Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
The latest developments in the Irish financial crisis may have brought a temporary halt. I think we can officially say the Irish economy has sadly reached rock bottom. It seems a forgone conclusion that the current Government will not survive into the new year, and they know it well.
Europe and now Britain has agreed to loans measured in the billions, which has at least secured their future but it may have seriously impaired their ability to act, economically, as a nation.
A lot of British people (mostly English) are asking why should we help Ireland when we have enough serious problems of our own?
The answers are mainly down to the future security of the country and the preservation of the peace process. Britain needs a stable Republic of Ireland as we share a border that could see thousands coming over looking for work, as indeed happened in the 1930s. Britain simply does not have the jobs to provide work for all those seeking it, we cannot even provide enough for our own people. Furthermore they provide a lot of food, mainly beef, to our shopping baskets.
A weakened Irish government would give rise to a new and determined wave of nationalism. Sinn Fein, like the BNP and the EDL, are gaining ground fast. They, naturally, deplore this sell-out of their nation to foreign bureaucrats. They have thousands of young, dissaffected Irish people to subvert for their own ends. To them, accepting a loan from the British is the last straw.
We all can see that the peace process is running slowly out of steam. It has made some rock solid foundations in the last ten years or so. Unemployment shrank, the violence died down by a remarkable degree, ? We have disarmament, a re-branded police force (as opposed to an actual new one), and a power-sharing agreement for warring sides.
All this could come to naught if the angry young men and women of 2011 onwards decide: ‘ feck it, let’s blow something up and have a riot.’ Misery divides people, it never unites them. Naturally both sides will blame each other for their privations and in no short space of time the bubbling cauldron of hate will boil over again. This would only be fuelled by joblessness and poverty.
Can Ireland dig it’s way out of this hole? Eventually yes, but we are talking generations, not a year or two. They are a dogged, determined lot when they set their hearts on something and they can be wonderfully innovative when they want to be. Don’t underestimate them, and don’t patronize them either, they hate that. Just wait for them to bounce back.
Go see them yourself here:
The leaders of Britain and Ireland are a bit of a dull, grasping lot. Their personality colour chart seems to range from beige to grey.
Meanwhile across le channel and a few hours drive we have two of the most flamboyant, roguish, hormonal, overgrown teenagers ever to set foot in the European Parliament.
Mr Brown and Mr Cowen, could we swap you for Monsieur Sarkozy and Signor Berlusconi for a month? Oh go on, it would be fun.
Our continental cousins seem to have a lot more fun in their work than Britain and Ireland. Nicolas Sarkozy is an oversexed, hugely ambitious diddyman, like scrappy-do with a permanent hard-on. Or perhaps like Pepe le pew on Viagra. He gets his kicks by telling the French that they may have to work more than 35 hours a week. Mon dieu! Imagine working 40 hour weeks? The whole country needed a lie down in a darkened room when he told them. He is all for strengthening the Entente Cordiale, and has very strong views on law and order. We need this man in number 10.
He picked his female cabinet member specifically for their good looks and dress sense. He thinks nothing of telling his female staff to wear shorter skirts and tight blouses. Sid the Sexist looks bashful in comparison, and yet France seems to love him for it. He sees every man as a rival and every woman as something to be conquered.
And as for Silvio Berluscone, well at least he has excellent taste in women, even if they do range from jailbait to hookers. He has that kind of bedside manner that just leaves people open mouthed. Did he really just say that? Ricky Gervais could not have scripted some of Silvio’s little gems. During a televised encounter with voters on 10 April 2008 a young woman asked Silvio Berlusconi what the younger generation should do about the lack of secure jobs. He promptly suggested that she try to marry “the son of Berlusconi… with a smile like yours, you could try.” Cue stunned silence.
He is a former film director so I suppose he is used to getting his way with the fit young things. But his attempts to get 18 year old Noemi Letizia into government (or bed more likely) looks a bit pathetic. Still, you can’t blame him for trying. Berlusconi is said by many to be a national embarrassment, and the Pope has publicly belated him for acting like Rod Stewart. When a former member of the Hitler Youth lectures you on morality you know you have overstepped the mark.
But never since the days of Clinton and Yeltsin, has there been two world leaders you would love a night on the town with. You know it would end up with a visit to a strip club, a fight and a kebab. And probably a taxi ride home with a young lady of the night on each arm.
Keep up the good work fellas!
P.S. Check out my novel at http://www.theirishrepublican.wordpress.com
It has recently occured to me that the British Prime Minister has a lot in common with his Irish counterpart.
Gordon Brown and Brian Cowen both have a face like a bulldog licking piss off a nettle, and a temprament to match. And they both came to power within months via very similar routes.
James Gordon Brown was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a minister of the Church of Scotland. While studying at the univerity of Edinborough he was kicked in the head during a rugby union match. This left him with retina detachment which sent him blind in one eye. He only narrowly retained sight in his other eye after experimental surgery in Edinborough hospital. Later in life he proved a highly competent Chancellor of the Exchequer before ruining it all by becoming Prime Minister after an awful lot of moaning and sulking.
In the recent leadership challenges he has been depicted as a crazed King Macbeth, clinging to power over a corrupt and decadent court.
Brian Cowen, another man not blessed with film-star good looks, rules the roost over the Irish sea. He too was something of a sportsman in his day and is still an official in the Gaelic Athletic Association. Luckily he suffered no mishaps on the pitch and he did well at school. Like Brown, he was not known for his diplomacy or sunny personality, and he soon gained a unique acronym, BIFFO. That is, Big Ignorant Fecker From Offally. Clearly, then, a man of the people.
He worked hard as a TD (Irish Member of Parliment), then as a cabinet member, then as a minister of various posts. Finally his corrupt boss, Bertie Ahern, was given the push and Brian got the top job.
If Britain thinks Brown is incompetent then Cowen seems to be univerally detested. The French paper, La Tribune, listed him 26 out of 27 on a list of Europe’s most effective leaders. Naturally, the insisted that Nicolas Sarcozy came first. Trust the bloody French. Don’t let it bother you, Brian.
However his career took an interesting as a life model. Bright and early one April morning the National Gallery of Ireland curators found a new addition to their portraits. Some joker had donated a rather good painting of Brian in the nude, and another one of him on the toilet. It made international headlines though nobody was ever charged.
So the leaders of the British and Irish Isles are a rather dull boring sort, the kind you would desperately aviod down the pub. Both are married with kids, to presumably, very patient women who don’t do wild boyfriends. Maybe they need a weekend with Nicolas and Silvio to sort out their image.
The disarray in the British Government seems to be reaching it’s zenith after weeks of mounting tension. Last night’s election results may have spelled the end of Gordon Brown’s Labour Government.
For the first time they came third behind the Conservatives and the United Kingdom Independence Party. But that isn’t the big story, it is that the British National Party won their first two seats in the European Parliament.
All this echoes the later days of Germany’s Weimer Republic in the early thirties when the loans were called in and the country was plunged into destitution. This always proves a fertile spawning pond of nationalism and racism and the casting about for suitable parties to blame.
In their anger and desperation the people of my home county have chosen the most base of political organisations. But like other right wing parties of former years, they have adapted their rhetoric to survive. They may appeal to people’s base fears and hatred, but don’t underestimate how smart they are, particularly Nick Griffin.
Basically they are a whites-only everybody out party. But in recent years they adapted and lost a lot of the old guard of the late 70s skinhead thugs. They are not dangerous because they lie, they are dangerous because they know how to mix the lies with the truth. They know the problems of the country and what buttons to push. At the minute the lies have stopped simply because the truth has become more shocking. But can we trust them? Well a bunch of hate-filled autocrats is always a dangerous proposal for political representation. If you give them enough rope they may hang themselves. Or they may tie us in knots.
They dramatically opposed the rights of Gurkhas to settle in the UK. They denounced Beharry Johnson VC as ‘routinely brave’. If that kind of bravery is routine we would never lose a fight. I would let a hundred lions like Johnson into this country before a jackal like Griffin. We need more people like that and less like these bigots.
The rise of militant Islam poses a clear danger to Britain but it needs to be countered by strong, capable, and cleverly managed Government, not ignorant violent thugs.
But back to Labour. Gordon himself seems to be flailing around like a cornered animal as he hunts for anybody who chose to resist or desert. He will be gone in a month or two, no ifs, no buts. If he doesn’t go, Cameron will get in. I don’t have a big problem with Cameron himself, just the people behind him. I have first hand experience of these people, I served many of them. A bunch of autocratic, haughty, grasping, self-serving excuses for civil servants.
The ideal solution would be a coalition Government, bringing in the best of both sides. A cabinet from all parties doesn’t leave room for those who do not serve the people. We also need to take a lead out of Churchill’s book and bring in heads of industry from home and abroad. Alan Sugar, if it goes ahead would be a good start. I would be hugely pleased to see Richard Branson or Bernie Eccleston wearing a rosette. But both know there is little chance of real success in the public sector.
I think over time this storm will peter out and when the smoke clears we will see what kind of a country we have left. Then we can get back to the serious business of rebuilding it.
Over the last month a debate has been raging over the perks and expenses that have been paid out to Members of Parliament over the period 2006-2007.
Some pretty shocking numbers and lists have been banded around, but we will come to them later.
Most MPs have two homes, their main one in their constituency, and a small flat in London. At least that was the theory. Now some of them have flats worth multi-millions to live in London and have amassed a property portfolio in their constituencies. Not only that but they have furnished them lavishly at the expense of the taxpayer.
One example would be Shaun Woodward, secretary for Northern Ireland, who amassed seven homes while claiming the maximum second home allowance for a £1.35 million flat in London.
And all of this while we are being made redundant by the score, and have just been saddled with public debt in figures we can scarcely begin to imagine.
The worst bit is that it now seems that the Speaker of the House, the one man who could put the brakes on all this cost, has been in direct collusion with them. Michael Martin has refused to resign in spite of call from both halves of the house.
So who claimed how much?
Well right at the top of the scale we have the Minister for Justice, Shahid Malik. His claims, all apparently very legal, if morally dubious, added up to a staggering sum of £185, 421. The public outcry seems to have done little to sway the Dewsbury M.P. He gave an amount to charity to fob off his detractors, while managing one of the poorest communities in the north of England. (Source: Metro)
Further down the list, we have the education secretary and M.P. for Normanton, Ed Balls, who claimed £157,000 in 2006-07. In May 2009, it was revealed that Mr Balls and his wife swapped or ‘flipped’ the designation of their second home no less than three times in a 24-month period, in order to fund a small property portfolio, despite being warned several times by expenses officials that their claims were hugely excessive. (Source: Wikipedia)
Not far behind him we have we have my own M.P. for Abingdon, Evan Harris, claiming £147,916. Myself and my partner pay £129 a month in council tax. Where is that money going, we now have to ask?
Further down the list we have George Galloway, Respect M.P. for Gaza North, with £107,000.
Ian Duncan Smith, former Tory leader, claimed £104,000.
His Holiness Tony Blair claimed remarkably little, with only £97,000.
By far the cheapest politician was the Beast of Bodmin, Dennis Skinner, with only £64,000.
Other MPs have been claiming for mortgages they have apparently paid off years ago. And all of this under the nose of Mr Martin.
Some of the things M.P.s have claimed range from top of the range plasma screen televisions to tampons (curiously claimed by a man).
But wil all this lead to a mass resignations by Members of Parliment? Don’t hold your breath. But Labour seem to have suffered the least damage. The lions share of the expenses were taken, unsurprisingly by the Conservatives. One of them claimed, without any irony, £300 for horse manure. Others have huge sprawling country seats that always need repair, not to mention their more high mantainance lifestyle.
No particular party seems to have won this argument, indeed the only loser, as usual, seems to be the tax payer. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, means you and me.
Well you had to laugh. Even in American politics it isn’t every day an Adult Actress can take the moral high ground over a republican candidate for the senate state primaries.
But that is exactly what Miss Daniels is doing to her opponant.
David Vitter, many seem to think, had it coming. A republican’s republican, he is a deep south good ol’ boy who loves his guns, hookers and likes the little wife at home where she belongs.
He was recently confirmed to be a long-standing client of D.C. Madam Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who was later found hanged.
He is however good in a crisis, he played his part well during Hurricane Katrina, working hand-in-hand with the congressional delegation to bring relief aid. He was one of the Government’s biggest critics for their relief operations.
Vitter said that he would give “the entire big government organized relief effort a failing grade, across the board”.
He opposed the government bailout of GM Motors and stands very much in the pro-life camp opposing abortions.
And boy does this guy love his guns! It hardly balances his pro-life stance but there you go. He is a top grade shot and works hard to keep the paperwork to a minimum when it comes to gun ownership. He recently amended an agreement for schools to receive federal funding in exchange for allowing the Military to recruit in schools. Not only that but the recruiter gets the child’s home address details and phone number unless the parent opts out.
So he only wants children to be born so he can send them off to fight? Lovely guy.
And in the other corner we have the girl currently tweaking his nose. Take a bow miss Stormy Daniels. She is the one time winner of the Golden G-String contest and star of such silver screen classics as Space Nuts – episode 69. Originally from Baton Rouge, she used to edit her school paper. Somehow or other she got into adult movies in 2000. She also worked in regular films such as the Forty Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up.
She recently said in an interview with the Times:
“He ran for the Senate on a family values, anti-sex education platform,” Ms Daniels told The Times. “And he’s caught with prostitutes. That’s hypocritical. Call me what you will, but you can’t call me a hypocrite.”
Nearly twenty years ago Italian porn actress La Ciccolina ran for government with some success.
She is currently carrying out her listening tour accross Louisiana. Stormy Daniels is not a member of any political party.
So what does the average Louisianian think about all this? Well my North America Correspondent, Shelly, had this to say:
“Normally don’t follow politics all that much. But I do hope she wins over Vitter, he’s an asshole and only for the rich.“
So to follow stormy’s campaign please check out this site:
If you love guns, military recruiters in schools and hookers check out here:
If you have been watching the UK News this week there is one story you cannot have missed. One of the top Prime Ministerial aides, Damien McBride has been forced to resign due to allegations of bullying, sending hate e-mails and setting up a blog to spread scurrilous claims about Tory personal lives. The fall out of this affair resulted in McBride’s resignation and Mr Brown writing letters of apology to senior Tory party members. This is unprecedented in British political history for one very important reason.
The man who brought this man down wasn’t from the Daily Express, the Times or even the News of the World. It was a man with a blog, just like the one you are reading now.
Guido Fawkes, the pseudonym of blogger Paul Staines, has proved compelling reading for the Ladies and Gentlemen of Westminster in recent years. Started in 2004, the blog, entitled order-order, has been voted by the Guardian as best political commentary.
What makes this man so dangerous? Well he isn’t part of the Fleet Street set, and therefore doesn’t play by their rules or keep to their agenda. He is, however, subject to libel laws, just like all of us.
Mr Staines is an interesting fellow. Not only has he been a political animal, he has been secretary general for the UK branch of the International society for human rights. And when he wasn’t busy with that he was arranging acid house parties in private members clubs.
And Paul is not the only blogger making waves. Mike Morgan devoted his blog to uncovering the failings of the Goldman-Sachs bank. They, in reply are counter-suing for improper use of their name. But his blog has had thousands of views from irate customers and seems to be developing a cult following.
So what will be next for the Bloggers of the Self-styled Citizen Media? Well I predict we will rise and rise. Journalism does not pay much money and, even in Britain, it is highly regulated. But the Blogosphere as it is now known, is the wild west.
Which probably makes Gordon Brown General Custer.
To read more of the affair follow this link:
http://www.order-order.com alternatively to read more about Mike Morgan go to:
and to read more about Paul Staines go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Staines
Well the G20 was a huge success by all accounts. But if you want to know what really happened you had to be reading their twitter feed from about 23.00-05.00 that night.
President Obama was sat at dinner next to the leaders of Korea, Germany and Japan. Three countries his predecessors had systematically bombed to hell. If the waiter was Vietnamese the image would be complete.
Down the table the Czech premier would be drowning his awkwardness in beer, while next door the Netherlands premier went outside for a relaxing spliff.
Opposite Gordon Brown we had the premier of Saudi Arabia, who was probably bewildered, wondering which eye was real.
Brazil and Mexico probably got on well, leaving Russia with Turkey to chat to, never an easy moment, given their mutual history.
Sarkozy of France and the Spanish premier would be talking over South Africa, who was sat between them. He probably wanted to crawl over a minefield to get out of there.
On the opposite corner we have Kevin Rudd, the Aussie premier, who was probably in a blind panic, never having seen so much cutlery in his whole life. Next to him we have the king of Ethiopia, who had probably never seen so much food in his whole life, God love him.
So after dinner Brown decides to take them all into town. He has had a load of t-shirts printed, one for each of them.
On the front it says G20 Crew – What goes on tour stays on tour.
On the back it says their names. Obama – Mr Prezz. Brown – Hawkeye, France – I Only Shag Supermodels, Australia – No Worries, Ethiopia – King Rasta, and so on.
So they take a convoy of taxis into town and have a look around. Brown apologizes for all the mess, they had a bit of a riot this morning, apparently. London looked like a war zone. Broken bottles, hair, lost testicles and blood spilled over the mean streets. So where best to start but a strip bar?
Well they walk in and France isn’t impressed, He is shagging Carla Bruni so obviously none of this lot are good enough for him. He takes particular exception to the tall blonde on the door, and Brown has to explain that it is, in fact, Peter Stringfellow, the owner of the bar. Obama is busy signing the strippers tits, like a pro. He gets a two girl lap dance. Indonesia spends the next twenty minutes in the bathroom then comes out all sweaty. Brown does his trick where he stick his glass eye between the strippers tits, squishes them together then catches it in his mouth.
Next they get a bit hungry so they move on to a Chinese place on Old Kent Road. It is run by a cousin of the Chinese Premier, apparently. Jamie Oliver’s portions were a bit shady, so they were starving. Then while they were sat there this Chinese Elvis guy comes on stage and gives them a rousing rendition of ‘Heartblake Hotew’.
After that what can you do but move on to a sticky carpet disco, and seen how the other half lives. Mexico gets the tequila shots in, Netherlander goes down the street to score some weed. Aussie boy would definitely have taken them to Earls court, to see a proper London boozer, run, naturally by an all-Australian bar team.
As many of you will know I have been monitoring the Zimbabwe situation for more than a year. The story there has had more twists and turns than any African tragedy.
Only this week the ongoing disaster took another twist.
Susan Tsvangirai, wife of the new Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been killed in a road traffic accident 50 miles south of the capital Harare. The Prime Minister, also in the vehicle, received only cuts and bruises.
The Movement for Democratic Change has launched an independent investigation into the cause of the crash. However the British foreign Ministry has issued a statement, backed up by Morgan Tsvangirai, insisting that the crash was an “accident”. The driver of the truck that hit the car said in his statement that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.
Morgan and Susan Tsvangairai were travelling in part of an aid convoy of three vehicles when they were sideswiped by an on-coming vehicle. However assassinations by car crash are not uncommon in Zimbabwe. In recent years the employment minister, the defense minister and a regional governor have all had fatal accidents.
Of course traffic accidents can and do frequently happen all over Africa. Roads in Zimbabwe are in atrocious condition and cars can go years without maintainance checks.
Tom McDonald, the United States Ambassador to Zimbabwe from 1997 to 2001, said, “I’m skeptical about any motor vehicle accident in Zimbabwe involving an opposition figure… President Mugabe has a history of strange car accidents when someone lo and behold dies – it’s sort of his M.O. of how they get rid of people they don’t like… So, when I hear that Tsvangirai was in an accident, it gives me pause.” (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
“This not a genuine accident,” MDC spokesman Sibanengi Dube Dube said of the crash.
“This is a perfect organised hit which was designed to eliminate the president of the MDC.”
The Tsvangirais were heading to their rural home for a Saturday rally when the crash happened on Friday afternoon.
From his hospital bed in Harare afterwards, he told one of his aides that a large truck driving on the other side of the road had come towards his Land Cruiser, the middle vehicle in a three-car convoy.
“What he told me was that the truck went for his car,” said Dennis Murira, director of public affairs in the Prime Minister’s office. “That’s how he put it.”
Mrs Tsvangairai was pronounced dead in Beatrice Hospital and funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.
No doubt speculation as to the cause of the accident will cause controversy for years to come.
For more information on the Movement for Democratic Change please follow this link:
It seems we stand on the brink of a brave new age. Our challenges are greater but our hopes are high. We have someone who can now breathe new life into the American economy
Barrack Obama is at present straining at the leash to take over America. I would think his advent calender runs well into the third week of January. He has assembled a team of luminaries of the political and economic world. Among them his old rival for Democratic party leadership, Hillary Clinton. Through her he has the council of her husband, Bill. Hillary herself was right there in the White House for the whole of her husband’s two terms in office. Does this mean we are getting two and a half Presidents for the price of one?
I don’t doubt that she will do well as Secretary of State. As consolation prizes go I think it beats a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen, and a Bendy bully. I am sure she has paved the way for a female President after Obama’s second term.
Well he is going to need all the help he can get. America has not faced such Financial upheaval since 1929. When Franklin Deleno Roosevelt took over the Presidency in 1932 the country was nearly bankrupt. A quarter of the work force was unemployed, crop prices fell by 60%, leaving farmers in deep trouble. Two million people lost their homes. By the evening of March 4, 32 of the 48 states, as well as the District of Columbia had closed their banks. The New York federal reserve were unable to open the following day because they literally had all their money withdrawn by panicky customers.
Roosevelt acted quickly and with purpose. He proposed to congress a record number of bills, all of which passed within days. He had the sense not to rip up the relief program of his predecessor, he just re-named it. He invested $3.3 Million of federal money into public works. Most controversially he made all privately held gold the property of the US Treasury. This amounted to daylight robbery by a serving President! But he got away with it simply down to sheer strength of character.
Will Obama have the brains, the courage and foresight to lead America out of this economic maelstrom? We wait with bated breath.
As for Dubya, well, the recriminations started before he had even left office. The accusations were led by Oliver Stone and his film W. The President was portrayed as weak-minded and thin skinned. Furthermore he didn’t seem to do anything except kow-tow to oil barons and warmongering politicians. Maybe, just maybe, history will find some good in his administration, after all he would never come as close to being indicted as his predecessor, Bill Clinton. He had to hold back a nation hell bent on revenge after 9/11. In the end his reign was a difficult one and I hope people remember that.