Happy New Year
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
A happy and fulfilling New Year to all on Independent Minds and Livejournal.

A very happy Birthday to J Leach.

Time
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
Noreena Hertz http://twitter.com/noreenahertz observed today that - Real time is the new prime time - or should that be Real Time is the new Prime Time.

At first, I thought primeval - it's the nearest we can get to original time since manufactured time.

Thinking today, I then thought realtime IS the new primetime!

That has consequences for politics.

I then pondered...i'm still pondering...

UN should leave Switzerland
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
The United Nations and all international bodies, such as the ILO and the Red Cross, should leave Switzerland and relocate to Sweden or Norway.

The vote to ban minarets is racist and islamophobic.

The UN should not associate itself with racist states like Switzerland.

Ted Ray
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
Listened to BBC Radio 7 programme on Ted Ray. An affectionate interview with the maestro.

I grew up on Ted Ray and had completely forgotten what an excellent artiste and comedian he was.

He told jokes with such an effortless ease and equanimity. He was our Jack Benny. A vaudeville music hall entertainer of the first rank. Ted Ray set standards that Sykes, Milligan, Howerd et alia strove to attain. You can hear echoes of Ted Ray in Clitheroe Kid and Morecambe and Wise. A pleasant walk down memory lane. Catch it on iPlayer.

Thanksgiving
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
By the autumn of 1621 only half the Pilgrims had survived. Thankful to be alive they had a feast to give thanks. Happy Thanksgiving to all their descendents on both sides of The Pond.

Some thoughts on Catherine Ashton
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
The criticisms of Cathy Ashton have focussed on her 'mediocrity', her 'ordinariness', her 'lack of an elected mandate' and her 'patchy' career. Most demolition pieces have, in essence, criticised her for having followed a somewhat typical female politicians career path.

Most of her life, she has worked in what are third sector not for profit organisations. A traditional political career path for both men and women. She has even been criticised for her position as head of a Health Authority!

Given that most of her adult life was spent under 18 years of Conservatism, her career has a consistency where she rose steadily throughout to occupy senior levels of management and responsibility.

Tony Blair sent her to the House of Lords to help even out the political balence of our Upper Chamber. Over a decade she rose steadily, with increasing responsibility, until Gordon Brown made her Leader of the House of Lords where she negotiated passage of the Lisbon Treaty.

Brown trusted her strengths and abilities sufficiently to send her to replace Peter Mandleson as EU Commisioner. There she took over Trade and her negotiating and diplomatic skills were successful in South Korea, the USA and Latin America-Caribbean.

Barosso recognised and appreciated her abilities as did many in Bruxelles. The European Socialists thought more highly of her than Hoon.

One thing struck me about the photo of van Rompuy and Ashton. Neither are telegenic or 'charismatic' and both are quite extraordinary people beneath an ordinary persona. They are both comfortable with who they are and both display a steely resolve.

Both Blair and Miliband may be telegenic and charismatic but Ashton and Rompuy have the resolve to fulfil their duties to the EU. They provide a stability and attention to detail their positions require.

Criticisms of Ashton have a strong whiff of mysogeny.

I, for one, wish her well.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

Fog over Westminster village, Europe isolated
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
So the new European dispensation comes into being quietly and discretely. A new President of the European Council, a new Foreign Affairs High Representative and a new Secretary General of the Consilium slide into place with gentle ease.

The fevered imaginary monster of eurosceptic fantasy purrs contentedly and gets down to work.

Meanwhile in the dense fog of the Westminster village and the drunken haze of Wapping, the monstrous creature of the Lisbon Treaty prowls, unleashed, eating babies, ravishing English damsels and mugging little old ladies.

The selection of Europe's new troika took place simply, swiftly and with remarkable unanimity. Sweden has delivered a highly successful Presidency. The European Parliament and its pan-European political groupings, notably the EPP and European Socialists flexed their muscles, strengthened by Lisbon, and divided the spoils.

Eat your heart out, Cameron.

Lady Ashton is the UK's only representative in the Commission for the next five years. She is vice president of the Commission and Europe's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security supremo until 2015.

Que sera sera.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

Shrewd but singular choices
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
Once I had picked my jaw off the floor, scrambled my brains to something close to sentience, I realised two things. Firstly, Rumpuy is quite the best choice. An administrator with wit, hinterland and ability. Secondly, Ashton had clearly been in the frame for some time. A woman as one of top two positions had become a successful twitter and facebook campaign. Her background in Trade will prove useful on the global stage in the next five years. There is a hint of firm professionalism. She has a Foreign and Diplomatic Service to create. The third post of Pierre Boissieu is the triumvirate.

Fascinating! This will be worth observing. All three may well surprise.

The decision had been in the making for days, its announcement was prompt.

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com

All Thing
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
Yesterday's assembly of 1500 Iceland people, all ages, all walks of life, was an enormous success see http://icelandweatherreport.com

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com
Tags:

Iceland's All Thing
Autumn pic#93859662
paulstpancras
Today some 1600 Icelanders met in Extra-Ordinary National Assembly to focus on future orientations of Icelandic society.

more to follow

Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com
Tags:

?

Log in