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Saturday, July 26, 2008 

Weekend links.

If you wanted an example of how skewed and completely disoriented British politics is at the moment, you could do worse than examine today's Sun leader:

IT will take more than a seaside ice cream to cheer up Gordon Brown this weekend.

Sitting on his deckchair, the PM will be wondering if the tide is going out on his Premiership.

Labour’s sensational defeat by the Scottish Nationalists in Glasgow East is bound to whip up more “Gordon must go” hysteria.

For sure, Mr Brown has his back to the wall. But no one is ready to publicly challenge him and step into his shoes.

With the economic climate, there will not be an election for almost two years, however much the Tories demand it.

Mr Brown should recharge his batteries during the holiday. The workaholic PM needs a clarity of vision for the country on his return.

Have a good break, Gordon.

which is almost craven in its sycophancy to a dying political leader, and compare it to the Grauniad's, which you would expect to be closer to the Sun's:

Those who hold Labour's future close to their hearts may not thank a newspaper for concluding that the way forward is problematic and the decisions finely balanced. But that is the truth. The case for loyalty is strong and the case for change impressive too. The worst thing would be to sustain public loyalty and private disdain for a man who seems, right now, to turn everything he touches to lead. It is not in Labour's soul to be brutal to leaders, and nor, at this point, should it be. The risk of change still outweighs the gains - if only because the advantages could prove illusory while the dangers are real and apparent. It can seem every article about Mr Brown preaches the need for him to find energy, clarity and vision. Such demands may be commonplace, but that does not make them wrong. Mr Brown's government is crying out for a renewed sense of purpose; he can best secure that by developing an agenda that reflects his genuine passion for social justice. If he is to remain in charge, he owes his party and the country that much.

Also worth rereading now is Martin Kettle's piece from July the 4th, alerted to me by Anthony Barnett, which now seems prescient and far more powerful than it did then.

Elsewhere, some of the links shamelessly stolen from Mike P's far superior newspaper round:

Torygraph - Millions of profiles from DNA database passed to private firms

Matthew Parris - Labour is lucky. They can ditch him now.

Pauline Kael & trash cinema - Not long before she died, Pauline Kael remarked to a friend, "When we championed trash culture we had no idea it would become the only culture." Who did?

Deborah Orr - New Labour has only itself to blame

Also worth noticing apart from the main piece on Glasgow East is Orr's comments on the loathsome Tony Parsons:

Parsons is not wrong in saying that women who have breast implants inserted for vanity – generously he excludes women with "genetic defects" or a mastectomy – are likely to be "insecure, neurotic or nutty". But he also describes his many sexual encounters with silicone-stuffed women, and how disappointing to the touch those mammaries prove to be.

This can only suggest that Parsons is himself attracted to women who are "insecure, neurotic or nutty". No wonder he's unaware of any female repulsion against breast butchering. It can only be down to the company he prefers to keep.


Indie - Sorry, says dominatrix who betrayed Mosley

We'll get it right next time - Ballad of East Glasgow

OurKingdom - The lessons of Glasgow East

QuestionThat - Who's Off-Message?

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