Friday, March 7, 2014

Paperclips at dawn? Don’t worry, Vlad lad, this lady will probably just give you a good talking to. As for van Rompuy, all that’s missing is a 99 Flake

A British prime minister of the 1930s, Stanley Baldwin, was no friend of the press and said they had ‘power without responsibility’ which, he added, was ‘the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages’. When I looked up the news this morning and saw Herman van Rompuy swanning around with the Ukrainian interim prime minister Arseniy
Yatseniuk, promising the good Ukrainian folk several billions of our money and generally behaving as though we should take him seriously, I thought that is pretty much also true of the EU: it has asquired all the trappings of a state and very much plays the part of a state, but at the end of the day it is of less consequence than a fart in the wind.

The trouble is the EU seems to believe its own bullshit. It was EU meddling in the first place, assisted no doubt by a little extra meddling from Uncle Sam, which helped create this crisis, though Putin found himself unable to say no when he was handed a golden opportunity to advance Russian interests. Van Rompuy, who to be honest I find impossible to take seriously - he looks to me as though he has yet to have his first sexual experience involving someone else - and his sidekick Baroness Ashton will love all the statesman-like swanning around, but they are living proof that there ain’t no delusion quite like self-delusion.

Here’s a picture of van Rompuy with another of his pals. I bring it to you at great personal danger because this photo is now officially banned by
Brussels and was never taken. All, or almost, all copies were tracked down and destroyed. So how have I got one? Well, all I’ll say is that writing this ’ere blog is a serious business and a sacred task I most 
certainly don’t take lightly. The truth will out (or something - Subs please check). Then there’s this pic (left, couresy of the EU press office) of Herman relaxing on one of his rare days off.

Another candidate for the Who The Hell Does She Think She Is Kidding Award 2014 is one Baroness Ashton (or Baroness Who? as she was known for several decades after being appointed the EU’s ‘‪High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy‬’. As a general rule, the longer the title, the more meaningless the job, and Ashton’s title is a good case in point).

A run-through of Ashdown’s working history will demonstrate just how supremely qualified she is to negotiate with canny operators such as Vladimir Putin. ‘Cathy’ Ashton, as she is known by assorted political luvvies, cut her political teeth as an asministrator for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and ended up as CND’s national treasurer and vice-chairs. In 1983 she began working for something called the Central Countil for Education and Training in Social Work and from that year until 1989 she was a director of something called Business in the Community. (Adding the word ‘community’ to your organisation or group’s name is usually a useful way of sounding responsible and garnering government support for whatever you’re doing as these days even the Tories like to be percieved as ‘progressive’.)

During the 1990s (when, I assume, her children were young and she chose to cut back a little on work to take care of them) she was a ‘freelance policy adviser’ and, no, I can’t imagine what such an animal does, either. But whatever it was, it was sufficient to get her appointed a life peer by Tony Blair (the chap who spent several years and several hundred thousands of lives looking for the end of the rainbow in Iraq and later Afghanistan).

Appointing someone as a life peer is useful political ploy here in Britain to bring someone into government without going through the bother - and in most case having to run the risk - of having them stand for election and perhaps not impressing too many voters.

After a spell of chairing - chairing, not running - the Hertfordshire Health Authority and then gaining some much-needed political nous by becoming vice-president of that viper’s nest of backstabbing and double-dealing, the National Council for One-Parent Families (which will most certainly have Vlad the Lad quaking in his boots), she eventually landed her first government job when she was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department of Education and Skills. For those unaware of that British government department none of its responsibilities overlap with those of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and historically never has done.

Two years later - which means she was either pretty hopeless or so good at her job that her talents might be better employed elsewhere, Cathy washed up as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs. Here, apparently, she was responsible for looking after the National Archives and the ‘Public Guardianship Office’ (and suggestions as to what that might be on the usual postcard please and sent to me forthwith).

Two years after that appointment which was made a Privy Councillor and a year later when the Ministry of Justice was set up to take over from the Wig and Pen, Cheapside, as the HQ of our brightest and best legal minds, Cathy became Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State there. At no point, you’ll notice if you haven’t fallen asleep wading through the above, did Cathy stand for election or in any way gain a popular mandate. But there again making sure the pencils stay sharpened in the Kew offices of the National Archives isn’t too onerous a job. In October 2008 which was appointed the UK’s European Commissioner and took over responsibility for trade negotiations between the EU and who ever wanted to negotiate trade with the EU.

If you have read the above, you might have noted that our Cathy has absolutely no trade or commercial experience at all - not a jot. And just how effective she was in that job might be gauged from the fact that the didn’t have it for long - barely 13 months later she was appointed the EU’s ‘‪High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy‬’, grandly described at the time as the EU’s Foreign Secretary (US: Secretary of State, Germ: Auslandsminister, Fr: etc, etc i.e. I have no idea and can’t be arsed looking it up). That appointment was something of a stitch-up - fluke wouldn’t be too strong a word - and it was greeted with derision.

Apparently, Tony Blair was angling to become the EU President, but for once our European cousins (who can obviously spot a nine euro note when they see one, having enough of their own) saw sense and as one turned him down. So our then prime minister, Gordon Brown agreed to withdraw. Blair as a candidate on the condition that a Brit was appointed ‪High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy‬. Bizarre - very, very bizarre - but sadly true.

So Cathy, who might be very nice for all I know, has plenty of experience running offices is pitched against Vlad the Lad, a former KGB colonel and that most extraordinary of Russians, a fucking teetotaller. And if that last fact doesn’t scare the living daylights out of you - a Russian who doesn’t drink vodka to excess and then some - you are probably no longer breathing.

Here’s the question everyone is asking: does she carry a gun? Answer: No, she doesn’t. Damn!

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