Power sharing in Northern Ireland

But not much to go around?

Peace? The contrabass at restPeace? The contrabass at rest
No doubt the 10 Downing Street back room staff will do all they can to present the Northern Ireland agreement as another of Gordon Brown's great achievements. Let them try. The rarefied atmosphere of the world of political people does strange things to their minds. In my part of the world I suggest it would be easier to find someone who could name, in order (see below), all the members of the saxophone family rather than find anyone willing, at length, to talk about this settlement.

Should criticising the EU be a crime?

Papal expression versus EU Commission

so did heso did he

Gordon Brown proposes a referendum on electoral reform, this is something important that must be put to the people. Yet, the people weren't given the referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that they had been promised by Tony Bliar, despite overwhelming support, because this wasn't something important that they should worry about. As about 80% of our laws are now made by the EU this statement is pretty patronising. Gordon simply wishes to give the MSM something to talk about to divert them from the major problems facing the country:energy,economy and political stupidity to name just three.

Equally many politicians are ranting on about the Pope's interference in national politics, namely his criticism of Ms Harman's Equalities Bill. He has the cheek to claim that this discriminates against traditional Catholic beliefs.

London Afghanistan Conference

Coming toghether or falling apart?

I'll tell you how I deal with plotters I'll tell you how I deal with plotters
Many people are rightly suspicious of the raising of the UK terror threat from whatever it was, to something higher at this moment in time. The Chilcot Inquiry is giving the government plenty of problems and, to boost his image at home, Gordon Brown is to host a conference on Afghanistan. What better back-drop could there be from the UK authorities to show to visiting conference attendees than - "we're ready for anything, are you"? All those pathetic nations that keep themselves to themselves and don't invade weaker nations would be put to shame on that one. There are, of course, problems with this theory.

First up, what was the terror threat? Words like “highly likely”, “severe”, “imminent” and "substantial" are waved about as if they are white flags; perhaps they are? One can imagine a bunker full of public servants deliberating long and hard on how to convey a clear message.

The UK's economic future, accident or design?

The EU leaves us with fewer options.

100% British bus.100% British bus.
Stephen Bayley, he is an expert on style and design but rose to wider prominence during the creation of the project now known as the Dome. It was the fall-out following his resignation from the steering committee that did the trick. Bayley was worried, saying of the Dome "it could turn out to be crap". He also said that Peter Mandelson was -"running the project like a dictator". Mandelson indicated that these remarks 'did not merit a response', thus we can conclude they are probably correct!

Now comes the tricky bit. Bayley has, like Mandelson funnily enough, come to the conclusion that the UK should do more manufacturing, who could disagree?

Send on the clowns

Politics and levity

Which one's Rompuy? Which one's Rompuy?
On the first day back at work for many people the Guardian gives space to a bit of propaganda from José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Herman Van Rompuy, see HERE.

Zapatero is there because Spain now has the rotating EU Presidency. Rompuy is involved because of the Lisbon Treaty-cum-Constitution. Thus what was a bit of a joke as a solo performance is turned into a duet with double the comedic value.

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