Monthly Archives: September 2011

A Revealing Bottom Can Be Hazardous!

Attractive women who wear very short skirts, where any small movement can reveal their bottoms, are now increasing in number.

To the discerning eye of hot-blooded able men, this could cause the heart to beat at a faster tempo – thus maintaining it in good healthy form.

The downside for women, however, is obvious.

It might encourage sex fiends to molest them!

Money Where the Mouth Is?

The Labour Party is very much back in the news, with the theme of the profit motive well to the fore at the party conference.

In the wake of Peter Oborne’s revelations on Channel 4, about the highly lucrative financial activities of our ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair, Mr John Mann, MP for Bassetlaw, has pointed an accusing finger at three of Labour’s ‘money crusaders’ – starting with Blair, the other two being Lord Mandelson and John Prescott.

On the subject of party funds Mr Mann said, ‘There’s one group of people who are not donating sufficiently and that’s former Labour ministers who are out there doing consultancies for private industry.’

And also using their political experience to earn a packet out of publishing their memoirs (though Blair gave his royalties to charity).

I wonder if Mr Mann’s appeal for them to give ‘proper money back to our party’ will bear any fruit?

There was a time when Labour was the party of those who worked to oppose the privileges of wealth, but now it seems more like a machine to produce a future plutocracy.

I am seriously thinking of writing a book to be called, How to Make Millions Fast by Going into Politics.

In our greedy society it would very likely become a bestseller like How to Make Friends and Influence People. It would be bound to earn a packet.

Why let the Labour politicians make all the money? I may as well get on the bandwagon and turn a profit myself. At least it would be an honest way of making it.

Tony Blair: Peacemaker or Gold Digger?

You have to give it to Tony Blair.

He managed to broker peace for Northern Ireland.

Unfortunately, that initial success seems to have gone to his head and one can only think he came to regard himself in the delusional light of being heaven’s gift to the planet and equipped to tackle all its ills.

The corollary to this is that, as his reward, the planet owes him a living and he can safely side-step the usual decent restraints on what is and is not a conflict of interest for a former public servant when it comes to amassing a personal fortune.

After watching Dispatches, ‘The Wonderful World of Tony Blair’, on Channel 4 last night, I couldn’t help reflecting on how the high and mighty seem able to set themselves above the law, or at least find ways of ignoring the limits that the law is supposed to set on all our activities.

The picture today is one of politicians, especially those on the Labour side, who profess to look after the poor and strive technically to create an equal society, but move on to engage in profiteering – evidently having regarded their terms of office as merely a preliminary to joining the gravy train.

In Peter Oborne’s measured and reasonable Channel 4 investigation, I found the picture he drew in the case of Tony Blair, of influence being manipulated to make shameful amounts of money, quite disgusting.

Kuwait had given his commercial interests a contract worth £27 million; J. P. Morgan were paying him £2 million a year as adviser.

Alongside this there went an ability to blur the dividing line between his business interests and his responsibilities as a ‘peace envoy’ that questioned the whole basis of ethical standards in public life.

I was astonished and disillusioned in equal measure to hear of the fees Blair is being paid by Arab countries in his capacity as a ‘Quartet’ representative, his role here being to seek peace in the Middle East.

Even this has turned out to be more of an exercise in controlling the situation to keep the initiative in the hands of Israel, with America’s support, than listening sympathetically to the aspirations of the Palestinian people.

He even has the American habit of refraining from mentioning the illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories, as if it would be bad manners to do so, even though these lie at the very heart of the problem.

His exorbitant and luxurious lifestyle seemed appalling, given the current financial situation the world over, with his catalogue of large suites in the best hotels, private jets and keeping company with unsavoury despots.

We used to mock the oil-rich Arabs who came to London and flaunted their spending power, but now it looks as if Blair is their equal in behaviour. It all leads one to believe there is more to it than meets the eye.

The one thing I know, from all that I see today, is that I will never believe in Labour again unless they cleanse themselves and their policies from this Blairite legacy.

Tony Blair

It is astounding how Tony Blair has managed to cope with the litany of revelations about many aspects of his policies during his tenure as Prime Minister.

And even more astounding is the way he continues to dispel the mounting rumours over the way he has used his influence after leaving office, to enrich himself in mega-proportions in comparison with any of his predecessors.

The man is unstoppable.

Whether time will catch up with him is yet to be seen, and this is why I’ll certainly be tuning into Channel 4 at 8pm tonight to watch the investigation into his tactics for acquiring wealth – to see how the assumptions hold ground.

Homeless Rats

Ahmed Fagih’s new novel, Homeless Rats, has been reviewed by Bookmunch.

‘A delightfully straightforward, nostalgic tale of Libya in times gone by. If you’re prepared to release your inner child, Homeless Rats will transport you to another place and time.’

This really is a wonderful little book from a much-loved author – Libya’s greatest, according to the Guardian.

Tactical Delays Are Perilous

It looks like the Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon has shelved the Palestinian request for full statehood in order to gain time.

No vote is likely to be taken by the general assembly let alone the secruity council.

What baffles me no end is that everyone involved in the previous peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is fully aware that the main stumbling block has always been the insistence of Israel on continuing to build Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

Mr Blair, who made his usual statement this morning, is fully cognisant of Israel’s reluctance to stop this insane policy, which will kill any prospects of a peaceful solution.

I wish he would articulate this important point before slyly putting the blame on the Palestinians.

Let us all be real and grasp the essence of the matter first, and then try to formulate a genuine strategy for solving this complex problem.

There are humanitarian issues to be resolved as a matter of urgency, and any tactical delay for whatever reason will make the situation more perilous than ever before.

The Disappointment that is Obama

My biggest disappointment among the politicians on the world stage at the moment is President Obama.

His election was applauded and feted all around the globe; for in the wake of the Bush administration’s right-wing and morally inept policies, which had turned the United States into a reactionary nation bereft of the great ideals of its founding fathers, Obama’s new approach and liberal views came like a breath of fresh air.

But Obama’s tenure has so far been disastrous, held hostage by special interest groups and those who are intent on torpedoing his democratic intentions, regardless of whatever harm this may do the future of America and her standing among the wider community of nations.

His enemies take advantage of his weaknesses to outflank him, and none of his major reforms has as yet been accomplished.

His foreign policy bears the scars of ineffectiveness and lacks consistency.

He has become a laughing stock and his rhetoric has gone flat, losing all sign of the punch or credibility needed to lead the most powerful nation in the world.

Not even Israel – the closest ally of the United States, occupying a key position among the countries of the Middle East – pays any attention to his policy statements when it comes to the crunch, but continues with its own resolve.

It makes a striking contrast to see how, where Obama has been diminished by the burdens of office, Hillary Clinton has grown in stature to match the challenges she faces as Secretary of State in dealing with other world-class statesmen.

Indeed, she has proved herself to be a formidable politician among her contemporaries in the world of diplomacy and at the United Nations.

She is certainly one of the best Secretaries of State that America has known, and she has no fear of naming humbug when she runs up against it. She can be tough where toughness is required.

In the next presidential election, the Democrats would therefore do well to dump Obama and choose Hillary Clinton as their candidate.

Her credentials are remarkable, and she has the potential to make a very strong President of the stature that America and the rest of the world could certainly do with.

Palestine at the UN

It is morally wrong for President Obama to try and deny the Palestinians the right to statehood if they were to pursue it through the United Nations.

He is aware more than anyone that all previous attempts at direct negotiations with Israel ended up in failure.

The reason is simply because the United States has allowed Israel to hold the Palestinians hostage to its unreasonable demands, and its continued defiance of the UN in building Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.

If goodwill on the part of Israel were to prevail even at this late hour then the UN vote recognising the Palestinian state will help consolidate any future peace agreement.

I cannot see why President Obama is determined to derail the Palestinian effort to secure a formal backing for the legitimate cause of its people. This will be seen as a negative and perilous move by Obama since it will inflame waves of resentment and hatred towards the US throughout the Arab world.

Most will see it as counter-productive and a clear sign that Israel’s formidable lobby in the US is dictating American foreign policy as far as the Middle East is concerned.

If the Palestinians succeed at the UN then this will only expedite the prospect of negotiations with Israel, as it will persuade the Jewish state that an equitable solution is the only practical outcome to secure an everlasting peace in the Middle East.

Pippa Middleton

Pippa Middleton seems to be hogging the limelight these days. She has become a walking magnet for the newspapers.

Personally, dare I say, she’s more attractive than her sister the Duchess of Cambridge – and somehow more natural.

Out of the two sisters she is likely to enjoy her life more, away from all the royal protocol that can be stifling in the long-term.

However, my advice to her: show less leg and you will become more intriguing.

‘Men to blame for mess the world is in,’ Equalities Minister Claims

Politicians, whether men or women, have one thing in common. They both play to the gallery, and are as dubious and calculating whatever their gender.

For the Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone to blame men for the mess the world is in is a bit rich, especially coming from somebody whose ministerial responsibility seems totally at odds with such a ridiculous statement.

Her main task is to end sexism, not to stoke the fires that could lead to it. She’s following in the footsteps of Harriet Harman, who has echoed similar views in the past.

Ms Featherstone, a Liberal Democrat, has caused a great rumpus in government circles and should be made to eat her words if the Liberal Party is to survive the harm she has done.

She strikes me as a loose cannon, to be contained if the present coalition government is not to lose its credibility.