19 July 2007

Cash for honours -- told you so.

Nearly six months ago, when Ruth Turner was arrested, I predicted that the police had nothing hard to go on in their cash for honours enquiry - and tonight, listening to the World Tonight, I gather an announcement is being made tomorrow that no one will be prosecuted in relation to this affair. The report says that "friends of" Tony Blair (=Tony Blair/Alistair Campbell) think Blair's authority was seriously undermined by the police conducting the investigation.

Not being the most sympathetic to Blair, I can fairly say that for once he has a valid complaint, although had the same investigation been ongoing in 1995/1996, I am sure Blair would have attempted to score every available political point as he did over the arms to Iraq affair (itself now rather ironic).

Sadly, a government on the receiving end of such police incompetence sees no issue in allowing police to lock people up for three months without charge....

18 July 2007

I'm backing Boris because...

...he is undoubtedly one of the more intelligent people in politics today. I believe that he has the courage of his convictions. More importantly, I believe he is capable of cutting through the turgid political consensus that has grown up around a number of issues, especially in local government. When Boris says that he can do without the 50 or so press officers employed by Livingstone, I believe he can, and he will - and do away with the endless self promotion at the taxpayer's expense. I have no doubt that Boris will terrify the vested interests who depend on City Hall to fund their jobs and pet projects. London is ripe for a pragmatic right wing mayor who will implement rational and simple policies to improve core services and basic functions without putting an ever increasing burden on the London council tax payer. I hope that Boris will be to London what Rudi was to New York.

The fact that Boris is Boris and cultivates an image makes him stand out amongst modern politicians. However, if he can translate his image into political success, he will prove that blandness and cowardliness are not necessary prequisites for politician.

Extradiction hypocracy

In response to the refusal of the Russian government to extradict Andrey Lugovoy, the chief suspect in the Litvinenko murder, the British government has expelled four Russian diplomats.

It seems that as far as Russia is concerned, it is one rule for them and one for everyone else. How long ago was it that the USA refused to extradict Irish terrorists who had bombed and murdered their way around the UK mainland? This did not prompt Britain to expel American diplomats, even when the people their government were protecting were far more a danger to the British state. In a bizarre reversal, the position continues today with the British government not extradiciting (although this may change) Roisin Mcalisky - accused of bombing the British army base in Osnabruck, Germany. A campaign to prevent her extradicition is currently in full swing.

The British government is also refusing to extradict Boris Beresovsky, who is currently facing trial in absentia in Moscow on charges of ripping off the Russian state. How would the British have felt if, instead of falling off his yacht, Robert Maxwell had fled to Moscow and then the Russians refused to send him back?

Hardly a one-sided affair warranting the escalation in diplomatic measures currently being taken.

Added to this, although Russia is publicly stating that this row will not effect British investment in Russia, I know for a fact that the Russian embassy in London is being difficult about issuing visas right now, so to imagine it will not have an adverse effect on Anglo-Russian business is incredibly naive.

Perhaps this is Gordon Brown's secret plan for cooling down the London property market? Who knows?