Monday, May 05, 2008


I try and avoid posting on politics because there are so many blogs that deal with this subject in a far calmer and more measured way than I would.

I don't count making comments about Silvio Berlusconi as politics, the antics of the three time Italian Prime Minister go beyond politics into the realm of farce.

But I feel I must say something about the recent local elections in England and Wales.

Last year we had what amounted to a coup d'etat within the ruling Labour party, because that in essence what it was, and now the electorate have given their verdict on that seizure of power in no uncertain terms.

As Chancellor Gordon Brown managed the economy by burdening the British people with stealth taxes and dipping into our pension funds. At the same time he encouraged profligate state and personal borrowing on an unsustainable level and now not surprisingly the chickens have come home to roost.

He gloried in the will he won't he call an election game last year like he was on some kind of power trip, and abolished the 10p tax rate in order to grin his way through a ten second sound bite in his last budget speech.

His unwillingness to allow a referendum on the European Constitution rehashed under another guise is absolutely disgraceful, especially in view of the promise made in the election manifesto. He does not appear to be up to the job he craved for so long, and because he destroyed all his rivals from the security of the treasury his cabinet is the weakest in memory.
The British people deserve better.
We will obviously have to endure two more years of this travesty of democracy with memories of Jim Callaghan's 1979 "what crisis " ringing in our ears.

I always get worried when politicians like Brown talk about change because sometimes doing nothing is better than doing something stupid.

Well I feel a lot better after getting that off my hairy chest.

'German Chancellors made. German Chancellors overthrown. And all the while the number of unemployed kept on rising. Meanwhile Hitler raced around the country in his Mercedes-Benz telling people he had the solution to everyone's problems. I didn't blame those who believed him.'
Bernie Gunther in A Quiet Flame by Philip Kerr


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You write: "there are so many blogs that deal with this subject in a far calmer and more measured way than I would."
When I first started following blogs (before I had my own blog) I read political blogs and I found them without exception to be self-indulgent, opinionated ranty drivel.
I am always disappointed by the level of political commentary on blogs, I think that politics (unlike reading or other special-interests) bring out the worst in people. In other words, they epitomise the saying that "the stronger the opinion the lesser the factual basis for it".
This is why I don't read poliical blogs, having been disgusted by the general lack of fact-checking or restraint on them.

Well, I appreciate I am fulfilling my own prophecy by writing a rant, but I am one of the many who live in London and now has a mayor who only pretends to live here: in actual fact he enjoys the enclave of the super-rich in Henley, a part of the country which I knew well as a child but now is well outside my means (after 30 years of working for a living at a so-called "professional" level -- says it all really). This man will not care that my twice-daily commute is a living hell that gets worse by the year as well as more expensive. And so many other petty miseries of life in a huge city (7.5 times larger than the next largest city in the country). Oh well, nobody cares really, and I suppose from your blog and my own information, I should be glad I am not living in Italy.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Maxine, politics certainly brings out the worse in me, or is it politicians with three houses that does it.
I shall try and restrain my own rants at the whole political establishment and return to crime fiction and a nice murder or two.
I can't imagine the stress of commuting in London today, twenty years ago was difficult now it must be hell and hellishly expensive on top.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norm, I think that your political posts are very telling: because you write them when you have something to say about a topic you know about (eg Italian society and Blackertson). When I attack political blogs I am thinking of those run by (I assume young) men who regard it as their self-appointed job to rehash what is reported in the papers and to sneer at it, the people discussed and everyone, in a superior tone.

I definitely do not include you in that category, far from it!

Sorry I have not done your quiz, I will see if I can manage to answer at least half the questions, based on your glimmer of encouragement in your post!

11:45 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Thanks Maxine, you are right I am not a sneering 'young man' who knows it all. More like a Victor Meldrew grumpy old man a bit befuddled by modern society.

I will post the quiz answers starting tomorrow or Thursday so you can still have a go. Good Luck.

I have had another search for Priest and I must have given it to someone, sorry.

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If my memory serves well enough, wasn't the New Labour "needle stuck in the record" saying from quite a few of the early years "We inherited this situation from the Tories"? Brown has now inherited what, in part, he helped Blair to create over the last decade.

The tide starts to turn when good people have had enough, especially when they feel it in their pockets.

On the subject of the referendum, do you realise that "businessman Stuart Wheeler has won the first stage of his campaign to sue Gordon Brown over his attempt to break his promise to hold a referendum on the EU Constitution.

At the High Court last Friday the Hon. Mr Justice Owen ruled that Stuart Wheeler had an 'arguable' case and granted him a judicial review. Wheeler's barrister, Rabinder Singh QC, argued that the Government had promised a referendum on the EU Constitution and that his client therefore had a 'legitimate expectation' that he should be able to vote in one on the Lisbon Treaty - which is virtually identical."

You can find out more at

This will be an interesting case. And when it comes to democracy on this issue, it seems no major party is grabbing it like a Rottweiler.

10:16 AM  

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