Tony Blair is cleverer than Gordon Brown...
It's the answer to a question I've thought about a bit over the years. It's not something I take great joy in finding out for sure, and neither does it prove that Tony Blair was actually a "good thing" (really I don't think that at all). But the hamminess of that clunking fist is apparent in the chain of events that have unfolded, leading up to Brown's big anti-climax non-election announcement, while TB has pranced on, viralesque, into the Middle East.
As Boulton says "whatever else, it will call into question the judgement of Team Brown and also their sincerity when they talk about the national interest because of the political calculation which they have clearly now been caught by the headlights".
Saturday, October 06, 2007
Tony Blair is cleverer than Gordon Brown...
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Stop right there, Beeb.
"Ever the showman..."
Yes. The article is about Gordon Brown- the man who had to be taught to smile. The man who was once the sober son of the manse- prudence's best friend, you name it in terms of sobriety when he was covering Tony Blair's back in the nulab early years- is now a smiling showman. Truly the spin is dead- long live the sping!
Monday, October 01, 2007
And then, quite a lot of news.
Well, some fascinating analysis of the latest numbers from Iraq- sadly we're talking body counts, but I've always been absolutely focussed on these as my means of understanding what can be understood about there by us from over here. John Wixted has the breakdown- keep scrolling, but notice where it compares the trends of sectarian Shia-led killings with Al Qaeda bombing attacks. The surge happens, and the former drop off, while the latter take off, and now appear to have stuttered. You can see a chink of light here, you really can- once the battle becomes Al Qaeda vs, the battle becomes worthwhile and meaningful and Iraqis suddenly begin to see their choices.
I was also very impressed by this article from Caroline Glick on the Ahmadinejad trip to the US. It's the fundamentals on fundamentalism, to put it succinctly.
And well, I even got a little excited by the Conservative Conference this week. On the other hand this guy brought me back down to earth. Some traps would be worth falling into- it's known as principle and far-sightedness. But, yes, it would be a turn up for the books if that happened to be the case with the current Conservatives.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Another week and, sorry, another gap in posting, wasn't there? It's not really a sign of my getting tired of the weblog, more a symptom of me re-thinking a few things and that it's not always possible to be thoughtful and prolific, especially when time is short and other things crowd in.
Something that caught my eye in this week of the Labour Party conference was the neat way in which the BBC gave Gordon Brown a platform on the international stage as he responded to the upheavals in Burma. Also included was a nice image of Brown looking like a man of fortitude.
So many of these positive images of Brown floating around at the moment, aren't there? Reminds me of a contempory of mine at school- a bit wimpy so he got into judo, which was fine until he got his photo in the local paper, captioned: "Nick, ready for action". Too much. I had to laugh. Not his fault, of course, but ott.
In the new, unelected Prime Minister's case it makes me sick because there are real people on the end of these conflicts, and all Gordon sees fit to do is to introduce an element of surprise into his Conference package by appearing to be at the forefront in a crisis. It's almost as if Gordon is saying that anything Blair can do (ie. spin), he can do better- and with more chutzpah, as is shown by the fact that he announced on his ascension an end to spin. Since then it's been nothing but spin and proven that his image is paramount.
As often I have to acknowledge a "thought debt" to Mark Steyn, whose latest article is in my view among his very best,
"So much of contemporary life is about opportunities for self-congratulation. Risk-free dissent is the default mode of our culture, and extremely seductive."
Yes, yes, and Gordon has been giving us a masterclass recently- as if we needed one. That's one reason we miss Steyn in the UK these days since he walked out of the Telegraph and Spectator. Brown trotted onto the centre stage, full of righteous indignation about affairs in a country that he'll never have to sacrifice anything for, the epitome of risk-free self-congratulation.
And that's not even to mention Darfur. Or the cuts in the Navy. It's all virtual, this world, apart from the people who're dying.