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Archive for the ‘cameron’ Category

There’s Dave…

Sky News’ Jon Craig has posted an interesting piece on the latest Brown-sighting this evening. After Cameron’s highly adroit – even deft – performance in the US, it’s becoming pretty clear that, in absolute fact, Britain is far better off, both at home and abroad, now that she is finally being represented by a prime minister that isn’t either a) a hopeless attention-seeker obsessed with his own image rather than concerned with the needs of a country he laughably purported to lead or the world that he generally preferred to start wars in, or b) a socially inept weirdo with terrifying delusions of grandeur and a pathological inability to recognise, much less tell, the truth.

Jon Craig writes of the latter’s latest noises well-off performance:

So what did Gordon Brown do after his brief appearance in the House of Lords?
(See previous blog.)
Speak in the Commons during the third reading debate on the Finance Bill?
Er, no.
Pop down to Strangers’ Bar or the terrace for a few beers with old comrades?
Er, no.
The former Prime Minister, I can reveal, had already invited new Labour MPs elected for the first time on May 6 – about 70 in all – for a chat at 4pm in his grand and spacious new office on the top floor of Portcullis House.
An audience with Gordon.
Aah. So the room was packed, then?
Er, no.
Apparently, so my informant tells me, only about 10 turned up to listen to the former PM.
I’m also told that some of the bright young things turned up hoping to ask him worthy questions about the Alternative Vote referendum and other current topics.
But they were disapppointed to hear him talk at some length – no change there, then – about how the Tories kept trashing his record in power.
Oh dear.
In denial?
That’s what some Labour MPs are claiming.

Where’s Wally Gordon?

I’m quite surprised to be writing this, but Cameron is actually beginning to look great. Now that could just be because he’s normal compared to the two contemptible Labour has-beens this country and the world have been forced to tolerate for over a decade in unequal shares until very recently.

But he did look and sound great today – a real independent force. Having seen some of the clips of his performance with the latest incarnation of the US president, compared to the rather brittle-looking, slightly spiteful-sounding Barack Hussein Obama, he was, well, just great.

Hang-on, I know it’s early days, but it is possible Cameron is great – as in an unusually gifted statesman and leader (at least in the making).

One day maybe it’ll even become a famous quotation: “Andy Burnham [or whoever], you are no David Cameron! (You’re actually a bit like Tony Blair – but not quite as bad as Gordon Thingumyjig),” says someone or other who’s fairly famous in politics .

Hmm. Maybe not (yet). But he’s clearly better than Blair. And way, way, way better than the unspeakable (and nearly vanished forever anyway) Brown. We might still be in the ‘thank God for small mercies’ stage of Cameron’s premiership, but there can be no denying it: there were one or two glimpses of greatness there today.

What a contrast!

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A serious Labour politician

The sound of son of a butcher and former schoolteacher Paul “Lord” Myners on the Today programme this morning was all the reminding I needed of how utterly delusional members of the previous government remain, particularly in the area of their economic (mis)management. He seemed to be saying that what the coalition government is doing in announcing what amount to, in reality, pretty modest savings in the short term, designed merely to halt the speed of expansion of the national debt by slowing down government spending rather than slashing it, is putting some kind of Labourist-inspired ‘recovery’ at risk. I kid you not.

He and his ilk still seem to think that the last months of Brown, where spending was allowed to run out of control not as part of any genuine attempt to kick start the economy through some kind of novel notion (which even Keynes never proposed) that you can spend your way out of recession while servicing gigantic levels of borrowing, but as part of a calculated effort to save nothing more and nothing less than Brown’s political career by bribing Labour’s heartlands and key marginals, is actually defensible. It’s not, epsecially because it worked, predictably, in the North East, North West and, to a slightly lesser degree, Yorkshire, hence there was no Labour wipeout even if it didn’t save Brown (nothing could), but it didn’t work in the marginals, hence the coalition.

The point is, let us hear no more from the likes of Myners pretending that there was no political calculation involved with the reckless spending levels following the crash, or, indeed, that Labour had nothing to do with causing that crash with its disastrous system of banking regulation or deliberate stoking-up of cheap credit into a gargantuan property bubble. Even without the credit crunch (which did start in America) there would have been a crash in Britain inevitably, and a pretty big one at that.

Additionally, Myners completed his flight from reality by claiming that the latest G20 meeting was pointless and lacked the substance of the London summit in 2009, presumably because Cameron was there making the case for deficit reduction in the UK, rather than arrogantly lecturing the rest of the world about how to manage their own economies. I suppose Myners was so dismissive about the event because there was no really big chunk of money to boast about at the end. I think it was a mere one trillion dollars at the London event wasn’t it? Well, of ‘promised’ money that is, of course, although hardly any of it ever materialised and hardly any of that which did had any effect on the forces of nature driving the economic cycle anyway. But socialists don’t understand that, see? Sometimes the right thing to do strategically is nothing. Well, it matters not for the likes of Myners or Brown or, come to think of it, Alistair “Apologise To Me!” Darling any more. All they can do from now on is nothing. That, at least, should mean that they can do no more damage, thank God.

One last thing I thought worth mentioning: at the end of that programme we also had the annoying, schoolboy voice of Nick Robinson putting the sneering BBC spin on the Cameron G20 performance by referring to a picture of him with his head in his hands as the utterly outclassed, out-thought and luckless England team went 4-1 down to the dreaded Germans and musing, rather lamely I thought, as to whether this “new leader on the world stage” (he’s not that new) would end up “hapless” and ignored by the others. I wondered to myself at that point, seeing as it was apparently the day to make sweepingly dismissive statements, whether the performance of this England team, rather than somehow reflecting a “hapless” David Cameron, at least in mind of the Robinson talking head, had far more symbolic force as representing the end of the era of expensive under-performers who nevertheless walk away with a fortune despite having been kicked out of the tournament. That’s not England, thought I, that’s New Labour! Funny how the two eras, the “Golden Generation” and the gilt-edged years of plenty under New Labour, seem to parallel one another. But, of course, the reality check in the Merchant of Venice (Act 2, Scene 7) says it all:
All that glitters is not gold/Often have you heard that told/Many a man has his soul sold…

Less money (unless deserved), more passion (motivation) and more graft (productivity): that’s what we need not only from England’s footballers, but from the British population generally. Less bling and more sting; more passion – and less fashion. The superficiality of England’s performance almost perfectly parallels the intellectual and moral vacuum at the heart of New Labour. Over-rated and all mouth, costing a fortune, but when the going gets tough they crumble and the results become disastrous. In England’s case, Germany showed them up for what they really are, in New Labour’s, it was the crash. The only difference is, of course, that England were beaten by superior opponents, which is fair enough, but Myners is trying to defend Gordon Brown, the team captain who made all the wrong moves, chose all the wrong tactics and managed to defeat himself, taking the country with him. And that was after the credit crunch began. That was merely his Germany in the economic tournament. The moment Brown was really tested, the whole economic kingdom of debt that he created crumbled, and so did New Labour.

Myners and others who choose their own narrative on this lamentable passage in British history according to their political orientation are naturally welcome to do so. It might even be a coherent, even persuasive, story for the gullible, but it will never make it right.

As for the BBC, well, I assume there will come a time when the Conservative party finally has its bellyful of the licence fee-funded, left wing dominated organisation’s constant breaching of its charter and either disinfects it once and for all or breaks it up into little pieces, some commercial (the ones that are already, that is!) and some taxpayer-funded, with no licence fee. Then the left will have to go away and infect some other institution, if there are any remaining in the United Kingdom, which I doubt.

PS: Actually, Myners’ performance on this morning’s show was all the more bizarre when you consider that speech he made torpedoing current Labour politicians’ arguments against Tory plans. As Wiki says of the speech:

On 8 June 2010, Myners made headlines with a speech he made in the Lords. He said, “We clearly need a policy of fiscal caution. It was right to support the economy during the global recession but there now needs to be fiscal adjustment, as evidenced by the last Government in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. There is nothing progressive about a Government who consistently spend more than they can raise in taxation, and certainly nothing progressive that endows generations to come with the liabilities incurred by the current generation.”

Well, my feeling is now that he made that speech certainly not for the benefit of the Tories but to influence the Labour leadership race, possibly in favour of Ed Balls. Conclusive proof, if you’ll forgive the straw man, that Labour is only talking to itself. Long may that continue.

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Guido has the lowdown on the latest sighting of the Brown Pimpernel. Apparently, like Flash Harry from the St Trinians films, he’s taken to wearing a trilby hat low over his eyes and a long coat that makes him look like he’s gliding along without any sign of leg movement, slithering from Important Rich Luminary to Important Rich Luminary, touting for a bit of trade. “Inconspicuous” is the watchword.

After some excitement this morning that Gordon Brown might actually be in town to represent his constituents the truth unravels. While he may have put a fleeting five minutes in the chamber, (making the number of days he as been in two out of a possible forty-nine,) King of the Lobby Gary Gibbon has; what he was really down here for. A meeting with a Kennedy, a chat with Sir Tim Berners-Lee about his future employability and a natter with his old cabinet allies.

So it seems the great Brownian contempt for his own constituents, the public purse that provides his unearned salary and his abject lack of contrition for – or even interest in – his role in the debt disaster now confronting Britain thanks to him will just go on and on and on. Until someone in government has the guts to put a stop to it, preferably with legislation on the conduct of sitting MPs.

People should be a lot more angry about this than the painful budget Brown has brought down on our heads thanks to that sponging loser’s economic incompetence and political desperation.

As much as it was a Coalition budget, this was Brown’s budget. The Tories were right: let no one forget that. Oh, and if we are expected to make sacrifices for the sake of the future security of the nation’s finances, then might I suggest that everyone should be forced to pull his or her weight. We’re all in this together, after all.

Flash Gordon, that ex-wrecker and now dodgy shirker, would be a top target for me for the chop. Why should I be paying for him not to do his job? Cameron can lead by example, but he can also make them – preferably of the predecessor who is so frightened of facing the music to the extent that he is effectively now on the run.

It’s time Brown’s past caught up with him.

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BP: Big Problem

Iain Martin has just quite justifiably wondered out loud when David Cameron is going to answer the ridiculously shrill and totally unjustified anti-British sentiments, disguised as tough-guy criticism of BP Inc for the Gulf oil disaster, emanating from the irritating Obama’s noise hole. He says:

President Obama’s attitude to the company is starting to grate. Astonishingly, pressure is now being applied on BP to reduce its next dividend, or else. That is a matter for the management and board of BP to decide upon, not the president of the United States. The air is thick with threats from the Obama administration about what lies in store if the company does not do as it says. The assaults on BP come tinged with a hint of anti-Britishness.
In this climate of distrust, a letter writer to the FT this morning asks when the U.K. government will speak up to defend BP. It is a fair question, one we can expect to hear more often.

I agree, but I also suspect there is a fairly simple answer to this vexing question. It could play something like this. By leaping to the defence of the multinational oil giant, Cameron could, but will not want to, be seen by implication defending someone who is accident prone and insensitive in Tony Hayward, and who really has only himself to blame for what Martin calls his “monstering” by the US media.

I would have thought, therefore, that Cameron will only begin to defend Britain’s good name, currently being indirectly but consciously impugned by a suspiciously energised (but pretty ineffective) US president, when the embattled BP supremo does the decent thing and quits.

Leaving Obama’s nauseating anti-Brit dogwhistle propaganda aside for a moment, the issue of Hayward’s departure must now come first. Whatever Obama’s up to, and I think we in the UK pretty much all know what that is given his pretty appalling treatment of what we are led to believe is America’s closest and most loyal ally during his spell so far as leader of the free world, it’s Hayward that’s really giving Britain a bad name – whenever he opens his mouth.

The longer he remains in post, the longer we will undeservedly take the flack for his many apparent shortcomings, the longer Obama will be able to get away with his pathetic political displacement activities and the longer it will be before Cameron can launch some kind of diplomatic damage limitation operation. With Hayward there, the PM’s hands are pretty much tied. The BP boss has been that bad.

But having said all that, if any Obama fans deign to read this post and choose, predictably (and usually rudely) to disagree, I have one word for your sort: Bhopal.

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Mandrake (Tim Walker) in today’s Sunday Telegraph reveals that one of Gordon Brown’s last acts as Prime Minister was to secretly cut the future incumbant’s salary by £250,000 over five years.

Gordon Brown’s failure to turn up for the State Opening of Parliament may well have been because he couldn’t look David Cameron in the face. Mandrake hears that one of Brown’s final acts in the Downing Street bunker was quietly to organise a pay cut for his successor which he must have known would leave him out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds.

On Brown’s orders, the Prime Minister’s remuneration package was cut from £194,000 to £150,000, but this was done with such stealth that no formal announcement was ever made.

Now, some might say that that was done for sound economic reasons since the country faces economic collapse due the parlous state of the public finances – thanks, er, to Brown. That conclusion would be completely naive. Even Walker’s conclusion, jovial as it is, and quoting a ‘Whitehall source’ is wide of the mark in my humble opinion.

“This was pure Gordon,” harrumphs my man in Whitehall. “Quite prepared to make the big sacrifices – so long as it wasn’t him who actually had to make them.”

Not so. While his pocket-lining, self-serving instincts were certainly part of the motivation for his actions, Brown did this out of pure malice for his successor. That’s why he did it secretly. As a result, Cameron will earn little more than he did as leader of the opposition, and could well earn less in terms of salary alone given that he has also handed himself and the cabinet an example-setting 5% pay cut, unaware that Brown had already sabotaged that good faith gesture.

As far as I’m concerned, Brown is a seriously twisted individual who finished the way he started in office, by sticking two fingers up ostensibly at the hated Tories, but really at the entire population of the country he pretty much single-handedly ruined. He must be held to account, and, if fraud or corruption are ever uncovered, brought to book for his crimes against the people of Britain.

In the meantime, let’s focus on something else. It’s not just that he couldn’t face David Cameron at the Queen’s Speech, or that he hasn’t turned up in parliament once on behalf of his constituency since he was booted out of Number 10, or that he has continued to draw an MP’s salary while, in effect, going AWOL (I hear he’s been in up in Kirkaldy but effectively incommunicado since his ousting)…these things are bad enough. It’s not any of that, however, but something far simpler. Clearly, there is a strong case for him to be suspended from parliament pending a review of his activities, or lack thereof, since regaining that safest of safe seats, (and whether his supporters in that safest of safe seat like it or not)]. If necessary, legislation should be introduced to this end. It should be applied not just to Brown but to any MPs suspected of not discharging their duties of office adequately.

Well, I know it won’t happen – which is a pity – but, in the end, something must be done about Brown. He deserves some kind of punishment for his vicious spite and, ultimately, his cowardice both in and now out of office.

If nothing else, though, we should expect and demand better from our backbench MPs.

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Iain Dale and others are reporting that David Laws has gone. One thing: if true, it is important to establish the precise reason for his ‘resignation’ (sacking by Cameron). Having said that, it is also important to establish what were not the reasons too. For instance, certainly not the reason would be the one David Blackburn has just supposed in a uncharacteristically shoddy and pretty wrongheaded piece for him:

According to Con Home and several other sources, Laws has resigned. This is hugely regrettable as Laws is a star performer and I feel he has been the victim of a media gay-hunt that belongs to a bygone era. The sums of money involved are slight in comparison to some, and there are arguments that other ministers should resign for having committed similar or worse offences and for having shown markedly less contrition. But it is refreshing that a minister would resign over a personal transgression with haste and dignity.

This is wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin. First, Laws has had little or no chance to demonstrate he was a ‘star performer’. He was starting to look promising and seemed to be grasping the wisdom of the Tory policy on the debt and structural deficit. Well done for that, but stardom it hardly warrants. Second, to ‘feel’ that he was the ‘victim’ of some mythical ‘media gay hunt’ is arrant nonsense. His sexuality had nothing to do with it, aside from the fact that he was clearly embarrassed about it and this provided him with a motive for being so incautious with his expenses and then concealing this potentially damaging fact from his new boss. There was and is no ‘media gay hunt’. Outrage about his public/private hypocrisy, yes – bigotry and prejudice, no. That is in Blackburn’s imagination and, I think, was uttered because of some kind of personal disappointment rather than any genuine understanding of the sequence and significance of events [like I have, lol]. Again, I’ve got to say that I find that surprising from this writer.

Third, and most significantly, Blackburn makes some sort of point about the relative scale of previous incidences of irregular expenses arrangements with a frankly childish ‘they didn’t so why does he?’ argument. Well, if he thinks that that false equivalence will wash with anyone then he hasn’t understood idea-one of what’s been going on here. Cameron stood on a ticket of cleaning up parliament and being tough with his ministers if they step out of line in principle. The amounts involved (and 40k seems like a lot to me) are not important. The way the money was channeled is. Laws bent the rules in a deeply suspicious way, far more even, if we are to entertain Blackburn’s relativist argument for a moment, than your average trougher who simply took advantage of those rules but did so by the book, i.e. without adding their own, personal interpretation that advantaged them, or, indeed, a loved one, even more.

As to his mention of ‘other ministers’, who, I wonder, does he mean? Cameron? Labour ministers? Cameron can hardly fire Labour ministers who’ve already lost their jobs, for heaven’s sake, so what on earth does he mean? Your guess is as good as mine. Suffice to say, it’s the most muddled-up post of his I think I’ve ever read.

So much for the Blackburn gay witch-hunt theory. The real reason why Laws had to go is because Cameron is keeping his word. He has always understood the scale of anger at the expenses scandal. He also realised that Laws could not be talking about painful cuts in public spending one second and defending his own venality another. That’s called an ‘untenable position’.

In other words, the only thing Laws’ sacking has demonstrated to me is not that he is dignified – I’m sure he is – but that David Cameron really does mean what he has says and that, dear readers, is the really ‘refreshing’ thing about this new government and about this incident.

But what follows is crucial. A sound, imaginative replacement must be found. Blackburn says, alarmingly, that it might be the lunatic Huhne. That would be a disaster not just for this government but for the entire country and Cameron must intervene to stop it instantly.

The only man with the gravity and intellect for a job like CST in a time of economic trauma and dislocation is John Redwood. Whether the Prime Minister likes it or not, Redwood is the right man for the needs of this country at this parlous point in its history.

What the Libdems want simply doesn’t matter.

Update:

Well, they’ve got it badly wrong and given Danny Alexander the job according to ConHome. That is a disastrous decision and it will come back to haunt this coalition. You cannot compromise on the economy for the sake of the coalition and certainly not with someone as wet behind the ears, untested and lightweight as 37 year-old Alexander (yes, I know, he’s been bigged up over the past few weeks because of the negotiations. Big deal).

Too many Tories are going to be too pissed off too quickly with any more appointments like this one. This may even be the one that tips them over. I think this is the first real sign that this coaltion cannot and will not last long. For one thing, unlike the corrupt Labourists, as amply demonstrated by Brown, Conservatives do not believe in the idea of clinging on to power at any price. The coalition could soon be toast.

Quite frankly, after the promotion of another Libdem lightweight to a cabinet role for which he is most certainly not qualified, especially at such a crucial moment for the British economy, I’m not sure how I feel about that prospect yet. Maybe, after all, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

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Shaping up as a half-decent, expensively-educated, millionaire Chief Treasury Secretary though he might have been, I’m awfully sorry, but David Laws’ political arse is grass. He can’t argue the case for public spending cuts when he, apparently, has been pretty happy to sponge off the state on behalf of his partner for the longest time.

So the only question to me is: who will fire him? His party leader, Clegg, or his boss, the Prime Minister?

My view? Cameron must pull the trigger immediately because what Laws did particularly is just the sort of troughing, fiddling, pocket-lining, venal rule-bending Cameron has been condemning in principle and often for over a year. He fought the election on that platform, for heaven’s sake!

Frankly, Laws fired himself the moment he chose not to reveal any of this as being a potential problem to his boss before he was appointed (I do not for one moment believe he didn’t realise or didn’t understand the rules – in fact it’s surely hard to believe that of a double first Cambridge economist – and it won’t wash regardless, even if he sticks to that lame line).

But who to replace him? Well, how about John Redwood? I think it’s high time Cameron picked someone like him for the cabinet anyway. Besides, he’s much smarter and more experienced even than Laws in many ways, and genuinely believes and can explain the Friedmanite solution to Labour’s debt crisis that we now so desperately need. He’d also be a handy bulwark against the economic mixed brew that is Saint Vince and his presence would vastly help to shore up the Tory back benches. A win-win scenario potentially, then, both for the party and, in my humble, for the country.

Oh, and sucks to the bloody Lib Dums. They can either suck it up and stay in government, or they can destroy this blessed coalition in a fit of indefensible pique.

I just can’t wait to see how Deputy Nick decides to handle this one.

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