Enjoying yet another holiday in Portugal pointing at fish, David Cameron will be delighted that Baroness Sayeeda Warsi has picked her moment to jump overboard just as the nets of moral outrage snag the truly awful coalition government. In the strange world inhabited by Cameron, every silver lining frames a huge, black cloud and Warsi`s resignation might give him short-term relief but the storm is about to break.
In 2007, Cameron appointed an unelected, failed parliamentary candidate hastily elevated to the House of Lords to his shadow cabinet. Promoted not due to any actual ability but because she ticked various electoral boxes, Baroness Warsi became a rare thing in British politics and something of a paradox worthy of Nietzsche. In short, she quickly became unsackable. As a token woman suitably northern and, more importantly, as a token Muslim, her seat at the cabinet table was assured as long as her electoral value remained viable. (more…)
Today, the beginning of the First World War will be marked with solemn remembrance of the soldiers who fell and the civilians who perished; there is little point in commemorating the 1918 Armistice.
On 3 August 1914, the then Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey delivered a rousing speech intended to prepare the nation for war. Filled with tub-thumping patriotism extolling honour and courage and sacrifice, the Viscount Grey of Fallodon`s call to arms displayed the time-honoured and continuing skill of a politician to say one thing and know the exact opposite. On the evening before war was declared, safely in the privacy of the Foreign Office, Sir Edward Grey is reported to have looked out of the window at the gathering dusk and said; “The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time.”
Now that his time has long gone, the lamps are still going out and not just all over Europe but all over the planet. The only light in this terrible history are candles lit to the memories of lives lost in Guernica, Coventry, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Hanoi, Halabja, Basra, Vukovar, Kosovo and so many other attacks on civilian populations. (more…)
It is irrelevant to ask who Nicky Morgan is because the correct and only answer is that she is not Michael Gove. Elected to parliament as long ago as 2010, the member for Loughborough`s elevation to a senior office of state came as something of a surprise but the nation`s children can rest assured that nobody, with the possible exception of Rolf Harris, could damage education with the zeal of her creepy and now officially ugly predecessor.
To suggest that Nicky Morgan`s only qualification to be Secretary of State for Education is her lack of a Y chromosome would be maliciously erroneous. Like almost every previous Secretary of State of differing shades of political grey, Qualified Teacher Status or actual classroom experience is not listed on the essential requirements section of the job description. Instead, Ms Morgan`s CV contains invaluable expertise perfectly suited to the coalition government`s education policy. Before entering parliament, Nicky Morgan was a corporate lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions. Promoted to equalities minister, she has voted against equal marriage. (more…)
When a leader of the opposition feels that it is necessary to give speeches and interviews to apologise for being physically unattractive, the tipping point between reality and abject absurdity has been reached.
In the past, this blog has unashamedly likened Ed Miliband to a whining, adenoidal schoolboy constantly bleating “it`s not fair” after coming last again in the sixth form debating society. This comparison has nothing to do with his physical appearance or even with the tone and timbre of his voice but has everything to do with his unwillingness or inability to effectively challenge the subterfuge, distraction, illegality and whopping great big lies puked out by the Prime Minister and the government front bench. Miliband has consistently missed open goals even after failing to notice that the goal posts have been moved to off-shore tax havens favoured by discerning cabinet ministers. If he had been born with the face of George Clooney, the wit of Stephen Fry, the mind of Stephen Hawking and the toned, perfect body of a plastic hippo, Miliband would still be outflanked by a shallow shyster called Cameron. (more…)