It was Cameron wot done it!
There is a very important question which no-one is asking: “Why did David Cameron’s government do nothing about Britain’s Exit from the European Union?”
All that Cameron managed to achieve was several months in a very fetching hard hat/high- viz jacket combo, doom-mongering whilst being ably assisted by his sidekick Chancellor Osborne. Gideon’s job was to spout highly coloured statistics and fictitious numbers which were designed to frighten the country’s lame brains (Britthicks). The gruesome twosome were convinced that we would vote to remain within the European Union rather than seek independence and remove ourselves from beneath the velvet jackboot of Brussels bureaucracy.
In fact ‘remainers’ Dave and Gideon adopted exactly the same tactics as those who were promulgating our exit. They too lied and treated us to even more outrageous comedy statistics….but the Brexiteers had xenophobia on their side, coupled to the electorate’s rabid dislike of the Cameron-Osborne double-act.
The referendum result achieved something that many of us could only dream of. It was the sight of Cameron’s rapidly disappearing flabby backside as he headed for the hills because he could not cope with the bitter taste and shame of defeat. His own hubris had shown him the door.
That and the fact that he knew the game was up because he had not even considered that the British public would vote for Brexit.
Consequently he had failed to prepare for the eventuality of us leaving the EU and….. as the very model of a modern fair weather manager….. he had to go.
The Conservative Party then launched into the process of choosing a new leader – an operation that had been manifestly unsuccessful since 1990 when John Major became the compromise leader – and that was only because Hesteltine had too many enemies and had shown the sort of burning ambition that only ‘new money’ is brazen enough to exhibit.
John Major was a bit ‘flattered’ as an election winner and leader, purely because the Islwyn Prattler, Neil Kinnock was the very scary Labour alternative. That situation lasted until 1997 when Tony Blair arrived to create the new ‘socialist’ Camelot.
Subsequent Conservative leadership elections are far too depressing to describe in any detail but here is the list of who they chose: William Hague, Iain Duncan-Smith, Michael Howard….followed by Cameron in 2005. He is noted for not having been able to win an overall Conservative majority until the 2015 General Election. That majority was 12 – and that was with the terminally gauche Ed Miliband as Labour leader!
Once Cameron saw that the British people had voted to exit the EU, we were treated to a hissy fit and his resignation – with the added bonus of Gideon flouncing off in the direction of the Evening Standard. That created another shambolic leadership election with candidates who were all eminently suited to fight a Parish Council election but this was for the leadership of the once-great Conservative Party!
Enter Theresa May and her advisers.
As they watched the Labour Party begin its once-a-generation process of digesting itself from the inside, followed by the election of a truly hopeless leader, Mrs May was advised by her (former) advisers to announce a snap-election in June 2017.
She managed to negatively optimise (lose) Cameron’s majority of 12 and convert it into a hung parliament…..and she was allowed to get away with it because as usual, there was no obvious successor. (There never is.)
Since then, we have been waiting for another General Election but unfortunately before that can happen, the Conservative Party has to launch the next leadership battle.
All the obvious candidates are in the Lords, dead, sectioned or in prison ….so the likelihood is that the next Conservative leader will once again be a Home Counties lame duck with an imminent sell-by date …….and because the vast majority of MPs are terrified by the prospect of an election, the cycle of incompetence and excuses looks set to continue ad infinitum.
That’s a crippling shame because it is today, during probably the most sieismic sideways shift in British History, we need a leader …………….and I don’t mean Boris, Gove or even the power behind the drone – Sarah Vine.
It is an age where Plutocratic Incompetocracy has become the norm and the current abysmal standard of MP suggests that it is here to stay.
In Praise of the Psychopath
One of the most misused and least understood words in the English language is ‘psychopath’.
Thanks to the media, as well as the arts, the word is confused with ‘violent psychopath’.
Many years ago when I was still cavorting on the corporate stage, I asked one of my American ‘matrix’ bosses (who went on to head up one of the world’s biggest banks) what his ideal senior manager was. He studied me intently and replied, ‘An entrepreneurial psychopath with an MBA’………….. Read More
Blair’s Dodgy Decision Making
Judging by all the searingly emotional and often savage reactions to Tony Blair as a result of the invasion of Iraq, the continuing death toll and the Chilcot Report, purely for balance, I think it would be interesting if there was more understanding of Blair’s decision-making process. Such an understanding may help many to begin to comprehend what prompted Tony Blair to invade and destroy a sovereign state.
I am certainly not a fan of Blair’s (and neither am I an apologist for Blair or his actions)…. but I do think it only fair that everyone should at least attempt to understand what he may have gone through in the weeks before he gave the green light for the British military to invade Iraq.
He is often portrayed as some sort of monster-warmonger and yet he was so loved by the majority of the British electorate until the moment that he latched onto George W. Bush’s shirt tails. Plus, he is a barrister and I therefore, I believe him to be a moral and honourable man.
Many decisions delivered by senior people are made on historical data rather than measurement. In other words, whenever a problem arises analogies are drawn between today’s problem and past difficulties with a decision being made on what may have provided reasonable solutions in the past. I hate labels but this is known as ‘decision-making by analogy’. In Saddam’s case it was “Remove the bad bloke and then it will be much easier for us to put everything right.”
The question as to whether it was Blair’s job to ‘put everything right’ is not relevant and debatable but throughout history, removing the bad guy at the top has proved to be the correct fix….and I believe that removal of Saddam was Bair’s core assumption and the premis upon which he based everything that followed.
Nowadays it is widely recognised that the best decision-making method is a systematic logical approach which actually looks at all the alternatives available, together with all possible consequences. This method removes what is known as the ‘gut’ decision and also takes all the emotion out of the decision-making process. This is not an infallible system any more than decision-making by analogy. It is simply the best available to us at this time.
Here’s the simple straight-line thought process:
- Set objectives. In this case it would have been to remove Saddam Hussein and by doing so, to introduce democracy to Iraq.
- Evaluate objectives. For instance, would killing Saddam conflict with other goals and is democracy the right answer for a society with such a complex social system of religion, class, sect, politics and ethnicity?
- Collect information. The intelligence services were so obsessed with a specific type of information that everything else appeared to be ignored. Was the correct information collected?
- Analyse all the information. Then re-analyse it.
- Develop alternatives. In this case, were different methods available? For instance, killing Saddam Hussein or possibly taking him out of Iraq. Did the Iraqi people actually understand what was meant by democracy? In which case, might it have simply been a case of replacing the man at the top rather than relying on people who had neither sense nor experience of government?
- Evaluation of all of the alternatives and then choosing the ‘best’ all-round alternative. For instance, the assassination of Saddam may have done the trick. Remember Gen Colin Powell pointing to possible WMD sites on satellite maps? Would destruction of those have emasculated Saddam?
- Communicating the final decision to all stakeholders – including Saddam and his people.
- Setting up control systems by deciding what was to be measured, how it was to be measured and when. Whatever solution was chosen, its effectiveness and consequences needed to be measured or estimated.
- Implementing the decision after proper preparation and a detailed plan, including several ‘consequence’ scenarios.
- Finally, it’s the evaluation of the decision/solution. If the original objective was to introduce Iraq to democracy – has it been successful?
In retrospect, it appears to be quite obvious that a modern approach to decision-making was not used, and that Tony Blair had made the decision to remove Saddam Hussein as an end and not as a means to an end.
However, when Tony Blair says that he feels that he took the ‘right’ decision, I believe him.
I also think that the root cause of everything that has happened since Blair made the decision to invade Iraq was a total lack of knowledge of a proper decision-making process compounded by an unnecessarily emotional attachment to George W Bush plus a strange and yet-to-be-explained craving for a place in the history books.
Blair has certainly earned his place in history…so it really was a personal ‘Mission Accomplished’….but not as an evil person, merely as an incompetent.
Gaddafi – mad, bad or “fitted-up”
Politicians are pack animals and their chosen mode of transport is the bandwagon. They have now gathered around Gaddafi and individually are beginning to bite lumps out of him and then scuttling back to the pack in order to give the next one the opportunity to rip-off another strip. The name of the game is isolationism.
The United Nations is busying itself condemning Muammar Gaddafi while simultaneously, the UN Human Rights Council is about to adopt a report which praises Libya’s human rights record. The report extols Libya for improving its education and constitutional framework. Several countries have made a special mention of the new legal protections which Libyan citizens now enjoy and the report praises Libyas efforts in making human rights “a priority”.
The report was put together as a result of the Council’s November 2010 session but now, because of recent and ongoing events in Libya, it seems that it was all a collective “mistake” ( by 47 countries).
UN Watch, a Geneva-based quango, is demanding that the report be withdrawn and “the truth” be printed. It seems that in a matter of days, Gaddafi has gone from hero to zero but more importantly, the principle of “doublethink” exposes the United Nations as an organisation which deals in expediency rather than truth.
A few days ago, with encouragement from the United States, the Human Rights Council council passed a new resolution condemning Libya’s abuses in response to the latest unrest. The Council has called for an international inquiry and has recommended that Libya’s membership of the Council be suspended.
We have accepted that Gaddafi is “mad”, “deluded” and “isolated”. But that seems to be at odds with the rather unedifying sight, just a few years ago of Tony Blair trying to get Gaddafi in a clinch and the unbounded joy as BP signed a deal with Libya. Then we had the rather speedy release of Al Megrahi from prison because of his yet-to-be-terminal prostate cancer.
Gaddafi seemed to have been fully rehabilitated and the propaganda machine painted him as maybe a bit eccentric but definitely doing his best towards his people.
Yesterday, when Jeremy Bowen, the BBC’s Middle East editor interviewed the Libyan leader, Gaddafi confirmed that the people “loved him” and that his security forces had been ordered NOT to shoot at his people.
Elsewhere, the Americans are talking about Gaddafi “slaughtering” his people.
In propaganda battles of this type, the truth is often the first casualty. So where is the truth hiding?
The reportage from Libya is biased against the Libyan leader and most will say “and quite right too”. However, in the interests of balance, let’s look at another scenario – probably ficticious and purely an illustration of another view.
Imagine a leader who lives an isolated life whilst at the same time, delegating the day-to-day running of the country to his family and trusted aides. He is an ex-soldier and not even remotely interested in the more mundane aspects of administration. He sees himself, not as a dictator but as a figurehead. He is a titular Head of State, such as we have here in the UK . He does not manage – he reigns.
One day, his subjects hear and see demonstrations in adjoining countries and think “We can do that. That democracy lark looks good”.
The street activities in Egypt and Tunisia gave the ordinary voiceless Libyan confidence and resolve, courage and hope. They prepare placards and go out onto the streets because they too want “democracy”. What they all REALLY want is the affluence which so-called democratic countries appear to enjoy and a fair share of the oil billions which their leader mistakenly continues to confuse with his own money.
An air force general and a head of security services both see an opportunity. The air force general orders one of his planes to make a couple of low passes and shoot a few rounds into the gathering crowd. He then orders a couple of pilots to fly abroad and denounce the leader. The air force general then resigns and calls a press conference, blaming his leader for giving orders to kill protesters.
The Security Chief is persuaded by a well-known secret agency belonging to a big Western power. He orders troops to shoot a few more protesters, then resigns and denounces the leader.
Meanwhile, the leader is in his bunker, being fed good news by his flunkeys. After all, people who once gave the leader bad news mysteriously disappeared.
Ambassadors, diplomats and other senior people all over the world suddenly withdraw their allegiance and denounce the leader. They resign for a variety of reasons, ranging from self-preservation to being participants in a bigger oil-conspiracy.
Meanwhile, the leader is wondering what all the fuss is all about. After all, he loves his country and specifically requested that his people should not be harmed. He continues to be fed good news and (not unreasonably) declares that the people all love him.
However, his son (who was once very popular among London’s tosserati) then blows his democratic credentials by waving a gun in front of a crowd and declaring that they will fight “to the last bullet”.
Although it is very likely that the leader’s supporters are still measured in millions, Western media continue to only interview individuals who are anti-leader. Close-ups of burning vehicles and bodies in the streets give the impression that many thousands of the country’s citizens have been “slaughtered”. In fact, the big Western power now openly uses the s-word.
The world’s political pack closes the air-space over the leader’s land and his country’s money is stolen by the politicians who by now, sense that the leader is blissfully oblivious of the fact that he is terminally wounded and has no escape.
He has been totally encircled. The politicians have closed ALL the doors and then paradoxically, tell him to “get out”. Understandably, the leader feels very let down and betrayed because a few days ago, the same openly aggressive politicians used to be his friends.
The politicians are already slavering over the prospect of rebuilding contracts, mining, oil and of course….more oil.
So what of the bruised and battered “truth”? Well, that’s purely relative.
A few days ago, the United Nations were about to publish a report praising the truth of Libya’s new approach to human rights. Now, the truth is that they are dealing with a deluded murderer who kills his own people. A genocidal maniac.
The truth always depends on where you are standing.
….and here are a couple of reminders from the family album:
and of course:
Gordon the Barbarian?
Why is Gordon Brown so unpopular? I am sure that he is a very nice bloke. THAT is where the problem lies. He is what we call (using the Tracom Social Styles model) an Analytical with a slight touch of Amiable. Predominately though, he is an Analytical.
Let me show you the behavioural traits of each type:
Analytical: He is driven by numbers – the accountant, the nerd, the engineer. At University, he will study a subject with lots of facts and figures. Stuff that can be analysed and reanalysed. He is driven by facts and not emotions. The analytical needs proof and the “numbers” have to make sense. The Analytical is not a risk-taker – only if it is a sure-thing. He suffers from what is known as “analysis paralysis” and will not make decisions on 90% of the facts. He needs all the facts. He does not release his stress very often but when he does or when you cross cross him, you are in deep trouble. He will bury you. When he insults you – it will be personal! If you want to be loved by an analytical – give him the facts – the bottom line. Even so, he will say “No” a lot. He will procrastinate and use the fact that he still does not have all the information as an excuse. He is only liked by other analyticals. He prefers a road map to a compass when going from A to B. In spite of that, he may not always get there because the map is not detailed enough.
He will not say : ” I really feel for all of you who are struggling with their mortgage and household bills. I will do everything to ease your pain.” (Clinton, Blair) . (Clinton would probably add: “Your pain is my pain”.)
The analytical will say: ” I will do my utmost to ensure that the economy comes back on track as soon as possible.”
The Analytical can be considerate and is self-controlled but very moralistic – with an over-developed sense of right and wrong. He is a prude who always comes across as a bit stiff and starchy. He prefers the missionary position and a cup of tea. His dress sense is very “straight” and conservative. No Levis.
Amiable: Very much related to the Analytical. This is the submissive church-going type who is kind in his personal life. He makes a good Staff Officer but needs a Driver-type to show him the way and to make the decisions. He is an idealist who wants a better world. He cannot lead.
Politics is all about “perception” not fact. Once a politician is perceived as a certain type, it will stick. There is no going back.
As a “herd” we want and need to be led – preferably from the fiscal swamplands into the sunshine of the Plains of Plenty. When Gordon Brown first took over from Tony Blair we wanted him to be strong and statesman-like. Remember how he came across during his early skirmishes with the farm and flooding crises? He looked good but only because we were willing and wanting him to be good.
Then we had all that nonsense with the snap Election which didn’t happen. That was ( in Vince Cable’s words) his first Mr Bean moment. The beginning of the end.
The ugly spectre of self-interest is asserting itself in Westminster. MPs are slowly realising that in 2010 many will lose their seats. Those with small parliamentary majorities may have to get a proper job!
They need a scapegoat. Their evil thoughts, like fledgling vultures are already clattering against the Westminster windows . Soon they will take to the skies. There will be blood.
Gordon was nearly the man who never was. In reality, he is the man who never should have been.