Monday, August 18, 2008

Vacuum at the heart of Government

The Russians invaded Georgia on August 7th.

Since then there has been a flurry of frantic international diplomatic activity to prevent Russia from over running her neighbour completely and to end the fighting while keeping Georgia as a separate sovereign state.

Leading the international charge have been the French, the Germans and the Americans who have all managed to both shore up support for Georgia and still persuade the Russians to accept an international peacekeeping force to enter the region.

From Britain? So far almost nothing except a lame statement from the Foreign Secretary.

Ten days after Georgia was invaded and our Government has still to go there, our even meet the Georgian Ambassador in London.

David Cameron was able to steal a march on the Government by visiting Tblisi over the weekend, he was hardly rushing but he was nonethleless the first major British statesman to visit the country and to pledge support for the Georgians.

Why is this? Does Gordon Brown really support the Russians? Is this a spectacular return to the old Labour days of backing the USSR whatever they do?

No, it is worse than that, far worse. Sources in Whitehall are letting it be known that the real reason HMG have been so inactive and slow to respond is because -wait for it- David Milliband and Gordon Brown are not on speaking terms and cannot agree what 'line to take' over the crisis leaving FO mandarins frustrated and embarrassed.

This is a foretaste of the next twenty months, as the Government implodes with power visibly ebbing away from Gordon Brown each passing day.

The fascinating thing about democracy is how power can transfer even before a vote is cast. Senior civil servants have a duty to the Queen to run the country efficiently and properly and when a Government is in it's dying days you can sense the machinery of Government moving to auto-pilot waiting for a clear direction from a new administration.

Big decisions that civil servants believe a new Government won't want, such as for instance agreeing to a new runway at Heathrow, become frozen and all over the country quangos and departments begin to second guess what a new Government might want to do differently.

This can work well in cases where projects are known to be supported by the new Government. Take the slow machinations of deciding on the Kingskerswell bypass - at regional level the RDA and department of Transport will be well aware of the expressions of support for this road made by David Cameron and at a time when other projects may be mired in doubt we could get a decision quite soon.


Anonymous said...

That's an interesting take on the Kingskerswell bypass, Marcus. I hope you're right.

Anonymous said...

I think Venezuela has more of the right ideas. Why don't we stop people taking our industy and hard won currency from us?

We should take back the electicity, water and gas industries and help the poor, something our labour party has forgotten about.

As for you Tories, what solutions do you offer? you were the ones who started the great sell off!

What do you intend to offer Torbay as it's MP?

Anonymous said...

What do the Tories nationally offer ?

Lots of right wing policies like Marcus' Tory councillor colleagues :

Re-shaping the new word for privatising service

Flog off assets to developers (no surprise as the Mayor is an estate agent and his deputy is a builder - and freemason).

The party of law and order breaks legal and binding covenants as the Tory council has the muscle to do so.

No accountability. Tories don't do surgeries.

No thought for anything / or anybody outside the tourist / hospitality trade ( the same one that gives Marcus a living).

They still ARE the 'Nasty party'.

Let's look at the most powerful elected Tory in the UK, the London Mayor - Boris is making a right mess of it already.

Don't be persuaded by the honeyed words of that viper Cameron !

Remember Tory tax cuts equal bonuses for the rich and poorer public services for the rest of us. Let's not give 'Charlie Windsor' the career he craves. It might need Labour minded voters to vote tactically but for God's sake do it - vote to keep the Tories out !!!

Anonymous said...

Surely you mean for Gods sake help us from Labour - we _know_ what they offer; and it stinks!

Our 'anyone but the Tories' Labour Government have flogged off everything in sight and outsourced to such reliable companies that we keep losing personal data, not getting exams marked on time and letting prisoners escape, selling HM customs and revenue buildings to a company that doesn't pay taxes, to say nothing of having £100bn in future liabilities to fat cat property developers under the Brwon loved PFI scheme; my kids will still be paying for some of our schools and hospitals long after you and I are long gone.

On top of that they have taxed the poor to give breaks to the super rich!

I'll be tactically voting alright - but not the way you had in mind!!

Anonymous said...

Desperate stuff from Chav and ABTT.

Cammo is the man of the moment and it doesn't matter what tactical voting goes on Marcus is going to win Torbay by a country mile.

Latest polling gives Daves Conservatives a higher vote share nationally then both Labour and Lib dems combined.

Martin Baxters electoral calculus is predicting Marcus will win Torbay with an 11% majority - about 6,000 votes; and that is after 'adjusting' his normal forcast to avoid the Lib Dems ending up with no seats at all!

So it will be goodbye to 'Brain Dead' Localbloke and all of his friends, family and other hangers-on who have been filling their boots on the taxpayer for the last eleven years.

Anonymous said...

and replacing Brian Localbloke will be career politician Charlie Windsor.

Anyone can see the calibre of fools that lead the Tory group at the Town Hall and yet people want more of the same to represent us at Westminster.

Oh, methinks you understate the personal popularity of our MP. If Marcus wins it won't be because of his 'personal vote'.

As for lining of pockets might one mention the upright citizens that are Chichester and Steen. Convenient you forget them isn't it ?!

Anonymous said...

Can't agree with you at all, mate.

If you think that people will be rushing into the polling booths in 2010 as a referendum on either Brian Localblokes personality or the mayor and tory councillors unpopularity you are seriously deluding yourself.

It will be the Gordon and Dave show with wee cleggy (David Camerons very own 'mini me') hardly getting a look in. Nobody really cares who our MP is, but everyone cares a very great deal about the occupant of No 10.

I actually don't think our MP has done anything wrong as it happens but his time definitely running out. There is no way he is going to hang on if Labour stay as unpopular as they are now (and IMO it will get WORSE not better for Gordon).