Another Government 'Pot - Kettle - Black' ScenarioPosted November 11th, 2005 by vervet
So the Bliar government has never done anything to undermine the key relationship between ministers and civil sevants then ?
Rememberance DayPosted November 11th, 2005 by quarsan
This is a day for sober reflection and honouring the millions who have died in battle and those who have had their lives shattered by conflict.
War has been sanitised by television and we have all been brutalised by it. We've got used to seeing shattered homes in Iraq, to seeing grieving mothers raging at the skies.
War is barbaric and often reduces people to their most base level and their living conditions to ashes. Twice in the last century, Europe was laid waste and parts have never quite recovered.
War should be the choice of last resort.
On Sunday, Blair, a man who through monumental misjudgement, hubris and deceit took the country into an conflict that just did not need to be fought will lead the nation in remembering the fallen. A man who has never attended a funeral of those killed, a man who has never visited any of the wounded.
What can be more insulting to the dead?
Let's do something more honourable. Let's listen to a man who knows something of the cost of war: Reg Keys election night speech in Sedgefield.
Thanks to clairwil, for pointing us to Reverend John Mann's sermon from the Gordon Gentle's Funeral. Deeply moving, and should be read.
Download it here as a pdf document.
Puddlegate:Blair's Edited Press Conference TranscriptsPosted November 11th, 2005 by ringverse
The Bliar raised a few eyebrows on Monday with comments at his monthly Press conference suggesting he would have reduced to a puddle of
piss water had he opposed terrorism legislation against the recomendations of the police and security services.
I archived the audio clip from the pm segment, it's an 3m20s mp3 clip.
"It is just not good enough, It is not responsible.
But you imagine if when I was running, in 1994, when I was running for the leadership of the Labour party and we'd had the worst terrorist attack in this country just a few months before I was running for the leadership - and the then Conservative government had said we need this legislation because the police tell us it's necessary, you tell me how easily I would have got away with saying 'sorry I am just not doing that'.
"You tell me how many of your newspapers and your media outlets would be saying 'oh well fair enough, there is no need to question him at all.
"I wouldn't have got away from any TV studio or any interview with anyone without a little puddle of water being where I once was."
I mean that's the truth of the matter, i mean you guys would have been after me and said 'What are you talking about'
Breathtaking selective memory and self belief from the Bliar. In the 90s, Bliar did exactly that, he repeatedly voted against the renewal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, if the Daily Mail is to be believed;
whilst berating the then Home Secretary Michael Howard for
Not that anyone visiting the Downing St website would know, as the section in red has been censored, and all record of it edited out of the official version.
Given the continual clamour from the governmnet that voting against the Bill was voting against the police, rather than the Bliar, his comments leave him wide open, so their convenient disappearance from the record is hardly suprising.
The reason for this? Well, if No10 are to be believed:
"As prime minister and leader of the Labour party, he is entitled to make political comments but these cannot be published on a government website."
Asked about the Ken Clarke comments remaining on the website, Downing Street said: "That was a comment about what someone else had said."
Sir Humphrey was explained it so much better...
Home Office Criticises Home Office Anti-Terror BillPosted November 10th, 2005 by quarsan
Another example of joined up government.
...They concluded that British foreign policy was a "key contributory factor" in spurring UK Muslims to extremism.
The full report is avaliable here
The Debate: Blow by BlowPosted November 10th, 2005 by Andy Ramblings
For a full blow by blow account of the
Terrorism Bill -
Clause 23 — Extension of period of detention by judicial Authority
Check this link
Their Day in the SunPosted November 10th, 2005 by quarsan
The Murdoch chip wrapper has predictably come out against the majority of Parliament in a hysterical and rabid manner: Traitors! is the cry, but they don't have any reasons or argument behind their vitriol. I think they've overplayed their hand, you would think that they had voted to exhume the Queen Mother and sell her to the French as horsemeat.
Helpfully, they print a list of MP's who voted against:
Yes, The Sun has accused the majority of Parliament of being traitors, including:
Dr Liam Fox (Woodspring)
William Hague (Richmond (Yorks)
Boris Johnson (Henley)
Sir Malcolm Rifkind (Kensington & Chelsea)
Miss Ann Widdecombe (Maidstone & The Weald)
And if that wasn't enough, they also accuse:
David Davis (Haltemprice & Howden) and
David Cameron (Witney)
Seems like Tony wasn't the only person who lost the plot last night...
Remember this photo?
This is John Tulloch, who objects to having his photo used to support an argument he does not agree with:
"But I am totally offended by what the Sun has done. Rather than just depriving me of a voice, they have given me somebody else's voice. Blair's voice."
Another survivor 'Rachel' has an blog post about her feeling on being co-opted by Blair and Clarke. Please read the whole article, it is thoughtful, passionate and moving. Here's a taste:
I do not expect my democratically-elected government to do the same. I cannot, and do not speak for all the victims, and nor can, and nor should Tony Blair and Charles Clarke...
...Why the rush if not for political gain? How dare you co-opt 'the victims' to defend this attack on liberties, as if we are all some amorphous bloodied mass that you can wave in front of the Commons as a fig leaf for your naked desire to be seen to be 'tough on terror'?
I am not going to be a human shield for this Government. Not in my name, I say, you do not act for me. If you want to be tough on terror, then why not be tough on the causes of terror? Why not address, for example, Iraq, why you invaded, the bitter fruits of your ill-thought out invasion?
And until you do, when I hear your voices dripping sympathy and concern, saying you do this 'for the victims', Tony, Charles, and the rest of you... I remain disgusted that you should use ordinary people - because that is all we are - bombed people - bloodied people - in this way. Who gave you the right to speak for me, Mr Blair, Mr Clarke? When did I give my blessing to fear-mongering? Read Full Post
The most sickening hypocrisy, but The Sun has a long track record of this since they faked an interview with Colonel H Jones' widow after the Falklands conflict.
Anyway, does anyone remember the last time Blair was given a 'compelling' case for action by the authorities? That didn't work out too well either.
Is Blair's 90 Day Stand a Suicide Strategy? Drifting into the world of fantasy politicsPosted November 10th, 2005 by ringverse
Now I know this is a bit of a leftball, but have been musing over what this, the Bliar's first ever defeat in a whipped commons vote means for his future.
The media and Westminster has been feverish about how his imminent departure has been hastened, and as a general thing I go along with that. Only a fool, or a blind loyalist would suggest that this hasn't to some degree dented his authority, both as party leader, and as Prime Minister.
But the PLP [or opposition], despite today's rebellion will not force his hand in the form of a confidence vote or a challenge untill they are sure they will win. This result does not change the fact that for now the Bliar's fate remains in his own hands, and only his own crisis of confidence in himself will change that before the bitter end. The confidence of others bothers him not one bit.
The question is, has the edifice of Bliar's hubris started to crumble? Has he lost faith in his ability to drive his plans through? Health, education and welfare are looming, and defeat in any one of these would surely prove fatal.
People always say he is at his best when he is under attack, when he defines himself as the issue, when his party is against him, when things are tough and he can come out fighting. All of which was true, when he was winning in those situations. But today he lost, and he lost on his own terms. For the first time the 'I'm right, and you have got to back me' approach failed, and that will have shaken him deeply, but how deeply.
If he has lost faith in his ability to win crucial votes in the future, then what is his exit strategy? The legacy agenda is stuffed if he thinks he can't drag the party through the next vote. If he thinks he might lose, then he only has one option to salvage some control over how he leaves.
He goes now. The Suicide option. Could sticking his neck so far out be his test? Not of himself of course, but of the rest of us. How deeply does he feel we have failed him?
This is his one chance to go on a point of principle: Blair's last stand. He can go out as the defender of the British people against the evils of Terror. He is the man who sacrificed his career and reputation on protecting his people. He didn't waver, it is better to have been right and have lost, than to have been wrong and won etc etc. Contrasted with being defeated by his own party on health, education or welfare reform, and ending up like Maggie after hanging on to office by his fingernails for the next X months.
So, just for tonight, we confidently predict Blair resigns tomorrow ;-)
[Meanwhile, back in the real world...]
Don't Fall For Your Own SpinPosted November 9th, 2005 by quarsan
Poor Tony, in his hubris he thought he could pull it off, or, in the worst case, win the moral argument and leave his opponents at the mercy of the public's rage.
Thankfully reality intervened. Blair decided to make this an issue, not of national security, but of something even more dear to his heart; himself. This was the equivalent of John Major's walk into Downing St garden and saying 'back me or sack me'.
Blair thought that opposition would crumble before his moral superiority. After all these polls - founded in Charles Clarke's insulting questionaire showed the public backed him. But the polls were just spin.
This didn't have to be about the Prime Minister's credibility, he chose it to be that. sir Ian Blair was trotted out to make yet another ill-judged wander into the political arena, The Sun was primed and loaded, all the best spin was there, and still he failed.
The main argument wa sit takes 90 days to crack encryption on computers. Not if you're using PGP. It'll take a hell of a lot longer than that, unless quantum computing becomes a reality.
No, when Michael Howard asked him for one case when a suspected terrorist walked free because they couldn't be help for 90 days, that's when the bill failed. Blair is regarded as a third rate lawyer, but even he knew the game was up and all he could do is whimper about 'doing the right thing'.
no, he's lost people's confidence, not just in what they propose, but in how they operate. The fearful spin machine has finally run out of fuel and now we will witness the long, slow political death of Blair, our answer to the snake oil salesmen of old.
WARNING:28 Days Detention Without Charge, so 'Be a Good Muslim"Posted November 9th, 2005 by ringverse
Why did Gordon Come Back?Posted November 9th, 2005 by ringverse
People have been wondering why Gordon hotfooted it back from Tel Aviv for today's vote. It can't be to make up the numbers, he had paired with Vince Cable from the Lib Dems (making a joke of the Lib Dem's whips office's assurances to bedblogger that they don't do pairing).
It could have been because New Labour realised how desperate things were looking, and needed him to whip his supporters into line. I heard his gladhanding of Labour MPs in the tea rooms described on the radio this afternoon as:
But I think bedblogger has hit the nail on the head. Gordon knew Tony was going to lose, despite today's New Labour spin that it was going to be close but they would win.
There is no way on this earth that Gordon would miss Tony's first commons defeat for his own satisfaction, and perhaps more importantly, there is no way that he was prepared to be seen to miss Tony's first commons defeat.
God knows why they bought Jack Straw back.
They're Not Terrified of Tony AnymorePosted November 9th, 2005 by quarsan
After all his tricks Blair loses:
MPs rejected the proposals by 322 votes to 291. They are now voting on whether to accept a compromise detention limit.
49 Labour rebels... Wonder how secure Charles Clarke is feeling right now... Anyone smell a reshuffle in the coming weeks?
From Listening Labour to Cock-Up ClarkePosted November 9th, 2005 by quarsan
Remember Charles Clarke's incisive questionaire on the Anti-Terror Legislation?
Many people wrote in to complain at it's boneheaded attempt to get the answers he wanted, well he's apologised:
If he did share those concerns, why on earth did he send it out? He is incharge of his office and staff, or is he. Guido Fawkes is on the trail of the culprit.
Would you trust these people with your civil liberties? Me neither. I got a follow up email from Compass:
Whatever your views on the Terrorism Bill – we are advising you to take 10 minutes out of your day or in your lunch break to phone or email your MP and tell them your views on this issue of immense national importance – that some are arguing has huge consequences for our democracy and the kind of world we live in. To phone your MP you can call the Parliament switchboard on 020 7219 3000 and ask to be put through to your MP’s office, you can also email your MP, the vast majority of MPs emails use the following formulae – for example .
Here is a prediction: If the terror bill passes, use of the new powers will one day, trigger off Paris style rioting.
Questions for TonyPosted November 9th, 2005 by quarsan
If Sir Ian - the soon to resign - Blair asked you to introduce capital punishment because it would aid the fight against terrorism, would you do it?
Given that, in the Menezes death the Police statements and claims were ALL shown to be untrue, and Sir Ian Blair personally tried to stop any inquiry, can we trust the police with existing powers, never mind new powers?
If your stategy for winning key votes is to rely on Tory support, are you really the leader of your party?
A Very Timely WarningPosted November 8th, 2005 by Andy Ramblings
So the Met Chief Sir Ian Blair who wants the new anti-terror laws publishes a new 'chilling' warning:
Here is a Link to get the letter Ian is using to justify the 90 days.
OMB News, BlairAnnounces Abolition of ElectionsPosted November 8th, 2005 by ringverse
Mr Blair said that the police had advised him that elections would be dangerous. "They would divert attention from the war on terror", he said. "If the public chose a new government, that would be a victory for terrorism. We must not take that chance. Holding elections would be contrary to the strong advice given to us by our security services and our police, and I am simply not prepared to do it."
Absolute genius, and all the more precient when you consider that the author's recent CV includes:
From 1988 to 1997, Owen was an official at H M Treasury. His roles included being Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, coordinating the public spending system, forecasting the world economy, forecasting and analysis of domestic labour markets, and medium term macroeconomic policy analysis. He also set up the UK Government’s first website...