Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Brown Ensnared By Internet Revolution

Gordon Brown yesterday claimed he cannot recall meeting Abrahams.

Of course Brown knows that he knows Abrahams.

Brown is lying.

We are witnessing an amazing outbreak of mass selective amnesia, affecting the PM, the Deputy PM, Abrahams and all those in the Labour hierarchy who have known Abrahams as a key labour donor for the last four years. His association with the Party goes back to the 1990s where he was known to all, including Gordon Brown.

The media cannot cover up this story for Gordon Brown as they would have done for Blair just a few years ago, as the blogs are 100% onto this, Guido to the fore, Dale close behind, but with hundreds of others alert and watching every step of the unravelling stink.

The only question in my mind is - Will Brown be the first PM to be blogged into extinction?

I doubt Blair would have survived all his lies throughout his period as PM had the blogs been going then like they are now. The power of the MSM to keep another Blair in office for ten years and hide the truth from the public can surely never be the same. There can never be another Alastair Campbell or Mandelson able to control the 'narrative'.

In fact the opposite appears to be the case and the MSM are keen to join in the emerging blog-fest. The Spectator as in above link are leading the charge. Adam Boulton on his Sky blog seems to want a piece of the action. And Finkelstein from timesonline is obviously keen to be in at the kill. The Telegraph is writing multiple angles on the story too - online - also on its new blog THREE LINE WHIP.

Under Blair pre-blogosphere, none of these would have dared to go out on a limb too far away from the rest of the media pack, and corruption stories like Blair accepting UKL1 million from Formula 1, for example fizzled out very quickly after a strong denial from Tony on TV. Now the opposite is happening. The blogs keep the stories alive. The MSM don't want to left out of the blog-party, and allow Guido and Dale to steal all their customers, so they are out there competing to blog Brown's indiscretions.

While democracy is in severe danger in Britain at the institutional level, it seems to be breaking out in rude good health again via the web, and from there slowly back into the MSM, although the die-hard BBC still has a way to go before rediscovering the fact that there are people outside the BBC who exist and have knowledge and good ideas, and that some of them are Conservatives. David Cameron's small government policy will fit in with all this just fine.

But Brown and his attempt to run a New labour style media machine cannot possibly keep on going much longer. He is totally discredited, and has become an embarrassment to watch and listen to.

It was Brown's idea that technology was the primary cause of economic growth (his neo-classical endogynous growth theory), and not the drive and skill of business people. Maybe it's time he realised that the technology he believes in, is also changing politics. Harold Wilson said 'a week s a long time in politics.' In the new era of internet blogging, a few minutes can be enough to reposition a whole debate. Things like the quickminded observations on Dizzy Thinks, or this extract from the Huntsman's post below for example, keep the blogopshere ahead of the main media.

AbrahamsGate Timeline (From The Huntsman)

31 Jan 2003: Janet Dunn makes donation of £25,000 to Labour
06 May 2003: Janet Kidd, a secretary working for Mr Abrahams, donates £25,000 to Labour.
18 Aug 2003: Ray Ruddick, a jobbing builder, makes £25,000 donation.
01 Apr 2004: Mrs. Kidd donates £10,000.
27 Oct 2004: Mrs. Kidd donates £2,000.
05 Feb 2005: Mr. McCarthy donates 25,000
29 Jul 2005: Durham Green Developments submits plans for Durham Green Business Park
05 Oct 2005: Highways Agency blocks plans for Durham Green Business Park.
22 Dec 2005: Mr. McCarthy donates £52,125
23 Dec 2005: Mr Ruddick donates £17,850, Mrs Kidd £30,000.
31 Mar 2006: Plans for business park withdrawn.
21 Apr 2006: Mr. McCarthy donates £50,000
24 May 2006: Mr Ruddick donates £50,000.
02 Aug 2006: Business park plans resubmitted.
18 Sep 2006: Highways Agency withdraws objections.
19 Oct 2006: Durham County Council grants planning permission.
22 Jun 2007: Hilary Benn, the Environment Secretary, registers £5,000 donation from Mr Abrahams to his campaign for Labour's deputy leadership.
27 Jun 2007: Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister.
29 Jun 2007: Mr Ruddick donates £24,000, Mrs Kidd £38,000.
07 Jul 2007: Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd make £80,000 donations.
17 Jul 2007: Harriet Harman registers £5,000 donation from Mrs Kidd to her victorious campaign for the Labour's deputy leadership.
20 Nov 2007: Official figures show that since Mr Brown became Prime Minister, Mr Ruddick and Mrs Kidd were Labour's third biggest donors.
25 Nov 2007: Mr Abrahams admits it was his money that had gone to Labour via Mrs Kidd and Mr Ruddick.
26 Nov 2007: Peter Watt admits he knew of donations and resigns as Labour general secretary.

The BBC are still a good news organisation - but not yet able to move into the internet age of immediacy. People said that 24 hour news had changed the way the world worked. It did. But it's as nothing to how blogs are moving the initiative away from the centralisation and bureaucracy of worldwide news organisations, where the same bulletins are repeated verbatim hour by hour throughout the day. Brown is not being scuppered on the BBC. He's being done for by individual bloggers all working in a linked informal network, who can check on his every word within minutes of them being spoken. As yet the Beeb, CNN and the like cannot and are not competing.

The pulse of broadcast news, which not long ago seemed to be leading the informational race, beats every few hours. Government spokesmen can keep up, and be an hour ahead even, feeding their narratives to influence the news bulletins. Blogs however pulse by the minute. Spin-meisters don't have a chance of regaining position, once it is running away from them..

The BBC reports the Abrahams story thoughtfully, as if a little bit removed from its viewers and readers and contendedly behind the pace of events, as if that is enough to be treated as a superior voice. It used to be. But bloggers now write to their readers as equals sitting together in the same room with immediacy, their only deference being to the truth. Politicians and media employees are seen as no better than anyone else, regarded as an entirely expendable commodity if they are found to be lying or cheating.

BBC - Why, for example, did some party individuals spot the dodgy donations while others did not and, as a result, is Ms Harman safe in her post? (Mr Brown took some coaxing on that last one, but finally made it clear he had full confidence in her).

And how could it be that the party's general secretary Peter Watt not know what the law, introduced by his own government, was or fail to keep the prime minister in the loop - particularly after the secret donations at the heart of the cash-for-honours affair?

Was it not the case that these donations were a secret kept within a small group of senior Labour figures - something flatly and robustly denied.

It has to be said, there was an air of disbelief when the explanations were offered to the media, and the opposition parties still remain unconvinced and continue to press for more comprehensive answers.

i.e. BBC speak for Brown is lying.

The problem is when you lie and no one believes you is that your credibility is gone. This might not yet be the end of Brown's period in office. But it's surely the end of his period in power. And when Brown eventually goes, the world too will be changed. He will be the very first British PM that was blogged to extinction.

George Osborne, Shadow Chancellor is of the opinion that Brown's fall will be coming quicker than we think, the knife to be wielded from within his own ranks.

Monday, November 26, 2007

MSM Fear The Post-Bureaucratic Age

There's plenty of smoke drifting across the political blogosphere at the moment. There's heat building in there, but no one's looking to detect the source as yet.

The MSM are straining every phrase to write and rewrite the same political non-news story. Every columnist is writing 'Gordon Brown's Not Up To It. You Read It Here First'. I'll list them out for you once I've finished writing this piece. It's almost comical to see them all at it, as the evidence for Brown's incompetence - in particular his inability to deal with those inconvenient things called human beings - stretches back well over a decade, and it was only a question of time for this fatal flaw to show once Labour made the mistake of allowing him to become leader.


Matthew Parris
Martin Kettle
Martin Bright
Tim Hames
even Trevor Kavanagh of The Sun has finally got it! See his earlier embarrassment
any others you can think of?

It's only the MSM who need to keep narrating in shocked tones that Brown doesn't cut the mustard, and is dysfunctional as regards leadership because it was the MSM who had spent ten years penning what a genius Brown was in the first place, despite all the evidence to the contrary. They now need to go through a period of appearing shocked that Brown is hopeless to cover their tracks. Apparently Brown reads lots of books, which was enough to convince them all of his great mind.

The 'Brown is a genius' was only spin put out by Alastair Campbell to cover up the appalling relationship Brown maintained with Blair, and why Blair put up with it. In fact it was Blair's weakness that permitted Brown to remain in place. Blair said of Clare Short - 'She makes a lousy friend, but she'd be even worse as an enemy'. It could equally have been said of Gordon Brown, and yet more so. The rotten apples sometimes get tolerated in the box of politics but they never make leaders. Common sense would have told the commentariat that, but I guess common sense is what the MSM is mostly lacking, all being highly educated and approaching the genius level themselves.

Before we all get totally bored reading yet more flamboyant prose exposing the lack of perceptiveness of MSM writers, can I ask if anyone is interested in something else - other than watching Brown's descent which in truth is as fascinating as watching a burst balloon. OK you watch, but there hasn't been a burst balloon yet in history which didn't eventually hit the floor.

The point is that when the balloon hits the floor, the party's not over. It's just the start of a new game. That is the interesting thing to think about. Will it be musical chairs, or a sack race?

Labour, for example, might be so relieved to be rid of Brown and Blair, plus Mandelson, Campbell and Prescott that they opt for a totally different direction. Only Milliband is left from the original New Labour line -up, and he's not going to persuade Labour MPs to go through it all again, ignoring the Party's core beliefs while government collapses into disrepute. Labour might even revert to where it was in 1994, and become a eurosceptic party once more, outflanking Cameron and pleasing its long suffering MPs who want to get back to some good old traditional left wing policies. Couldn't someone write about what will Labour do next?

The Conservatives have been waiting for the New labour machine to collapse. Well now it has. OK Brown's still in the bunker while the edifice crashes down around him. It won't be long and he'll face a choice of either a noble departure, such as a resignation after a Commons defeat or maybe the chop from within his own ranks (Jack Straw interviewed on TV yesterday said "Though I am completely detached from the Northern Rock business and the missing HMRC discs I'm sure Gordon and Alistair are dealing with it as well as possible".) Two more years of the level of catastrophy now revealing itself across government is impossible to imagine. Something will intervene.

The smoke that's visible around the blogs (look at Comments on Previous Post 'Dale Versus North' for a good example!) is not just Labour Party ashes smouldering. There are a few Tory fires lighting up too. Which way will Cameron move next is the big question, as his options become greater the smaller the Brown balloon shrinks? Seeing Iain Dale's suggestion about an In/Out EU Referendum being roasted around the blogs tells you something. If the idea was completely ludicrous, no one would have bothered with it much. Just had a laugh.

But blogger after blogger breathed in the suggestion, and found themselves choking on the smoke. It had tweaked something deep in the subconscious - a primevil fear - that after so long in captivity, freedom might be only a few steps away. Animals that are released into the wild for the first time, often crouch in anxiety, and snarl at their releasers. It's as if all are aware, in Hague's words that 'things cannot go on like this much longer' - and yet no one can quite bring themselves to look at what that actually means. What will freedom look like, and feel like?

The missing link is courage - the courage to hope and aim for better - to shape the future. Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem will soon be free of the New Labour regime, but most are still locked up and suppressed by its lingering spell. The prospect of release is almost too much to take in.

Yet the first people to stop writing about Brown and his uselessness,and the first to allow the emotions to run, to hope and dream of freedom from the appalling loss of our once proud hospitals, police, schools, businesses and the general civility of our country, will set the course of a new tranquillity and contentment. When will the media start to imagine what David Cameron's Post Bureaucratic Age will be like?

For Cameron's dreams to become reality, first Brown must burn, and smoke yield to flame. Thoughts in the MSM of the future must wait as that is going to be too good a story for any news commentator to miss. Expect a lot more elegant prose telling us what we already know - that Brown is failing - and very little from the MSM daring to think about how the world will soon be. The blogs and other new media will have to make up the gap.

UPDATE - I've found one columnist who's on the trail.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Dale Versus North

Richard North says of Iain Dale 'He's not a europhiliac, but he's a mild eurosceptic', while responding to Dale's suggestion that the Conservatives should adopt the Lib Dem policy of an In/Out Referendum on the EU.

The full quote is Yesterday it was suggested in his column by Iain Dale, who is not a europhiliac but a reasonably mild eurosceptic, which means he does not go as far as I do in his views on the subject.

Not so, Richard (Actually Helen, Richard's co-author wrote the post) - that is, if Iain Dale's denial written in the comments of my typepad blog are to be believed. HERE. I had queried Iain Dale's EU credentials, and received this speedy and vehement response.

So off the ball as to be risible. Anyone who knows me knows I am as Eurosceptic as they come. I would repatriate as many powers as possible, vote against the European Constitution and would NEVER EVER vote to join the Euro.

Enough for you? Enough to get a retraction?!

Posted by: Iain Dale | October 03, 2007 at 09:33 PM -

I particularly notice his use of the word 'possible'. That is maybe the weakness in the Richard North kind of position. North's politics is based on principle, sometimes even when that inhibits possbility. Possibility and purity don't often reconcile, but at least North gives us the principles which we are then seeking the possibility to implement.

Dale's principles are sometimes hard to see as his emphasis is almost always on today's possibilities, so it's nice to see them expressed directly occasionally, as they were on my blog in October.

Dale's suggestion of adopting the Lib Dem referendum policy for an in/out decision is being misread. People are surprised to find a idea of stark principle on Iain Dale's Blog, when he is normally concerned only with the day's play - the gossip from the heart of Westminster - where principle usually seems to be a long way distant. I think he actually means it, and not just as a play for Useful Kind of Idiot Party voters.

What many (like me blogging on typepad) didn't and don't realise is how strongly Iain Dale's views are held. We tend to see him as a political Des O'Connor all laid back, trying to keep his face in front of the cameras, and his blog one up on Guido. Well, it appears he isn't. There is fire in the belly.

As for Dale's idea, I think it could prove to be a good one in time.

The EU in/out? issue should, however be the second part of a referendum question.

Before any referendum is held, the Conservatives should first specify the relationship with the EU they believe to be achieveable, and negotiate to get it.

Whatever the result of those negotiations, the resulting offer by the EU should be made the subject of a referendum,as follows -

Do you A. want Britain to continue as an EU member on the terms offered by the EU, or B. would you prefer Britain to withdraw from the EU completely, and operate as a free independent country once more?

Individual Conservative MPs could be allowed to support A or B depending on their viewpoints, but the voters' decision should be final.

If voters decide to remain in the EU, the same process could be gone through again after a suitable period of time had elapsed.

If the Party were to make this approach to the EU clear, as of 'soon', they could build their platform to win the next election with the subject of Europe put to bed. It would combine principle with possibility nicely.

Many would vote for that.

Helen at Eureferendum clearly feels that the above scenario is unlikely to occur. I prefer to continue with the positive thinking approach. Why write Cameron off as a continuation of past Tory failure? He could yet please us all by offering a coherent and credible policy on the EU, which includes a referendum along lines that Helen and Richard would approve.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Britain Government Is Collapsing

It was General De Gaulle who stated that it was surprising how much bad government a country could withstand. He was correct to make the observation, but even he would be amazed how far even his dictum would be put to the test, had he lived to see Gordon Brown.

It is clear from reading Alastair Campbell's Diaries (The Blair Years ISBN 978-0-09-179629-7) that from well before the moment Labour won power Blair had given up trying to control Gordon Brown's dysfunctional behaviour. The slogan 'vote Blair. Get Brown' would have had validity even in 1997, let alone 2005 when it was used. Brown demanded control from the beginning, and in most cases got it. Ten years on, it is incredible, given that by 2007 Labour clearly knew well how unsuitable Brown was to become leader, that the same tax-wasting temper tantrum is still running the country.

Tony Blair's character comes across in The AC Diaries as artistically creative, a great writer of script with the courage to push forward ideas, and a great actor/performer. But when it came to dealing with the people around him, he was hopelessly weak at every turn. Gordon Brown was and is the result.

The effect of ten years of a dysfunctional character running much of the country is not only that government finances are out of control. No matter how much money is raised in tax, so many billions are wasted that borrowing spirals ever higher. It's not only money that's become a disaster area, however.

Government is giving up total. The Inland Revenue lost 7 million records by sending them by recorded mail, and not keeping back-up copies - a thing that even a 10 year old child in today's world would know was wrong. Iain Dale believes such incompetence is widespread. (later news bulletins clarified that there is a risk of exposure of 7 million private bank details and other personal information, and that the government does have copies taken elsewhere) See BBC Report on collapsing morale at HMRC

The Northern Rock 'run' was entirely preventable had the government taken a firm hand on events, assisted the wholesale money markets early enough, and kept any individual name out of the media. The rescue that became finally necessary is proving very costly, and will put pessure on government finances already in a hole. Other names of similar institutions might be coming into unnecessary crisis next, as the government either has no idea what it is doing and is not prepared to take ultimate responsibility. If it doesn't get a grip, the financial crisis so far happening in financial institutions, could soon cause a government financial crisis of 1970s proportions.

Hospitals have to a large exent given up preventing deaths. People are not dying for the lack of millions. UKL 20 would save most of the unnecessary deaths, for example those that are sacrificed to hospital acquired MRSA etc. Cleaners are not expensive.

The lack of relatively cheap magnesium infusions also 'does for' tens of thousands of heart patients in Britain every year. These are not given in the UK as they are in Germany for example to all heart patients. In Britain only collapsed farm animals get a magnesium shot from the vet. Humans are expendable. The NHS sucks out all the money and then refuses to do even a basic job.

Another example. Small businesses that want to register trading names and start up businesses, are finding that the government registry responsible, Trade Marks and Names, that used to work so well pre-1997 is completely unable to provide any answers as to whether proposed trading names are available or not. The same goes for so many departments now that it is almost impossible to find anyone in any section of government prepared to take responsibility for anything. Whether it's Foot & Mouth spilling out of Pirbright, flood planes being built all over or immigrants pouring in at too fast a rate, there is no one on hand to do anything.

It starts at the top. Brown sees every event from one perspective and one perspective only - as he always did throughout the Blair years, and tragically for Britain, again now as Prime Minister - the perspective of 'how does this affect my position?' He's created a 'dog eat dog' world throughout government, where failure is now almost guaranteed at every turn. For Britain to recover from this crisis-by-government, Brown will have to go. The problem is that he will not need to go for two more years. In that period he will bring us to or knees.

The problem is that those who used to hold the ship afloat and carry Brown's responsibility for him while he played every issue for his own political advantage are giving up. They've had enough, and the money's run out.

Even the strongest countries, as Britain could have been fairly described in 1997 can be brought to collapse if a basket case is left in power too long. General De Gaulle was correct, but he could never have imagined waste and stupidity on the Gordon Brown scale. Under Brown, the term government is a misnomer. It is no more. We are adrift in the world awaiting an inevitable crisis. Let it be quick, before too much more damage is done to our once proud country.

In two years time, Cameron's ideas to abandon reliance on the State and rebuild society from the bottom up will be thrown into harness very quickly. By the time he gets to Downing Street, there will be one unholy mess to sort out. There is a lot riding on his shoulders.

UPDATE - John Redwood's take on collapsing government

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mythology For The Myth-Busters?

In Peter Hitchens review of Booker and North's latest publication, Scared To Death in the Sunday Mail, he mentions the way these two authors consistently blow up the myths of the age, such as Al Gore's false facts about climate change. He says that, in doing that they are 'embarassing to their friends'.

Richard North's reaction to the phrase is that he is not sure how to react to it.

My advice in the comments to Richard is 'That must surely be included in your blog banner.

Truth is never fashionable. Every era lives on its myths. Your job is to spoil the party.

Your intelligence insists that you cannot fill your head with the half-thought through dross that feeds the MSM. If you don't broadcast your analysis to correct the mythology, you would be miserable and also lonelier.

Only by bashing away on the blog and writing books, can you increase the numbers of people who can see the distortions circulated by those who seek power by inspiring unnecessary fear.

If you kept silent, your friends would be less in number, and no more loyal.

The danger for the truth-teller, and the myth-buster is that you are the killjoy. After all, everyone loves to go to a horror movie, and read of things that terrify but have not yet occurred, or that occur somewhere else.

By wearing phrases like Hitchens' 'embarrassing to their friends' you don't lose any credibility. You merely become more human and interesting. It positions you in the marketplace.

The truth has a habit of being embarrassing, so why not accept Hitchens' label, and build on it. 'Sorry to be a bit embarrassing but......' - or 'sorry to spoil the show...' could be your catchphrase.

While killing other peoples' myths you need to create some mythology or persona of your own. A grey almost anonymous identity is not good enough. By writing 'embarrassing to your friends' Hitchens is trying to give you you a hook, a way to explain yourself....a way for people to perceive you.'

But of course a professional myth-buster will always have a problem permitting a myth to grow about themselves.

Booker (Pictured at top) and North must ever be nondescript, and never part of the glitterati.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Cameron Wants Quangos Driven Over A Cliff

Cameron's developing political philosophy, coming to a large extent from his relationship with Jesse Norman of Policy Exchange is getting surprisingly little attention. The dry ideas as expressed, sound not unlike a text from a university tutorial, and yet they will probably before long be driving the political direction of a nation. And from there, their influence could spread to other parts of the world.

Last week's emphasis on Co-operation, and the launch of the Conservative Co-operative Movement was only the latest manifestation of what is basically the same philosophy as the one expounded in Compassionate Conservativism published 18 months before. So what is this Cameronism-to-be, which is proving remarkably consistent and growing in confidence?

It falls into two halves - simply what we don't want, and what we do want. And what we don't want is the near total reliance on the State that has become the norm for life in Britain in all its aspects. Most people would agree that where we are now, is in the wrong place. Our lives are encircled by regulations at every turn. Government which was imagined as a panacaea, a way to equalise opportunity across classes, a way to eradicate insecurity, has instead become a noxious weed throttling the garden of our lives with high taxes, and rules that prevent us from doing much if anything for ourselves. It is not difficult to make the case that the State needs rooting out of our lives, so the plants can flower once more. Moving away from the state for most people will be sweet and, in many ways the easier half of Cameron's revolution.

It will a revolutionary change from the last generation of British politics, where State anything, starting with the NHS, was regarded as the untouchable basis of the quality of our lives. But the truth which has been kept hidden a long time, but which is now becoming evident and clear, is that it makes little difference how much money is thrown into State spending. Little improvement in quality of life ever arrives. Tens of thousands, for example are dying every year as a result of treatment denied by the NHS. Often treatment or disease management costing as little as UKL 20.00 would save a life, but in the bureaucratically controlled NHS, it is impossible to save people from dying grubby, unnecessary deaths - of which the cause at root is bureaucratic hopelessness.

The essence of Cameronism is to cease reliance on the State, and rebuild society from the bottom up. Institutions whether cooperatives, businesses, educational , health, defence or anything else will naturally form and come into being with higher effectiveness, if the State were to withdraw. People will set up schools independent of government, were they allowed to do so. The same goes for hospitals. In fact for any aspect of life, if you get government out of the way, people will naturally bring about the improvement in the quality for their own lives and the people they are associated with.

This amounts to an enormous leap in faith, but it is an inevitable one. Belief in government provision is collapsing. There is no alternative that I can think of but to restart society from scratch, and turn to the intiative of individuals and the institutions and organisations that they build.

But how will people struggling to pay taxes and earn a living to pay their mortgages and rents build enough capacity to replace the State, while the State is keeping them pinned down, unable to get economically ahead of their commitments? If people are to develop institutions on their own initiative, they will need to pay a lot less tax so that they have some economic capacity to function in the way Cameron desires them to. Many taxes will have to either be cut or abolished. If State money is not to pay for the needs of the nation, then private money will have to replace it.

The collapse in Labour's support which occurred during the Conservative Party Conference turned partly on the issue of Inheritance Tax. If this is abolished or cut right back, it will permit the regrowing of wealthy families - families who will be able to develop capacity to build institutions outside the State. Cameronism will inevitably be providing a reassessment of the cultural significance of personal wealth, if he wants individuals to expand their capacity to build their own society, and push government out of it.

And how will people be able to take any initiatives inside the highly regulated environment that's been created since 1992, and the signing of the Maastricht Treaty?

Only if Britain withdraws from the EU will it begin to be possible to dismantle the regulatory burden on our lives. Only then can the quangocracy that throttles the health service, the police, our schools and businesses be driven over the cliff. That will be a necessary part of seizing back control of our lives - back from the self-serving State that has stolen our freedoms. The State will never willingly yield the fruits of its corruption. We may not see guillotines on the street, but there will be as much pleasure and joy seeing quangocrats turfed out of their privileged positions of power, as was ever experienced by French peasants in executing aristocrats in the French Revolution. No revolution can be complete without its victims.

As for ending the sway of Brussels, which must surely be the centrepiece of the coming Cameron regime, the joy that will sweep the land will be to relive a combination of VE Day with Guy Fawkes Night, and to celebrate several Christmases all at once - and be better than winning the World Cup and The Olympics combined. Vera Lynn, The White Cliffs and Freedom will rise once more.

The Cameron Revolution will bring Britain back from the slow and painful death it is going through at the hands of bureaucratic suffocation.

People should take a look at what it will be all about. Cameronism, its tenets and beliefs arenot a secret.

Friday, November 16, 2007

EU will be one sixteenth the size of Asia by 2050

Dizzy of has noticed something odd about the Adam Smith Institutes latest website relaunch. He doesn't say what he means in so many words, but a glance at the new banners reveals an unexpected racial emphasis away from a British look.

We are not talking about a token black skin for the sake of political correctness. The Caucasians appear in soft focus and are given less emphasis. The look has definitely gone, in a word, Asian.

Why would a long established British organisation, none other than the good old Adam Smith Institute try to badge itself as something that it is not, you might fairly ask - Asian?

A quick check back to the principles of economic growth, and their first exposition by Adam Smith reminds one that economic growth is the basis of the Wealth Of Nations, and that wherever private enterprise is allowed to flourish untrammelled by excessive regulation, those places will in time become the wealthiest places on earth.

The EU makes great play of its claim to be the world's largest marketplace. It may well be such a thing as of today, but one thing politicians and especially EU politicians have little grasp of, is the real effect of growth. If Europe continues to grow at around 2% a year, its economy will double by the year 2050. That sounds OK to most peoples' ears. The EU cannot be such a bad thing, then.

But stop a moment and consider this. India and China are growing at over 8% a year. A country that grows at 8% a year doubles the size of its economy every 9 years (Do the math - 100, 108, 117, 126,136, 147, 159,171,185,200). So by the time the EU has doubled in size, Asia will have grown no less than 32 times.

Well done the ASI for noticing that the West is being eclipsed. Asian the future will be. More people's website banners will be looking Asiatic as every year goes by. The ASI got their first. That's all.

Britain is going down the plughole landlocked inside the EU regulatory growth desert - ably assisted by New Labour. No escape is possible, so prepare to be overwhelmed by the new kids on the block...that is more or less the rest of the world, where the lesson of economics, discovered by the British is now being applied.

THOUGHTS - It is unlikely a 9% growth rate would be achieved for 36 years in succession, but a growth rate of 4% or better is likely for much of the world. A 4% growth rate doubles every 17.5 years. The USA would quadruple in 35 years at its current growth rate, as will most of the rest of the world while Europe will only double. Parts of Asia will grow at 6% doubling every 13 years, so by 2050 will be around 10 times bigger than today, eclipsing Europe by 5 times.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cameronism Goes Cooperative

In a speech this week, Cameron said that he was declaring his 'political philosophy in a nutshell'.

Over the first 18 months since he became Party leader, he avoided any definite policy commitments, but he did, in place of policy seem to be interested, for a while at least, in discussing a new set of values for the Party. We first saw this with his advocacy of "General Well Being, GWB as being more important than GDP". Then came "Compassionate Conservatism", a phrase he borrowed from American Conservatives. That was followed by "Built To Last", a detailed booklet expressing a few beliefs, but also containing a few teaser policies such as ending the CAP.

Then came a follow-up period when he seemed to be avoiding emphasis on, or mention of both beliefs or policies. There was a brief showing for the phrase "Cameron's Conservatives" , which didn't work too well at the Southall Byelection, and the overview of what Cameron was really all about, has been put on the back burner in recent months.

Cameron's been busy adjusting his leadership style away from being 'the next Blair' to facing down Gordon Brown. Only now as Brown has been placed firmly on his back foot, since he backed off calling the election, is Cameron returning to his earlier attempts to define a new set of values for himself and the Party.

The keyword badging his philosophy this time is not 'Compassionate' but 'Cooperative' Conservatism. David Cameron spoke as follows -

"the co-operative principle reflects an important part of the vision of social progress that we on the centre-right believe in: the role of strong independent institutions, run by and for local people. That’s why Conservatives have always argued that free enterprise and the co-operative principle are partners, not adversaries. And now I want the Conservative Party to take the lead in applying the co-operative ideal to the challenges of the 21st century. So I am delighted to announce today the establishment of the Conservative Co-operative Movement. "

Hardly a comprehensive explanation.

There is a big clue, though in that the head of the new CCM is none other than Jesse Norman of Policy Exchange (Pictured), who co-wrote the previous pamphlet Compassionate Conservativism. There is nothing in the idea of Cooperative Conservatism which conflicts with the earlier Compassionate version. It would seem to be a fair assessment that Cameron here is updating and confirming his earlier views, and finding better ways to orientate and express them.

What are they? I read and reviewed the pamphlet Compassionate Conservatism for Tim Montgomerie on Conservative Home at the time it was published, June 2006. I wrote as follows, quoting the authors extensively,

" In 1997 the State was 36-37% of GDP. By 2010 it will be 43%. Should it be permitted to keep rising to Scandinavian levels of 50/60%, ask the authors? Public sector productivity fell by 10% between 1997 and 2003.

The quantitative picture is clear enough.

The statements that accompany the bare figures ask the reader to look deeper, and it has to be said that the authors do not lack courage when it comes to offering their conclusions. ‘The implicit deal by which people trade social engagement for starting to break down’. ‘The overall picture is, in short, not merely that the state itself is less effective than it should be. It is increasingly hard to manage at all.’ The primary theme that comes out is that ‘We need to think beyond the State.’

That, they claim puts CC in direct confrontation with the ideas of the current government, which is ‘characterised by a default instinct to extend the powers of the State over the lives of its citizens.’ They add that ‘the extension of the state..tends to undermine the voices, the energy and the creativity of the citizens.’

My review continued, –

In the past Conservatism has encompassed a broad view, incorporating Liberal Conservatism with an emphasis on free markets, localism and private property, and Paternalistic Conservatism focused on community and social stability. But there was never the thought until now presented here by Jesse Norman and Janan Ganesh that Conservatism may need to go broader still and start to protect the private and public associations and connections of individuals from state power and interference.
They write, ‘In economic theory, people are treated as though they are purely self-interested seekers of profit….individuals cut off from each other, who react positively for gain and negatively to the possibility of loss.’ CC looks to see people differently, as creating their own connections motivated inter alia by affection and personal ties.
They write that ‘man is a social animal, people are not merely sterile economic agents, and they create institutions of extraordinary range and diversity.’,
The Left believes that ‘Only the State has the power to stand up for people against the Market’ but as CC writes, ‘In equating social justice with redistribution and state spending on the public services, it has tacitly adopted a grossly inadequate conception of society itself.’

Those like Richard North of EUreferendum who fear Cameron is untrustworthy and might water down his earlier opposition to the EU and its Constitution, according to the pattern of earlier Conservative governments, might take heart from the fact that Cameron is holding true to the same beliefs he espoused 18 months ago. It is surprising that they, and Policy Exchange have received so little attention.

When the Conservatives win power, their actions will be informed by their beliefs. A great deal of effort is clearly going into finding ways to articulate those beliefs, and adapt Conservative thinking to the challenges ahead. Thatcherism emphasised the competitive side of human nature, and found that that was what her era required. Cameron is finding that re-emphasising the cooperative side of our natures could hold the key to the next phase in developing and adapting our culture to improve the quality of peoples' lives.

What many political commentators overlook is the power of such cultural levers to build a political movement, preferring to follow the daily political interplay, and ascribe significance to each little step. In the cynical environment resulting from years of political spin, you could hardly blame them for refusing to see anything else. Politics as ideas has almost disappeared from view.

And yet, as Gordon Brown ceases to make any serious attempt at articulating any vision, Cameronism as a political philosophy is gradually strengthening and taking shape. Philosophy provides an underlying, almost hidden quality, over and above any specific visible policies, which these beliefs inform, and as it grows, it should help Cameron to establish himself in a position of moral authority over his opponents, and attract his own Party to follow him.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sarkozy, Brown, Merkel - Oh Dear.

Many people have watched Sarkozy on Youtube, speaking while drunk at the G8 world leaders in June. Many too have watched him walking out of his CBS interview when asked a simple question about his wife. OK, you might think, even political leaders are human, and can slide over the edge occasionally. But when he was talking to the American Congress yesterday, did you see his eyes? His words were well-chosen and appreciated, but his eyes were talking at the same time. Even for a Frenchman, the guy looked competely nuts.

This piece from the European Foundation Intelligence Digest gives yu the picture - the new French President has walked out of TV interview with the US Channel CBS following a question about his (now ex-) wife, Cécilia. Clips of the aborted interview have been shown on CBS and they are widely available on the Internet: they have generated a storm of blogging in France itself. The interview got off to a bad start when Sarkozy made it clear that he was too busy to talk to the American journalist: he appeared enervated and bad tempered. He was overheard on camera referring to his press secretary as “Quel imbécile!” When the question was put about his wife (it was conducted before the announcement of their divorce) he replied, evidently angry, that if he had anything to say about her he would not do it on this occasion. He then removed his microphone and walked out. This is certainly not the first time that Sarkozy’s famous irascible nature has been visible. He lost his rag with a photographer while on holiday in the US this summer and was filmed apparently drunk at a press conference following the G8 summit in Berlin. (He claimed that he was not drunk, that in fact he is teetotal, and that he was merely tired and out of breath.) But the event has caused many in France to doubt that he has a stable enough character to be President.

While they were about it, they might have also mentioned that Angela Merkel, although clearly more stable than Sarkozy, is probably the dullest political leader in the history of democracy. The one thing you could say about German leaders in the past was that even though their sense of humour was a bit odd (to the British mentality), at least people like Kohl, Schroeder and the rest seemed to think they had one. Merkel doesn't even pretend. She is a study in emotional vacuity. Henry Kissinger, a Bildeberger who approves of her promotion of the EU Constitution, wrote of her in TIME -

Merkel's leadership style is the art of accomplishing great goals through the accumulation of nuance. Thoughtful but tenacious, she moves toward her goals with inward assurance.

He might just have said it in simpler language. She's dull, soulless and cannot communicate. As for the goals, I think we all know what they are, but only through leaks did we find out that she's prepared to constantly lie about the true nature of the EU Constitution.

Come to think of it, Gordon Brown the supposed possessor of genius, as faithfully repeated by so many loyal or sycophantic journalists and reporters (apparently he reads books) also seems to suffer some embarrassingly large gaps in his emotional intelligence. His IQ is said to be stratospheric. My God, he even has a PhD. (From what I know, holders of PhD were those who could tolerate the boredom of learning and didn't seem to be in a hurry to get on with life - a curious qualty to find in young future leaders when you think about it). But when it comes to EQ, understanding and empathising with others, he's clearly challenged.

So what is going on? Why have European leaders simultaneously been selected by their electorates, all apparently happy to be led by people who quite obviously either cannot deal with people, like Brown - cannot communicate like Merkel - and cannot maintain stability like Sarkozy.

Brown, you might say was not chosen by an electorate at any point. He is in place through his proximity to Blair and (artfully kept secret for at least ten years) loyalty to Europe. Merkel too came to the fore after a stalemate general election result, and discussions between politicians were the basis of her selection as leader, not as a clear-cut choice of an electorate. She too is studiously loyal to the EU, acting as the 'champion' of the electorally-vulnerable Constitution.

Sarkozy on the other hand was clearly elected. But how was he selected? He was the most pro-EU candidate for the French Presidency, and had a big push from the French media.

One of his platforms is said to be his pro-Americanism, but he is more likely making an attempt to deceive the Americans than express genuine fondness. While praising them to the rafters, he's getting on with establishing the EU, which has the clear ambition of competing with and undermining American power. He might be nuts, but is still, just as are Brown and Merkel, capable of low cunning.

Whatever the cause of it, it seems odd and yet strangely appropriate that at the moment when Europe is about to sign up to a Constitution which eliminates all her nations, the leaders of Europe's three largest nations are, all at the same time, devoid of leadership qualities. All three are wannabees who should have been passed over. Shrinking nations are, not surprisingly producing shrinking quality in their leaders. Treachery was always easier to locate in the lower ranks.

UPDATE - Dan Hannan shows that Sarkozy has been conning the French (let alone the Americans) by claiming he will be the next Thatcher.

Britain's In The Wrong Place

The FTSE wobbles around the 6500s. Sometimes up a bit. Sometimes down. Where nowadays do you hear anyone confidently saying it will get to 20,000 within five years? Anywhere? No, you don't. Think then for a moment about Asia. I was at a meeting this morning in Manila where a cocky and successful banker - a CEO - openly predicted the market here (still tiny compared to London) which has doubled in less than two years, will be up by at least double again and maybe treble before too many more years are passed.

I'm writing in the Philippines where interest rates - 90 Day Treasury Bills - were at 15 percent five years ago. They are now at 5 percent. Many markets here such as property, have not yet woken up to the change. The government's deficit is well down on where it was 5 years ago. The local currency, the Peso is rising strongly against the Dollar.

At the meeting this morning, there was an audience of about 40 people. Not one laughed out loud, or seriously doubted what the banker was saying. The potential is all upside, despite political problems, corruption problems and lack of infrastructure. He received questions casting doubts and objections on his thesis, but each on them he dealt with and explained that what were once barriers to growth are barriers no more.

EU Referendum

On EU Referendum website, much of the focus is on the political wrongheadedness of the EU. The other half of the story is just as serious. Britain is locked into the part of the world's economy where prospects only get worse with each passing decade. Our European links are too strong, not just from the political viewpoint where our democratic tradition is being throttled into submission, with our own version of corruption at the hands of New Labour - the ludicrously self-named 'anti-sleaze' outfit - growing like weeds across government. It's also the economic cost. We should be moving out of that morass of hopelessness where economic growth always manages to fall below the most pessimistic forecasts to around 1-2% a year,, and we should be getting into those parts of the world where growth is measured between 5-10 percent per annum year on year.

China's economy has passed over Germany's. Korea, Vietnam, Thailand (despite coups), Philippines are all heading North fast. That is where British capital, entrepreneurs and managers should be heading. Britain has many advantages - language, technical ability, cultural sensitivity, excellent financing industries and financial services, and we should be high up in the economic growth game.

But we're right down in the bottom of the table, along with our so-called EU partners. Once it has worked through its sub-prime lending issues, the USA might well bounce back into life with its growing population projected to be 400 million by 2050, and a declining dollar re-energising its trade. The USA is free to go wherever its business leaders decide. But Britain, which should be even freer, is land-locked in a Brussels-obsessed quagmire.

The future is not going to be London. OK it will have one or two better patches but it will be as nothing compared to the emerging markets. The populations of India, China and all the others already dwarf the EU, and they are still growing rapidly. The peasants that the EU looks down on, and wishes to exclude from its markets in its missplaced Mandelsonian protectionism, will before long become middle class consumers desperate to acquire the products and lifestyles that Europeans still feel instinctively should be excusively theirs.

The European view is ultimately a racist view of the world, and a blinkered, backwards-looking one. Britain should extricate herself from the bind she is in. It might have made sense in the 1950s in the eyes of people like Harold McMillan who somehw survived four years of trench warfare, to lock us into European future. But since then the world has changed, and the change we have seen so far is as nothing to what will be happening in the next 25 to 50 years.

This is the time to quit the old world and join the new. Britain is respected and admired in Asia. We have a great past and a great potential future here. It is up to David Cameron to somehow unstitch the Conservative Party's dalliance with Eurpeanisation, and set Britain free, Social Chapter sure, Fishing of course, but also free of all the high taxes, regulation, quangoisation, protectionism and tarrifs.

Either that or Britain will become a sad backwater, unable to find her true identity in the world. We will become as lost as Europuppet Gordon Brown is lost right now. Cameron's destiny has to be to get us out, and reorientate to where the action in the world economy is located.

From BRITAIN IN ASIA PACIFIC WEBSITE - Whilst it is the accepted economic growth engine of the world it attracted only ~ 20 % of British overseas private investment in the period 2001-2004. It would be hoped that the proportion of British overseas investment will increase over the next few years to a level more reflective of the region’s power, and it’s position in the world economy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lack of Competition Is Killing The NHS

Guiliani has commented that in the US private medicine cures prostate cancer more effectively than the NHS. One in 5 die of the disease in the US, while 57% of Brits do. He comes to the conclusion that socialised health is none too healthy.

The NHS is fine in theory. It's high up there in the list of cliche-ed good things - motherhood, apple pie, and the NHS. In practice it is a deception practised on a people. It claims to be a comprehensive health system - 'go and see your GP' etc. But what they don't tell you is that your GP is not permitted to diagnose certain illnesses, that his medical knowledge advances at the pace of a snail, and the service he has available is strictly rationed.

If you wish to seek further help, which in many cases is necessary, you cannot, without being referred by your GP. His referrals are strictly limited. If you don't have an illness covered by targets, in many cases, you might as well go home and die - or go abroad where you can be told the truth.

I owe my health and maybe my life (I am 53) to abandoning the NHS and getting treated abroad.

The country i live in now is much cheaper, and going abroad is not only a choice for rich people to take - but many more people in future will have to quit the UK purely because it doesn't have a national health service. It has a national lie, because no one dares to tell the truth - that the NHS is a very limited health service, and in reality is becoming tantamount to a National Health Prevention Industry.

It is not only prostate cancer, which Guiliani has noticed, but nearly every illness, where your chances are better away from the NHS. Your doctor is told to lie to you in the UK, by the quango that runs his industry - the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. Doctors for example were told to tell people they had ME, when they had Lymes Disease which they were not even allowed to test for. 25% of people who are told they have ME in fact have Lymes, which is an infectious virus, according to one expert, and they are not being treated.

If you wish to research other alternatives for your own health, when you are being told by your GP that 'there is nothing wrong with you' or 'that you are depressed', where do you start? If after much wasted time, you try anyway despite being told continuously by the doctor, who you once trusted that 'there is nothing wrong', you will find that you are not able to get other help without a GP referral - and he/she will be unwilling to give you one as they've already decided you're not going to be treated.

The only way out of the bind is to get out of the UK. Even then you are not guaranteed to find a good doctor, but at least you will not be continually lied to as part of a government-run programme, and you at least have a chance of finding a remedy to your illness.

The NHS needlessly causes the deaths of tens of thousands of people every year. I had heart problems and was arriving in resusucitation where they were able (clearly) to stop me dying. When I asked what was the matter, they said 'come back in 3 months' and we''ll see. I then collapsed again, fortunately in another country the next time, where they were aghast that I had not been given magnesium intravenously, as that in many countries now is standard procedure for heart patients.

In the UK they don't do this. God knows why...except for farm animals. When they collapse, the vet invariably reaches for the magnesium.

In my case, my heart started to improve from the moment I had the magnesium shot. Before that it was downhill all the way.

If you want to live, in the UK, and you're a heart patient, it seems you have to see a vet. Animals get private medicine, because farmers lose money if they die, so an injection costing around UKL 20 a time is given. Not though to British human beings, who, for reasons of bureaucracy, are clearly regarded as expendable, unless their illness is covered by a government target.

If you don't mind dying for the lack of a simple teatment costing UKL 20, then you can reasonably continue to back the NHS. Otherwise the NHS shouldn't be allowed to get away with such gross negligence causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths every year. Guiliano has spotted merely the tip of the iceberg.

It wouldn't be so bad if the NHS explained to everyone that they were only a limited health service, and if people want to seek alternatives elsewhere, they should not be lied to, or prevented from doing so. A little modesty would be a start.

In the end, there is only one logical answer to the problem. The government should publish international health statistics before asking the people in a referendum if alternative health providers should be allowed to operate in the UK as well as the NHS. It is surely time for the NHS monopoly to be ended, not least for the sake of the NHS which cannot and is not coping with the health demands of the nation. It's becoming a self-serving industry that even many of the people working in it, have little respect for. Enough people have died needlessly already, and NHS bureaucracy is not facing up to the reality of its failures. There was never a clearer need for competition. It is time for a political party to bring this issue to the top of the political agenda.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Benazir's Got Bottle

Benazir Bhutto is playing a high risk strategy. What chance has she of getting anywhere? Pakistan faces two choices - either an internal struggle will be needed to rid the country of the excessive influence of extremists, or failing that, in time some kind of external struggle will inevitably be the result. Benazir is a fantastically brave individual prepared to risk her own safety to try and offer Pakistan some route forward from the Musharraf regime, which has slowed but not halted the drift of the country into the hands of the exremists.

The Americans must be underwhelmed by Musharraf's success in tackling the Taliban/Islamist takeover of Wasiristan on the Afghan border, for example. Unless Pakistan finds its way to become a pluralist democratic society, I doubt a terrorist state, that will otherwise gradually come into being, would be tolerated by India or the US. Benazir is the last chance of a relatively peaceful outcome for the region, it seems.

If she fails, there is little standing in the way of warfare spreading. Benazir will either become a saviour of Pakistan, or just a footnote in the process of the country becoming too serious a threat for the outside world to ignore.

That said, Iraq is at last showing some signs of stabilising. At least this project of intervention, after much trauma and grief, is showing signs of coming to some kind of a satisfactory end. But Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia are still a long way from becoming regimes that will be conducive to the peacefulness and safety of the world.

If Benazir succeeds in bringing Pakistan into a state of acceptability to the rest of the world, she will be saving potentially millions of lives. She knows only too well from seeing her father's fate how far the military regimes will go to protect themselves from democratic revivals. She deserves every support, and recognition of her incredible courage.

7.11.07 UPDATE Benazir threatens Musharraf with Long March

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Cameron Needs Support, Not a History Lesson

Peter Hitchens writing in The Mail is commented on by Richard North.

Hitchens writes emotively - 'When it comes to action, the Tory Party will continue to support the EU because they have been committed to it since the Sixties, and cannot admit that this was a mistake.

But they also recognise how unpopular it is, which is why they pretend to be hostile and invented 'Euroscepticism' to console disgruntled voters. The longer this goes on, the harder it will be to unscramble. My advice is not to be diverted by campaigns for a referendum that will get us nowhere.

It is to consider, very carefully, whether you will be able to look your children and grandchildren in the face when, 20 years hence, they ask: "What did you do to stop the country being taken over by a foreign power?"

Only thing missing from Hitch's piece is a mechanism to deliver his policy. There is only one party and one leader that could save him from having to explain to his grandchildren - the same party he wishes to bury in criticism for past misdemeanours.

If he is serious about his intentions, he has to stop looking backwards and moaning, and explain what he is doing to ensure Cameron wins the next election. That combined with what he is doing to fight the internal debate within the Conservatives. Rumours abound of a completely fresh approach to the EU about to be taken as Conservative Party policy. At the least, there is a realisation that the approach that's been taken previously, cannot go on.

As Hitch says, scepticism is the past. EUpolemicism must be the here and now.

Cameron needs support at this critical time, not a history lesson. I trust that Hitchens's promised follow-up articles on this topic will be imbued with a spirit of forward-looking determination, and practicality. We cannot afford to approach the EU looking backwards at the past. The Conservatives will only get one shot at forcing our relationship with the EU into something acceptable for future generations. It had better be a good one.

Either that, or The Sun will continue to lead in this major repositioning of Britain in the world.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Richard North's Doubts Need Qualifying

Richard North in his Post on EUreferendum titled A Question Of Trust comes to two conclusions.

1. He doesn't trust Cameron.

2. There is a debate going on as to the direction of European policy in the Conservative Party.

Taking 2 as correct is easy enough. The evidence is apparent.

As for 1, there are three possible options (I will call them a,b, and c) for the application of R.North's mistrust. Blanket mistrust of Cameron might not be a sensible strategy for a europolemicist such as Richard North in all three cases. Maybe mistrust could be qualified and applied with the objective of longterm EUseparation in mind.

a. Cameron is a secret EU whore(!) he is acting out his europolemics, and we are lost.

b. Cameron might, OTOH be a secret withdrawalist, and is delaying his moves to keep in with the media, and conform with the views of KC and the Sunshine Band, Rifkind, Portillo etc.

c. He is a pragmatist with few beliefs either way.

(a) seems an unlikely view of Cameron. There is no evidence. He could be acting out his europolemic statements in order to win right wing support, but he manages to persuade many longstanding europolemicists to support him, who he meets regularly, and who can look into his eyes as he speaks. As the opportunity arises to make europolemic noises, he grabs the chance. Even though there is often watering down subsequently, he appears to be trying to push the boat out. Would a committed EUtraitor be acting in this way? I have to say, it seems most unlikely.

(b) possible.

(c) possible.

Both b and c provide enough hope that Cameron could fufil the europolemic expectations of the party activists, if both the pressures on him, and enough support are maintained.

However if he were (b), he would need to make an impression of (c) to avoid being detected. So he will appear as a (c) regardless. That is why, unless Cameron is (a) the Helmer/Hannan support of Cameron and non-expression of doubts (or at least minimal expression) is the correct strategy to adopt.

Whatever Cameron is, he cannot be a,b and c.

Richard's mistrust is expressed very much as 'I've been let down too many times before.' And of course he has been, as have we all. But Cameron's the new game in town. It is better to play the game, than miss opportunities to make progress by discounting Cameron's efforts to zero. Maybe qualified mistrust, leaving open the possibility of europolemic progress is the way to go.

Too big an emphasis on the negative has a danger of being self-fulfilling, however justifiable it may seem to those like Richard who've been in the europolemic game a long time.

What To Make Of Labour Rumours?

Cherie Blair is clearly feeling the heat these days, recently walking out of a SKY TV interview only at the mention of Mrs Thatcher. What could lie behind her lack of composure? Is she feeling the loss of power too keenly?

Or is she worried that long-kept secrets about herself and her relationships are starting to leak out.

The relationships between the key NuLab characters was recently put into a new light by comments made by Clarissa Dickson Wright, of Two Fat Ladies fame, when she was interviewed by Mary Wakefield in The Spectator on 8th September. Clarissa had been a barrister in an earlier life, and had shared Chambers with many prominent New Labourites before they went into politics.

Her first revelation of interest - 'Cherie Blair was always jumping on Derry Irvine.' Mmm. OK. So the subsequent PM's wife was hot on the subsequent Lord Chancellor - interesting. Of course his appointment would clearly have been based entirely on professional grounds, but this is a major revelation, is it not? And curious that the MSM, who must have known this for donkeys years, had never seen fit to mention it before.

Oh well. I doubt that need worry Cherie unduly.

But what about Clarissa's next item of interest - about Tony? - as follows -

'He got on conspicuously well with all the male junior clerks. Everbody knew it.' and his nickname was Miranda as a result, from the scene in The Tempest when Miranda sees the sailors.

Well this is quite a revelation, Clarissa. Tony Blair was and therefore is gay.

Of course if it had been a Conservative politician let alone PM, such a story would be splattered all over the Red Tops. But some how this factor about the Blairs has gone unmentioned throughout until now, and even then it hardly gets a side mention in an article about Clarissa'a dramas which certainly are not dull, but could hardly be called as as newsworthy as Tony Blair's sexuality.

No wonder Cherie's getting a bit jumpy as these revelations will all be appearring in Clarissa Dickson Wright's memoirs, judiciously entitled 'Spilling The Beans' which have just been published.

Any More Items Of NuLab News?

If Tony's gay, and it appears that he is, and we know that Mandelson is of course, could the extreme hatreds between the Blairs and Gordon Brown also have another dimension yet to be revealed? I heard the NuLab regime in its early days referred to as the 'Gay Mafia', and wondered who that might include. I am not totally surprised about Blair to be honest, as it had crossed my mind before. I now find myself having similar thoughts about late marrying Gordon. Anything to report about him, Clarissa? I don't think much else would surpise us now.

There is also this short extract from Andrew Marr's recent and excellent 'A History Of Modern Britain' (MacMillan 2007) -
'There was Mandelson, the brilliant but temperamental former media boss, by now an MP. Once fixated by Gordon Brown, he was adored by Blair and returned the sentiment.' Strong words, Andrew.


Alastair Campbell's Diaries are a monstrous size, and expensive at UKL 25.00 (no pound signs in Asia where I am writing)

However they reveal a lot.

One noticeable element is the way Derry Irvine is so influential, especially on matters concerning the Blair household. Derry, for example strongly defended the choice of schools, the Oratory, despite Campbell's attempt to persuade the Blairs to avoid the political citicism this choice would entail.

You could be forgiven for imagining that Derry Irvine was like the real father of one or two of the children, the relationship seems so close.

Whatever the situation, I wish them all well.

The Blair household was never going to be a boring conventional one.

Somehow Cherie's held it all together and made it work.




Tony at similar age


Derry Irvine