Free counter and web stats


..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Ahh.. one more note..
The dance with North Korea continues.. a 'senior American official' has inssued a somewhat harsh statement on North Korea.. saying the country has accelerated it's nuclear weapons programs at the expense of the North Korean peoples, who are themselves living a 'hellish nightmare'..
John Bolton, an American arms negotiator, spoke either his heart, which makes one smile, or the Party Line yesterday, making some unusually personal remarks about North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il..
A 'tyrannical dictator' was perhaps the kindest ..
The comments appeared part of an on-going diplomatic stand-off over the North's nuclear ambitions, with neither side wishing to be seen to be weak ahead of expected talks...
However, the finger-along-the-nose crowd have been expressing some surprise, that the US would even bother to engage in what's apparently a pissing contest with Pyongyang...
Almost as though they're planning a crisis, from which each might withdraw claiming moral ascendancy, while allowing the western market further inroads into the orient..
A story of note from the US today, concerning plans George has for an 'International Earth Observation System'. Ostensibly, this network of sattelite observation posts would be in geosynchrinous orbits at determined sites above the globe, in order to collect and collate data on weather, climactic changes, environmental data..
Critics are saying this is merely another delaying tactic, with the US still not having met it's agreed levels of atmospheric emissions, but there is another angle to consider.
A system such as the one George's boys are presenting, would not only provide access to information on the condition of our atmosphere, but also on what's going on beneath it. Yet another eye in the sky, to feed the ever-widening maw of the 'information gatherers'.
The tin-foil hat brigade will doubtless emerge eventually.
A rare news conference from George yesterday.. reiterating his stance against terrorism in general and al Q'aeda specifically.. there are concerns this summer might bring them out of the wordwork again..
Time for the leaders to take a break though.. George off to herd some on his ranch in Texas..Tony off to Cliff Richard's villa in Barbados...
And many still wait throughout this island, for the beginning of an Inquiry that will end one set of problems, and certainly begin a new..

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Not the best of days for Tony.. but then who's really been enjoying themselves recently..
An issue of trust. Tony faced a somewhat skeptical fifth estate this afternoon, trying his level best to give satisfactory non-answers to queries concerning the death of David Kelly, and the investigations currently underway involving members of the security service on all levels.
His repeated response was to allow the Hutton Inquiry to run it's course, before any liability is admitted to.
Tony's job is that much harder than George's, when all's said and done. While it seems Americans can be forgiving, in retrospect, to those Presidents who've led the country down the garden path...the British are much harsher, and after all, the whole purpose of this exercise was to guarantee Tony a place in the history books.
There's a somewhat large line between fame..and notoriety.
However, it is to be noted that Tony has led this country, often at odds with many, for longer than any other Labour Prime Minister in British history.. in just a couple of days time, he'll break Clement Atlee's record, having been in No.10 for 6 years and 92 days.
How time does fly.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Greece no less.
It was just some scant months ago, Greece came head to head with the British government over an issue involving 'planespotters', aero-enthusiasts, those who for whatever odd reason enjoy flitting about Europe to various air shows, identifying aircraft with the dedication of an orthithologist.
Greece accused some 30 Britons with espionage, for taking snaps of some Greek military craft, which flew at this event. Took months to resolve this idiocy.
Now, Greece, or top lawyers from that country, the Athens Bar Council as a matter of fact, have filed a lawsuit with the International Criminal Court, accusing Tony, Geoff Hoon, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and the recently retired Admiral Sir Michael Boyce of crimes against humanity, atrocities, and conducting an illegal war.
One will be interested to see how the ICC, a body with absolutely no weight whatsoever by the way, defines a 'legal war'...
But the point is, ridiculous as the attempt is, Greece is making a stance here, much as France did against George some months ago. One must wonder what benefit Greece will enjoy within the EEU, the 'new EEU', in adopting this role.
What has many a regular wondering, down at the pub, is once this massive expansion of the European Union is completed, and that's only some seven years away, how will this political behemoth conduct itself?
The EEU has evolved, mutated perhaps, from a true European Trade Union, into an all-embracing mega-state. From a group of countries with common economic, political, and in most cases ethnic background, to what will be an unweildy monster with a total population, tax base, of more than 500 million peoples, each within their own baliwick. More than 25 national languages to deal with. Cultural and ethnic diversity unseen since perhaps the Holy Roman Empire, all lumped together, and told to play nice.
The EU itself is not a viable concern, nor a matter for any great worry, for it will fall in on itself.
Now that fall, the nature of it, might be something to think about.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

While the charter of the BBC is not under any direct threat, it would appear the broadcaster is going to be the patsy in the David Kennly affair. Alastair Campbell, Tony's chief spin doctor, will likely feel the boot within a few weeks, once the Inquiry's under way.
What the government is as yet unsure of, and as a result is maintaining ridiculous pressures on those holding what could be damaging to their infrastructure, is what degree of faith those in the back room still have in this Parliament, and to what lengths they'll go to find a way back to normalcy. What the 'dark and sinister actors' are waiting to see, is what effect those actions they've taken already will have on those others, who like Kelly, are capable of putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
It becomes a contest of wills, and Tony's future, along with the reputations and in fact freedom of others, depends on the dedication of a few to maintain silence. To play for the side.
It had been hoped in Washington, that the much publicized deaths of Uday and Q'Say, would result in a diminution of attacks on US troops. Five killed and seven wounded since early yesterday.. it may well have to be taken into seious consideration, that even if the last of Saddam's faithful can be removed, American troops will continue to come under attack as long as they remain on Iraqi soil. Mind you, with the possibility of a mobile force heading to quell the Liberia problem, whatever government the US does manage to erect in Baghdad will still have the reasuring presence of George's boys in the area..
It was never thought to have been a quick process, this westernization of the world..

Thursday, July 24, 2003

One really must smile at times.
The government's in quiet turmoil these days, with Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon off to visit the widow of David Kelly yesterday, while in Parliament and Whitehall eveyone with a finger is pointing it at someone else.
This past weekend, it was Tony and his despicable government egging an academic to distraction with misinterpretation of his facts. Tony, Geoff, and Tony's spin doctor Alastair Campbell firmly in the media's sight... there was some villification left over for the Foreign Affairs Select Committee as well..
But as the week began, with the BBC admitting they'd used DR.Kelly as their principle source, it became the broadcaster that was the villain.
And the Judicial Enquiry's not even yet begun.
One must suspect, that in light many who have known David Kelly thinking his suicide is not quite in character, and the cryptic messages he sent out just an hour or less before his death, that there are still some sitting at their keyboards, where for years they've banged out reports to often faceless individuals throughout the government.. wondering if they too might be found, one wrist slashed, a couple of mild analgesics to hand, alone some woodland path.
That there are those, who knowing governments to be the animals they are, who simply wait, hoping the inquiry begins before they're totally destroyed.
Ahh well.. sic transit gloria mundi..
Meanwhile back on the ranch, Saddam's son's appear to have been dealt out of the game, and the war of attrition continues in Iraq..
One wonders how they'll work out the leave rotation, come Xmas..

Monday, July 21, 2003

It was 1969, and there weren't many people on the streets that evening, as most were watching Neil Armstrong stepping down the ladder of the lunar lander, making the first human footprints on the moon.. In retrospect, it was amazing we did so much so quickly.
One wonders why nothing further has been managed in the intervening 34 years..
Those who have worked for the government can only hope the Judicial Enquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly will bring to a halt to the current MoD witch hunt.. yet somehow, one doubts..
Whether the blame for this debacle falls on the shoulders of the Government, or the BBC, is to the intelligence community unimportant.
Lines have been crossed, and many believe firmly in the old saw, 'fool me once, shame on you.. fool me twice...'

Sunday, July 20, 2003

There are some who truely believe that working for one's government, is in effect working for those who elected it. That what is done in the name of National Security will be put to wholesome use, for the betterment of the whole. One finds an odd mixture of cynicism and blind commitment among those academics who toil in the back rooms.. well from their homes for the most part.. as they put the various pieces of the puzzle into some semblance of shape for those who make national policy..
There is an unworldliness that can overtake some who spend too much time staring at the macro..
Such overcame David Kelly. The information he gave to the BBC over a casual lunch, was no more to him than that. Simple information available to anyone who cared to seek it out.
The spin was journalism.
Yet, with David Kelly the pressure of being dragged before a Commons Select Committee, the internal questioning of an entirely ethical man as to whether he had actually said the words as they appeared in print, the thought of scandal and loss of not only public but self esteem, was evident.
So it is with many these days. Character assassination can be a very effective weapon, especially in the 'back rooms'
But, taking the man's character itself, the plans he had made, the discussions he left in mid-point, we must wonder what the police investigation will uncover, let alone what the judicial inquiry will find.
'Dark and sinister actors are at work' said Kelly before he died.
One takes an oath of secrecy when one works with Intelligence. When you've made that oath to those who you've come to distrust, and in some cases outright fear, how binding might it become?
We will see.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

One last note.
For those watching the machinations in Europe, it's Constitutional issue, the stance Britain has taken with the US, and Tony's continuing role in all of these..
Recall the names Alastair Campbell, Tony's communications chief.. and Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary.
One wonders who the American counterparts will be.
Watch as well for a shakeup in the depths of British intelligence...
Some interesting stories may well come to light, on the manner and disposition of intelligence reports, which for most will be only confirmation of the finger beside the nose made some months ago, but for some might bring to mind the debacles of the 60's...
One can only reiterate, that these are interesting times we live in..
Tony, at this point, must be wondering at the wisdom of throwing in so wholeheartedly with George on this Middle East move. It's not turned out quite as he'd planned at all.
As he sits in Japanese discussions, North Korea is crowing their ability to construct as many as 6 nuclear weapons from supplies they have at hand, and Pyongyang is inundating the populace with anti-western sentiment... there is a domestic crisis in full swing with the death of Dr. David Kelly, and the emergence of other government machinations aimed at those who recently worked for them... the stress is becoming obvious on the Prime Ministers face..
And George's next project, might well be just a few nautical miles away across the Sea of Japan..
Sending British troops into the far east will reawaken sentiments in the British collective memory of Burma, and inspire much the same feelings as VietNam does for an American. Whether Tony can afford to remain harnessed to George on this one is going to have to be a matter for some thought..
And whether Tony has any analysts still willing to tell him what they think, is yet another matter to ponder..
Yet each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
One awaits, with great interest, the government reaction to the outcries for a public inquiry into the death of David Kelly.
For those who straddle the border between academia, analysis, and journalism, this death is of particular importance. It's significance lies in the reliability of one's own government, in one's own intelligence gathering systems, and the depths of one's own discretion.
It also demonstrates what pressures can be brought to bear by those who felt themselves 'let down'. While at this point, the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Donald Anderson, is saying the questioning aimed at Dr.Kelly led to criticisms aimed 'more at the MoD than himself'.. he cannot deny that at one point he admonished this esteemed academic that he was 'testifying before the Highest Parliamentary Court'.. a blatant mis-statement, aimed only at intimidation.
This government, if attempting to lay blame for this recent action in the Middle East, must not be allowed to hector those it employs to analyze the information itself provides.
But after all this, Oscar Wilde said it far more eloquently in the first few lines.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Perhaps the first sign of public wavering on the US government's 'commitment' to stabalizing Iraq today.. 34 American soldiers have been killed since the end of the war, so to speak, on MayDay.. total toll is 148 to this time, higher than the entire American human cost in 1991..
Therein a fundamental problem with American foreign policy. It can be agressive, but it doesn't like continuing damage. The public recalls VietNam in the US, with something akin to loathing and fear. The one incident in modern history, when the might of the American War Machine couldn't defeat 'foreigners'. It's a pill that still sticks in the collective craw.
Rapid change is what's called for, according to these advisors. But then, it's the insistence on immediate results, and concentration on the short term, that will eventually make this a black spot in American history.
It's the fast food, fast cars, fast wars, immediate success syndrome that will bring the States down.
Just as it's the patience and planning which involves decades of unfolding intrigue that will have the Middle East still the Middle East, long after the last Western soldier has gone home.
A note at the passing of Dr. David Kelly. A mid-eastern analyst for the Ministry of Defence, who after testifying at a Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday, was today found murdered near his home, in a small village in Oxfordshire.
Dr. Kelly had been at the center of the 'Iraq Dossier' controvercy, and had told the Committee he had not provided anyone with documents, suggesting a dossier on Iraq had been 'sexed-up'...
Evidently there remained some doubt in the minds of a few at Whitehall..

Thursday, July 17, 2003

It was a rousing speech from Tony, was the consensus down at the pub..
And perhaps it's as honest a statement as we'll get, and should perhaps expect, from a politician who's put his head in the noose.
One cannot deny, that even should there never be an ounce of what might have been a WMD found, it does not discount it simply being well hidden. One cannot deny Saddam was not really anyone's first choice for Iraqi leader and he is better off away. T'would be nice if the next Iraqi regeme was more inclined to favouring the west.. all true..
But, said Tony, he still believes these weapons will be discovered, and that their existence, or his conviction of their existence, was justification in itself for the actions taken.
That if history judges the removal of Saddam as an act based on false intelligence, then how much harsher would history judge total inaction, should those intelligence reports eventually be found correct.
There's a statement many a British voter will be turning over.
Mind you, Tony got 17 standing ovations in Congress..
One hopes at the very least, it brings back the tourism money lost to Mad Cow Disease..
Note should be made of the passing of Carol Shields.. she of The Stone Diaries.
Canadian forces have taken control of the occupational troops still trying to bring some sense of 'western' order to Afghanistan. It's their turn in the NATO order of things to try and do the impossible, to continue in the tradition which goes back past the Highland troops trying to hold the Khyber Pass, to Alexander himself...
It's the Germans and Dutch who get to go home. They've been targets since last February..
It would appear even to the most vehemently opposed, that the natural state of mankind is, and has always been conflict. Whether it be inner, or manifestly outwardly directed, it is for the vast majority, an existence endured from one crisis to the next.
While most shake their heads, and deny they can be classed with such, it's the group along the bar, with their fingers beside their noses and the wry winks, who nod..
It might be interesting to see what develops in the near future, as far as the stance Tony and George take on the issue of WMD's.. It's a far larger problem for Tony than George at this point..
One might think the spin needed to sort this, is achieved, could possibly affect tidal patterns..

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Retrospect. Six years ago it was, that Gianni Versace was shot to death on the steps of his Miami mansion. Most recall Versace, but the name of his killer?
An interesting precident set in the US, with the government defying a court ruling concerning one member of Al Q'aeda talking with another. The names in this case are irrelivant, but the situation is that the only man charged with the September 11th bombings, claims he has a man who happens also to be in American custody who can prove if not his innocence, then his diminished responsibility.
The courts say it's a just request, that this interview take place. The government, perhaps under the Homeland Security blanket, is saying stuff it.
Dangerous precidents.
Meanwhile, back with George and the African campaign. It appears the possibility of American troops in Liberia is under consideration, this following a meeting with Kofi Annan. While the transformation of Iraq may well be a project George has within himself pledged years to, the consolidation of the American presence in the area would only be enhanced by the presence of a 'West African Peacekeeping Force'. One of George's conditions for involvement, is of course that the current Liberian leader, President Charles Taylor, has to vacate before the US arrives.
Two down..
Ah. the man's name was Andrew Cunanan.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

One has to issue a vote of sincere thanks to the Italian and German governments, for their slapstick efforts to divert attention from the lingering political effects of the Iraq Deposition..
Gerhard Schroeder has announced he's cancelled his reservations at an Italian resort for his upcoming vacation. Now this follows a minor Minister in the Italian government heaping fuel on Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi's kapao comment of last week, by telling a national interview that he was quite familliar with the sight of German tourists in Italy.. that they could be easily identified as the loud, loutish blonde ones in the crowd. This prompted a response from the German media that this particular Minister has 'spaghetti for brains'...
European politics can still afford a good opera when it's necissary.. almost makes one yearn for lederhosen and Tyrolian hats, and conjures an image of a chorus made up of backbenchers..
The French might say 'plus que ca change, plus que le meme chose..' but then the French have said perhaps too much already..
For those who have inquired about the continuation of the thoughts on the Wiccan Rede and the Gospel of Thomas, the series will continue, when ongoing issues are resolved. Wisdom says we must accept that which we cannot immediately change, and patience demands acceptance of the timeframe others may have set. The work continues, and the workers abide.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Seems to be the weekend for the erection of barriers..
Tony's about as pissed off with the BBC as a Prime Minister has been, at least in recent memory, and not over the remaining popularity for Spitting Image episodes featuring himself. The mighty BBC itself is the target for the Prime Minister's fury, and that's really not using an inappropriate word.
The Beeb has made allegations the Government, with the Prime Ministers knowledge, 'sexed-up' intelligence reports, thus justifying the incursion into Iraq.
Really. How naive of the BBC to take on the Government over such an issue. How Pollyanna a point of view does it take to realise these machinations are ubiquitous, but by far more than tacit agreement, are never, ever, mentioned. Regardless the mobs demands for total disclosure, those in the news business know better than to step on one's sources toes, and the deeper irony is that while the BBC is indeed the 'peoples television', being paid for through television license subscription, Tony for the moment is the peoples Government, and unless the BBC is aiming at bringing Tony and Co. down, they pursue a chimera.
More barriers. Drumcree will echo to the fife and the drum today, as the Orange Walk proceeds. Police are on hand. Never have the streets looked cleaner, what with all that which can be thrown collected, and stored along the way...
And one must thank the Germans and the Italians for affording a laugh, during a week humour has been in short supply.. Italy's PM, Silvio Berlusconi now insists he has not apologised for comparing a German politician to a Nazi concentration camp guard..a 'kapo' actually.. he only said his words were 'misunderstood'.. a joke among.. friends..

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Bloody hell..
That the consensus down at the pub.. as we watch our national sport being taken over by outside interests..
First Manchester United sells David Beckham to Real Madrid.. he'll get a better tan mind..
But now.. in the biggest deal in footballing history..Chelsea FC has been sold to a Russian businessman for £140 million..
The new owner, Roman Abramovich, made his money in Russian oil.. owns most of Sibneft.. one of the largest oil companies in Russia.. at least that's where his money is, now..
Well.. some of it's now en route to the coffers of Chelsea FC.. money which by the bye.. is very welcome indeed..
There was a time it was Britain being bought by the oil rich OPEC Sheiks.. will these middle-european entrepreneurs be the next wave..?
One can be sure.. France and Germany will be watch very carefully how much, and where European capital flows into Britain.. and the sector they fear the most, is that of the emerging Balkan states..

Search This Blog

Blog Archive