Saturday, 30 July 2011

Appeasement & why the 'Tea Party' Republicans are so refreshing

It has always seemed to me that Neville Chamberlain has had a raw deal. Everyone agrees that his policy of appeasement was disgraceful/shaming/disastrous, and when I say 'everyone' I include every politician both here and in the USA.  Yet actually 'appeasement' is the bread and butter of politicians everywhere.  British politicians have made a speciality of caving into Europe over the last twenty years which is of course appeasement by another name. So what is so refreshing about the current American debt ceiling 'crisis,' is that there seems to be a new breed of politicians at large in America who say what they think and do what they say. For years us poor voters have been consistently lied to by all politicians who say one thing and do the other and then excuse their actions as 'pragmatic', reaching a 'consensus' finding the 'middle ground' or some other such guff. Listening to the Tea Party Representatives setting out their stall and saying that this is it - take it or leave it - to the President is thus great. Listening to virtually every single 'responsible' commentator
 urging the parties to 'compromise' (appeasement ) in order  avoid a Armageddon of a financial crisis is also interesting as that is exactly what Neville Chamberlain did and history has damned him forever.

Personally I don't think the crisis will be as fraught financially as the great and good make out. After all if the Tea Party actually win - and it is difficult for me to see how they won't win as they seem to hold the best cards- then the prospects for the American economy will actually improve. In any event this is the highest stake poker game ever and compulsive viewing.  The really good news about it though is that it is an infallible rule that what happens today in the USA will happen here tomorrow and so, with luck some of our newly elected MP's might just begin to show the blancmange Cameron that they have a spine and like the American Tea Party representatives have principles which they are ot prepared to compromise on. Now that really would put me in a good mood.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

I.T. Botham

Last week I recorded a BBC2 programme on the Ashes series of 1981 and the legendary performance of Ian Botham.  I remember that Headingley Test Match well. . I was working as a broker in the Lloyd's insurance market and spent the whole of the afternoon glued to the Telelvision in a drinking hole called Myttons.  On Friday I watched, with my sons, Peterson make a double hundred at Lords and then later we played the Botham recording.

What struck us all was the sheer joie de vivre of Botham's innings. There he was, helmet less, belting six bells out of the Australian fast bowlers and laughing and grinning all the time as he did it.  His whole attitude, and the way he went about the Australian attack, was the purest illustration of  the definition of the word ' cavalier.'   Contrast it to KP's double century at Lords.  This was the doing of a grim puritan. It was a workmanlike and, at times, even brilliant innings but your heart didn't lift to see it played as it lifted watching Botham in his pomp.  This was a puritan at work.  A man consumed by a desire to succeed and a man who would, in order to achieve it, forgo a bottle of wine and happy night out with his mates getting completely smashed in favour of a quiet night in with the rowing machine and a sports drink. 

Friday, 15 July 2011

David Cameron and the Dowler family

Am I alone in being absolutely nauseated by the photographs of the Prime Minister 'looking concerned and being proactive' while talking to the family of the murdered girl, Milly Dowler ,in Downing Street.  Now forget, for a moment, whether spending time with the Dowler family is actually the best use of the Prime Minister's time (this was no less than the third meeting the family have had with senior politicians) -why was it so absolutely vital for the meeting to be photographed and spread all over the newspapers?  Ok - don't be so naieve Fulford - we all know why - because Our Dave wanted to appear to the general electorate as 'concerned' and - of course -'caring.'  But that raises the question about why the Dowler family are allowing themselves to be manipulated by a cynical politiican?

Actually as the Phone Hacking scandal continues to develop I find I am spending almost my entire time in the lavatory puking up my guts at the behaviour of our ghastly politiicans - not just Our Dave either- what of our ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown polemic against News International - could this really be the same man who invited -yes actually invited - four tabloid editors to the funeral of his son -and who - after the Sun had broken the story of their little boy's illness in banner headlines- invited Rebecca Brooks together with Rupert Murdoch's current wife and his daughter to a 'girly slumber over ' at Chequers? yes it could. And what about the ghastly Keith Vaz , a MP whose career is hardly unblemished with scandal, harangueing and interrogating police officers.  Now the Murdochs have agreeed to go in front of a Parlimentary Committe I have some advice for them - do your homework on your interrogators and don't just sit there and let them attack you - give it back to them back in spades - the chances are - as we now know thanks to the Daily Telegraph - most of them have had their hands in the till i.e. been caught stealing money and remember the old saying - attack is the best form of defence - and it would make cracking Television..

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

First National Countryside Week

Did you know this is National Countryside Week/ No? Well neither did I till I read about it in the newspaper  - which is surprising considering it's purpose is   " a week of celebration of the countryside and the people who care for it." Since I care for a little over 3,000 acres of it I do think someone might have let me know what was going on. After all no one, as far as I know, has ever 'celebrated' anything I have done in my life - least of all my school masters or those long suffering and misguided individuals who gave me employment in London and, for a time, in Australia.  So this is something of a unique experience for me.  Even more so as my efforts are being celebrated by such esteemed  corporations as Barlcays Bank, Waitrose, Asda, and Dairy Crest.

Odd that. I remember I had to sack Barclays as my bank some thirty years ago as they then didn't seem to appreciate at all my efforts to 'care for the countryside' and as for Asda, and Dairy Crest, we in the countryside rather wish that, if they appreciate our efforts so much, they would pay us a bit more for our produce.