Why doesn’t he shut up

It’s only days ago that Tony Blair was interviewed in The Guardian by Decca Aitkenhead, when that paper devoted a whole page to the pair of them.

What a waste of space!

He had nothing to say, other than that we should all follow our consciences. He contends that we have been bamboozled into Brexit by a government – or by the Tories if you follow his line of thought – who have no time for anything else. Not the housing crisis. Nor the poverty gap. Or the north south divide. Nor dealing with the Grenfell Tower disaster.

How obvious is all that!

The Tories have devoted no time at all to anything other than badly handling our leaving the EU, and most of the press has colluded with them in talking about it. As a result, we all think that that is all that matters.

What piffle! It’s enough that no one says that, once we leave the EU, almost everyone will be saying: “We never had it so good.” The rightwing newspapers will be crying into their cups, because when we have to deal as an independent nation with France, or Germany or the Poles, Spaniards, Portuguese or Italians, we shall get no more special treatment than if we were Ugandans or Indians. Indeed, we may get less, because we have no natural resources to trade with.

Tony Blair may have been Prime Minister, but that doesn’t give him the right to believe it’s he and he alone that occupies the moral high ground.

Why doesn’t he slink away and shut up, like any good ex-Prime Minister should?

But then, Ms Aitkenhead wouldn’t have anyone to interview.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What are they up to now?

It seems not a day goes by when the British government manages to put its foot in it.

Only the other day they demonstrated how inept they are by disagreeing amongst themselves on how much it will costs Britain to leave the EU.

On top of that, they seem to think they can do what they like and no one else will pay any attention. Don’t they realise that the EU has 27 other members, all of whom have to agree with each other before anything is passed into law?

‘Arrogance’, some call it. To me, it smacks of sheer incompetence born of the idea that no one knows best expect aunty. And she doesn’t even know what day it is!

The sooner we are over all this, the better it will be. Then we shall be able to live with whatever character Britain has when it is past this muddle and confusion.

Tagged , , ,

They’re at it again

What is it with this government?

As well as seeming to be unfit to manage Britain’s exit from the European Union, they don’t seem to be able to control things in the House of Commons.

Admittedly, the place has too many bars, too many darkened corridors and too many opportunities for indiscretions. But the recent spate of stories of members propositioning young people of both sexes is little short of unreasonable, even disgraceful.

I say ‘unreasonable’ because most people expect their MPs to be above such things. It’s unreasonable to expect them all to be paragons of virtue (there are, after all, plenty of opportunities for un-virtuous behaviour) and they can’t all be whiter than white. Moreover, it’s true that such infidelities have been going on for years. So what’s new?

MPs are supposed to be sensible people. To judge by the current headlines, that’s something that should be on a wish list.

Dogs that bark in the night

A couple of days ago, as he was giving his debut address to the United Nations, Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” and went on to ridicule the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, by referring to him as “rocket man”.

I ask you, what kind of language is that for a President to use? It’s certainly not what Barack Obama would’ve used.

Now the North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Yong-ho, has witheringly described Trump’s threat as “the sound of a dog barking”, referring to a Korean proverb that says that the marching goes on even when dogs bark.

In all this rhetoric, one question bothers me: did Trump mean what he said, or was he just trying to put the frighteners on Kim Jong-un?

If he meant what he said – that he would “totally destroy North Korea” – we should all be afraid; very afraid.

If he was just trying to scare Kim Jong-un into ceasing his nuclear testing, I doubt the leader of North Korea is that easily scared. Even his Foreign Minister said, in reference to  the ‘rocket man’ epithet: “I feel sorry for his aides.” He also reminded reporters that, in Korean, a dog dream is one that makes little sense.

We may feel that this is ‘an American problem’; that Trump and the North Koreans should just carry on slagging each other off until they are exhausted.

The trouble is, it isn’t. Which is why I think we should all be very afraid.

 

Tagged , , , ,

Stupid names

It occurred to me today that the British Prime Minster and her Foreign Secretary have the two most ridiculous names imaginable.

‘Theresa May’ sounds like a cross between a holy mother and someone who might – just might – get things done.

Boris Johnston, on the other hand, is just plain daft. Who on earth calls their son Boris? And who has the temerity the be called Johnston, after the famous Dr?

I ask you, are the British governed by idiots are just plain crazies?

Tagged ,

John Harris is right

You probably realise by now that I’m a Guardian reader. And you may have guessed that I like various of their columnists.

On Friday, September 8, one of them, John Harris, wrote a piece that’s almost beyond fault. It echoes some of what I said in my last blog; about we British are no longer willing to do the menial jobs done for us by so-called ‘immigrant labour’. How sad! Yet, how true.

And how prescient of Harris to conclude that, as he put it, “frozen into the brickwork of those newly built houses in Peterborough is a whole host of stuff – hard work, persistence, ambition, stoicism – that has played a huge role in keeping an increasingly fragile country in business”.

Would that anyone in charge today recognises this!

 

 

Tagged , , ,

Do the politicians know anything?

The more I see and hear of it, the more I’m inclined to agree with my friend in Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey.

He believes Brexit (or Britain leaving the EU, to give the process its real term, not it’s media-driven nickname) is far too complex to be left to mere politicians.

All they seem to do is shout at each other from positions of emotional weakness, and listen to what they want to hear.

Tattered Jack

Take the leavers, for example. Last year, before we were asked to vote “In” or “Out”, they told us that £350 million pounds a day was being spent on the EU which they would spend on the NHS. Where’s that money today? And where’s the talk of how it will be spent when we do leave? As leave we surely will.

I was recently in hospital and all I heard from the staff were comments about the lack of funds (£350 million a day, anyone?). I heard, too, how the NHS would not work if it were not for the cleaners, caterers, health care assistants, nurses and doctors – almost all the staff you would ever meet – who were born outside the British Isles but who chose to work in this country, because there is no work for them in their native land. Most of them do not know what they’ll do if they are told they must leave. “None of the local people want to do this job” was what I heard over and over again. Watch the television if you don’t believe me.

I first heard a remark like this from a pea-packer, years ago. Interviewed on television somewhere near Boston, Lincs, she said she would gladly give up work to care for a small child she and her Polish husband had had in the UK, but “everyone who’s British who’s interviewed says ‘no’ to the job”.

Does no one want to bend their back? Do the politicians think that all they need to show us is their posturing?

David Davis, for example, looks like a fairground busker who must’ve thought you believed him when he put it about that you would “See the bearded lady!” Was he referring to Mrs May? Where is said hirsute female? Perhaps more accurately, he looks like a sharp-suited shyster who has asked us to invest in a multi-million pound enterprise, knowing all along that the enterprise isn’t worth much more than sixpence of anybody’s money.

Would you buy a secondhand car from him? I know I wouldn’t. Neither should you.

As for Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, he very nearly blew it completely when he implied that Europe could “whistle” for Britain’s due payments.

The opposition is no better. They seem to have too many of their own axes to grind.

So why not leave it all to the bureaucrats? They have nothing to lose by sticking to the facts. The politicians have everything to lose by trying to suggest that we are all like them: no matter which flag they salute.

Tagged , , , ,

Do we really need to know?

Following events in Charlottesville, President Trump has so far failed to denounce the far right in explicit terms. Instead, he has condemned those of “many sides” for almost everything. How mealy-mouthed can you get? At least he’s running true to form.

What I want to know is this: do we we really want to know? And do we really care?

Here, in Devon England, Donald Trump can pretty much say or do what he likes. Life will still go on; the leylandii will still grow; the sea will still flood and ebb; the seagulls will still squawk at each other, or some other bird; the rain will still fall when it chooses; we shall all continue to grow a little older.

Will anybody care?

The question is: do we really have to know what’s going on in America?

I grant you, it’s what’s called “the silly season”, when any news – good, bad or indifferent – is used to fill the papers and the airwaves. Our own MPs are still on holiday. Our Prime Minister has yet to make an appearance following her much-publicised trekking about in Switzerland. One wonders if she will return to her desk and announce a snap election. Or a denunciation of all things Brexit. She and the American President are almost as unpredictable as an unturned omelette. Or a result at Stamford Bridge.

The question remains: do we really need to know?

I guess we do, when the future of the Western World is in the hands of a man who can’t even articulate his own thoughts.

 

 

Tagged , , , ,

Another one bites the dust!

Looks like I posted too soon.

Now even Scaramucci is no more, rejected to mooch around somewhere else.

Tagged , , , ,

He’s still there

Last November it seemed almost unbelievable. This August, least than a year later, it is still unbelievable.

Donald Trump is President of the United States of America.

After all the jaw-dropping foolishness we saw during their election, and the wicked bad-mouthing of his opponent, it seems to be beyond comprehension that The Donald is President. It seems incongruous that a man whose appeal can only be to the small-minded is in an office once occupied by a man whose intellect was so great he seemed to think of everything before he even opened his mouth. He even made jokes, for heaven’s sakes, that seemed premeditated. What’s more, they were funny and we didn’t laugh at them out of politeness or nervousness.

True, a vote for The Donald’s chief opponent would have probably meant the retention of America’s status quo. And the election of a woman to “the highest office in the land” for  the first time. But would that have been so bad? At least, we would’ve known where we stood.

A leap into the unknown

As it is, the election of The Donald was a leap into the unknown. And I don’t mean the kind of ‘unknown’ not known by Donald Rumsfeld. I mean the kind of ‘unknown’ we are currently experiencing; the unknown that creates uncertainty.

We don’t know, for example, from one week to the next, what The Donald will say or do tomorrow.

He could say he’s going to build a wall. But nothing seems to happen.

He could say the North Koreans threaten world stability. But they still launch nuclear missiles.

He could hire me tomorrow. But next week I could be fired.

While he is still there – and he may be there until 2024 – we should all be worried. His behaviour, and his decisions, are laughable but they all have their consequences. Anthony Scaramucci [the Mooch] might seem like a clown. But he’s a dangerous joker, capable of making his boss look positively benign.

The transatlantic view

On this side of the ocean, we can disbelieve, even laugh.

But I would hate to be a liberal living in America now. I might even be ashamed of my country. I certainly would not want The Donald to be my President. Not for a moment longer.

However, I do not know who might take his place.

Change was needed, of that there is no doubt. The system had become atrophied. Obama could not get anything done, because the numbers in both houses were stacked against him. Everything was a compromise. A fresh approach was needed.

Goodness knows but that Britain needs a change! The current government is the same as its predecessor, in all but personnel.

But where are the men or women who can take the places of those that are in charge? Are we to have to carry on as usual, while our current ‘leaders’ (including Valdimir Putin and co) are there?

Few of us are leaders. Most of us prefer to be led. But not by people who say one thing, do another, and turn everything into a reflection of themselves and their so-called achievements.

We all need someone else ‘there’. Someone we can trust.

Tagged , , , , , , ,