British Duke of York visits Bahraini absolute monarchy

This music video from Britain is called The Grand Old Duke Of York; Children’s Animation.

According to Wikipedia:

‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ (also sung as The Noble Duke of York) is an English children’s nursery rhyme, often performed as an action song. The Duke of the title has been argued to be a number of the holders of that office, particularly Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany (1763–1827) and its lyrics have become proverbial for futile action. …

The most common modern version is:

Oh, The grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.

And when they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only half-way up,
They were neither up nor down.

Though the actions of that old Duke of York, as described in the song, were futile, at least they also do not look like having had harmful effects.

After that duke of two hundred years ago, now there is another Duke of York; also known as Prince Andrew of the British royal family.

Like his predecessor two centuries ago, this new duke has to do with wars. Wars fought with bayonets and old-fashioned rifles then. With expensive warplanes, which British politicians and corporate fat cats like to sell to dictatorships like Bahrain now.

Some will consider Prince Andrew’s actions futile, like the older duke’s. But are they also they harmful, like in the song? By whitewashing regimes with blood on their hands?

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Andy McSmith‘s Diary: ‘Air miles Andy’ unlikely to broach human rights with Bahrain’s king

Wednesday 15 January 2014

There was a photograph proudly displayed on Prince Andrew’s official Twitter account today, taken in Bahrain, where he was being received by the King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah. He used to be known as “Air miles Andy” because of all the travelling in his role as an unofficial trade envoy, but that ceased when his friendship with the American financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, threatened to become an embarrassment. That episode is now, apparently, behind him, and he is in Bahrain to promote British business.

Since 2011, there have been constant reports of civil-rights abuses in Bahrain, mainly against Shia who make up a majority of the population. In March 2011, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sent in troops to protect the Sunni ruling family. According to the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, there were 651 arrests during 2013 that were related to the protests that have been going for almost three years.

If the Prince were a politician, he might feel the need to mention this in his talks with the King. As a trade envoy, he will no doubt say that it is outside his remit.

This video is called Systematic torture in Bahrain.

Bahrain arrests 183 protesters, including 31 children in one month: here.

Bahraini anti-dictatorship movement: here.

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