Skip to main content

Plus ca change...

After a prolonged hiatus, I have decided to resurrect this blog.

The same battles are still being fought. We still do not know how the challenge of Russian neo-fascism will be met. We still do not know how the European Union can maintain liberty and democracy in the face of the economic complexities that it has created. We still do not know if the UK can meet the challenge of Scottish separatism. We still do not know how Liberty can be protected in the face of the multiple challenges of technology, fear and greed.

In Britain, tonight is the eve of the European and some local elections, in some of the rest of the EU, the vote is already taking place, although for most the official polling day is on 25th May. Normally I would be out canvassing or delivering for the Liberal Democrats, but a thousand miles away, in Estonia, the challenge of UKIP seems more absurd than threatening. Doubtless the UK media who have been unearthing the ancient scandals of lazy, stupid or incompetent (not to mention racist and not a little dotty) UKIP MEPs during the campaign- well done the Tory attack dogs there- will revert to "government in crisis as UKIP surge" once the results are in. I for my part have already voted- on line of course- in the Estonian EU elections. I wish I could vote for one of the excellent British Liberal Democrat MEPs that are in danger of being ousted by drastically inferior competitors. However, as a permanent resident of Estonia, I have chosen to make a difference here.

In a way the Euro campaign reflects the reality of British politics as a whole. The train wreck of Ed Miliband trying to bluff and bullshit his way out of a trap on BBC Radio Wiltshire was cringe-making and hilarious at the same time. The circus of UKIP has come under sustained attack and Farage too has been revealed as a lying bullshitter. Meanwhile the coalition hunkers down- Cameron hoping to hold his ground and Clegg- who had the nous, but not, alas, the killer instinct, to challenge Farage first- will be hoping to avoid another evening of outright catastrophe. The Liberal Democrats have become the blame hound of British politics, but as I watch honourable and decent candidates stand up for the Liberal vision I feel a certain frustration that the shallow ignorance of the British political discourse is trashing Lib Dem support for mistakes that are more obvious and outrageous in the other parties- not least the nasty and pointless UKIP. The fact is that it is Labour for their incompetence and UKIP for their triviality and greed that should be being punished at these elections.

So, I wish my Liberal Democrat  friends and colleagues the best of luck. I think we can limit the damage somewhat this time, and if we do, then I hope that the next few months will see a fairer assessment of the considerable achievements of Liberal Democrats in government.

And anyway, after all, it is never over until the return officer clears his throat!    


Popular posts from this blog

Trump and Brexit are the Pearl Harbor and the Fall of Singapore in Russia's Hybrid war against the West.

In December 1941, Imperial Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor. After the subsequent declaration of war, within three days, the Japanese had sunk the British warships, HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse, and the rapid Japanese attack led to the surrender of Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941 and the fall of Singapore only two months after Pearl Harbor. These were the opening blows in the long war of the Pacific that cost over 30,000,000 lives and was only ended with the detonations above Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"History doesn't often repeat itself, but it rhymes" is an aphorism attributed to Mark Twain, and in a way it seems quite appropriate when we survey the current scene. 

In 1941, Imperial Japan, knowing its own weakness, chose a non-conventional form of war, the surprise attack. Since the end of his first Presidential term, Vladimir Putin, knowing Russia's weakness, has also chosen non-conventional ways to promote his domestic powe…

The American National nightmare becomes a global nightmare

It is a basic contention of this blog that Donald J Trump is not fit for office.

A crooked real estate developer with a dubious past and highly questionable finances. he has systematically lied his way into financial or other advantage. His personal qualities include vulgarity, sexual assault allegations and fraudulent statements on almost every subject. 

He lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes.

He has, of course, been under criminal investigation practically since before he took the oath of office. The indictment of some of closest advisers is just the beginning. His track record suggests that in due course there is no action he will not take, whether illegal or unconstitutional in order to derail his own inevitable impeachment and the indictments that must surely follow the successful investigation of Robert Mueller into his connections with Russia.

However, all of that is a matter for the American people. 

It is also a matter for the American people that Trump is cheating…

Cicero ReDux

By Special Request of Baroness Scott and Mark Valladares... Cicero's Songs returns: bigger, longer and uncut.
October 1st marked the half way point of the Estonian Presidency of the European Union.  Perhaps for many people such an anniversary is of passing interest at best.  Yet the conduct of the Estonian Presidency is reinforcing just how forward looking and innovative the most northerly of the Baltic States has become.
Estonia is a country that wants to live in the future, and with its openness and innovation, that future seems a lot closer than almost anywhere else in Europe
It is not that Estonia does not “do” the past: the picturesque cobbled streets of old Tallinn have tourist crowds a-plenty enjoying the mediaeval architecture in an Indian summer of sunshine and blue skies.  The real point is that Estonia refuses to be a prisoner of its past. Lennart Meri, Estonia’s President in the 1990s- who spent years of his childhood in Siberia- once told me that the country had to conc…