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Some notes on matters that have arisen over the last week

Europhile Denis MacShane is a criminal – no, I am sorry, he’s not a criminal – he made a ‘mistake’ and because of some technicality cannot be prosecuted for defrauding the taxpayer with their own money and using it to further his own political and financial ends.

Mr MacShane attempted to blame the BNP and other members of the political right for his actions, doing nothing to disprove that those on the left are incapable of applying personal responsibility for their actions. Indeed, in an effort to make it sound like he was doing the taxpayer a favour, he alluded to his efforts to tackle anti-Semitism – did he hope this would somehow justify his criminality to an already squeezed taxpayer?

One thing is for certain – as both a Europhile and a criminal, Mr MacShane is perfectly qualified to obtain a position on the European Commission.

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I cannot have been the only one nauseated by the expressions of uninhibited delight that greeted Mr Obama’s re-election as US President, especially in the UK. The suspension of critical faculties was total, so in awe of the image of Mr Obama were those expressing adulation. No one seemed to mention the way in which Mr Obama is saddling future generations of Americans (and, let’s face it, the world) with trillions of dollars in debt, nor was his flaky attitude towards the Middle East situation probed with any purpose.

So star-struck were the Media Politburo of the Labour Party (the BBC), that they interviewed an actor who had played the part of a communications director, who worked for a fictional president, during an imagined Democratic presidency. Could his opinions be any less important? I hope that on matters of national security they will consult Daniel Craig, or else on matters of scientific revelation, they will grill Dr Who.

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Every time there is a crisis at the BBC, commentators tend to remark that this blighted corporation needs to regain the trust of the British public, as if it were a long-term relationship were suddenly imperilled by indiscretion. But does any thinking person ever really trust  the BBC any more than any other company or media outlet? To do so would seem rather incautious, but I dare say there are those so slavishly devoted to the idiot box that nothing short of relationship counselling will help reconfigure their dependency.

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There is a backlog of immigration cases in the UK equivalent to the population of Iceland – this blog has said more than once that if this was any other department, heads would role. But why don’t  they? Because the main political parties a) do not care and b) because, as Theresa May alluded to today, despite temporary curbs imposed on immigration from the EU in 2005 to protect the British labour market, these are set to expire and that it is not possible under EU law to extend them.

Miss May also suggested that the government was on target to cut immigration into the UK from people outside of the EU as a way of deflecting the point that it is largely people from within the EU, flooding the labour market and seeking benefits who are the most prominent strain on the country’s already overstretched resources.

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I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! – a celebrity reality TV show – a televised equivalent of the stocks returns soon enough to offer vital life support to the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace. One does not even need close analysis of the title of this sub-genre to realise that neither celebrities nor reality are constituent ingredients in this soup of human indignity.

That Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has decided to participate in this year’s series of the programme has caused her to be suspended by her party. This is not an unreasonable course of action from the Conservatives, especially since she will continue to be paid her salary whilst being absent from her constituency and from parliament – rather like that moulding potato Gordon Brown.

Ms Dorries’ has claimed that with an audience of some 16 million viewers (what did I say about ‘the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace’?), she will be able to profile who she is and what she stands for to an audience who are probably generally concerned with neither. Of course, one can hardly imagine a better place for Ms Dorries to champion her campaign to lower the point during a pregnancy at which an abortion can be performed than from a jungle in Australia.

Speculation has arise over whether or not she will defect to UKIP, especially since she is to the right of the Conservatives and a welcome stone in Mr Cameron’s flip-flopping shoes. Some seem excited about this prospect, but one may also be inclined to think that a discredited Ms Dorries could undermine UKIP’s efforts to make its outfit more professional and a part of the celeb-chasing culture that characterized the New Labour years.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

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Pat Condell once again illustrates the miry corruption of the EU by using the example of Ireland’s vote(s) on the Lisbon Treaty as his locus. A salient reminder of why the EU should be resisted rather than embraced, as the UK political class continue to have us do.

The most irritating man in politics? To put it mildly. Ed Balls is disliked by colleagues, the opposition and the general public. To be held in such contempt, he must be making an effort to increase his unpopularity. 

‘The purest treasure mortal times afford is reputation’ wrote Shakespeare. Shadow Chancellor, champagne socialist Ed Balls, is not a politician whose reputation divides opinion. Quite unanimously, he is regarded with derision and contempt. This matter of fact has not gone unnoticed by Mr Balls himself (which is quite refreshing among all the other denials about reality that he and his colleagues are prone to) after he commissioned a survey to find out why he and his policies have failed to elicit much support even when the coalition’s malfunctioning economic policy continues to unravel. According to the Daily Mail, ‘results found that Mr Balls is still seen as a turn-off by many, both politically and personally’. [1]

In opposition, Labour’s response to the economic situation remains erratic. They seem to suggest that a levy on bankers will fund millions of pounds worth of projects that will kick-start the economy; they suggest that borrowing more money will give the economy the stimulus it needs; they say that if they win the next election they are unlikely to undo the cuts they have objected to in opposition. The bizarre policy of not making promises now that they may not be able to keep in government does not look like sincere honest politics – it looks like what it is – they have not a clue how to respond unless it is through opportunism. Not wishing to detract from the herculean efforts of Mr Miliband, this is Mr Balls’s speciality.

And let us not forget for one moment – the reason for our dire financial circumstances is a direct consequence of Labour’s economic mismanagement. Yes, the coalition is not making things better, but Labour were at the root of it. That Mr Balls was Gordon Brown’s closest political advisor and economic treasurer to the secretary during the immediate financial crisis makes him as culpable as his then boss in presiding so woefully over the situation.   He is both guilty and guilty by association.

For Mr Balls, financial mismanagement of the taxpayer’s money is something that comes naturally to him. He and his wife Yvette Cooper have been referred to the parliamentary standards watchdog over £14,000 of expenses made in relation to their children. In 2009 it was revealed that he and his wife had ‘flipped’ the designation of their second home to three different properties within the space of two years. In addition, the cost of hiring removal vans and men, which came in at £2,000, was charged to the tax payer via the parliamentary expenses. [2] According to The Telegraph, ‘In June 2008, Mr Balls and Miss Cooper were referred to the parliamentary sleaze watchdog over the designation of their second home, amid suggestions that it was improper for them to claim on the family house in London, where they lived during the week.’ [3] Though they were exonerated of wrong-doing, Mr Balls (and indeed his wife) are mired in the sort of sleaze that sticks.

These ‘mistakes’ he has made concerning public money should be enough scuttle his credibility, but he is damaged goods for other reasons. Whatever his denials, the public see him as implicated in the plot to unseat then PM Tony Blair – the so-called ‘Project Volvo’. [4] Mr Blair may not be held in high regard or with much affection by the electorate, but they detest the likes of Mr Balls for indulging in such ambitious, reckless and self-serving conspiracies when there are very important and very real issues to be dealt with.

Even if Mr Balls has not knowingly committed fraud or swindled the expenses system using the taxpayer’s money, even if he was not involved in conspiracies to unseat a sitting PM and replace him with an unhinged despot like Gordon Brown, Mr Balls always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when these matters occur. If he is not guilty then he is incompetent; if he is not incompetent he is guilty.

The grovelling Mr Balls may yet be chancellor, not because the public vote Labour, but because the do not want the present government, or because they have voted elsewhere. Mr Balls will no doubt colour such a victory as a vindication of his plans (whatever they may be). Regrettably, it is likely that he will plunge the nation’s finances into further choler, so the British economy, like his reputation, will be damaged beyond repair.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes