Thursday, June 28, 2007

In with the new....hold on.

Gordon has been busy wielding the reshuffle knife with real aplomb. Despite the "pyschological flaws" or maybe because of them, Gordo has taken admirably to the shedding of Bliarite gristle and fat. TB never could cut and slice with any flair and preferred mincing his way through serial reshuffle failures (to whit, Mags Beckett as Foreign Secretary). At least, GB has disposed of the hapless Beckett. It seems like a relatively "new" Cabinet has just about slithered into sight. Or has it?
Someone called Jacqui Smith, formerly the Chief Whip by all accounts, is now Home Secretary. David Miliband becomes the youngest Foreign Secretary since the appointment of the 38-year-old Dr. David Owen in 1977 (we all know how well that ended up). Darling's the Chancellor of the Exchequer (more like Co-Chancellor given that GB won't be sacrificing any Treasury turf). Brownite lickspittle Balls is to head up the newly-created Department for Children and Schools. His missus, Ms. Cooper also has some kind of role as Housing Minister, without full Cabinet rank. Hain and Johnson have been shifted sideways. Ruth Kelly and Blears (against all the odds) remain in the Cabinet. A former, cough, BBC man, James Purnell becomes Culture Secretary. Benn the Younger is promoted to Environment. The Machievelli of NuLabour, Jack Straw stages something of a come back. Fine.
But what in the name of God is Geoff Hoon (see here, here and here ) doing back in the Cabinet as Chief Whip and why is Des Browne (see here , here , here) still Defence Secretary? Where are "all the talents" with that pair? Everyone thought that these two co-conspirators in NuLabourism were serving out their last days on political death row. Gordo says he is all about change. Don't believe the hype.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Good riddance....

We did try to warn you in '97, 2001 and 2005 but you wouldn't listen.

May God forgive him.....I won't.

Perhaps Yates of the Yard will catch up with him yet.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No respite from Blair

When John Major left 10 Downing Street in 1997, he gracefully retired to the cricket fields. Tony has no such plan. Alas, Blair retains an almost mystical belief in his personal greatness in foreign affairs. Despite the fact that his foreign policy has been an unmitigated disaster. Our forces are bogged down across the globe. The UK has not been able to extract itself from a single one of the countries Blair has invaded: Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
TB is now set to carve out a new role as a (part-time) Middle East mediator according to several media reports. The idea is reportedly strongly backed by George W. Bush who is believed to have head hunted TB for the role (that will go down well on the Arab street). Israel has supported the move. So too has the semi- defunct Palestinian Authority (or at least, the bit of it not run by the Hamas Islamic republic). Syria and Lebanon take a distinctly less enthusistic view of Blair getting involved. In any case, neither Syria or Iran is remotely interested in seeing a long term resolution to the Palestinian problem, i.e, Blair has signed up for a no-hoper of a mission.
Blair is apparently oblivious of the fact that he is despised only slightly less than George W. throughout the Middle East and the wider Islamic world. What does he think he will be able to achieve where so many others have failed? Can the Israel-Palestinian conflict really be solved by a part-timer? Does Blair not recall that his last official visit to the region was an utter failure? And don’t the Blairs have mortgage debts approaching £5 million? This part-time Saving the Middle East number is not going to bring in the big bucks. A penny for Cherie’s thoughts....

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Blair submitts

"I am sorry that Mr. Blair is going; he has always been a man who sought compromise in Europe," said President Sarkozy as the EU barely reached agreement on a blueprint for a new intergovernmental treaty.

The media consensus is that Blair largely succeeded in sticking to the four "red line" conditions he set for agreement on the new treaty -- that Britain would not cede control over foreign policy, its judicial and police system, tax and social security rules, and an EU charter of fundamental rights.

Nothing could be further from the truth. The problem is that Blair surrendered Britain’s right to veto EU decisions in 52 areas of policy including energy, tourism, space policy, transport, civil protection and migration. TB has signed up to giving Europe a Legal Personality, which makes it a state in its own right. TB has also signed up to French demands for changes in the competition laws that will harm British business. There will also be an EU Foreign Minister in all but name. A Common Defence Policy seems to be inevitable. According to Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, it is all for the "good of the citizens."

No wonder the EU leaders will miss St. Anthony of Baghdad.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gordon Brown meme

I have been tagged by Ellee on the things Gordon Brown should be. I believe this is what is known as a "meme" ( which also happens to be the Turkish word for “Breast” you'll be interested to learn):

Proud of:
Unlike Tony, Brown has generally adopted a more sceptical - or, as he calls it, "cautious" – approach to the EU. TB never really wised up.

Apologise for:
*He should apologise for what Lord Turnbull permanent secretary to the Treasury for four years under Mr Brown, described as Gordo’s "Stalinist ruthlessness" in government, and a "very cynical view of mankind and his colleagues". He should apologise for the way he has extended his influence to every aspect of government activity. Usually with terrible results.
*He should apologise for the 100 or so stealth tax rises since 1997 that have made the UK economy less competitive and hit family incomes hard.
* Last year, the forward accounted national debt (including public sector pensions and PFI and other "off-the-books" liabilities) was almost 105% of GDP. This year it's passed 125%. Totally unacceptable.

Do immediately when he becomes PM:
*Call an early general election….which, of course, he won’t do.
*Bury the control freakery (it is, however, deeply ingrained in his personality), abandon the spin, counter-spin, dodgy dossier approach to government.

Things he should do whilst PM:
*Abolish the Council Tax rather than just tinker with it. Which Gordo won’t do.
* He should withdraw British troops from Iraq within 12 months in order to concentrate on Afghanistan. Which he will do (IMHO).
*Take a tough, unyielding, no surrender line against the re-emerging Franco-German axis within the EU. I am hopeful he will do the right thing…
*Pass legislation allowing the people of Britain to have a referendum on the approval/rejection of countries wishing to join the EU.
I shall tag EU Serf if he is still around.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cross-dressing...not my kind of thing

Political cross dressing is all the rage these days (more on the religious variant later). First President Sarko was at it. He has been busy bringing all kinds of lefty/centrist lowlife into his government in order to build a consensus for wide-ranging economic and political reform. Now it seems that Fife’s proudest son has had a similar brainwave. Politics should be bipartisan Gordo has declared. Lib Dems ought to be house trained and bribed/brought into the Cabinet…and soon. On the record, the Lib demmers are having none of it:
“…We are an independent party which firmly disagrees with Labour and Gordon Brown on the issue of Iraq, civil liberties, including ID cards and 90-day detention, nuclear power and council tax to name but a few."

Blah, blah…..the Libs would sell their souls to Cherie Blair or even Beelezebub himself in exchange for a few seats in the Cabinet. Although the Libbers would do well to remember that Blair had made extravagant coalition promises to them on the eve of the 1997 election…and then promptly shafted them good and proper after getting a landslide majority. But then Ming might be tempted to succumb to Gordo’s dubious temptations …..after all, more than a half of Liberal Democrat voters believe that Sir Menzies Campbell should be replaced as party leader. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
It’s not just politics that is infected with cross-dressing. The Anglican community is, as we all know, a pretty desperate place these days. And at least the American bit of it is prone to a spot of cross-dressing unique it is absurdity. It seems that one Anglican woman priest…..brace yourselves….also happens to be a part-time Muslim. Islam takes a decidely dim view of inter-faithism as far as IstanbulTory is aware…..but that apparently poses no problems to the wilder edges of American Anglicanism. Whatever would His Grace say? Personally, I am not one in favour of consorting with the enemy......

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reflections on a possible renaissance

I might stage a come back. If you'll have me back that is. I have been "resting" of late. Times have been tough. A long night of the soul that has lasted 3 months. But some of the old anger is building up. The old urge to vent erudite bile is coming back.....