case since 2005 was removed from the case without explanation.

A decision is expected in September.

Errata: See the comments for an important correction.

Holidays in the sun

If you decide to take your sun and fun in lovely Priština, then Sophie Middlemiss suggests, helpfully, in the Guardian that "the most authentic sleeping experience you'll have is at the family home of a former university professor." The suggestion box is still open for people who prefer an inauthentic sleeping experience.