Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some other people's stuff

Here's a couple that made me laugh:

Despite the 'howls of anguish' at the SNP victory in Glasgow East (he means me), this gentleman thinks that it is more likely that 'Britain will become potentially more tiresome than Belgium':
"It's more that there are so many potential problems ahead that, regardless of the rights or wrongs of Scottish independence, what worries me is that we're now looking at decades of Quebec-style tedium: narrowly defeated plebiscites on independence, followed by acts of nationalistic pettiness which stoke up the mutual ill-feeling to the extent that another vote needs to be held which is narrowly etc etc.

Not only is the natural human propensity for vindictive and mean-spirited behaviour, especially when nationalist sentiment (the best way, bar religion, of channeling all that is mean and base in humanity) is involved, coming to the fore; consider how much worse the combined efforts of lawyers, bureaucrats and politicians will make things."
I strongly recommend reading the rest - 'sfunny. Probably right too.

Also: I'm not very familiar with the Blairite John Rentoul. I stopped reading the paper copy of the Indy when it turned itself into an anti-war comic and the online version was behind a subscription wall for ages. However, on reading him recently - and I dare say I'm being unfair - he does strike me as something of an asshole. This is what he had to say about Miliband as a potential leader:
"They have to ask themselves the Peter Mandelson question, asked when Brown was being compared unfavourably with another younger Everyman in 1994: "Who will play best at the box office?" This time the choice is between Brown and David Miliband. The young pretender is growing in stature all the time and refreshingly normal. He must be the first Foreign Secretary to throw an American football (a gift from Stanford University on a recent visit with Condoleezza Rice) around his vast office."
To which Laban responds:
"I've noted the increasing triviality and shallowness of contemporary politics... Now apparently chucking a ball around the office is a good sign of premiership potential."
Meanwhile, Chris Dillow questions whether who leads Labour matters that much. In terms of their immediate electoral prospects, he's probably right but in general I disagree that leadership is unimportant. Blair wouldn't be having these problems on quite the same scale; say what you like about him - at least he could make decisions. I also doubt the Tories would be doing so well had IDS stayed in the job; the SNP wouldn't be doing so well without Salmond; and Scottish Labour could have done without the car crash that was Wendy Alexander's leadership.

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