Friday, June 30, 2006

Big bashings in Little Britain

It is one of those days where the news is very different wherever you are. The US supreme court delivers a bashing for Bush (the only abstainers were his own recent appointees) and the public at large have delivered a bashing for Blair in the UK. Welcome news of course, but it means Palestine has lost the headlines.

Blair lost two elections - one to an independent and another to his "official" opposition, the conservatives. The latter aren't exactly celbrating though - they won by a narrow margin that showed massive support for the Liberal Democrats. Conservative leader David Cameron may have been hurt by his appearance on a chat show at the weekend - or at least the media coverage of it.

During the show, host Jonathan Ross asked Cameron jokingly if, as a teenager, he had ever masturbated to pictures of Margaret Thatcher. It was the juvenile banter which we expect of Ross and if Cameron had had his wits about him might have replied with "metaphorically yes, physically no" or a similarly humourous anecdote. He couldn't - and that is probably what damaged him. I was actually recording the interview for some parrying on the issue of legalising drugs which I knew was coming. I remember a slight snigger at the Thatcher remarks, but didn;t at the time assign it any importance. Given that all re-runs of the show on the web and elsewhere have now been censored - it looks like I have a collectors item!

The election blows for Blair have been topped here by revelations that his government has been moving to privatise the health service. Some adverts offering tenders went out early and in public thanks to an administrative goof. It's also revealed today that he has spent £1billion on "reforming" an agency (CSA) the result of which has made its functioning considerably worse.

The blow to Bush was initially seen to be a legal declaration that procedeures in Guantanamo Bay were illegal under both United States and International law. The Washington Post dig deeper and consider it A Governing Philosophy Re-buffed. Alternet suggest it is The beginning of the end for exective power itself.


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