DEPOSED, NOW DECOMPOSED
As you can see from many several posts in this years DDP, often the death of a highly picked celebrity can produce great sadness. Terry Jones brought the world laughter and had to undergo a terrible illness before his time. Katherine Johnson strove to make the world a better place for those who went after her. Nicholas Parsons entertained millions, Harry Gregg was a hero who saved many lives, and the Sultan of Oman a renowned diplomat and peace seeker in his part of the world.
None of these qualities apply to former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who has done the odd thing for an Egyptian leader of dying from old age. He was not the Pharaoh he was just a very naughty boy. He didn’t strive to make the world better, he focused on his own personal corruption. He had opponents tortured, and implemented systemic human rights abuses by his police. His attempts as a peace maker in his part of the world were coloured by his own antisemitism.
He was also anti-terrorism and the Iraq War, which won him several enemy of my enemy friends, but then, there were many Iraq War opponents who didn’t have female protesters against their regime abused.
In 2011, after decades of imprisoning people without trial, the Egyptian people overthrew their wannabe king. This was followed by most of a decade where Mubarak claimed he was too ill to face prison, yet was frequently photographed enjoying what looked suspiciously like a relaxed retirement. Finally, he has died aged 91.
In short, Nasser was authoritarian but promoted Arab unity, modernisation reforms and social justice, and died young. Sadat was authoritarian, but had a genuine interest in peace with Israel and reintroduced multi-party politics to Egypt. And was shot dead at a young age. Mubarak was authoritarian and promoted his own bank balance and a crackdown on civil rights, and lived into his 90s. Wrong fucking choice, Grim Reaper.
Hosni was picked by several teams, 21 in all. Researched to Death, The Conqueror Worm and Mercarte add to their scores, and it’s points on the board for DDP legend Finbarr, who finished 2nd in 2000. The Long Awaited Return of the Blackpool Jury, who finished in bronze position last century, gets a hit too. For perspective, when the Jury team started in the DDP, several of our team runners (Day in the Death, Still Life and Bleaching the Bottom of the Barrel for three) hadn’t even been born yet. Sensational longevity.
4 May 1928 – 25 February 2020