There’s something more than a little nauseating going on in Westminster. As accusations and allegations - some of dubious voracity - abound we see a relative horde of MP’s queuing up to confess their guilt. ‘Let’s all head to the cliffs, quickly - we’re sure to be exposed anytime now !’ seems to be their collective thought. I’m sure that some of these characters have been doing things they shouldn’t and that would be right that any claims against them are properly investigated. Yet I’m just as sure that there is something mendacious afoot happening in Westminster that explains why, like lemmings, we have this apparent and sudden rush to fall on swords. Something is not right. There are undoubtedly genuine abuse cases to unravel but there is background suggestion that there is also a concerted effort to disgrace certain members with a view to ousting them. Amber Rudd is pressing for the right to sack unruly MP’s and demanding a ‘clear out’ of ministers, the weapons the government might wish to wield when faced with internal dissent or non-conformance to government policy - ‘Let’s sack the troublemakers by trumping up some spurious allegations against them !’ Sounds fanciful, but I think anything is possible and even likely in the Westminster we currently have.
Throughout this continuing abuse saga, you’ll have noticed how the other activities of government have dropped off the media interest scale. What is happening with Brexit, where are we on Universal Credit, what is the overseas development minister discussing with the Israeli’s, what is happening with controlling radicalisation and the treatment of returning jihadists ??? All these and many more issues are very much sidelined. Our sordid attention has been switched to sex abuse and impropriety - guaranteed to get the public salivating - at a time when other matters of state are not progressing well. Doesn’t this even remotely make you wonder quite how real all this is ?
There’s a brewing discussion between the new Secretary of State for Defence and the military about budgets - hey, that’s a new one. The navy are having to sell-off ships, downscale generally and the army are desperately short of men to meet NATO and European commitments. I’ve not heard what the Air Force might complain about yet but they’ll surely make it clear to the new man that they haven’t the right number of planes to do what is being asked of them. And I’m inclined to go along with the military arguments. Not since the end of WW2 have we been as militarily vulnerable as we now are. We are living in a dangerous age and we are expecting a shoestring budgeted military to do everything to quell that danger. There are no short-cuts to achieving this (though I’m not against some efficiency improvements) and we need a professionally trained and well equipped trio of forces to bring this about. Let us hope that the new minister will have the good judgement to recognise that and fight for the military’s corner.
Mark Carney says we are not doing as well as we should be because of Brexit. That’s no great revelation given our politicians are screwing the negotiations up and displaying a side to our governance that must surely be diminishing our leverage over any future arrangements. I’m almost at the point of thinking this must all be the doing of Vladimir Putin !
I listened with mild interest to what Japanese women thought of Ivanka Trump accompanying her father on his Asian tour. Fashionable seemed to be a popular description followed by the odd ‘Why is she here - she isn’t an elected official’ comment and a general shrugging of shoulders to indicate that Japanese women don’t really know why she’s there or what she’s supposed to be doing. Now, I’m sure Ivanka is a very nice person and she may well be very bright (who knows ?) but traipsing her around the world to be the mouthpiece of her illiterate father is a bit much wouldn’t you say. A president must surely speak for himself, show his serious knowledge of world affairs and cultures, show that he knows what to say and to whom rather than delegating this to his daughter. What do world leaders think of that ? Some will cow-tow to the fact that they want to stay on the good side of the US but the serious ones must surely think this is no way for diplomacy and international agreements to be forged. Heaven knows what will result from all of this.