Thursday, 30 July 2009

The Twat In Guildford

Oi, YOU! The delusional in Guildford who just voted in my online poll that Broon isn't the worst Prime Minister we've ever had. Show yourself and get ready for a public shaming. No? Well, you know who you are, Guildford-boy.

To quote TS Eliot (via Dave Cameron): Twat.

www.BurntNorton.com

Eliot: "this twittering world"

I wonder if Dave Cameron had TS Eliot's metaphysical masterpiece in mind when he bemoaned the world of Twitter so succinctly - and thus shallow, divisive, popgun Labourists like Balls with their pathetic obsession with the instant online inanity provider by far more than implication.
Eructation of unhealthy souls
Into the faded air, the torpid
Driven on the wind that sweeps the gloomy hills of London,
Hampstead and Clerkenwell, Campden and Putney,
Highgate, Primrose and Ludgate. Not here
Not here the darkness, in this twittering world.
from: 1st Quartet, Burnt Norton, TS Eliot, 1936
Doubtful.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Twatgate

A response from commenter "Rob666" on Sky this evening really sums-up the latest epic miss by panicking Brownites - and Labourists in general - who are simply desperate to find some stick - any stick - with which they might beat Cameron.
I think his comment re too many tweets makes a tw@t was brilliant! Shows that he has a personality and a sense of humour.
Boris Johnson says things like this all of the time, and we all love him for it! I really don't this will do David Cameron any harm. Quite the opposite, i think.
Once again, what they thought was a stick was in fact a squeaky rubber chicken and it's left Cameron no more than a little bit tickled. Obviously, the "Twitter twats" synechdoche was a thinly disguised and timely dig at Balls and Milliband, who are, as everybody knows, all-round twats who happen to abuse Twitter.

For what it's worth, Cameron just got a bit cooler. Which is exactly what he wanted. One-nil Cameron (again).

Organic Panic

Heard on Radio 4 this evening coming home through the inevitable post-deluge traffic jam that organic food is no healthier than - um - non-organic(?) food. I have to admit, I was a little surprised to hear this after so many years of being reliably informed the complete opposite is true. 'Wherefore came this new (old) "knowledge?"' quoth I. (I think like that when I'm bored, you see).

Setting aside seemingly redundant adjectives for a moment (isn't all food 'organic'?), when, exactly, did insecticides/pesticides/chemical fertiliers suddenly become something other than potentially harmful to human health? I italicised potentially (twice now) to emphasise that that is the whole point: nothing has ever really been proven either way in the organic-inorganic battle, especially that weapons-grade ammonia-based fertilisers (you know, the stuff the IRA blew-up Central London with in 1996) was now completely and utterly safe to consume - and officially, no less.

I'm not gonna get into all that stuff now, though. Suffice to say, this report was released by the FSA. Now what the Financial Services Authority thinks it's doing commenting on something that's clearly way outside its remit is beyond me. Surely it should stick to its own territory: utterly failing to do its job regulating banks. What's that you say? It's the....what? The "Food Standards Agency".

Ohhh. I see. So, unlike the FSA (Financial Services Authority), a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation created in 1998 by Gordon Brown to oversee the total deregulation of the big banks - which is what the big banks wanted - and to lie about it afterwards, the FSA (Food Standards Agency) is a quasi-autonomous non-governmental organisation created in 2000 by - erm - some other Labour moron, to sell the government line (which also happens to be the big corporation line, surprise surprise) on food production and then lie about it afterwards. They couldn't even be bothered to give them different acronyms. Sheesh.

Maybe the FSA and the FSA should swap places. The tame government foodies could have a go at running the banks and the tame government economists could have a go at muckspreading and sheep shagging shearing.

I mean, you know: what difference would it make? They neither of them could do any worse at the other's job, could they?

I wonder what the government line on free range is these days. This lot will probably end-up banning it as 'elitist' - like grammar schools! Put all our little children in sinking comprehensives and all our little chickens in stinking battery farms.

Socialist utopia.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Darling Flexes Muscles He Never Knew He Had

Darling: just window dressing?

Though flabby and out of condition, Alistair Darling is flexing his newly-found political muscle, it seems. I wondered whether he would actually try to run his own department at some stage, especially now that his position is basically unassailable after he gave his former friend and boss, Brown, an ultimatum about Balls' attempts to steal his job.

However, due to the fact that this Labour government is so extraordinarily directionless, talentless and rotten to the core, the instant consequence of Darling's inevitable move to reverse the ridiculous VAT cut - the most ineffective and expensive tax break in history - is to split the cabinet, or so the ST has just said. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. Here are the key bits:
His comments [about reversing the VAT cut] come just two days after Harriet Harman said the planned rise from 15 per cent to 17.5 per cent on January 1 was "under review".

Ms Harman, speaking in the wake of the Daily Telegraph's campaign to postpone the increase, said the Government would be flexible about VAT – a move that was welcomed by business groups.

Leading figures in the retail and hospitality industry, including Sir Philip Green and Sir Stuart Rose, have argued it will be an "administrative nightmare" to implement the change not only on a Bank Holiday, but also at the busiest time of the year for restaurants, hotels and shops.

However, Mr Darling publicly "slapped her down", according to a Treasury source, after he made clear the reverse in the temporary cut was still set for the New Year.

Talking on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, he said it would "definitely" return to its original higher level of 17.5 per cent in January

"...when you consider that it costs almost about a billion pounds a month, I was quite clear at the budget and clear when I announced this last November that the VAT rate would return to the 17.5 per cent at the end of this year. Now that remains the case," the Chancellor said.

It is understood that he was upset that Ms Harman, deputising for the Prime Minister, who in on holiday, spoke on tax matters.

In the Marr interview this morning, Darling also tried to shift the blame for the government's mishandling of the economy back onto banks that are still not lending to businesses, despite Labour assurances last year that this would not happen. Given that the Treasury's own new rules for the banks, which demand that they have double the capitalisation that they could work with previously, and mean they have no option but to hoard QE and bailout cash, it seems rather dishonest of Darling, muscular or otherwise, to try to offload responsibility for his and his governments' hopeless incompetence over loan guarantees onto bank boards hand-picked by him! No more than we've come to expect, though, I suppose. Meanwhile, through all the lies and bluster, thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of jobs are being lost in what is a truly horrific downturn - and which could be rapidly turning into a full-blown depression.

While that might be another story, it's all part of the same problem: bad government. The fresh split and the "bad" bank behaviour provides further evidence, as if more were needed, that this government, with its constant infighting and loser leader is completely paralysed. The country needs a united government with a proper mandate to act. It needs a general election far more now than at any time in the post-war era.

You see, Darling might have muscle now, but he has no authority. No-one in this government has - and none moreso than G. Brown, who, laughably, remains our Prime Minister. This really is a crisis, even if it might not feel like one. Remember, though: it never does until it's too late. The clock is ticking on the timebomb that is a sudden and huge acceleration in unemployment, which is where all this is heading.

It's 1978 all over again, folks (or worse). Gawd 'elp us all.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Young Conservative

Fun post from Dan Hannan a few days ago that I've only just clocked:
A heart-warming email arrives from a constituent:

"I recently asked my friend’s little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be Prime Minister some day. Both of her parents, Labour supporters, were standing there, so I asked her, ‘If you were Prime Minister what would be the first thing you would do?’

She replied, ‘I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.’

Her parents beamed.

‘Splendid: what a worthy goal.’ I told her ‘But you don’t have to wait until you’re Prime Minister to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you £50. Then I’ll take you over to the supermarket where that homeless fellow hangs out, and you can give him the £50 to use toward food and a new house.’

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked: ‘Why doesn’t the homeless man come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the £50.

I said, ‘Welcome to the Conservative Party.’

Her parents still aren’t speaking to me."
Ho ho.

I get the distinct impression from the syntax and vocabulary that it was originally an American story that's been lifted off the net and recast. So it might not strictly be true, if I'm right. But it's still pretty darned good either way.

The World Turned Upside Down

It's mad. They said (no they didn't) it could never happen, but it has. I agree with Polly Toynbee! She is in "it's all Brown's fault" mode this week - (instead of her default setting, which is "Labour has abolished poverty and made the country healthier, cleverer and fairer", fantasy mode). She says:
Brown's greatest political skill is sending out his men to crush rebellion while banishing rivals abroad to the foreign office or sending them to their political death in the home office. His people warn that a leadership election will split the party. They frighten MPs with the myth that electing a new leader would require an instant election. All this ignores the one big fact: Labour is about to lose so badly they may not live to fight another day. Brown is such an overwhelming electoral albatross that virtually anyone else would give Labour a lift. In such depths where even the best Labour policies are not noticed or heard, a leadership election would give Labour a chance to recapture public attention with a genuine debate on what matters. At 18.2%, there is nothing left to lose. So why won't this happen? I don't know. It's a mystery, but it almost certainly won't.
She wants, above all, Brown gone. And so do I. So we're agreed, Polly and me. From now until he's out out OUT!, nothing and no one will distract us from our campaign to have this criminally incompetent political chancer removed from the office for which he is so unfit. I look forward to our joint efforts bearing fruit. We shall go forth and multiply.

Whoa! Hold the horses there. Slow down. Before this unholy union is consummated, perhaps I'd better check just with whom exactly I'm jumping into bed, I hear you say. And sure enough, you're dead right. Read on...
I have never been tribal about parties when it is policies that count. But whatever punishment Labour deserves, the country does not deserve a Conservative government that looks set to impose economic policies that will damage too many lives. Brown's worst failing is letting them win the argument with the public that deep cuts are necessary and inevitable.
"I've never been tribal...". What? Polly. How could you! Just when I thought you'd changed. Just when I thought we had a chance for happiness, that you'd finally put past foolishness behind you. But no. How wrong I was. You'll never change. You'll always be bonkers and a total stranger not only to economic realities, but to the truth about the hypocrisy on which your whole, privileged life has been built. This marriage is a sham. You've betrayed me just like you've betrayed everyone else in your entire journalistic life. Polly, I'm leaving you. I want a divorce.

Phew. Best decision I've ever made. And she gets worse...
Cameron and Osborne have succeeded in making cuts the test of political virility and honesty: they want to cut and shrink the state anyway. Brown has been left floundering. He could make the Brittan argument loud and clear, but he doesn't, probably because he is a natural fiscal conservative. As a result, he sounds as if he too knows there must be deep cuts but won't admit it – ending up in the worst of all worlds, his perennial resting place.

The irony is that his actions without doubt mitigated the worst effects of the crash, while a Conservative government next year will without doubt exacerbate them dangerously for years to come. Yet Brown cannot or will not articulate a credible economic policy that convinces the public not to vote for Cameron's cuts.

She cleaned out my bank account while we were together, blew all my savings on fake African charities (she'd already burned through her inheritance), remortgaged the house seven times and took-out eighty-two personal loans just to service the debts. Now she's gone back to her house in Tuscany (it's not in her name) and left me here in Britain bankrupt, homeless and humiliated. If only I hadn't listened to her when she said we could spend our way out of debt.

Well, you get the idea folks. I hope. At least the world is the right way up again: Polly's bonkers and Britain's gone bust. Over to Dave and George to clean up the mess.

Polly:
I shall probably die before the last of the 92 hereditaries passes into ancestry. But the Labour party may well be dead before then.
Two silver linings.

The Purnell Effect

Messiahs Die Young

There comes a time in every young man's life when he realises he will never be Prime Minister. It seems that time has not yet come for James Purnell, who, it can now be confidently speculated, harbours not-so private ambitions to take over the salvage operation of the heavily damaged Labour ship, rudderless and drifting, after the final electoral salvoes blow the remainder of its current, clueless crew out of the water, probably in 2010, but maybe sooner. His plotting is misconceived, in my view, however, since the fault lines running through the Labour Party are so deep these days, it is quite possible it will cease to exist in its present form after it is destroyed in the GE. It's impossible to lead a party in a state of civil war - and certainly no fun at all.

Yet there seem to be quite a few Labourists ready to take up the challenge, one of whom is Purnell. But hoping that some sort of unifying "Purnell Effect" will pull the many claques, cliques and factions into a coherent body seems to me to be just another woolly-headed pipe dream. For one thing, where is there any evidence that Purnell isn't just another bog-standard Nulab intellectual lightweight? Apart from his resignation from Brown's cabinet, that is.

No matter how much he might want it, he's not up to the job. Let's hope he gets it, then. I can only assume that the recent outbreak of Purnell-worship in the right press is in fact a product of this ulterior motive: to sabotage Labour for a further decade by encouraging it to elect a twit like Purnell as its post-apocalypse leader. Otherwise, it's just journo-luvvie, village nonsense (and if we've come to expect that kind of crap from the Telegraph, I for one demand more from the Spectator).

Despite all this, it just goes to show how paranoid they've become that the Brownite faction is in a right old tizzy over Purnell's manoeuvres, with over-rated lunatic Edward Balls last night launching a radarless exocet in his direction (which, it seems, failed to explode as it impacted harmlessly on the Daily Telegraph, to the sound of general hilarity in camp Purnell).
“There are times when individuals in their early 40s have crises. They buy motorbikes or go off and travel round the world and have a gap year. Sometimes people do that. I don’t think for political parties to have those kinds of moments is very sensible, especially when you are at your moment of greatest clarity and vision.”

Mr Balls can hardly hide his disdain for Mr Purnell’s latest career move, joining a Left-wing think tank.

He says now is not the time “to be going off to think tanks to find out what your identity really is”.

You would think the particular claque that Balls leads, however - let's call it the "Gordon for World Emperor" brigade (I don't want to exaggerate) - would steer clear of the word "crises" given that they seem to attract, create and mishandle them at a rate which defies all analysis. As for "clarity and vision" - well, it's difficult to know whether to put my fist through the monitor in fury at the sheer scale of the mendacity, or to seek medical attention for uncontrollable laughter. Best stop reading Balls' bollocks for now, then.

What an outburst like Balls' usually proves, however, is that Brown's rating on his (unique) vulnarability meter has just ticked-up several notches after his complacent reaction to the Norwich North fiasco failed miserably to strike the right note of contrition and regret his fearful party required. The real Purnell effect, therefore, is that he's acting as a defective lightning rod for criticism of Brown. Instead of that criticism earthing harmlessly through him, it's become a focused, million-volt discharge crackling all over the Number 10 bunker and short-circuiting all the low-grade robots like Balls which dwell therein. Brown is unprepared this time for the kind of summer storm he barely weathered last year.

Speculation about his imminent demise just became front page news again, folks. Yippee.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Clean And Wholesome Wins Through

Chloe Smith, the new Tory MP for Norwich North

Useless Labour and its chums at the Beeb (and Channel 4 News, as I see just now) are spinning their catastrophic defeat in Norwich North like crazy in what is clearly a prepared line of attack on the Tories' massive victory. It began with Brown's one-eyed lunacy about this somehow being a bad result for all the parties. Huh? You then had Harperson spinning herself into giddy circles saying that the expenses scandal was somehow linked to Brown's superbust - er - the global downturn, which just got a lot worse in this country. Whatever.

It actually amuses me, all this desperately dishonest, nonsensical claptrap. Why? Simply because these people are now spouting such garbled rubbish so regularly, and they are so totally unable to recognise that nobody believes a word they say any more, that they aid the Tories whenever they open their disconnected gobs. Brilliant!

Case in point: Norwich North. Here, a typically smug, smearing Labour campaign was countered (brilliantly, in my humble) by Eric Pickles' home truths and fluffy kittens approach, complete with a lambswool-soft, 27 year-old candidate called Chloe. Ignore the oh-so stale and tedious Labour straw man and ad hominem attacks, coos Pickles. Smother the people in love and sincerity and the butter drips of crumpets. And it's working. Boy, it's working. Labour give you class hatred, McBride and Hoons by the bucketload. Pickles' Tories give you Edward and Chloe: nice, clean, wholesome - and safe. It seems to be exactly what an awful lot of people are craving. That's one impressive bit of 'triangulation', or whatever they call it, by the Tory campaign managers. I'm impressed.

So, the fact is now - and it is a fact - whatever the Beeb and the Grauniad and all the other ideologically and morally bankrupt agents of Brownite darkness might wish to be the truth, and write or broadcast accordingly, has now become irrelevant. It can be ignored in the round, and Pickles is ignoring it. The Tories have stolen the march and created a new kind of campaign: clean and wholesome is the only way!

My view (and many, many others', to be fair) has been, since the era-changing signal that was the Crewe landslide, that Labour simply have absolutely no idea how to cope with this style of campaigning. And that's why I will say it again - mainly because it really feels nice to say it, but also because it's true: Labour are heading for total annihilation whenever the next GE is, and whatever happens to the economy. There is no hope for them. Fabulous. It means there might actually now be hope for the country.

That's assuming Cameron knows what to do when he wins. The hope had better not be misplaced. This is one of the things that people like Purnell, who's getting an awfully big wooing from the right media just now, is secretly hoping, I suspect (that a Cameron government fails to deliver).

But I for one choose to put my faith in Cameron. We could do a lot worse. And we have.

Whatever the future might hold, it is clear that with every fresh, deserved blow to this punch-drunk, journeyman government - and Norwich was if not an out-and-out knock-out then an eight-count at the very least - the Tories grow in confidence, which, in turn, energises their campaign and makes them appear to be a government-in-waiting. This becomes a dynamic shift as people sense the mood and follow it.

Suffice to say - and yes, this is speculation but it's rooted in empirical, historical fact - we're actually way past the comparison with the end of the Major years (he was never hated so completely, so bitterly, as Brown is, for instance. And he was elected). Labour are headed for humiliating, devastating defeat whatever happens and whatever their tame media might argue to the contrary. And the longer they wait, the deeper that humiliation will be.

I would urge readers not to bother to give anyone who might argue that any other outcome is a possibility the time of day. They are either mad or they are a Labour tribalist - which actually means they are both.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Mandelson's New Apprentice

Dark Master...

As Baron Sugar of Clapped-Out completes his journey to the Dark Side of the Force, arising as the new apprentice to vile Sith Lord, Mandelson of Death Star, the Imperial Broadcasting Corporation has apparently decided to continue the pretence that it isn't merely a servant of evil by stating it will not air the former's supershite reality TV programme during an election campaign. (Correction. The BBC has been banned from showing it, which suggests its clone army of mindless managers actually wanted to, which tells you all you need to know about them.):

The BBC was told today that it could not broadcast The Apprentice during an election after its governing body ruled that Sir Alan Sugar’s appointment as the Government’s enterprise czar risked damaging the corporation’s political impartiality.

The BBC Trust was responding to a complaint by Jeremy Hunt, the Conservative Shadow Culture Secretary, that Sir Alan, who became Baron Sugar of Clapton on Monday, should not be allowed to juggle the roles of government adviser and BBC presenter.

Although they rejected the complaint, the trustees said that allowing the Labour peer to present The Apprentice, or its spin-off programme, during an election period could lead viewers to think that the corporation was biased in favour of the Labour Party.

Yours truly firmly believes - and, one suspects, most of the rest of a country currently enslaved by unelected, incompetent Emperor Brown - that that particular starship blasted off into hyperspace long ago.

...and new apprentice

Go ahead and show Sugar's appalling series, lefty Beeb politico-droids. It will make no difference to the election outcome.

One suspects the real reason they've been ordered not to is because their marginally more technologically advanced Trustee droids have made a simple political calculation (how's that for 'impartial'): once the emperor has been destroyed - and Lord Mandelson of Death Star with him - there will be reprisals from the erstwhile victims of their relentless Labourist propaganda, perhaps even to the point of the break-up of the entire corporation. And not a moment too soon.

Well, if Alan-bloody-Sugar can become an unelected policymaker and a peer of the realm (for services to himself, I guess), literally anything can happen in these, the final months of this particular B-movie government. We're in the realms of political fantasy these days after all, folks, so we can but dream that our rebellion is a total success and the last vestiges of the Labour Empire, including its broadcasting arm, are gloriously swept away, heralding the Return of the Tories (in a sort of deja-vu prequel).

Now where did I put my light sabre...

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Egg All Over The Grauniad's Face


Nice to catch on Sky News just now that Coulson came-out fighting at his Select Committee "grilling" (as yours truly was hoping) and killed the phone-hack story stone dead once and for all, leaving the Grauniad's motly collection of pseudo-journos and Labour's halfwit, spinning goons with egg all over their sneering chops.

Suits me. And suits them. The Speccy has covered this pathetic non-event as well as anyone.
So far, so good for Andy Coulson and the Tories. The former News of the World editor’s appearance before the Culture Select committee earlier today passed without further revelations. And, despite the efforts of Labour spin doctors, this remains a media scandal, not a political one.

The first session overran by nearly an hour, perhaps this left the MPs mentally drained when it came to grilling Coulson. He swanned through the session, straight-batting everything with the very reasonable observation that at no point has he been implicated in any skulduggery. The only awkward moment arose when Plaid MP Adam Price forced Coulson to admit that he never queried Clive Goodman’s sources, and that he no recollection of a story about Prince William mimicking Prince Harry’s then girlfriend Chelsey Davey, ripped by Goodman from the Princes’ phones. But the demob-happy MPs did not take the opportunity to question Coulson’s judgement, and proceedings became more and more sedate. Even the usually bullish Tom Watson did not attempt to draw Coulson’s blood; in fact, Coulson drew Watson’s, comparing his ignorance of Goodman’s activities to Watson’s innocence in Damian McBride’s connivances.

The session ended - the committee neither wiser nor better informed. How could they be anything other? No evidence suggesting that Coulson or any other NotW journalist were aware of tapping has emerged. As Pete has said, unless that changes Coulson is safe. The Tory leadership will certainly be relieved.

Safe? Relieved? Even this is hyperbole. That the Labour goons and their slavish supporters at their tame newspaper who launched this limp attack on the Tories imagined that this could be some sort of payback for McBride is dim enough. That they were unsure of their facts before they launched it is simply risible. It's amateur night at Labour HQ - again.

It's pretty clear they have no inkling of just how much of a laughing stock they have become in the country. The only thing I'm really surprised about is that Coulson, in the thick of the fug of ignorant Labour bluster, managed to keep a straight face. Hey, Tom Watson! And hey, Grauniad! You've both just scored a massive own goal for Labour. Everyone knows the real motivation behind this nonsense (revenge!)- and everyone is giggling away merrily about how pathetic your hopeless handling of this whole mess has been from start to finish.

As far as the Tories should be concerned? Back of the net!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A Vision Of Hell

This Sunday Times piece is the best analysis of the post Nulab stitch-up, stinking divvying-up of political power currently preoccupying the three worst men ever to have (somehow) achieved high office in British political history I think I've ever read. Tell you what, if you think these people deserve anything more than long-term incarceration for what they've done not only to this country but to the wider world, then clearly you are as utterly corrupt and wicked as they are.

If not, then prepare to be shocked:

Never forget that new Labour was built on a psycho-drama. Peter Mandelson recently described his tormented relationship between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair thus: “I was the third person in the marriage. I was the casualty.” How very Princess Diana.

Asked by The Times why Brown wanted to lay the past to rest, Mandelson laid it on with a trowel: “There is an emotion, a sentiment which you don’t see, a gift for friendship and warmth he doesn’t always bother to put on public view. He is a private man. You know from the way he has been brought up. It is a bit like me in a way. You don’t show emotions in public. I think we may come from similar backgrounds, similar maternal influences.” That must explain why they once behaved like that other famously mother-fixated fellow, Norman Bates from Psycho.

The fires still burn in the longest ménage à trois in political history. Brown and Mandelson are back in harness and the third charmer is never far from their thoughts. First secretary, lord president of the council, deputy prime minister in all but name, Mandelson is clearly relishing his recall to the centre of power. He is the last prop holding up this ramshackle government.

Saving Gordon is proving to be a full-time job: Mandelson can’t be spared to fulfil his ambition to become foreign secretary, just like his grandfather Herbert Morrison. At the time of the disastrous reshuffle it was he who saved the day, remember. A few more ministerial resignations and it would have been curtains. The former Prince of Darkness, now Gordon’s Good Angel, persuaded the last Blairites not to quit. Now he even pops into No 10 and tells the PM to stop e-mailing and go to bed.

His is a rare voice of sanity. Brown, seduced by the notion he could rerun his favourite campaign of “Beware the Tory cuts”, has been stubbornly denying that a reelected Labour government would have to make cuts too. In poll after poll the voters say they don’t believe him. Last Wednesday Mandelson finally called a halt to this nonsense. “There will be spending choices and a growing need for greater efficiency across the board, and less spending in some programmes,” he purred.

The first secretary has a nuanced message: “Trust Labour to make the right cuts; the Tories will do it heartlessly.” That doesn’t mean handing David Cameron a pass on the economy. In another interview, Mandelson peremptorily seized the Treasury rudder, ruling out a comprehensive spending review that could be mined by the Tories. The chancellor, Alistair Darling, may now offer a scaled-down version designed to publi-cise the services Labour will defend from cuts. No wonder friends call Mandelson “the supreme leader”.

There are the outlines of a fightback strategy here, though No 10’s stubbornness has cost the government an entire summer. Our poll today puts Labour 17 points behind the Conservatives. “Peter got what he wanted with the person he never wanted it with,” wryly observes one friend of Tony Blair. TB would have taken his friend’s advice from the start. But what can you do with inferior mate-rials? “If Peter wished to withdraw his support, Gordon would be finished,” adds Tony’s friend, “but I can’t see the headline ‘Mandelson ditches Brown’.”

To throw over Brown in 1994, when Blair clearly was the most electorally appealing Labour leadership candidate, was good judgment. To ditch Brown a second time would be to chisel the word “treacherous” on the tombstone of Mandelson’s own political career. He hasn’t the heart for it. Yet Mandelson’s loyalty to the third man in the marriage is not forgotten. It has even been claimed that on the night of the reshuffle he fought for the Iraq war inquiry to be held in camera to spare Tony’s blushes. Friends of Mandelson deny it absolutely and I for one believe them. He was far too busy that evening hitting the phones.

Blair has even more jobs than Mandelson has titles - Quartet representative to the Middle East, climate change czar and adviser to the world’s religions, to name but a few - but one more challenge still beckons, the presidency of the European Union. The post will be created if the Irish ratify the Lisbon consti-treaty in October. Brussels is giving them a second chance to “get it right”, having “got it wrong” in last year’s referendum. The Poles will then follow suit, though the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, may put up more of a fight.

Last year, at the meeting of the international great and good in Davos, Mandelson, then still a European commissioner, was already canvassing for Blair to get the No 1 job. TB, in the words of another close friend is “seriously relaxed” about getting the presidency. He will not campaign for the job: as a former prime minister keen on his dignity, he would only accept being drafted. His post-No 10 career is, after all, lucrative and fulfilling. The Middle East’s complex politics are fascinating and, despite their differences, Blair gets on surprisingly well with Binyamin Netanyahu, the hawkish Israeli prime minister. But to end his career as a president, able to talk on level terms with Barack Obama, would be tempting.

Glenys Kinnock last week let slip that Brown has come round to backing a Draft Tony campaign. In the past, having Blair in Brussels would have been his worst nightmare. After all, he fought for 10 years to take his crown. But with his fortunes at a low ebb and with Mandelson in the ascendant, Brown has conceded. Blair made it easy by behaving courteously towards his successor, keeping out of politics.

But even Mandelson’s powers of persuasion can’t fix this one for Tony: he will need the assent of 26 other governments too. It is by no means certain he will get it. Blair is, in the words of Charles Grant, director of the Centre for European Reform, “a political orphan” in Europe. The left think he is too right-wing, pro-American and tainted by the Iraq war. Spain’s ruling Socialist party thinks he should be on trial for war crimes. The centre right do not acknowledge him as one of their own. And yet . . .

Opinion in Europe is divided by the Little Man or Big Man camps. Supporters of a Little Man president would like a bureaucrat in the mould of Luxembourg’s prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, a man with an eye for the fine detail of intricate agreements. Many heads of government – and until recently Brown might have been one of them – dislike the idea of being bossed around by an international superstar.

Supporters of a Big Man, however, say that only a real statesman will do for negotiations with great but intractable powers like Russia and China. After the Russian invasion of Georgia and the crisis over Europe’s energy supplies, this view is gaining traction. Russia’s ruler, Vladimir Putin, for instance, would not let a man like Juncker into the room. Blair once confronted Putin to his face and would do it again.

Sarkozy of France and Italy’s Berlusconi would likely support Blair. The eastern Europeans and the Nordics like him too. Merkel of Germany is equivocal but open to persuasion. Federalists, however, are suspicious of a candidate from a country that has held aloof from the euro and the Schengen agreement on immigration-free borders. And they point to a hostile British opposition that looks a good bet for government.

William Hague for the Tories has denounced the proposal. Camp Cam-eron says stories that the Tory leader would secretly support a Blair candidacy are “absolute tosh”. “He has no enthusiasm for a president, he has no enthusiasm for Blair,” says one of his inner circle. Our poll shows British voters agree. But might federalists favour Blair in order to trip up the sceptical Tories?

Perhaps it’s all a pipe dream. But if Tony got to Brussels, favours could be returned. Mandelson would make a fine presidential chef de cabinet. And when Gordon lost the election, his chums could fix up a big international job for him, too. We might be stuck with the three of them for another decade or so. This psycho-drama could run and run.

Bastards. They have to be stopped.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Times Toon


This new toon from the Times' brilliant Peter Brookes just about perfectly illustrates what an utterly busted flush useless Brown is - and the precarious state of British democracy after 12 years of disastrous, fascistic Labour misgovernance.

It's pretty funny, too.

Friday, 17 July 2009

NO2ID Update

++ NO2ID Supporters' Newsletter No. 127 - 16th July 2009 ++

*Contacting us:* Call or email the office - 020-7793-4005 or
(office@no2id.net). Please do not reply to this email. (The from address
is not a working email address)




+ GOOD NEWS , BAD NEWS +

The bad news is that the ID scheme is proceeding with plan A as if
nothing had happened, and government departments everywhere are pushing
forward with ever-madder schemes for database government. The
regulations for the basic structure of the National Identity Register
were forced through - it was not a formality though, so thanks to all
who wrote against them. Data-sharing has never been more fashionable in
Whitehall.

The good news is that slowly, slowly, campaigning is starting to make a
difference. There are very promising signs of understanding emerging
among some think tanks and on the Opposition front benches. Recently the
influential Centre for Policy Studies published a pamphlet called "It's
Ours: why we, not goverment, must own our data". And on Wednesday 15th
July Damian Green MP gave a speech there explicitly attacking
'Transformational Government' and the database state.

What NO2ID has been doing for the last 5 years is working. We need to
keep on educating the media, politicians and public, keep the pressure
up on the Government - and the Opposition if they become the government
- and stick to our principles. Respect for privacy could become the
orthodoxy. That's the good news.

The bad news is there is a long way to go before it is, and we all have
a responsibility to spread the word till then.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Randall: Voice of Reason

Jeff Randall's done it again. He's put into straightforward terms what we all want to say, this time about Brown's bloody responsibility for the deaths of young soldiers in Afghanistan. Randall's conclusions are inescapable:
...it is unthinkable for the mission to be run on the economics of Aldi. Defence is not like transport or housing. In a theatre of war, pinched pennies cost lives. If British forces are to be deployed as global policemen, they must not be undermined by Treasury bean counters, determined to put the brake on the state's runaway debts. The death of even one British soldier through lack of proper funding is a cause of national disgrace. Ministers responsible should be ashamed of themselves.

How Mr Brown can tell the Commons that recent losses had nothing to do with a lack of helicopters – and still sleep at night – is a mystery. The moral compass he was given at Kirkcaldy High School has gone with the spin.

Yesterday's report from the Defence Select Committee exploded the Prime Minister's self-justifying twaddle. Referring to the Army's capacity to protect troops while carrying out operations with current equipment, it concluded: "We are troubled by the forecast reduction in numbers of medium and heavy lift battlefield helicopters, which will make this worse."

Jack Welch, the legendary boss of General Electric, believed: "Insecure managers create complexity." This applies equally to political weaklings. Mr Brown would have us believe that the challenges defining our military presence in Afghanistan are devilishly difficult to understand. Actually, they could hardly be simpler. We must either pay up or pull out.

Brown is a liar and he has blood on his hands over Afghanistan. His punishment should fit his crimes. I leave it to readers to decide what form that punishment should take.

As for Randall: his column should be compulsory reading for Tory policy makers - and it should, as Randall says, make Brown Labour and its shrinking base of bovine support, thoroughly - utterly - ashamed. Of course, it won't - and that should tell decent people everything they need to know about them.

They must never be forgiven.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Wicked Labour Lies and the Tragic Truth

I don't think I was unduly harsh yesterday about the BBC and its fawning coverage of Brown's and Labour's latest wicked lies about the appalling conditions confronting our troops thanks to their determination to fight the war in Afghanistan on the cheap. And I'm prepared to give credit where it is due.

Two pieces today - from that very same BBC, no less - perfectly illustrate the yawning gap between the lies Labour have spun and the reality on the ground. Well done to Andrew Neil for almost perfectly skewering Bill Ramell over the scandelous abuse of British armed forces by this government. It doesn't really matter to Rammell, of course. He has the third smallest majority in parliament and will not be an MP next year. Why should he give a toss?



Compare this stinking spinning of a talentless, honourless career politician with the stoic dignity of the grieving mother of one of the victims of Brown's lies, cuts and lethal incompetence.



One can only assume that the current situation with our public broadcaster is that the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing, and/or vice versa.

The same must be said of the worst government ever inflicted upon the people of Britain and the servicemen and women, desperately trying to obey its orders but discovering it to be as big a threat to their wellbeing as the Taleban itself.

Monday, 13 July 2009

BBC Labour

A rare sight in Afghanistan

I must have missed the launch of this new web channel but it seems to be up and running now. Its purpose appears to be to disseminate, decode and discuss the Labour party line on, well, just about everything. The new outlet has its work cut out, though, because that Labour line changes at the drop of a hat (or should that be a shrapnel-damaged infantry helmet) in these dying days of a government beset by paralysis and held hostage by the constant unravelling of years of its lies.

BBC Labour's latest offering is a case in point. A report about helicopters has appeared this evening, presumably written to disseminate, decode and discuss the evil Brown's latest bout of lying about the state of our army - you know, that underequipped force of brave young British men currently trying to contain a fearsome enemy in the arid, alien cauldron of Helmand. It doesn't seem to think it needs to bother to mention the views of senior officers like Sir Richard Dannatt who in their expertise have judged that British soldiers are dying because of a critical lack of troops and a scandalous shortage of key equipment - like helicopters. Then again, that's not the remit of BBC Labour. It's not there to report the truth. Its job is to support Brown at all costs, even if that support flies in the face of reason, insults the intelligence of the British public and is biased to the point of absurdity. None of that matters. So the articles and the clips just keep on coming, with scant regard for the anger of a public that knows and can see the effect of Brown and Labour's hopeless, murderous ineptitude. But, hey ho. We just pay for it all.

But this one is extraordinary. Thinking that by referencing the bizarre opinions of a couple of ex-military duffers (Amyas Godfrey, RUSI associate fellow, for example) no one will spot her hideously Labourist political agenda, Maria Jackson (for she is the I assume expert BBC Labour journalist responsible for it) proceeds to make the most sickeningly dishonest case against the need for more troop transport helicopters ever heard. Most of the report simply follows the government line that the lack of helicopters is not to blame for troop deaths - which is a wicked falsehood. But it's the end of the piece that turns the stomach the most:

The government though says it has made efforts to boost its fleet.

Six Merlins, which are medium-weight troop-carrying helicopters, have been bought from Denmark and are expected to be operating in Afghanistan by December.

Defence officials say there are also plans to spend £2.5bn upgrading more than 200 helicopters and £3.5bn acquiring about 120 new ones over the next 10 years.

However, in stark contrast to Britain, the US reportedly has 120 helicopters in Afghanistan.

Mr Codner puts this down to the US's much larger defence budget and the fact they have made a bigger commitment in Afghanistan.

Mr Godfrey says it is also to do with a different ethos.

Ever since the Vietnam war, the US wanted to create an "air cavalry", whereas that was never a goal for the British army, he explains.

You might not think the spin here is particularly bad, especially since it appears to be supported by a pair of rentaquote militarists. If you do, you are as wrong as the evil Brown and his lethally incompetent coterie. Why, exactly, do the Americans believe 120 troop transport helicopters are the minimum requirement for 8000 marines? Because that's just what it is: the bare minimum. Assuming you want to remain a superior, more mobile and vastly more efficient fighting force than the enemy, and assuming you wish to protect your personnel from unnecessary danger wherever possible, that is. And their strategy is borne out by the casualty count in the recent operation there. UK: 15+ dead and umpteen wounded; US, nil and nil.

I guess Brown and his lickspittles at BBC Labour think those deaths are a price worth paying for keeping Blair's war cheap. The men on the ground use American cast-off equipment, eat American food and use American showers. They have been turned into a second class army and they find it humiliating. But they suffer this government's abuse of the covenant in dignified silence and get on with fighting for each other, for their country and for freedom. That they have to put up with BBC pro-Labour propaganda as well is just too much. They might be too professional to speak up about it (although a quick peak at the squaddie boards tells rather a different story), but we don't have to be.

If you have a blog, bloody well get angry about it and demand that this most treacherous of governments is brought down - taking its broadcasting arm with it - and that the next one, whoever forms it, either gives our troops the equipment it needs to prosecute its campaign immediately or brings them home and suffers the consequences of the national disgrace that that would cause.

Labour got us into this appalling mess, it must fall to a new government of integrity, vision and not some sort of fake "courage", but simple, old-fashioned bottle, to get us out of it.

Let's hope Cameron has a hell of a lot of all three - not just for the army's, but for all our sakes.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Clean And Wholesome

Rather more impressive was this week's missive from Dave C found this morning in yours truly's Yahoo inbox. (Better than last week's cringe-making effort at any rate - hardly a difficult achievement).

With it came this rather quaint instalment of what I think is part of a series called "Political Pickles: A Culinary Campaign Adventure". I thought it rather fun. Rather...nice.



Clean, wholesome politics is on the Tory menu, folks. How refreshing. Above all, though, Brown-Labour simply isn't mentally or culturally equipped to comprehend this type of strategy - so it'll work. (And the muddled Lib Dems just don't matter, if you're wondering why I rarely talk about them.)

The Pickles Approach will puzzle the attack dogs of the Left. They will try to pour scorn over it, to belittle and smear the Conservative candidate. But all they will do (yet again) is alienate - yet further - people who find the Pickles Approach an enormous relief from Labour's venomous politics of character assassination and class hatred.

There's one thing about this little movie I am slightly confused about, though: this weird appeal for people to "come and campaign in Norwich". Well, chubby, chuckling, Tory chairman, much as I appreciate the invitation to drive nearly 300 miles to put leaflets through letterboxes in the pouring rain in a strange city - or whatever it is you want me to do (keep your stocks of pork pies topped-up?) - I think I'll have to pass on that one. No offence.

Step Out

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Guardian Caught Making Sh*t Up

There was rather a nice symmetry to my commute today. On the way into work, various BBC noisemakers were getting all het-up on the Today programme over the Grauniad's non-scoop about the News of the World being, well, the News of the World, complete with Andrew Neil suffering what sounded like an early-morning bout of moral outrage. It was enough to make one feel a little dyspeptic. A little.

Fast forward to the homeward journey and Five Live had Derek Jameson (I thought he was dead) telling everyone to grow-up and that the Graun had got the whole thing completely wrong - hypocritically, stupidly wrong. Good on the old bugger.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, a senior bobby called Yates announced that there would be no further investigation into the matter, despite the Graun's hysterical allegations, because there was no new evidence of phone "hacking" beyond the stuff already dealt with in court a couple of years ago. (See Guido for excellent techy explanations and superior coverage generally of this, a very dreary tea-cup squall.)

Story dead, then. A nice, round trip. Not quite. Grotbag Brown waded in earlier this afternoon claiming that there are "serious questions" to answer over this, er, non-scandal. Well, not according to the Yard, Gordo. Seems you got that one wrong, too. Consistent. But it does demonstrate from how high up the political energy for this desperate straw-clutching is coming.

So it appears the dull lefty knives are out for Andy Coulson, regardless of the fact that they are now blunted. Guido has just wondered aloud whether or not this Coulson bloke will survive a Select Committee bashing by Labour woodentops. Not only will he survive it, Fawkes, I reckon he will come out with all guns blazing and take the fight to them. They are long-overdue a streetfight arse-whooping. This could well be the making of the man.

I mean, the standards of journalism of the Left media have never been more smeary, rotten, deceitful and slapdash have they? They're out of control, aren't they? So sure, there is a job going at The Sun, GF. And Alan bloody Rusbridger should be applying for it.

I doubt they would have him.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Light Blogging

I'm extremely busy with work for the next ten weeks so new additions to this particular blog might be a little bit thin on the ground for that period. Apologies for that.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Swing Low

Or, rather, reverse swing. We're going to need more of this in Cardiff come Wednesday, that's for damn sure. Or the Aussies will murder us.


Bring it on!

Caveat Emptor!


Now I understand why Tesco is still turning huge profits despite a severe recession.

Go here for more funny signs.

Brown: Bad To Worse To Terrible

Peter Hoskin in the Speccy has given a pretty tidy round-up of the latest assault on Brown's mindlessly tribal and dishonest approach to Britain's coming years of austerity and stagnation, thanks to his record-breaking debt crisis after his superbust caused by his credit megabubble. Here's a bit of it.
It's public spending time again, dear CoffeeHousers, with a couple of eye-catching articles in today's papers. The first is a comment piece by Steve Bundred, chief exec of the Audit Commission, on the necessity for extensive spending cuts. If you recall, Bundred claimed a few days ago that health and education shouldn't be ring-fenced from cuts, and here he repeats the point, adding a snappy conclusion:
"So don't believe the shroud wavers who tell you grannies will die and children starve if spending is cut. They won't. Cuts are inevitable, and perfectly manageable. We should insist on a frank and intelligent debate about how and where they will fall, which will then enable everyone to make more sensible plans."

And the second is the Sunday Times scoop that civil servants are already drawing up "doomsday" plans for 20 percent cuts in public spending, fearful that "politicians are failing to confront the scale of the budget black hole". The article also claims that Downing Street advisers are threatening to quit unless Brown sacks the man "they blame for encouraging him to make misleading claims about budget figures": one Shaun Woodward. And there was me thinking that Brown wouldn't need any encouragment to spin misleading yarns about his "investment vs cuts" dividing line...

More evidence, as if any were needed, that Brown has comprehensively lost the argument on cuts and that his administration is now in a state of total disarray: divided, rudderless and out of its depth. The clock is ticking...

Cabinet Fractures

Ian Dale suggeststhat Gordon Brown's cabinet is tearing itself to bits with bitter power struggles going on almost constantly.
I'm not sure the Sunday papers are going to make happy reading for Peter Mandelson. Simon Walters has the story [in the Mail on Sunday] of how Mandy refused to talk to Gordon Brown until he asked Shaun Woodward to leave the room (hilarious).
But more seriously for Mandelson, the Sunday Times accuses him of covering up a report into MG Rover.
Mandelson's almost mystical ability to spread discord is hurting Brown now. Mind you, there can be no sympathy for the auld fraud: if you try to make a deal with the devil, somewhere down the road you're gonna get burnt.

What motivates this pair is probably beyond rational thought. I would hazard, though, that with the former, it is vanity on a legendary scale and with the latter, it is unprincipled, demagoguic fanaticism combined with a delusional sense of his own importance. One thing they have in common is their ability to alienate almost everyone unfortunate enough to have to work for them - and to lie constantly, deliberately and without the slightest compunction. No wonder Labour is in total disarray.

There's more, though. Add to this the story in the Sunday Telegraph that Alan Johnson acted unilaterally in the so-called U-turn over ID cards - he didn't tell Brown he was going to do it - and the Independent on Sunday's report of a new backbench rebellion brewing over the 10p tax fiasco, and you have a perfect picture of government paralysis.

You would be forgiven for suggesting that an electorate battered by a severe slump, rising unemployment and a debt crisis that's become nothing short of a national emergency deserves far, far better than this. And you would be right. One question that's beginning to loom large, consequently, as the economic situation continues to deteriorate (despite what certain quarters of the press would have us believe) and government in-fighting escalates is where will it all end?

History suggests an answer to that question: collapse.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Labour's Last Chance Has Gone


So says Matthew D'Ancona in a refreshingly clear-sighted piece of commentary in the Sunday Telegraph. The chief problem, (as if it needs mentioning)? Gordon Brown, whose detachment from reality appears actually to be growing as Britain slides further into recession and debt. Anyway, here's a few choice morsels. Labourists in particular would do well to take note.
Sequestered in an economic and political Neverland of his own devising, surrounded by a dwindling coterie of sycophants, with a very angry chimp called Balls, Wacko Gordo lives out the last months of this Government in a world of his own. He talks about his upcoming "General Election" tour of Britain as his big comeback, and about his exciting plans for a "zero per cent rise" in public spending. Staring at their shoes in embarrassment, Wacko's Cabinet colleagues wonder whether he will even make it to the comeback trail.
NB: There will be some who think the reference to the recently departed singer is in poor taste. I'm not one of those people but I would understand how some would be offended. Michael Jackson was never as weird as Gordon Brown.

Anyway, on with the show...
For those on the Labour side who are still thinking straight – more than you might suppose – the greatest frustration is that the Prime Minister is squandering a serious political opportunity. Take it as a given that the recession and the extent of public debt mean that we are entering an era of spending cuts. Assume that the electorate knows this, and is waiting anxiously and irritably to discover where the axe will fall, as it must. And then (if you are the Labour Party) insist that only the centre-Left can be trusted to make such savings: that its motives are decent; that it gives priority to the vulnerable; that it can be trusted with frontline services such as the NHS and education. Let the cuddly progressive wield the scalpel sensitively, rather than the nasty Tory with his brutal scimitar. Well, you can imagine the script
There are plenty of reasons, of course, why such a message might not gain traction. Labour has lost its once-solid lead on the economy and economic decision-taking: an achievement for which George Osborne gains insufficient credit. In "decontaminating" the Tory brand, David Cameron has drastically changed the public's perception of Conservative motives. All the Tories' private research show that he himself – if not the party as a whole – is trusted as a prospective custodian of the NHS. Worst of all for Labour, the electorate is self-evidently bored to death after 12 years of the governing party.
Not half, pop-pickers. D'Ancona then goes off in a different direction for a few paragraphs, describing, rather bizarrely in this reader's humble, how Jon Cruddas has become "the most intelligent tribune of the Labour Left, who argues for an "austerity socialism" rooted in the values of R H Tawney." So, Christian socialism all round, then. I am not as convinced as the author seems to be about the authenticity - indeed, the sincerity - of Cruddas' missives. For one thing, this "socialist austerity" to which the latter refers sought to solve the problem of the economic crisis of its day with a vast, enforced redistribution of wealth.

If Cruddas is advocating punitive taxation and an expanded welfare programme, and the nationalisation of industry, then he should say so. The fact that Mandelson apparently supports the idea in principle strongly indicates that this is no more than a gimmick, the sole intention of which is to wrong-foot a Conservative party that has won the argument on how to manage a ruined economy. For that reason, they will win the next election (stupid emails to supporters notwithstanding). Thanks to Brown's inability to be straight with himself, let alone with the electorate, about anything - ever - Labour's last chance has now gone.

I will leave the rest to D'Ancona, who sheds a small amount of fresh light on the Balls Affair and concludes that Brown is incapable of grasping the truth that he will never be elected Prime Minister because he is a liar, and the truth that his resignation is now long overdue.

Mr Brown's promise at PMQs of a "zero per cent rise" may indeed have been, as he claimed, a slip of the tongue. But as with his other alleged "slip of the tongue" in December – when he claimed to have "saved the world" – one is inclined to see Freudian forces at work. Just as he probably does believe that he has personally saved the planet from financial disaster, so it is axiomatic to Gordon, an article of faith, that spending rises under Labour: if that rise is zero per cent, so be it. A rise of nothing is (in the strange Brownite universe) still a rise.

True, the PM shifted his position ever so grudgingly in an interview with the BBC's Nick Robinson on Wednesday, conceding that there might be "efficiency savings" involving bureaucracy and administrative costs such as Tippex ("If these programmes are cut, then that's fine"). But there is much more work to be done if Brown is to be forced out of the comfort zone he occupies with Mr Balls, in which bad Tories "cut" and good Labour politicians "invest": forever and ever.

The manic quality of this conviction was brought home to me last week when the Spectator's political editor, Fraser Nelson, filed a post on our Coffee House blog that accused Mr Balls of telling porkies. The Schools Secretary had said on the Today programme that there would be "less debt" thanks to Government policy – which is obviously nonsense. He proceeded to phone Fraser and myself, demanding that we "take the post down". I offered Mr Balls the chance to rebut the claims online, but he was not interested. Only total obedience will do with this lot. Funnily enough, as power drains from them, the more megalomaniacal they become.

There is a halfway decent Labour message to be deployed at the next election. Brown might pay lip service to it occasionally. But his heart will not be in it. Why? Because once a man starts doing the political equivalent of sleeping in an oxygen tent, and living in a theme park, and hanging out with a chimp, there's not much you can do for him. Especially when, deep in his heart, for all the wretchedness, and for all the misery, he still believes the crowd are longing to see him moonwalk.

The time came months ago for Wacko Gordo to take the advice, implied in this article, to Beat It.

Happy Birthday, USA


As someone who was growing up in Denver, Colorado at the time of the Bicentennial (really amazing fireworks, I just about recall), I still feel a bit connected, even though I'm really an Englishman and always will be.

So I say sincerely with a light, joyous heart: Happy Birthday, USA.

Friday, 3 July 2009

My Mate Dave

Jeez I hope this isn't true. One was enough!
Not sure what to make of these increasingly chummy, increasingly annoying emails I'm getting from the Conservative Party these days. I quite like the personal touch - it isn't a new idea and it can even tickle your ego a little bit if you suspend your disbelief for a moment. But there are a few problems with this latest one. There's only so much a fake register can bear. Well, see for yourself:

Dear J**,

I hope you've had a good week, watching Wimbledon and enjoying the sunshine. I've had a really fast-paced few days, giving an interview for Helen Newlove on her new radio station, delivering a big speech at the Local Government Association conference, and doing everything I can to get Gordon Brown to be honest about his spending cuts.

But one of the most important things that happened this week was the Conservative Party's Social Action conference. It's hard to imagine us holding this kind of event three or four years ago. But social action is now a big part of the Party and it's got a really important role to play.

There are around 150 Conservative-led projects up and down the country. These aren't token PR efforts - they're tough, useful and important schemes which make a real difference to communities. We've got mentoring, sports, and environmental programmes here in Britain, as well as development projects planned for the summer in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Srebrenica.

It's my hope that the social action undertaken by the Conservative Party is the start of something much bigger in terms of changing the way we do politics in this country. It's about making politics relevant, inspiring new people to get involved, and showing that by working together, we can deliver real change.

Have a great weekend.





Really, I just don't know what to make of it. It reads like some weird mutation of a letter home to the parents. I had no idea I knew the man so well. I had no idea he knew I'd watched a bit of Wimbledon and enjoyed the sunshine this week. It's a bit creepy. How does he know these things? I need to know! Whoa! Slow down there. Remember, the tone is fake. It's just a circular. You're just one of millions on some Tory mailing list to get it. Relaaaaax.

Fair enough, but I tell you what, though, the neo-Blairite syntax is irritating, too, as is the vague, generalised, slightly pleading politico-speak ("social action is now a big part of the Party and it's got [sic] a really important role to play"/"changing the way we do politics [sic] in this country". Sheesh. Not good.)

Maybe it's his "have a great weekend" (which makes him sound like some American checkout girl in K-Mart: "You have a nice day, now") at the end that really triggered my ire. See, I'm going to be stuck inside working like stink on preparation for teaching pre-sessionals all Saturday and all Sunday. So the cheery optimism and simulated bonhomie was, perhaps, lost on me. My fault, then.

No, dammit, it's not my fault. I don't know this man from Adam and I was totally underwhelmed by the letter's overly-familiar, dumbed-down claptrap about the Tories "social action" window dressing. And that's all it is: touchy-feely mood music designed to win over the Blairite middle classes. Newsflash, Dave. You won them over a long time ago. You know, when Brown's superbust began. They're now asking (as am I) "What the hell are you going to do about a bankrupt country that that bloody unelected liar and total incompetent, Brown, has driven into the ground?"

I'm not your mate, Dave. But I will vote for you because I have to believe that a Conservative government will rescue Britain from Labour's catastrophic period of office once more, like it did under Thatcher. But it's high time you and your people grew up and got serious. Start talking to us about economic substance, not about the weather, Wimbledon, creches in Rwanda and my weekend.

Suffice to say, one more, Delta-minus effort like that and I believe I will be excusing myself from the party mailing list, permanently. So get it right next time, if you please.

Have a great weekend.

Brown: I Don't Make Personal Attacks

*Sigh* Where to begin? No, nutter Brown. You leave it to your hired thugs to do that. McBride, Wheelan, Draper (sort-of), Watson etc, etc, etc. You're too cowardly to do it yourself. You like to hide. Plausible deniability and all that.
“I do not make personal attacks on people. I have tried to avoid doing that during my political career. But equally I understand that the language of politics can sometimes descend into people making quite crude accusations.”
Remember, folks, this is the man who "always tells the truth," according to him (who, in the entire world, "always" tells the truth, incidentally? So, as Fraser Nelson pointed out, this was another lie).

But wait, this is the man who ousted Blair after a long and sustained assault from his spin machine on his former boss. This is the man who had an advanced smears operation, complete with a pre-purchased web domain and a place-man at the Mirror (Geordie smearist, Kevin MacGuire) just waiting for the green light. And all running from number 10, ffs! Who would give that green light, do you think? Why, Brown of course.

It never ceases to amaze me. Either he believes the population really is that stupid, in which case he has nothing but contempt for us and deserves precisely the same, or he really believes what he is saying, in which case "pathological" is the only word that can adequately describe his lying.

Hattip, Morus.