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Cameron and Blair: Plus ça change

[flashvideo filename=”http://sjhoward.co.uk/video/blaircameron.flv” title=”Time Trumpet (BBC Two)” /]

From Time Trumpet

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This 1,049th post was filed under: Politics, Video.

For the good of us all, Blair must fall

Tony BlairIn the UK, the government is in crisis. And yet Blair insists on hanging on, and has indicated he still hopes to be Prime Minister at the end of June. Why, oh why, won’t he just do the honourable thing and go now?

The Home Office is in a terrible state. It’s lost control of immigration, asylum, prisons, and is interfering in judicial sentencing. A catalogue of blunders recently have shown us that they haven’t tracked criminals who have committed crimes abroad, they’ve lost contact with 322 convicted sex offenders who they’re supposed to be monitoring in this country, they’re illegally locking up asylum seekers who’ve done nothing wrong, they haven’t enforced travel bans where they should have, prisons are bursting at the seams, the head of the Youth Justice board has resigned in disgust, they’ve lost terror suspects, and now John Reid is sending letters to judges – interfering in their ability to judge properly – telling them to send only the ‘most serious’ offenders to prison – then saying that this means exactly the same as saying that people who post ‘any risk’ to the public should be locked up. Apparently ‘most serious’ and ‘serious’ and synonymous in the lexis of our Home Secretary. Oh, and this disaster of a department still wants us all to trust it with ID cards, which will run on current systems. Which have been oh-so-successful.

On top of that, the NHS is in a terrible state, with more doctors going to be out of work any time soon thanks to MMC meaning there aren’t enough jobs to go round, and a Health Secretary who believes we have too many doctors and that last year was the ‘best ever’ for the NHS. Patricia Hewitt announced she’d get NHS debt under control, and it doubled to half a billion pounds – yet this was seen as good progress, despite being twice as much debt as her target amount. The staff of the NHS have lost confidence in her and want her to resign, but Mr Blair continues to back her to the hilt. Oh, and she wants to criminalise any staff who are still there, and she thinks GPs are overpaid – despite it being her who decided how much they were paid.

Let’s not forget that inflation is at 3% – the highest rate for 11 years, we’re still fighting a war in Iraq which was all about weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist, and the Ministry of Defence can’t even look after soliders properly. The Prime Minister himself is at the centre of a criminal investigation, with his closest advisers arrested and the net closing in on the PM himself.

Despite all this, Mr Blair thinks he can continue. He’s ‘not finished yet’. He genuinely beleives he’s the right person to lead a party into elections.

Surely Mr Blair can see that his administration is a disaster. Surely he can see that a new administration is needed to even have a hope of clearing up the mess created by this one. So please, Mr Blair, go soon, and let us get on with repairing the damage caused under your arrogant and destructive leadership.

This 1,048th post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics.

Wallcharts succomb to Grauniad Fever

CorrectionMonday’s edition of The Guardian’s famous (and hugely successful) series of wallcharts has, it would seem, succombed to Grauniad Fever.

Of the forty breed featured, the names of six were spelled incorrectly, and the classification of one was wrong. That gives an 82.5% accuracy rate – not brilliant for an educational wallchart.

Of course, this isn’t the first wallchart to feature mistakes, but this example from yesterday’s newspaper is certainly the most extensive correction I’ve seen featured about a single one of them. On the plus side, I suppose it reinforces the Guardian branding of the wallcharts, and allows the reader a wry smile…

This 1,047th post was filed under: Media.

A classic Sun front page

John Reid’s brain is missingAn absolutely classic front page greets readers of The Sun today, with the fantastic headline ‘John Reid’s brain is missing’.

They claim that a nationwide search is underway for John Reid’s ‘walnut’ sized brain, as they are unhappy with the way the Home Secretary has dealt with the full jails fiasco – which can, of course, be added to a long list of Home Office fiascos from the last few weeks alone.

Can John Reid ride out the storm, or will he soon become the next casualty of the cursed position of Home Secretary? I suspect the former…

It’s also been particularly fun watching the news programmes reviewing the front pages with this one… Tim Wilcox on BBC News 24 certainly seemed amused by it – but then, for a newsreader, it must be pretty satisfying to get to read a headline like that…

This 1,046th post was filed under: Media, News and Comment, Politics.


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