Archive for August 25th, 2013


Expediency is the shadow of right and truth, it is the beginning of disorder

August 25, 2013

When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expediency appears.  Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder – Lau Tzu

Perhaps an apt description of the current state of affairs within the opposition parties of Ukraine?

Having seen, day in and day out, for months upon end, during the ill-fated and exceptionally pointless “Rise Ukraine” campaign by the opposition parties – during which hardly anybody did “rise” and nobody really knows why they were asked to “rise” even now – I became accustomed to seeing Arseniy Yatseniuk, Oleh Tyahnybok and Vitali Klitschko joined at the hip.  They were almost inseparable.

Quite which we want to identify with virtue, which with benevolence, and the latter with right conduct, I will leave to the readers – however the result of such an unholy and ideologically fractious alliance was clear to all from the start – with Klitschko repeatedly making statements about the differing ideology within this trinity – resulting in a glaringly obvious case of political expediency, an alter at which individual right and truth (not to mention individual party ideology) was to be sacrificed.

However, over the past month – with the exception of the 10th Ukrainian World Congress in Lviv last week, during which I did not see Klitschko speak to either Yatseniuk or Tyahnybok either on or off stage – they have hardly been seen in each others company.

Yatseniuk now regularly appears on television alone, where once there were always three.  (As an aside, he also  appears to be trying to lose his natural “intelligentsia look” – swapping it unconvincingly for a tanned and permanently unshaven look, to match his ever less intelligent but increasing bold comments one supposes.  I much preferred the intelligent Yatseniuk to be frank.)

Today, yet another lackluster opposition rally occurred in Kyiv where almost every opposition leader (significant or otherwise) was present – less Tyahnybok and Klitschko.

Next week, Stefan Fule, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy meets with Ukrainian Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, Andriy Kliuyev, and Vitali Klitschko. – No mention of Yatseniuk or Tyahnybok.

In short, the past 12 months of being unable to separate these three leaders when appearing in public, has radically reversed over the past few months.

Perhaps it is the holiday season.  Perhaps I am perceiving this all wrong – Or perhaps the political expediency has now turned to the beginning of disorder as the very wise Lau Tzu orated?

If so we can hardly be surprised.  Once the signing – or not – of the EU Association Agreement passes at the end of November, opposition leaders will have their eyes on the presidential campaign of early 2015 – and very little else.

Unless they are going to present themselves as a photocopy of each other relating to policy, ideology and vision, divisions will necessarily become apparent on the assumption they do not nominate a single candidate amongst themselves for the first round – which they simply won’t do, as Klitschko is the most popular opposition leader, but Tymoshenko will not allow a presidential race without her horse in it.

Perhaps I am reading too much into the current lack of joint appearances by the opposition leaders, or perhaps I am being somewhat insightful in suggesting that – coordinated EU action between now and November aside – the faction leaders have already tentatively begun to try and distance themselves from each other in both word and deed, conscious of not wanting to be tarred with each others brushes.

Wise chap that Lau Tzu.

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