What's in Paisley's Pants? Political ramblings about things that catch my attention... (rather than some smutty double entendre...)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Marines missing Iraq recreate fun

The Sun brings us pictures of Marines apparently disgracing the good name of the British armed forces by running around and touching each other while naked. (Insert your own joke here about public schools, sports teams etc...) Apparently the lads were just letting off steam because they were relieved to be back in England after a tour of duty in Iraq.

I personally theink that they should be shipped right back out there - they clearly miss it so much that they want to recreate life in an Iraqi prison run by allied forces. Ah, those halcyon days when we got the prisoners to fight each other naked...

Unfortunately, The Sun won't let me copy the photos form it's website, so I've done a quick mock up of what I'd imagine them to look like:



Hang on a second, think I've got my wires crossed somewhere...

Anyway, if you get off looking at heavily pixilated men rub themselves against each other, The Sun website has the photos here...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Ah, Mr Blair, come right this way - I have something I'd like you to see... This, Mr Prime Minister, is the door"

A big defeat for Tony Blair over on the 90 day detention motion. And yet he claims that MPs are 'out of touch' with public opinion. What he means, is that MPs are out of touch with his opinion. Blair has lead by force of personality throughout his PMship. He has willed his party to back him by sheer faith. When Blair was gold, and could do no wrong in the public's eyes, this worked - MPs were prepared to back him because he could win them votes come election time. However, Blair is now becoming a lame duck, rather like Bush is in America.

Ever since the Iraq war started going wrong, Blair has started to go wrong. Having pinned his reputation so closely to the war, and it being such an article of faith for Blair, he is now suffering as the war goes badly. (The same is true with Bush.) As the progress of the war faltered, and the insurgency began, Blair faced crucial votes on top-up fees and foundation hospitals. Although he won both votes, he was pushed very close to the wire, and for the first time, he looked fallible in power. Quite simply, his power of persuasion through personality (nice aliteration) was waning. Blair however did not react to this, and has tried to carry on the same style of leadership that worked for him in his first term-and-a-half.

Unfortuantely for Blair, the decay has continued as the war has continued to be a weight around his neck. This decay was throust into the public limelight at election time, when so few Labour MPs were using Blair in their election bumpf - he was losing them votes with the public. This fact was also demonstrated by countless opinion polls that showed that Gordon Brown, if he were Labour leader, would win the election with a majority of however many hundreds, compared to Blair's eventual 67.

As Blair's star faded with the public, so has his ability to persuade his parliamentary party through sheer faith. And yet he has so far seemed unable to change his leadership style. Where a better leader would try to adapt, and begin negotiating and compromising to achieve his aims, Blair has simply reacted with incredulity that his old way doesn't work.

With crucial votes on education and health coming up - votes on unpopular policy - Blair needs to start working on building support for his policy. He can no longer rely on the power of the whip to get his party behind him. If he fails to do so, the truth that Blair is a showman, not a politician, will be exposed - he can soundbite, he can debate in the chamber, but he simply cannot build support or a consensus.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Apologies

Apologies that is for not posting for a while. Have been very tired recently, having just started a new job, and haven't really got round to getting any news, let alone writing about anything that's happened.

And just my luck, I suppose, that somthing as momentous as the Paris riots takes place in my down time... I'm not going to post about it at length, as I think I would just be repeating what has already been said. I will direct you to read the excellent post by Apostate Windbag, and also browse through Dead Men Left's postings on it.

Just a quick though though, stemming from the quote in Newsweek (linked in Mr Windbag's article) that 'the riots [will] swell the ranks of jihadists in Europe'. What rubbish. These protests are nothing to do with religion, and entirely to do with the treatment of huge numbers of the population as second class citizens. It is, as both bloggers I've linked to point out, a movement coming out of the oppressed poor.

What could well swell the ranks of jihadists in Europe is the continuing policy of both the governments and someparts of the media to demonise and scapegoat young working class muslims. When Europe so completely and cynically rejects them, why should they accept Europe?