From London to Tunis via Brussels, precious little thought is being applied to Government.
I suppose I should mention the fact that, as usual, the fatties at the top in the UK are still troughing while the rest of us struggle: 49% pay rises across the board (I mean Board, really) is, by even the most Blairite standards of intense relaxation, disgusting greed that shows it’s not just the banks who don’t understand the rules about being part of a pack species. (Our Civil Servants also earned £4 billion in bonuses.)
Very few people with access to this kind of superemuneration do. Lawyers, accountancy firms, brokers, footballers, celebrities and even news anchors see themselves as ‘entitled’ to the spurious fortunes they earn for, on the whole, being pretty average at what they do…as well as setting a terrible example to our kids. Britain now increasingly is the X-Factor: it’s only a matter or time before somebody says to Ed Miliband that he needs to do some work on the vocals, and Theresa May bursts into tears because her cat act seems unlikely to make it to the final. Throughout the UK, all those with a vote still prefer Edhead who, despite his inability to hit any note (let alone the right one), is leading the field as the sympathy candidate.
Blair’s legacy to the Labour Party was to make it unfit for the purpose of criticising a capitalist form gone mad….and leave it still crippled with the millstone of past and present madnesses. Forget the branding for a moment, and consider the baggage: were Labour today not saddled with the deranged policies of Big State pc/feminist dreamers and Trade Union wreckers, it would be a shoe-in at the next election. And had not New Labour’s grandees behaved like the worst kind of grubby, corrupt bottom-feeders after 2003, they could genuinely claim to be the Party against privilege and for a fairer society.
As I wrote late last year, I loathe the Labour Party as currently constituted, but we sure as hell need something to oppose the sort of blatantly cynical money-grabbing going on at the moment…..because the current Administration obviously isn’t going to. If all these self-styled big-bonus professionals think they and they alone make up this thing called society, I suggest we switch off the water and electricity from their offices, and see how they get on.
Another good idea would be to block their toilets , not take their litter away, and instruct them to wear golden bowler hats – so the police know to take no notice as the dispossessed start clubbing them to death. And as a final hint, we could sell them rotten food, charge them twice for it, and say that, if they didn’t like it, we were going to move all the food shops offshore. To Sark, or somewhere similar.
Even with a near-invisible gonk who sucks his bottom lip as leader, the Labour Party remains five points clear of a Coalition that would never have been necessary, had Cameron not worn seven different faces (none of them his own) during the election campaign. He still wears a slightly different one every day of the week. Yesterday, he spoke out about the City of London being under “constant attack” from EU directives. Listening online, I could sense that same feeling of awed anger I used to get when Brown came out with this kind of stuff.
The City should be defended against the EU, the Prime Minister told his audience, seemingly having forgotten that he was in fact the Prime Minister, and this was his job. But I also wanted to request that, while he was at it, he might occasionally defend the Country against the City. Or just get out of the EU like 75% of his voters want to. Or just get out of the way: because this Government is in the way of any real change for the better.
It’s an astonishing situation, is it not, when one Opposition leader is so crap, he can’t dislodge at one go a Prime Minister everyone distrusts. And even more astonishing to realise that you could use Cameron against Brown or Miliband against Cameron – two on the trot – to illustrate the rule.
In Europe, we have a new twerp on the block, Klaus Regling. Klaus is chief executive of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), and has been in Beijing trying to unsew the pockets of Chinese leaders apparently immune to the charm of Nicolas Sarkozy. (The EU handout version of this was that Sarko ‘did not receive any specific commitments’.)
“We all know China has a particular need to invest surpluses,” Regling told a Beijing news conference, referring to the country’s $3.2 trillion of foreign exchange reserves, the world’s biggest. A degree of twerpness is already apparent in this observation, which is based on the assumption that people shrewd enough to have made a mountain of cash might want to invest in jam butty mines.
But when Klaus asserted that the bailout deal with Greece was “an exceptional case that I believe will not have to be repeated for other nations”, I felt reassured that we were once more in the presence of Twerpo Brusselliens. On the same day that the man in charge of the EFSF offered this crass opinion, the yield on Italy’s March 2022 bond rose to 6.06% from 5.86% a month ago. And now this morning, EU central banker Jean-Claude Trichet tells the German press that, “The crisis isn’t over”.
When Trichet says something negative, then you know we’re in big trouble. Suitably alarmed, one reads the rest of this interview to discover that Jean-Claude thinks the EU’s next decisions should be “absolutely decisive”. Usually, decisive decisions get the thumbs up from markets tired of smoke and mirrors, so it’s interesting to see M. Trichet stressing this quite so much as he explains the fine detail of the decisiveness:
‘”The quick and complete implementation of the decisions is now absolutely decisive,” Trichet said,”And the quick and complete enaction of the decisions is now absolutely decisive,” he added.’
With all this completion of enactment and implementation, The Slog will be watching to see those banks lining up dutifully for their 50% Greek haircuts, and a shower of bric dosh cascading into the coffers of the EFSF via our inhouse spiv. Because that – and the totally decisive recovery of the Italian economy – will undoubtedly see us emerge from the trees of dark confusion, just in time to walk right into the wood of Iberian bankruptcy, and thence onward, with something of a headache, down into the Valley of French with tears.
These people should not be allowed out alone.
As the ‘Arab Spring’ gets into fifth gear, The avowedly Islamist Ennahda party – which was banned for decades, and its leaders forced to flee abroad – won the first proper elections in Tunisia for 3,700 years. Good for them: I’m all for democracy, and we can see from this result just how democratic and wersternised the Arabs tend to be. Whether this sets a template for other Middle Eastern states emerging from the dictatorship of the bonkerstariat remains to be seen. You know my view: this was always going to happen, it is part of Islam’s increasingly central role in near and middle eastern politics, and it is bad both for Israel, and for Christian Europe.
It is a victory for bigotry, intolerance and anti-Western violence, and as such represents yet another example of how idiotic fluffiness always prefers to believe in the harmless, when all the cultural and historical evidence suggests harmful. Egypt is heading this way, and now the lynch mobs are in charge in Libya, we can expect more of an Islamist bite there too.
But it’s the weekend – hurrah!