NOW that Tony Blair has announced the date he will hand over power to that scion of Scottish Presbyterianism, Gordon Brown, we can deduce he has finally found time to update his Curriculum Vitae; has sent it to a carefully selected list of international philanthropic organisations, merchant banks and global arms dealers; and has attended interviews for positions ranging from Director, World Poverty Resolution to Chief Executive, Introductions to World Leaders Division. This is his big opportunity to follow the example of his lovely wife and make some serious money out of being Prime Minister. I am confident he will perform up to his well-documented unctuous standard in any role that promises substantial tax-free remuneration, first-class air travel and five-star accommodation. However, it is the Blair legacy that worries me.
He will not get far in his search for new employment if questions about the state of the NHS come up and Lord knows what he will do if anyone mentions education, education, education. Rising crime figures in the UK are not helpful and the economy is looking tenuous at a most inconvenient moment. The little matter of his fawning friendship with George Bush is best swept under the carpet and any remarks about the wellbeing of some of his dear colleagues (like Peter Mandelson and David Blunkett) would be better left unspoken.
It occurs to me that, in our region, many of our home-grown politicians aspire to the same employment benefits as the Blairs. More to the point, due to circumstances beyond their immediate control, there is a mayoralty in which the incumbent has been required to spend time at the King’s pleasure pending further investigations. Could this be the solution to the little unpleasantness on the Costa del Sol? A man of Tony Blair’s political and diplomatic experience could do a lot worse than take over the leadership of Marbella. My only concern is that there may be an international backlash when he declares war on Iran.
How sad to read the lovely Paris Hilton is incarcerated in a Los Angeles prison for a minor infringement of US traffic laws. I do appreciate the fact that, for a second time, she was apprehended with a tad more alcohol in her bloodstream than is permitted when driving a motor vehicle. But, quite frankly, I find if one drives a decent car – and mine is a Bentley – it can usually find its own way home whatever the volume of booze consumed.
The pity is that this interlude in the care of the Californian penal authorities might seriously interrupt the promising film career that the athletic and enthusiastic Paris has recently commenced. I know her self-directed, hand-held camera production has already achieved quite a high profile in certain circles but I am convinced she would achieve much better market penetration if she were to have her movies disseminated by one of the established distribution companies rather than relying on word of mouth and the internet.
As an ardent supporter of her career, I am aware of the carping criticism from those less privileged souls whose fathers do not happen to own an international chain of luxury hotels, many of which I was fortunate enough to visit – courtesy of the British tax payer, of course – during my days at Westminster.
However, the ill-considered denigration of Paris’s acting abilities is unwarranted and leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.
It had not occurred to me that Spain might have an electoral system more convoluted and subject to more political analysis than that which pertains in the UK. With many years experience of electoral results being expressed in terms of Conservative, Labour or Liberal gains and losses – sometimes interrupted by the Monster Raving Loony Party and latterly the British National Party – I was intrigued to discover Spain’s major parties, the PP and PSOE, also have snipers on the flanks. The opportunities for hung parliaments and governing coalitions are enormous.
The finer nuances of the political parties are lost on such a simple soul as I. However, I could not help but notice that splinter groups in Spain must be diluting the collective national vote. I can only assume the IU, the IULV-CA, IU-LV, the IU-ARALAR and the IU-SIEX are in some way associated. Similarly, I strongly suspect the EA and the EAJ-PNV may have met for a power lunch on more than one occasion.
I am not sure where this leaves the CIV, ERC and the FC – although there is a distinct possibility a number of electorates may have voted FC in the mistaken belief that they were supporting their local football club. I do not suppose the UM and the UPL have much in common but I am intrigued with the CC-PNC, wherever they may have stood. The PIL-FNC and the PSM-EN either won or lost seats as did the CC-PNC and the JPSF. I may have missed the NA-BAI and the CDN but this is only because I have no idea what they stand for or where they actually stand.
The Green Party seems not to have made much of an impression on Spain’s political radar. How sad. I was so looking forward to wearing a hair shirt and drinking camomile tea while discussing the merits and demerits of land rights for gay whales.