Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘Tony Blair

Has There Ever Been A Worse UK Government Than This?

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I am a member of the Conservative Party – just.  My annual subscription is due and I feel physically sick at the prospect of doing anything that is supportive of the appalling collection of third and fourth rates that presently sit round the cabinet table.

The Conservative Party has Lost Its Way. We Need To Get Back To Being Tories.

We need to re-focus on our fundamental principles: individual liberty, individual responsibility, small government, free markets, evidence-based policy and a benevolent, responsible, one-nation approach.

Let’s face it, we’ve had a privileged toff, little more than a ponce on the nation, who from his position of wealth found it very easy to impose austerity on people with whom he was totally out-of-touch. Throughout his political career he vacillated and dithered on policy because he has no principles except self-advancement.  Now we have some fake Tory, an authoritarian bureaucrat with big government, nanny state instincts, daughter of a high Anglican priest stuck in some 195os delusion of what Britain is today.

Meanwhile, a socialist activist but a man with integrity, courage and vision has stolen our place.  Jeremy Corbyn provides more leadership in the UK than the entire Conservative cabinet put together.  He was magnificent at Glastonbury, seizing the hearts and minds of not just the young but the young at heart – seizing the future!  Where is the Tory alternative? There is great excitement, belief and enthusiasm for Brexit, 17.4 million people voted for it!  Where is the Conservative spokesperson passionately declaiming this?  The party has been hijacked by Remainers, determined to undermine the referendum result, interested only in the ambitions and concerns of the Westminster Elite.

When I try to talk to my MP, Sir Oliver Letwin, formerly number three in Cameron’s cabinet, although I am talking to someone a few months younger than me, I feel I am talking to my father’s generation – and to someone particularly old-fashioned and out-of-touch.  My local Conservative Party branch, charming though many of the members are, is like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine, as disconnected from the rest of the UK as Cameron is from anyone on less than £250k per annum.  At 59, I’m a youngster.

It’s outrageous really that my party has got itself into such a state with years of weak opposition, popular support for non-socialist policies and, until Corbyn, an absence of effective alternative leadership.  It’s nothing less than disastrous and unless we change now we are doomed.  The membership is old and dying.  If we don’t get a grip within five years we will be gone forever.

A Perfect Storm Of Failure, Corruption And Arrogance.

I’ve been fascinated by and active in politics since the late 1970s. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a combination of mistakes and scandalous cock-ups. Brexit has been sabotaged by dithering and delay – and I’m quite ready to believe this is a calculated deceit.  With the BBC, the bankers and the Twitterati renewing Project Fear on a daily basis, is it any wonder that the going is tough?  Cameron resigned because he said we needed a Leave supporter to take charge but instead we have a Remainer, one of the worst performing government ministers ever.  How, after six years of persistent failure at the Home Office, she became PM is beyond belief but even more incredible is that after her terrible election performance she is still in No. 10.  It is ridiculous!

The failures are all too easy to see but let’s list them to be certain that the huge scale of this crisis is understood.

Brexit – Total failure to plan, perhaps deliberately, best illustrated by the absurd spectacle, just last month, of the Home Office commissioning analysis of the economic and social contributions and costs of EU citizens in Britain.  Surely something that should have been done years ago?  Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have both proved themselves to be lacking in courage and leadership skills.  The bumptious fool Dr Liam Fox, who does seem to stick to his principles on Brexit, shames us by his foreign adventures, recently praising the murdering thug President Duterte of the Philippines as having ‘shared values’ with Britain.

NHS – Persistent deceit from ministers, including the utterly in-credible Jeremy Hunt, about how much money in real terms the health service is receiving.  Scandalous failure to keep multiple promises about mental health having parity with physical health.

Democracy – The UK’s system of government is now a joke compared to other modern democracies.  Our electoral system is primitive.  Conservative and Labour parties conspire to keep the system as it is because it keeps them both in power.  It is obvious that we should be moving towards some form of proportional representation, online voting and a radical shake-up of the House of Lords.  MPs also need to be much more accountable.  The terrible murder of Jo Cox has let too many of them off the hook that the expenses scandal put them on.  Recently they have been whining about the abuse they get online. In general they deserve it for the terrible job they are doing. Also, they get protection from the police for such abuse.  The police are useless when it’s a member of the public under attack.  We need a job description for MPs, rights for constituents and a complaints procedure with teeth.

Social policy – I am ashamed at how Conservative ministers in reality are indistinguishable from the populist caricature of the ‘arrogant, uncaring, effing Tories’.  The Grenfell Tower tragedy encapsulates everything that is wrong with the high-handed view that they take of the people who pay their wages.

Justice – After food, shelter and health what is more important than justice?  The destruction of legal aid is one of the most dreadful developments in my lifetime.  All governments delight in making more and more law but what use is it if it cannot be enforced?  There is no justice if it is not available to everyone.  I am delighted at the Supreme Court’s ruling that makes legal aid available once again for employment tribunals  Without it employment law was literally useless and thousands have been deprived of their rights.  And for his disastrous, destructive, incompetent and thoroughly nasty attitude the man who defines injustice in modern Britain is Chris Grayling.  No other minster has more disgraced our party.  He is unfit to be in government and why he remains anywhere near ministerial office is unbelievable.  No one individual better epitomises the nasty, arrogant, incompetent Tory.

Prisons – There is no greater truth than that in a free society we are defined by how we treat those we send to jail.  This is a terrible condemnation of Britain.  Our prison system is a production line for turning petty criminals into alienated, aggressive, violent repeat offenders.  There is no one who deserves the additional punishments we impose on top of deprivation of liberty.  I would make an exception for Chris Grayling who really should be made to experience a taste of his own medicine.  The Netherlands is closing prisons because it doesn’t send enough people to jail.  We should swallow our pride and copy their system exactly.

Technology – As the nation that has led the world in virtually all new technologies, we are now falling a long way behind.  The government has failed miserably to give enough priority to high speed internet.  We will never catch up now and our children and our businesses are forever disadvantaged.  Progress is hampered in development of new energy sources, transport and infrastructure by bureaucracy, endless bickering between special interest groups and weak strategic management.  The EU has magnified all these problems and prevented progress in GM foods and other technologies that are essential to our future.

Transport – With Chris Grayling at the helm and the farce that is HS2, there is no hope for a sensible transport strategy.  I simply don’t buy the argument that a slightly faster journey time between north and south will do anything to create a better future.  Train fares are ludicrously high.  The conditions commuters are expected to travel under are ridiculous.  The Southern Rail scandal is a microcosm of government incompetence and inaction.  It should have been re-nationalised at least a year ago and there should be massive fines and penalties on those responsible for the chaos, including individuals.  I see no conflict with Conservative principles in re-nationalising the whole network.  The mess that has prevailed since privatisation could not be any worse and compare us with railway networks and service on the continent for a true picture of our national shame and decay.

Environment – Technology and transport converge with environmental policy and this is a difficult, challenging area of policy.  What we need is strong leadership – no, not the empty claims of Mrs May but the real leadership of Mrs Thatcher.  Even the despicable Tony Blair showed more leadership than we have had from any current Conservative politician.  We need to take bold decisions and act on them.  Ecology and controlling pollution must be a real priority but we must not be distracted by the greeny loons and their endless prevarication and delays.  I have no objection to fracking as long as it is strictly regulated and in recent visits to Ireland I have seen how forests of wind turbines do not destroy wonderful countryside and can have their own beauty, just as we now revere Victorian aqueducts and civil engineering.  Most of all though we should racing ahead with tidal power.  As an island it has to be our future and its potential is unlimited.

Northern Ireland – I hope one of the by-products of Brexit will be a united Ireland.  There is no longer a real majority of unionists in the six counties and it only ever existed because of immigrants from Scotland.  The UK’s shameful history in Ireland places a heavy obligation on us.  We are one and the same people and the damage inflicted by the English Parliament on our neighbours must be put right.  We are far closer to the Irish than we are to the French, the Dutch or the Belgians.  As independent nations, with Ulster properly restored, we could be closer than ever and if Ireland wishes to remain in the EU, we should respect that.

Drugs Policy – No policy better demonstrates the incompetence, prejudice, cowardice and corruption of government ministers from all parties. Deaths from drug overdose have reached an all time high. There has been an explosion in highly toxic new psychoactive substances and the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 has increased harms, deaths, associated crime and potency, exactly as was predicted, warnings the government chose to ignore.  The government has refused to consider or take any expert advice on introducing legal access to medical cannabis, something that virtually all other modern democracies are moving forward on. Its continuing policy on cannabis defies scientific evidence and real-life experience from places where reform has been implemented.  It also supports the criminal market, encourages street dealing, dangerous hidden cannabis farms and the production of poor quality, low-CBD, so-called ‘skunk’ cannabis.

Defence – A catalogue of cock-ups, dullards in charge and weak, indecisive leadership.  In my view we should cancel the renewal of Trident and  spend more on conventional weapons and defence measures which we may actually have to use.  We should retain some battlefield nuclear weapons but invest more in our soldiers and their technology. We should also look after them far better when they leave the service

Foreign Affairs – The UK is the world superpower in ‘soft power’.  Our culture, language, history give us more influence than any other nation and we should be proud to exercise it. We should have the courage to stand for our principles, independently of the USA and Europe.  The £12 billion we give in international aid is far too much when there is real poverty at home but even if we halved the present budget we would still lead the world.  We are responsible for the injustice perpetrated on the Palestinian people when we facilitated the seizure of their land in the 1940s.  We should be standing up to Israel which has become an out-of-control monster.  We created it and we must take responsibility for bringing it to order and helping it to live alongside its neighbours respectfully.  Its conduct is unacceptable and we should be pursuing war crimes prosecutions against Netanyahu and many of his cronies.

Housing – The housing crisis needs a courageous, radical solution, not the pathetic, sticking plaster gimmicks and gestures that is all we have had for 50 years.  Massive investment in social housing would create jobs and boost the economy all round.  We shouldn’t hesitate.  We shouldn’t fear a dramatic fall in house prices caused by massive extra supply. We have to get real and government must stop shirking its responsibility for a strategic role that only it can fill.

Boris is the only one with a brain

I have not yet decided whether I shall renew my membership.  I’m not even sure if there is any future in the UK for me.  Brexit was a great opportunity which has been sabotaged, perhaps fatally.  Britain may well become a tourist destination, fascinating for the way such a small nation led the world for centuries.  We are being led by weak, ineffectual, self-serving, out-of-touch and out-of date politicians.  As the Conservative Party is dying, it is dragging Britain down with it.

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Tony Blair: The Jerk. A Blockbuster Movie Not Coming To A Cinema Near You

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tony-blair-selfie
I am notorious for my disdain for bad language but I am prepared to make an exception in response to Tony Blair’s intervention in Brexit today.

However, no obscenity, no insult, no words can adequately express my contempt for this man.  It would be better if he were to creep off into obscurity, never to be heard of again.  I don’t care if he’s made himself rich, I don’t begrudge him that but he should abandon any attempt to be part of our national discourse any further.  He is odious, repellent and utterly deluded.

He certainly isn’t worth descending to language that matches his behaviour and I won’t demean myself by doing so.

‘Who will rid us of this turbulent prat?’

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 17, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Posted in Politics

Tagged with ,

Vote For Independence On 23rd June. Vote For The Broad, Sunlit Uplands.

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broad sunlit uplands

The stitch-up between big business, politicians, civil servants and bankers should be crystal clear to anyone with eyes and ears. It is vital to the future of our children and grandchildren that we vote to leave the EU in a month’s time. The alternative is that we subsume ourselves forever under the yoke of transnational business, self-serving, corrupt governments intent on widening the divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

Intelligent people, including, to my amazement, fellow members of the Liberal Democrats, are intent on relinquishing all principles of liberalism and democracy – and for what?

All the Project Fear scaremongering, the ganging-up of the CBI, the Bank of England and all the rest of the establishment flunkies, reveals exactly what is going on.  Just as we were lied to and deceived over the need for war in Iraq, we are being led by deception and falsehood into an ever-closer union that will fill the pockets and enhance the power of corporate political interests.

This referendum is not about the economy.  It is about much bigger and more important principles of self-determination, democracy and freedom.  I believe that such principles will also, in the end, bring us more prosperity.

Leaving the EU is most important for our children.  Young people themselves must vote for opportunity.  Be for Europe but not the EU.  Be for co-operation but without a straightjacket. Be ourselves

The political elite wants it. The parasite outsourcing companies that suck up billions in taxpayers’ money want it. The civil servants in 28 countries want it. When you see David Cameron, Harriet Harman, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair, George Osborne, Michael Heseltine all want it, ask yourself why?

It’s a stitch-up!  You’re being lied to, intimidated and deceived.  Independence Day is 23rd June.  Make sure you make the right choice.

George Galloway Talks More Sense On Syria Than Anyone Else. Where Is A Credible British Leader?

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George Galloway on the Sunday Politics

George Galloway on the Sunday Politics

On this morning’s BBC politics-fest the most credible views on Syria I heard were from George Galloway.  He was balanced, intelligent, rational and focused on the issue rather than his personal advancement.

Corbyn is a pacifist, whatever he says and that is an untenable position for a leader.  I agree with him about the futility of bombing in Syria and that it will create rather than solve problems for us at home in the UK. However, I think he is incredible and incompetent. His confusion about the use of deadly force against marauding terrorists was unforgiveable.  He won’t last much longer.

Michael Fallon is a bumptious, Tory fool, better suited to life as a provincial solicitor than as defence minister.  Dr Liam Fox would be more use caring for patients than as a warmongering, hard right authoritarian disguised as a friendly GP. Cameron is a liar about there being 70,000 soldiers on the ground ready to support action against Daesh/ISIS, just like Blair was a liar about Saddam Hussein able to launch a WMD attack in 45 minutes.  I’m afraid I think his principal motivation is that he wants to be at the ‘top table’ with Obama and Hollande and he feels left out.  It’s a pathetic reason but I fear it’s true.  It’s his personal prestige he’s most concerned about.

I can see no argument at all that bombing in Syria will make us safer, the reverse is the truth.  The story about British forces having greater precision bombing capability with our Brimstone missiles is propaganda.  I believe that the US, France, Russia and all modern military powers have at least equivalent if not better capability.

Dropping bombsThe most convincing argument I can see for bombing in Syria is that our ally, France, has asked for our assistance.  I would be more ready to support such action if we were prepared to do the job properly and that means putting in our own ground forces.

I don’t want war but Daesh/ISIS is a evil ideology just like Nazism and we need to destroy it.  I think we need to put a substantial force of highly trained professional soldiers on the ground and expect that we will take many casualties but that we will root out the terrorists house by house, room by room until the job is properly done and that includes removing Assad. Thereafter, we need to be ready to stay there for at least a decade until civil society is restored.  This is why we have a military and if we don’t use it as necessary then why do we bother?

I am more convinced every day that the election result this year was a disaster for Britain.  Cameron is an oily, self-serving creep with no integrity, no backbone and interested only in advancing his own interests. The Tory frontbench is composed mainly of toady yes men (and women) who fail to achieve the intellectual and moral qualities that we should expect from ministers.  Personally I blame the Tory dominated press and all those weak, flip flopping voters who turned on the Liberal Democrats.  Another coalition would have set Britain on the right course.  That we now have a government with a mandate from just 24% of the electorate is absolute proof that British democracy has failed.

I fear that the outcome of all this will be more half measures.  Then there will be another terrorist outrage, quite probably in the UK, possibly even in America. Then we’ll have more handwringing and the endless cycle of political posturing with no one having the courage to act will resume.

We have no moral justification for our conduct in the Middle East when we support Israel which is the most dangerous terrorist state, responsible for creating much of the hatred amongst followers of Islam and perpetrator of outrages every bit as heinous as Assad, Daesh/ISIS, Al Quaeda, Hussein or Gaddafi.

Let’s either do the job properly or let’s get out of the Middle East entirely.

Written by Peter Reynolds

November 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm

Straw And Blair. Rifkind And Cameron. New Labour And The Bullingdon Club.

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Straw

Straw

Resign immediately Jack Straw. Go away, in shame. Remove yourself from public life. Wait until the Chilcot report comes out when, perhaps, if there is any justice, you will be put in front of a court.

This is the sham, the deceit that was New Labour. Straw and his chum Blair are the personification of corrupt, privileged Britain. They are also charged as fraudsters and war criminals.

And take the disgraced knight Rifkind with you. He of the arrogance that breeds a Cameron to sit atop the Westminster elite. Nothing to offer except their sense of superiority and a life dedicated to self-service.

Rifkind

Rifkind

Revolution is brewing in the United Kingdom. Government’s contempt for Parliament. The subversion of Magna Carta by a Lord Chancellor who disgraces the title. The ever-widening gap between rich and just-managing. The contempt for the electorate by the Westminster elite is returned with interest.

I fervently hope that in the General Election of 2015, the British people seize control and change our nation for the better with a dramatic verdict.  We need another Conservative Liberal coalition but with the Tories severely hobbled and a strong showing from the minor parties.  We need some healthy debate, dissent and disrespect for the old ways.  We need some UKIP MPs, some Greenies and some Welsh and Scottish nationalists.

Let’s make it a gentle revolution but we need riddance of the old guard.  We need new hope and a new standard of integrity from our politicians.

Written by Peter Reynolds

February 23, 2015 at 10:34 pm

Ol’ Tone Sets The Standard

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I’m certainly no Labour party supporter and I don’t believe ol’ Tone is a perfect human being but he makes Cameron, Osborne and Clegg look like the useless muppets they really are.

Tony Blair is a class act and British politics is diminished by his absence.

Written by Peter Reynolds

May 28, 2012 at 9:43 am

“War On Drugs Has Failed, Say Former Heads Of MI5, CPS And BBC”, The Daily Telegraph, 21st March 2011

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The “war on drugs” has failed and should be abandoned in favour of evidence-based policies that treat addiction as a health problem, according to prominent public figures including former heads of MI5 and the Crown Prosecution Service.

Drug availability and use has increased with up to 250 million people worldwide using narcotics such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin

Leading peers – including prominent Tories – say that despite governments worldwide drawing up tough laws against dealers and users over the past 50 years, illegal drugs have become more accessible.

Vast amounts of money have been wasted on unsuccessful crackdowns, while criminals have made fortunes importing drugs into this country.

The increasing use of the most harmful drugs such as heroin has also led to “enormous health problems”, according to the group.

The MPs and members of the House of Lords, who have formed a new All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform, are calling for new policies to be drawn up on the basis of scientific evidence.

It could lead to calls for the British government to decriminalise drugs, or at least for the police and Crown Prosecution Service not to jail people for possession of small amounts of banned substances.

Their intervention could receive a sympathetic audience in Whitehall, where ministers and civil servants are trying to cut the numbers and cost of the prison population. The Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke, has already announced plans to help offenders kick drug habits rather than keeping them behind bars.

The former Labour government changed its mind repeatedly on the risks posed by cannabis use and was criticised for sacking its chief drug adviser, Prof David Nutt, when he claimed that ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol.

The chairman of the new group, Baroness Meacher – who is also chairman of an NHS trust – told The Daily Telegraph: “Criminalising drug users has been an expensive catastrophe for individuals and communities.

“In the UK the time has come for a review of our 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. I call on our Government to heed the advice of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime that drug addiction should be recognised as a health problem and not punished.

“We have the example of other countries to follow. The best is Portugal which has decriminalised drug use for 10 years. Portugal still has one of the lowest drug addiction rates in Europe, the trend of young people’s drug addiction is falling in Portugal against an upward trend in the surrounding countries, and the Portuguese prison population has fallen over time.”

Lord Lawson, who was Chancellor of the Exchequer between 1983 and 1989, said: “I have no doubt that the present policy is a disaster.

“This is an important issue, which I have thought about for many years. But I still don’t know what the right answer is – I have joined the APPG in the hope that it may help us to find the right answer.”

Other high-profile figures in the group include Baroness Manningham-Buller, who served as Director General of MI5, the security service, between 2002 and 2007; Lord Birt, the former Director-General of the BBC who went on to become a “blue-sky thinker” for Tony Blair; Lord Macdonald of River Glaven, until recently the Director of Public Prosecutions; and Lord Walton of Detchant, a former president of the British Medical Association and the General Medical Council.

Current MPs on the group include Peter Bottomley, who served as a junior minister under Margaret Thatcher; Mike Weatherley, the newly elected Tory MP for Hove and Portslade; and Julian Huppert, the Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge.

The group’s formation coincides with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, which paved the way for a war on drugs by describing addiction as a “serious evil”, attempting to limit production for medicinal and scientific uses only, and coordinating international action against traffickers.

The peers and MPs say that despite governments “pouring vast resources” into the attempt to control drug markets, availability and use has increased, with up to 250 million people worldwide using narcotics such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin in 2008.

By Martin Beckford, Health Correspondent

They believe the trade in illegal drugs makes more than £200 billion a year for criminals and terrorists, as well as destabilising entire nations such as Afghanistan and Mexico.

As a result, the all-party group is working with the Beckley Foundation, a charitable trust, to review current policies and scientific evidence in order to draw up proposed new ways to deal with the problem.