Yes, I\’m Scared Yet


It\’s looking like Hillary vs. Rudy. Consider this:

Brad DeLong: "… I think it is the two cents\’ worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994–is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life".

Daniel W. Drezner: "… Despite the fact that this collection of individuals would likely disagree about pretty much everything, there was an airtight conensus about one and only one point: A Giuliani presidency would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States."


We Get to Fire Gordon Brown!


El Gordo is toast. At least, that\’s the implication of this research by Daniel Finkelstein (pbuh).

How could I have missed this? The heavy influence of Bob Shrum on Gordon Brown\’s speech. How could I have missed it?

First of all there are plenty of phrases pretty directly lifted from speeches made by Shrum clients, many of which he admits he wrote.

Now my reaction might be thought a little extreme but you see there\’s a precedent here. El Gordo is copying the speeches of Democratic party hopefuls (Shrum\’s record at 0/7 means that all of his cleints remain hopefuls). OK, unh hunh.

But, we have the case of Senator Joe Biden to guide us. He made a speech in which he copied the words of Neil Kinnock. When this was revealed, Biden left the race to be the Democratic nominee.

Now, we also know that as a Son of the Manse El Gordo has rather more probity than a US Senator (there is pond slime with greater probity than a US Senator so that\’s not exactly a ringing endorsement but…) so, if plagiarism means withdrawing, El Gordo should indeed withdraw.

What an excellent result: he waits 10 years for the top job and then gets the shortest time in office for centuries. Couldn\’t happen to a nicer man.


Rudy Giuliani

Good God! Has this man no manners?

A decision by Rudy Giuliani to answer a mobile phone call from his wife while delivering a presidential campaign speech threatens to damage his bid for the White House.

Or is it that there\’s one rule for Rudy and another for the hoi polloi? You can, for example, imagine what he would say if someone in his audience answered such a call, can you not?

I know I have no vote (nor influence, thank the Lord) in the US election but that one incident would make me abandon any support I might have had for the man.

Political Logic


Gordon Brown\’s should capitalise on his popularity among women and put female cabinet ministers centre stage.

So because El Gordo is popular with women he should stand aside and make way for female ministers, who may or may not be popular with women? Fun logic, eh?

Doesn\’t Like Criticism, Our Ken

The Mayor of London:

"It\’s quite clear we have deliberate manipulation or total neglect or wilful incompetence on the part of the owners and drivers," Mr Livingstone said. "The Cab Drivers Club is a small reactionary clique who have opposed everything I have done as Mayor for six years. If they want to chance their arm they should start suing me for libel because I am saying they falsified the tests." Mr Fleming said that was an "outrageous suggestion".

Such a nice man to have running the major city of Europe, don\’t you think?

The Ten Percent Party

This is fascinating. I really think that Lynsey Hanley is on to something here:

It\’s daft to expect that it might, given that there has never been a party of the truly poor, but it set me thinking what such a party might look like.

The annual conference of – let\’s call it – the Ten Per Cent party (10% being roughly the percentage of the population termed the "core poor") would need to be sponsored by Special Brew, for one thing. Nothing like being permanently drunk to take your mind off the fact that, in the last 30 years, you\’ve become increasingly likely to be isolated in areas of concentrated poverty and where your likelihood of being murdered has shot up, while everyone else has been getting "richer", "more confident", and safer.

Its chief spokesperson would have to know what it\’s like to have avoided most of secondary school without anyone noticing, and to enter adulthood without being able to spell, count, or communicate effectively. They would have to have raised their family in sub-standard accommodation. They\’d need to know what it\’s like to live in an area where they are in constant danger of attack from peers and neighbours. A criminal record, though by no means a universal characteristic of absolute poverty, would confer further authenticity.

It\’s a very reasonable set of rules that. Stay sober, stay out of jail and don\’t rely upon the State supplied sink estate for your housing nor the State supplied educational system for your literacy and numeracy and you won\’t be part of the bottom 10%.

More than reasonable in fact, eminently sensible. It\’s just odd to see it in The Guardian.

Up To a Point

Headline at CiF:

Republicans in the US Senate are prepared to use all its powers to block a resurgence of liberalism

The only problem with this is that no one, no one at all in the US Senate, is actually proposing anything liberal. You\’ve got cultural Statists on one side and economic Statists on the other. There are no liberals there.