31 December 2008

What did Brown mean by that?

Honours mean little especially when the head of the Treasury gets a knighthood in this of all years.  However Michael Sheen who has played Blair twice and now Frost gets an OBE.  Most odd for a 39 year old actor who has hardly touched greatness.

Maybe Brown thinks he will make a good war leader!

30 December 2008

The BBC has made the wrong decision

I am not religious in anyway.  However I was hooked by this mornings  Today programme edited by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.  Some of his pieces were enlightening and were lead in the main by the sacked Stourton.

The BBC has made the most ill judged decision in his sacking.  Just compare him to the awful Evan Davis and then decide where the axe should fall.

Come on the BBC, reinstate Stourton without delay!

29 December 2008

What will Obama do?

The escalating crisis in the Middle East changes the dynamics rather for Obama as he prepares to take office.  Obviously the economy will be his priority, but it will take a while for him to do anything on this that will make a difference.

Gaza gives him the opportunity stamp himself on the world stage without delay.  What will he do?  Will he be different and attempt a new approach?

As usual Robert Fisk puts his views bluntly.  He is right, what will the latest bombing solve?

Brown needs to be careful.  His NY spin will be the economy and how he and Obama can save the world.  Obama may have other ideas.

28 December 2008

Recession 'a test of character'. For whom Gordon?

Here we go.  Brown is becoming more delusional as time goes by.  Just read his “leaked” New Year message, Recession 'a test of character'.  His main point seems to be:

In next week's New Year message, the prime minister is expected to urge the public to "display the same spirit" as their predecessors did in World War II.

There is no stopping him as he attempts to move all the blame on the current weakness in the UK economy onto others, and the solutions also.

Then there is the new Labour spin that Obama will come to the rescue:

He will also describe US president-elect Barack Obama as a "catalyst" for tackling global issues.

Next we will have Brown suggesting that he meet Obama in a ship off Newfoundland just as Churchill meet Roosevelt in 1941.

Have you started smoking cigars Gordon?

25 December 2008


There is little point in a few words trying to sum up Pinter’s life.  Few will ever surpass his influence in any field.

A coincidence that on the day I read The Same Man (see below), Pinter joins Orwell and Waugh in another life.

There are not many (Freud, Keynes and Marx come to mind) that had more influence in the 2oth century and still do today.

A sad passing.

How to spend Christmas Eve

This book, The Same Man, was been sitting on my desk since I purchased it soon after publication.  It is fascinating and I read the 200 odd pages in one sitting.  It charts the parallel lives of Waugh and Orwell and argues, correctly, that the were in fact postulating the same thoughts, hence the title.

What stuck me most of all was the concluding chapter, which takes the books title.

You have to read the book to fully appreciate the arguments put forward.  It  has frightening conclusions on how the modern world is governed and educated.

New Labour fits the world they dreaded perfectly.





23 December 2008

What a film

What luck to see a preview of Frost/Nixon.  Peter Morgan does it again.  It is brilliantly written and produced.  Frost has never been convincing in his interviews.  However he took the risks and reaped the rewards with the Nixon interviews.  A must see.

Who comes out on top in the end?  It is far from clear cut.

22 December 2008

That was too quick

What is going on behind the instant apology by Bob Quick?  Something is not quite right here.  Clearly there is no leadership at the Met but what else?  Is this to do with the arrest of Damien Green or Boris’s involvement in the resignation of Blair?

The Government and the Met need to get a grip and fast, otherwise we are going to have police force without credibility.  Perhaps we have reached that point already?

If not Mandy, then who?

Surely it would beyond Mandy to leak this.  So who then?

The obvious conclusion is that the investigation into Damian Green is now at an end.

Where does this leave the police?

Peston’s Christmas present

This post by the indispensible Robert Peston drops Brown’s policy right in it.  In the blog he says that the taxpayer may not get all of the loaned money back.  And then this:

What some may therefore see as worrying is that there is no sign right now of the Bank of England, or the Treasury or the Financial Services Authority being endowed with such bubble-busting powers.

In other words, Brown has not done enough or tackled the underlying problems.  The banks are now starting to admit their errors.  It is about time Brown did the same!

21 December 2008

Kinnock is a wind bag

Not that anybody had any doubt, but Kinnock was a complete wind bag on Marr this morning, whereas was Hague was pithy and pitched his answers spot on to Marr’s awful questioning.

The point was proved at the end of the programme when Hague’s quotes on the social fund proposals lead the news.

What should be remembered is that this is a stunt by Labour’s spin machine to test the water.  The latest proposal will not see the light of day.  Dizzy has already fallen through the trap door.

This is just a diversion from the real crisis in the government at the moment which is split on what to do about Jaguar.  So the spin on the social fund has worked, as Jaguar did not get a mention.

Rentoul in the Indy this morning  sets out the Government's dilemma with his usual precision.

19 December 2008

Brown 'confused' over oil prices

So it takes Opec to hit back over Brown's ludicrous claims today on oil prices.

Mr El-Badri, Opec's secretary general, told the BBC the UK had benefited more than most countries from high oil prices because its taxes on petrol and oil extraction were the "highest in Europe".

"Instead of looking at Opec he should look at his policies and try to reduce taxes," he told the World at One. "Then he can talk to us."

Again where are the Tories on this.  Why does it take someone from Opec to make these sensible if obvious comments.

If The Tories do not start  instant rebuttals every time Brown makes the headlines, the election is going to be a one horse race.

Brown really did says this

Brown really is becoming delusional.  A pity that Dr Anthony Clare is no longer with us.  He would have a field day.

Just today Brown said this:

he had given "no thought" to an election in 2009.  I thought the guy was a politician!

he insisted the country had been "the victim of a global downturn".  Nothing to do with my policies mate!

he said it was "unfortunate" that the UK had been "unable to avoid being affected" by events elsewhere.  Really.  So it is not the global economy after all!

he said "We face problems, many of which we have no control over,"  Apart from when the economy does well.  Then it is all down to Brown.

Enough said.

More importantly he is getting away with these silly statements that he no doubt believes.  The Tories have no response.  They had better get one quick otherwise 4 more years of opposition beckons, on matter what the UK Polling Report says

An early election?

If anyone can argue against this UK Polling Report Blog about why there will be an early election, then go ahead.

If the economists are right about 2009 then stand by for an early poll.

18 December 2008

Brown uses Iraq to sideline awful economic news

How ironic that Brown has been able to use Iraq to sideline the awful economic news of the last couple of days.  Clearly borrowing is now out of control as the latest figures indicate

What other smokescreens has Brown got up his sleeve to kick the economic news down the news agenda?

They have used Iraq, what next for Moses and Mandy?  I bet they let the election rumours run and run.  January and February will bring more dreadful economic and financial news.  So what do they do?  Call an election on 26th February.

More surprising things have happened!

Wonderful Labour Spin

Old Mandy loves it.  This must be the quote of the day from the old master:

Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said last night that Woolworths’ fate provided a warning to other long-established high street names.

He said it was a “company that didn’t march forward with the times, didn’t change with the times in the way you need to in an increasingly competitive marketplace”.

Lord Mandelson said that many of the sacked staff would have a good chance of finding work elsewhere in the retail sector.

Nothing to do with Labour economic policy of course.  It is the last para that is total rubbish.  Sad but he is getting away with it.

Where is the Tory response?

17 December 2008

Should Explorer be bundled with Windows?

Does Explorer have to be bundled with Windows for some reason better known to Microsoft?

I have been using it for years until some months ago when I installed Firefox.  I have never looked back.  It is much faster and can be customised.

Microsoft’s products are taken for granted by most of us, but with the latest serious security flaws, is not about time that Explorer was decoupled from Windows and user’s were offered better alternatives?

After all, how secure are Microsoft's products?

Does Newsnight need a revamp?

Although tonight's edition was fairly good, I suggest the programme needs a revamp.  I find it a struggle to get to the end most nights, especially after the 11pm news round up.

The programme has a new editor.  Maybe he could start by bringing in Ed Stourton in time for an early election?

I am pretty sure Ed has no wish to go on presenting Today until next September.

Bad news smothered

Brown has played a news management blinder today to going to Iraq. With the economic news getting worse he hijacks the agenda. It will go on into Thursday when he will no doubt pull a rabbit out the hat in his statement to the Commons.

I have my doubts whether the Tories can beat Labour at their own game. Serious thinking is required by Cameron over the holidays

Will high streets ever recover

With the news that Woolworths will almost certainly close, I am wondering if high streets will ever recover. Woollies will be the first of many chains go under, and I suspect peoples shopping habits will change for good. On line shopping will surge as people look around more and more as prices fall.

This could well be the recession that changes the face of Britain.

Is Nick Robinson with it?

Does Nick Robinson think or does he just do Mandy's bidding whilst being paid by the taxpayer?

His latest post:

The man who's resigned his government post this morning has declared that it "beggars belief" that Dutch company TNT could be brought in to advise Royal Mail on its operations.

Jim McGovernWhat really does beggar belief is the idea that Jim McGovern could sit in the department for business as bag carrier for the minister responsible for the Royal Mail, Pat McFadden, and not have known for many weeks that this was precisely what was being planned.

Could his resignation have more to do with the fact that the SNP are targeting his Dundee West constituency? The nationalists already control the council, both Holyrood seats and the neighbouring Westminster seat?Does he really believe that Jim McGovern knew about what was being proposed by Mandy "for weeks"?

The truth is that Labour spun him this line and he could not print in fast enough on his blog.

I am looking forward to his impartial comments during the election?

Can Cameron get the initiative back?

With Labour totally managing and setting the news agenda, can Cameron regain the political initiative? If he can't, the polls will continue to move Labour's way and the likelihood of any early election will be more so.

Labour is succeeding in destabilising the Tories, sapping their confidence and wrong footing them on a daily basis.

Is the election result moving Labour's way?

Is Mandy being too clever by half?

Is Mandy getting too cocky with his proposal to part-privatise the Post Office? The first resignation this morning spells trouble at a time when Brown wants to clear the decks for an early election.

Brown flys out of trouble

On the day that unemployment reaches a new high, Brown flys to Iraq to confirm what has already been announced. He could have made done this another day but choose this one. Of course the two are connected. He also avoids the difficult questions at PMQ's.

Possibly, this is his new way of disappearing in times of trouble, as the economic "solutions" that he instilled on the world show signs of not working. Interesting, is it not, is the number of trips he has made over the last week, trying to show he is a world statesman. This from the man that spends all his waking hours worrying about the recession.

The real worry for him is the election and when to have it.

Does anything else matter to him?