Thursday, March 29, 2007

My iPod? I want it Brown

The proud owner of an iPod and, lo and behold, he knows how to use it!
What an up-to-date, ordinary chap. That grabs the headlines, Gordon Brown wakes up to the Arctic Monkeys and he's one of us.
And that should be a vote grabber, shouldn't it? You know what, I was torn with doubt but now I'm gonna vote for him. Power of the iPod. Nevermind the economy, foreign policy and the rest. Stooping low?

Monday, March 26, 2007

Three times dented

It's often said that Tony Blair would be obsessed with the idea of leaving his legacy when he finally shoes off after ten years as PM. Rest assured, Saint Tony, you're leaving your legacy all right. The push for the renewal of Trident, the £20bn-plus UK nuclear submarine system, is another nail in the coffin for a party of glorious history but who's at serious risk of remaining unelectable for the next couple of generations.

Blair has made sure that millions of people would be put off politics, and Labour in particular, for a long time. The list of broken promises and embarrassing u-turns is too long to mention and the 1997 gabble about nuclear disarmament is only the last of a long list to strike the battered chord. Fact is: Blair's blowing a two fingered raspberry at the non-proliferation treaty. All the more hypocritical and contradictory as the West is in the throes of a balancing act to talk Iran out of their own nuclear programme. And who could then blame any other nation for saying "we're under threat, we require nuclear weapons"?

In his usual sanctimonious I-can-understand-your-concerns-but-still-I'm gonna-do-it-my-own-way style, Blair said that in an uncertain world it would be "unwise and dangerous" for the UK to get rid of its weapons. It's true that the danger of terrorism is at an all-time high. But it's unclear how a £20bn-plus (£16.8m per missile) nuclear fleet is to protect the population from suicide bombers blowing themselves up on a bus. The days of Red October being thankfully over, wouldn’t those huge resources be better employed according to the strategic needs of today?

But how was the vote in the Commons secured? Like with Iraq (the flimsy 'Road Map' vow, whatever happened to it), foundation hospitals and tuition fees, it took peanuts to buy the loyalty of a handful of 'rebel' MPs. So principled was their stand that they toed the line with Blair's mere 'promise' to perhaps maybe try and cut by a fifth the operational nuclear warheads on Britain's Trident submarines, from 200 to 160. Seriously, that was enough to put a damper on the 'rebels'. Besides, needless to say, the Tories had no hesitation in backing Blair. Nice to know that when zillion-worth arms contracts are at stake, the consensus New Labour- Conservative is as firm as ever. Then they say there's no more certainties...