Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Blinkers And Winkers

This was a subject to avoid, given the full media and blogosphere in full cry.  But other ideas paled beside the sheer idiocy of this one.  Malcolm Rifkind, the Scottish Tory refugee in Kensington and Chelsea seems to have gone missing on parade and not so jolly Jack Straw in Labour perhaps hit by one of the fictional WMD's that he lost when helping Blair to invade Iraq.

What is terrifying is that both of these alpha males who fell for a bog standard media sting about their taking money for services rendered were Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs and not just at the heart of government but inside the Right and Left pulmonary veins.

Rifkind is now the resigned Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee on Intelligence, repeat Intelligence, and Straw is out and about advising sundry bodies and governments on both policy and on the quiet his own ideas about intelligence.  But we will not go into that, some of his constituents in Blackburn may not be happy.

There is a lot of mail that comes through the letter box from all sorts of places.  There are things that crop up in emails.  There are other matters that arise.  So what do many people do these days?  They check it out, starting online and then perhaps following through.

Or they contact someone or a body for an opinion; very easy these days with modern communications. There are any number of sources.  Their reliability may vary but for someone of any experience or awareness they ought to be able to find something.

These men were both once at the heights of government yet they could not work out or did not bother to check at the most basic level of information nor it seems ask any of their many advisers or researchers or underlings or informed contacts or even, Zeus save us, people in Whitehall who would have known.

Is that how they ran the Foreign Office?  Is that how they advised the Prime Minister of their day?  Is that the basis of the many times they stood up in the House of Commons to inform the House and argue the basis of critical government policy?  Worse, is that the way they entered into binding and crucial commitments and negotiations about all our futures?

It might seem unlikely given the cohorts of civil servants and others to advise and inform them.  Also, the many interested parties and organised bodies with their views, reports and information.  Yet at the end of it all, when let out to play on their own, they function at a lower level than the average teenager and it seems with less capacity for rational thinking.

Are they the exception?  Looking around the various parties and their leaders a shiver goes down the back.  When you look further at the next tiers of personnel and see who is there and what their capabilities might be the shiver turns into the early stages of panic that this is the way they all are and how out government is run.

This seems to be the way it is for the House of Commons.  As for the House of Lords most of them now seem to be people who failed in the House of Commons.  The real blockheads we sent to Europe.

And the election will not change anything whichever way it goes.


  1. It's known as arrogance. They never, for one second, believed this approach was anything more than they deserved. Flattering and in their minds, no more than their deluded hubris felt was their due.

    In reality we are the stupid ignoramuses who, decade after decade, have voted for them.

  2. "What is terrifying is that both of these alpha males who fell for a bog standard media sting"

    Spot on - that's the nub of it. The internet seems to highlight just how limited such people are, yet a few decades ago we'd never have known without inside information.

    We live in interesting times.