Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Everyone knows the Eurovision Song Contest: improbable artists and cheesy folklore. But in 2012, the musical competition, watched by an average 125 million people, will also have an unprecedented political dimension. "Repression, evictions, demolition: three words you don't normally associate with the Eurovision Song Contest. Azerbaijan has bulldozed its capital's centre to make way for the glitzy palace that will house the contest, evicting people and demolishing homes without notice." (Le Monde, 12 April) But behind the glitz lies a darker reality. Azerbaijan is ruled with an iron fist by President Ilham Aliyev, who took over after his father Heydar's death in October 2003. Capitalism has had several forms, royalty, dictatorship and democracy. They all stink! We have nothing to sing about on that night. RD

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