Wednesday, 31 March 2010

More Interesting Than YouGov

The PhilPapers Survey was a survey of professional philosophers and others on their philosophical views, carried out in November 2009. The Survey was taken by 3226 respondents, including 1803 philosophy faculty members and/or PhDs and 829 philosophy graduate students.

The PhilPapers Metasurvey was a concurrent survey of professional philosophers and others concerning their predictions of the results of the Survey. The Metasurvey was taken by 727 respondents including 438 professional philosophers and PhDs and 210 philosophy graduate students.

Angels finds the idea of the metasurvey - asking professional philosophers what they thought philosophers would think - irresistible. The comments and discussion pages are weird and wonderful.  In these poll-ridden days, with their dull comments on the duller question of who can control the narrative on the outcome of the general election, predicting how many philosophers believe in a God, would you switch and let the train hit the singleton -   and how bad an action is that?, political affiliation and the existence of an external world, overestimating and underestimating the proportion who agree with you ...serves the same function of feeding the inner anorak but ranges over everything, or almost everything that's thought of.

On the trolley/train switch, I want to know more about the people on the railway lines.

What Will Really Cause a Run on Sterling

Getting het up about constitutional rules and practice is widespread just now.  There has been no alteration in the set-up.  What is different this time, and every time is different, is the character of the current Prime Minister.  The Leader of an outgoing administration is expected to advise the Head of State on whom to send for to form the new administration.  This is not the only advice-source, but an important one; the other sources are clearly preparing for some ridiculous tantrums when office must be surrendered.  Imagine:

"You must go to the Palace and advise that Mr Cameron be sent for, Prime Minister."


"Mr Cameron has a majority over all other parties of 63 seats, Prime Minister."

"So what?"

"The moment you meet the House you will be voted down, Prime Minister.  Surely you cannot wish to precipitate the Head of State into political centre stage, and having to force you to meet Parliament?"

"If she can't stand the heat she should get out of the kitchen.  I am not going to have Parliament meet for the moment, anyway,  like they did in Canada.  So there."

"It is a power of the Head of State to  prorogue Parliament, Prime Minister."

"I'll tell her to prorogue it.  She has to accept my advice."

"Your advice among that of others Prime Minister. "

"It's not fair, having a monarch as head of state; she doesn't have to face elections, like me."

"Precisely,  Prime Minister.  You only hold the power of the state temporarily until the people remove it; and the Head of State acts for her people permanently, and in the interests of our system of government.  The power is held by the state, whose Head concedes it through Parliament to the democratically elected party and its Leader.  You have lost the election.  You are not  the people's democratically-made choice.  You must go to the Palace, where the power of the state is now, briefly, held, and do your last prime ministerial duty, of offering your advice to send for Mr Cameron."

"How're you going to make me?  You and whose army?"

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

He Walks, He Walks

And saw the skull beneath the skin
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.

Daffodil bulbs instead of balls
Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
He knew that thought clings round dead limb
Tightening its lusts and luxuries.

Underpinning the Euro

Economists sometimes ignore the political content of what they know, the political content of what they regard as givens.  In launching the Euro all of the following was predicated; before Maastricht, a decade ago and, in the planning, longer:

- a European state, at least a federal state, with its own federal government and finances.

- i.e. also a federal budget and within it a fiscal policy in the form of federal taxation and expenditure and deficit and debt and debt-management. At the moment the EU has a budget of around 2.25% (sic!) of EU GDP ('based on IMF estimates of 2008 GDP and purchasing power parity among the various currencies, the eurozone is the second largest economy in the world') and it is not allowed to get into deficit (a levy on national VAT proportional to GDP is levied to balance the books in case of deficit).

- a Federal European Central Bank ready to listen to the European Federal Government as promptly and cooperatively as the Fed.

Not yet there, by a long, long stretch, no.  But the commitment, the prior agreement, the certainty on the observation of that agreement -  which was most certainly hidden deliberately from the European electorate -  was so great that a currency that is the second largest reserve currency in the world, used by 327 million Europeans, and with over 175 million people worldwide using currencies which are pegged to the euro,  could be launched without  the democratic assent of the peoples of the member-states to all the political common currency requisites listed above.


Birth certificates that no longer display who is the mother and who the father are being introduced shortly.  This announcement was welcomed by LGBT organisations; same-sex couples with children regarded the current form of birth certificates as discriminatory.

No-one would argue that the information on birth certificates is accurate, necessarily, in the biological sense.  It is socially accurate however: a formal, public statement of origins conferring all sorts of social statuses and claims, from birth. We pattern our society using categories of gender, age, kinship, and bind it together, order it, set up generational cultural and economic transfers with exchange.  As well as goods, we exchange women, in a special form  known as marriage.  We do it formally, and we do it informally, but from brides being given with dowries( or paid for with bridewealth) by their kinsmen, to temporary liasons engaged-in at the whim of the couple involved with the woman exchanging herself, we do it.  The grammar of social relations produces a predictable social environment and all the elaborations we introduce to adjust for passing social goals - equality, resource allocation, protection from the abuse of power etc. Many would argue that we are natural grammar generators; we do it with anything that comes to hand.

Bearing this in mind perhaps we should be wary of determinedly setting aside gender, kinship, descent, generation, and exchange.  It's one thing to act individually at choice, to declare oneself, for instance, a boy - given the advantages it's surprising girls don't insist they are boys for much longer than they do - or refuse to be organised into age cohorts and go to university at 10,  or marry your siblings, or ignore the physical markers of the natural world and make people what they say they are, dissociated from function and capacities.  But to enforce such individual choices by institutional and legal means, punishing 'discrimination', means that we are re-ordering all our social and power relations.  There are vulnerable people who are classed together and protected by society - children are the most obvious - though we can think of many others.  If we are determined to force the pace of  social evolution (and the kinds of practices thought of here are very stable, though they do slowly evolve in response to change in the world) we should expect trouble.     

Saturday, 27 March 2010

A European Monetary Fund: Giuliano Amato on the Legal Basis

Angels thought this exchange of emails with Giuliano Amato (who headed up the redrafting of the European Constitutional Treaty, which was then ratified as the Lisbon Treaty), might be of interest in the discussion on the setting up of a new economic governance for the European Union; and its implications.
If anyone should know whether the Lisbon Treaty, or any earlier treaty would need  to be re-opened, or further treaties on economic government are needed to  be put in place, and can be put in place, either freestanding or as a part, or parts, of other treaties, Giuliano Amato should.

On reading in so much of the anglophone media that a European Monetary Fund (a central institution for European economic governance) was an impossibility because of  insuperable Lisbon or other  treaty difficulties,  it seemed worth asking at the fountainhead.

Caro Giuliano,

"Sorry, no EMF - can't be done" parla da sé. Tu che questi trattati li scrivi, sei d'accordo che un EMF richiederebbe un nuovo trattato? Non ho cambiato idea sulla sua desiderabilità, ma mi stupisce che, volendolo fare, richieda un nuovo trattato.
...a risentirci presto,

["Sorry, no EMF  [European Monetary Fund, ed.] - can't be done" speaks for itself.  You, who write these treaties, are you in agreement that an EMF would require a new treaty?  I haven't changed view on its desirability, but it amazes me that, wanting one, it requires a new treaty.]

Yours as ever, ....

From: giuliano.amato
Sent: Tue 09/03/2010 19:01

Non un Trattato di revisione di Roma, Maastricht, sino a Lisbona, ma di sicuro un trattato che regoli il Fondo, perchè non c'è una legal basis comunitaria per una cosa del genere.
Comunque, se parte la campagna "it cannot be done" sono più fiducioso sulla concretezza crescente della cosa....

[Not a revised Treaty of Rome, Maastricht, up to and including Lisbon,  but certainly a treaty that regulates the Fund, because a community legal basis is not there for something of this kind.
However, if an "it cannot be done" campaign has started I am more certain of the growing reality of the thing....]


Date Sat, 27 Mar 2010 13:14:23
Subject: citazione

Caro Giuliano, Grecia, tutto è bene quel che finisce bene, anche se poteva finire prima e meglio.
Sul Fondo Monetario Europeo mi avevi scritto che era necessario "Non un Trattato di revisione di Roma, Maastricht, sino a Lisbona, ma di sicuro un trattato che regoli il Fondo, perché non c'è una legal basis comunitaria per una cosa del genere". Ti si può citare? Molti commentatori inglesi sostengono che non è necessario, altri che non si può fare perché significherebbe riaprire Lisbona.  ...

[.....In Greece, all's well that ends well, even if it could have finished sooner and better.
On the European Monetary Fund you wrote to me that [a treaty] [cf email above, ed.] is necessary.  Can I cite you?  Many English commentators are arguing that it isn't necessary, others that it cannot be done because it means reopening Lisbon.

Affettuosità, .....

From: Giuliano Amato [mailto:
Sent:Sat 27/03/2010 16:11
Subject: R: citazione

Si, con l'aggiunta che l'accordo ben potrebbe coinvolgere i soli stati della zona euro.

[Yes, with the addition that the agreement might well  involve only the eurozone states.]

So yes, an 'accordo' is required for a European Monetary Fund.  Because, no, there is not a current community legal basis in any treaty for such a step. And that  only the eurozone countries might be involved.

Ever-Closer and Economic Union

Propping-up Brown in office had a primary purpose for much of the British political elite: the ratification of the Lisbon constitutional treaty.  That is why he was permitted to remain, for any replacement would have triggered an immediate general election with a likely eurosceptic Conservative victory.  Now that the Lisbon objective has been achieved the Brown regime is attempting to revivify that  imperative by pretending that progress towards European economic convergence requires a reopening of the Lisbon treaty, and that Brown is standing firm against any such thing, as well as standing firm against any European interference with the directing of the British economy.

The German Chancellor knows perfectly well that there is a lack of legal provision in Lisbon for the next stage of economic ever-closer union.  She knows too that it was always going to be necessary for the EU to act in tandem with the IMF if reassurance over the Greek economy was not accepted as enough by the markets.  So the IMF has been harnessed-in to provide the institutional lacks of the European currency as currently organised.  Imagine if Lisbon had attempted to include institutional provision for Europe-wide economic government; what hope would there have been for its acceptance by the constitutionally well-defended member nation states then?  There are still constitutional amendments to Lisbon being piggy-backed onto future treaties.

Further provision for European economic government will be made in future treaties.  And when Brown stated there would be no more constitutional-effect treaties for a decade, and that there was not, had not been, and never would be need for a referendum, he was wrong; or dishonest.  As usual.

Friday, 26 March 2010

A Dubrovnik Treaty

There ought to be a first law of European Union treaty-making: any treaty is pregnant with the possibilities of any further treaties.   The Conservatives understood this when  Brown Labour  sold the pass and reneged on its absolute commitments to hold a referendum on a European Constitutional Treaty; they lied that Lisbon was different.  Without power to stop Lisbon being brought into effect by Brown's regime the Conservatives gave us two effective commitments: the use of our own constitutional powers to determine the extent of Lisbon usages in our own country - the very stumbling blocks to Lisbon that more codified constitutions in other member-states had to have written in, even in a later treaty, and a referendum on any subsequent EU treaties that altered our relationship with the European Union.

The Croatian Accession Treaty  is expected to carry a lot of baggage: all the guarantees to Ireland given  to make the Irish vote Yes at the second attempt last year; all the undertakings to the Czech Republic on the status of the Czech constitution and its powers to intervene as does the German constitution for Germany;  German constitutional statuses themselves; even Labour red-line showboating doesn't compare with what has to be written into this treaty.

Letters from a Tory has pointed-up  the crucial missing piece in the Conservative guarantees that when they are in power there will be no further alterations without a referendum: the occasion that could precipitate the referendum. 

Others have noted that European economic governance would require treaty changes; they have argued that there is no stomach for touching Lisbon after the years of pressing to get the European Constitutional Treaty through.  They are right.  And so are those who assured us that indeed the Lisbon Treaty will not be touched.  The treaty that is carrying all those provisos that won over Germany, the Czech Republic, and Ireland to accept Lisbon will be, though.  It must be, by prior agreement, so very much more than a mere accession treaty for a small European candidate member-state conforming in every way to accession requirements.

Never let a crisis (or a treaty) go to waste.  Greece has been profligate and unwise in its fiscal behaviour (but haven't some others closer to home?  And all in the social democratic,  big state - high tax political-loser camp).  But it has conveniently brought down a high euro to more comfortable levels for manufacturing and exporting member-states, and it has concentrated attention on urgent, treaty-level underpinning to the single European currency necessity.

Angels would prefer the new treaty to be negotiated in Dubrovnik, the so beautiful, former Venetian colony of Ragusa di Dalmazia.  The Zagreb Treaty doesn't have the same ring; it sounds just a touch too close to the realised socialist knuckle.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Tidying Up Before the Budget

The bank warned us that we have accounts whose contents were at risk of being sequestered by the Brown Regime; they put it slightly differently - need to have activity in an account etc. -  but that's what it amounted to.  So we hunted down all the bits and bobs that have survived in places we have lived and in lives we have left, checked down the back of the sofa and the dresser drawer, and tidied them all up.

The money's all on the way to the bank-at-the-bottom-of-the-hill.  Apart from being surprised that it is no longer safe to leave anything in England (no matter how clear the original terms and conditions, property rights are being eroded and their constant reassertion is required now) the exercise triggered another decision. 

We moved  all the money still in sterling onto safer  ground - for which the euro's current brief decline has come in handy.     It's been a long fall to 1.11 from 1.60 and upwards (when the bulk of it came here) and, more damagingly, there isn't anything I've wanted to buy in the shops in London when I've gone to spend some of the Nostalgia fund, no matter how far sterling has fallen.  So it's here, safer and with lots of things to spend it on.  Or decent returns if we save it.

Angels' Law  states that if I am thinking or doing something,  lots of others are as well, indeed they are ahead of me.  Yesterday's 'Budget' confirmed it was the right thing to do.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Still Waiting

There should have been a general election not a budget.  We can be certain that today is just a propaganda event for Labour.

Despite the general air of assurance on there being an election, somehow it feels as if we have to  entice this

to come out into the open like this
so that we can deal with it.


"My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add thereto: my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions."

[These words may seem familiar but Brown has form recycling other people's remarks in his own speeches, Ed.]

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Greece Knows What It Has To Do

Germany could bail out Greece tomorrow morning for less than it cost us to bail out the North East of England and their Beastly Bank  Together loans.  That Northern Rock throw-away of tax payers' money led directly to a UK debt of over a trillion pounds as our prime ministerial North Briton felt the bit between his teeth and saved bits of the Labour client state no-one else would even want to reach.

The German Chancellor has a moral compass that points to moral hazard.  Pity the Prime Minister hasn't.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Free School Dinners

School dinners are, by definition, disgusting.  The smell that pervades whatever space they are served in, soaked into the very fabric of the furniture and architecture, degrades whatever other uses that space is put to; gym,  assembly, the school play, orchestra rehearsal, examinations, they are all tainted by that smell.  Parents' evenings are inhibited by it, as  the rearing back in disgust effect is exacerbated by the wave of memories of school dinner experiences.

And now Labour is threatening to make the school dinner a universal punishment;  refusal will offend (as it so often does) so refusal will not be available.  Under the functional guise of nutritional benefit and meeting need without discrimination, the prison-house shades will close about our growing children,  in the form of swill on a plastic tray with indentations for  slop-with-gravy, and slop-with-custard.

The school day will stretch from early morning to the evening, without hope of escape into the free world from 12.30 to quarter to two.  Any expression of aesthetic or gustatory discrimination will be met with cultural aggression.

Eating with others is a very important social act, highly elaborated and often determinant in setting hierarchies and exchange relationships.  It is not a suitable activity to be imposed in demonstrably failing schools.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

This is Not Antifascism. It's Social, Political, and Personal Aggression

If this woman is pregnant she is irresponsible to the point of criminality. What is she doing pretending that Unite Against Fascism is anything other than an authoritarian organisation rooted in Trotskyite 'No Platform'.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A Picture of Britain

 The United Kingdom's economic status is portrayed  in the Financial Times.  Credit Suisse has brought down the picture from the attic. Go and take a good look.

The diversionary, propaganda tactics consisting of pointing at any economy but the UK economy, of self-congratulation on not using the Euro currency, the articles on the economic problems of other countries which are not even accurate - Italy regularly gets an undeserved bad press for instance - cannot hold the line for much longer.

Nowhere else in Europe is a country in such economic distress as is  Labour Britain with its falling living standards and its rooted worklessness.

 Many have wanted the Cameron-led Conservatives to attack this dreadful failure with greater vigour, even viciousness and exposure of all the wrong-doing known to have been perpetrated.  There is no hope for some kind of orderly reconstruction to be found there.  It is, fortunately, a characteristic of one-nation Conservatism to build alliance and consent, not confrontation and defeat for any of the people caught up in this disaster.

Strikes and lockouts are the epitome of collapsed economic and social relations; but  lower levels of confrontation rather than co-operation - the singling out of particular groups for vilification and inappropriate levels of blame - all share the common purpose of producing confontation which, in the crippled thinking which hasn't gone away you know, within the Labour party, will generate realised socialism in its new, technically competent, form.

A vote is a blunt instrument:  it cannot offer access to the heart's desire of every individual.  But it is just the bludgeon with which to defend market capitalism and the rich and varied society that thrives and grows with the individualism and democracy which is capitalism's political counterpart.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Votes From Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Shouldn't Count

Why Scotland, Northern Ireland and, though to a lesser degree of concern, Wales should be voting in the Westminster general election needs explanation.  The matters of central concern to the electorate -  health, education, housing (under whatever term building houses people can afford, with due respect for the environment and infrastructures, is currently masquerading) and working conditions, are all devolved to separate parliament or assemblies in Edinburgh, Belfast, and Wales.  Why are their electorates sending representatives to stick their noses into other people's, ie our - business?

Foreign affairs, and  Defence (or War as it has turned out to be under Labour) have also been devolved, since Lisbon, to the European Union; that the European Union Foreign Minister  happens to be English is neither here nor there (as is she);  her responsibilities are European, and policies are determined in the European institutions of governance (whatever we may think of them).

Constitutional affairs in the form of changes to the voting system, and judicial powers are already devolved so there is no basis for Scotland or Ireland or Wales having any say in what we do in England; the House of Lords is an irrelevance to their legislatures (though certainly it has to carry a large number of their troughers and placemen).

Angels would rather have interference in our governance from France, Germany, Italy et al., than Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.  At least the French, Germans, and Italians are big enough and rich enough to make their interference less humiliating and profitless.

Nietzsche for Newbies

Get up to speed with a modern view for the modern world.  (or read Nick Drew )

Power-Broking For Grown-Ups

Here's an in interesting image: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, special representative of the “quartet” Tony Blair and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton are in Moscow.  Their starter for ten is Israel-Palestine relations.  Members of the team then have discussions on follow-up questions such as  -oooh -  balance of power in the Middle East, US-Russia nuclear arms talks with a supplementary on nuclear non-proliferation international agreements, European defence relations to NATO and to Russia, with a supplementary on NATO/Russia defence agreements?

What would  Gordon and Peter give to be where these people are?  They must be eating their hearts out denying their thraldom to Unite, denouncing cases of individual tax avoidance, and announcing small grants for electric car assembly.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Subsidise the North East to Dig Coal

Would you buy an electric car

More specifically: would you buy an electric car from this man?

And, then, consider what he says the  the car he sells you will run on: lithium is relatively rare in exploitable quantities, found in geopolitically inaccessible places, grossly energy-consuming to extract, and even then gets turned into a battery  (don't you just hate batteries; always absent when presents are unwrapped and when they are located, and unhandily positioned, the beastly things run out before you can turn round, and then there's all the greenery-guiltily about throwing them away); who would want a car that runs on the beastly things?

Given its rarity, finding places, extraction costs, and carbon footprint, best to reserve lithium for the use of men like this, who really need it:

although someone should have warned him that lithium is  flammable and difficult to extinguish.

Vote Early Vote Often

Electoral fraud is a concern for us all at the moment. It shouldn't be, not in the United Kingdom, but it is, and has been, ever since 2005 when Labour's election fraud caused Richard Mawrey, QC, the election commissioner, to compare the behaviour to that of a banana republic.

'Electoral fraud' and the more widely-defined 'subverting the principles of democracy' can be considered as very serious threats in the upcoming general election.  You may care to read all about how it's done (well, an introduction to how it's done) and consider at least safeguarding your own vote, whatever you choose to do with it.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Wings - Not Debt, Taxes and State Control

The fixing of the electorate for the Labour Leadership is an encouraging sign.  In a travesty of democracy the Leader is elected by a tripartite college  of party members, trade unions, and the members of the Parliamentary Labour Party and MEPs.  Some electors are much, much more equal than others.   It is encouraging for a number of reasons:

first it reassures that the general election will take place shortly - too many have too much to gain from arriving in the Commons by the only route available, election (and a general election at that; by-elections coudn't deliver the numbers, now approaching 100 Labour MPs standing down) for any finagling with Parliamentary terms; 

second it demonstrates that the  claim by the current Leader that he will continue, unelected, on and on, after condemnation  at  his first electoral trial is just part of his delusional state of denial;

third it returns the Labour party to its historical status-claim that it is the political arm of the trade union movement (a claim denied, of course, by many Conservative members of trade unions, but they were shouted down by the socialist bullies long ago); and it ends for good the vainglorious Blairite claim that Labour is the political arm of the British people (a claim to which Conservatives and Liberals are an immovable refutation);

last, or perhaps 'at last', it sets the terms  of the general election (for lack of which  the Conservatives have been so unjustly saddled with responsibility).

Labour offer  big state, high tax, trade union-dominated governance without individualist, pluralist democracy, individual choice and aspiration.  They offer, too -  proven fiscal and economic incompetence; life-long debt; clumsy and inappropriate, supplier-driven, public services; authoritarian intrusion into personal and family life;  the substitution of socioeconomic caste structures for meritocratic achievement; and cultural bullying.  Labour offers  craven conformity to both the European Union and the United States'  imperatives and, where these do not conform, submission to those of the United States -  even unto immoral and unjust war.

Conservatives offer to sort out the unholy fiscal and economic mess from 13 years of Labour corrupt and incompetent maladministration, followed by leaving us all alone.  To live our lives in safety, with opportunity, and in peace.

We know, oh! how we know,  from recent experience how Labour carries through its programme. 

Angels experienced the Conservative one-nation society - access for all to housing; public and personal health; schooling and apprenticeships; for the quick-off-the-mark, universities (socks need to be pulled up there by the Tories); work. 

Angels were offered wings.


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

"I will keep going because I want a majority.”

The silly behaviour stage has been reached now.     Labour has been damaged dreadfully by the usurpation of the prime ministership and the defenestration of its winning Leader.  The process by which this was achieved, by the steady attrition of career suppression and driving out of any popular Labour politican threatening the Brown ascension was fascinating to watch but atrocious to have suffered. 

The Party has lost a generation of its middle-ground, and middle-aged, cohort.  It is left with elderly men  disappointed in the sacrifice of their hopes for social democractic politics  and what could have been delivered for working people, in the bitter standoff between individuals rather than the rational negotiation of policies. 

The coming electoral ousting of the Regime is the ousting too of this, literally old, guard and even of their permitted younger cadres, too badly tarnished with the failures of growing inequality, lack of housing, poor state education, an inadequately delivered at-point-of-use health service and, lest we forget, the letting down of a military improperly used for propaganda and aggressive war which, nevertheless, needs funding and resources just as much as would war for just and proper purposes.

The conjuring-up of the worst slump since the 'thirties and all its concomitant suffering and permanent loss of growth and employment is unique to the UK;  the result of the politics of personal  power across all and every aspect of government practised over all these years of the destruction of the country's social democratic party.

Social democratic votes are transferring to the  one nation Conservatives and to the Liberal Democrats.  The declaration that the destruction of social democracy in England will continue after electoral rejection of current Labour politics is, as Mr Cameron's Conservatives remarked, 'Truly terrifying'. 

Not only will the UK be the only advanced capitalist country with such damage to its prospects.   It will be alone in having no organised, alternative social democratic policies, and no organised, democratic political party through which to express valid and widespread beliefs and objectives for our society.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Budget to be Without Political Content or Proposals for Debt Reduction

"The economy and the decisions we take that will affect the next five, 10, 20 years are pretty critical to the big decision, the big choice the country will make whenever the election is called.   [most would consider the decisions that have been taken in the last five, ten, thirteen years pretty critical to the big decision, the big choice the country will make whenever the election is called. Ed.] Crucially we have got to plan now to ensure we get growth for the future because growth is what brings jobs, jobs is what will bring rising living standards.''  [The United Kingdom now is set on a permanently and markedly lower growth path because of the decisions taken under the New Labour regime.  Growth may be achieved - Goodness knows it is to be prayed for fervently - but the higher growth path , the high road, has been lost forever.  We will, at best, be taking the low road.  Ed.]

Asked if he would give details of spending cuts, Mr Darling said: 

"I have always said that because of the uncertainty we have seen over the last 18 months it would have made no sense to have been doing a (comprehensive) spending review at that stage. [So will you step back now from your previous erroneous decision to refuse to set out your proposals for the recovery of fiscal propriety? Ed.]  ''We won't do one before the election, but of course one has got to be done this year because our current spending runs out at the end of March 2011.''  [Cowards flinching, then Chancellor?  Nothing before the election?  Ed.]

Angels  is confirmed in the expectation that the Budget will be purely a technical requirement fulfilled, and its usual political content removed from democratic scrutiny.  

There is a Woman Finds What You See is What You Get Acceptable: Keep Your Behaviour For Her, Brown

Details of Brown’s latest bullying outburst in which 'he hurled a torrent of abuse at EU Foreign Minister Baroness Ashton in a row over the way she is doing her job' and 'swore repeatedly at the Baroness over the telephone, leaving her shaken,' is reported in the Mail.  'According to one source, he accused her of ‘letting Britain down’'

Even for Brown this is an unprecedentedly offensive failure of understanding of his relations to others. The European Union appointed the High Representative and the post is a European, not United Kingdom, responsibility.  David Miliband is the UK Foreign Secretary and the best of British luck to us all in having our national foreign relations policies in his banana-clutching hands.

Catherine Ashton is making and enacting foreign policy for Federal Europe, of which the United Kingdom is but a 27th part, and only partially attached at that.  The European High Representative is not a New Labour cadre answering to its corrupt and shortly to be removed regime.  Europe has rejected New Labour's candidate for its Presidency and, were it capable of honesty even to itself, new Labour must recognise also that Europe  took Commission President Barroso's candidate for its Foreign Secretary.  Both the 'Lisbon' posts were denied to the Project, as New Labour politicians have long been nothing more than 'useful idiots'  delivering an unwilling United Kingdom people into the real  Project of a federal European state.

It is encouraging for Europeans that this foul-mouthed diatribe has been delivered.  The High Representative is clearly getting on with the job (to borrow a phrase) she has undertaken and, correctly, working within the European Union's objectives for its foreign relations.  Specific criticisms thrown so vulgarly at her recently have included representing the European Union at the installation ceremonies for the newly-elected Ukrainian President.  Of course she did.  While political shifts in stance in Ukraine achieved by democratic vote are particularly galling for UK foreign policy narratives, they are most  satisfactory for continental European relations that include Russia as an economic and industrial partner.  Furthermore,  Foreign Representative Ashton was quite right not to engage in disaster tourism and equally right to ensure large quantities of appropriate EU aid, supervised by competent technicians, for Haiti.

The construction of a non-NATO European military force is a politically sensitive, long-term, developing initiative that is almost impossible to consider and comment on from the outside; but if a public shindig felt slighted by the Foreign Representative's absence at a geo-politically crucial occasion elsewhere, perhaps they might care to contribute towards providing the means of being in two places at once.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Only a Week to Go

" I cannot write that we are all locked into an imperial American global economic nightmare,' I remarked (well, to be fair declared) to Mr HG over local sausages grilled on the fire coals and  resting on a bed of fresh, blanched broad beans, dressed with pepper chutney and grape chutney, accompanied by bruschetta.

He looked up from his dinner and the Eight O'Clock News.

"Give it a week before you say that, my dear".

Will it take a week for the sleight of hand on how the UK was thought to have so much to spend during the Brown regime to be understood?

The European Monetary Fund Takes Form

Wolfgang Schauble, Finance Minister of Germany, on the formalising of European institutions for the emergence of the  European Monetary Fund.

The article by the German Finance Minister in this morning's Financial Times sets out just how well-developed and advanced are the means, both institutional and formally embodied in policy,  for  European-wide monetary and fiscal policies.  It is not Greece that is 'at a crossroads'; Greece has bowed the knee.  It is the United Kingdom: excluded for long, Brown years from the Eurozone's inner consultations and decisions, exposed by the foolish Brown economic order to the ills that have engulfed Greece, once again we come too late to the negotiating table to make any effective contribution or achieve any advantage.

All three political parties have promised, once again, that in future European treaties will be put to the popular vote.  The Conservatives have specified that such a vote will take the form of a referendum.  Labour and the Liberal Democrats?  There the weasel words will be that this treaty setting up the European Monetary Fund and giving a legal basis to policies already being enacted,  is separate from change to Lisbon  and should be dealt with by the Executive.

There is no really serious way in which the United Kingdom can continue for much longer in this half in half out European Union membership.  All member-states are required to bring their economies into line with qualifying for and then joining the Eurozone; the fact that the UK has an opt out to not actually use the Euro and has  kept sterling does not release us from conforming to the Stability and Growth Pact (although current circumstances have suspended its provisions and its sanctions are currently weak).  With the formalisation of the European Monetary Fund this situation will not continue and sanctions will become very real.

At the general election any vote for Labour or for the Liberal Democrats is a vote for the end of sterling and for 'ever-closer union', including crucially the loss of monetary and fiscal policy control - the outsourcing of politically unpopular debt repayment measures and the avoidance of responsibility by Labour.  The Conservatives have policies to repatriate powers, keep sterling, and consult the people by referendum on any change that alters the UK's levels of integration into Europe.  Frankly, that is the best that we can hope for until they are in power.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

The Political Case for a European Monetary Fund

The European Monetary Fund is a possible and, Angels would argue, necessary arm of the European Union, and more specifically of its inner core, the Eurozone.  The cries of  redundancy, derision and impossibility can be dealt with - indeed their forceful existence is a Greek chorus trying to warn against a necessary set of decisions to reinforce the foundations of the European currency and to strengthen European union.

The first wails are that the Fund would require an unthinkable  renegotiation of the Lisbon treaty if not Maastricht and even Rome: not at all. Setting up the Fund will require a treaty, a treaty that is an adjunct to Lisbon and will be far easier to achieve under Lisbon terms.  That the Fund treaty must negotiate its way through the constraints of Maastricht and the Growth and Stability Pact is a virtue for, like all living entities, earlier forms that assisted coming into existence are shed by later forms.

The second wails concern redundancy: why have a European Monetary Fund when the IMF exists already.  Precisely.  Those who see an identity of interest between the IMF and a European Monetary Fund are purblind.  Unlike a central bank, the IMF is not a lender of last resort, often severely regulated and that does not lend to governments but lends against sound assets.  The IMF in its role as lender to governments takes a claim over the only asset a government possesses - its tax revenues in the future.  In this it acquires a political and dominant role in the economy of a debtor country, determining the size of the tax base, the tax take, and expenditures.  It negotiates from a position of strength the fiscal politics and policies of debtor states.  A European Monetary Fund, in this activity, can provide and develop the European-wide, or Eurozone-wide common fiscal policy whose lack is deplored by those who argue that the Euro is not a properly-founded currency.  The IMF cannot be expected or trusted to perform this crucial function of the European Fund.

The third wails deny that fiscally well-conducted countries will accept formal responsibility for a feckless member-state: why should they not if the European Fund is set up to deliver fiscal discipline that benefits the Euro, an ever-closer European Union, and makes a profit for its shareholders (as does the IMF).

The wails of derision are propaganda from those who want the European ideal and its currency to  weaken in favour of global institutions of economic and fiscal management.  The trouble with global post democratic administration is that it leaves nowhere to leave for when its tyranny becomes unbearable  - as it will -  for it is a top-down ideology and attempted imposition,  rather than the 'devolution of powers to the lowest competent level under the rule of law' that is the EU.

Undeniably the negotiations will be complex, the fitting of the terms of the European Monetary Fund treaty to extant EU regulation will require  reinterpretation, good, as well as political, will, and a fair wind. But we have our Dottor Sottile who saw Europe safely through to Lisbon for the finest of drafting, we have still the guide who took the Euro through to realisation to negotiate the difficulties that will be thrown in its path.  Indeed it is Giuliano Amato and Romano Prodi who have been the first to advocate this next development.

The Europeans dealt with the assault upon Greece that Greek fiscal recklessness brought upon themselves and upon our currency with little more than reassurance and reprimand.  It is time to underpin the common currency with the fiscal sovereignty it requires at least within the Eurozone.  Those who are not members can congratulate themselves on being outsiders, and stop the awful wailing.


Cranmer has a fascinating post on the new Treaty that will be needed for the European Monetary Fund tripping referendums within the United Kingdom.  However, my understanding is that it is not Rome, Maastricht or their final embodiment in Lisbon that will be revisited; but a treaty will have to be instituted that regulates the European Monetary Fund because there exists no EU legal basis for something of this kind.  It is noteworthy that to some degree the European Union is already acting as if such an entity had some limited kind of shadow existence.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Destruction of the Intellectual Environment by Labour

A Philosophy Blog is accessible via Angels' Rockets.  Do read this even if you may not be interested in more philosophical  posts.  What is happening in King's College London and in the University of Sussex is central to the university environment anyone's children are working towards. 

Is this what you want them to find when they enter the university?

The Humanities and their Values

Surveying the Baltic Seabed for the Nordstream pipeline has uncovered more than the feared, depressing quantities of dumped WWII munitions. 
The wrecks of Viking longships, various other vessels from the 1500s to the last century have been found lying, well-preserved, untouched by treasure-seekers because of inaccessibility, en route.

Historians and archaeologists of the countries of northern Europe will be planning how best to examine and evaluate these sources of improved understanding of our economic and social history, our cultural organisation and its roots.  Except for  one northern European country of course: there the dismantling of university departments appropriately  equipped with the skills to contribute to this undertaking continues apace. 

By the time New Labour and its philistine ideologies have been stopped there won't  be any departments of archaeology, anthropology, ancient and early modern history, economic history or linguistics left.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

I Want, I Want...

Angels' heart belongs to the beautiful clothes by Jil Sander, but this year (Mr HG will be pleased to hear) there was nothing.  He may be less relieved when Missoni arrives in the local shops.  There is another world not made of the sculpted and flowing-line perfection of Sander clothes - the  swathing, sinuous, glorious colouring and patterning of Missoni.

You wouldn't wear all these at once - not unless you looked like the models - but every last one of these garments (perhaps not the hat in the centre picture) I want in my wardrobe.

The United Kingdom is Now Operated By Economic Forces Beyond Government's Control

The substantial devaluing of the Pound, and the dramtic fall in the purchasing power of the pound in our pockets was supposed to have the redeeming feature of containing imports, promoting exports; instead of which the the trade gap has widened both for EU and non-EU trade.

The narrowing of the UK production base, especially in manufacturing, prevents the devaluation from working.  There will be pressure on the Pound for further devaluation without any expectation that this will have any better outcome.  Further devaluation will bring about an increase in already rekindled inflation.  Wage restraint, the common response to inflationary pressures, is unlikely to be achieved in a country like the UK where the trade unions are in government.  The only containment of the trade deficit might come from deflation achieved by cutting government expenditure and raising taxes (doesn't matter which except for redistributive effects) but to cause deflation then it is the masses that must be taxed.  There just aren't enough rich to matter in the implementation of a deflationary policy.

If we wanted a prosperous Britain we shouldn't be starting from here.  The machinery of economic policy has been struck from the hands of any government.  The very fact that we haven't got a Budget reveals that there is nothing being done.  And we have a regime that does not even consider extricating us from global economic forces; it denies that its proper interests and loyalties are  to the people of the United Kingdom, and its globalist commitment is a tragic misunderstanding of the relationship between domestic policy targets and domestic instruments.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Blue Skies, Nothing but Blue Skies

The Budget is being down-graded as a political event.  That much is obvious from the tenor of news management from the Brown regime.  It will be a technical Budget necessary for the continuance of government business and undertakings - paying of salaries etc., but the data presented will be just that, presented without any serious action proposed to deal with what, by now, the world and its wife know is there. And, to some extent,  is discounting as we type. The politics of the Budget are being removed elsewhere, apart from the parliamentary pop-shy that will greet its actual presentation on Budget day.

The constitutional importance of this is profound.  For a major underpinning of the democratic government of the  nation state is the application both nationally and internationally of economic constraints applied to nation state units.   Which is precisely what  the Regime wishes to break down, in favour of the further development of global economic governance in both policy and institutions.

The international bodies that up to now have stepped in to discipline an incompetent national economic governance range from ad hoc bi-lateral arrangements (Abu Dhabi for Dubai), semi-formal regional groupings with some prepared positions agreed (the European Union frequently, but most recently and notably for Greece) and the IMF (which has been at it for so long and so regularly its interventions form books).  But in all these kinds of interventions one characteristic is dominant: the offending nation state is told what to do, and jumps to it, or it doesn't get the bail-out.  There is a temporary loss of sovereignty that reasserts itself as economic governance returns to competence.  There is usually losss of office by the government that brings intervention indignity upon a country.

The scenario where  international institutions are instrumentalised  to propagate an explanation of economic failure not as the result of governmental incompetence but the outcome of inadequate national and international economic governance policies and delivery mechanisms, where there is no shame and blame but a co-option of international resources to increase international economic co-operation and inter alia avoid internationally-caused economic conditions wreaking their effects unjustly on the people of a single country, is very attractive to a regime suffering from both national economic failure and globalist aspirations.  If the nation-state mind-set of the IMF interventions can be combined with the common action (for instance the push for a common fiscal stance) in the global community mind-set of the G20, plus a push for a permanent monitoring and response economic structure set up out of the skeletal systems extant, then a nation state Budget could be seen as a merely technical provision and local exercise.

The setting up, by Brown, in the Cabinet Office, of a group headed by Shriti Vadera, ostensibly to provide a permanent institutional structure for the G20 (currently provided ad hoc by whoever is the host government); the speeches by Mandelson that reinforce the no shame no blame recourses to the IMF, itself routinely monitoring all members annually - the  Article 4 consultations -  and proffering pretty insistent advice; the forces of Hell attacks upon the Chancellor of the Exchequer taken together with the Budget insouciance;  manifest Brown regime irritation with the euro area and its nascent intra-state institutions for resolving euro area problems of poor regional economic governance;  the regularly exemplified constitutional and institutional destructive behaviour towards the UK as a nation state under New Labour; and last but not least the delusional grandeur of Brown's personal vision for global elites in post democratic  administration,  are pointers.  The  political and personal blame  for our economic downfall hidden under a barrage of propaganda in this vein,  is attractive.

Change of this order is not gradual, it is catastrophic.  The United Kingdom is far too small an economy to unilaterally alter the architecture of states and their economic relationships, and the institutions of the post War settlement.  At the same time it is far too  large an economy to hope not to engender major damaging response from those involved in its economy both within and without the country.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Books and Their Insights

Which books to read that help political understanding as we approach the general election cannot have the number 5 in the answer.  Angels' view is that all books have their moment  and that the reader is the crucial determinant of the importance of any work - the reader's knowledge, interests, concerns, responsiveness take precedence over any objective assessment.  Though it's always so interesting to hear what others are reading; knowing that gives quite a take on who they are.  If told that reading The Prince gives insight into current political goings-on in the country the response 'intellectual preening' followed by ''really, really reading Machiavelli?'  may be uncharitable but undoubtedly is there . 

Angels are reading Trevor-Roper's The Last Days of Hitler, the 1962 revised edition with the fine introduction and considered conclusions, and it is electrifying.

"If 1941 marks the triumph of the Party over the Army, it also marks a further stage within government - the change from a cabinet to a court...a marked deterioration became apparent in the characters of all the Nazi leaders.  There were also important changes in personnel."...."'Relations between the various leaders can only be understood', says the ablest and least corrupted member of the court, [Speer] if their aspirations are interpreted as a struggle for the succession.The War of the Diadochi started very early behind the scenes.'    And:

"Hitler certainly showed an astonishing grasp of military detail, but such knowledge had not hitherto been understood to constitute strategical genius.  A more critical judgment is that of Halder,  that Hitler showed an extraordinary grasp of technical detail and a capacity for unlimited generalization, but that nearly all decisions of strategy must be taken in the middle region between these two categories - and there Hitler was deficient."

The quote from Mein Kampf  of what Trevor-Roper regards as a self-portrait, has further horrid echoes in our present predicament.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

These Are the People Brown Daubed as Terrorists

"We have not forgotten how Britain used battleships against Iceland during the cod wars. "We find this a very strange method of thanking the Icelandic people for sacrificing the lives of their seamen during World War II.

"The colonial attitude is still going strong. The UK should come to its senses."


Over 98% of voters in the referendum rejected Brown's bullying.  Iceland has never refused to pay what it is legally required to pay: but compensating the Labour regime in the UK for the 'compensation' it printed and handed out to its client-state 'savers' has received a resounding NO.  Turnout in the Icelandic referendum was over 60%.

Just Say No! C'mon Iceland

There's no need to meet Brown's lying, bullying blackmailing demands.  His regime long ago printed the money to meet the 'bailout' for Labour's client state risk-takers who had been told all would be well, rather than warned high return=high risk and made to bear the consequences of their choices.

He called you terrorists, formally, to the international community.  Call him for what he is - a bankrupt with a printing press.

Transportation to Australia Was Abolished in 1868 (Wasn't It?)

Former Labour council chief Steven Purcell flees Scotland to escape stress

TROUBLED council chief Steven Purcell sensationally fled Scotland last night.
He is jetting abroad to escape the pressure after a dramatic week which saw him quit as leader of Glasgow council.
Sources close to Purcell said he won't return for up to a year.
The news came just hours after a teenage friend was found dying outside the City Chambers building in George Square.
Sources said 18-year-old Danus McKinlay had heart problems .
Earlier yesterday, Purcell followed up his decision to quit as £60,000-a-year leader of Scotland's biggest local authority by standing down as a councillor.
Purcell spent some time at the Castle Craig rehab clinic in the Borders after he quit as council chief .
He disappeared from the clinic on Sunday but turned up again soon afterwards.
A source close to Purcell said: "Steven has always had an interest in the southern hemisphere and it is thought he might be spending some time there.
"He is sick of the whole affair.
"He's had enough and needs to get away to put some distance between himself and the mire of Glasgow politics."
Purcell could not be reached for comment last night.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Brown's Eden

Watching Brown is a disturbing experience.  First of all is that dreadful accent.  I don't know where the Scottish people Angels knows come from but they don't sound like that.  And they don't say things like Brown either.

It's one thing to be quite far along on the not very good at emotions response-spectrum, but he's a raving, egocentric delusional.   

With the end of the Cold War a new order was instigated?  By whom?  In whose name?  Using which criteria?  Setting aside the chilling thought that there was no end to the Cold War, just an economic collapse of realised socialism due to its own contradictions and the loathing of the people it held in thrall. We have now a reconstituted Russia and its Near Abroad strengthened immeasurably by the substitution of capitalism for socialism, and all its accompanying efficiencies, for the idiocies of state provision and allocation of resources.  And strengthened by an unflagging building of alliances both to the east and to continental Europe.

Brown and Blair have been acting in a false world where there could be recovery of some kind of 'Great Britain' status via the institution of a permanent global governing elite in which they would be equal partners with the Great Powers of the US, Russia and China via their domination of European politics.   Global institutions, extant if rotting like the Bretton Woods organisations, the  United Nations, NATO would be revivified with new and extended roles and powers, supplemented by new global governance embodied in G20s and their ilk, an acknowledgment of some aspects of international law accompanied by new, pseudo-legal definitions of rogue states, extra state terrorism and the enforcement of bi-lateral arms treaties as multilateral agreements.  Enforcement would be relatively easy and profitable, for the nation states assaulted would be as undefended as Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq, Afghanistan - little more than 'Emergencies'  in the old imperial mode.  Why, all that is needed is a few Snatch Landrovers and some decent non-commissioned leadership.

Madness.  Deadly madness.  For our troops and for the assaulted peoples.  Many have accused Brown et al of being socialists or communists, authoritarians, totalitarians recreating a Stasi in our country.  In truth theirs is a home-grown idiocy, a Project that has been well understood and whose silliness has been exploited both by  US and by European power players of better and more realistic understandings.

An Eden spirit walked again,  but this time made of the dreams - no, nightmares -  of the Left, and  it has almost destroyed our democratic politics, our living standards, and our way of life.

Today we saw Brown set out his globalist insanity, with all the dreary statistics, the lists, the lies, the denial, that echo down the ages in the history of the ruin of countries.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Bodyscanner Installed in Rome Fiumicino

The first passengers have been posing through the Italian airport bodyscanners.

Mandelson Matches Brown in Brazen Cheek

The shamed, twice required to leave the New Labour cabinet under Blair, Mandelson - now 'Business Secretary' appointed by Brown when the Treasury could not be taken from Darling -  has 'criticised America’s unilateral financial reforms as misguided and insisted that Britain would be the key driver of the global regulatory overhaul.'  (Times)

President  Obama’s proposals to ban proprietary trading and limit banks’ liabilities may have disturbed the globalista Project and, indeed,   '“came as a bit of a surprise” to those working on the G20’s financial reform agenda.'

“It’s important that we keep the multilateral process firmly on track,”  .... “However, I think President Obama’s proposals can actually give that process an even greater legitimacy and urgency.”

It seems the United States President is judged to be going off message in running US affairs in the interests of the United States.

Monday, 1 March 2010

President Obama and a Political Embarrassment

President Obama has damaged the prestige of the office of President of the United States.  He never meant to but he allowed it to happen.  And now he is having the greatest difficulty in gaining his principal policy  objectives either domestically or  strategically and globally.   In both these sets of failures he damages the people of the United States.

The setting up of global governance institutions has long been an over-arching American policy.  Global governance institutions, that is, dominated and led by the United States.  And in this the support of the governments and political elites of other regions and nations has been sought.  It is one thing to have the New American Century and world dominance by a single super power and quite another to seek to embody the delivery of that power via institutional arrangements other than brute force.  President Obama was elected with such enthusiasm because he stood for the delivery of American-led global governance through progressive institutional arrangements (though the employment of brute force was a necessary part of the policy where 'failed' states and/or 'humanitarian' offences demanded it). All of this was enthusiastically supported by the New Labour Project in the United Kingdom. And resisted, discreetly but with profound determination by the European Union core,  by the Russian Federation and its political policies towards its Near Abroad,  by China and its SCO. 

For the American Republicans it was in American interests to control Iraq, and they set about doing that.  Blair started the pressure for 'going the UN route', seeking global and institutional approval which seriously interfered with the efficacy of US planning for war and put the US into a wholly unnecessary - from a US Republican viewpoint -   questionable moral stance, but Blair had the common sense to offer support to  the US no matter what, while pointing out that the global governance agenda using the shell UN institution could be given a boost on the way.  The US took 40,000 UK troops in exchange for some gesture politics and a bonus swipe at the EU, and did what they meant to do anyway. But they had been dragged into a politics of inferiors that ate into their autonomous decision-taking.

Once started the impetus of the Project's global governance programme was difficult to halt.   Afghanistan transformed from an American assault after 9/11 into a UN sanctioned occupation attempting to hold down insurgency.  Most of the 40 odd nation states with troops in Afghanistan regard them as peace-keepers and rebuilders of a shattered and poverty-stricken country, not occupation forces - so much so that irritated America has replaced entire military areas held by diverse  forces with US zones with separate administrations and much larger forces.  And in the meantime the UK has replaced a US satrap Blair with a global governance and its institutions Brown.  A Brown who impudently and disloyally sees a leading role for himself in the New Order.

The new American President was simply not ready for the breath-taking hubris of Brown.  Facing his country's concern about the naked use of American power unmediated by reference to 'allies',  and with the ignoring of dead-in-the-water 'global' international institutions; faced by the cruelties of war shocking his people; faced by the loss of US grip on Afghanistan; faced by a major financial crisis; faced by the obvious requirement that response to the financial crisis needed international co-ordination, he was ambushed by a poisonous opportunist who chance had made the G20 host nation for the next meeting. 

Mr Obama should have been seen to be consulting as the President of America, and then acting with leadership and decision, not giving photo-opportunities to London opportunists.  He gave priority to a 'global governance' agenda that reduced recognition of the power and status of the United States.  President Obama did it again in Copenhagen, enticed by a dubiously arranged Nobel Prize, and bi-laterals with Russian Federation leaders that should have been organised and conducted elsewhere.

By the time the United States had undermined Brown's London Afghanistan Conference with decisions and arrangements properly taken beforehand and in bi-lateral consultation with other governments, it was too late.  And the image of an American President being hounded through the UN kitchens by a political beggar, coupled now with the image of a naked, obscenely-phrased, rant in a Washington hotel bedroom sticks in the public mind.

It is no wonder that President Obama's authority is under extreme test at home and abroad.  But he doesn't need this.  He needs Brown and Brown's self-aggrandising globalist agenda off the international stage as early as can be arranged.