Liberalism is dead? says,- Vladimir Putin!

Mr. Putin, a man we all know for his sense of fair play, tolerance, and generosity of spirit has pronounced that liberalism is dead.   Well, what do you know,  are we surprised? Is he right?  It’s this last question that bothers me.

Messrs Putin, Xi, Erdogan, Trump, and several others form a very powerful axis, none of them are remotely liberal.   Between them, they carry more influence than the European block, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand combined.  Between these two groups of authoritarian and liberal regimes stand those who grapple with extreme problems of fundamentalism (e.g.Iran), extreme corrupt socialism (e.g. Venezuela) or radical revisionism.  India and South Africa, who both grapple with monumental change.

All nations it seems, follow strong leaders.  In the UK recently we have had a conspicuous absence of leadership which has led us to the edge of chaos.  The nation is about to appoint a chaotic leader whose key attributes are charisma and a bad haircut.  Despite all the negatives, the UK will appoint a Bullingdon Club boor as its next prime minister simply because he has charisma.   Johnson is a populist in the Trump mold, who will, if allowed, enjoy an authoritarian role focused solely on the Brexit question where charisma outshines the policies for the common good.

Will the UK allow Boris Johnson to lead it out of the EU in an impossible time scale?  Will this ‘no deal’ action result in the breakup of the UK?  Will a general election that follows destroy the center ground of British politics?  Will the liberal majority bring Johnson down, with what consequence?

Was Putin right?  Is liberalism dead?

Boris for a day – it’s dark out there!

Telling the future is always hazardous, but I am prepared to bet that Boris the boorish philanderer will be come Prime Minister of UK. Happily though, it will only be for a day or two at the most. Surely, if Boris gets in, and the blue rinse Tories are daft enough to get him there, there will be a vote of no confidence and a general election will follow.

The bad news is the chaos that will follow that. It is hard to imagine, but the options are not pretty. A hot bed of Lib Dems, the Brexit party run by Nigel Farage, the tail end of Labour, or maybe the resurgence of a more moderate Labour, an active and insurgent SNP and a minority of Tories of whatever hue. It seems most likely that the mother of parliaments will become the home of a huge mix of political variations with a coalition being paramount. The key issue of ‘Brexit’ will remain the elephant in the chamber, it depends if the Brexit alliance can hold the rest at bay.

The numbers, that’s the issue. Despite the apparent huge changes the UK will be in the same boat. The one item/personality that can change all this is not Boris but Nigel Farage.

The next general election will be fought as another referendum on Brexit, like it or not! Let us hope the electorate vote decisively one way or another. This is where my future prophesying lapses.

The prospect of Nigel Farage is one I might contemplate down in the Pub, but not for more than a millisecond, who else do I see on the horizon. It’s dark out there.

 

Phew! that was a close one!

I understand Mr.Trump decide to go to war with Iran and then decided against it. Apparently someone tweeted that the move would be unpopular and could blow up the world.

“Never mind said POTUS, that’ll teach them not to mess with me. Someone else has resigned? Who? That’s OK I know a guy who can do great deals. Maybe I’ll give him the contract for a new wall round the White House”

Was our communications chief Sarah Huckerbee Sanders sacked? “I think she did a fantastic job” says Trump, “she saw through all that fake news and made up a lot of her own. That’s what I call a smart lady, she has a nice ass too. Whoops! shouldn’t have said that. She’ll make a great Governor maybe President one day!”

Meanwhile White House counsel Kellyanne Conway has attracted the ire of Special Counsel for bashing political adversaries of Trump thus violating her role as a member of the impartial Head of States team and the Hatch Act. “Nonsense, she just said democrats are stupid and crooked, nothing wrong with that.”

“What’s the Hatch Act?” said POTUS, ” I can do what I like, and I like Kellyanne, don’t take that the wrong way now. Any way what’s more important, is where the Ferris Wheel goes. On Friday we’re going to have a great time with steaks and picnics and lots of politicians, all taking my hospitality, maybe I can pick up some tips on what to do if Iran stops any more oils ships – you never know, at least I don’t”

The world goes marching on – to disaster on many fronts.

The POTUS is leading the free world into conflict with the eastern powers of China, North Korea, and by proxy to Russia, he is creating tension and alliances that are clearly against the free world’s interests. It is clear that, through his wretched idea of diplomacy he has inadvertently cemented North Korea and China’s relationship. He has created real tension in the middle east by abandoning the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump appears to have lost (if he ever had it) any idea of long term strategy and tweets his way to almost certain downturn in the world economy, a rapid deterioration of our climate and environment. For good measure he has exacerbated the ire of South America and the mass migration of the have-nots of this world. As he launches his new presidential campaign his followers could not care lass about any of the above and will sleep walk into a myriad of disasters if Trump gets a second term. And that’s just the Trumpian aspect.

The UK is about to vote in a clown as prime minister and who knows what chaos that will lead to. How the British, who consider themselves to be the founders of modern liberal democracy, can elect such a proven self-centred clown only reinforces what appalling depths of political shambles the UK has sunk to. David Cameron has a lot to answer for.

Where are we all going? Mass migration, environmental decay, climate warming, trade wars, racial intolerance and authoritarian rule. The new Gulags of China, the steel wall of America and the religious turmoil of the Middle East especially the suffering in Yemen. All symptoms of man’s intolerance of his fellow man. What the world does not need now is people like Trump, Putin, Xi, Kim Jong-Un, Erdogan. There are several other eccentrics in charge of much of the wold. Another clown will not improve the mix.

The blind leading the blind.

Having watched last night’s debate with five conservative hopefuls to fill the hapless gap left by Mrs. May, I am astonished that not one of these candidates has the foggiest idea how to deliver what they promise.

Boris Johnson was clearly the best, at not answering questions at all, he just bumbled along assuring us it was completely unimportant that he condemned Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe to a double term in an Iranian jail. In fact, he said, it was the Iranians fault in the first place and what he said as Foreign Secretary was neither here or there. Can you believe that?

Believe it or not, not one of his opponents picked him up on this. How can they possibly tolerate such clear idiocy from Boris or anyone else. I was hugely disappointed that Jeremy Hunt did not pick up on this.

It seemed to me, they all, with the exception of Rory Stewart, were toadying to Boris as the inevitable winner and next prime minister for places in his cabinet.

What a complete farce, nobody knows how to deliver Brexit, and nobody will tell us what they are going to do to manage the UK’s EU exit.

On other policies, they were all suitably vague and united, again except for Stewart, on giving away loads of money on tax breaks.

I don’t know if they turned out just to show how useless they all are, but they certainly succeeded.

Boris, backwards to the ruling class.

So, we really do need a posh bullshit merchant to bluster our way to Brexit! So it seems, if you believe the results of the first conservative election results. I think it speaks volumes about the Conservative MP’s who are scared to death of losing their jobs. Dear Boris launched his campaign saying nothing except possibly “Tally ho! follow me!”

He followed this baloney with claims of his success as the Mayor of London, carefully avoiding some of his positively gargantuan cock-ups. He then took questions which he entirely ignored with one exception, and continued his bluster about what a good man he is . Tally ho! Bullingdon Club lads to the fore.

I can never forgive Boris for his dreadful betrayal of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, by a total disregard for his responsibility, his off the cuff stupidity and his downright arrogance.

If the conservative rank and file are stupid enough to support this nomination I for one will never vote Tory again.

Trump, not just a simpleton in power, but a menace to us all.

We are all used by now to the POTUS Trump tweeting insults and idiocies, but in the trade war with China, Trump is upping the economic risks for not just the US but the world. More particularly, by banning Google from cooperating with Huwaie, Trump has escalated the conflict from a simple trade dispute to one of technical superiority or technical sovereignty.

This move will make China use its position as the main creditor of the US, to manipulate the yen, and pull back on the purchase of American technical products, especially for things like semi conductor and aeronautics, and of course redouble its efforts to develop its own technologies.

Trump by imposing restraints on its allies and others, not to trade with companies such as Huwaie, is forcing many non aligned democracies to make a choice between the US or the Chinese trade and technology alliances. How far Trump will go in pushing anti Chinese technology is anyone’s guess. The imposition of sanctions on those who depend on trade with the US will force them at least in the short term to become unwilling trade partners of the US. Untold problems are bound to arise as the Chinese are vital cogs in so many supply chains.

Europe will have to become the arbiter of trade sense, led by the export economy of Germany, however the US holds the trump card on the defence front of Nato. This is where a push by Russia will be a contributor to pushing Europe further toward the US.

The consequences of an aggressive Chinese trade, technology and diplomatic push may well leave the European zone excluded from the tiger economies such as India, and Indonesia. Japan may well become a hostage to fortune.

Trump is not just a simple nationalist he’s a menace.

Birmingham, LGBT and Parenting.

The age of discretion.  Children’s awareness of their Sexuality

The LGBT community seem to be winning acceptance by virtually all of UK society. Fair enough, we should all respect the variations in our genetic development and allow those of different persuasions to practise whatever sexual mores that comes naturally to them.

In Birmingham, parents of mainly Muslim children object to their sons and daughters being taught LGBT rights at an age they believe to be below those children’s age of discretion.  They also believe that LGBT values do not accord with the teachings of Allah, the main tenet of their religion.

The state and the City fathers of Birmingham disagree with the parents and have applied an injunction from the courts to stop the parents demonstrating their objections. Additionally the authorities insist that sex education including LGBT issues are taught to all youngsters from a very early age.

Who is right?

Firstly, one can see the reason why tolerance of minority habits and behaviour is a good thing in a liberal society. 

Secondly, it is easy to understand that parents of children as young as six object to their impressionable children being influenced on what they see as a moral issue, especially when the children are below the age of discretion.

Thirdly, if we are to have sexual diversity freedom, we should surely have religious freedom.

How do we square the circle?

If the family is to mean anything, then surely parents have the right to bring up their children in the moral and religious codes they believe in.

Whilst the LGBT community rightly want to see their rights recognised, should this right over ride the parental view?  Particularly for children who are under the age of discretion?

The mayor of Birmingham has labelled the behaviour of the parents as prejudiced against the LGBT community.  His opponents would argue that the findings of the courts, the local authorities are prejudiced against the traditional nuclear family.

The point of settlement must address the definition of the age of discretion.  When are children fit to make rational decisions about personal behaviour and beliefs of minorities? In short when do parents agree that a child is free to think for him/herself?

Open mindedness and tolerance, the defining value of a free society, have to be based on the acceptance of conflicting views, as well as respecting traditions and religions.  Parental responsibility, surely, cannot be suborned by the state.

Drip and Drop, seen in France.

During the very special remembrance service in France, I caught sight of Jeremy Corbyn and Mark Drakeford the drip and drop of British politics. The non decision makers of our time.

Neither is likely to transmogrify into a leader, nor are they likely to change their decision paralysis . Two men aspiring to be heads of government without a semblance of character between them.

Both are secure in their sinecures supported by ideologues of the far left, both smug in their non decisive twaddle about decisions that really matter. The far left are responsible for bringing these less than ideal leaders to their post, and in so doing are wrecking the future of labour as a left of centre effective opposition, or if you will effective potential government.

In the case of Corbyn he’s got himself into an almost impregnable position, Drakeford too, can expect to remain unchallenged in the Welsh Assembly. In the face of a collapsing Conservative regime it is distressing to see alternative government parties so hopelessly ineffective.

It is as if the British electorate has sleep walked into calamity. You might argue at least the conservative lot are competent but lacking in compassion, and though out of touch they maybe, but at least their drips and drops make the occasional splash!

Wales, closed for business?

Wales, closed for business?  The M4 relief road abandoned. 

The M4 – let’s wait another thirty years! Let the people of Newport choke.

Where will all the electric vehicles go? Not to the congestion that is inescapable along the M4.

Thirty years on, twenty since self government and at least £44mn pounds later, the decision is no.  You can’t accuse the Welsh government of rushing to conclusions.  Since 29% of the electorate bothered to turn out to vote on Welsh self-government 20years ago with just a 6,300 majority in favour, the Welsh have the apathetic government they deserve.

The whole of this sorry period has been overseen by an ineffective legislature which has by and large failed to make any decisions of worth.  Examples include Chief executives of failed Health Boards continuing to hold their jobs despite spectacular failure, (Their English counterparts fired/resigned) Any project from the Ebbw Vale redevelopment, Swansea Bay, and now the M4 have all turned to dust.  Yes of course, these projects have issues, but the M4 decision should have been a no-brainer.  The Welsh Government simply bottled it, kicked the can down the road.

This is a government that prefers to say no, this is a government that is afraid of risk.  This is a government unfit to be in power.  This is government of obdurate labour supporters determined to oppose anything good or bad that comes from central government at Westminster.

The first ministers with perhaps one exception have been non leaders, bureaucrats, smug in their political coats of red.  Indecisive and glib of tongue, these second rate aspirants have revelled in parochial power, whilst accepting none of the real challenges of supporting an enterprising Wales.

They speak in addled terms of their attitude toward the EU whilst at the same time proclaiming their delight at receiving support for deprived areas.  It would be a delight if, instead, they did something to alleviate these deprived areas with enterprise, renewal and energy.

The Welsh are a proud nation, how long will they tolerate this sort of botched government.  Maybe this dreadful decision will wake the electorate up to vote in numbers for a more dynamic Wales. The party that waits in the wings is Plaid Cymru, and whilst they are hardly re-known for being outward looking, they surely will be more enterprising than Welsh Labour. 

Unionists are not confined to Northern Ireland, many would do well to remember that the United Kingdom is our home and Wales an essential part of it.

 Many are opposed to the breakup of the Union, and the direction of travel of the SDP, but at least they have a personable and articulate leader who pushes for Scotland at all times.

This a wake up call for the Welsh nation and its political future, wake up! not only in the National Stadium but also at the ballot box.