Thursday, May 08, 2008

Douglas Alexander's No Show

What is it with the Alexander family this week? They seem to be doing their utmost to bring yet further opprobrium on Gordon Brown's ailing administration. Yesterday it was Sister Wendy, today it was Wee Dougie.

The Department for International Development, at which Wee Dougie is part time Secretary of State, applied to Mr Speaker to make a statement on the growing crisis in Burma. Sadly, it seems Wee Dougie forgot all about it, or was busy having urgent discussions of a non Ugandan variety with the Prime Minister. Or was stuck in traffic. Who knows? Anyway, it's the first time MPs can ever remember a Minister failing to show up for a Statement they had requested. Here's what happened...

12.12pm

Mr. Deputy Speaker: Order. In the absence of the Secretary of State for Defence—[HON. MEMBERS: “International Development!”] In the absence of the Secretary of State for International Development, who I understand is on his way, and the Secretary of State for Defence, who has the business after that, I have no option but to suspend the sitting for five minutes.

Dr. Julian Lewis: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. It is extraordinary that the Secretary of State for International Development is not here. Could it be that he has been detained advising his sister on the mess that she has got the Government into, and he is now getting the Government—and, indeed, this House—into another mess?

Mr. Deputy Speaker: That has to be a matter of pure speculation. I suspend the sitting until 12.17 pm.

12.17pm
The Secretary of State for International Development (Mr. Douglas Alexander): I begin by apologising unreservedly to the House for my delayed arrival and for the delay in making the statement. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to inform it on the response being taken to cyclone Nargis.
He may well have apologised but he certainly didn't explain. The Deputy Speaker was overheard giving him a right bollocking, warning him that "Mr Speaker will be furious".

The Labour whips were in full panic mode trying to locate Dougie. Was he stuck in traffic in his limo? Perhaps he should take a leaf out of his Tory opposite number's book. Andrew Mitchell travels everywhere in London by bike. He managed to make it back to reply to the Statement despite having been half way up the M1 on his way to Birmingham when the Statement was agreed to by The Speaker's office.

64 comments:

verity said...

Burma's none of our business. Let the ASEAN countries contribute aid if they like, but we cannot be responsible for every typhoon and tsunami and draught on the planet. Maybe Douglas Alexander suddenly saw the light.

Iain Dale said...

You really are all heart, Verity, aren't you? Have you no compassion?

Pat said...

Could some kind soul please lend Wee Dougie a Telephone Directory to put down his trousers. I think that the PR, sorry PM, will be giving him 6 of the best for this latest Alexander Family farce. Oh what joy it must be to be a fly on the wall in No 10.

verity said...

Iain, yes, I know. I'm much too soft.

Look, the Burmese have lived under dictators now for how long? Thirty years? Isn't it time they demanded a change? The French had a Revolution. The Filipinos had a revolution - "People Power", if you remember when they ousted Marcos just through the sheer power of the crowds.

I seem to recall a level of dissatisfaction with the Ceaucescus, who were despatched without ceremony as they took their bows.

Burma is not our business. It is the business of the Burmese, who need to depose the generals. How long have the been keeping Aung Sang Soo Chi under house arrest? A decade? Fifteen years? That their government is a shambles is their fault. I'm sorry. They need to pencil in a revolution.

I think we should keep our noses out of other people's affairs. ASEAN will send aid and I will be very surprised if there are no strings attached. As in, "When's the election, by the way?" We do not have to stick our bossy noses into every damn' thing that happens on the planet.

SE Asia is a very rich area. They will take care of it and they will do it the Asian way and get results. Leave people the hell alone!

Anonymous said...

Pat ,
POOooooor Olde dougie is only folowing his macavity footsteps.

Anonymous said...

wish Andrew Mitchell would stay on his bike and not come back - he is one of the most ignorant, arrogant, insufferable and rude men in Parliament.

He lost David Davis' leadership campaign because he ran around the house like a legless chicken on speed bullying people. The lobby hate him and his sycophancy, and I cannot think of one person who would trust him.

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity - for heaven's sake, give it a rest. I sometimes wonder what beats in your chest!

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity, the idea that we shouldn't interfere in other people's business is a sound one! I agree with not interfering with sovereign nation states as long as they are not interfering with us!

But when you have children starving to death because of the hardheartedness of your leaders, i think that politics has to take a back seat, and we have to something.

There is nothing to stop us simply parachuting in food, shelter and clean drinking water. If we give money, it will be syphoned off by the Junta into their Swiss bank accounts.

We should get in there and do something - and who knows, it might tip the balance and see the Burmese rising up and overthrowing their Junta.

bj said...

Andrew Mitchell -- Britain's hope for speed cycling gold at the 2012 Olympics?

Astro-Turf Lawnmower said...

What was Andrew Mitchell doing on the M1 on a BIKE? That's illegal isn't it?

And was he really "half way" up it? That's 96 miles, which meant that he must have exceeded the speed limit pedalling back to Westminster.

I'm surprised he had any breath left to respond to the statement in the House (even allowing for the extra time he had due to wee Dougie's lateness).

verity said...

Adrian Yelland says "We should get in there and do something!" Oh, the bossy-britches British!

Do you really think ASEAN is not going to help them? It has to be US! Because we are so wonderful and compassionate and believe we have to rescue people who don't even need rescuing.

And harsh lesson here - look away now: If the Burmese and others can coast along knowing Western aid will flow in no matter how neglected the physical and human infrastructure, they are never going to be motivated to put their governments in order.

The Filipinos ousted Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos and all their huge coterie. And they did it themselves, because they were motivated. How all the people came together in a surge of determination was absolutely amazing. And they were unarmed! And they did it!

The Burmese can do it, too. But it needs something like this to vividly illustrate the failure of their government. Yes, if you want to airlift drinking water over, or whatever, in a very temporary sense, fine. But we should not buy the generals out of this.

And the Burmese have to take responsibility for not having their infrastructure down, especially with the kind of assistance that is on offer these days.

But no aid for rebuilding. Let's see what ASEAN does. They're not as self-applauding as the British. They're pragmatic.
Obviously the Burmese didn't cause the natural disaster, but they failed to be prepared for it. And they have failed to free their own country from a dictatorship.

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity, it is just human decency surely. Look what happened in the tsunami - were we wrong to offer assistance there too?

I don't deny that the political rulers in some of these states are foul - from Suharto to the Burmese Junta included.

But would you really walk by and see someone starve and say 'your government's responsibility'.

We cannot simply deny we have a moral responsibility because they live in a different part of the world!

Anonymous said...

Now why are you all surprised at Verity? This is the new modern compassionate conservatism remember...

verity said...

Adrian Yelland - "We should get in there and do something - and who knows, it might tip the balance and see the Burmese rising up and overthrowing their Junta."

No. Because why should they? Do you really think that white people flying planes over and dropping food supplies is going to inspire a revolutionary leader to think (light comes on over head): "Gosh, one day we can do that for ourselves!"

It's not good-natured assistance in natural disasters that motivates people rise up. In fact, it motivates continued passivity because someone will always help.

The Filipinos had their People Power revolution all by themselves (mostly; I am not stupid enough not to think there may have been some quite American encouragement). And they prevailed. Most of those people marched on the Malacañang Palace and government buildings were unarmed. Every one a hero. And the Marcoses fled.

As long as you soften, or ameliorate, the effects of dictators and appalling management you encourage people to think, "Oh, well ... it's not so bad ...". Or, worse, that the dictators have powerful friends overseas who will come to their aid.

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity - or alternatively, people die needlessly of preventable diseases, starvation and thirst, and the Junta sit on their arses knowing that poor people are too busy eeking out a subsistence to worry about revolution!

But that's OK - because they die thinking "I wish I had risen up and overthrown my heavily armed oppressors with these sticks and stones"!

verity said...

Adrian Yelland - "Verity, it is just human decency surely. Look what happened in the tsunami - were we wrong to offer assistance there too?"

One: Yes. [Save fresh water.]

Sri Lanka is poorly governed, but not poor. Why should British working people have paid for the mistakes of Sri Lankans?

Two: All these emotional "homes" that were swept away ... they could be replaced with more poles and pieces of wood fished out of the water and dried in a week. We are not talking of Buckinghamshire. We are talking of huts on stilts.

Yelland keens: "because they die thinking "I wish I had risen up and overthrown my heavily armed oppressors with these sticks and stones"! How offensive! You think everyone is primitive, with no weapons except for those of caveman "sticks and stones"? And no sophisticated thinking, except throwing things?

This illustrates my point of the uppitiness of the British living in a country - a foreign land -where they don't even have freedom of speech any more and the police who are paid to protect them won't attend them because of "health and safety regulations" and are taxed to pay for free services for free illegal immigrant.

And they want to fly out and boss other people around.

verity said...

Adrian Yelland, I see that the Burmese authorities are refusing to let help planes land.

You sentimental people are part of the problem.

No help planes.

Yak40 said...

I wonder if the US Navy isn't already there doing what they did after the Sumatran tsunami - quietly airlifting supplies and clean water ashore as their watermakers pumped it out. The Kiwis showed up pdq as well. All the while the UN was "fact finding" and Clare Short was saying ONLY the UN should be involved ...

I read something the other day saying many countries had not followed up and fulfilled their pledges either.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said...

"Look what happened in the tsunami - were we wrong to offer assistance there too?"

Yes we were wrong (even though I was stupid enough to contribute to it). Most of that 'aid' was taken by the governments to inflate their private bank accounts and to buy more weapons to use against their own people.

Verity is right. These 'aid' people sustain their own very well-paid careers by pepetuating the problems they pretend to be alleviating. If it had been up to these posers France would still be owned by the ancien regime.

G Eagle Esq said...

Sehr geEhrter Iain

Sorry to be a little out of touch, but surely "oor Wee Dougie" must by now have been elevated to the House of Lords

... "oor Wee Dougie" had earned his Elevation for the unbelievably Spectacular Genius which he brought to bear in producing Scottish Ballot papers, way beyond the comprehension of so many Scottish Voters

Is it true that, in the ensuing Confusion, the Scottish Nationalists were cheated of winning a Majority in the Scottish Parliament

.... so many SNP supporters had their Ballots cancelled because they were unable to complete the confusing Ballot papers correctly

AND This is the Mensch who continues to be a senior Minister of the Crown !!!

Yr obedient servant etc

G Eagle

Anonymous said...

"We should get in there and do something - and who knows, it might tip the balance and see the Burmese rising up and overthrowing their Junta."

Who's 'we'...? Who's going to do the transportation, the parachute drops, the jungle treks? Our already overstretched and underequipped forces?

JuliaM said...

Bah! That last was me. Sorry, too impatient with the 'publish' button.

Probably due to the idiots bleating 'We must do something!' as, once again, we are asked to bail out another country that has spent more on arms and huge palaces for the ruling junta than on disaster preparation.

lettersfromatory said...

Maybe he was stuck on the phone trying to reassure his wife that she isn't about to get fired?

Unsworth said...

"There is nothing to stop us simply parachuting in food, shelter and clean drinking water."

This is a stunning demonstration - if that were needed - of the crass stupidity of some people here. Do you have the slightest idea of what the aftermath of such a cyclone is? Do you have the slightest idea of just how big the devastated area is? Have you the slightest understanding of Logistics and Disaster Recovery? For that matter do you really know anything at all about Burma, its people, its culture and its structures?

All this bleeding heart nonsense about saving one's fellow man has led to some of the most corrupt international organisations - Charities. And take a very close look at the United Nations and ASEAN, too.

It's very clear that many more will die. But we are not going to help these people by imposing Aid Imperialism.

Anonymous said...

Wendy is Wee Dougie's sister, not his wife.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said ...."I don't deny that the political rulers in some of these states are foul - from Suharto to the Burmese Junta included."

Suharto died last January. Do keep up.

verity said...

Suharto hasn't been president of Indonesia since 1998. There have been four since then, including a woman - Megawatti.

I agree with all the comments about these self-serving international disaster relief organisations and charities. They exist for one reason: to perpetuate themselves. Someone should write a book about the mind-boggling corruption and self-serving of the international charity industries. The Red Cross is OK, I believe - although I don't know.

Adrian Yelland says, "It's simple human decency." Oh, really? And I should be ruled by your concept of "simple human decency". No sale. And the related point is, I do not want governments imposing their morality on me. If private people wish to donate, that is there choice, as it should be. No sleazy government minister like, say, Jack Straw, is going to impose any of his morality on me, thanks.

Médicins sans Frontières seems to be a good organisation, but it is just a bunch of private doctors who fly out to diaster zones and help out temporarily. Then they go home to their regular jobs. No Five Year Plans.

BTW, what happend to all those billions needlessly donated - either privately or by government fiat - to the tsunami victims of Sri Lanka? The place should be on a roll by now.

Dave H. said...

I think the Alexander family will be subjected to a variation on lapidation, in which the stones are replaced by mobile phones.

Verity, the combined piranhas of the Amazon Basin would be less carnivorous than you. This doesn't mean you're wrong of course, but in this case I can't agree with you.

Regional responsibility doesn't come into it. Do they have a special regional drinking water? The cyclone was not a political entity. This is a question of human compassion. If the Junta's response makes things worse we should try and help the ordinary people even more.

A natural disaster on this scale needs government-level help to prevent the death toll rocketing. Our government should encourage private donations too.

verity said...

Dave H - You're entitled to your opinion.

" A natural disaster on this scale needs government-level help to prevent the death toll rocketing." I assume you lobbied your MP to make a huge donation to the states in the United States damaged by the typhoons three or four months ago? And during the hurricane season in the US, I assume your hand is never out of your pocket.

JuliaM said...

"A natural disaster on this scale needs government-level help to prevent the death toll rocketing."

It sure does. But the help it needs is from its own government. Not ours!

It isn't getting that help anyway, because it has just impounded the UN deliveries!

Now do you finally understand why all the grandstanding and 'we must do something' is a totally wasted effort...?

verity said...

Juliam - I'm shocked. Shocked

Dave H. said...

To Verity and Juliam. Remember the eternal Yes Minister. Standard FO response to a foreign crisis:

Stage 1. Nothing is going to happen.

Stage 2. Something is happening but we can do nothing about it.

Stage 3. There was a time when we could have done something but it's too late now.

You are arguing at stage 2, but one suspects though lack of sympathy rather than genuine belief we are powerless to help.

I have no knowledge of disaster relief, nor ways to lever the Junta. Yet if we reached stage 3, with a huge body count we made no effort to prevent, we would not be easy to defend morally.

Goodnight Vienna said...

Verity is right, Burma is not our business - the junta precludes us. Adrian Yelland is also right - one man's death diminishes me.

So, how has Labour's ethical foreign policy gone in these past eleven years?

I believe it's been deliberately divisive, not only abroad, but also at home. It's made us less of a country, less of a people.

verity said...

Dave H - If we tried to force these people to accept aid (which, as Juliam says, they have impounded) we would be guilty of the worst sin in the universe: imperialism!

And if we tried to force our way in over the heads of the generals, to distribute help, this would be an even worse crime: MORAL imperialism! Eeeeeeeeeeeek!

Let them sort themselves out. They're adults, not children, not our wards. Other people overthrow governments, so it's not as though the solution has never struck anyone before.

Maybe this will be enough to make them angry enough to do something.

Here's a little lesson I have learned not from a TV series, but life: you cannot run other people's lives for them.

JuliaM said...

"Standard FO response to a foreign crisis:

Stage 1. Nothing is going to happen.

Stage 2. Something is happening but we can do nothing about it.

Stage 3. There was a time when we could have done something but it's too late now.

You are arguing at stage 2, but one suspects though lack of sympathy...."


I have a lot of sympathy, but that won't feed anyone, particularly if the government of the disaster area won't accept the help.

"I have no knowledge of disaster relief, nor ways to lever the Junta."

But you do have knowledge of how to pester everyone else and demand they 'do something!' in order to feel morally superior, it seems.

'Ha!', you say, sitting back from your keyboard 'That showed 'em..'

Yet you've achieved nothing. Worse, you feel that others, who might know better than you about how to handle these events, and who would be the ones putting their necks on the line in the event action was called for, are somehow less than human for not acting quickly enough.

I think the Americans have a phrase that sums you up perfectly: Monday morning quarterback.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"I assume you lobbied your MP to make a huge donation to the states in the United States damaged by the typhoons three or four months ago?"

There weren't any typhoons in the U.S. 3 or 4 months ago.

Anonymous said...

Just saw Dougie Alexander on C4 News. He looked absolutely terrible - as if he just heard some bad news. Putting two and two together and probably making five is tonight's big news (see Coffee House) something grim for Dougie? Is this the reason for his mysterious absence from the House?

verity said...

Anonymous 6:52 - Yes, there were. The first cyclone of the year was in January and I believe it was in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"Anonymous 6:52 - Yes, there were. The first cyclone of the year was in January and I believe it was in Mississippi."

You said 'typhoon'. They don't have typhoons in Mississippi. Maybe you meant 'hurricane'.

verity said...

Anonymous 10:43 - Why so obsessive about weather patterns in the US on a thread devoted to the rights and wrongs of international aid to Myanmar?

Now, having been corrected that there was indeed a typhoon warning in the US in January, you think I am unclear about the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon.

Having lived through two actual hurricanes - during one of which I watched entire trees that had been uprooted sail past my second story window - and several hurricane alerts which were eventually downgraded to tropical storm status (which is still very severe, I believe I know what a hurricane is. I have no experience with typhoons, and long may my status remain thus, but recall the typhoon warning for a swathe of Mississippi because it was so unusual. They're usually in the mid-West.

As you seem a little over-focussed on this irrelevance, you might care to call the US Weather Service and charm them with your pedantry.

We are discussing Myanmar and the ethics of international aid.

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity/Annon: as regards Sri Lanka - you are wrong, and for once I can categoriclly say that Verity, you clearly do not know what the hell you are talking about.

Have you ever visited Sri Lanka? I doubt it. I was there three weeks after the tsunami when they were still fishing dead babies out of wells, bodies out of trees, and we were sweeping up piles of cremated ashes to make way for new bodies to be burnt!

I wonder if you had been there with us if you would have been quite so heartless!

There are no houses built of 'poles ' fished out of the water. The houses destroyed by the tsunami were block-built single skin brick and concrete constructions built anything up to a mile inland - you ignorant person. I know, because I have built houses to replace some of the destroyed.

If you are going to sound off - get your bloody facts straight!

I have spent the past four years visiting and supporting aid projects in Sri Lanka, and I can tell you that your comment about the Government is also not true.

Whilst Mahindra Rajapaksa is a deeply disagreeable person, there is no evidence of corruption or syphoing off money. If you have any evidence I would like to see it because the international bodes cannot find any- but maybe you know something they don't. If you cannot produce any, then I suggest you stop making such inaccurately commentary!

Lots of the money remains unspent - but rests in accounted for bank accounts. The reason why much of the money went unspent for so long was because it was being used as a political tool, and also because the planning regulations in Sri Lanka were changed as a result of the Tsunami, effectively using the Tsunami as a way to clear the land of people who lived near the beaches illegally.

And if you don't think Sri Lanka is poor, I suggest you revisit your definition of poor! Yes therre are wealthy people - but they are massively eclipsed by the grinding poverty and politicians who create client divisions to remain in power.

I can also tell you that there are plenty of examples of local run and locally owned community projects who are working hard to get their lives together with NO help from the Sri Lankan govt and NO help from the west. I know this for a fact because my company supports several of them!

I am afraid you have shown yourself to be ignorant of the facts, and spouting guff which shows that you are heartless as well as slightly foolish!

Oh - by the way, I know about Suhato - whom I was using as an example.

JuliaM said...

"We are discussing Myanmar and the ethics of international aid."

Yes, but having been thoroughly spanked on that, 'anon' is choosing to pick holes in something else to cover up his lack of logic.

Diversionary tactics - it's what you use when you don't have an argument.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"Now, having been corrected that there was indeed a typhoon warning in the US in January..."

You are making it up (as usual). There was no such warning for Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said...

"I have spent the past four years visiting and supporting aid projects in Sri Lanka, and I can tell you that your comment about the Government is also not true.

...

I know this for a fact because my company supports several of them!"

But we are supposed to believe you? When you are one of the people making money out of this 'aid' industry?

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said...

"Verity/Annon: as regards Sri Lanka - you are wrong"

Yeah? Who remembers this:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/srilanka/1492258/Sri-Lanka-charges-Oxfam-andpound500%2C000-to-allow-in-jeeps.html

Still, whats £550,000 between parasites? Remember NGO means N-Joy (the high-life, while demanding more money for the suffering). Ha ha ha.

verity said...

Adrian Yelland - No, I've never visited Sri Lanka because I don't like their very socialist government, and, of course, the conflicts. But I like Sri Lankans. I have never underestimated the damage the tsunami did. Having lived through two hurricanes and experienced the incredible force when nature really takes off, I know the damage that can be wrought in an instant.

I am not persuaded that governments have any right to deploy taxpayer money for humanitarian aid. They have no right to impose their notions of morality on other people. And the tsunami did produce billions in private contributions, which shows that the private sector performs perfectly well without the jackboot.

You really are insufferably self-righteous. You have taken people to task in the past because they do not share your elevated, Mahatamaesque notions. Use your own money and your own time, but you have no right to poach on the bank accounts of others, who may have better use for their money.

Juliam - Yes, Sixth Form debating society diversionary tactics from some man who absolutely cannot tolerate being bested in an argument. How patronising to tell someone they must be confusing a hurricane with a typhoon!

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity - as ever you resort to insults rather than answer the points raised.

If you never underestimated the damage the tsunami did, then why the offensive comment about houses made from sticks pulled from the sea! Hundreds of thousands were made homeless by the tsunami, and the Sri Lankan government - through negligence or incompitence, was not able to help. You would rather see people starve than life a finger, and I think that is wrong! You think me insufferable and self rightous and I say I would rather be though of this way than inhuman, heartless and imune from the sufferings of my fellow human beings!!

As for Mahatmaesque - I take that as a compliment - thank you!

And I do use my own money and time - which is the very point I was trying to make.

Oh - and Anon - about the jeeps - yes I remember as I was in Sri Lanka when the story broke. But what does this prove? It was wrong - just as what is happening in Brmua is wrong. But the government did not syphon it off for themselves, they used the money to put into the general tax take.

Sri Lanka is innefficient, and Rajapaksa is a nasty piece of work, and therte is cronyism for sure, but there is relatively little corruption as the legal system is and audit trails on public funds are well established, having been left behind by the Brits.

Anonymous said...

Verity said ... "some man who absolutely cannot tolerate being bested in an argument."

You can never admit it when you are wrong, can you?

verity said...

As for Mahatmaesque - I take that as a compliment - thank you! I refer, of course, not to just any mahatama, but Mohanandas Gandhi, one of the most narrow-minded, self-right, self-congratulatory, destructive prigs in the world. Were it not for Gandhi and his acolyte Nehru, and then Nehru's daughter, India would be the the equal of the United States by now.

It wasn't until they were free of the Gandhis (no relation) that they were allowed to exercise their incredible talent for enterprise and invention and science.

If you use your own money, why do you insist that government should use taxpayer funds to shore up these repressive regimes? As long as you make it easy for them to stay in office, there won't be a revolution. Let people who wish to contribute, contribute. It is not the business of the British government to mandate compassion.

Anonymous said...

Verity sais ... "It is not the business of the British government to mandate compassion."

As an exile who doesn't pay British taxes, it's a bit presumptious of you to tell the British government what it should or should not get involved in.

verity said...

Anonymong 9:18 - As a British citizen, with a vote by birthright, I can tell the British government to do anything I bloody please.

In addition, the whiff of chippiness and point-scoring about your post leads me to believe that you are an individual who feels free to advise the entire American government on a whole range of issues. From the uppity nature of your post, I can tell that you are not an American citizen nor a resident nor even an exile, but a dollar to a dime you have all the answers for them.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"Anonymong 9:18 - As a British citizen, with a vote by birthright,"

Regardless of birthright you won't have the vote for much longer unless you take up residence in Britain again soon.

verity said...

10:48 - Thanks for your erudition and advice! So much knowledge! Are you in the Diplomatic Corps by any chance? You are so suave!

Every British expat knows exactly how long they have the vote for. We don't actually need gobby little people like you to inform us of our rights as our embassies and high commissions are quite well-informed on these issues.

I have a vote in the next election.

That is what counts. The next election. So do all the other three million Britons who have left Britain since Blair slithered under the door. Three million votes, eh? And all of us motivated. How many of us do you think are going to vote for the socialists?

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity - I suspect you are not worth the effort! However....

Ever read Ghandi's autobiography? I suspect not. Like you knowledge of Sri Lanka, it is based on .....well, not expereince or research for sure.

If you had bothered to read his autobiography, you would get to know one of the most brutally honest men ever to have walked this planet. A man not at all ashamed to reveal embarrassing secrets about his own failings in print!

So, both from history, and from his own words, the man you describe is alien to me.

If he had been born 2,000 years ago, there would be a religion for him by now.

Secondly, the point that Ghandi's vision for an India of self governing autonomous villages (rather than a federal and increasingly urbaised India - which is what we have now) was abandoned by Nehru within hours of his assasignation seems to have escaped you. You blame Ghandi for a situation not of his making, to which he was oppossed, and which he warned would happen. Again, reading his autobiography would enlighten you to this fact - his fears about an industrialised and urbanised India!

For a woman of opinion, you would do well to learn a little history! Then you would have some knowledge to put meat on the bones of your otherwise worthless views!

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity (ad nauseum); "it is not the job of the British Government to mandate compassion".

No, it is the job of the British Government to act in the best interests of the Britih people, and to act on behalf of the British people.

In this respect "acting on behalf of the British people", it is entirely right that they should use a proportion of a budget set aside for such eventualities, to assist in humanitarian crises.

The British Government acts as our agent, our delegate in these matters.

Naturally, I believe that we should as private citizens take the lead in such matters. But sadly the reality is that much of our 'compassion' has been nationaised and signed over to the state.

But, as nice a political discussion as this is - people are starving to death whilst you split hairs.

You win the theoretical argument, but loose the war, because human beings are more than just economic units. They have hearts and feel compassion.

Anonymous said...

Verity said ... "I have a vote in the next election. That is what counts. The next election. So do all the other three million Britons who have left Britain since Blair slithered under the door. Three million votes, eh? And all of us motivated. How many of us do you think are going to vote for the socialists?"

We know you don't like facts but here goes.

2,000,000 expats are eligible to vote in a general election.

At the 2005 election only 18,000 bothered to do so.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said ...
"They have hearts and feel compassion."

Not Verity. That's for sure.

verity said...

Adrian Yelland - "Naturally, I believe that we should as private citizens take the lead in such matters. But sadly the reality is that much of our 'compassion' has been nationaised and signed over to the state."

Make up your mind.

9:15 - Source?

Anonymous said...

verity said ...

"source?"


House of Lords debate 15 June 2006

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2006-06-15c.330.10

verity said...

2:44 - Thanks.

I am going to vote, out of malice. I want to play a tiny part in killing off the socialists.

It has to be said, though, that, vis-a-vis your figures, it appears that most emigrants have settled well into their new countries and aren't looking back. Most will obviously have established new lives and be thriving and will have no plans to return no matter who gets in in Britain.

I am one of their number. But I'm going to vote. I just want to kick Tony Blair's teeth in. Obviously, he's not in government any more, having been elevated to global parasite status, but the "New" Labour project was his. And all the servile, parasitic cohorts that surrounded them, including every single quango, dismantled without ceremony.

Adrian Yalland said...

Verity: What do you mean 'make your mind up'. I was stating a fact, not an opinion.

Whilst I would prefer that we had a civil society where private citizens acted themselves on matters such as there (which is a fact, as I do indeed believe this), the Government acts 'collectively' on behalf of 'the people' in such matters through the DFID (again, a fact). This reflects the general trend over the past 80 years for the state to take over ever more functions which private indivuals used to do for themselves or were done by voluntary/civil society.

I don't see what there is to make my mind up about!

Anon@ 9.18: sadly it would appear so! Thankfully she is representative of a tiny percentage of the population.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland said...

"You would rather see people starve than life a finger, and I think that is wrong!"

You say that about foreigners when you are being paid to swan around the world having freebie holidays with all expenses paid, praising the Noble Savage. When it comes to British people unable to find work because companies employ, legally or illegally, foreign cheap labour you just insult them. The type of company you work for overcharge their customers so the workshy can spend their lives on holiday whining about other people being lazy and so that company directors can get peerages for their charidee work.

"Oh - and Anon - about the jeeps - yes I remember as I was in Sri Lanka when the story broke. But what does this prove? It was wrong - just as what is happening in Brmua is wrong. But the government did not syphon it off for themselves, they used the money to put into the general tax take."

It proves that none of these governments much care about these people. The 'aid' industry exists mainly for its own very-well paid benefit. One way or another most of the 'aid' gets to act as a support for these crappy governments.

Adrian Yalland said...

Anon@8.31: Are you on drugs?

Firstly, it is MY company!

Secondly I don't get paid to 'swan around on free holidays' at all you ignorant unknowing little swivel-eyed lipspickle of a runt!

Thirdly, you must know something about my company that I don't to say I overcharge my customer. Your evidence please? Oh sorry, I forgot - you don't know what you are talking about do you? When will you be printing your retraction - you muppet!

Finally....I have never advocated open-checkbook aid, but instead advocate a combination of development through tagretted aid and trade. The only time I advocate 'open checkbook' aid is in the limited timeframe following a disaster - such as earthquake, typhoon or other freak incident - when the only thing which counts is saving the life of another human being, not scoring political points.

A combination of aid and trade is as much to our benefit as it is to theirs.

After all, if their world wasn't so poor, they wouldn't want to come here and 'steal the jobs' of the very people you have just accussed me of betraying!

In other words, not only are you ignorant, offensive and slightly silly, but your logic is all wrong too.

Want to stop immigration? then give them a reason to stay in their own country!

So, you go back under your rock where toads like you feel most at home.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland

Congratulations! You've just beaten George Galloway in the non-denial denial contest.

You have already admitted to being a PR spiv and said your company surports some of this aid stuff. Did this company get money out of thin air? You make a small reinvestment in the aid industry to keep the gravy train rolling.

You accuse Verity of answering people with insults. Hypocrite.