Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jewish News Column

From today's Jewish News on Blair and Cameron. Of course this was written before the Tory Conference -- otherwise I probably would have been far harsher.

On one television interview Cameron was blathering on about how Al Gore's scare film on the environment affected him. And people are griping about Bush and Blair going into Iraq on false pretences -- at least MI5 and the CIA have some credibility to them. To set policy based on a movie that has already been discredited by several scientists is a worrying sign.

It struck me that Dave is just Mr. Feelgood -- "Hey you can feel good about me. We won't even mention Europe or anything about tax, crime, Europe... With that can I highly recommend one speech given by the inimitable Christopher Booker on why Cameron should and must address Europe. The EU accounts for over 60% of our laws now that go through parliament on a nod and a wink with no debate or discussion; laws that were formulated undemocratically by an unelected and unrepresentative quango (the EU Commission) in Brussels. We then end up with laws that do not suit us or this countries circumstances (the waste disposal/landfill laws) or badly written, hard to understand laws like the latest one on child safety seats. Bookers speech is on the EU Referendum site and is a must read.

Blair, Cameron And Thr Role Of The UK On The World Stage

Twice in the last fortnight David Cameron has been shown up for the political neophyte that he is.As I write, Cameron has yet to have his first party conference. Last year’s conference made him, but since then all he has shown are vacuous performances with no substance, no policies nor foresight. Trying to latch on to the environmental zeitgeist will only go so far. Unlike Blair he does not have the Prime Minister’s mastery of vision.

In his latest speech, his first on foreign policy, Cameron lectured America; spoke of Mr. Blair’s relation with George Bush and tried to win political favour with the canard of the moment, “Israeli disproportion.” This was on, of all days, the fifth anniversary on 9/11. It backfired.

He said that he is not a neo-conservative but is a liberal conservative. But neo Conservatives are liberal conservatives. He is busy telling us what he is not to the point of saying, “Hey, I’m not even a Tory.”Contrast this, on the same day, on the other side of the pond on the White House lawn, a proven statesman using fewer words than Lincoln’s Gettysburg address defined the moment and proscribed the course of action. Lady Thatcher put it simply and powerfully:

“This heinous attack upon America was an attack upon us all.

“With America, Britain stands in the front line against Islamist fanatics who hate our beliefs, our liberties and our citizens.

“We must not falter.

“We must not fail.”

Last week it was the Prime Minister’s turn, his last Labour Conference speech as leader. The most successful Labour prime minister of all time and his party are throwing him out. One commentator had it right: Why did he declare his hand at all, he could win a fourth term. He could.

His legacy will be Iraq – but history will write a positive story. Blair went against type to fight an unpopular war, not because he is Bush’s poodle but because, like Bush, he saw the threat to his own country from bin Laden and the gathering storm from an un-caged Saddam still in power.

Fortunately Labour has not been in power since Callaghan. It is Blair that has won three elections not Labour.

Cameron is in danger of pushing traditional Tories, with nowhere else to go, too far before they just don’t vote at all. Old Labour’s policies would keep them in power for a term, not three. For all Blair’s faults – devolution; he’s created a surfeit of laws and quangos; his reform of the Lords was half-baked and half-assed— on the most important issue of our time, foreign policy, Blair is still the only one with the right vision.

Blair could win a fourth term as Prime Minster… The Conservatives could finally come back to power. Both could happen at the same time.

That is if Blair extraordinarily walked across the floor of the House. His relationship with Bush and foreign policy vision would give continuity in the fight against terror; there would be leadership with the next US president. Domestically, Thatcherite economic policies (that he has aped in his own imperfect way) would give him the ability to finally reform public services and shore up the economy.

Far fetched? Yes. But it would definitely give him a hell of an interesting legacy!


At 9:43 AM, Blogger conor said...

hey charlie, its conor in belfast. i dont expect you to remember me from your talksport show but i read with sadness that you're about to recieve treatment for cancer of the kidney.

i know that this is none of my business but i simply wanted to wish you well and i hope your faith (in which you spoke of so warmly) now wraps itself around you in comfort and love.

i also wanted to extend my thoughts to your family at this time and to reassure you that you will be in many people's prayers.

keep your chin up - loads of folks are rooting for you!

with love

conor (27/06/2007)


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