Normally if we are told there's a battle involving British Airways it's assumed to be the one of airline versus union. In this battle it's hard to feel sorry for either BA or Unite, neither comes across as a natural underdog deserving our sympathy. Furthermore, even when employer and employees work as one, this combination fails when airline meets volcanic ash cloud, so travel disruption when they fight each other is passed off as more of the same! Hence the story of an individual, Mirko Fischer taking on BA, again when employer and employees work as one, and coming out the winner is good news. The Independent carried the story and the Telegraph gave their report the headline, BA 'made businessman feel like child molester'.
It is a well known fact that blogs tend to be more eurosceptic than the conventional media. As even the most casual observer of this subject will attest, the most most craven is the BBC. In the print media there is a left/right split; here the Guardian vies for the top prize as the No1 euro-fanatic. So from the political right comes the Spectator, and having it both ways too as this article is published on their blog and in the print version. It's one of the most thoughtful articles in a long while combining the UK's financial problems with our membership of the EU. A must read - HERE.
Back HERE we wrote In praise of Fraser Nelson. What Nelson did in that article we linked to, was attempt to re-balance things. Israel, either through bad luck or successful lobbying, always gets a bad press. Only the simple folk are fooled by this, but it is relentless and institutional in nature. Not so long ago Israel decided that, in order to defend itself, it must deal with the 'peace flotilla'. The simple folk got very elated and the principal cheerleader in the condemnation of Israel was Turkey.Now Turkey is the one making the difficult decisions, it's fighting the PKK, see HERE.
PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the "cowardly" assaults would not end Turkey's determination to fight the Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) "to the end".
Back HERE it looked as if the 'let's be nice to nutters', the policy of the previous government might continue in respect of this mans desire to come to the UK. However, as reported HERE the the Home Secretary has seen sense.Good! This does more to reduce political extremism in the UK than Nulabours constant bleating about the BNP ever did. As always it's actions that count.
Two things here: the behaviour of Turkey concerning the 'peace flotilla' and the US President's rhetoric following the oil spill. In the latter case the 'special relationship' between the US and the UK has come under the spotlight and this should be welcomed. In the former it's a bit more complicated. Turkey is seeking a relationship, it wants to join the EU. In both cases the UK should be both analytical and careful.
During WW2 there was no such thing as the political spinner, even so political presentation was important hence the arrival of the term 'special relationship' (SR), generally considered to have been first used by Winston Churchill to describe the close ties between himself and the US administration. It may have suited Churchill to think this way but ever since historians have cast doubt upon the real value to, and consequences flowing from, US policy both during and following WW2. Those times are now so far away it's fanciful to imagine the phrase has any of the original meaning left. So, unless it has acquired a modern meaningful translation, agreed by both the US and the UK, it's misleading.
The 'man in the pub', that universal source of wisdom, had doubts from the start about the UK's participation in the war in Afghanistan, feeling it was a huge risk and of doubtful value. The war in Iraq also jarred the nerves of not just pub man but the entire nation. Getting rid of Saddam Hussein was, so we were told, the only way to deal with the Weapons of Mass Destruction; so WMDs and Hussein, two easy to discern and define targets. It was only later did we find that in reality it was not like that. The fighting in Afghanistan was different, the Taliban were hard for the troops on the ground to define, pub man stood no chance.
However, pub man is patient and as the typical Taliban looked just like a nutty Muslim Cleric, gave the fighting a fighting chance. But for the UK troops the risk to benefit ratio soon became clear and the nation, in response to the rising death toll, withdrew its support for the concept whilst maintaining respect for the troops on the ground. Hence today pub man is not the least bit surprised by the articles in the Times laying out the awful truth, and blame, behind the Afghan Campaign.
But enough of pub man we need an expert here.
Journalist Fraser Nelson could well end up Mayor of London, he writes beautifully and is funny too. A man of many skills, he caused havoc for Gordon Brown in the run-up to the General Election. The trick here was to ask serious questions about the economy at press conferences. This spooked Brown who, despite the claim made by his spinners of him being an economics genius, was unable to answer the questions from Nelson, odd that. Brown the economics guru studied history at university and has no formal economics related qualifications. Not that this should have been a bar to Brown becoming Chancellor as Nelson, like Brown studied history. However, it seems that Nelson 'learnt on the job' and so became able to understand economics and produce in depth articles packed with detail and complete with graphs to illustrate his opinion. What a pity Brown could not manage to create for himself the same path to knowledge, never mind, it's all water, and public money, under the bridge now!
The recent shooting incident in Cumbria was a mixture of many things. So much so that any easy understanding of it at this early stage is impossible. However, despite the tragedy, some people saw it as an opportunity to campaign for more restrictions on gun ownership. This is pathetic and an insult to those who have suffered as a result of this incident. People die as a result of unhygienic hospitals yet nobody campaigns for restrictions on hospitals. Perhaps eventually it will be seen that more law, more restrictions, are not the obvious and only route out of any problem. This is not the time to fall on simple 'facts' and, wrongly, extrapolate from them.
When this was posted poor old Ed Balls had yet to get his full list of names for nomination to the leadership elections of Nulabour. Well that's behind him now and so he's in the race. While always unpopular Balls is needed here to satisfy the thuggish end of his party, his constituents are not too keen on him for his majority is only just over a thousand votes. We can all remember the pictures of long queues outside polling stations just imagine if something had 'gone wrong' on polling day in Morley and Outwood. But it did not, so Balls just made it back into parliament.