Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Brookes - the new Hogarth

HAT TIP to Peter Brookes, the Times Newspaper cartoonist. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.
So, I have been bullied back into Blogging after a severe dose of apathy. A few notes on the most prominent themes while I have been away:

Alan Johnson truly deserves contempt. At the height of a wide ranging national ‘youth’ scandal (worst place to be a child in the developed world, youth gun crime, gangs and male displacement), Mr Johnson commits himself to the single policy most responsible for the problem – the abandonment of marriage. Marriage and family are the essential building blocks of society. Withdrawing Government support for marriage in search of some liberal utopia is criminal dereliction of the youth it ultimately betrays. New Labour have made their bed, and they must now lie in it. Never has a cartoon ever summed up my feelings as this one by Brookes. If the rights were acquired by the Tories and used properly, this single cartoon could and should bring this government down.

The contest for the Leadership of the Labour Party is hotting up in true New Labour style. Milburn and Clarke’s launch of their ‘debate’ is little more than we have come to expect from this tawdry bunch. Its deceit is so transparent. Its propagators lie and spin their way through a press conference claiming that their purpose is to raise policy issues – but not one single policy is discussed. This cowardly, deceitful approach to politics is precisely the legacy that Blair leaves behind and precisely the reason why this leadership campaign is doomed to failure. All Cameron has to do is be honest, decent, open and true, and he will sweep these desperados from power.

The contest for the Deputy Leadership of the Labour Party interests me not. With one exception. The very fact that it is underway before we, or more particularly they, know who the next Leader of the Party is. They appear to be saying that they are happy to be deputy leader to any of Brown, Meacher, McDonnell, Miliband or Milburn and as such their political credibility is shot and their self serving rush for power is beneath contempt.

If I see another moment of media coverage of either Jade Goody, Anna Nicole Smith or that other brainless female, Danielle, I will lose all sense of decorum. The media does many great things but its creation and propagation of the cult of celebrity is an evil that must be brought to a rapid end.

Ireland have finally grown up. Patronising though that may be, I speak as man with significant quantities of Irish blood but who has grown up knowing nothing but Irish petulance and violence. I have stood between them and witnessed their bigotry first hand. As such, I expected little from the crowd at the highly charged, Nationalist venue, Croke Park in Dublin for the Ireland vs. England Rugby international. For those unaware, Croke Park is the now impressive Gaelic Football stadium in which, in 1920, British troops took revenge for the killing of British agents by opening fire indiscriminately during a football game killing 14 people. Since when the stadium has stood as a bastion of nationalism and until just two weeks ago had NEVER played host to any international team. I was deeply moved therefore, by the all round decency of the crowd last Saturday. Their applause for the English team, their silence (to a man) for the British National Anthem and their generosity in victory. Fantastic game of rugby!

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