Something caught my eye in The Herald. The newspaper leads with the story “Britain steps up regime change agenda, pours in £3.3m”. In writing about the alleged regime change agenda, the writer quotes from a “copy” of a letter allegedly written by the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown to the Deputy President of the British Law Society, a Mr. Holroyd. A purported copy of the said letter is published on page 2 of the Herald. In writing about the letter the writer says, “Mr Brown said Britain would continue to do everything we can to cause regime change in Zimbabwe, which remains a priority for this government.” In fact this is a misquote as Mr Brown does not make reference to “regime change” in the alleged letter. It is the author’s very interesting interpretation of what Mr Brown said that had him concluding that the Prime Minister was talking about regime change. What Mr Brown does say in the letter published on page two is;
“We will continue to do everything we can to ensure a better future for Zimbabweans: a democratic and accountable government, respect for human rights and the rule of law, and policies which ensure economic stability and development, not humanitarian misery”
For some reason, the writer has a problem with us having a democratic and accountable government, which has respect for the rule of law and which has a plan for ensuring economic stability and development, not perpetuating humanitarian misery. In his mind, our desire for these things is treasonous; it is a desire for regime change.
But what is “regime change”? It is a term that has been used ad nauseam in the government controlled press. I looked it up on the internet and sources seem to define it as quite literally, the replacement of one regime with another. And regime? It is defined as a form of government; a set of rules both formal and informal that regulate the operation of government and its interaction with society. Used like this, the term itself is quite innocuous. However it is that other interpretation which l suspect, has The Herald writer in a tizzy. My source tells me that the informal use of the word “regime” carries a negative connotation, usually referring to a government considered oppressive or dictatorial, whether it is in power through a consistent application of its constitution or not. Now this is not meant to be a thesis on political terms, all l want to do is ask the writer of the lead article in The Herald and all those other writers in The Herald past and present: You are angry that Britain allegedly wants to engineer regime change, is that an admission on your part that the government we have is in fact a “regime”?