Jul 26

You realise the success of the prevailing rhetoric about conspiracy theories a few weeks ago I heard the Israeli teenagers killed were killed by a group not under the command of Hamas or Fatah and  – which revisionists will now try to say had nothing to do with the Gaza invasion. Indeed Israel was told of the names of the likely killers by the Palestinian authority. As such an assault on Gaza is a bit like attacking Iraq after the Saudis attacked New York and no one would be stupid enough to do that. It only appeared in the wider media yesterday.

Yet push that view a few weeks ago and you are a conspiracy nut or anti Semitic.  Yet look at conspiracies that the NSA/GCHQ were spying on us denied by a mocking laughing glib Obama Administration head spokesperson Barack Obama. The last Labour Govt (hopefully at any rate) in the UK denied being involved in torture and rendition. The Obama Administration was elected to end torture now uses torture on hunger strikers – it was going to close Guantanamo as well. A senior Democrat was aghast when a journalist asked her about Two for Tuesday Pizza meetings where over pepperoni processed cheese tomatoes and a bread base no anchovies Obama and some friends get to play god and decide who to kill. Ok I exaggerate I have no idea if they detest anchovies although they seem like the kind of suited psychos who can’t love the anchovy.

Kennedy was killed by the lone gunman acting alone but that does not mean that everyone else who thinks that our leaders do bad things in pursuit of a neo Liberal agenda is mad. The rhetoric munchers are hard to beat but all they have is labels in the end. Remember they’re wrong or lying more than you are and you’re not in favour of violence or anti Semitic, unless you are of course.

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Jun 29

Americans have jobs making weapons is that it? Cos nothing else makes sense anymore.

Giving half a billion to re-stoke the Syrian contest that is all but won by the other side is merely a gesture of inhumanity the impotent grunt of an increasingly weak President. It is using the Syrian people as statistics. It’s support to groups known to have used the chemical weapons that was the supposed red line of the President about the other lot. The US will now spend Billions fighting even if by proxy the same forces it is arming in Syria in Iraq. No one with a hold on reality could claim that ‘enemy’ ISIS forces (numbering only a few 1000) won’t get hold of the weapons. That is such a poor position it’s probably handy for the Administration that John Kerry a man for whom the sobriquet ‘useful idiot’ would appear polite understatement is there to state policy with a straight face.

We have to face the fact for all our pinsticking in Bush effigies Bush had a doctrine – dumb as it may seem to us. This Administration has no doctrine or ethos or humanity or intelligence.

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Jun 14

The good thing about being in favour of wars is that generally speaking when you’re backing UK/US winning it’s easy. Triumphant rhetoric flows like the Rhine. Justification rhetoric is almost a doddle as inevitably the opposition ‘leader’ is a vile despot our politicians constrained by history, aided by  a compliant media, cannot easily be said to be as evil as.

Anyway after 12 years the Iraq policy unwinds. After the last 2 Presidents said Mission Accomplished and a Strong Stable Iraq and began selling them weapons (seriously WTF does Iraq need with £3 Bn of F16s with half the country destitute?). It reminds me of the Chinese building an enormous wall and the Mongols being let through the gate by an army who no longer cared! After 12 years of Neo Con/Liberal bollocks the fundamentalist loons have just been allowed to walk in. All the 100s of Bns of dollars of weapons and training a complete waste.

America and UK well done you went into Iraq to fight a non existent al Queda and now have created a Sunni fundamentalist army that may be worse. Orwell was a fool who only foresaw how you would create a pretend enemy not then make it real. That is alchemy. That is genius. That is sick, man. American Hustle, indeed.

Sadly Rumsfeld and co gloated and enjoyed themselves. The rational felt sad then and sadder now. A nation of cunts rose up with their Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys… Yet whose side are the cowards? Whose side stood by to be mocked? Who stood against the easy rhetoric crowd?

Hawks, for what it’s worth it’s worse than we feared then. Yours Doves.

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Jan 22

I’ve said before that the ‘Politics of the Few’ outweighs the seemingly more valid fields of inquiry and energy. The case of a single named victim likely female or a child will fill papers and debate. It will lead to bad laws like the Dangerous Dogs Act and Paedophile Laws that make no sense but have a child’s name attached to make us feel better about it. Continue reading »

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Jan 19

Looks like the tedious newspapers with worthy ranting columnists and small circulations will be trying to tempt their readers with even more guff from the Chilcot inquiry. Continue reading »

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Nov 29

The latest batch of ‘secret’ info leaked from the US is a massive damb squib. Continue reading »

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Oct 21

Paying back the deficit will be a lot like a Mortgage it will appear like the amount is static before it dips. Thus in the early years the difference between brutal cuts and measured cuts will be small. Indeed the biggest danger to reducing deficits is another recession which by its nature will be prolonged.

Thus in many respects the Ed Balls keep spending policy is not so flawed except that it’s a policy  that never finds a reason and leads to a creeping public sector and a private sector that is at best moribund. It produces an economy that produces nothing and consumes a lot and eventually one assumes there will be a reckoning. The other flaw is that using Govt borrowing as a stimulous is OK when people will consume but if they save the money and are buying foreign goods, as they are, the Accelerator effects may not even outweigh the drag of Public Sector spending.

Essentially a position of no cuts is to defend the world of Gordon Brown where everyone is expected to doff the cap and be beholden to the magnificence of Govt. To have the Russian view of we need a strong leader and to be told what to do. Indeed the behavioural aspects of Brown’s National Social Democracy are disturbing. Britains litter everywhere despite bins. Despite London having more street furniture than the rest of the non UK world combined people hurdle barriers and Jay-Walk. Train stations are an unpleasant cacophony of announcements about what you should not do – as though you planned to forget your bag or missed the hundred no smoking signs. Brown and Balls would have created a dead world of form filling compliance and one must fear that Ed Say Anything is of that ilk.

Nonetheless just because Labour is an unrepentant party of dictatorial and depraved dislike of anything human does not make Osborne right. Given the difference in interest is so small over the next few years with the Darling  plan then the additional hundreds of thousands on the Dole is an unnecessary risk. The Darling plan is what Labour would have done. What the politician Johnson has come up with about merely taxing the Banks is of course focus group led nonsense. as Ed Miliband said Labour are only about positioning for electoral advantage and hence will make statements made of pure air.

The kind of neo con neo liberal neo stupid policies of Osborne have not worked very well for the most part. They have utterly reduced Iraq to a militia state. They did not work in Russia and led to the ‘Brownian’ Putin taking command – some tongue in cheek there for the sensitive Brownites out there.

I can understand Osborne’s ideas and drivers but all policies like his do is cement the position in society of a few rich people at the expense of jobs and industry. Sure the opportunistic and frankly hypocritical Keynesian arguments of an infantile left allow him space to get away with it but it’s far too risky a policy.

For the first time I question why the Liberal Democrats see this as necessary. It comes across as a fait accompli and there are reasons to think we need it. However  like most extreme politics this is based on believing the worst can and will happen.

Sadly for me I have to advocate a middle course and would suggest the Darling plan was the best. Precisely because unlike Osborne or Brown Darling was a career politician and as unreactionary as we can get.

Osborne actually agrees with my view we need to produce more in Britain and we need a more dynamic private sector. However this is not achieved with unrelenting economic gloom as I experienced growing up when the nightly drops in the £ and FTSE and rises in unemployment were as much as back drop as Punk and the New Romantics.

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Sep 29

The self righteous Harriet Harman was thoroughly exposed yesterday. As she clapped Ed Miliband’s denunciation of the Iraq war David Miliband reminded her she supported it. Now it seems she just supports Ed. Whoever is Leader. My Party right or wrong.

This on the day it turns out despite the incompetence, their claim not mine, of MI5 and MI6 it turns out Blair knew the US was torturing and knew it was wrong. He told them but continued his enthusiastic support and even dictated the timing of rendering people to Guantanamo. It does seem that Labour is a chain of obsequiousness with the US President at the top and then the Labour leader and then the serfs. It’s a cult more than a serious thinking political party who allow decisions from the top to hold no matter who agrees with them. That is at least the lesson of Blair and Harman.

My only thought was maybe Noel Edmonds Hit Squad could create a premise where Labour and the BNP merged and see if Harman clapped loudly at a Nick Griffin speech. I guess with cyphers like her Ed Miliband will not have much to worry about internally.

And finally on Harman I used to think she must be doing something right to be hated by the Daily Mail. Now I realise now mine enemy’s enemy is not necessarily my Friend albeit if I was leader of the Labour Party she would be no matter what I said.

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Sep 29

So did Eddie change anything yesterday? Yes and no.

He rightly damned the moronic clowns who got him elected – once you’re leader of the Labour Party it seems you can assume everyone below you is thick and servile like his mentor Brown did.

He said 90 day detention handed Liberty to the Tories but did not damn the idea even though it was always a cheap trick to outflank the other parties with a scared public – suggest the unthinkable and make them look liberal and weak! Then complain they look more liberal than you, what a policy. Nonetheless that his view on Liberty is merely to choose a more popular course is worrying. Indeed wor’ Ed  spoke for ID cards and DNA databases and any illiberal idea he could come up with. He did not rule out treating children and rape victims as criminals if they were coming for Asylum. In fact his grasp of Liberty amounted to what he could sell the public and if they wanted hangings in the street he might be your man as well.

He damned Iraq and said Afghanistan was necessary – he’s a Brownite. Yet Cameron whilst not changing the rhetoric has effectively started to withdraw us from Brown’s chosen conflict. The ground has moved as Brown’s acolytes still cling to the raft of his reactionary stupidity long after he has gone. Aside from an initial justification for the conflict in any strategic respect the war in Afghanistan makes less sense than even Iraq.

It was more crucial to denounce Brown than Blair for me. One did what he thought was right the other always did what he thought was right for himself and was so stupid he even got that wrong. Yet it was Iraq and implicitly his brother that got the brickbats.

The speech was a rambler and he was incoherent with a tacked on message about optimism a reminder of how rhetoric led Labour was and is. Will we now only get Optimistic policies? Will policy be drawn up to be Optimistic by shiny faced dreck in advertising agencies? Optimistic Cuts in Public Service? It’s a crock.

1 cheer for Ed.

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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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