Friday, October 30, 2009

Patriots for Blair!

Shadow Europe Minister Mark Francois was on Newsnight earlier this week debating the possibility of Tony Blair becoming European President with his Labour opposite number. During the interchange we were informed by the Labour chap that supporting Tony Blair was a patriotic duty, and this theme has been echoed by Labour blogger Luke Akehurst:
I'd go so far as to suggest it is unpatriotic to try to block a Brit from becoming President. any Briton is preferable to any foreigner for the job entirely on the basis that he or she is British? Is that the argument? So, we would support, for example, Nick Griffin ahead of any citizen of another EU nation would we? What nonsense. Anyway, it looks as if three things are conspiring to keep Tony Blair out of this particular job:
  • Firstly, his past is catching up with him. The Iraq war was a foreign policy disaster, largely due to the ineptitude of the Blair and Bush administrations, and the Continental Europeans have not forgotten. As a result there is a echoing void where support for a Blair presidency among other countries should be.
  • Secondly, the British Conservatives have let it be known that they would engage in years of trench warfare with the EU if Blair became president. Given the possibility of a Conservative government then this is a serious threat.
  • Thirdly, and most importantly, Tony Blair has Gordon Brown's full support. So, we can expect off-the-record briefings from third-tier political players and clumsy attempts to influence behind the scenes while the Prime Minister himself says nothing. If you are going to get support it is generally better to get it from people with a bit more ability that the current crowd at no.10.
I think that we are safe.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Simon Heffer promotes someone else for Osborne's job

I make it a policy not to try and spend too much time with ignoramuses. Unfortunately, Simon Heffer is hard to avoid because he has a column in my morning paper. He regularly disturbs my bacon and eggs, and he has in all of the time I have been reading the Daily Telegraph written exactly one article that did not make me resort to profanity. Today's effort wasn't it.

It appears that the genius has noticed that the economy is in a mess and he spends some time detailing this as if it was a revelation. That serves only as a distraction though and he quickly returns to his favourite subject, which is how bad the Conservative party is. Apparently the problem is that the proposed cuts in public spending are not draconian enough, but worse still the Conservatives don't have a strategy for economic growth. This is interesting because it was to be Labour's line of attack after the expected announcement of the end of the recession. They were going to rejoice in the return of the good times, criticise the Conservatives as being too pesimistic and then boldy announce that they were 'going for growth'. Of course it all fell apart when the ONS announced that the recession hadn't ended, but it clearly struck a chord with Simon. There is also something else going on. You see, Simon really doesn't like George Osborne:

It is a commonplace now to say that the City of London – and serious wealth-creators in this country generally – are less than impressed by George Osborne. Mr Osborne is set to become Chancellor of the Exchequer not because he is a great economic thinker or strategist, and not even because he understands economics, but because he is Mr Cameron's chum. There are several people on the Conservative benches infinitely better qualified to do the job, and infinitely more needed by the country at this time of severe crisis: but they don't have a prayer.

Simon used to spend a great deal of time and energy informing us how useless David Cameron was, but given the polls that became more and more laughable. So, now he switches his fire to David Cameron's closest ally.A transparent attempt to get at David Cameron through his friends? Maybe something more; it could be an old-fashioned political hatchet job with Simon as the hatchet. Depressingly enough, the ultimate culprit could well be a Conservative who thinks they should have Osborne's job. So, they give Simon a few off-the-record factoids and set him loose. Simon does not have a mass readership, but Tories do read him. That makes him the perfect tool.

In every sense of the word.