Blair tells us, that is the British public, that we need a better plan for North Africa and the Middle East. What does he mean? If he means what I think he means a better plan is the last thing Britain needs. A little clarification will help. Who are ‘WE’. It appears that NATO, the European Union and the USA are ‘WE’. or to be brief the Western World. And what do we need a plan for? What is it to do for us? The purpose of the Plan is to assist Arab states become more like us. Particularly those who possess oil and mineral resources but to be fair all states within that geographic area. In our view all democracies will repect universal rights fair representation, equality and freedom under the law and all of them wish to attract more investment, grow and attract investment and develop commerce to and from the West. What should we do? We should intervene to help these changes take place and use diplomatic and financial means and armed force to help bring these changes about.
President Obama approves these objectives but despairs of a lack of willingness of NATO countries to pay the price for the extra spending on defence such a policy requires – including both France and the United Kingdom. There is, apparently, no political will. Friends Cameron and Hague have the will but not the money and each day that passes limits our armed capabilty. Imagine a conversation at the Foreign Office.
Secretary of State can we have you direction, please. Here is a list of countries we are determined to assist to democratic status. They all require a UN resolution. What do we do? What do we do, you say. We act, this Goverment acts. Give me the Calendar. Not that one, 2011 you ass. Let’s see. We need to allow a week between resolutions. Let’s do it aphabeticallyby week. 1.Bahrein 2. Gulf states(?) (need to be more precise here) Israel/Palestine (a tall order this) 3. Lebanon (good thinking), 4. Saudi Arabia, (you’re joking(? ) , 5. Syria (a brutal race, we need armed force here, get the Turkish Premier on the phone. What’s that! A deal on Cyprus needed? Have we not done one of those? Get Greece on skype. 6. Yemen ? (Good God 500,000 men could get lost in the desert. I exagerate. But you know what I mean.) What does Obama think? More defence expenditure and quickly. Something about lendlease, if it would be helpful. So we have reached a decision point. I’m strong on decisions you know. Look I can’t think clearly now. Get Liam in the office on Monday. Hold on. Here is one of my inspired thoughts. National Service! Get the unemployed youth off the streets, lower the unemployment rates at a stroke, re-issue some of those Lee Enfield’s -and off we go. Hey, ho the boys. Let Liam know ahead of the meeting, there’s a good chap.
Filed under Arab League, Bahrein, BBC, Cabinet, Cameron, Coalition Government, Colonialism, Economics, Ed Balls, France, George Osborne, Ghadaffi, Gulf States, Israel, Italy, Labour Blogs, Liam Fox, Lib Dem blogs, Liberal Voice, Libya, Middle East, National Service, NATO, Nick Clegg, Obama, OBR, Politics, Sarkozy, Syria, Turkey, Wlliam Hague, Yemen
Readers, I am aware that referendums have been the principal tool of dictators over the ages. They can be manipulated in place and timing to produce a desired result. Nevertheless, they have their place in the scheme of things – my scheme of things! I have had an impressive reply to my article announcing proposals for a new National Volunteer Rubbish Clearance Scheme with many helpful comments on variations to our proposals (particularly, I admit, from Lib Dem strongholds along the south coast but from a number from other locations as well). We are able to divide the suggestions into three types of scheme which I shall describe and the thought is that they could be tested in the National Referendum we propose to hold on 5 May 2011. As you know, this date was set aside for local elections in many areas but we have added a number of other subjects, covering such urgent matters as the gerrymandering of the voting system, CCTV cameras, legal rights for gay couples to be married in church, the future of the fishing industry off the coasts of Cornwall, Wales and Scotland and no doubt some other subjects. So why not the future of rubbish? These referenda will be great fun. The ballot papers are in different colours (we propose Green for rubbish), and a number of areas are planning the presence of brass bands at the polling stations. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but you cannot please everyone all of the time – of course, we can but that’s another story. Now here are the main choices:
1. A National Scheme. This might be dubbed the expert approach. There are people who think it important to retain professionalism. Some people are very busy with their lives and say they do not have the time to collect rubbish. You might think this a selfish approach but it has some appeal. Their suggestion is that their should be a National Rubbish Officer with a small central staff and a Rubbish Officer at every local area level. Former Council staff should be urged to volunteer their services to the community to make it all happen properly.
2. A Grass Roots Scheme. This suggestion might be summarised as a people friendly scheme. The task of coordination and the actual collection would be given to the new Free Schools and Academies who would be permitted to retain some of the profit. Free schools need a lot of money. (Michael Gove is keen on this). If need be spare land at these schools could be used for burying some of the rubbish. A number of Associations such as the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides and the Territorial Army would join in to give muscle to collection.
3. A Special Needs Scheme. Some people have pointed out that there are practical difficulties with rubbish; collecting it from Tower blocks, frail elderly people, and the disabled (there will still be some who cannot be forced out to work). You cannot expect children to cope with everything. These vulnerable people will need special consideration and in the Special Needs Scheme they will get it.
Well, isn’t it exciting! Who would have thought that we could get this far in organising the Big Society?
Filed under Big society, Cameron, Coalition Government, Disabled, Education, Green, Labour Blogs, Liberal News, Liberal Vision, Michael Gove, National Service, Nick Clegg, Re-cycling, Rubbish, Schools, Voting reform
I have a scoop. It has been brought to my attention by a reliable source (this is what he tells me) that the Speaker John Bercow is make a surprise statement to Parliament today. I do not know the exact words but it goes something like this. I hope you don’t mind but I have dramatised the occasion. Here goes, The Speaker says, ‘I have decided that it is in the interests of this house to further clean up our act. Numerous communications have been addressed to me from the public complaining about the appearence, demeanour, and behaviour of Members. It is said that Hon.Members look bad, they are over-weight, unkept and unfashionable. Their posture is awful: they slump and lounge and are louche. Behaviour is atrocious: Hon Members shout, interrupt and hurl abuse to the other side. Some correspondents make the point, not to mince words, that Members have been poorly brought up and should be ashamed of themselves. I confess to Hon Members that from where I sit I agree, absolutely, I agree. At one time I do most sincerely believe that most Members cast a diffferent glow upon the world. I believe that they wished to please and some to serve. When they courted the attention of others they washed behind their ears and had regular haircuts. Some Members will have engaged in popular sports that require a degree of fitness. Their mothers were proud of them. A summer recess gives an opportunity to make amends to the public. However, it is an unfortunate aspect of the recent difficulties on expenses that the foreign fact-finding tours to exotic places are no more. Members cannot rely on adventures abroad at public expense to sharpen themselves by relaxation and excercise. I am taking an intiative. I have set up a series of four-week Summer Courses for Members designed to get them fit by regular outdoor exercise along the lines of Military Training Camps. It will be hard for many Members but the medical facilities are first class and we have made appropriate arrangements with the Emergency Services. These Camps are not voluntary. I have the powers (Order, Order) to insist that Hon Members attend (Order, don’t wag your finger at me Sir). I intend to Suspend any Member who declines my invitation. (Order, Order). The Member clearly believes I don’t have the bottle for it. I am not interested in his so-called ‘family holiday’ in the Seychelles. Try me, Sir, Try me, if you dare. I know the Honourable Gentleman used to be much respected in this House for his outstanding record of service to others. But a long time ago, sir, a long time.’ (Loud noises off stage). Words of abuse will be shouted. ‘If it good enough for Old Etonians and louts from sink Council estates, why not for us?’ can be heard. There is a rush for the entrance, ‘It has come to this. Nothing quite like it since Neville Chamberlain’. ‘That’s done it.’ ‘This is what you get when you buy Lib Dem votes.’ And some such.’ The Speaker can be heard shouting, ‘This is inevitable. We have been given no choice. It is a legacy we inherited for the Honourable Gordon, of Blessed Memory.’ The vision is lost and confusion reigns.’ Can you believe it, it has come to this?
Filed under Bercow, Big society, Cameron, Coalition Government, Commons, Conservative Home, Guardian, National Service, Nick Clegg, Parliament, Politics, Speaker, Summer Camps, Take Back Parliament