There is an air of excitement amongst the political anoraks. The Guardian has endorsed the LibDems. So Michael White, Martin Kettle and Saint Polly Toynbee plus the rest of the motley crew will all have to learn new tricks. The Guardian loves to portray itself as a vital and important source of fact, but this is fantasy. The most important role it has in the left/liberal world is carrying all those job adverts on a Thursday, the jobs in the public sector with strange sounding titles and substantial salaries. This is why many people buy the paper, they don't buy it to 'become engaged'. The social consequences of its pronouncements are greatly exaggerated, social engineering is what it talks about but really it's a job seekers' tool.
It's time to feel sorry for Gordon Brown, or so they say. The man has suffered enough from his Rochdale mishap; is it time to put the errant Mrs Duffy, who caused all this grief, back in her box? The foundation of this sob story is that the remarks by the PM were made in private, in effect the nation has spied on Brown. None other than Peter Mandelson has suggested that Mrs Duffy should not have "buttonholed" the PM and asked questions about student fees, the UK's financial situation and, worst of all crimes - immigration. In effect how dare a member of the public question the politburo. What rubbish!
This morning the Guardian, not noted for its coverage of financial matters, had the Greek financial crisis as its lead article. Also on the front page, but below, was the analysis of the Metropolitan Police report on the death of Blair Peach. As far as defending civil liberties goes the Guardian has an established track record, we are not being critical. So what do we make of it? The Blair Peach story is an example of how the authorities must not do things, the years of lying and cover up etc. However, the Greek financial crisis is an example of how the EU has failed.
The Guardian has a long standing reputation as being a staunch supporter of all things related to the EU. The crisis that has engulfed Greece is not a simple national one. The Guardian, devoted to the concept of a supra-national Europe, must now be thinking of the greater effect of the financial crisis. Even the most devoted EU supporters can see that the comments by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, that the Greek debt crisis is now spreading "like Ebola" , is not a snappy headline from a newspaper sub-editor but the truth.
And while this is going on we are being treated to pages of newsprint about Gordon Brown and his run in with Mrs Duffy. With due respect to her, I would suggest this is not the big story of the week.
We write in praise of Richard North, noted for his blogging and writing,who has fixed his sights on the fallout from the Icelandic ash cloud. The best explanation available of this starts HERE (1). The articles are in date order, (2) and (3) finally (4).
This is far from the first major subject to be analysed by him: the swine flu fiasco, the performance of the UK military in the Iraq war and the great global warming scam are typical big subjects that he has covered. When the Icelandic volcano erupted and the ash cloud drifted towards the UK there was, at first, an air of merriment about it all. Following the collapse of the Icelandic banks, the UK and Iceland went a bit soft on each other. Naturally the UK MSM took it out of the errant Icelandic bankers, big time, but the UK was not without blame either. Eventually it was seen that the UK Financial Services Authority did not act wisely, if at all. So big country versus small, they've been slogging it out in the press ever since.
First we had pressure on cancer patients and then GPs as emails and mailshots were sent out seeking to get patients and health professionals 'on side'. Cancer patients who received the personalised cards, sent with a message from a breast cancer survivor praising her treatment under Labour, said they were “disgusted and shocked”, and feared that the party may have had access to confidential health data.
Then the case of the Twickenham GP, whose name has been withheld for fear of retribution, contacted the Conservatives in fury at the attempt to make her sign a petition. The GP expressed concern that Amy Fowler, a development officer for the Labour Party, obtained her work e-mail address, which she claimed is not publicly available. Naturally Nulabour, the party most in favour of ID cards and the database state, denies these allegations.But now we have the Vicky Pollard moment.
We attended a hustings last night. The timekeeper was late so we had to wait ten minutes. When she arrived we could start? No. We had a class in democracy. This was taught by a man who ran a private neighbourhood consultancy company!
Hello- what is this? Who bets we are paying for this under some 'community involvement' scheme? Is this company responsible for the tsunami of brochures, magazines and leaflets (mostly of a red nature) coming through our letterboxes this last month after five years of being totally ignored? Anyway, this company director, who had difficulty in the formation of sentences, told us - with the use of a screen - that:
- there was an election on May 6th-
- we lived in a constituency-
- there were four wards in our constituency-
- what an MP did - why are we so polite?
- Why we should vote -
- To tell him what the photo on screen was - Palace of Westminster, House of Commons etc
By this time the brain was bleeding quite badly. The initial questions were on:
- Gaza and the dastardly Israelis
- Bins and recycling....
The brain problem had got really bad so we slipped out.
This website has long put up with the BBC and its ridiculous ways. Other people are made of sterner stuff, the website Biased BBC, is an example to us all. Here at tee2i we have also noted that BBC humour is a funny thing. The boring formulaic student rag week stuff they churn out is more often sad than funny. So Biased BBC have made a stand about Marcus Brigstocke. Highly recommended this, I urge you to look.
Our gardens are disappearing because of John Prescott's egregious change in their listing as brown- rather than green- site. They are going for housing; no planning permission is required in my city and small houses are being rapidly squeezed into back gardens where formerly there would have been space to play croquet. Front gardens have become bin and car parks.
Wind farms are ruining landscapes and seascapes, producing very little energy and decapitating birds. Local objections to planning permission can be overruled by central government 'for the greater good.'
We now find that animal welfare cannot be used as a reason for rejecting planning permission. This from a government that has spent hundreds of hours claiming, ostensibly, humane credentials regarding the hunting ban.
The countryside is still beautiful but for how long? Many of our towns and cities have been turned into cloned malls and soulless rows of the same high street shops and ring roads. Is it now the turn of the countryside?
A Nocton Dairies representative has said: “ Cows do not belong in fields”. If Nocton Dairies have their way, Lincolnshire could become home to the first 'super-dairy' housing more than 8,000 cows kept indoors for most of their lives. The aim is to produce a quarter of a million litres of milk a day.
The Icelandic volcano spewing forth ash has done its bit to derail Blairism. Tony Blair is unable to fly to London to promote his book or help on the election trail. The London Book Fair is badly hit by the ash cloud and we can imagine the publicity for Blair at this event might have been used by the living saint as a platform for a bit of glad-handing in key marginals. This however, would not have suited Harriet Harman. The Times tell us that-
Deputy leader Harriet Harman has played down Tony Blair’s role in the election, fuelling speculation he is being discouraged from playing a more prominent role.
With the election in the state it is, have you seen many posters, had a canvasser at your door? You would have thought that Nulabour would have been only too pleased for Blair to put up a show and liven things up. Indeed the Times also tells us -
Blair is expected to make at least one more high-profile appearance in the UK before polling day
Let's hope that Nulabour HQ are not banking on this event as Blair has lost so much credibility he could be more trouble than he's worth.
Writing in the online version of the Spectator today Peter Hoskin makes a very pertinent observation. Obviously the Spectator supports the Tory party but Hoskin says of William Hague,
The shadow foreign secretary was in uncharacteristically subdued form, (during the Daily Politics' foreign affairs debate this afternoon).
Now why should that be, what happened? Hoskin says -
Hague did deploy one of his parties' trump cards, though, by mentioning how the other two had instigated a "betrayal of democracy" over the Lisbon Treaty. Word from the doorsteps suggests that this is a more important issue than most politicos realise.
Aha! So years of 'lets pretend' by all three political parties, that is don't mention the EU and that's a problem solved, has not paid off. Hague is a very smart man and loyal to David Cameron. But Cameron has brought ultra pro-EU Ken Clarke back into the Tory big tent and, much as predicted, this move does not go down well on the doorstep. Thus Hague has to be careful.