Thursday, 29 December 2016

David Cameron Next GS of NATO?

Apparently, David Cameron's name has been linked with the position of Secretary General of NATO. Cameron's record as the UK Prime Minister is hardly a qualification.

As UK Prime Minisrer his austerity measures proved an abject failure. Indeed, during his tenure at the nations helm government debt rose from just under £1 trillion, April 2010 to around £1.5 trillion by February 2015. As a proportion of the country’s GDP it rose from 60% to 80%.

His record on welfare was dire. The government’s insistence on continuing to use the fatally flawed Work Capability Assessment, and their constant attacks on disability benefits and services, are stark examples of his failed regime.

Internationally Cameron’s intervention in Libya was a disaster. As with Blair’s adventure in Iraq, Cameron’s interference lacked accurate intelligence analysis. Once involved, the UK’s intervention became part of the regime change goal. Post Gaddafi we, along with our allies, failed to assist in Libya’s reconstruction.

The consequences of the regime change in Libya ignited a protracted civil war; an opening for ISIS in North Africa; and, with the shores of Libya launching unseaworthy vessels crammed with people desperately fleeing war and poverty – many not reaching safety, instead drowning in the Mediterranean.

Speaking on behalf of Cameron, Oliver Letwin recommends him to the position, which pays a tidy tax-free salary of £222,019. According to Letwin, Cameron is qualified for this top defence posting as he has the ‘steady nerves’ needed for the role.

Steady nerves? Hardly the first quality I’d associate with David Cameron. Failing dismally to win the EU referendum, Cameron carried out the speediest runner in British politics. This, despite his pre-referendum pledge to stay on regardless of the result.

Does NATO want a leader who takes to his heels at the first whiff of trouble? Is Cameron’s nomination to Secretary General of NATO just another job for one of the boys? But then, Tony Blair was elevated Special Envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

My Lovely Mum

Dropped my old mum off at my niece's today so she can be taken to my sister's in Marsh Green for Christmas. As we drove into Angel Islington my mum pipes up with: "Where are we? Camberwell Green?"

No mum, we've just past Liverpool Road. If you cast your memory back nearly 60 years you might recall a very special event happening there.

Now my mum is quite deaf, so I have to speak very loud. So, I called out to her; "Do you remember now?" to which she replied: "Oh, lovely". Now when my mum says something like this we know she hasn't heard what was said.

However, about 3 minutes later she announced: "You know you were born quite near here, Seàn. The Royal Free Hospital it was called. It was closed years ago. There used to be a nice street market nearby. Is it still there?"

It's great that my mum at 93 is still possession of her health and memory. The deafness is a bit of a challenge; but she seems to have got used to it, and uses it as a convenient filter.

Dear Santa

Of Santa there is neither sight or sound
It’s turned midnight, and he’s not around
I’m wondering what sins that I committed
To make me a pariah, one of the omitted.

Dear Santa, I’m condemned without a trial
And I am very sad that this is your style
That you’d simply strike me off your list
Because earlier this year I got a bit pissed.

Well if that’s going to be your fucking attitude
I’m going to get shit-faced and act really rude
Sing loud songs and upset my neighbour above
As between the two of us there is a lack of love.

So, as far as next year is fucking concerned
I don’t give a monkey’s if again I’m spurned
As my faith in you is being seriously tested
I hope next Xmas Eve the skies are congested.