If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Seven Up

They have just pulled the seventh miner out of the ground.

What a stunning achievement. Virtually everything is being done for the first time, with equipment designed for the occasion. Everything is going as it should. And it's not just the ground-breaking (heh) engineering. The men are in remarkably good condition, and are a testament to the care that they have received while underground.

What has perhaps been the most surprising aspect has been the involvement of the politicians. The President, Sebastian Pinera, and the Mining Minister, Laurence Golborne, have been a constant presence, and have been actively involved in the operation. No doubt it will be doing their approval ratings a bit of good, but their involvement seems genuine. Contrast Gordon Brown's photo-opportunities in Iraq - staged backgrounds, managed situations and visible disenchantment by the soldiers involved.


  1. I've not being following the story too closely but the rescue does seemed to have been well-drilled (sorry) and carried out with remarkable lack of problems.

    The 21st miner due up is Yonni Barrios who has been less than faithful to his wife. His emergence could be interesting to watch.

  2. Was he the one whose wife and mistress only found out about each other when they met at Camp Hope? And had a bitchfight in the canteen there? He may well prefer to stay right where he is.

  3. An essential difference between Chile and UK is that Gordon Brown was a really important person on the world stage whereas Sebastian Pinera is some self styled puffed up third world trollop in mans clothes who drives around everywhere in a Mercedes 600 Limo with motorcycle outriders.

  4. Good news about the miners but it's interesting seeing all the politicians giving it large on speeches etc.
    Where were these guys during the years when this 'pirate' gold mine was allowed to operate ? No health & safety or workers rights etc. And a dangerous mine worked well past it's sell by date.
    And 30 BBC staff to watch a hole in the ground. They could have covered the Commonwealth games in Glasgow ( which they've refused to do despite covering the Delhi Games) for the cost of all these drones flying to Chile.

  5. Oh yes, it's a BBC wankfest all right. They are even interviewing each other, just like they did at the Raoul Moat incident ("So, Rajesh", "Well, Tim"). The video feed (at least of the important stuff) is obviously common, so why they need 30 people there is a mystery.

    Nikos - you may be strictly correct in your descriptions, but what struck me was the obvious regard the Chilean politicos were held in by the ordinary people. Perhaps it's because they were on the scene and actually involved for significant amounts of time. GB would have turned up in a limo (via the M4 bus lane), stayed for 5 minutes looking embarrassed, and left for a meeting with some Eurobankers. When he went to inspect the troops, I was constantly worrying that one would slot him and get a dishonorable discharge.

  6. " I was constantly worrying that one would slot him and get a dishonorable discharge. "

    Don't you mean promotion and a medal ?

  7. If there was any justice in the world, yes.

  8. Richard
    I agree the Chilean politicos seem to be genuine (my description was 180degrees out of phase - call it irony or my ex would have said extreme sarcasm)...in hind sight I guess that if GB had turned up in similar circumstances in his VIP Chinook with outrider Apaches, the operation would have turned to rat shit within minutes!

    good post btw!

    F . A . B


  9. @Nikos - lay off the ouzo until after 9 pm :) I wholeheartedly agree that the Curse of Gordon would have doomed the men within seconds. The Chinook would have disturbed the ground, the rest of the mine would have collapsed,and the miners would have died of starvation, while being suitably grateful for knowing just a little about neo-endogenous growth theory.

    FAB, my Hellenic friend.

  10. I heard the US offered to conduct the rescue but were turned down for some reason.

  11. To be fair, the guy in charge of drilling the actual hole was an American, and he went home as soon as the hole was complete. He was on the BBC - seemed a pretty sound guy to me.


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