Klaus signs; the battle for democracy begins by respecting the rules of the game
"1. The decision of the Constitutional Court was expected by me and I respect it, even though I fundamentally disagree both with its content as well its justification. (Trans via Lubos Motl)
2. I can't endorse its form i.e. its legal quality. The ruling by the Constitutional Court is not a neutral legislative analysis but a biased political advocacy of the Treaty of Lisbon by its champions. This point is obvious from the entirely inappropriate, confrontational elaboration as well as the presentation of the verdict.
3. Most importantly, I cannot agree with the content because once the treaty becomes valid, the Czech Republic will cease to be a sovereign country, despite the political opinion of the court. This change is bringing legitimacy to the efforts of a part of our public that is not indifferent to our national and state existence and that doesn't intend to come to terms with these developments - efforts that will take place today as well as in the future.
4. I can't accept the Constitutional Court's decision to proclaim the obligation of the president of the republic to ratify this (or another) international treaty "without unnecessary delays" by references to the law about the Constitutional Court. This bill only deals with the work of the Constitutional Court: the rights and responsibilities of the president are defined exclusively by the constitution.
5. I inform that I signed the Treaty of Lisbon today, November 3rd, at 3 pm."
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Klaus signs; the battle for democracy begins by respecting the rules of the game
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Gordon Brown: what a ... words fail
The man is unbelievable. Which politician (or party) would invoke political history of 60 years ago to attempt to build political support today? Gordoom, that's who, in a letter to his supporters thanking them for their protective twittering over the future of the NHS.
"I have been profoundly moved by the enormous groundswell of support for the NHS in the last few days. A genuinely National Health Service – introduced by a Labour government in the teeth of opposition from the Conservatives and the medical establishment – is one of our nation’s finest achievements."
No political historian, me, but I do know that the NHS was based on the report commissioned by Winston Churchill produced by Sir William Beveridge. I also know that Churchill was one of the great social reformers and no opponent of the inception of the NHS. Furthermore, I know that Labour were elected with a landslide in 1945, so there is no possible way that the NHS could have been introduced in the "teeth of opposition from the Conservatives" as they had very few teeth remaining at that point.
Therefore Gordon is acting over the past as he acts concerning the present. Mendaciously.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
It's great to see how nuLabour pols have kissed and made up and that "big beasts" like two Jags Prescot and Charlie the safety elephant are back on message as "outsiders" calling for an investigation into some phone hacking (not tapping) conducted a couple of years ago by NotW.
There's a time when cronyism gets comical and this is it. Who exactly is going to authorise such an investigation other than Charlie and John's chums in Cabinet? Why should they do so 2 1/2 years after the events in question? Why moreover should Andy Coulsen resign twice for the same offence of lack of oversight which he already admitted candidly to when he served as NoTW news editor? One could carry on; the scandal dwindles almost infinitely down to a soodling thread, while the real scandal becomes the sheer swollen stupidity and hapless spontaneous ineptitude of a NuLabour cabal who think that all affronts to their standing have been staged, and seek to retaliate in kind, completely bovinely unaware that their bad publicity has stemmed from their bad actions, character and management; they haven't the wit even to seek a scapegoat, preferring to launch stink bombs at their opponents. May the big stick of the electorate thwack their conspiratorial bottoms!
Saturday, July 04, 2009
So Palin steps down as Alaska Governor and...
It's probably a masterstroke, but when you consider the amount of heat that will be expended by the navel gazing US media debating its cons, it will be better to keep out of it. I think it's the right move, in keeping with the anti-politics theme of the age. I think that it suggests that Palin recognises that her enemies have created her brand, whereas she had chosen her job (Governor), and that the brand was overshadowing the job. Thus this was cheating the electors who put her in place.
Now she is setting herself free to match her actions to a brand largely created by her enemies. Her enemies seemed to want an anti-abortion, small government bogeymom. Now perhaps they will have what they asked for, but without the folksiness of a small (population) state governor. It is a classic tactic to allow the weight of your opponent to create the momentum of his own fall; didn't Palin do judo some time?
The jury's out on that one.
Thursday, July 02, 2009
When to get Gordon?
For as got he must be, how shall the getting be accomplished?
Sounds rather Shakespearean, no? (it isn't, it's ooonly meee) But it appears that maybe Auntie Beeb is donning her Lady Macbeth costume for the good of her ideological spouse.
There are two good reasons I can imagine why the BBC might now be higlighting Gordoom's lies. One is that, of course, they can imagine how the Labour party's annihilation at the next election would leave them thoroughly exposed without political allies. Getting shot of Gordoom may lift that curse somewhat.
The second is that after more than a decade's support of Gordoom's lies (think pensions raiding, public spending, public spending again, immigration etc) they can see a cunning way to reverse perceptions of their weddedness to the New Labour leadership under Broon-Blair.
(oh, and there is always a third- they have little choice in light of the present public mood and with Gordoom's current ineptitude)
But it is indeed incredible to find Frazer Nelson on a BBC sofa discussing Brown's lies. Has it come to this?
Perhaps Lady Macbeeb has decided to stiffen the sinews of the Parliamentary Labour Party to do what must be done. T'were best it were done before the election.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
"It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally. They are frequently in the grip of archaic beliefs and fears that would make a stupefied medieval European peasant seem mentally sturdy and resourceful by comparison."
Quote of the day on the sophistication of Iran, by the inimitable Hitchens.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Gordon did it
Personally I think that Keith Marsden is being charitable to Gordon Brown when he observes in the Wall Street Journal that "Mr. Brown cannot honestly deny all responsibility for Britain's recession". Brown created an open goal for the unstable or the unscrupulous in the banking sector- a man who spent much of his life mind you in outright opposition to the free economy. Gordon's ability to smile when it began to collapse was indicative of a man who fed the weaknesses knowing that he couldn't lose- Gordon is the biggest chancer of all.
The Brothers Lewis
One edits the Telegraph, the other is to be Gordon Brown's chief spokesman. Just another Labourgraph link up.
It's about time Gordon Brown's operating strategies were properly articulated. I suspect that the reason he's stayed in power thus far is because he is able to point to successes behind the scenes- such as establishing communication bridgeheads into "middle Britain", such as politicising the police, granting sacred status to the NHS and nationalising the banks. When you look at it, it can be seen as nu-Labour mark II, the next stage in rejuvenating socialist principles, and that is I am sure how he can present it privately to his fellow-socialist fellow-travellers.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In defence of Nadine Dorries, MP
It's funny to be writing this, but I somehow feel I ought to because this particular MP has been both courageous and insightful. Unless I am much mistaken, she has little to be ashamed of and much to recommend herself. To catch up on matters political I listened to a large chunk of Iain Dale's Play UK talk radio show. Iain's got great radio presence, but the calls are jarringly bad audio-wise. Anyhow, one early caller was apopleptic about Ms Dorries' intervention in the MPs' expenses issue- where she accused the Telegraph of running a witchhunt against MPs because they favoured parties such as the BNP and UKIP. That's the gist of things, anyway. I merely want to comment that I think she is right, essentially, in saying that the Telegraph's campaign is politically motivated. It follows on from my thoughts expressed earlier.
I think it stems from McBride and Andrew Porter, who rumour has it have that most intense of relationships- drinking partners.
The more I hear and read about expenses, the more I see it as an effective technique for smoking out the "conservative sleaze" meme on which the Labour party founded its 1997 election victory. Watching the Mckenzie-Kirkbride scandal unfold, and Douglas Hogg's "moat" and other issues, one is reminded that for Labour "Tory sleaze" was about staining the characters of their opponents, exposing them as not "one of us". Even if Labour MPs were the most dishonest bunch in the world, they would always know how to slip inside, or into the slip stream of, the mob baying against corruption. The essence of Labour politics has always been the management of the mob- for right or wrong- and it's always been the failure of Conservatives and Liberals to analyse and absorb those techniques which has left them with two left feet when the "public" is on the march. Only Maggie had a deft two-step; a kind of Joan of Arc chic routine.
To come back to Dorries and the McBride connection, I notice that a small but notable part of the Telegraph's expenses story against Dorries was the allegation that she had claimed for hotel expenses in London when Parliament wasn't sitting, and added to those claims a mini-bar drinks cabinet. Well, I seem to recall that one of McBride's smears to Draper involved allegations of hotel hi-jinks. Could it be that the Telegraph and McBride had actually collaborated in the development of that story? Did the Telegraph know about the hotel claims and extrapolate over a jar or two the possibility of Dorries' engaging in a little nookie on taxpayers' expense?
When McBride constructed his smears he was doubtless doing so from background information which he deemed might make it convincing. Having failed miserably and spectacularly thanks to Guido Fawkes, could McBride have turned to Porter and asked for the nuclear option? To enrage the mob by blowing up the whole issue of MPs' financial behaviour, trusting in the native party-machine cunning of Labour embezzlers plus the Telegraph's cunning selectivity and timing to manage the fallout so that the Tories finally saw most of the damage. Given the building perception of Labour incompetence and sleaze, McBride and Labour, and probably even Gordon Brown, had nothing to lose.
So back to Dorries. Why did she accuse the Telegraph as she did? Well, not I think because the Telegraph are BNP supporters. I think because she was desperate to raise the issue of the Telegraph's connivance against her and colleagues. Raising it now, so that it can be examined later. Raising it now because it's the closest thing to reality and a real understanding of what's been going on in secret behind closed doors or shouted conspiratorally over the hubbub of a throbbing bar.
It might be more accurate to describe the Telegraph as doing Labour's business, but who would believe that? Didn't the Telegraph, after all, begin with Government ministers in their expose? The reality seems to be that the Barclay brothers and their Telegraph editorship want a more pliable, clubbable alternative to the prospective Cameroons embodied in the Mckenzies and the Dorries. They want nu-Labour lite, Mcbride and other pragmatists; corporate socialism which has them at its core. One cannot say exactly what they want but one can say that they want influence.
So maybe they do want the BNP, after all.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
He's got a point
Richard North says that the issues run deeper than expenses.
People are looking to make political change, not an ideal world.
It's surely obvious that MEP's expenses afford worse abuses than Westminster's, but the difference is we can get at our MPs and that's where concerned people have to begin.
Only when we've got tough on our MPs will any of them scrutinise MEPs- ditto for the newspapers.
Concern about Parliament equals resistance against Strasbourg.
The issue about expenses relates to the housing crisis- so many MPs becoming land owners through taxpayer's money- especially nuLabourites on the make. How could MPs scrutinise inflationary issues when they relied on the rise in house prices to maximise the value of their taxpayer afforded second homes?
But actually, Richard would have more of a point if he tried to put meat on the bones of Hannan and Carswell's Plan. I just don't think Richard likes Hannan very much...
Monday, May 11, 2009
Labourgraph at it again...
This blog has never in its lifetime been a fan of the Daily Telegraph. I hate to use words like "infiltrated" because such words have no class- but then again nor does the Telegraph or its New Labour allies. So to use the word about the Telegraph is probably apt. They have been ever more compromised by associations with New Labour attack dogs and their poodle chums at the BBC, and all the mutts involved are thoroughly wormy.
For a moment back there (ooh, three days ago) I was half-tempted to believe that it had got its mojo back. Alas not. The DT is about to launch a fresh attack on Tory MPs over expenses.
It is evident that MPs are rich targets, but consider how the DT have attacked- first New Labour, the Government. Yes, that was sensible as their core readers are Conservatives who like the smell of Labour reputations smouldering in the morning. But the DT knows that Labour is already damaged goods. What they are doing by raising the whole expenses issue the way they are is levelling the playing field. They are enabling a new tabula rasa to emerge, with Gordon Brown able to claim a kind of twisted moral leadership; a one-eyed man in the land of the blind he will assert with his grotesque sense of entitlement.
It seems somehow inconceivable that Gordon can bludgeon his way out of his desperate mess of a government, but there is this uncomfortable sense that he could that's rather like the feeling most horror films give you about two thirds of the way through. He's not dead yet. Much more so than with Tony Blair, who was somewhat closer to Frankenstein's creator than the monster himself, I feel the need for that final killing mechanism; to mix marques, that stake through the heart that shows the monster is really through and that you can relax in your seats. The true horror of horrors is that the ending is beyond your control- so this horror story probably still has some way to run
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Confession- I once debated to reinstate the death penalty in the UK. And won. Ok, we were 17 at the time, but...
Actually, why am I confessing that? I still believe in it and stories like one about a brutish, totally evil Serb who stabbed his wife to death make me certain I was right. Yes I know there's the thing about the wrongful conviction scenario, but people rarely consider that for the highest penalty the evidential requirement would, could and ought to be of Mnt Sinai proportions. Consider the case of the evil Serb. Is there any doubt about it?
Monday, April 13, 2009
The BBC's article about "key people" involved in "smeargate" is rather hopeless. We get to hear about McBride, Draper and Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines), but that is all. What about Tom Watson, Charlie Whelan and Gordon Brown? Limiting the scandal to the former three is confining it to the status of backroom vs blogger spat (and btw what's going on with Draper's photo- the last time he looked like that was surely around the time that things could only get better?). Whelan was apparently copied in on the emails, and helping to fund Draper's Labour List through his union position at UNITE. Tom Watson is parliamentary secretary at the Cabinet Office, "proppa blogga" and co-author of a Cameron spoof video with Sion Simon MP which went viral through its very awfulness and unpleasantness. The medium, the nature and the origin (the Cabinet Office) of the dirty tricks campaign were right out of the heart of Watson's political territory.
Nadine Dorries writes today that Radio Five Live said in advance of an interview that they "were being leaned on by lawyers with regard to any reference to Tom Watson MP and before I went on, would I just be aware of that". Sounds like a cover story to me- because Watson is unquestionably worthy and uncontroversially part of the context of the scandal of the smear campaign. Could the BBC really be as submissive to nuLabour as not to realise that? Mention of him need only be reference to his position next to McBride in Gordon's bunker. Apart from that, he was either copied the emails or not- but why would he need to be if he could read them over McBride's shoulder. And isn't Watson's proximity to events and authority over those responsible key too?
All of which does not explain for a moment why Whelan and the Prime
Mentalist Minister were left out of the equation. What would explain it is the BBC's soft heart towards their cherished nuLabour project.
Sunday, April 05, 2009
"It was also interesting to see that political interaction in Europe is not that different from the United States Senate. There's a lot of -- I don't know what the term is in Austrian -- wheeling and dealing -- and, you know, people are pursuing their interests, and everybody has their own particular issues and their own particular politics."
(from his press conference in Strasbourg). (hat-tip Lubos Motl)
I couldn't be Baracked
Barack was in Prague today, home of this blog but rarely mentioned in it. I had too much to do to go and see the One make his speech in the castle, but watching the speech I see the hazy sunshine somewhat spoilt the vista of the Golden City behind Obama's shoulder (though it did look very golden as a result). The speech was an odd one really, mostly about nuclear disarmament. He talked a lot about the power of peaceful protest- didn't mention Ronald Reagan once, or the US military build up, or the star wars project which all combined to help crush Russian morale and free the dissident movement in then Czechoslovakia.
The first three or four minutes were nice, tailored, script-written homilies to local colour and US ties. The next twenty were triagulating politics trying to garb itself in dopey peacenik idealism. The mulitlateral schtick went down wellish. He refrained from too much global warming schtickiness, possibly out of respect to sceptical Klaus the Czech President. Not too much about the "road to hell" (aka trillion $ stimuli) either.
All in all he didn't destroy the brand, but he isn't developing it either. I have grave fears about where his leadership, such as it is, will leave the US and the world three or four years down the road. Road to hell? Road to nowhere? Or just plain old schtick creek without a paddle?
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Coincidences (Irish edition)
So, Democrat Barack Obama's in power and Hillary is talking about talking to everyone Bush wouldn't talk to.
Gordon Brown confers a knighthood on Teddy Kennedy.
The world economy is in crisis, and the Irish is more than most, with unemployment in the South rocketing.
Martin McGuinness calls British troops in Northern Ireland a "major threat".
Two days later two British soldiers are killed and six wounded in a terror attack on a UK Northern Irish base.
Friday, February 20, 2009
To some it might sound belated to say this, to others pretty much an odd point to make. Nevertheless Russia is certainly shaping something up and it is not pretty. Consider:
Today Iran hails their close ties with Russia as a leading weapons supplier. Yesterday Kyrgistan issue an "eviction note" to a US military base key to the US' efforts in Afghanistan.
To that we could add last August's invasion of Georgia, the ongoing threats and posturing over the US' plans for radar bases in Poland and the Czech Republic and the divide and "conquer" strategy applied to the supply of natural gas to Central and Western Europe via Ukraine.
That's without even mentioning Alexander Litvinenko and Ana Politskaya.
What we can see is a combination of intimidatory "testing" of the resolve of Western nations, and the strategic undermining of their positions in areas where they have, wittingly or by blind necessity, declared an interest.
Those seem to be the knowns. What are the known unknowns? How bad the Russian economy is, how deep the revival in their technology, science and military has been, and who they have secretly formed alliances with (Iran would be on my list of suggestions). All I can say is that a lot can be hidden in the vastness of the Russian territorium and populace. And this enigma is a mystery I don't wish particularly to see unriddled (cf Winston Churchill's original)
Posted by ed thomas at 7:18 PM
Sunday, February 01, 2009
I am nothing to do with finance, and even little readjustments in financial arrangements stress me out- I even hate taking precautionary measures to my very basic financial set-up, like opening a second major bank account (why should I? Bank accounts are safe and boring, right?). So it's strange to contemplate that ever since the financial crisis even reared its head in 2007 I've been of the same opinion, which I am more and more convinced is the right one. You identify the dodgiest banks or sections of banks, liquidate them, hand on any left-over viable assets along with the accounts held in those dodgy banks to banks with a reasonable chance of survival having been less egregiously risk-oriented and bonus-fixated.
Here comes the difficult bit- you then identify the prime-movers behind the risk-taking and prosecute them for failing in their fiduciary duty to shareholders and for recklessly and knowingly defrauding the financial system. This last part is not covered by Roger Ehrenberg's post, but the first part is.
He concludes his post:
"sometimes the most complex problems can be addressed with the most simple solutions"
Hear, hear. I simply agree with him.
Posted by ed thomas at 11:35 AM