Friday, March 23, 2007

Iraqis say life is better now than under Saddam

A recent poll for the Sunday Times found that the majority of Iraqis thought life was better now than under Saddam. Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, and by a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.

And how representative is the poll you may ask? Well, of the 5,000 who were interviewed, one in four of had a family member murdered (may be extended family for all I know, but that's still pretty bad), and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. I'd say that's pretty representative!

In the meantime, the troop surge into Baghdad has already yielded positive results, although it will take several months to see whether it has really worked.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Gordon Brown is paving the way for an election that Cameron will lose

Whatever your politics, you have to admire Gordon Brown for pulling his latest trick. Despite raising the overall tax take in his budget, people will remember the Chancellor for his 2p cut in income tax. Long criticised for his socially awkward personality (on a visit to a hospital, he once asked a nurse "how's modernisation going?"), he's also working hard to display his softer side to voters. Meanwhile, David Cameron has been proposing environmental taxes that appear to penalise people more even more than the government is. The Tories, once the party of small government appear to want make big government even bigger. Should Gordon Brown become Prime Minister and call a snap election tomorrow, he might actually end up winning!

David Cameron seems to have forgotten that oppositions don't win elections, government's lose them. He has been so busy currying favour with the Guardian Intelligentsia, he's forgotten about wooing disaffected voters. Since becoming the leader of the opposition, he has had numerous opportunity to attack the government: over the mess it has made of immigration policy, over the violent prisoners who are released from jail, and over the terrorists who are never deported just to name a few policies. But ever fearful of appearing too "right wing", "nasty" or "populist" he has preferred to spend his time in the arctic circle posing for photographs on glaciers. It's a measure of where British politics are today that politicians worry more about the opinions of trendy liberals in Islington or Hampstead than they do about the opinions of the man in the street.

Maybe it's time for David Cameron to come down to earth. If he continues to ignore ordinary voters any longer, his campaign will melt down a lot faster than any of those glaciers will.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The parallels between Zimbabwe and Darfur are striking

Robert Mugabe has rigged the elections, terrorised his opponents and reduced Zimbabwe, a once prosperous country that was once known as "the breadbasket of Africa" to ruins. Whilst all this has gone on, the President of South Africa, his next door neighbour has barely uttered a murmur of protest. The African Union has voiced its concern but has done little else.

Meanwhile in Darfur, the killing of civilians has continued with hundreds of thousands of deaths and over 2.5 million people being displaced. Despite the fact that the victims are Muslim, The Organization of the Islamic Conference which represents Muslim countries is attempting to block the UNs critical report into the catastrophe.

Notice any parallels here?

The logic of Thabo Mbeki and the OIC are the same, racial solidarity trumps everything.

Apartheid is evil, Zionism is racism, the invasion of Iraq was an attack on all Muslims etc. etc. but if African dictators want to terrorise their subjects, or if the Arab population of Sudan wants to kill off all the Africans in Darfur, that's all well and good....providing the perpetrators aren't white, they're perfectly happy to look the other way.

It all makes a mockery of the struggle against apartheid. You wonder what the ANC were fighting for all these years? Were they against dictatorship or simply the idea of a white dictatorship?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The War on Terror, Ozzie style

Quote of the week has to go to Melanie Phillips for her views on the Australian government, and its attitude towards terrorism and multiculturalism:
Coming from Britain to Canberra to interview members of the Australian government is like leaving a fetid malarial swamp to be douched with fresh cold water from a mountain spring. These guys are so on-side in the great fight for civilisation against barbarism that they make ‘Bush’s poodle’ Tony Blair sound like a Harold Pinter wannabe on a bad day in Basra.

Affirmative action, English style

Labour never seems to run out of ways of penalising people who are guilty of nothing else but achieving in life.

If you're unfortunate enough to have parents who went on to higher education, you might yourself be denied a place at University under Labour's new plans. I can understand the Government wanting to help the less fortunate, but this is going a bit far. For many of us, our parents were the first generation who ever went to University. They got there on merit, not because of privilege. So what exactly are we guilty of?

As far as Labour are concerned, if you've achieved something in life, it must have been at someone else's expense. Britain seems to be moving rapidly back to the class obsessed 70s.

Of course the smarter ones among us will find ingenious ways of getting around the new rules. Charles Moore (who is University educated) has already come up with some ideas...
Perhaps we should quickly take our children out of their schools and put them in what Alastair Campbell once called a "bog-standard comprehensive". Perhaps we should get divorced. I could marry a non-graduate black and refuse to pay my ex-wife, now a single mother, any maintenance. That would make our children's background look less shameful.

One could even consider disability. It is said that Indian beggars sometimes mutilate their children so that they look the part when they beg. Should we urge our offspring to explore amputation? Perhaps a university education really will cost an arm and a leg.