May 2010

Man of peace?

Nasty Naik to stir up trouble

Zakir Naik Zakir Naik
When Geert Wilders wanted to come to the UK there was quite an upset. All sense of reason was abandoned leaving the field clear for the likes of Lord Ahmed to make threats about the visit. Well here comes more trouble in the shape of Dr.Zakir Naik. If this man comes to the UK it will be interesting to see who complains. According to the Times one city on the tour is Sheffield. Now as Nick Clegg is the MP for Sheffield Hallam, it will be an issue on which he can be expected to speak, but what can he say? Is the new Deputy PM in a bit of a fix here? Perhaps whatever he says inflames rather than cools the issue down: "I agree with Nick" maybe a remark from the past now. Nulabour and the previous government has always set itself up as an expert on subjects such as social cohesion and the BNP. Well now is their chance to speak up, as unlike in the general election there are no votes hanging on this issue, one of the joys of being in opposition, I'm sure we all await their words of wisdom!

What happens next?

New politics, some get it, some don't

First one to goFirst one to go
So the Nucoalition has come of age, it's lost, with the resignation of David Laws, its first member; so what happens next? Well first we must remind ourselves this is all a bit new. The oft overlooked voter weighed up the options on polling day and went radical by giving mixed signals, hence the coalition. This we may assume came as a bit of a shock to some; indeed the LibDems were still kidding themselves till very late in the day that they could form an alliance with Nulabour, before realising the voters wouldn't like this and going with the Tories. It would seem Laws was privately kidding himself too. If he's so clever, as we are frequently told he is, then why didn't he prepare himself and his private affairs for government?

New leader sought to solve old problem

Would-be Nuleaders, much merriment

The future?The future?
Well hidden, deep in a desert of South Western USA is the Boneyard. This is a ghostly place where the US military stores its unwanted aircraft see HERE. By contrast the political scrapyard in which Nulabour waits to be recycled is, for those who want to see it, in full view. Although it would be wrong to say we are all agog, as most of us are not. Put simply Nulabour has slipped off the nation's radar, this is a geeks only story. Even so it's very interesting (how sad!).

No to ID cards means just that, nothing less

Civil liberties are central to a healthy society

No means no!No means no!
There was so much wrong with Nulabour, ID cards and the database to support it were just typical. The Nucoalition will, we are told, do things differently; the plan is to sweep away the ideas of population control with Stalinesque tendencies but this has already attracted attention and the rearguard action and fight back has begun. My friends who listen to a lot of BBC Radio 4 tell me that the ever helpful beeb is always mentioning the 'value' of DNA to us all, or talking up the police and how difficult their task will be without draconian powers. Typical is the article in the Telegraph by Alasdair Palmer 'Why the coalition is set to bring us a rise in crime'.

Merkel makes a mess of it

Stupid German crashes euro

goodbye, auf Wiedersehen?goodbye, auf Wiedersehen?
Just weeks ago all of the UK political parties had their own somewhat unrealistic hopes and fears for the future following the general election. A hung parliament was indicated by some polls, however, the variations between polls was too great to take this to heart and there were distractions. Typical was the term balanced parliament, this is ridiculous, what does it mean and what was wrong with the old term? A hung parliament means just that. But balanced implies beneficial equilibrium, this is contrary to what a democracy needs. It must be possible for a majority to make changes, did some media guru invent the term?

George and Marta

Brussels Laid Bare

..

Eurozone finance chief Jean-Claude Juncker has given his backing to controversial plans for Brussels to vet the budgets of all 27 EU countries before they are put to national parliaments, see here

Seeing that the Court of Auditors in Brussels has refused to sign off the EU budget for 14 years, this is a bit rich. Marta Andreasen, the whistleblower former chief accountant to the EU, writes in her book 'Brussels Laid Bare', that:

the EU's accounting system is massively open to fraud as nearly all its transactions are impossible to trace. Even more serious, I was asked blatantly to contradict financial regulations by signing off accounts, despite knowing them to be untrue. I was not granted the freedom to address these shortcomings, and, worse, actively discouraged from alerting others.

One to watch?

Or should that be one to avoid?

On again!On again!
When Michael Portillo left parliament in 2005 he went full time into the media. I have an awful feeling that's what will happen to Lembit Opik who lost his seat recently. Failed politicians with no sense of shame tend to flourish in the media. I say tend to, there are exceptions, Neil Kinnock springs to mind. He was on after the Nulabour General Election meltdown doing the rounds, one studio after another, explaining something, I'm not sure what though and doing it badly as is the Kinnock way. But I still think the general drift here holds true. Just imagine Portillo gets influenza or gets stuck the other side of the world due to some volcanic ash cloud, how's Diane Lardybott going to cope with sitting next to Opik on the Daily Politics Show sofa, or for that matter Andrew Neil? The BBC has fallen in love with the LibDems so an ex-LibDem MP with a working knowledge of asteroids, well what could be better, or worse?

Life without Elvis, life without government

Hung parliament hangs out, just fooling around?

Better looking than Clegg? Better looking than Clegg?
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.

Hung parliament dynamics

The UK's third world moment starts here

MPs, hang the lot of them!MPs, hang the lot of them!
So the polls have spoken, possibly the fraudsters too although as is the way with politics in the UK (think immigration) this will be swept under the carpet for as long as possible. The spinners working for all parties must be close to exhaustion. The Nulabour team have gone from the impressive to the downright delusional, the party's fate looks sealed. For the Lib Dems (and the BBC?) it must have been hard to see the TV 'success' fail to transfer into votes. Although this was bound to happen due to the weakness of Lib Dem understanding of the way a majority of people in the UK view their love of the EU. The pollsters will now begin all sorts of backtracking, anything but face the facts, they got it wrong. For the Tories there will now be the 'if only moment', rightly too. They made many mistakes and will get, if they continue to be foolish, only one chance.

The UK economy still under a cloud

Cuts versus snips, debate, like air travel, suspended

More hot air than in a TV debateMore hot air than in a TV debate
"Is it all over?", asked a friend from overseas. I stated to explain, the date of the election and so on, but was cut short, the enquiry was about the crisis in Greece. Could the euro now said to be "saved", was the single currency and so by implication the EU, going to make it? So it's back to this post and its theme. At the time that post was written it did seem that the UK general election would come before any decision on the Greek problem. Indeed, all of the party leaders might have preferred it that way. For now, with just days to go before polling day, a decison has been reached to help Greece. However, while the EU and IMF may have made decision, that's not the same thing as a solution to the problem. There will have to be massive cuts in the costs of the Greek state. Obviously this will not be popular with the Greeks and to seek a perspective on this, comparisons will be made with other countries. And naturally, (ha, ha!) the problems of Greece and the UK are not at all similar, are they? So, rather like the Greeks spent years pretending they could go on as before, so can we; boom and bust are behind us, a thing of the past right?