Friday, 10 September 2010

UK GOVERNMENT FAST BECOMING A COMEDY OF ERRORS

You sometimes wonder whether this is some kind of dream you are living through, but then you pinch yourself and realize that only a matter of a few months into this government, it appears in complete disarray. The kind of factional infighting and behavioural 'issues' which usually afflict governments in their ‘fag end days’ (no Eton pun intended) are here in spades in what might be called the ‘salad days’.

We know that the right wing of the Tory party, outside of the cabinet, is unhappy that any concessions at all are being allowed to the Liberals and that already there is an ‘awkward squad’ making life difficult, and that there is a corresponding bunch of dissatisfied Liberals on the left of the party wondering how to explain to their constituents why they are voting for cuts in benefits, cuts in jobs and bonuses for bankers?
(More here.)

The Foreign Secretary is under scrutiny for having the most appalling judgement, appointing his chauffeur to a position of advisor, taking him to Afghanistan and Dubai, and sharing expensive hotels rooms with him when there were plenty of cheap hotel rooms to be had. And all this when there was already rumours about his sexuality.
(Full story here.)

The media advisor to the prime minister is alleged to have been complicit in a wide variety of illegal phone tapping, and unless many of his ex-colleagues are lying through their teeth, he either was, or he must be the dumbest and most out-of-touch editor ‘Fleet Street’ has ever known. But he won’t stand down. This story has disappeared from the front pages to be replaced by the next comedy act, which is.....

Mr Djangoly. It appears that the Justice Minister (that should be English Justice Minister; he is NOT the justice minister in Scotland, thank heavens), has used private detectives to uncover who said what about his claiming expenses to the tune of £13,000 for a jeune fille au pair.
(Full story here.)

The company he engaged, at a cost of £5000 may well have broken the law in its deception as it interviewed people such as his election agent, who has resigned, and the leader of Huntingdonshire’s Tories, who is considering legal action against him, in his quest to find out who “dobbed him in” over his false expenses claims. And he’s the bloody JUSTICE Minister. Dear heavens... what a mess....

Roll on the General Election.

34 comments:

  1. Anti-Tory spin coming out thick and fast I see ...

    Bonuses for bankers? The Coalition has brought in the Bankers Levy to claw back taxpayers money - but no mention of this I see ... this little fact gets in the way of yout 'message' which is Tory bad, SNP good.

    Moreover, Andy Coulson has never been charged with a crime, and is innocent till proven guilty. Or do you no longer think that this applies? Or is it that a Tory is never innocent Tris?

    And I never realised Tris, that you thought it an error of judgement to wish to save money, by sharing a bedroom with a work colleague. Suppose you Nats are too right, proper and wealthy for that sort of thing ...

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  2. It’s absolutely hilarious. David Cameron gave Andy Coulson a job because he wanted the Sun on the Tories side at the election, Labour didn’t insist on a proper investigation because it didn’t want to lose the Sun and the Met doesn’t want to do a proper investigation because they are afraid presumably of what dirt the phone taping has got on the Chief Constable. It simply stinks and is a scandal that all of our top politicians are too afraid of Rupert Murdoch to do anything about it.

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  3. I don’t know why we don’t just ask Murdoch over to run the country? He seems to be running the Tory party by proxy so why not go the whole hog and make him the Queen and get rid of Brenda?

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  4. Outrageous Munguin, utterly brash nonsense! Hardly fair or reasonable - the Conservative Party, the Grand Old Party of British politics isn't bought or sold. We leave that to leftwing Parties like Labour, LibDems or the SNP ...

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  5. Not really Dean. I was actually looking for something nice to say about the Tories, but it did strike me that this is the kind of situation that you usually find towards the end of a government.

    Every day we’re hearing... and from a largely Tory Press... that these are the antics of our government. These people, who are making decisions about the future of our country, seem to have little in the way of judgement.

    The bonuses for bankers go on apace. The government’s moves have put them neither up nor down one tiny bit. Nor was they supposed to. This government doesn’t want to upset the bankers any more that the last shabby load of chancers did. (At least I’ll say it for your lot. It does what it says on the tin. Labour pretend that they gave a damn about ordinary people by their supposed raison d’être. The Tories have no such pretence, and that has to be respected.)

    Andy Coulson hasn’t been charged, and probably won’t. I doubt anyone wants to upset Rupert Murdoch that much. No one wants all their dirty secrets revealed by the NOTW. But, there are those reporters, is it 6 now, who say that they actually were involved in it and there is no way that Couslon didn’t know. But if he didn’t then he was running rather a loose ship... and what else were his men p to? It was very bad judgement for Cameron, advised by Hague and Osborne, I believe, to appoint this man who, at least potentially has this hanging over his head. Getting sloppy and using whatever there is comes at the end of government, not the beginning.

    The Hague thing is just too silly for words. There have been rumours about his sexuality for years... since 1997 as far as I can remember. That’s wrong and it’s unfair, but that’s public life. Given that he must have known about them, long before the internet was a tool in everyone’s hands, it showed a lack of judgement to stay in hotel rooms with a young, good-looking bloke. If he was hard up (which he is not) he could have saved money by staying at cheaper hotels where the rest of his team stayed in single rooms, or sharing with an older, less physically attractive member of his team. That is the way to deal with the inevitability of rumours. It’s not right and it’s not fair but it’s life. He might also have thought better of having the guy accompany him to Afghanistan and of appointing him to a job for which he has no discernable experience and which in fact did not exist, given that Cabinet member are allowed only 2 advisors and Hague already had his allotted share. Of course there may be nothing in it. That goes without saying. But he made a dodgy decision. He showed that he wasn’t aware of the possibilities. That has hurt him. Next time we are dependent on his good judgement, it might mean war or peace!

    The Mail, the Telegraph, people like Quentin Letts, Simon Heffer all agree this. Even members of his own party think that he was a fool. It’s not about Nats or not... it's about judgement.

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  6. I'm afraid that the reality of it is that a paper like the News of the World has enormous power over anyone who has any skeletons in the cupboard.

    And who hasn't something? That is bound to include the police. And remember Murdoch can do all his nasty business from the safety of abroad!

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  7. Dean:the Dear old Conservative Party is bought and sold like any other commodity. Rupert Murdoch has bought his way into a big slice and so did Lord Ashcroft who bought himself a seat in Parliament from your best friend wee Wullie Hauge on a load of spurious promises. I suppose that was another instance of Wee Wullie not having bad judgement? Just a bad hair day I suppose?

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  8. Dean......I won't presume to comment on British politics. But I can't let it pass that you referred to the Conservative Party as the "Grand Old Party." I'd just say that you Tories have enough on your plates, what with governing and all, without having to worry about a copyright infringement lawsuit from The Republican Party of the United States. ;-)

    On the other hand, they might not notice, and I certainly won't tell them if you don't. Reading about the GOP in Parliament would actually be kinda cool. It would even have the advantage of chronological accuracy. Here in the states, the Grand "Old" Party is more than a half century "younger" than the other one.

    But surely you were joking with the bit about the Foreign Secretary wishing to save money by sharing a bedroom with a work colleague? This wouldn’t pass the “giggle test” even among the American wing of the GOP. And they’ll believe almost anything along those lines. They have to come up with explanations for such strange behavior among their colleagues, a lot. ;-)

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  9. Is this the Grand Old Party at work!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhV5RgcNJjE&feature=player_embedded#!

    I couldn't watch it to the end.

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  10. Tris

    I have to say (nobody else has dared) young Mr Myers is a bit of a looker..........

    And as a Older Unionist who was seduced by a much younger Nationalist (went by the nom de plume Spooks) I can understand Hague loosing his heart(and mind) to his own dear Bosie

    I certainly would have shared adjoining rooms with dear spooks although we would of only needed one.

    so I have a deal of sympathy with Hague and can assure you his heart is broken and each day is like a long trudge through leaden mud.

    He as myself will be grief stricken over the love he has lost believe me nothing any one can say will cause as much pain of what he has had to give up for the sake of a dreary heterosexual domesticity


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2axbXDjYqA

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  11. I truly shed a tear with my last comment!!



    Nobody cares

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  12. Dean, old chap,

    Firstly I could not give a hoot, and have no interest in Hague's sexuality and neither should anyone else who is not involved and especially not the sleazy news media.

    I was, however, interested in your contention that the Conservatives were not bought or sold. You must remember the "cash for questions" saga, the chap with the mighty sword of justice whose name I cannot recall, the Hamiltons, Lord Archer etc etc.

    When we were fighting to keep a homeless unit from being closed by the Tories, I was interviewed by the BBC along with Ann Widdecombe who was then a Social Security Minister.

    I had possession of a leaked document which showed that the hostel drains would cost £30,000 to repair.

    Miss Widdecombe, quoting from the very same document, claimed that the cost would be in the region of £1.5 million pounds.

    When asked by the interviewer to give him an unbiased look at the document she refused point blank and, being caught red-handed, said that it was none of the BBC's or the union's business.

    As a result of the bill for the drains being considered exorbitant by the government the hostel was closed and 80 unfortunate street sleepers were deprived of food, warmth and shelter from that moment on.

    This lady professes to be a Christian so goodness knows what an athiest would say on behalf of the Tory Government.

    As far as the Coulsdon chap is concerned it would be a very strange editor who, presented with a story, would not query the origin of that story.

    I hope he's not in a position to damage Cameron because we are fed up hearing that our representatives in Parliament have feet of clay.

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  13. Oh my Lord!! Thanks for bringing that to my attention Cynical. I loved the fact that he claims a “Masters Degree in Communication.” (LOL) As one of the YouTube comments said, this is a powerful argument about why a candidate should lay off crystal meth. (Hehehehe.)

    Perhaps I should explain to my Scottish friends (where politics is a more serious endeavor than in the USA), that the American political parties are very free-form operations. There are no actual party leaders, and very little national party organization. Anyone at all can say they belong to either party, and run for office under that party banner as long as they win a primary election....or in this case, run for a minor county office by receiving the endorsement of a county executive committee.

    So, at this time of year (in advance of the November midterms), lots and lots and lots of crazy people identify themselves as Republicans or Democrats and try to win the party nomination for some office in the upcoming general election. I would say that this guy is one of the GOP (Republican) crazies...and the GOP has LOTS of crazies. As for my beloved Democrats, there are actually very few crazies on our side. Just sensible and rational intellectuals...LOL.

    So ultimately, the mainstream party organizations have very little control over who runs under their party banners. (But I doubt that this guy got that county committee endorsement.) Along those lines, we recently had our beloved ex-governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, support Tea Party insurgents against mainstream GOP candidates in a number of major Republican primaries in various states. All her candidates won, and all the mainstream Republicans lost...reviving serious talk about a presidential candidacy for her in 2012. In the event she becomes president, I’m looking into Scottish immigration law as regards Americans. But I’m wondering if even Scotland is far enough away from Washington to escape the influence of the American president. In fact, none of us would be safe I fear.

    As for the GOP, perhaps I should explain to my Scottish friends that it is properly pronounced by using the individual letters. It is pronounced “Gee Oh Pea.” (A fun tradition going back to the 19th century.) As for the party being “grand,” it should be noted that the face of the party was not always the pack of crazies they have today. It really was the party of Lincoln, the one that abolished slavery and saved the federal union.

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  14. Niko,

    If that does not bring Spooks out of his self-imposed closet nothing will!

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  15. Brownlie

    I fear even my words of love will not bring him back....

    and as i watch him through my binoculars i can see it is for him 'OVER'

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  16. Niko,

    Pay your money to watch the game like the rest of us and you won't need binoculars - unless you're a Hearts fan like the good Lord in which case a blind-fold is a blessing.

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  17. http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/news/Top-Tory-cited-for-Tommy.6512913.jp

    "Now the under-fire adviser has received a letter from Mr Sheridan's legal team asking him to a pre-trial hearing that will determine whether he is called to give evidence at the trial of the former Scottish Socialist Party leader this autumn."

    He reminds me of Damian Mcbride.

    #danny gawd help America with that quality.

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  18. Danny: Politicians would steal anything that wasn't screwed down!!

    But not sure we want anything that is associated with DubYa.

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  19. Lordy Cynical. If I'd been in that room, I'd have made for the doors a bit quick. That is one scary dude, as they say in his part of the world!

    I hope The Star County Republicans had the good sense to elect someone else, but I wouldn't like to be the poor sod that had to tell him he didn't get it.

    Scary!! (But at least he didn't say "in this great country of ours" even once.)

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  20. Och Niko, if it's any consolation, Spook loved you too!!

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  21. Yes Brownlie. We can all laugh at the antics of the politicians, but as they sit down to their subsidised meals and drinks in their canteen, (well of course they call it a restaurant, but it's a works canteen), they might want to remember that there are people out in the real world who are affected by their decisions, and for some it's life and death.

    Sometimes quite literally you'd not mind too much if a modern day Guy Fawkes blew the whole sorry arse bunch of them sky high.

    I liked Widdecombe until you told me that story some time ago.

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  22. LOL Danny... yeah, if that's what Chrystal Meth does, everyone should lay off it. That dude was well scary.

    Actually your explanations of the party system in the US was useful. In Scotland there are quite rigid rules for getting yourself elected. Much more strict that in the USA.

    And of course we had the big fight about who was leader of the labour party in Scotland. Wendy Alexander made the frightful error of assuming that, as leader of the Labour group in parliament she would be the lead of Labour in Scotland. NOOOOOO. Mr Brown informed her that HE was the leader of labour in Scotland, in Britain and indeed in the whole universe... but then I’d say Chrystal Meth had a different effect on him altogether.

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  23. Cynical:

    The other day it was announced that Coulson had said he was prepared to talk to the police. How thoroughly decent of him. I'm sure we'd all like to be able to get away with that attitude.

    now it seems that he won't bother to respond to a letter from a solicitor asking him to appear in at a hearing.

    I hope that the judge hearing this case sends him a subpoena and tells him to get his snotty backside up to Edinburgh sharpish, expenses paid second class.

    Bloody prima donna. He needs taking down a peg or two. And no Dean, that's not Tory bashing, but seriously anyone who edits the News Of the World really is nothing more than a slime ball.

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  24. Yep. With all your money Niko you should be prepared to pay to see the game. After all it's in a good cause. That academy does fantastic things.

    Seriously though, I know you miss Spookie as we all do. He was such a breath of fresh air in bloggerdom.

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  25. Danny,

    The British Conservatives are older as a political movement not just than the Republicans, but of the USA itself. No copyright infringement on our part ;)

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  26. Dean....You have that right! In US political history, the 60 year difference between Mr. Lincoln's Republicans and the Jeffersonian Democrats is a long time. In British history, it's the blink of an eye. Indeed you have prior claim. ;-)

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  27. When do the Tories date from Dean?

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  28. Its just a pity that they have never ever learned from their past misdemeaners with all that 'experience'.

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  29. Wikipedia has the Conservative Party as being founded in 1834, so it is in no way older than the USA. The Tories it has a being founded in 1678 so that would make them older than the US but not of course if they ceased to exist in 1834.

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  30. CH: thats one scary man, painful to watch in a spooky way (Mr MixedPickle that's as in ghost lik scary and not your would be infatuation- I agree buy a ticket like everyone else).

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  31. Munguin,

    That is like saying the Liberals 'don't exist' today. Its utter tripe. It is the same party, movement - one which changed and adapted, but as much as you like - you cannot seperate us from our heritage.

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  32. Dean: I don't see what you mean. Those are the facts, your party was founded in 1834, I don't know if that makes it older than the US Republicans...one moment!

    No wiki has the US Republicans as founded in 1854 so your Conservative party, seems to be 20 years older unless you count its change of name in 1915 to Conservative and Unionist as being a break similar to the 1834 abandonment of Toryism. In wich case the US republican Party is older as an institution that has not had a change of name.

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  33. Munguin....The history of political parties is always interesting. A while back, Tris published on the blog a nice picture of the little white school house in Ripon, Wisconsin, where about 30 people met in February of 1854 to voice their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act and call for a new political party which they thought should be called "Republican." The party was formally organized in several northern states later that year. To this day, there is some historical confusion about the name "Republican," since Jefferson's "Democratic-Republicans," the precursor to today's "Democrats," were often called "Republicans" in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

    The new Republican party grew in strength as it attracted disaffected Whigs and "free-soil" Democrats, united in their opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the expansion of slavery into the new western territories. Lincoln, in 1860, was actually the second presidential candidate they fielded. Lincoln had been a Whig, and had served his one term in the US House of Representatives as a Whig. The famous nickname of the party as "Grand Old Party" dates from 1876. And the use of the initials "GOP" dates from 1884.

    So, as you said, whatever age the Tory or Conservative Party of Great Britain can claim, they came before the Republicans, and even longer before "GOP." But older than the USA? That seems to be a question involving the origins and history of political parties and movements. But on matters Tory and Conservative, I'm inclined to defer to Dean. :-)

    Similar questions arise with America's oldest political party, the Democrats. Today's Democrats usually claim descent from Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans. But in fact, in the 1820's, there was a split in the Democratic-Republican party, and one faction led by Andrew Jackson formed the new "Democratic" party. So, many feel that this party of Jackson should really be considered the ancestor of the modern Democrats. The origins of the Republicans in 1854 is much more solid. But, contrary to popular thought, the very beginnings didn't involve Lincoln, at that time a Whig. And the first Republican candidate for president wasn't Lincoln in 1860. It was John C. Fremont in 1856. Party of Lincoln? Well, not at the very first. And the Democrats as the party of Jefferson? Well, it depends on how you look at it....LOL.

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