Monday 28th of May 2018

memoirs of a spinner...

spinspinspin

Tony Blair came to the view that Gordon Brown would be a disaster as prime minister and that Labour could not win the 2010 general election, he reveals in his long awaited memoirs.

"It was never going to work," Blair writes of Brown's three years in No 10, arguing that the former chancellor had "zero emotional intelligence" and fatally abandoned the New Labour formula.

Blair's memoir contains a passionate defence of the war in Iraq and of New Labour's public service and welfare reform plans, which the former prime minister believes his successor abandoned.

cause and effect in a flux system...

hammersleys

salt lake

pictures by Gus  — Top: part of the Hammersley range, Western Australia. Below: salt lake, central Australia

blair and friend

blair and friend...

Tony Blair secretly courted Robert Mugabe in an effort to win lucrative trade deals for Britain, it has emerged in correspondence released to The Independent under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents show that the relationship between New Labour and the Zimbabwean President blossomed soon after Tony Blair took office in Downing Street.

fantasy land

fantasy land

A senior rabbi from a party within Israel's coalition government has called for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to "vanish from our world".

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Shas, spoke out as Middle East talks are poised to begin in Washington.

The United States condemned the remarks as "deeply offensive".

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu distanced himself from the comments with a statement saying that his government wanted peace with the Palestinians.

The attack on Mr Abbas, delivered in the rabbi's weekly sermon, also prompted chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat to condemn the remarks as "an incitement to genocide".

ideology as truth .....

ideology as truth .....

An extraordinary document has been sent to the BBC - a carefully detailed and forensic-like analysis of the transcript of the Panorama programme "Death on the Med", broadcast on 16 August 2010.

Below is the transcript of this programme, together with the resulting dissection and complaint of bias and lack of impartiality which is now in the hands of the BBC.

it's the devil .....

it's the devil .....

from Crikey .....

Tony Abbott, Coalition leader, potential Prime Minister, currently negotiating with the four independent MPs in order to obtain minority government, six days ago:

"I make the point that I think we can have a kinder, gentler polity ... I think we can be a more collegial polity than we've been."

the wilkie factor...

wilkiexfactor

Incoming independent MP Andrew Wilkie has described the justification for the war in Afghanistan as "one of the great lies of the election campaign".

Mr Wilkie has claimed victory in the Tasmanian seat of Denison, but he will wait a few more days before declaring who he will support in a hung parliament.

He met Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Melbourne yesterday and presented her with a list of 20 issues that are important to him.

While his stance on the Afghanistan war is not part of that list, Mr Wilkie has made it clear he is against troops staying there.

but can I draw it?...

censorship101

Hundreds of photographers have gathered on the Sydney Harbour foreshore to rally against laws which prevent them from taking pictures of Australian landmarks without a permit.

Australian landscape photographer Ken Duncan says the laws imposed by all levels of government are inconsistent and unnecessary.

He says some of the country's most iconic landmarks are now off limits to commercial photographers unless they have a permit which can often cost them hundreds of dollars.

He says it is un-Australian.

"Australians are 'G'day mate, how ya going?' not 'What are you doing with that camera?'," he said.

stealing big boots...

I have a dream

King's presence was hotly anticipated given the controversial anniversary scheduling of "Beckapalooza." Although Beck said the date was a coincidence—then later dubbed it divine providence—many civil rights' activists, such as Rev. Al Sharpton, had taken umbrage to what they saw as Beck's appropriation of the day for causes incompatible with MLK's vision. (An online campaign to declare that "Glenn Beck is not Martin Luther King, Jr." gained more than 30,000 electronic signatures in the two days before the event, and Sharpton led his own march to celebrate the speech right along side of Beck's event.)

karma .....

karma .....

Always look on the bright side of life. Stalemate though it is, an election which rids the nation of Wilson Tuckey and the Family First Senator, Steve Fielding, cannot be all bad.

Tuckey is gone, hurrah, the voters of his Western Australian seat of O'Connor deciding at long last that they could stand the oaf no more. A regrettable flaw in the constitution means the idiotic Fielding will pester us in the Senate until next July, but his end is in sight.

warhogs .....

warhogs .....

War profiteering is defined by Stuart Brandes in his book "Warhogs, a History of War Profits in America," as "a gain in economic well-being obtained as a result of military conflict."

As he shows, there is a long history of war profiteering in the United States and an equally long history of public disgust for it. One of the most quoted expressions of this disgust came from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in World War II: "I don't want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster."

demos .....

demos .....

from Crikey .....

Common sense from independents has conservatives deeply unhappy

Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane writes:

nothing to hide .....

nothing to hide .....

The Coalition has dismissed the complaints of three independents about its election costings and declared it will not be told what to do in return for the numbers to form government.

As the independents expressed anger at Tony Abbott's refusal to have Coalition policies costed by Treasury, the shadow finance minister, Andrew Robb, said there would be no change.

''We don't want to have a fight with these guys but we're not going to be dictated to and not tug our forelock like Julia [Gillard] has on every issue,'' he told the Herald

putting families first .....

putting families first .....

The Coalition has slapped down a threat by the family First Senator, Steve Fielding, to try to cripple a Labor government, by refusing to endorse him in blocking supply.

Senator Fielding appears to have lost his seat but will sit in the Senate until June 30.

He claims Labor does not deserve to govern the country and if it forms a minority government, he will use his crucial Senate vote to block all Labor legislation, including its next budget.

However, to be effective he would need the support of the Coalition.

A spokesman for the Coalition leader, Tony Abbott, said if the Coalition were in Opposition, it would not block supply.

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