Sunday, March 16, 2008

Brown About to Bury Some More Embarrassing News

This will, in all likelihood be my first and last post today as I continue to feel like death warmed up. I've had a streaming cold and cough for nearly a week now, and can't seem to shake it off. Today it is worse than ever. It seems there is a lot of it about.

One story from the Sunday papers which caught my eye, tucked away on page 2 of the Sunday Times, was the fact that Gordon Brown is going to announce the creation of a National Security Council this week, to fight terrorism and climate change. I suspect it actual announcement will be long on analysis but short on action. Apparently he is going to make the announcement on Wednesday. I am sure it is a coincidence, but on Wednesday the Conservatives have an Opposition Day motion on post office closures, which will be especially embarrassing for many Labour MPs? Why? Because the motion the Conservatives have put down is exactly the same wording as an EDM on the same subject, which many Labour MPs have signed. They now face a dilemma of voting with the Conservatives on a motion they have previously supported or looking complete burks and hypocrites.

So as you can see, I am sure Gordon Brown wouldn't want to deflect attention away from that debate, would he? No Siree.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iain, sounds like the bug that has been floating around Scotland recently has finally moved down South. If its worse than ever after a week, then its more than man flu, and a GP visit and antibiotics are required.

verity said...

Poor Iain! You might want to pump up the vitamin C for the duration and take more fluids, to swill it out.

Colin said...

May I, through your blog comments, urge everyone reading this (in the UK) to lobby your MP to vote for the Conservative motion on post office closures on Wednesday. This really is an issue that devastates local communities - rural and urban alike - and the closure programme seems to be some kind of a death wish on the part of the Post Office, in active collusion with a clueless Labour government.

You may not be aware that the govt is supporting the closure programme to teh tune of £1.7 BILLION over the next three years. Our local sub-postmaster is being offered £100,000 of what is essentially taxpayers' money if the proposed closure of our local post office goes through. here's the economic sense in any of that?

The irony is, that ours is a profitable branch, heavily used, busy with queues at peak times, and making money for the network as well as providing a hugely valuable local amenity for a large number of people in its catchment area. And the nearest town branch is shortly to be downsized as part of a retail 'redevlopment' scheme - or subsumed into the local WH Smiths. Either way, it will be uite unable to cope with the demand displaced from the three local branches earmrked for closure.

On its own the closure programme makes no sense. But if PO regained some of the business they have lost recently because of govt policy decisions and decisions made for example by the BBC, - TV licences, VED tax discs in all branches, Council tax payments, pension payments - there would be no question of closure. The Post Office must recognise that it is part of the national infrastructure, and thus a 'public good' in economists' language, not a wholly commercial business- and that narrow measures of 'profitability' do not account for the sheer loss of amenity when a branch is closed. How do you cost the extra time, inconvenience - or indeed impossibility for some people - of travelling to another PO branch, often several miles away?

I know that this affects London - where there are currently 169 branches proposed for closure - as well as the country - 12 out of 33 branches proposed for closure in my area. So it's not just the 'twwed hat brigade' getting agitated and writing letters to Country Life but an issue that affects people right across the population.

Please, everyone lobby your MPs and ask them to support the opposition motion on Wednesday. It's one of the few chances they will get to truly represent the views of the communities they are elected to serve. and teh more MPs support the motion, the higher the profile thuis issue will attain - and maybe bury the new National Security Council!

(And I hope that you get over this pesky bug very soon, Iain!)

jafo said...

I too think you should be thinking about visiting the Dr - it ought to be clearing up by now, not getting worse. Plus, not to sound too doomladen - you are diabetic and that is a condition that makes taking "over the counter" medicine a bit more tricky.

Just for the future - hope you're taking your cod liver oil tablets - good for your immune system and your joints!

(See how we worry about you, Iain!)

Cath said...

Iain, do you take multivitamins? I used to be ill one week in three every winter until I started taking one multivit a day. Now my little boy can bring home all the horrid germs from school but they don't seem to effect me.

Also, it was good enough for the Thatch-meister, so must be worth a try!

verity said...

They're going to fight terrorism and global warming? In the same breath? They're going to fight a radical force that is set on wiping out Western civilisation and also the same body is going to fight a wetdream of a bunch of lefty journalists and third rate "scientists"?

I say this in all seriousness: Gordon Brown is not OK upstairs. I mean it. He must be removed from office. All his actions demonstrate equivocation and indecision or clinical insanity.

Tony Blair is also insane on one level, but it is the insanity of the egomaniac and focussed on himself. Gordon Brown is working on delusions for all.

javelin said...

The big story of the week is Sinosteel (China - a state controlled 'company') trying to take over Midwestern (Australian - an iron ore mining company). China has built up huge wealth based on Western gilt Debt (not equities but T-Bills). They have embarked on a massive "armament" programme before an economic war - and now the Western banks are weak they are going to start buying companies that supply raw materials. Being a not-for-profit country they will sell all raw material to themselves at cost. Driving up inflation in the West who will have to go else where for their raw materials.

tapestry said...

Burk? Berkshire Hunt - gives Berk.

Raw garlic. Crush the clove under a heavy knife and leave open to the air for over five minutes, then consume with food or if you're a real hard case, as it is. Do this on the way to bed. In the morning your cold will be better.

The stupidity of Gordon Brown makes George Bush appear almost intelligent. The world suffers from an appallingly low level of leadership. Let's hope Obama can do something about it. Medvedev looks more hopeful.

Anonymous said...

Labour bury bad news? Never. Labour try and deflect attention from an embarrassing situation? Mais non, mais non. Soon you'll be saying night follows day, West Ham will win the Premiership, Gordon Brown's a nice man, the earth is flat...
PS: glad to see you're on the mend.

ak23566 said...

Iain: I know it's no consolation, but almost eveyone I know is also suffering.

I started coughing an spluttering last Saturday and it got steadily worse as the week progressed. I finally gave in and went to see my GP on Wednesday only to be told "it's a virus - nothing I can do to help".

Eight days later I am starting to feel human again, although I still sound like Virginia Ham from Torch Song !

Get well soon.

Anonymous said...

GOOD SPOT IAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AN EXCELLENT THING TO BE PUTTING IN THE DIARY NOW !!!!!!!!!!!

YAY !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Labour bury bad news? Never. Labour try and deflect attention from an embarrassing situation? Mais non, mais non. Soon you'll be saying night follows day, West Ham will win the Premiership, Gordon Brown's a nice man, the earth is round...
PS: glad to see you're on the mend.

judith said...

Also plenty of honey, whiskey and some steaming (bowl of hot water, towel over head) at least twice a day.

You know, all the things Dr Crippen over at NHS Blogdoc would say are nonsense, but work for the rest of us.

verity said...

I thought this thread was supposed to be about the clearly unstable Mr Brown and instead it has turned into a group hug for Iain.

I'm off this thread.

Anonymous said...

So Gordon is going to stop the (mythical) climate change by surrounding it and having a shoot-out with it is he?

Oh dear - he thinks he can order the laws of Physics to change, just like in Orwells' Room 101. The man comes quite high up the King Canute scale of delusions.

Theo said...

Terrorism and Climate change. So Greenpeace are now terrorists or are Al Qaeda now eco-warriors!!

Anonymous said...

But are they closing the right ones.
At the main Horsham Post Office its usual to have twenty people waiting to be served and only two counter staff. And now there is talk of Horsham Ditrict Council taking over. God save us from any more good ideas.

Anonymous said...

Having been at Gateshead, just got around to catch up. Iain, you need Echinacea drops. I use A.Vogel Echinaforce whenever I feel a sniffle coming on. Boosts the immune system. Antibiotics wont work, you have a virus, unless the bug has got into your bronchi and bred some bacteria, in which case, you will be coughing up yellow/green, and some antibiotics would help.
Get well soon, Gateshead was great, Annabel