Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Blair, the world, Britain (but not so much of Britain, really...)

What the hell's going on? We're a tiny little island and have been in economic and military decline for over a century. So why the hell is our government charging all over the world trying to sort out everyone else's problems when they can't even get the trains to run on time?

Blair meets Bush in America and tries to sort out the biggest charity hand-out in history. While he's out there, voices emerge from th UK stating that we can do it even without the US - the single richest and most powerful country in the world by a long, long way.

Meanwhile Jack Straw charges off to the Middle East to sort out the Israel/Palestine thing, with a Foreign Office official revealing as he does so that - despite all the bullshit the government always spouts about not negotiating with terrorists - the UK maintains contacts with Hizbollah as well as Hamas.

Elsewhere, in Luxembourg, our Gordon's been telling the other EU finance ministers to get their filthy hands off our rebate.

All the while, they're all trying to stamp Britain's vision on the EU on the continent (despite that vision being the one, most agree, that the French rejected in their referendum), with Blair's late arrival for the crunch meeting on June 16/17th being seen by some as an indication of his (and therefore Britain's) power in this mess.

Others, however, are unconvinced that Britain, Blair, Straw or Brown have got what it takes (well, Brown they aren't so sure of, but still), asking "Can Britain Save Europe?" and concluding, erm... well, no - probably not. (Whether or not "Europe" needs saving at all is another matter. These little spats are healthy, and take place in any good relationship. We all just need a bit of time to kiss and make up.)

Of course, what us poor Brits should be wondering is why the hell the government is so busy pissing about in all parts of the world when they've only just been re-elected to their "historic third term" following an election campaign in which the only foreign issues were a general dislike of Britain's involvement in Iraq and the prevalence of people called Sanjay and Mgobu living down our streets.

In the month since the general election, the only domestic issues which seem to have raised their heads have been teenagers being teenagers, the usual ID cards nonsense and that equally stupid bid to host the 2012 Olympic games. The latter two of which could also be seen as aimed overseas.

Now from my point of view this is great. I can laugh at our pathetic attempts to be a world power (yet still cheer when we succeed) and thanks to having little interest in domestic politics am often far happier rambling on about stuff happening abroad. But when the hell are they going to tackle the Network Rail problems, the school dinners issues, MRSA and NHS efficiency etc. etc. etc.?

Maybe I'm being a tad harsh. They have, after all, announced a public review on having monkeys as pets. But don't get too excited - it looks like they want to ban it. The bastards. I want a monkey, damn it!

4 Comments:

Anonymous Fair Vote Watch said...

Top form, sir. Unlike some other wimps (ahem...) you clearly haven't lost your voice, or needed a break. You should stick this up at TS - it's hilarious.

6/08/2005 11:21:00 am  
Blogger Robert Daguillard said...

Hullo NM,

I'm not sure I agree with you on the Africa aid matter, as I wonder how much of Blair's efforts have to do with trying to reclaim a central spot on the world stage for Britain. In fact, I think he may just be trying to give something to Labor Party leftists and third-worldists whom he infuriated with the Iraq venture. The Prime Minister may have been thinking the same way during his first term by having his Home Office arrest and detain Pinochet.

6/08/2005 03:14:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, interesting. In the Swedish media, there is some talk about Blair (due to the rebate thingie). They are however mostly mocking him for trying to pull off a sort of coup d'état in the EU, to pull the Union in the British direction - and failing.

Basically, they're saying that he tried to take advantage of Chirac's and Schröder's weak position and to take lead of the EU, but that nobody was willing to follow. After the British declaration that they would "postpone" the referendum many states, including Britain's ally Poland told Britain to mind their own business and that they would hold their referendum.

So they are saying that Blair tried to take the lead, but nobody was willing to follow.

(http://www.dn.se/DNet/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=1042&a=425081&previousRenderType=6 (sorry, in Swedish) )

--Lucas

6/08/2005 03:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

- Its interesting to see how things are reported in different parts of europe. The media has such an impact on peoples perceptions. To be fair to the Blair government i dont really see how 'postponing' the British referendum was interfering in other peoples business, i think most people in the UK are of the opinion that its only realistic considering the French and Dutch ,Nos. This 'who will blink first' business of noone saying what everyone is thinking seems nonsensical to me. Personally i think Blair should immediatly ditch the rebate (or renegotiate it) for wiggle room and then get the french to cut down the blasted CAP, + press for a more flexible multi speed europe. But i dont suppose Blair will read this...oh well.
-n.r.m Sussex

6/08/2005 05:03:00 pm  

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