17 February 2010

Out of the frying pan ...

Fiona Hyslop, the Minister with the reverse Midas' touch - everything she touches turns to dross. After all her unhappy experiences as education secretary, she might have expected an easier billet at external affairs.

This week, she is visiting Malawi. As the press release states:
As well as visiting projects being undertaken by the Scottish-based non-governmental organisations, whose work the Scottish Government supports, Ms Hyslop will meet Malawian Ministers to reaffirm this Government's commitment to working together on shared priorities.

Uncontroversial, yes? Well no actually. Today's Guardian reveals that Malawi is not necessarily the kind of nation state with which Scotland should be associated:
Police in Malawi have launched an operation to hunt down and arrest high-profile gays and lesbians in the southern African state.
Dave Chingwalu, a spokesman for police in Malawi, said a 60-year-old man was arrested yesterday and charged with sodomy. Chingwalu said he received a complaint from a young man that he had been asked to undress by the older man and was then sodomised. Police investigations had uncovered a network of high-profile people involved homosexual acts, investigations were under way "and we will arrest them all", Chingwalu said.

Does the Scottish Government really want to re=affirm its commitment to working together on shared priorities? Will the Scottish Government condemn the illiberal homophobic actions of the Malawi Government? And should not Ms Hyslop be carrying a bell around with her?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And should they not be spending money on something more appropriate than another worthless government jaunt? After Copenhagen, with a dozen or so officials in tow, all to no avail, how much more are they wasting on this nonsense?