Month: August 2014

Cameron Returns (Again…)

Okay, so last week, i wrote a post on Cameron’s early return from his holidays amidst the crisis in Iraq. This week Cameron returned from his holiday in Cornwall following the beheading of American journalist, James Foley.

His return did not last long however, as he stayed a short while to coordinate  with his fellow ministers in the manhunt for the jihadi who’s accent resembles the English accent. There is footage of the “brutal and barbaric act” in which you can see the violent act being committed but for obvious reasons, i will not be putting the video up.

In response to the death of Mr Foley, David Cameron said he was “deeply shocked” – this still didn’t sway him to recall Parliament, stating it is “not on the cards” despite growing pressure from many MPs, both in his party as well as within the opposition. It seems the PM is determined to not let anything ruin his holiday. Even increasing threats from extremists. And let’s not forget the thousands of people dying in Iraq and Gaza. But hey, if a holiday is more important…

Cameron posted this picture on Twitter “Stunning images of #MyWales proudly being shared ahead of @NATOWales. Here’s mine of Porth Oer, Llyn Peninsula.”

Cameron did say though that he was prepared to consider “even tougher” laws to counter terrorism. Erm, not that i’m Prime Minister or anything (not yet anyway), but surely there are more pressing issues than just brushing this horrific act aside? He did take the time to “condemn the barbaric and brutal at that has taken place, and let’s be clear what this act is – it is an act of murder, and murder without any justification.”

“We have not identified the individual responsible, but from what we have seen it looks increasingly likely that it is a British citizen.

This is deeply shocking but we do know that far too many British citizens have travelled to Syria to take part in this extremism and violence. And what we must do is redouble all our efforts to stop people from going.”

Clearly this statement isn’t enough, as proven by former  Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, commenting that the conflict in Iraq was so serious that Parliament should have been recalled “weeks ago”. Sir Campbell is not alone in his thinking – Conservative MP, Bob Stewart, said “If we are talking about putting military forces on the ground, even for training purposes, then I don’t think there is any choice but to recall Parliament.”

Does Cameron’s lack of duty make him look weak? Probably, but in the run up to next year’s general election, things in Westminster always slow down, especially in government. Cameron and Miliband are both focusing on retaining as well as gaining voter support, however, with national and international crises such as those presented to us on a daily basis, wouldn’t it be better to gain support by showing your duty as a leader?

And it seems good ol’ Dave isn’t the only one having fun in the sun as it seems President Barack Obama is also on holiday in the exclusive Martha’s Vineyard on the East Coast of America. Easy for them to just jet off into the sunset and forget all the troubles that face us all daily. -Sigh-

Then i started thinking. Of course we all deserve a holiday, it’s a given especially in a job and even in education. But in a job so important as being the leader of a country, when do you say ‘i need to serve my country’ and sacrifice your own personal needs? As an aspiring politician myself, i would rather do my duty and do my utmost best to protect my country rather than just be downright selfish. Do i think Cameron and Obama are being selfish? Yes i do. Okay, i know I’ve just been biased but you were thinking it too. I say this because after returning for a few hours, Mr Cameron jetted off back to Cornwall whilst efforts continued to identify the British terrorist who beheaded the American journalist.

It seems like Dave is just letting everyone else do the work while he takes a break. It’s absurd! (Sorry, biased again)

So let’s hear from you. Do you think leaders such as David Cameron and Barack Obama should be on holiday knowing that there are current crises occurring which need their undivided attention? Isn’t it their responsibility to know when they are needed and do the ‘right’ thing and sacrifice their personal wants for the country’s needs? Should they not have known that this is a disadvantage of the job when they campaigned for the position?

Let me know your thoughts by dropping a comment in that pretty box below!

Cameron returns early from holiday

Whilst his country was busy dealing with events both across the waters and indeed at home, PM David Cameron was having a ‘fun’ break with his wife Samantha in Portugal. But this was cut short as he was needed in order to chair the COBRA (Cabinet Office Briefing Room) emergency committee on the crisis in Iraq.

It might have also been to do with the fact that former Foreign Office minister, Baroness Warsi, registered her discontent on the government’s policy on Gaza. Added pressure eh, Dave?

Mr and Mrs Cameron on holiday in Portugal at a fish market.

What is the current crisis in Iraq? The crisis erupted as a result of the seizure of Mosul by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and their rapid move south towards Baghdad, consequently throwing Iraq into another post-regime change crisis. MPs from across the three main parties, including a substantial number of Tories, have also urged David Cameron to recall parliament from recess to allow the Commons to debate Britain’s involvement in any escalation of Western intervention. This has still not occurred.

In an attempt to help those who have become entrapped within the conflict, including the trapped Yazidis, Britain is to transport military equipment  to resupply Kurdish forces which have been out-gunned by IS (Islamic State). Chinook helicopters are  also to be sent to the region to increase the options to ease the plight of the tens of thousands of trapped Yazidis.

However, despite the humanitarian efforts, Cameron has insisted the UK will not intervene militarily. This counters the increasing calls from experienced commanders and several Tory MPs. Former defence secretary, Liam Fox, has supported the use of the military to protect civilians from the “barbaric” jihadists and attacked  the “catastrophic complacency” of Western politicians over the humanitarian crisis.

On the other hand, Labour MP Graham Allen hit out at those calling for UK air strikes. “Many MPs who voted for the Iraq war, started this blood-letting and the creation of Isis, have learnt nothing and bay for yet more violence”

Could this be a repeat of Blair’s government? Well with Cameron resisting military intervention, it looks like he’s trying to avoid history repeating itself. Some might say rightly so.

I’ve also seen some comments in which people have argued for limited intervention from both Britain and the United States but how long can we ignore our international neighbours?

As put by shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander:

“”The Government should be working actively with our allies to now step up the humanitarian response to the unfolding tragedy on Mount Sinjar. That should include looking at how the United Kingdom can contribute most effectively.”

Either way, it looks like no one wants a repeat of the Iraq crisis during Blair’s government.

Hopefully Dave’s not too sad about his holiday being cut short. On the plus side, his tan looks erm, great!?

 

First Mayor of London, Now MP…

In a speech last week, London Mayor Boris Johnson announced that he will be attempting to stand as an MP in next year’s general election. He finally cleared much speculation, but of course this introduces a conflict of interest. Many question (including myself) how he will manage the two roles as it will conflict with his job as London mayor. With the responsibilities that come with both roles, it is no doubt that the quality fulfilled in one role will lack, having a tremendous effect on the capital as well as his possible future constituents (which is rumoured to be South Ruislip where former deputy chief whip of the Tory party Sir John Randall is retiring).

Boris’ potential election as MP could mean he would be able to run for the Conservative leadership after David Cameron. Is this all a Tory plot? Well, it’s no secret that Mr Johnson is quite a marmite character and becoming leader of the party would give them quite a few popularity gains. Or maybe the party have realised how out of touch they are becoming with the public, proving Cameron to be weaker than he’d like to make out? Hmm… I smell something fishy. Or should I say i smell something Etonian…

Being ever so modest, good ol’ Boris said “It is highly likely I will be unsuccessful in that venture. You should never underestimate the possibility of things going badly wrong. But I will try that. But one thing is I will serve out my mandate as mayor of London.”

In response to Boris’ announcement, David Cameron tweeted whilst on holiday in Portugal “Great news that Boris plans to stand at next year’s general election – I’ve always said I want my star players on the pitch.” ‘Star players’ eh? It’s politics Dave, not a football match, jheeze.

But what’s the fuss? For the last two years, despite being grilled by the media, Boris Johnson has always denied he will ever run for Parliament. Take a look…

May 2012 – “It could be taken for granted that I [Boris] would not be after a Commons seat in 2015.” Speaking on Radio 4’s Today Programme

March 2013 – “I am sticking to the job I was elected to do in 2012 and 2008. I am very privileged to be here. They have never made me such an offer.” Speaking on LBC radio

December 2013 – “No, because I have got a huge amount of work to do and I can’t see how I could. I have got to go on and deliver a colossal amount of stuff in London.” Responding to journalists asking about his plans to run for parliament

July 2014 – “As I said about a billion times, being the mayor of London is the best job in British politics and it’s what I want to do.”

Boris Johnson was previously an MP for Henley between 2001 and 2008 and it seems he may be making a comeback. I think the question on everybody’s lips is why the sudden admittance? After claiming being Mayor of London is the “best job in politics”, why then seek more responsibility? It’s quite mind boggling (to me anyway), but i do believe there is a hidden agenda in all of this.

Remember, nothing goes without nothing. Or is it nothing goes without something?  Basically, something fishy is going on and I intend to keep you all posted. ‘Till next time…

Baroness Warsi resigns as Foreign Minister

Baroness Warsi resigns as Foreign Office minister due to Britain’s “morally indefensible” stance on Gaza

Earlier this week (Tuesday 5th Aug), Baroness Warsi handed in her resignation to PM David Cameron following Britain’s “morally indefensible” stance on the conflict in Gaza.

In her resignation letter to the prime minister, Warsi stated Britain’s support for the Israeli military action against innocent Palestinians which has resulted in many deaths is “morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation”. This resignation makes Baroness Warsi the first minister to resign ‘on principle‘ since the formation of the coalition government in 2010.

On principle – Because of or in order to demonstrate one’s adherence to a particular belief

But why resign? In her letter, she comments “I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that.” Her decision to resign has been supported by Labour and other backbench Conservative MPs who have called on Mr Cameron to review government policy on Gaza as well as Britain’s relationship with Israel. However, this is quite tricky for the party as a whole as they have traditionally always had close ties with the Israeli government. Methinks it’s safe to say it’s looking like a catch 22 situation – this is what happens when you have pragmatism and tradition as your core principles *sigh*

The Tory peer’s reasons for handing in her resignation also stems from wanting those responsible for the war crimes to be held to account but believes the UK government would not support this process. In an interview with Huffpost UK, she said ” As the minister for the International Criminal Court (ICC), I’ve spent the last two and a half years helping to promote, support and fund the ICC. I felt I could not reconcile this with our continued pressure on the Palestinian leadership not to turn to the ICC to seek justice.”

Warsi’s resignation letter

Boris Johnson supported (somewhat supported anyway) Baroness Warsi’s resignation, stating on his LBC show that he had “great respect” for her and hoped she would be back soon. However, fellow colleague, George Osborne has deemed the resignation as a  “disappointing and frankly unnecessary decision”  It looks like there are divides within the Tory party over the situation in Gaza, but we saw that coming didn’t we?

So what now for the Baroness? Well, there’s no doubt she has achieved much in her career, namely being the first female Muslim cabinet minister. In this respect, it is sad to see her go, but on the plus side, she’ll now have the freedom to speak on the issue of Gaza and her first mission is to encourage the government to stop exporting arms to Israel.

“It appals me that the British government continues to allow the sale of weapons to a country, Israel, that has killed almost 2,000 people, including hundreds of kids, in the past four weeks alone. The arms exports to Israel must stop.”

Despite voicing out many times on the conflict in the Middle East, here’s hoping that her distance from the cabinet might knock Mr Cameron into realisation. Whilst on holiday. Living it up in Portugal.

 

Policies v Presentation?

Last Friday (25th July), opposition leader, Ed Miliband, held a Labour party conference ahead of next year’s general election. One of the topics discussed was people’s position on him being prime minister.

If you’re a regular viewer of Prime Minister’s Question Time, you will know that David Cameron is never too shy to attack Mr Miliband on his leadership abilities. When Ed decided to confront this issue at his conference, he stated “big ideas and principles are more important than image and Labour had the right policies on dealing with “the cost of living crisis”.

My question is: Does presentation REALLY take priority over policies? It has been evident in the past with previous PM’s such as Tony Blair, who gained a massive landslide in the 1997 general election and Gordon Brown who had less charisma and lost the 2010 general election to Cameron. But should this take sole priority in today’s politics? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about our housing crisis or the lack of employment opportunities for young people and the long-term unemployed alike?

Even a former Tory cabinet minister has cautioned  Mr Cameron and his fellow  Tories to stop taunting Ed Miliband, arguing if he [David Cameron] fails to treat Mr Miliband with respect, the party could lose respect from their own voters. But this ‘lack of respect’ goes further than the Tories – even internal Labour party members and supporters have mentioned their lack of confidence in the Labour leader. Many within the party fear that the constant negativity from the  conservatives could deplete their chances of becoming the governing party.

The debate over the two P’s (Policies v Presentation) caused me to wonder why the election of Ed Miliband as party leader in the first place? I mean, if i’m being biased here, i always preferred his brother David as party leader. But then i asked myself, aren’t i favouring presentation over policy? You see, David Miliband is charismatic, better looking and a better speaker. But would he have introduced policies right for Britain? Being biased, undoubtedly. How can i be so sure i hear you ask? Well,  i can’t, but i hold on to some sort of hope. Just stay with me here. The point i’m trying to make is that maybe we’re so consumed by image, which goes beyond politics itself, that we fail to acknowledge what’s important; their policies and beliefs that will influence everything we do as a nation.

Another issue which was raised in the Labour conference was political transparency and involvement. What do i mean? Well, in simple words, public involvement in PMQs which takes place every Wednesday in Westminster. Ed Miliband believes it would “let the public into our politics” and “change our political culture”.

Of course a political maniac like me, it’s fab news, but how easy would it be to introduce? There has also been some debate amongst voters who say the public PMQ should not only be held in London, creating concern in terms of accessibility. Would this make our government more transparent and accountable? Who knows, but it isn’t a bad idea Ed.

So if you haven’t learnt anything, take this: What do you desire from the leader of your country? Their charismatic persona or a person who can do the job regardless of their personality? I know what i’d prefer, but hey! as a wise tutor once told me, let’s not exploit your vulnerability…