Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

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131 – Tuesday 11 May 2010 : coalition

In politics on May 11, 2010 by Gabor Tagged: ,

The dance is over (see 7 May).  We have a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government.

My thoughts are that given the Parliamentary arithmetic, this was the right thing.  The Tories got most MPs.  The previous Labour government LOST.  A Labour/Lib Dem coalition would not have had a Parliamentary majority, and would have no electoral legitimacy.

Now I expect the politicians to make it work.  I am sure they will.

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127 – Friday 7 May 2010 : let the dance begin

In politics on May 7, 2010 by Gabor Tagged:

The general election yesterday has resulted in a hung parliament.  No one party can command a majority in Parliament.  Already, the main party leaders have made it clear that in some way arrangements will need to be made to enable a workable government to be formed.  Both Gordon Brown and David Cameron have made their initial overtures to Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrats.  He has indicated that he will listen to the tories first, as they have the largest numbers of both seats and votes.

So, let the dance begin.

The photo, by the way, is from last week’s third in the series of leaders’ debates on BBC television.

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96 – Tuesday 6 April 2010 : they’re off!

In politics on April 6, 2010 by Gabor Tagged:

So Gordon Brown has asked the Queen to dissolve Parliament and call a general election. The phoney campaign is over.

I find that I have become cynical, and a lot less engaged than I once was. I think that politicians have become too worried about making mistakes to be individual and say what they think. It is no longer about anything other than simply being elected.

None of the party leaders inspire me with any confidence. I cannot think of any Labour politician I would want to see as PM, one Tory and 2 Lib Dems.

At least, unlike with US elections, it will be over in a month.

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71 – Friday 12 March 2010 : King Street Tavern

In friends,musings,out and about,politics on March 13, 2010 by Gabor Tagged: ,

A very pleasant evening with our German friends Dirk and Dagmar in the King Street Tavern in Southsea.  A very pleasant, relaxed atmosphere.  I drank the guest ale, Young’s London Gold.

A lot of discussion about why property is so phenomenally expensive in this country, whether to rent or buy, and the problems this causes for the UK economy being built on a bubble.

Photo lifted from the pub’s website: http://www.thekingstreettavern.co.uk/

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62 – Wednesday 3 March 2010 : Michael Foot 1913 – 2010

In politics,RIP on March 3, 2010 by Gabor Tagged:

Michael Foot died today, aged 96.

A free-thinking politician of the left. A powerful orator. A politician of real integrity.  One of the last few Labour politicians one could admire and respect.

But not the right man to be leader of the Labour Party in the early 1980s.

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29 – Friday 29 January 2010 : Blair at the Iraq Inquiry

In musings,politics on January 29, 2010 by Gabor Tagged: ,

OK, so in his evidence to the Iraq Inquiry, there were a lot of things Tony Blair did not say.  He did not say sorry.  He did not say he got it wrong.  But he was never going to.

I don’t like Tony Blair.  I never have.  One of his strengths was his sense of conviction and purpose.  To me, that is also, if not his weakness, one of the things that has worried me, probably because I could not detect any firm philosophical underpinning.

In his evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry, Blair seemed to stick to his line that the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do;  Saddam Hussein had to be got rid of.

Never mind that we were sold this war as being about WMD: that is what the UN resolutions were about.

Never mind the “dodgy dossier”.  I downloaded and read that pile of junk at the time.  I could not believe that my country was being taken to war on such unconvincing evidence.

No: Blair was convinced that going to war was the right thing to do.  In order to achieve that, he rode roughshod over his Cabinet (and more of those self-centred unprincipled toadies should have resigned.

I do find his conviction interesting, however.  This will be an interesting subject for historians.  In 1995 there was the Rwandan genocide.  Hundreds of thousands died.  The world stood back and watched.  We all said it must not be repeated.  I do not see how that can not have affected Blair, who became PM in 1997.  Shortly after he came to power, he developed an interventionist foreign policy that seemed to work with Kosovo and Sierra Leone.  So far, so good.

But in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, the humanitarian reasons for intervention were there for all to see.  With the invasion of Iraq, the policy of intervention was taken a step further.  But was the humanitarian justification there?  And if it was there in Iraq, what about Zimbabwe?  Or Burma? Or … ?  It seems to me that the invasion of Iraq took the “Blair doctrine” a step too far, probably because he allowed it to become confused with other reasons.  Others now say that participation in the invasion of Iraq lost Great Britain such moral authority and leadership as this country once had.  That seems to me to be correct.