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If only Blair had resisted the demands for him to go. If only he could have spoiled all the plots. If only he had never given the hostage to fortune in the first place. By now he would have had ample ammunition to sack Brown and turn over a NewLabour leaf. He could have succeeded in renewing the party whilst in office. Northern Rock. The 10p tax fiasco. Can you imagine how this would have played with Brown still in office as Chancellor? The public would have still been mad at the government but the way would have been clear for the culprit to make the supreme political sacrifice – or at least take exile as Foreign Secretary.
And Tony would have been good at it as well. “Look Gordon, you know me, I am a regular guy, this is really difficult but… Its for the good of the country, the good of the party, for your own good … “.
Life’s not fair … just ask Norman Lamont.
However I suspect Labour backbenchers are having a collective bout of selective amnesia over the process that deposed Blair and left them with Brown. They must hope the electorate do not cotton on either since this whole episode can hardly mark them down as perceptive – if the electorate stopped to think about it for long enough.
An interesting story in Watts Up With That prompts me to comment on the current state of man made global warming – or the lack of it.
Its quite a funny story really about the icebreaker stuck in the ice. Whats so funny? Well it was engaged in a cruise to demonstrate how much ice had disappeared due to global warming. Such ice as there was, was expected to be thin and weedy, but in the end it trapped the mammoth ship for a week. Hope the passengers enjoyed it. As one commenter says “In the last year, 2 separate cruise ships viewing ‘the melting Antarctic ice’ have struck icebergs”. We will gloss over the ‘carbon footprint’ of these voyages.
One reason why temperatures are rated as high as they are is also highlighted in this blog. Putting a weather station in a Fire Station car park in the middle of a city is not the best of ideas but its not uncommon as this link explains further. And you thought all this temperature recording lark was ‘scientific’.
‘Watts Up …’ also points up the fact that there is far from a concensus on global warming, highlighting The Oregon Petition, which has just chalked up Freeman Dyson as a signatory, not to mention the Manhattan Declaration and the Leipzig Declaration. When you are told there is a scientific consensus by anybody, you know they are lying. “Nature of course will be the final arbiter of truth” and the graph in this link currently makes devastating reading for warming alarmist.
Here in sunny Britain harsh politics and economics are intruding into the warmists fantasies. Its troubling that policy such as fuel tax and carbon indulgences trading is being made up on the basis of “the “scientists” torturing the data until it tells the truth”. Where is Amnesty International when you need them?
It seems the government is a little upset over the intervention of the Children’s Commissioner in their belated get tough policy on juvenile violence and murder. Well they should have thought of that before they invented the Children’s Commissioner – “to give a national voice to all children and young people” – in the first place. Silly me, there was I thinking that was a parents job.
Meantime the appalling toll in young life continues, with the government standing transfixed in the headlights. As it tears up the fabric of our society it seems surprised at the by-products. its not as if the worry over knives is new, even the BBC were discussing it back in 2003, with a reference to an amnesty in 1996. It does not need new initiatives it needs existing laws enforced. It will also need to put policemen on the streets, not community support officers, and keep our policemen there not filling in forms and ticking boxes back at their desks.
As our government wallows in its unpopularity, look out for a few eye catching initiatives on this from which our Prime Minister can be associated with. But thanks to the unique way its been running the economy lately – can it find the necessary resources to back these up?
Labour are going to listen. To change.
And for good measure “the Early Education Advisory Group are urging Beverley Hughes, the Children’s Minister, to water down the new curriculum by dropping targets …”.
If only …
As in so many other areas “choice is being taken away from them”. The Times seems to be making an issue of this so its likely to be drawn to government attention. Libby Purves – “While social services miss tragic cases, the Government fiddles with early learning targets” – points out the inevitable result of Labours one-eyedness.
“… ministers – and here comes the satirical backcloth – are far keener on micromanaging those who are already perfectly OK. They like to impose their will on soft, law-abiding families rather than intractable and uncivilised one.”
“… while we are a society that still has pockets of appalling parenting and children who die by gradual visible neglect, the kindly and reasonable majority of families are subject to endless authoritarian fiddling. While one child lies in filth and fear, taken out of school for ten weeks without a single visit from state authority, that same state authority beavers away to force every childminder to have “a range of programmable toys””
Will Labour listen? Well there is nothing like an execution to concentrate the mind. But there is a world of difference between trimming, running away or compromising and actually having coherent philosophically sound alternative ideas and policies. Central control runs through the middle of this government like a motto through a little stick of Blackpool rock.
Listen? Expect smoke and mirrors.
I suspect that many in Britain will not be really too concerned about the differences between Republican and Democrat in the USA, perhaps being prepared to tar all with the same brush.
This post and its accompanying picture from Ed Morrissey of ‘Captains Quarters’ ought to give a glimpse into the fundamental divide between the two. Democrat activists working under the banner of Cuba with a picture of Che looking on does I think illustrate the reality of the crypto-communist left wing that hangs on to the Democrats in America, and probably shows why they have of late lost the blue collar vote.
Equally the attitude of Senator John Kerry (and the right wing response) on how to deal with Iran is quite instructive. Kerry says “By engaging Iran, we reclaim the moral high ground”. Oh, the right wing response of course is “from whom will we be reclaiming it?”
To put this in a British perspective we would have to imagine Ken Livingstone supporters parading the Venezuelan flag during the London mayoral elections. Come to think about it they all but did. I suppose if Americans want to understand the true atavistic tendency of Labour activists (as opposed to voters) then the Crewe by election and its now notorious class warfare depiction of the Conservatives as ‘toffs’ would be correspondingly instructive.
Although what they would make of the way Labour played the race and immigration card in the same election is anybody’s guess.
Frasier Nelson from The Spectator is in Afghanistan and speculates that the Taliban are in disarray if not retreat.
It seems they have given up. Fighting was expected to start three weeks ago but hasn’t. Instead the Taliban have switched to roadside bombs and suicide attacks
This is the first I have read about this and lets hope it is true, although the bombing campaign clearly is fraught with dangers for our troops and Afghan civilians.
Its good news for our troops if this continues and makes their efforts worthwhile. However we should not forget that there has also been some not insignificant US involvement in Helmund. The Americans are not likely to be there forever and the British and Afghan forces will need to hold the gains made. But success of the surge here and in Basra and Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq really give the lie to the doomsayers who have been belittling our activities there. Its just important to remember that ultimately its taken intervention by the US Army/Marines to force the issue.
Margaret Becket is just one labour backbencher urging Brown to change course. But this begs another question, ‘Port or Starboard?’
Indeed questions are falling quicker and faster than leaves in autumn following Labour’s Crewe debacle. But ultimately they revolve around Brown’s future. We can be sure of one thing, at the time the Labour Party anointed Brown as their leader they never dreamed that they would be arguing over the need for his successor so soon. This single fact points to the vacuum at the heart of the Labour party. They bought into the Brown myth to such a degree that not one single person would run against him.
How the hell do they expect us to take them seriously?
Its in instructive to look at Labourhome website to see how continuingly disconnected Labour are – although its clear the penny has dropped in some quarters. But when you read comments like “I’ll be glad to see the back of that evil rat Purnell.” (or should that be, “He’s a morally dubious rodentesque careerist”) or, “Another problem: Hazel Blears”, then you can see how deep Brown’s problems are as well.
Conservatives might think of getting in first with the one policy option Labour have left. An English Parliament. The main parties shy away from this as its said it will lead to the break up of the Union. I am not so sure. Lack of English democracy is more likely to make that happen.
Labour are desperate for votes in England … its the last shot in their locker.
Tories should get their retaliation in first … maybe they should take a leaf out of the NewLabour playbook and announce a Commission.
Very first indications via Newsnight from the Crewe by election count is that the proportion of votes is similar to the recent local elections. Which paints a very bad picture for Labour and for Gordon Brown. Reality is about to intrude into the Matrix like construct that Brown lives in. As Matthew Parris points out in this Times piece,
“the PM is having to warp the external world to make it fit”
Its well known that Brown is a control freak, but what does this mean? Well it means he wants to get all his ducks in a row, sometimes to the point of vacillating paralyses. But a further problem comes when these obstinate ducks simply refuse, as they invariably do, to dutifully line up. In Browns warped world the problem is not just that these troublesome birds don’t line up when he tells them to, its that if they don’t then he simply pretends they do, he repeats endlessly that the ducks are indeed lined up, “and therefore” they will soon be potted. In his world things are because he decrees they are, things happen because he says they must logically happen.
For some considerable time people – some who should have known better – took Browns pronouncements at face value, and the whole period of his post coronation ‘bounce’ was a classic case of Brown getting his ducks in their infernal row – announcements, pronouncements, denouncements, defections and repetitive parroting of mantras which were followed by the inevitable “…and therefore,”. As Cranmer points out he was at it again lecturing the Church of Scotland; and again last month in Boston.
Such fantastical constructs cannot hold up forever, the public have woken up to the fact that these “and therfores” are in fact complete non sequiturs. Tonight Brown ought to get the message, he ought to see and feel pieces of scenery from the real world falling on his head. But faced with the reality that he is not the solution but the problem will Brown merely descend into a further alternate reality?
Guido as well as other bloggers regularly point out the Jonah like influence of Browns visits and complements. I rather think they have missed, hardly out of good taste I would venture, that Browns address to the loyal Kennedy clique in Boston suffered the consequence of Ted Kennedy being diagnosed with life’s ultimate reality.
Some years ago I realised that the IRA and their mainland bombing campaign were heading for defeat. They planted a bomb in a litter bin in Warrington. Just what they hoped to achieve by blowing up Warrington was quite beyond me, since the locals could generally be relied upon to come close to that every Saturday night.
Now we read that a radicalised Muslim, with “a history of mental illness”, has planted a bomb in a restaurant in Exeter. I have been to Exeter and its not as charming as you might think. Quite what an exercise like this can possibly achieve is known only in the dimmest recesses of the mind of the most gullible Muslim – admittedly there may be plenty of them.
The IRA cruelly killed a small child, all to no avail. In Exeter, mercifully, only the bomber himself has been injured. No doubt the Madrasah’s in Pakistan will hope to keep the grants flowing in and keep themselves in the no doubt lucrative business of turning lowest common denominators into grade A student radicals. Its hard to see who else is benefiting from this pyrotechnic pantomime.
Well said Cranmer! Oh that our real active Archbishops were so insightful.
His expose of “religio-politics or politico-religiosity” points out an interesting week for Gordon Brown. He examines Browns “messianic vision ” as outlined in his address to the Church of Scotland. He has made his point in his first sything paragraph.
“It is ironic that the week during which Gordon Brown has legislated for animal/hybrid embryos, saviour siblings, 24-week abortion, and the eradication of fatherhood, that he should have prefaced this perverse amoral agenda with a speech in which he outlined his ‘moral vision’.”
But he continues to good effect. He is dismissive of all the usual moralising drivel that Brown spouts but seems particularly cutting of Brown’s soft-peddling on Islam and the way he equates it to Christianity.
“He appears to have read the same bowdlerised Penguin edition of the Qur’an as Mr & Mrs Blair.”
At a time when terrorism is as rife in the world as it has ever been (such that the UN fears for a dirty bomb attack on the Olympics), rife to such a degree that Browns own government plans to circumscribe our freedoms in draconian fashion, Brown can persuade himself that circumstances now make “possible for the first time in history something we have only dreamt about: the creation of a truly global society.” Cranmer points to more of this guff. Following on from Brown’s speech to the liberal glitterati in Massachusetts it is illustrative of how he continues to move his fantasy divisions from the fantasy bunker he inhabits in his head.
Pointedly Cranmer points out that at this Church of Scotland gathering “there were no references to Jesus, no mention of God, and scant references to Scripture” in Browns remarks. Brown is in far too much trouble with his backbenchers for those.
Its an interesting picture that Cranmer chooses to illustrate his point.
Is that the Sword of Damocles I see hanging over Browns head?
The Telegraph highlights interest and interference from The Guardian in its ‘My Telegraph’ blogsite. Quite hilarious really. In my experience My Telegraph is spammed more from lefties than right wing nutters. Free Speech can only go so far it seems as far as the Guardian is concerned.
Still it gives us an further insight, if one were needed, into the true nature of the world we would live in if it were controlled by Guardianistas.
Give me Harry Seacombe’s version any day.
According to the Daily Telegraph our loans to Northern Rock are more risky than first thought.
Mr Sandler admitted: “If house prices decline 5pc, 10pc, 15pc, it would certainly put a great deal of stress on how we would deliver the plan. I don’t want to pretend it is without risk and I don’t think we should take anything for granted at this stage.”
Mr Sandler also sounded a more cautious note about Northern Rock’s mortgage book, which the Treasury has declared “good quality”. He described it as just “adequate” compared with peers.
Not quite the rosy scenario we were told at the time. And speaking of time, this really is a time bomb sitting under the Government. If the plans get delayed, and delayed with some lack of clarity about the future outcome, then any last remaining shreds of economic competence will be further shot to ribbons.
Maybe Sandler is being over cautious, but I smell trouble ahead for Chancellor Darling because if the Rock chief is hoping for assistance from the economy to help him fulfil his plan then this report from The Times does not sound promising.
Guido Fawkes runs this picture, and inevitably his co-conspirators have a good laugh at it.
But when The Guardian chooses to pick out one like this, when it is basically running a story about the Crewe by election, then you know “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
The Guardian has already gone on record as disapproving of labour’s tactics in Crewe and may be this photo is its way of making its point. Guido quite rightly points out that his photo shows how Wendy Alexander (or Wee Wendy McNumpty as Andrew Neil christened her) is kept at arms length.
However for me the point to make is that someone, a certain Nicola Burdett according to the Daily Mail, is being paid a small fortune at tax payers expense to see that these photo opportunities never arise.
Its bad enough that we are paying for these petty bureaucrats, its insufferable that they aren’t earning it.
By the way The Guardian laughably points out how now Labour are worried that rising car taxes might be affecting their chances. This after 11 years. I’m deeply touched!
The labour party are close to insolvency, as reported in the Telegraph.
The real story here is that it is only the trade unions keeping Labour afloat,
“The number of paid-up Labour Party members has fallen from 400,000 in 1997 to fewer than 200,000. Only the trade unions, which have almost quadrupled their support in the past six months, are saving the party from being declared effectively bankrupt.”
But wait a minute, is not the government, the government of a Labour Party kept afloat by trade union donations, also supporting trade union ‘modernisation’ with tax payer funded grants? Tory councillor Tony Sharp makes the point well in his blog,
“This large scale scam is what keeps the Labour Party in existence. Voters need to see where around £10 million of their money has gone and understand how it has been misappropriated.”
Despite this laundering of tax payers money Labour are still in the financial mire, perhaps Lord Levy can help out with the proceeds from his memoirs?