Monday, 10 August 2009

Management By Blackberry

It was a comforting sight on the weekend that Peter Mandelson had studied the rota properly and that, while Gordon Brown was pouring cups of tea at Old People Homes and Harriet Harman was discussing how more women should be involved in the England Cricket team, Lord Mandy was taking the baton of leading the country via Blackberry.

So crucial was it that he took it with him on his luxury, and paid for holiday, in Corfu. Mandy loves his freebies - it's what Government and Politics is all about, after all. Moving in the circles of the rich and famous, holidaying on fabulous yachts, scratching one anothers backs because the world is full of free lunches, after all. Mandy was on a yacht shared between two famous and very wealthy people. The week before it had been the turn of that perennial freebie holiday-merchant, Tony Blair, who had been at the indulgence of the Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison. They had been discussing Middle East peace no doubt or was it how to make more money by being on Boards - whatever, Larry clearly thinks Blair can be of help to him.

This week, Mandy was being hosted by David Giffen who is appropriately co-founder of Dreamworks along with Stephen Spielberg. I am sure there was plenty of dreaming going on under the sunny climate of Corfu where the yacht was anchored. Mandy had arrived inconspicuously by Easyjet as Mandyforce One was no doubt out of commission for a while. The nation breathed a sigh of relief as he turned up, fully charged Blackberry in hand and assumed the role of UK Prime Minister while in a polo shirt and shorts on the back of yacht in Corfu. As Mandy absorbed the rays, 4 British soldiers enjoyed a sunny day of a different kind, courtesy of the Taliban in Afghanistan. They won't be having an indulgent, back scratching holiday as they will be transported back by the Armed Forces equivalent of an Easyjet flight - a body bag. I am sure he got all that trivial news via his Blackberry unless the Dreamworks boat did not have suitable socket to recharge his ebbing power or have the necessary reception to bring bad news, only good.

It's a bizarre sight. On the one hand, we have the current PM serving some kind of self-imposed penance to show us how in touch with the people he is and on the other the same person entrusts the power of one of the most important nations on earth to an unelected official with a Blackberry being entertained by a fabulously wealthy guy on a yacht in Corfu. You couldn't make it up.

Welcome to the world of the 'Champagne Socialists' who move in the dreamland occupied by the rich and famous and tell us earnestly that they are in touch with the people. Tony Blair certainly is - he could hardly wait to wave two fingers at the people in the Commons and Sedgefield and head for the land of plenty in Corporate world and after-dinner circuits where he could rewrite his history and tell us how the Iraq war was really needed even if he lied to get us into it. History which we gladly allow him to rewrite and then pay for in his autobiography even though we lived it and saw exactly what went on.

In a bizarre twist to all that, the man who had presided over the Joint Chiefs of Staff meetings which perhaps wrote or approved the famous document on which the legality and prudency of war with Iraq was based, Sir John Scarlett, is the man we should now believe when he says that MI6 is not involved in torture. The same man who brought the chilling and complete tosh about Iraq being able to deploy, prime and a fire a Weapon of Mass Destruction at British Sovereign territory within 45 minutes in the form of a war document mostly plagiarised from a PhD student off the internet. How everything links as 'Capt. Scarlett' was indeed rewarded with the star job at the head of MI6 and a knighthood for the spectacular failure in Intelligence that led us into a an illegal war with Iraq that cost us £billions just to satisfy the ego of men like Blair. Much like Lord Mandelson, who had been sent to Brussels in a plumb £200k+ a year job because who couldn't be trusted in his dealings in Government even by his pandering boss, Blair - a rough price of failure for the man indeed.

England got stuffed at cricket, too. All in all, it was a cracking weekend.

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