Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
It`s not been a good week so far. Apart from suffering from what could be a mild form of swine flu - possibly piglet flu - I`ve been seriously confused about a number of the big issues clogging up the news media. There`s a lot going on right now - too much to comment on all of it - but taking just three items of current affairs leads me to the conclusion that it`s becoming more and more difficult to trust what anyone says about just about anything.
The first big issue is our old friend climate change/global warming, currently being discussed by no less than 15,000 delegates to the Copenhagen Conference. Now I simply don`t know whether climate change is happening at all and, if it is, whether mankind is responsible for any or all of it. The science is baffling, the politics are, as usual, not to be trusted (how else can a `fuel escalator` be justified when it does nothing but raise taxes?) passions are raised by the believers, deniers are ridiculed and those in the middle of it all, like me, are really none the wiser. But I have my doubts. I have a feeling in my bones that whatever mankind does or does not do, the planet will look after itself and continue with its own periodic cycle of cooling and warming, as it has done for millennia. I will take some persuading that it is otherwise.
Today`s big issue has been the Chancellor`s Pre-Budget statement to the House of Commons which has confirmed the unholy financial mess we are in. Now, if it was my personal financial mess, I would have done something about it by now or faced the consequences, so why hasn`t HM Gov. grasped the nettle and got on with it? Quite simply because there`s an election on the horizon and so yet another in a seemingly endless line of self-serving political decisions is intended to convince us that there`s nothing to worry about. I don`t trust them to do what`s best for the country or what`s best for me, but I do trust them to do what`s best for their own narrow political interests.
And then there is the ongoing big issue of the Chilcot Inquiry into Iraq, the coverage of which is getting further down the agenda. So far, there have been some useful `contributions` from people like Sir Christopher Mayer, Lord Boyce and Sir Jeremy Greenstock but far too often the opportunity to even ask the searching question has passed the Inquiry members by. The latest example being the appearance of Sir John Scarlett, the former Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee who had some guarded comments to make about the difference between the text of the `dodgy dossier` and its foreword by Tony Blair. The Inquiry seemed reluctant to question him about the influence brought to bear on the presentation of the case for war by such luminaries as Alistair Campbell. If they can`t be trusted to ask the right questions, you can be pretty sure we`ll never get the answers we deserve.
And so, with just these few examples, you can see why I find it difficult to trust anything that anyone in any kind of `authority` says any more. I thought I might have been confused this week, but actually it`s all very clear. And, as once more I shrug my weary shoulders, crawl back into my shell and resume my battle with the piglet `flu, I guess nothing really changes and that it truly is as ever was.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Outside her work as an MP, she has developed a career as an author, appeared very often on television and radio in a wide variety of programmes little connected with parliamentary work and she seems quite unable to resist an interview here, a comment there and an opinion more or less everywhere. In short, she has had much to say about much too much.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I hope David Byrne`s prophecy that `We`re on a Road to Nowhere` isn`t about to return to haunt us once more with the opening today of the Chilcot Inquiry into the Iraq War. We`ll see how it pans out, but already there are good signs and bad signs.
On the good side, at least and at last we are having an Inquiry, "to consider the period from the summer of 2001 to the end of July 2009, embracing the run-up to the conflict in Iraq, the military action and its aftermath." And it is being held mostly in public. On the other hand, it`s going to take a long time and cost a fortune and already it has been announced that the final report may not be published until 2011, possibly late 2010 but most assuredly not before the General Election next Spring.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Told you so. Unknown Belgian Herman van Rompuy becomes President of the EU Council, but the surprise was the appointment of Baroness Ashton as the High Representative for Foreign Affairs. She seems uniquely qualified for the role, having been Chair of a provincial NHS Trust, thrust into the House of Lords for being a Labour crony, found herself Leader of the House, then awoke one morning to find herself as Britain`s EU Commissioner and now catapulted into a position as head of a 7,000 strong EU diplomatic outfit and speaking on behalf of 27 countries on the world stage. Risen without trace and without ever having had to face an election. You really couldn`t make it up.
Still, at £320,000 a year she will no doubt be good value in furthering the cause of British interests during what might be a Conservative administration in the UK and being `mentored` by the Franco-German axis who are now the undisputed powerhouse of EU politics. There`s talk that the Germans want the Presidency of the EU Bank, which seems to confirm their unending pursuit for domination. Meanwhile, watch out for Rompuy and his EU wide taxes, his EU flag everywhere, EU anthem and EU football team. Not a happy prospect.
Deja vu is here again, just like George Burns and Gracie Allen. "Say goodnight, Gracie."