Sunday, November 27, 2005

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Panorama | Battle for Europe

Interesting Panorama tonight. It expressed something I have been thinking about for some time.

We live at a time where Europe will become even more critical to the economy of this country, it is not the time to be uncertain as to our place in Europe. The new economies in the east will prove to be great assets to this partnership, we need to embrace it and trade with them rather that fear it. Finally we can learn from some of the lessons from our neighbours. France & Germany are slow to react to the challenges we now face, the economic models of the Nordic countries have been very successful, building new knowledge based economies based on strong free market principles, whilst maintaining good social policies. They have Liberal societies and a low gap between rich and poor. Although this comes at the cost of high taxation, the quality of life in these countries is high. We could learn a lot from them.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Wal-Mart employee fired for Christmas email | The Register

I saw this today. It demonstrates what I have been saying for some time about 'political correctness'. Whist I wholheartedly agree with not using terms or actions that may genuinely offend someone we have to foster some kind of common sense and accept that there are going to be people that have a different cultural view. Understanding and respecting these views are the key, not the wholesale sterialisation of all our cultures.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The seduction of Blair

Prime Minister Tony Blair was "seduced by the glamour of U.S. power" in the build-up to the Iraq war and repeatedly failed to influence U.S. policy, Christopher Meyer a former top diplomat said in comments published on Monday.

Blair did not use his position as Washington's most important ally to delay the start of the war to give more time to plan for what to do after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Meyer said. "History's verdict looks likely to be that it was terminally flawed both in conception and execution," he wrote.

This will go down in history as Blair's biggest failure. Britain should never view itself as a junior partner. Britain is one of the worlds most diplomatically respected nations with much experience in war and occupation, by our successes and by our many mistakes. We do value our special relationship with the US. As a close friend we need to be prepared to give sage advice at times. When Blair stood shoulder to shoulder with Bush after September 11th I firmly hoped that Blair would be the moderating force in the partnership, the voice of reason. Sadly Blair was seduced by the glamour of an American motorcade.