Villain Of The Year Award 2011

by Ray_North on January 3, 2012

2011 was a good year for villainy – the bankers, the politicians, the newspaper magnates, the Middle East dictators all earned our displeasure with their dastardly deeds. 2011 was also the year we saw the end of two of the World’s great villains – Osama Bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi. But dying is not enough to get you on to our roll-call of the years great villains, especially if your villainy was carried out a few years earlier. No, it takes more than that. One of the common denominators in our list is that all of the villains are guilty of profound, calculated and continued villainy of the highest order.

Here is our list in reverse order.

5. James Murdoch

James Murdoch featured prominently throughout the year – why? Because his company News International were guilty of some of the worst excesses of corporate greed, manipulation, obfuscation, arrogance and deceit that anyone could wish to see; and at the helm of all of this was the boyish poker face of James Murdoch. Despite the overwhelming evidence, James Murdoch did everything he could to distance himself from the phone hacking that was clearly rife amongst the journalists at the News Of The World. He was willing to throw anyone and anything to the wolves, and come up with any story in order to save his own position.

Amazingly, James Murdoch continues in his role as Chief Executive of News International. I hope that 2012 brings him further shame and ultimately sees him and the empire he seeks to inherit ruined.

4. HM Sheikh Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifa, The King of Bahrain.

The people of Bahrain do not have the opportunity to elect their rulers – they have had to put up with the Bahraini Royal Family since 1971, forty years of oppression, torture and the use of brute force to maintain their hegemony. In the early months of this year, just as in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and elsewhere, the people of Bahrain decided that enough was enough and started to hold protests.

The Bahraini forces killed five of the Pearl Roundabout Protestors, but then backed off for a week following international protests, that forced the cancellation of their beloved Grand Prix – on the 14th March however, the protestors were brutally put down with dozens of people left dead or imprisoned without trial.

Just like James Murdoch, The King of Bahrain remains in power, once again, though, we hope that 2012 is a bad year for him.

3. Prime Minister, David Cameron

David Cameron’s villainy is such that even after a disastrous year for the coalition, his position is stronger and his power is enhanced – there are various reasons for this, not least that the PM’s villainous behaviour involves an inherent ability to preserve his own position. He cares not that his policies have led to massive and increasing unemployment; he cares not that his desire to control the media saw him bring Andy Coulson, a man who reeks of the phone hacking scandal, into Downing Street; he cares not that his obsession with Europe and his desire to placate his party’s Euro-loonies, led to him placing UK as far away from the centre of EU Policy making as could possibly imagine; he cares not that his health policy and his education policy has rendered these fundamental pillars of our society less egalitarian.

David Cameron is the worst kind of Thatcherite Villain.

2. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne

This year unemployment rose to the highest for seventeen years whilst unemployment amongst young people rose to over a million, the highest rate for 23 years. This year, economic growth fell to 0.5%, way below the government’s predictions as our economy struggled to cope with the government’s programme of austerity.

Economically, the UK is a total basket case, reeling from a lack of investment as the government pursues a programme of savage cuts. Make no bones about it, the cuts are ideological driven by an ideological and barely competent Chancellor – George Osborne.

This year, in his budget, Osborne strove to reduce state spending even more – he cut environmental projects, he cut education, he cut welfare and social service expenditure, he cut the NHS, he cut the projects designed to eradicate child poverty. He left bankers pretty much untouched, he left the very rich unburdened by fairer taxation, he opposed plans for a transaction tax and maintained the high rate of VAT. The millionaire Osborne, looked after the privileged and wealthy and left the rest of the country to wallow in the midst of his villainy.

1. President Bashar Assad of Syria

President Assad has been terrorising his people since 2000, but this year he has taken that bullying, oppression to a new level of villainy. There has been martial law in Syria for nearly fifty years: there are bans on the movement of people deemed to be dissidents, there is no free press or internet access or free and fair elections, and this year the people said no more, we want freedom. Assad’s response was predictable and ruthless. Since the uprising started – it is estimated that over 4,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands have been detained without trial, whilst whole areas and cities have been besieged with refugees killed and innocent people starved.

There have been reports of widespread torture, including the use of hot irons and electrodes and even of the children of defectors being killed.

Even the intervention of the Arab League and the UN has not stemmed the bloodshed, with 250 being killed between the 2nd and 12th November alone.

Like all the others in our list of shame and villainy, as 2012 stretches out ahead of us, President Assad is still in power – we at Allthatsleft with him a very, very bad new year!

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