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Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Posts Tagged ‘credible

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

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My Non-Appearance On Sunday Morning Live

Since Wednesday the BBC had been in touch every day.  This morning they started calling me and testing my webcam and sound from 8.30am.  They had me sitting at my desk from 9.45am, 15 minutes before the programme started.   I was warned I could be in shot at anytime.  I drank too much coffee.  I did get a little nervous and jittery.  I was desperate for a cigarette even though I gave up six months ago!

Who was that suave, debonair, good looking chap in the crisp white shirt on the background screens?  Yours truly of course, waiting patiently for my big moment, trying not to sneer or laugh too raucously at the ridiculous first discussion on animals.

I had my notes blu-tacked to the window frame right behind my webcam, adjusted so that viewers would never lose deep, seductive eye contact with me.

“We’re coming to you now Peter”

“Stand by”

I fancy I can see Susanna Reid flushing slightly in anticipation of introducing me…

“Uh, sorry Peter, we’re not going to be able to come to you.  Out of time I’m afraid.”

Such are the trials and tribulations of my life!  Suddenly the programme was over.

You'll Get Your Chance, Gorgeous

Turning to far more important things, the dogs and I set off for the hills.  My mobile rang and it was Anna from the BBC, apologising and promising me dinner and a hot night with Susanna all at the corporation’s expense.  “No, sorry, I can’t be bought off.  Call me tomorrow. I’m too busy now.”

On the panel in the studio had been Mary Whitehouse’s successor, frumpy Anne Atkins and the utter jerk, Francis Beckett.   What a prat?  Why would anyone want to listen to his obnoxious, ill considered views, delivered with all the grace of a blind, three legged rhino?

Was Tony Blair a force for good?  This was the question I was supposed to be answering.  The BBC had come to me as a result of this article.  I had, of course, considered my response and this is what I intended to say.

Was Tony Blair A Force For Good?

I do not count myself as a Tony Blair supporter.  I never voted for him.  In fact, at all those elections I deliberately spoiled my ballot papers writing “no suitable candidate” across them.  I am an admirer though.

I think you have to give him credit for a number of things.  He rescued Labour from its madness and turned it into a credible and electable political party.  That was good for democracy.  He finished off the good work that Margaret Thatcher had done on the unions.  He was her true successor.  Now the only nutters that we have left are Tweedledum and Twitterdee from Unite and the mad and bad Bob Crowe from the railways.

You have to give him huge credit for Northern Ireland, for Kosovo and Sierra Leone.  I think he was also responsible for a fundamental change in British politics in that he reconciled caring with competition.  For the first time it was accepted that you could have a social conscience but still believe in business and the free market.

On Iraq, clearly it is a good thing that we got rid of Saddam Hussein although, personally, I think we should have assassinated him.  If there was a moral justification for war,  for shock and awe, then there was for assassination.  Even if we had lost thousands of special forces that would have been better than hundreds of thousands of innocents.  I do think that Blair became carried away with George Bush and that was a mistake.  Bush will be forgotten long before Blair.  He was not of the same calibre.  All he had to offer was the might and power of America.

Fundamentally, what you have to ask is did Tony Blair act in good faith?  I believe he did.  I believe he is an honourable man.  Look backwards from Blair to Thatcher and there’s noone else until Churchill and then Lloyd George.  That is the company in which Tony Blair will be remembered.  He is a great man.

I Was There For You Tone!

The one thing I really don’t understand in this man of vision and intelligence is his conversion to Catholicism.  I can just about accept his Christianity although why a man with his intellect needs organised religion I don’t know.  I really can’t understand why he wants to be allied to the institution that has been responsible for more evil over the last 2000 years than any other.  I think it demeans him.  He has far, far more to offer the world than that stupid old bigot the Pope, for instance.  It seems to me the Catholic Church will benefit far more from him than he will from it.   That’s his business though.

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The Third Milliband Brother?

with 5 comments

James Brokenshire

I have very mixed feelings about young James Brokenshire.  He’s a Tory and so am I, so I don’t really want to be too derogatory about him.   It’s very difficult though, just  keeping a straight face, let alone seeing anything positive.  Most difficult of all to ignore is the Milliband in him.  I mean, come on, tell me I’m wrong!

One of my more erudite commenters mentioned the phenomenon of Nominative Determinism.  According to Wikipedia:

Nominative determinism refers to the theory that a person’s name is given an influential role in reflecting key attributes of his job, profession, or general life. It was a commonly held philosophy in the ancient world.

It’s not just that he looks like a Milliband.  It goes much deeper than that.  Alright, so George Osborne is right in there as well and I just know I’ve seen at least a dozen other clones.  I just can’t quite remember their names or distinguish them.  They’re the generation that’s heir to Cameron and Clegg.  They’ve gone from graduate to researcher, never had a real job, eternally trapped within the political bubble. You know the type.  And yes, our politics and our society are broken, broken because of the sort of policies, attitudes and behaviour that James exhibits.

Of course, I’m on the libertarian side of the party and James is way, way opposite.   He comes across as not just a hanger and flogger but a hanger, drawer and quarterer – and that’s just for parking tickets.   The trouble is, I fear he’s making such an twit of himself that he’s doing my party a grave disservice.   For such a young and youngish man he is a very old, very old reactionary Tory.

James is the new Minister of State for Crime Prevention.  Congratulations to him on his appointment at such an early stage in his career.  What an important job!  He does rather bring to mind all those old jokes about policemen looking like they should still be in short trousers.   Does anyone take him seriously?

He’s the government’s front man for the drugs issue.  That’s right, it’s not a minister from the Department of Health who deals with drugs.  It’s the Home Office!  Anyway, even before the current furore, I’d seen James in action in reply to a question about drugs policy.   He’s authoritarian, repressive, intransigent and far, far too sure of himself even when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.  This is not someone who believes in “small” government.   Like the Millibands and other illiberal socialists he wants close control of our lives.  I’m sorry but the boy looks silly and he behaves like an idiot.  He’s being taken to pieces all over the internet – ridiculed, abused and condemned.  David Cameron, please get rid of him now!

The trouble is that James is trying to come over all tough and spunky but he doesn’t realise that even men of my sons’ ages have seen it all before.  Eager young politicians who think they know best when they know nothing have been making similar fools of themselves since time began.  To coin a counterfeit phrase,  I’d smoked more joints than he’s had hot dinners before there was even a twinkle in his daddy’s eye!  So many of us had thought through and argued out the drugs issue a hundred times before James even left nursery school.

I can’t really expect a replacement who agrees with me 100% on drugs policy.   What I do expect is someone who is credible, sensible, well informed and committed to evidence-based policy and truth.  James is none of these.  He is making a fool of the government.

What’s really serious is that the man is misguided.  He’s flying in the face of the facts and all the experts.  Drugs policy has huge impact on our society and we need to move away from our present disastrous and oppressive course.  James Brokenshire is the wrong man for the job.

Conrad Black. Surely This is Fiction?

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He Walks On Water

Every day I sit in this very spot and wrestle with what’s believable, what’s credible, how much can I get away with in the pages of my current novel.  Indeed, one of my characters is a disgraced banker sentenced to not enough years at Her Majesty’s pleasure.  It would suit my plot perfectly if he could be released and get to play his part in the thrilling climax which I am fast approaching.  Maybe he could even meet a grisly fate in the last few pages gaining a richly deserved reward for his crimes of fraud and avarice.

Now I have my inspiration from true life.  There are no limits.

If Conrad Black can be released on bail pending appeal then my imagination must in future know no bounds.  Anything is possible.  Truth really is stranger than fiction.  In a few months Lord Black could be donning ermine and regaining his seat in the House of Lords, once again directing editorial in The Daily Telegraph.

Unbelievable but true.