One of the facts behind the present political turmoil is that for each hour that the UK gets along without a 'proper' parliament so spreads the notion that the political elite are not as essential as they would have us think. Prior to the election we were told the sky would fall in unless a strong government was elected, clearly this is not so. How the world financial markets will react in the early hours of Monday morning, then throughout the week, remains to be seen. As it now seems that Nulabour will be on the way out by then, perhaps there will be a breathing space.
How different all this is from the first days of Nulabour in 1997. Then Tony Blair told us his Chancellor, Gordon Brown, would "hit the ground running". This was essential to undo all those problems left behind by the previous government, unlike now; by contrast these days Brown is a lot slower to move, some say he plans to glue himself to the No10 office chair! Also, the longer the waiting-for-government stage goes on, the weaker and less relevant Brown and Nulabour become.
But what of our man Clegg? The latest news is that he has set a deadline for the conclusion of talks with the Tories. So is Clegg pushing the Tories or are his supporters pushing him? Setting a deadline this way may look tough, or perhaps he thinks it does, it may also be foolish.
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.
It was clear that once Gordon Brown had gone to Buckingham Palace to initiate the process that starts the final run to a general election, news reporting would change. From now on only the discovery of Elvis Presley, alive and well, will knock the general election off its perch. Events that a month ago were 'big' and are still going on now languish. The Nulabour spin machine, its powers and performance always oversold by the MSM, got itself into trouble for coming up with the concept "a good day to bury bad news"
Remember the PIGS? Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, reckoned to be the EU members in the most serious financial trouble and a wonderful acronym for the copy writer. Some analysts suggested that Italy should be in there too. Well you will have to dig deep now to find out the latest on these countries in the UK MSM. The story is effectively buried for the near future.
The funny thing about the EU is it sells itself on the notion of 'an ever closer union' but the nonsense of one size fits all is obvious when you look at the MSM on a Europe-wide basis. The German MSM, ever conscious of the fact that what ever happens in the EU its citizens seem to end up paying for it, took a home based approach to reporting the financial crisis. Hurrah, nationalism lives! For the Germans the handy PIGS acronym was no use at all.
The Economist is in lecture mode, as usual. The online article HERE takes a well trodden path. There are, including the Economist, at least four heavyweight political magazines in the UK. The other three? The Spectator,Standpoint and New Statesman. Looking at the group through the eyes of the Economist and in reverse order we could say of the New Statesman, founded in 1913, is now avowedly left of centre; a thing the Economist tries very hard to avoid and not always successfully. It is also perpetually in campaign mode. Standpoint, as seen by the Economist, is the upstart as it did not begin publication until 2008. Being both younger and fresher it can take risks and dart about. It's very good and unpredictable. The Spectator is the grandfather of them all, first printed in 1828. This makes it senior to the Economist of 1843. It is also very funny and informative. Some pompous people think being lighthearted now and then is the same as being lightweight. In constantly striving to be 'serious' the Economist is blissfully unaware of the times when it is daft and worse, when it is dull.
Two articles one newspaper. First the Telegraph has this article by Philip Johnston with the title - 'Bad Laws: Labour has clowned around with our freedom', it is critical of the way we are governed. Few would disagree with what is written it's what is omitted that's the problem; for there is no mention of the EU. By contrast the second article mentions the EU but misses the point of it all. As so often pointed out on this blog about 80% of our law comes direct from the EU. It may take various forms but that's the origin. Some law is brought in to being in anticipation of EU adoption. Other law is gold plated by our public servants out of a messianic sense of duty to a superior and higher level of bureaucracy. Although stupidity will suffice as a summary!