Tag Archives: benedict brogan

A Disaster

By Mysterion

Is what Benedict Brogan says about the resignation of Alan Johnson from the Labour front bench. I think this is a fair thing to say. No matter what skills Ed Balls may have, it can’t be helpful to Ed Miliband to lose his favoured Shadow Chancellor after just months.

There’s an interesting scene in the (excellent) new film ‘The King’s Speech’, where Colin Firth’s character laments the popularity of the previous King, his brother. I find there are parallels in the situation with the Miliband brothers, and not just because both George VI and Ed Miliband sound odd when they speak. Ed Miliband, like George VI, has taken a position from his older, more charismatic brother. In the film, King George notes that most people become King when the previous Monarch is dead (or just about), but in his case the previous King is very much alive and looms over his leadership. Similarly, every setback and mistake that Ed Miliband makes will be analysed against David Miliband and how he may have dealt with the Labour leadership, especially while he is still alive in the political sense. With the downfall of Alan Johnson, I am sure the Labour faithful will be wondering whether they indeed chose the right brother.

WikiLeaks: Is that it?

By Mysterion

So you may have heard about the latest furore caused by WikiLeaks. The Guardian is claiming that it has sparked a ‘global diplomatic crisis’. And who knows, it may well do. But from what I have read of the leaks so far there seems to be nothing sensational or shocking contained within them. Conspiracy theorists must be disappointed. I was expecting the ‘truth’ about 9/11 or evidence of alien visitations. Instead we get items that can be safely filed under ‘No Shit, Sherlock’. Benedict Brogan says as much in The Telegraph:

 However much the Guardian, the New York Times and Julian Assange assure us that this represents a shattering blow to every assumption we hold about foreign relations, the fact remains that it’s a collection of little substance that will do nothing to reshape geo-politics. The Saudis would like someone to whack Iran? No kidding. Afghanistan is run by crooks? Really? Hillary Clinton would like to know a lot more about the diplomats she is negotiating against? You surprise me. The Russian government may have links to organised crime? Pass the smelling salts, Petunia. The Americans are secretly whacking al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen? What, you thought the Yemenis were doing it? Muammar Qaddafi has a full time, pneumatic Ukrainian ‘nurse’? Nice one. Diplomats are terrified of Pakistan’s nukes? Me too. And so on, ad infinite boredom.

Much of the information appears to be idle gossip. It is the equivalent of someone getting drunk at a party and saying something catty behind someone’s back, and hoping what you said won’t be related back to the person the next day. Some of the information is quite funny.

US officials referred to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as an “Alpha Male,” while President Dmitry Medvedev is “afraid, hesitant.”

 The question is, are these things in the public interest? Personally, I think not.