Nov 17

Ed Miliband appears to have done quite well with his whiny rhetorical hypocritical nagging at Prime Minister’s Questions which as we know adds zero votes. Labour naturally ride high in the polls largely on a wave of disaffection with the Lib Dems and frankly because one would expect them to.  Continue reading »

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Oct 11

Prime Minister’s know that the role no one wants is Home Secretary. If you’re a lousy Foreign Secretary like David Miliband who has spent 3 years: transferring us from a point-less war in Iraq into an even more point-less one in Afghanistan: Covering up complicity in Rendition and Torture by his idol: Endorsing interviews where Torture took place: No one knows or cares. It did not happen in Britain and a few hundred soldiers here or there means less to the public than Baby ‘P’ and also falls on the Defence Secretary who is normally someone so stupid the military can understand him and a perfect fall guy.

Home Secretary gets the Police, Asylum, Immigration, Prisons, Gun law and hundreds of surprise sources of immediate alarm requiring an instant and correct response where none might be available. Thus its a good position for the expendable or those with no overt ambition and even a good place to stick a loyalist. Thus a self aggrandising type like Brown put a political nobody like Jacqui Smith there. Someone who was probably the least inspiring political figure of her generation: Stupid: Greedy: Ignorant: Vicious: Uncaring: Deaf: Incompetent: and a hundred other pejoratives.

After Smith’s greed rather than her near total  incompetence finished her off Brown was forced to use Alan Johnson. Johnson’s first act was to damn science over drug law. In a bravura Commons performance Johnson said people in his constituency in Hull did not care what science had to say and preferred to use rumour, prejudice, smear and perception over facts of any sort. Mocking fact as any basis for policy when the rhetoric was not easy to sell. This at a time when Brown said people who disregarded science on Climate Change were Luddites. Thus it must have made for interesting Cabinet meetings as Johnson said rising sea levels were not a problem as they would just drain off the sides of the Earth.

In opposition actually Shadow Home is a great job for precisely the same reason it’s a shocker in power. Things go wrong and you can whine and batter the Govt. Thus Ed Balls one talent of being a thug is suddenly useful. Of course he coveted the Shadow Chancellorship but that meant giving someone who Ed Miliband disagrees with a job which in power would arguably have more power than the Premiership. Indeed it now seems not outrageous that Brown only started to spend money when he believed Blair would step down to give an idea of who holds the purse strings holds the power – hence Presidents and Prime Ministers make foreign wars as that sidelines the Chancellor.

Ed Miliband has made clear Labour will take a position in the centre ground – he will be led by the public. This means being slightly to the left of the Tories on the cuts whereas Balls is almost an extremist. I can only assume similar reasons ruled out Yvette Cooper who seems to have an easily won reputation. She’s never impacted my consciousness  but is a bright button but so were Ed Balls and David Miliband meant to be! This thus left the question with Darling and Straw leaving front line politics along with David Miliband who to put as Shadow Chancellor?

It’s a measure of how weak Ed Miliband’s constituency is that he apparently considered offering his brother the role to stay. He would have taken the nepotism hit. He’d have taken the person with real power in the Parliamentary Party being his rival not himself. Yet  like the first rodent sniffing incoming sea water David was off quicker that Ayrton Senna da Silva sniffing a gap.

So who else did Labour have? If he appointed someone with a career was he looking at the next leader of the Labour Party? Would he also be closing the door on bringing back his brother?

However none of this excuses giving a technical role to an economic ignoramus like Alan Johnson. Is Labour so short of real talent that does not undermine Little Ed’s position? It’s like asking a child to derive Pi to 100000 decimal places and recount it from memory asking Alan Johnson to understand any kind of complexity. Johnson was 19 years a Postman and could not produce a single comment on a Postal Strike – if he’s too weak or stupid to comment on a subject he would know about WTF is he doing as Shadow Chancellor?

What it is truly indicative of  is that Labour will be playing politics. They will be to the Left of the Govt by a short distance. They will not believe in anything just what they think the public will wear. That if once again they think they can outflank the opposition with de facto Concentration Camps for foreigners seeking refuge from violence or interning people for 6 months in the wake of another terrorist outrage they will be there. This is Alan Johnson’s talent enunciating rhetoric that he has no in understanding to back up or get off message with.

The scary thing for the working people of Britain is that if Labour succeed in getting elected with such a reactionary stance as is possible with the cuts they will probably be even worse than last time as the finances are so cooked. Alan  Johnson’s appointment signals Ed Miliband’s weakness at best enough people’s 2nd choice at worst the gerrymandered candidate of incompetent and nihilistic Union Barons. It also shows that Labour will still be guided by what the public say.

Say Anything in the end means Do Anything.

BTW He is not Red Ed but I’d go with Little Ed or Reactionary Ed or Dull’Ed.

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Sep 09

Further to the other day’s blast at Alan Johnson the man who buried the phone hacking inquiry’s ridiculous bringing up the issue. Yesterday the torturer’s apologist, cheerleader and director of operations Jack Straw wasted 4 questions at Question Time on Coulson. Clegg’s eyes must have lit up as this juicy half tracker came at him as he quoted back then Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s gloriously sycophantic good bye to Coulson.

“When Coulson resigned, the first person to call to commiserate was Gordon Brown,” Clegg said.

“He told him not to worry, that he had done the honourable thing and he knew he would go on to do a worthwhile job”

Now I was amazed along with the Guardian when New Labour buried this body. The fact they would dig it up to try to create some sleaze ala the Forgemasters’ loan where they were in the wrong  shows a breath taking contempt for any right or wrong.

Worse it’s not as though the working classes of this country are not under an unprecedented attack on jobs, wages, rising taxes,  back taxes they did not pay through any fault of their own, bad housing, no new housing, wars they do not want, the Climate and yet Labour want to dredge up this affair they buried for what political advantage.

The irony being Clegg brought up some of the issues that should interest Labour

Clegg said: “”We’ve got a war in Afghanistan, a flood in Pakistan and he is inviting us to second guess the police.”

In power Labour descended to a Gimmick cult following the instructions of Rupert Murdoch, The Americans and Big Business in that order.

Out of power they have become a Triviality Circle.

They should be fighting Osbornonomics!

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Sep 02

John Rentoul in The Independent does not try to rationalise why Blair is hated. Instead he gives a great insight into why Liberal people dislike Blair and those who act like him. A series of smears of your opponents and then a crude summary of what he thinks is what they think and why. The classic anti intellectualism that reached its nadir under Brown. I assume like Blair playing with Prescott Rentoul’s just trying to get a rise as it’s all he has left (there you see I did it myself spoke for him with a nasty explanation of why he does things).

Rentoul basically accuses people of not listening to reason whilst seemingly smearing and trying to infuriate readers. However I thought I’d answer why I have a low view of Blair.

Truth be told in the devalued world of the internet I guess I am a hater although my distaste for Blair is nothing compared to the genuine visceral hatred I have for Gordon Brown. Brown a man, but not in the John Wayne sense, whose every utterance and action is aimed at self aggrandisment and whose lack of intellect and morality are so stunning it’s beyond my credulity that he was ever allowed to ascend to the leadership. I would not even try to rationalise my distaste for Brown save to say I am grateful we are not in the Euro and now go away and not be heard of again.

However there is a point here deep in our subconscious a dislike so great that you will not listen to a word someone says needs to be addressed. It amounts to prejudice or bigotry at that point. On Blair I think I can justify my view but maybe there is something that defies argument and explanation (Another flaw in Rentoul’s argument if people’s dislike defies argument then it defies explanation! The content that spews forth is a rationalisation not an explanation but then expecting nuance from a Blairite is silly of course).

So to Blair. Why do people like me who consider themselves Liberal (even if we are not in cliques as Rentoul  smears) have such odium for the man who brought us 13 years of non Tory Govt.

  • Liar! Never really phased me. The Foreign Secretary said that the Weapons of Mass Destruction were a myth so anyone fooled was probably wanting to be lied to – after all Robin Cook would know better than anyone else as Foreign Secretary. I pretty much accept the Jack Straw view that it was baloney but we did not see much downside in the war.

    Anyone who had read the news on Iraq over the years would have known the country would have struggled to organise a Barbecue after the Gulf War and sanctions bit. If Parliament wanted the WMD fig leaf don’t blame Blair blame yourselves.The problem is that people dislike liars and politicians have opted instead for the incompetence defence – see MI5 and MI6 claiming they did not know the US tortured even though it was clear when they junked the Geneva Convention in the same bin as the post invasion plan of Iraq and was announced in the media and on Channel 4 news. More on this later.Sadly Blair does seem to want to rationalise it and after 58 excuses and rationalisations settled on how proud he was to get rid of a dictator like Saddam, said the main who kissed the souls of Gadaffi’s shoes.

  • Corruption. It’s become accepted and a part of every day Govt under Labour – I am not talking about financial graft here. Like roping in the nasty little spook Scarlett to the so called Dodgy Dossier and then promoting him it showed a preference for fawning subservience and broken men who would do their bidding over anyone else.This was repeated with Sir Ian Blair who made a victim of himself in someone else’s murder. He was then wheeled out as required to support even more ludicrous draconian nut case policies.
    It was this aspect of the wars that needled me.The military also were paid off. Their incompetence and waste in procurement brushed under the carpet. Indeed the Govt took the hit over Helicopters for Afghanistan from the clowns who’d wasted more than enough money to provide them. The laughable scenario where we bought helicopters and tried to penny pinch on the software rendering them unusable.
  • Incompetence. This became the New Labour ethos. No one lied they just knew nothing. MI5 even this year as it’s revealed Blair and Straw actively had a hand in determining the rendition and “interrogation” of British subjects denies it knew anything about it. MI5 denies it read newspapers or watched Channel 4 news. No one turned marginal intelligence into the 45 minute claim it was a lack of responsibility and ignorance. Every failure was greeted with a I do not know.Blair and Campbell preferred to waste resources on an inquiry which no one believed to prove he had produced a load of crap without lying just by being foolish!
    PFI ruinously expensive and we are paying for 30 years, thanks.
    How hard was it to ensure under no circumstances that we did not torture and beat people to death in Iraq? Especially given the preferred explanation of why we were there, to free them from torture and murder. Indeed all we do is spend masses of money buying people off, denying and pretending it did not happen.
    Most successes were stroke of the pen and delivered by legislation never by management. Minimum wage.
  • Death Toll. If I had a critique of the under rated Major Govt who laid the platform for Brown’s moronic economic management in this decade it was this why did they not clean the hospitals? Yet we had Milburn’s red alert, foundation status etc etc legislation and more legislation, PFI, NHS Direct,  etc, Yet why did C-Diff and MRSA stay a slaughter of thousands of people up to when in 2007 Alan Johnson the new Health Secretary said it was unacceptable – not sure he did much about it either! The seemingly pointless shift to Foundation Hospitals in some regions alone is said to have killed 100s. Talk to doctors and it’s the dirty secret.
  • Rhetoric Led. They understood the media hence you have one Baby ‘P’ or Bulger and everone is sacrificed to be seen to be doing something. However as noted you kill 100s in the health service and it’s not an ongoing story just a day of embarrassment.One came to wonder at the nadir under Brown if policy was someone would come up with a line of rhetoric then develop policy from that without an inkling of goals, problems to be solved or strategy (Tough on Crime being so obvious I will use it anyway!). Just pass rafts of legislation and bore interviewers you have acted.
  • Achievement Not Important. The aim of policy as the grim Asylum policies of the last few years was the generation of facts to show ‘that policy was working’. Anyone who has ever worked corporately can tell you what happens when there is a focus on numbers they move in the right direction – in the US all crime reduction miracles happen except murder as you cannot re-classify murder albeit Blair and Brown probably could.To reduce Asylum numbers and increase deportations the Home Office decided to go after and lock up families – rather ignoring the demographic reasons for immigrants! Thus the Coalition had a nice open goal of no longer detaining children.
  • Internment. Possible the most fascist and illiberal policy I can think of any Western Govt contemplating was 90 day internment. It smears the entire Labour party who seriously contemplated it. As Ministers and advisors it taints for me all the serious leadership candidates. The sad fact is no one has been held for 28 days even.There are only three reasons for wanting this on the statute books. One some sinister scenario none of us can comprehend or want to and they do not want to explain to us why they want to hold people in limbo for 90 days. Two that it was manifest incompetence and they had no idea what they wanted. Three rhetoric led they assumed a frightened population who are not strong on individual liberty would want it and decided to play the tough on crime Joker. None of these reflect on more than the fascistic bent of those coming up with the Policy.
  • Other Illiberality. Up and beyond a mere fault. CCTV does not solve or crucially prevent much crime but we can say we are doing something – people do not have number plates visible at all times sadly. ID Cards, where are your papers mein herr.

I could go on but the theme is this an obsession with perception not achievement. Of nothing being beyond the Pale if they thought they could sell it. So one could argue in a roundabout way Rentoul is right to say people resent winning elections. However that is not true. I think it was with the Tories still so unpopular they could barely scrape power in 2010 after 13 years of expensive incompetence that Labour had an amazing opportunity. The finances of the Clarke/Major years had begun to pay off the manifest incompetence and economic mismanagement of the Thatcher years. Yet what did they achieve that is lasting? That they achieved little but did it in an insulting stupid and illiberal manner I cannot see as anything to praise. The wars just add to their reputation of incompetence and led by tomorrow’s headlines.

I actually owe a great debt to Blair and Brown. Whilst I will never match the complex sophistry of self serving rationalisation nor the social intelligence of Blair I certainly have lost an inferiority I once felt of people with better grammar and Oxbridge education. That they should have bent their intelligence to polarising anti intellectualism shows what you cannot learn in education and the cloistered confines of The Law and The Labour Party.

In the end it’s the base Sun reader anti intellectualism that did peak under Brown when Alan Johnson 19 years a Postman had nothing to say on the Postal dispute and decided to mock science in the Commons. However the dye was cast.

Blair is a great Prime Minister in the way these things are measured but like Thatcher longevity is not the same as good or even competent. I’d take Major over them tomorrow and the next day.

Sadly their best policy may have been treating addicts with drugs to help the natural fall in crime. For some reason they never trumpeted this as its not one that makes for good rhetoric and would require nuance and explanation.

Contrary to Rentoul’s analysis for this liberal Iraq actually stands out in a positive sense. I believe the Straw position it was done in the national interest and that was to stay allied to the US. It was not done to sell Labour. It is a measure of the missed opportunity that a war conducted with such poverty of thought for Post Invasion Iraq did not cost them an election win in 2005.

They would have won 3 elections doing more good.

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May 09

The tweeters and opinion formers on what calls itself ‘the left’ refer to themselves as Progressive. They are calling for a Progressive Left pact with the Lib Dems and Labour. I’ll leave aside the brutal and flawed logic by which they hope to hijack the political system for another piece of pie. However let’s assume a Labour led coalition of Lib Dems and the regions. What does Progressive stand for based on 13 years of New Labour?

Is supporting the USA in whatever wars not under the Geneva Convention progressive? Guantanamo? Water-boarding? Rendition? Sure it was new for a Labour Govt at least since we refused to drop Napalm on people but even the sickest New Labourista would struggle to call it much beyond medieval. A place where the militarily strong start wars with seemingly no end or strategy bar one assumes an assumption of Glory – post invasion planning a nice to have..

Education reduced to regular exams, sausage factory qualification gathering and rote learning. Not sure the Victorians would regard that as an advance. The only  progressive a laughable 26 straight years of improving results at A level!

Public spending via PFI to hand money to the City money men who then gamble and lose it playing the high finance equivalent of cards. Not particularly progressive or indeed modern.

Giving Police more powers over lives and making people carry ID cards is an idea as old as the Roman Seal and as regressive a step as any democratic country in the world would try. In Arizona they have passed a law making anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant carry papers and the rest of the country is up in arms. Yet in the UK we almost have that and the direction is clear.

European Integration which has been tried before but after the military methods have not worked bureaucratic obfuscation is at least a modern twist. Quite odd that we would keep an independent nuclear deterrent but hand over law making to a body that suffers from an accountability and democratic short fall! Laws passed down to local enforcement agents is as old as feudalism if not much older.

Lecturing people on what they can and cannot eat and drink is not progressive and indeed dates back to a kind of sepia tone ads – see Harry Enfield’s “Cholmondley Warner” sketches mocking 30s cinema ads.

The use of rhetoric and one liners to sell policy rather than consider positions to tackle stated problems and meet stated goals. It may be modern but only fans of the Labour party could say it was progressive?

Illegal drugs policy where in a progressive move the Home Secretary, only challenger to Jacqui Smith as most weak and stupid ever, Alan Johnson said that science and harm were irrelevant and whining parents and headlines mattered more than rational analysis. Indeed he went further and mocked the whole culture of science with it’s proof and peer reviews to loud cheers from the progressives in his party.

On diet the Govt will lecture us till cows come home about not eating bad food but ditched a simple traffic light system that even the victims of the progressive education system could understand. It did this at the insistence of the food industry. Again being hypocritical, rejecting science and taking back handers from big business is not modern or in most people’s terms progressive.

When I was an ideologue someone made a great comment that parties with ‘Workers’ in the title did not have any workers in them. Well people who call themselves Progressives don’t appear to have an ounce of progressiveness in them.

Indeed as pointed out elsewhere the most over lap in 2 manifestos is Labour and Conservative. Labour are still trying to peddle a line that we are back on track and they have made no mistakes. This is fallacious and the reason I am sure personally Clegg and Cameron would have no trouble hooking up as frankly we are not making progress and they do not have the vested interests of Labour denying the extent of our problems nor using the exacerbating factor of the credit crunch as a 100% explanation.

Coming from Labour all the term progressive seems to refer to is progressive anti intellectualism, Govt interference in daily lives, growing state, tax, spending, big brother, police powers, numbers of laws, obedience to employers and mounting bullshit.

My point in all the anti Tory rhetoric is who are Labour fooling and I would opine they are progressively fooling themselves. Or does it just refer to a progressive nanny state?

Nothing Good.

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Apr 26

New Labour’s fetishisation and centralisation of the Party and Leadership such that even fair minded Britons keep referring to the party leaders as their parties has one central problem for the party that made 600 or so non Cabinet MPs nothing more than a expensive faux aggrandisement on the face of a flawed democracy. They have no talent to replace the seemingly talent-less and economically damaging savant Brown.

One of the ones most talked of as an interim solution much like the Tory party went through waiting to become half way electable is the flat earth society supporting Alan Johnson. Johnson has real working class credentials. Unlike the others who are: career bullies and coarse self serving acolytes of Brown like Balls totally devoid of an agenda or policies like their flawed idol: or naked ambitious type like Miliband who has no real agenda just like his broken idol Blair. Johnson was a postal worker for 19 years.

Johnson though is flawed by his hatred for anything like debate or discussion or thinking. He makes a virtue of his reflection of ill formed prejudice and fear back to voters. Populist in a word except I doubt he’d be that popular.

On drugs he mocked science and scientists in a bravura performance in the Commons. You got the impression that if he thought it would make sense with voters he’d quite happily oppose man made climate change after all he decried the use of objective analysis and chucked out the line that harm had nothing to do with Drug classification i.e. the public perception fed by anecdote and scare stories like the super strength dope that suddenly appeared and disappeared in the space of a year is the way to go – albeit that argument relied apparently on the extra harm of mythical Marijuana that suddenly appeared in the 21st century! Even in the Govt’s own terms his comments were moronic. What he really was saying is that he would not challenge popular perception and newspaper headlines with facts.

When postal workers were going on strike which Cabinet member would you think most informed to put forward Govt opinion? Guess which one said nothing? Fronted no comments? Yep Alan Say Anything Popular or Nothing Johnson.

His latest pandering to reactionary populism, and this site would know that when it sees it, is to claim that 83% of asylum claims are false. The 83% is initially rejected and as we saw with micro celebrities like Makosi from Zimbabwe many decisions are reversed and a so called false asylum claim involves sending people back to hell holes like Iraq, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe – it’s a self fulfilling prophecy of his own creation even if he was correct in his figures which he clearly was not. Indeed quite how this counters a 10 year amnesty for illegal immigrants is beyond me as it’s conflating two different things to pander to ignorance and irrationality? A smear no less. Channel 4 Factcheck determined he was a liar here even though the point was irrelevant to the policy he was countering.

The key question is the one Clegg put forward OK how do you send a million people home? Johnson of course knows there is no answer and practically the position of Labour and Tory is like drugs – ban them, re-classify and pretend that means you are doing something because it is illegal and the policy can be called tough.  Of course in reality tough policies  that are unenforcible become arbitrary.

Sadly the smary be-suited Johnson has nothing to offer the working classes. He brings no perspective except self interest much like once working class football managers have become deluded that stealing from the game is their right.

However it’s hard to see anyone else wanting the crown as Labour may need a few Duncan-Smiths, Howards and Hagues before they are where the Tories are now – merely widely hated and even more widely distrusted.

Still at least the flat earth society and extreme religious groups can endorse an enemy of science and rationality. That maybe the only support Labour has left besides working people who still cling to a mistaken belief in the Labour Party.

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Apr 04

The attempt by a vile bigot to excuse his and other’s bigotry by making some spurious nonsense that religious bigots should be allowed to not have guests at their B&Bs who are homosexual would be just another example to the rational that contrary to the silly view of Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Williams we [atheists and agnostics] are far too tolerant of groups who want to stick 2 fingers up to the law, values, morality and decency. To loons who want to do this on the basis that the superstition they prefer is a religion and they believe it and its strictures should be imposed on others is even more depraved.

When that dismal bigot is Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling then one is just left to shake one’s head at the lies that the likes of Cameron are saying about their party being modern. Honestly it’s bad enough the incompetent, sorry incumbent, Home Secretary Alan Johnson lauds in his reputation as a Luddite – mocking science in the commons which is slightly hypocritical given his leader’s comments on AGW deniers.

Supplying a room for B&B is not the same as a Catholic doctor asked to  perform an abortion – the B&B holder is being asked to do nothing against his religion. In even my indoctrinated knowledge of religions very few suggest we curtail the behaviour of others. If you wish to tell someone that they should change their behaviour because of what you believe then fine. If you want to deny a service on the basis of what your beliefs tell you that is surely irrational. It is also illegal and rightly so.

In the end why religious people would seek to deny others liberty on the basis of their religion tends to make one view religions as malevolent justifications for people’s own bigotry. It raises the concern that the ability to say that your intolerance and hatred is merely God’s will and thus justified play’s a bigger role in people turning to these causes than we’d like to believe.

Personally I see this use of religion as an example of group think. You notice how most people are quite nice as individuals but given a group identity they are malleable and able to demonise other groups. To give ‘justified’ expression to the parts of ourselves we rightly repress in our daily lives.

For the Tories “Call me Dave” needs to make sure that such broken twisted people are not on his front bench or in Parliament at all if he wants to claim any kind of advances in Tory consciousness.

Personally I find it bizarre that ancient and if you know the history of most of them already badly adulterated and re-interpreted texts are used to justify things that they could never have been designed to describe. That anyone could take them seriously enough to even suggest that suppliers of bed and board should be allowed to be bigots is absurd. Given that then one can only assume views like this come from a personal hatred and loathing of homosexuals so deep and nasty it would seek to repress them – if Grayling were an American politician or preacher I’d be betting odds on he was a self loathing queer frankly.

I believe Frank Lampard is a far better player than Steven Gerrard but if you don’t agree you can still stay in my spare bedroom. OK you might find I’d used all the hot water! But hey some things matter.

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Feb 27

The more semantics the UK Govt throws at our clear involvement in torture does make one wonder who they are trying to fool. Contrast with the clarity the USA gave about its intentions which surely left no one in the dark. So why the British Govt still seems intent on saying Day is Night? Did they think the media made up the US 2002 discarding of the Geneva convention, Orange jumpsuits, Guantanamo, Water-boarding and rendition?

All quotes from Guardian website. The prime minister said

We do not torture, and we do not ask others to do so on our behalf. We are clear that officials must not be complicit in mistreatment of detainees.

This of course does not rule out our complicity or support for torture merely it was not policy. Quite how we could support the US from 2002  and maintain the above statement is a circle he does not square.

Alan Johnson, who is responsible for MI5, said:

We totally reject any suggestion that the security services have a systemic problem in respecting human rights. We wholly reject too that they have any interest in suppressing or withholding information from ministers or the courts.

He does not reject any accusations against the security services merely that these were systematic and endemic. He does not reject they suppressed information merely they had no interest in doing so.

Miliband told Channel 4 News:

I do not believe it is right to say that there’s an interest or culture within the security services of the suppression of information.

Again he denies nothing that has been alleged. It’s not like the security services would dis-abuse him if his notion is incorrect.

That our 3 most senior members have come out and launched such vapid statements in defence of security services is amazing.

The Govt does not deny what the judges say in detail that individual officers lied through their teeth to the High Court and were complicit in torture. That is the key.

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Feb 22

Alan Johnson and Peter Mandelson do not think the Prime Minister bullies anyone apparently.  Mandelson we can assume was lying as his mouth moved. Alan Johnson mocks science for seeking a rational basis for things.

See what I did there I took one event from Alan Johnson’s career used it in another context to smear his opinion on a completely different subject. I use it every time I mention the Luddite (did it again!)  as it’s belittling and mocking and means I have dismissed anything he says without analysis. Really they should offer me a job.

They may have missed what has been clear to anyone who watches TV or has had a cursory interest in politics for the last 15 years. Bullying has been the defining feature of New Labour. As we saw with everyone from Professor Nutt, Dr Kelly to ambassadors pointing out our support for torture the Govt deals with dissent or even a differing opinion with public mocking, obfuscation, gossip and smear.

Brown as Frank Field said develops irrational Chief Inspector Dreyfus style hatred of people who argue back at him. Quite funny as the bungling Inspector Clouseau seems like a fitting sobriquet for Brown’s chancellorship as hindsight brutally kicks us in the balls.

Ken Follet a once leading supporter of Blair accused the New Labour Govt of

making malicious gossip an everyday tool of modern British government

The ironically named Balls Brown’s mini me clone has been publicly rebuked for his bullying style.

Brown’s ability to deal with women is also clearly an issue. He promotes to appear a certain way but like a lot of angry insecure men will not let them close as Caroline Flint said at one hopes the end of her ministerial career.

Their response to any accusation is to try to smear people, groups and create a sub argument about whether that person should be saying what they are saying – without dealing with the veracity of the argument. Regardless the issue should remain what the Prime Minister and his office do. Not what some other body does, that is their business whereas the Govt is all our business.

Note the careful way their denials are truism or only cover a subset of allegations. Brown never hit people apparently. Yet he was accused of grabbing and pushing. In the careful way they use language that’s an admission surely?

Given how outwardly nasty they are it would surely be shocking if bullying was not de rigueur internally? They all turn into mild mannered polite little men internally? And they’re all men BTW.

The mistake here again extends from the frankly bizarre decision to make Brown the message. Even to Old Labourites like me that absence of strategic thought, ball of reactionary self centred nastiness and narcissism is more off putting than Cameron.

In real-politik thinking they did not have to respond to these accusations especially as they are clearly true. Sometimes you cannot spin lies for convenience and quietly letting things burn out works.

You cannot deny what you are.

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Feb 06

Asda is the latest supermarket to mock itself with a seemingly overly strict alcohol sales policy. A 44 year old woman was refused alcohol because her son had no ID.

There is a point with these seemingly odd stories. I think it can be concluded that after years of a gap between their patronising of parents over the dangers of drugs it has been easy for anyone of 14 or older to buy alcohol – I know I was. At least that gap in Govt policy appears to be closing with the Supermarkets clearly worried they will lose licenses or face minimum price legislation that would stop them selling below cost alcohol as a loss leader and a boon to teenage entertainment.

The only problem with actually enforcing our alcohol laws is of course that alternative drugs are cheaper, plentiful and of questionable quality and as they are sold illegally. Illegal and not subject to this scrutiny.

The point is whilst the Govt is obsessed with legality people and especially kids will abuse what they can especially on our sink estates where adult examples and supervision are intermittent – something likely to get worse as we follow US style policies that lock people up at younger and younger age.

Currently Govt policy is reactive and not based on a logical rational framework. Something Home Secretary Alan Johnson boasted as he mocked the Science of harm last year. What does the Govt consider worse? Under-age drinking? Or the alternatives? It’s not a joined up policy. It seems to ignore that humans taking drugs of all legalities is older than civilisations of any sort. It reacts to headlines and parental worries.

It’s a shame we cannot move towards a German style society where people do not abuse alcohol even though they can fairly freely drink from a youngish age.

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