I've waited all day to hear about exciting government ministerial shufflings. How disappointing it all has turned out to be - so far.
I can see no real cause for feeling more confident about the governments position, either in Westminster or the country. Pundits (presumably of a true blue persuasion) have lauded the changes as being something the powerful PM could make at her discretion. By that they mean political discretion - nothing at all to do with having the right people in the right jobs for the country's sake - Heaven forbid we should have a government that puts the nation before its own vested interests !!!
So what is this shuffle all about ? It's made, thus far, no notable shifts in favour or fortune and Jeremy Hunt, earmarked as the successor to the First Secretary role has ended up with just a wider brief at Health. To maintain his reputation he'll need to stay in that post for at least 12 months - but, hey, let's not worry too much about government ministers career prospects, we need to hear about this extraordinary new role of Minister for No Brexit Deal. I'm alarmed that there has seemingly been no official charged with the responsibility of this before now. Surely a prudent government would ensure that we had a game-plan for both a deal and a no-deal scenario ? In fact, we were assured not so many months ago that we were, in fact preparing for a no deal scenario (albeit an emergency scenario if all else failed) by a certain Theresa May and David Davis but it appears now that we have not really put much effort into that and we now - facing the continued fickleness of the EU - do actually need such a Minister of State. Great 12th hour planning guys. You deserve a place in the history books - alongside Benedict Arnold, Macchiavelli, Edward VIII and William Joyce.
El Trumpo is trying to deflect attention away from the new Fire & Fury book revelations that he is really a world class plonker by launching forth on a plan to deport 200,000 folk in the US who hail from El Salvador. Could we see something of this flavour coming ? Er, yep - it's Trumpo's MO all the way - get bad press on one thing and create a storm on something else to occupy journalistic minds. Not exactly political rocket science but with the comic press it'll steer things away from the astounding commentary of Fire & Fury. But remember....El Trumpo is a genius, even a stable genius as he modestly would describe himself...and the world needs to fall to its knees and Praise the Lord for that mercy. To the rest of us, the presidency of the US is very much something of a cartoon comic strip tale with new episodes emerging like a machine gun rat-a-tat as often as the occasion demands. This could turn out to be a boon for the comic strip writers.
The gender pay gap is back in the news, hooray ! I have no problem with equal pay if equality is really what the ladies of the world really want. Inherent in this notion, however, is the fact that equal must equal equal - confounding as that statement may sound. I have no idea what, for example, a BBC world reporters workload looks like. I am sure there must be lots of behind the scenes input that we never see but when they accept the job, be they female or male, surely they must accept an offer, agree to a deal, sign a contract and embody within that a measure of work input that is reflected in their remuneration. So is this a question of poor bargaining skills by women or are institutions nation-wide positively discriminating against women just because they are women ? I really don't know, but it occurs to me that a course of action may well be to reduce the remuneration of some employees - again female and male - who are patently overpaid in order to bring a semblance of balance and equality to pay levels - and the BBC is an obvious example of over-paying certain so called personalities. Nobody is irreplaceable and none of the reported incomes of some of these personalities are value for money. So instead of bargaining up, I'd recommend bargaining down as a measure to get greater value for money, a more competitive field of contenders and a more equitable deal for women. I'll no doubt get shot at for this Draconian proposal, but, hey, that's what blogs are for....
I see that Angela Merkel's coalition troubles carry on. It's a dangerous situation for Europe, or at least the EU, needs a strong and leadership providing Germany. If a coalition and a government cannot be formed soon we might speculate that the EU itself will suffer reverses of fortune that threaten its stability.
And lastly, as a rider to my normally ebullient feelings about American politics, are we really hearing that Oprah Winfrey might run for president ? Words fail me...for the moment.