Saturday, 26 July 2008

Oba-mania hits the UK!

What I really want to know about Obama's visit to the UK is whether Gordon Brown, or any of our other leading politicians, asked Barack to clarify his rather dismissive tone of the United Kingdom in chapter 8 of his "The Audacity of Hope". On the subject of the multilaterist approach to situations like Iraq, he points out that multilaterism means more than "we round up the likes of the United Kingdom and Togo and then do what we please" [p.309].

Maybe I'm just being a bit picky, and in other places Obama does speak more highly of 'Great Britain' (noticeably using different terminology), however, I did find the notion that the UK will follow the US wherever the US decides slightly offensive. We are far from being the 51st state,and Obama will quickly find that out when (hopefully) he becomes the US president.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Another Labour Defeat!

You have to feel as though Gordon Brown will never get a break when even safe seats like Glasgow East fall to the rather nasty Scottish nationalists. The question now is: Does Labour have the balls to weather the storm? Or will a bunch of backbenchers start to rip the party apart?

Whilst the press try to claim that Gordon Brown's holidaying in Suffolk is an attempt to distance himself from the lavish holidays of Tony Blair, could it actually be that he wants to keep within shouting distance of the Norwich South MP, Charles Clarke. Whilst I have always agreed with the proclamation as you enter Norwich - "A Fine City" - I am not overly impressed with Charles Clarke's noises since moving to the backbenches. How often is a point of principle really an opportunity to draw attention to one's own personal agenda?

Personally I believe that the Labour Party has done far better than I expected since its landslide victory in 97, but that is because I was a realist, refusing to get swept up in Tony's spin. The masses, however, believe the spin and have extremely short memories. State funeral for Margaret Thatcher? Surely that was some sort of bad joke?

The economy will probably start to improve by the next general election, and the public will forget that they were all tempted to swing from Brown to Cameron (what sort of idiot goes from Labour to the Conservatives anyway???), and hopefully Brown will win the next election.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Is it all over for David Davis?

Not much of a shock Result: Davis wins by-election, with a 15,355 majority. Although turnout down from 70.2% to 34%.

Does this provide the 'mandate' that he craves? A mandate to challenge Cameron for the leadership? A mandate to question the government over the 42-day detention law? No. To only get 72% of the vote when none of the other major parties are standing is pathetic (nb. even Mugabe managed to get 85%). Yes there were a lot of additional candidates out there, but they primarily consisted of the usual waifs, strays, and total nutters that turn up for elections; most clearly shown by the English Democrats (right-wing nationalists) coming third place and getting their deposit back!

Unfortunately this looks like the best possible result for Cameron. Davis returns to parliament, and Cameron will probably take the odd photo opportunity, but it is unlikely that Davis poses and real threat to the Tory leadership.