Whilst our local politicians continue to conduct their electioneering with a profound lack of style and integrity, we are now assailed by the NATO gang of 29 who are also behaving like errant schoolchildren. Should we perhaps conclude that all those in positions of power and influence are really no more than.....I'll invite anyone who reads this to think up a suitably disdainful word to embrace them all.
NATO is, of course, quite an important institution. On that basis alone we perhaps ought to expect its leaders and representatives to display a little more skill in its varied and complex discussions. But, like many such corporate style bodies, it's the 'ground troops' who actually are the backbone of the organisation and the leaders (though Bristling Brock baulks at applying that title to many of them) are little more than passing-by politicians who are around for a year or so and then replaced by a new team of equally inept politicians. Listening to some of the dialogue coming out of their Watford meeting this week there is little to suggest that they have a deep grasp of world affairs - for most of what they have talked of thus far has been self-evident to the rest of us for quite some time, eg, Russia, China, cyber war, global terror, piracy, trafficking, etc, etc. Mr Macron's 'brain dead' summation of the NATO ethos, whilst mildly amusing is, in fact, about the only challenging statement that has been reported so far and which warrants some deeper, collective discussion. The world needs something like NATO to uphold the protection of its peoples, but unless it starts to grapple internally with its own structural issues - not least Erdogan's Turkey - then it will degenerate into a facsimile of that other great talking shop, the United Nations. Let us hope that that does not happen.
The recent London Bridge knife attack reminds us that there are fanatics still at large in our communities. Some of these will genuinly believe that they act for a higher purpose, but most, BB suspects, are the weak minded and easily led that follow some perverse instruction from a zealot or a criminal. We live in a society where human rights and freedoms are revered - there is a whole industry of lawyers who have sprung up over the last twenty or so years who pointedly remind us that even the most abhorrent terrorist has 'rights' under our extremely flexible legal system - but this is symptomatic of a dangerous cultural shift to over-represent minority factions within our midst. Trying to establish an equilibrium position where minority and majority positions can be comfortably made to co-exist remains a challenge that no government has yet found a solution to - the pendulum swings from one extreme and back to the other with a predictable cycle. And Britain currently finds itself at the leftward, ideological swing point of that pendulum - much to the delight of the legal community - where even the most recognisable terrorists are given token punishments and released back onto the streets. The lawyers pocket their fees but the hapless public pay the price. This laissez-faire style of social governance has some merit but when applied like spread butter across all scenario's then it becomes a dangerous strategic policy and mind-set. If we strive for better governance then not only should our society be more equitably represented in the process of policy making but sheer common sense should be applied by the courts when confronted by smart lawyers without a moral compass and pure evil is facing them across the bench. Let us recognise that pure evil from the outset and treat it with the appropriate severity it deserves.
Back on politics, the spending spree promises of all the party's continues unabated and Bristling Brock still cannot recognise a political hook to hang his hat upon. It is disturbing that the political establishment in its widest sense continue to imagine that these wild and wholly unrealistic spending pledges might sway the electorate. It may come as news to the spin-doctors league, but wild and woolly pledges of this nature do not sway the electorate - and if anyone wants an entertaining example then find a re-run of the Andrew Marr-Matt Hancock interview where the latter tries (but fails with a great stuttering of absent conviction) to explain that all the promised 'new' hospitals are real despite most being mainly re-furbs and upgrades. This is where a new coat of paint is classed in the political world as 'new'. Heaven help us.