Sunday, 11 March 2012


Fair's fair. I'm a republican, but I can praise individual royals' work when it's good. I've always said that Anne is a star with her Save the Children work. But today I take my hat off to Harry. He may be a bit of a prat sometimes, but he's done a good job of showing other royals how they can behave on tour. He's been a credit to his mum and to Britain the way he's been connecting with people, especially with kids.  You'll not get any bowing and scraping or any idiotic titles and styles from me, Harry; just a well done, mate.

Hague is going to be sued (couldn't happen to a nicer bloke) for providing intelligence to America which then drone bombed  Pakistan killing totally innocent people. Lawyers said that they had "credible, unchallenged" evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to US forces planning attacks against militants. And this time he, or they, or both,  got it wrong! We really have to learn that this isn't the good old colonial days when we could go around killing natives with abandon.

On the same theme, I wonder what kind of payback there is going to be for the murders of 16 Afghans, including 5 kids, carried out by a "rogue" soldier. There is sure to be some. It might be better to use this as an excuse to get the hell out of there, with our apologies for the mess we are leaving it in. 

Talking about leaving messes behind us, I was reading this morning that fashionably dressed men in Iraq are being attacked and killed. The Telegraph reported that up to 90 people, all but 2 men, have been killed for being trendily dressed and having floppy hair. It is assumed by the religious fanatics that now hold sway in the country (that we went in to liberate from a dictator), that anyone who is dressed fashionably is a homosexual, and that justifies killing them. Clearly the fanatics should get out more. Oh and to Bush and Blair...well done guys. You certainly liberated the Iraqis.

According to the Independent, the bill for London's Olympics has increased by another £2 billion. You would never credit that we are all in this together, would you? Just how much more is this fiasco going to cost.

Again, this time in the Telegraph, (enough to take you breath away, this one), the London government is going to support people buying homes worth up to £500,000 in an effort to revive the middle class dream of home ownership. Apparently rescuing the banks from their own stupidity and greed, and then handing them further billions of pounds in quantitative easing hasn't actually stimulated any lending (and we all know why that is: they needed it all for their bloody bonuses and salaries). So the government is going to have to guarantee their loans too, out of our a time when house prices are going down. Smart thinking, Cameron.

And finally, while we're on the subject of the idiot Cameron, I noticed in one of the "idiot" papers yesterday that Cameron is going to get a ride in Airforce One. Imagine that! The paper pointed out with glee that President Sarkozy has never been invited to ride in the President's personal plane, ergo that President Obama had a very special relationship with Britain and Cameron. A bit of a leap.  I think it's highly unlikely that the  intellectual Mr Obama, who got where he is despite his origins, and because of his brain, would have much in common with Cameron who got where he got because of his connections and despite his brain.


  1. Tris,

    Anyone who has been unfortunate enough to visit Iraq after the invasion will be aware that it is infinitely more dangerous now than it was under the brutal Hussein. Prior to the invasion you could walk the streets in safety but now you do so at considerable risk.

    Incidentally, that boy Harry looks like his father.

  2. Yes, John, like most places, where people who haven't a clue what they are doing are involved, Iraq is a mess.

    Women's rights have vanished. There are stories of smartly dressed women turning up for work to be met by black cloaked religious fanatics telling them their place is in the home and that they no longer have a job.

    As you say, it'snot safe to walk the streets. I wonder if you can still have a beer in a cafe by the Tigres...

    I wonder if Blair reflects on this from time to time. (I suspect that DubYa probably doesn't do much in the way of reflecting!)

    Yep Harry does look like his dad. It explains a lot.

  3. Prime Minister Cameron’s historic ride on the presidential airplane, a flying palace larger than the White House itself in major dimensions, is something that any American politician would kill for. And the Ohio trip to attend a basketball game comes in the middle of a presidential election year.

    This brings to mind Newt Gingrich, one of the current Republican candidates, who made headlines when he, as Speaker of the House in 1995, complained bitterly about his seat in the rear of the plane, far from President Clinton’s quarters up front.

    So it’s one thing to fly in Air Force One, but some of the seats are clearly better than others. So to properly calibrate this newest incarnation of the “special relationship” we must observe where the Prime Minister is seated, and whether he’s actually invited up to the presidential apartments during the flight. He might be given Newt Gingrich's old seat. ;-)

  4. PS: I checked the Daily Mail article (with its cool pictures) for details. American presidents are always at pains to present a solidly middle class image of the American republic, rather belied by that flying palace. It seems that visiting world leaders are invariably offered American cuisine, often at renowned Washington restaurants. We’re told that Mr. Medvedev received a Coke and cheeseburger at “Ray’s Hell Burger,” and President Sarzozy had a hotdog at “Ben’s Chili Bowl.” (Now THERE’S a way to impress the French!) This is all in the great tradition of the hot dogs that FDR famously served King George and Queen Elizabeth in 1939.

    So where will the Prime Minister dine on his burger or hot dog? On board Air Force One (the kitchen can serve a party of 100), or perhaps at the basketball game in Dayton, Ohio?

    British observers will perhaps not realize what a HUGE thing the NCAA basketball tournament is in America in the Spring. It’s called “March Madness.” So Mr. Obama’s invitation to Cameron to fly on his cool plane to the first round game in Dayton might be viewed in two different ways. Perhaps a great honor to attend a game of the NCAA tournament. Or maybe the President was simply not about to miss the game himself, and since the PM will be in town, it just wouldn’t look good to leave him behind to visit the hospitals and schools with the ladies. ;-)

  5. Ah Danny,

    I imagine that Newt's relegation to the luggage compartments may have been because he relentlessly pursued Mr Clinton for his extra-marital interests... or maybe the president was being considerate to him and leaving him way back where no one would go, so that Newt "how's the chemotherapy going, dear, oh by the way I'm leaving you for a younger model" Gingrich could conduct his own affairs du coeur with his secretary.

    Cameron, having been to an English public school... THE English public school some would say, will be used to ghastly food. Not burgers, I suppose, but they most assuredly don't get Haute Cuisine at these establishments.

    If I were President Obama, I'm not sure if I'd want to attach myself to a loser like dumbass David "if there's a wrong way to do it" Cameron.

    Imagine having not just one, but two flying palaces with facilities to feed 100!!!!

    Maybe the Queen should have one when he's finished with it. The trouble is we couldn't afford the fuel to fly it!!

  6. LOL @ Tris…..Yes, that fuel bill must be enormous these days. But when new planes are required, a pre-owned head-of-state airplane or two will probably be on the market one of these owner, lovingly maintained.

    Almost as impressive as the two planes which fly on every presidential trip (just in case……can’t be too careful) is the Air Force cargo jet which precedes them to carry the presidential limousines. Gotta have big black cars waiting for the Prez and his party at the foot of the steps.

    Old Newt complained about having to deplane at the rear while the president took the grand stairway at the front. So we’ll see where the PM leaves the plane and if they have one of those limos waiting for him. ;-)

    I wonder if this is quite the sort of thing that the Boston lawyer and the Virginia planter (the voice and pen of the revolution) had in mind in 1776 as they contemplated the new republic. On the other hand, the presidential ride is perhaps the most attractive fringe benefit of this particular government employment.

  7. Another random thought:

    Has anyone in Britain as they observe Harry, noticed by contrast that his older brother is losing his looks about as rapidly as his hair? :-))

  8. Bush said about Blair "He must be facing front" or words to that effect.

  9. Incidentally, seriously, Tris, talking about Iraq, it will be nothing compared to Afghanistan when all the foreign troops leave.

    I thought Iraq was bad but have never encountered such blatant and malignant hatred towards strangers as in Afghanistan and that will inevitably erupt.

    It is a national shame that young men lose their lives and the country will be worse off when we leave. I was going to blog about uranium depleted shells and their effects on the civilian population but I'll have towait a while

  10. John: I appreciate your input on the subject. I know you know more about it than most of us here.

    I realise that Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan, and that they had training camps there. But surely it occurred to the American and the rest of the coalition that this was an organisation with the financial and organisational capability to move itself, or at least its leaders, elsewhere.

    There are vast areas of Pakistan, not to mention the deserts of North Africa, where they could hide.

    Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar weren't about to wait for Bush to come and pick them off.

    So why did we go to Afghanistan, and try to change the way of life of these people?

    Who has ever won a war against the Afghans? Not the British Empire. Not the Soviet Union.

    And what have we left behind. More bitterness at and hatred of the West.

    I wonder how we (as ordinary Scots, not in power, not in government) would feel if someone used our country (with, say Cameron's or Salmond's connivance) to launch an attack on say Saudi Arabia. And the might of the Muslim word descended on us and started searching for the culprits, shooting and bombing as they went, killing hundreds of innocent people, sometimes in genuine error, sometimes because they were really annoyed with us for fighting back. Sometimes because they had lost the plot.

    I wonder how we would feel too, if they started to change our way of life "for the better", (according to them). Or how the religious would feel if out of carelessness they burned a pile of bibles.

    I'd be interested to hear how you think things will be... maybe a post?

    I'm interested too, in the fact that we use this radioactive material when we are firing. Material which lies about their countryside, contaminating the land, water, and sometimes people who come into contact with it. I look forward to your post on that.

  11. Shhhhhh Danny.

    Don't want to bring it to everyone's attention that Harry really doesn't look much like a member of the royal family. Erm, and specially not like Charlie.

    I mean, where in the royal family is there red hair? Elizabeth I of England? And they are not even related!

    As for the plane.. and the spare plane ... and the plane with the limo and stuff..... Pfffff.

    We'll need to get Eck a plane. But it will have to be a toy one for the moment!

    As for Cameron, maybe they are going to deplane him somewhere over "flyover country"...with a parachute. So watch out you don't get him "dropping in" for lunch.

    And poor old Newt... awwwwww, the tradesman's entrance. Probably Mr Clinton being generous again. Up front there's a headwind and we wouldn't want poor old Newt, or his plastic wife, to have a hair malfunction!!! (Was it that wife at the time, or one of the others, and if so, did they have real hair?)

  12. Just google 'Death made in America' tris but with a health warning as to the images on view are horrific.

  13. Tris,

    Strangely enough there's an article in the Scotsman saying that 73% of those polled said that the "war" was unwinnable and that the troops should be pulled out.

    However, Cameron says we have a plan and it's a good one. The plan is to get out of there and leave the country and it's inhabitants in ruins and much worse off than they were before. With revenge in the air and very much in the minds of those remaining further death and destruction will be the norm.

    Another success story for the mighty British Empire.

  14. Harry doesn't look anything like his father. He does, however, look the spit of his Uncle, the earl Spencer; Diana's brother.

  15. CH... erm, maybe not just after lunch...

  16. God help us, John. Cameron's got a plan.

    He's had several of these since he managed to wangle the top job, and all of them have fallen flat on their ass.

    Don't tell me: he wants a big society in Afghanistan, because it never quite got off the ground here...?

    Yeah. According to them all we were there to make Britain a safer place to live.

    Well, that's going to be a joke.

  17. Ged: You're not suggesting, Incest: The Game all the Family can Play, are you?

    I thought he looked like that bloke she went around with for a while, you know, the cavalry officer...I can't remember his name.

  18. Tris,
    It's not him. Check out the photo of earl Spencer:

    He even has the same red hair. That rumour about the captain [even if it was true] was the loyal, royal press taking sides with the royal family and smearing Diana's name.
    I felt sorry for her because nobody explained to her that she was only meant to be a womb in that marriage and it wasn't the done thing to complain about your lot. I think she thought it was all going to be smelling of roses. Sadly, the only chance she had to smell any roses was the manure feeding the roses. If she had only checked up on the amount of mistresses kings have ALWAYS had then she would have realised what she was there for and keep her concerns out of the public's eye.

  19. It does look like him Ged, but that could be the Spencer side of the family coming through Diana.

    Of course she was used.

    Once again that selfish man, Charles, knowing that he had to marry a virgin, refused to marry until he was in his mid thirties, and clearly there were no women of his age or even ten years younger who were virgins.

    Actually to get someone who was aristocratic enough and still virginal, they had to go to Diana who was only 18, rather naive and more like a child than an adult. Her grandmother being a close friend of, and lady-in-waiting to the Queen Mother, she had no choice but to marry him.

    Arranged marriages are only as sensible as the parents or grandparents who arrange them. Clearly their grandparents were pretty stupid.

    But I repeat, in return for all the hundreds, nay, thousands of millions of pounds that we throw at Charlie Windsor, he should have had the decency to marry when he was around 25 and the difference in age between him and any potential virgin was slightly more compatible.

    Alternatively we could have got rid of the rather wishful-thinking tradition that he should marry a virgin.

    After all he's now married to a divorcee with whom he's been having affair with since Adam was a boy, cheating on Diana and Mr Parker Bowles. Not very nice people. In fact tarts, the pair of them.

  20. Diana was a git. BUT seriously? Surely the occupancies are the serious issues around right now?

  21. The thing, of course, that governments should remember is that sometimes these things will melt away, and sometimes, if you try to get rid of them and ignore their concerns, they will bide their time and then come back and bite you on the bum when you least want them to. Trades Unions and clever students are the most worrisome.

    The fact that Boris wanted rid of them before the Olympics should be an indication of the vulnerability of the government/London council over this kind of thing, and the same thing will undoubtedly have probably occurred to the students/young people involved in Occupy.

    You should never ignore the concerns of potentially dangerous groups. It just makes them more determined. By the same token the government, absolutely set on its path, will not change for a bunch of students and has prepared itself with more equipment for the police and doubling the security bill for the Olympics.

    It would be dreadful, would it not, to find a mass of protests in London when the world's press and tv had descended there. It would be even worse if they were to occupy one of the venues. Maybe the water sports stadium?

    (Assuming they have enough water to fill it.)

  22. The thing that worries me a bit about this plane ride is what is it all about? Everything has reason.

    Why does Cameron, like Tony Blair, get to flutter like a moth around the US President on Airforce One and bask in his reflected glory for the benefit of the UK press and public?

    I hope it's not Obama getting Cameron on-side for Iran.

  23. Doug,
    You can be sure that when the president of the USA welcomes a UK Prime Minister then someone/something is going to get ripped off or a country is about to get invaded. Hopefully, in their eyes, both at the same time.

  24. I guess there is a quid pro quo, and if something kicks off in Iran, maybe because Israel has started it, America will have to act, and of course, there's no show without Punch.

    Cameron will be up there sucking, crawling and generally being obsequious.

    I wonder if Benjamin Netanyahu wants to drag Obama into something this year, because he hates him, and with the American people war weary, involvement in another middle east war will harm his chances of re-election.

    In any case, whether we like it or not we will stand shoulder to shoulder in order to keep the very special relationship.

    Yep, the trip on Air Force 1 sounds like a sweetener to me and Cameron will be easily bought.

    Your thoughts, Danny....?

  25. Well, of course there are few things I can think of as interesting and important as establishing the paternity of the Prince who looks nothing like the Windsors. ;-)

    But that aside, there is the Iranian situation. Of course the neocons have been clamoring for war with Iran since the days of DubYa. But that would not be generally popular with Americans these days, apart from the neocon Republicans.

    In an election year, in order to garner the Jewish vote, American politicians are always at pains to display their undying love and support for Israel. So Netanyahu knows that he is playing a strong hand with Obama right now in terms of getting American support for his actions. Obama must appear to support Netanyahu, while convincing him not to do anything rash which he (Obama) could neither wholeheartedly support nor condemn. Whatever happens, it would be convenient to have Cameron as an ally. One doubts that Cameron is so shallow as to be swayed by an airplane ride. But you never know. And it IS a cool plane.

  26. Thanks for that Danny.

    As far as the prince is concerned, in theory what the hell does it matter who is Harry's father...?

    In practice ...OMG. If it were proved that he was not a Windsor, born after at least 9 months of marriage had passed between his mother and father, the very sky would fall in. All government in the UK, and possibly elsewhere in the world (although these days, that is doubtful) would come to a shuddering halt while people decided what you could do about removing the styles, titles, inheritances, etc,. for the poor misbegotten (literally) boy.

    The someone would point out that as there is no constitution they can do what the hell they like and say that that's what the constitution says...

    Yawn. Stupid nonsense. No, sorry, stupid EXPENSIVE nonsense.

    Thanks for the explanation about the Iran - Israel - Obama situation.

    As for Cameron's naivety, don't allow any comparisons with anything from the past to fool you. This is one thick prime minister. He has singularly failed to get anything right yet.

    He said early on that he "knew the British people". And he does, a few of them. Unfortunately most of them are either in prison, or on bail, helping the police with their enquiries. He can't even pick his friends much less his advisors right.

    He LOVES being the ceremonial prime minister, and give him his due, he won't slurp his soup or use the wrong fork at dinner, but he probably wouldn't understand much of what Obama was saying to him. So he may well have agreed to anything, including being ready to go to war, without actually completely being aware that he had done it.