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Archive for the ‘mandelson’ Category

Quite aside from all his other disastrous decisions, mainly on foreign policy, it seems perfectly fair to me that Blair be blamed for not seeing while he was Prime Minister that Britain wasn’t saddled with a successor he himself thought was unfit to govern. This is, according to Andrew Rawnsley in his extraordinarily excoriating assault on virtually the entire Labour administration, the thing for which Blair, ultimately, is most guilty. It’s a heck of a read and should be disastrous for all Labour’s leadership candidates, tainted as they are with the charge of cowardice, arch and chronic dishonesty and, simply put, self-interested misgovernance. Anyway, here’s a taste of something which, if you haven’t already read it, is well worth a look:

If Blair thought that Brown was unfit to be prime minister – and there’s now lots of evidence that this is precisely what Blair thought – he had an obligation to his party and his country to do something about it. At the very least, he should have, as he could have, ensured that there was a contest for the succession in 2007 rather than allow Brown to be crowned without proper scrutiny. It was one of Blair’s most selfish acts and a gross dereliction of duty to swan off to make his millions while leaving his party and country to cope with the consequences of a Brown premiership.

The implication from this is that by the time he had finally given in to the forces of hell unleashed by Brown in the form of Balls, Wheelan et al in 2006, Blair simply didn’t give a toss about what happened next. A more damning indictment of the man as Prime Minister is simply inconceivable, even one involving his misleading the House of Commons, the country and the world over WMDs in Iraq. It’s actually quite difficult accurately to describe a person like that, whose self-interest and vanity is only trumped by his greed and dishonesty. In some ways if one views it in the light of this unforgivable dereliction of duty, as Rawnsley rightly calls it, Blair ends up as an even worse national leader than Brown, difficult though that might be for some (like me) to swallow.

If you do accept Rawnsley’s characterisation of Blair, it is, however, perfectly possible to argue that he was worse than Brown as a man and as a leader. The only difference between the two frauds being, therefore, that Blair was a far better con man than Brown ever could be, which meant that Blair was able to trick the country into believing him and then voting for him. By contrast, Brown was just Brown: paranoid, delusional, vicious, incompetent even in disguising his many falsehoods and, ultimately, a total electoral liability and a catastrophe for the nation.

The impact of these realisations on the Labour leadership campaign as I said should be massive. All the candidates are as discredited as each other for failing to make the decision Blair couldn’t be ar*ed to make and stopping Brown once it was crystal clear he was utterly hopeless. As Rawnsley says, quite fairly and quite mildly in truth:

Andy Burnham was one of the nodding dogs who would declare to TV cameras that the cabinet had every confidence in Gordon Brown when the reverse was the case. Ed Balls ran the thuggish Brownite machine and the decade-long insurgency against Tony Blair to put his master in Number 10. Ed Miliband makes pious noises denouncing “factionalism” as if he is a saintly figure who never had anything to do with it. “The emissary from Planet Fuck” – as he was known among Blair’s aides during the civil war – was at the heart of the Brown faction.It is a bit tricky for David Miliband. He was one of the senior members of the cabinet who knew Brown was taking them to defeat and failed to act before it was too late.

So they all should be screwed – and rightly so. For all his hypocrisy, Mandelson doesn’t really matter because he’s not a leadership candidate. So, assuming (and this is a big assumption) the MSM ends its own version of Labourist dishonesty and begins to treat the rest with the contempt they should have coming to them for their pathetic behaviour in propping up Brown, the only untainted candidate in the Labour leadership race is, hilariously, Diane Abbott!

Either way, and this is essentially Rawnsley’s conclusion, Labour is truly, deservedly and royally buggered. And in the end, of course, they themselves are the ones who are to blame for it. After all, Blair only gave us Brown because he’d given up, and that’s how history will judge him. But the Milibands, Burnham and Balls (and Mandelson) are the ones who propped the disastrous loser up. That was unforgivable – and the country isn’t going to forgive them, ever.

Now, thankfully, their past seems finally to be catching up with them. Soon there’ll be nowhere left for them to hide any more and no amount of continued lying will save their collective political bacon. If the PLP is stupid enough to elect one of them, (and it’s almost certain that it is that stupid) then they should prepare to be out of power for decades, if not forever. Mind you, exactly the same thing will happen if they choose bonkers Abbott.

Catch 22 for the Labourist wreckers – and music to my ears!

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New Labour Spin Twins: currently out-lying each other

Hardly surprising, I know, but since they have not been entirely well-received by his own party it was necessary for Mandelson to spin his memoirs for all he was worth upon their publication today in the face of what I predict will be pretty poor sales – and some reasonably tough questioning from Evan Davies this morning.

Even so, to hear Mandelson actually trying to spin his own, printed words from his own, conceited book – to hear him attempt the epistemologically impossible and wriggle and squirm as he did so – was a source of some pleasure for me as I battled my way into work through sheets and sheets of West Wales rain.

Doesn’t he realise we stopped believing anything he says long ago? Davies made the point quite well: something like, don’t you think the public will find it quite annoying that only three months ago you were telling them to vote for what you now call a ‘dysfunctional’ prime minister and party. Mandelson had no convincing answer to that, at least, not convincing enough for any potential readership, I would say.

But is this a case of one spin operation too far for the Prince of Spain (sic)? I suppose it’s inevitable, actually, that spinners end up spectacularly but stubbornly contradicting themselves. After all, ‘spin’ is merely a euphemism for ‘lie’. And Mandelson, after Alistair Campbell, is the biggest spinner of them all.

The only important thing about this book of Mandy’s is that it represents the first shot in Labour’s latest civil war, a war which, with enough luck, should keep them away from office – and us – for a generation.

So well done he. Sort of.

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Jackie Ashley, in her piece in the Graun this morning that’s basically a 1500-word moan about why-oh-why the Labour party is imploding and so many people are ‘abusing’ the party’s record in government, describes Mandelson’s new memoirs as “bank-swelling”. I’m not sure I agree with her about that. Beyond all the MSM political hacks who must buy it (assuming they’re not given free copies), the professional bloggers (one of whom probably helped to publish it), MPs and former ministers, (who’ll all be desperate to see if they get a mention from the oily old pocket-liner) I have a sneaking suspicion that very few people will be remotely interested enough to shell out their hard-earned on such an artefact of conceit.

You see, the thing Labour people like Ashley don’t seem to grasp is that contempt for the Labour party and all its works has gone well beyond mere abuse now. Try as she and her BBC husband might to talk it up, the fact is that people have moved well on from the Labour narrative and are comfortable with the new, Tory/coalition one. So comments like this from her, let’s face it, pretty desperate piece…

Somebody needs to fight back against the hysterical torrent of abuse being poured on Labour’s economic record, which after all included a decade of good times, the rebuilding of public services, and successful action to stave off a full-scale collapse in the banking system. It may be too early: the self-righteousness of the Labour-haters now matches the self-righteousness of New Labour in its pomp. But the time will come.

…sort of pretty spectacularly miss the point. The “hysterical torrent of abuse” would not be the relevant thing even if it actually existed (it doesn’t), the outcome of the general election is, with millions of people deciding, not as “self-righteous Labour-haters” (a rather feeble example of the sneering hyperbole I’ve often heard from self-righteous Tory-haters like her), but as ordinary voters, to reject Labour and its pisspoor record. You know, in their self-righteous Tory-hating, which shields them from all conceivable criticism, I think Labour-losers still really haven’t understood the fact that they have lost the argument – comprehensively and conclusively – and that they are, consequently and with increasing shrillness, talking to themselves.

The sales of Mandelson’s new novel, the serialisation of which is safely hidden behind a Murdoch paywall, should provide a fair measurement of just how irrelevant Labour have quickly become, and just how far the country has moved on from them and their sorry tale of failure in government.

Me? I expect to see it in the bargain bins within weeks, along with Mandelson’s memoirs.

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Been reading a few hand-wringing blogposts around and about reinforcing the idea that after that truly appalling rant at the weird, “Citizen UK” rally, Brown had somehow found his voice at the eleventh hour. Of course, it’s in the nature of the media that these things become self-reinforcing narratives leading, usually at breakneck speed, to some sort of settled view or consensus, however totally detached from the truth – or reality – it might be. In fact, you could argue that the general election battle is a battle not just for a vote, but to influence that mercurial, flowing media narrative and try to alter, if you like, the course of the discourse – so to speak.

So in one sense – this sense – one could say that Brown sort of succeeded. He has shifted the narrative slightly – maybe – with the BBC on this morning’s Today programme being willing accomplices, typically, or even the initiators of this latest little change of tack. But we know that the whole narrative, whichever way it is leaning, is generally nonsense anyway; that the reality is rather different, regardless of whether it influences people’s minds or not.
The reality is that Brown, with his back against the wall and his campaign leaders pulling in three different directions, telling their own voters to vote for other parties (David Blackburn was pretty amusing on this in the morning), has decided unsurprisingly to get all atavistic on our butts; to go back to the old irrational, deceitful, Tory-hating, prehistoric Balls-Brown fake dividing line that Mandelson and Darling worked so hard to move away from and onto less toxic, less risky ground. They tried to decontaminate brand Brown. It seems they failed.
But they at least could see the bigger picture that concerns the whole future of Labour. I figure they calculated that if they allowed Brown to lie about phantom Tory cuts/ equally phantom Labour spending, won the election and then proceeded to cut everything in sight having been ordered to by the IMF, they would lose the next election (which would probably come soon afterwards anyway) by a country mile, be truly obliterated this time by a livid electorate, and secure 25 years of Tory government into the bargain without David Cameron even having to break sweat.
So, the upshot is that, despite the direction in which the media narrative is currently veering, apparently and irrelevantly, the fact is that Brown has got it disastrously wrong. He’s not only reverted to type (who could have doubted that he wouldn’t – that’s all he is, after all), but he’s actually going to lose the election on the back of it too, so we can skip the brief period of the total turmoil of a Labour government winning on a lie and collapsing within months as the economy tears itself apart and move straight onto the Tories.
All in all, the couple of more rational members of the former Labour cabinet must be tearing their collective hair out (that doesn’t include Liam Byrne, naturally) gnashing their teeth and generally wailing a lot. Thanks to Gordon Brown, the whole, elegantly triangulated (and exquisitely dishonest rather than brutally deceitful) Mandelsonian election campaign strategy has now totally imploded and will suck the party down with it.
As I’ve said before, they only have themselves to blame. They could have removed Brown a long time ago. Hell, they never should have taken the piss out of the electorate by giving the auld wrecker a coronation in the first place. But that’s all history now, and so is Labour. The one silver lining is that if there is any justice left in this world, or, indeed, sense left in this country, then even if Labour aren’t kicked into third place and kicked into touch for a generation – even if they manage by some miracle to keep Cameron down to a minority government – Brown will be gone.
Even I, ever the optimist who still firmly believes in the clear Tory triumph – if by some horrible, perverted twist of fate I’m wrong, even I would happily settle just for the end of Brown if I can’t have anything else. That outcome would be by no means satisfying, or even satisfactory, but it’d be one hell of a relief.

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I was surprised to learn from Sky News this morning that the latest general election economics debate, if I heard right, will be between George Osborne, Vince Cable and…er…Peter Mandelson.

Hang on a minute, do they mean Lord Peter “We’re all fighting to get re-elected” Mandelson, Business Secretary (among many other hats)? He’s not Chancellor of the Exchequer as well these days is he? That’s Alistair Darling, isn’t it?
Have I missed something? Has Darling come down with an inexplicable stomach complaint (soon after having tea and crumpets with the Evil One yesterday afternoon, no doubt)?
If I haven’t missed something, however, but there’s no highly suspicious sudden sickness involved (it’d have to be a pretty serious affliction to force you to miss your own debate seven days before the election, wouldn’t it?), then we are all entitled to ask a grave question about this very fishy affair: where the hell is Ali?
I think we should be told.
PS: If someone knows, by the way, why Darling has been elbowed, do let me know in the comments.
I wonder if George knows…
==Update==
Not entirely my fault because this wasn’t made clear on the news – or I was half asleep – but the three mentioned above are all giving speeches to the Institute of Directors today, not debating, according to Sky.com.
Even so, the question remains: where’s Darling!
Or, looking at it another way, why not send Clarke into bat against Mandelson instead of Osborne whose eyes, let’s face it, are probably still watering after being on the receiving end of a couple of severe spankings in the past administered with thinly disguised fetishistic relish by the Lord of the Lies.
Ken Clarke, in contrast, owns Mandy’s ass.

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This is what I like to see, and thanks to the superb Daily Politics for spotting it and blogging it so fast. Here we have a some real journalistic pressure being brought to bear by Adam Boulton, and even Nick Robinson, who’s been marginally better of late.

One thing’s for certain, it is, as the DP says, a trainwreck press conference – for Mandelson in particular. You know that when he adopts that menacing, patronising tone and starts telling reporters of Boulton’s calibre to ‘calm down’, he’s lost it.
When he was saying ‘calm down’ to Boulton, Mandelson was talking to himself. Have a peek:
A shocker for Mandy, the pair of Balls either side of him, and for Labour. You call that ‘losing the plot’. More please!

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Not Iceland – This ash is dangerous

So the Telegraph is reporting what quite a number of stranded holiday makers have no doubt suspected for quite a while, namely that the EU organisation that plunged the entire continent into the pre-Wright brothers era so emphatically was basing its decision on yet another dodgy Met Office computer model. As the chairman of the International Air Transport Association, Giovanni Bisignani, told Radio Four earlier on, “This is a European Embarrassment and European Mess”.

Only, he didn’t mean that exactly. What he meant, precisely, is that this is an EU embarrassment and an EU mess that is rapidly developing into a full-blown EU disaster. Why, then, exactly, is our equally useless, soon-to-be-booted-out government sitting on its backside listening to this horse manure about engine-devouring ash, which has now pretty much been proved as just that, equine effluent, and not simply saying, “Up yours, Delores, our planes go up!”?

Answer? Obvious. Aside from being useless, they couldn’t even do it if they wanted to. The ban was made possible by treaty and as such is legally binding, meaning that anyone breaching it, from any nation, could be fined by the EU to the tune of millions and without any democratically elected national government being able to stop it short of dropping out of the EU or going to war.

The EU, in its infinite stupidity has, thanks to its epic bureaucratic blundering, turned a minor volcanic eruption in a peripheral European nation into a crisis the scale of which can scarcely be conceived. Remember, closing Europe down directly affects the lives of 400 million people ‘home’ and indirectly the entire globe, one way or another. “Monumental” doesn’t begin to describe it. But it certainly doesn’t auger well for Britain’s future if we permit a repetition. But how do we avoid a repetition, I hear you ask, when Gordon Brown has signed away our right to object without even consulting us, probably at the behest of the most dishonest man in the entire world, Peter “Lord” Mandelson?

Hmm, well now, I would imagine we could avoid a repetition, at least in Britain, by reclaiming control of our own government, regulatory systems, businesses or, at the very least, next time there’s a lunatic, suicidal order from the EU, to, say, shut down the entire electricity grid of Europe because a lousy CICO computer model from the bloody Met Office has told them that there’s a 34% probability that all the pylons are about to come alive and eat us all, they just say NO!

Meanwhile, I watch with increasing suspicion as our airline industry is made to implode as a result of bad science and even worse supranational, unelected government, the reaction of the alarmist lobby. You have Plane Stupid, the watermelon, single issue fanatics and misfit band of dropouts, layabouts, anarchists and other assorted activist oddballs who want to send us all back into the 14th century – not that I have anything against the 14th Century, I just don’t want to live there – starting with the abolition of flight. As you might imagine, they’re loving this:

So, Eyjafjallajokull, you may have an unpronounceable name and an odd smell, but nonetheless we thank you for giving us a brief glimpse of life without planes. And for demonstrating that, despite what the aviation industry would like to have us believe, a world without air travel could well be a very happy place indeed.

For you maybe. But then you’re a weirdo so forgive me if I ignore you from now on. Ordinary people like to use aeroplanes and they like to travel. Air travel does not harm the environment (although poorly located airports, like Heathrow, certainly do). It’s all in your imagination, hairy man, stirred up into a fever by that self-same, God awful menace of a Met Office, with its useless modelling and man made warmist obsessions. Hang on a minute, Met Office gives a warning based on dodgy science to unanswerable EU body with power to shut down every airport and ground every plane on the entire continent. All aircraft are grounded. Enviro-fascists everywhere united in common approval for the Met Office’s and the EU’s responsible opportunism in taking full advantage of a little volcanic ash and enabling what Copenhagen could never do, bring the aviation industry, already weakened by Brown’s bust, to its knees. Good heavens, I never thought they had it in them.

Well, that’s the point, they don’t. Between them, the EU, the Met Office and AGW nutjobs who now infest them all, couldn’t organise a conspiracy of that complexity in the space of a couple of days. No, all the Met Office was, as usual, is incompetent. All that Brown did, as usual, was dither.

And all the EU is, always and forever, is completely useless – catastrophically and expensively so.

Anyone who wants five more years of Brown so he can complete the process of transforming this country into the arse end of the EU donkey wants his head examining. But this is exactly what you’ll get, and more, if you vote for the Labourists or, for that matter, the Libdums. I suppose these losers all have one thing in common: all they’re interested in is their own, pathetic political agendas, not the interests or the desires of the people, whether of the UK or of “Europe”.


Oh Dave, Dave, if only you’d promised that referendum. The election would be over by now, and you’d be in Downing St sticking two fingers up to the EU and getting our planes flying. I trust. Why, oh why? I’ll always be pondering that one right up until the day I pass on through the great ash cloud in the sky to the heavens beyond (go on holiday to Thailand, in other words, assuming we still have an aviation industry left by then).

Er, that’s enough. (I’m just putting off doing some real work 😉

Hometime, I think!

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