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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Am I the only one who notices an uncanny resemblance between this EU Referendum posting and this comment piece in the Sunday Times? Ok, well the Sunday Times article mentions the must-read arrse, but otherwise it's hard to see any other ground being covered there. Still, I suppose it's good to see these arguments moving from the blogosphere to the "proper" media.
Staying with defence and the Times, Saturday had a strange comment about the Navy's future:

The Navy . . . .seems still to be lobbying for the assets to deploy in force anywhere in the world. In any inter-service competition for resources, it must, and will, take third place.

Yes, the Army is more important, but the RAF? There is, to be clear, only a very limited need for an air force at the moment. What our forces need are deployable and close-in support assets, such as would be ideally provided by aircraft carriers equipped with the Joint Strike Fighter. We could hope . . .
Lot of work in those regards to do for the next Conservative prime minister. From the most recent polling it looks like Cameron will be it. Not that he's spent an awful lot of time on saying what his defence policy would be, but a BBC poll says Party members are going to vote him in. Whether it's Davis or Cameron, I am confident that the Conservatives will carry the day in 2009/2010. Having so far only followed this leadership race in print for the past three months I was pretty amazed at the visual difference between the two Davids. Whereas Cameron always seems to look fresh, healthy and energetic, Davis looks clapped-out and finished. I guess that will shift the balance in Cameron's favour too.
On the other hand perhaps the BBC is still continuing its practice of presenting people it doesn't like in a bad ligh. Evidence for this could be seen on Sunday's The Politics Show when they interviewed noted Eurosceptic Daniel Hannan, he had a sinister menacing shadow over the left half of his face, funny that with all the technology available in terms of make-up, lighting and computer retouching something like that should still happen . . . (Not that these methods are restricted to this side of the Big Pond mind you.)
While we're on the issue of that show, am I the only one who thinks that the presenters' insistence of not wearing ties makes the whole programme look a little tacky and akin to some Sunday afternoon football chat show?
Talking of politics on the BBC though, is it possible that the coverage has actually gotten fairer? For example on Newsnight they had an interview with two American experts (one was Dick Morris) about Bush's remaining years in office after such a week of crisis, all of which was possible without the usual anti-war and Bush-bashing claptrap clouding out sober analysis as used to be the case for the often. And again, on the Politics Show Sunday morning, the Tories interviewed were given proper space to speak and even the appropriate respect. Has the BBC seen the journalistic light? Or is it scared what will happen to its future once the Conservatives are back in power?
If you happen to be curious about the further developments on the German election front, I will be bringing an update soon given the current troubles (includes more demonic lighting, what's going on . . . ?!). I see that the Times seems to agree with my call for a second round of elections. Looking back though I will say that going for another election campaign now will be a better option than it would have been in late September. The leftward shift apparent in Schroeder's social democrats should lead to a workable majority for a Christian-democrat/right-liberal coalition that I have argued here occasionally.
So, David Blunkett has gone from office again. Well, I don't really know my way around the ministerial code of conduct, so I can't say anything useful about that. The only thing I noticed again, is that here was a Labour minister leaving office due to some form of corruption. Whilst that is good in itself, it masks the fact that there has been quite a dearth in the past years when it comes to ministers being sacked or resigning due to incompetence. And to be sure, there's been plenty of it: Geoff Hoon anyone . . . ? In the broader scheme of things I would say that incompetent Government is a bigger problem than incompetent Government and I think we should shift the balance of accountability in back in that direction.
As a side-note, it is quite funny really that Blunkett sat on the board of a company specialising in paternity testing isn't it?
To end this post on a gripe though, I was intermittently watching Sky News during the day. Is David Blunkett's resignation the only event worthy of reporting the whole day?

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