December 11th, 2006


Ever since the news came in I've been going round singing Holly Near's "Hay una Muhjer Desaparecida" to myself.

Pinochet got away with what Saddam Hussein is going to be hanged for. He was a fascist dictator, a mass murderer, a torturer and- as is now coming to light- a thief. I guess it all depends on who your friends are.

Reagan's CIA put him in power. Mrs Thatcher feted him. The Spanish wanted to put him on trial but Jack Straw (afraid of what- Mrs T's handbag?) sent him home to the bosom of his family.

The news channels had looped film of him as a dim, smiling, balloon-man being helped in and out of wheelchairs and armchairs and taking tea (or was it whisky?) with Mrs T. Nothing about his demeanour suggests that he ever spent a sleepless night in his life. What a pity he didn't die in jail.