Elephant in the room

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As Ian Parker-Joseph pointed out yesterday:

This is what has already come out DURING the morning session of the Chilcott enquiry gentle chat with Blair.

NHS Waiting times

Britain downgraded by Credit Agency Standard & Poor

Witterings reports:

The European Commission will this year pay €6.7 million in subsidies to 58 think-tanks and NGOs which have “an openly pro-integration position”, reports EUobserver.

I left a comment at Tom Paine‘s recently [the issue was speculation over the death of David Kelly, which Tom doesn’t buy]:

Blair – Bliar or Honoured Statesman?

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The Beeb is neither the Telegraph nor the Guardian in the political slant of the readers.  It’s certainly a left wing news source – witness the gnashing and wailing over Arafat’s and curt treatment  of Sharon’s respective deaths – but its readership is varied and worldwide.

Therefore I’d go there first for a range of opinion on Blair’s little performance.  Comments:

The Ghosts of John Galt, Ghost Town:

Blair is blatantly lying when he referred to child birth mortality rates in Iraq!  World bank stats 1995, 48 deaths per 1000, 2007 44 deaths per 1000!  Not exactly the emotional picture painted by Blair! He tells blatant lies but I guess we knew that anyway!

Clive Simpson, London [no link]:

This inquiry has been an expensive waste of time, as no inquiry will ever satisfy those who claim to want the truth but actually just want their own fairy stories about Iraq to be confirmed.  Blair was magnificent, a true statesman, showing conviction and strength of character. What a shame he isn’t prime minister any more.

The business of being Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga would be the last artist on earth I’d be interested in as a singer but as a business phenomenon, she’s considerably more interesting. Certainly the Wall Street Journal thinks so.

As one of the few on the planet not to have heard her before this evening, what are the first impressions? Well, she can sing. Her voice is Anygirlartist in the World with a touch of Deborah Harry and Cyndi Lauper but without the interest and distinctiveness of those two.

Cooperate with us, Hillary tells Russia

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And this is Clinton the diplomat?

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday challenged Russia to cooperate with the Obama administration and with NATO to ensure European security against new threats such as terrorism, cyber attacks or natural disasters.

Citing a wide array of differences between Washington and Moscow, Clinton called for Russia’s leadership to drop its opposition to a European missile shield and its demands to renegotiate a Cold War-era treaty limiting the deployment of troops and conventional weapons on the continent.

In a speech at France’s Ecole Militaire in Paris, she said Europe should not be divided as it has been in the past and that Russian ambitions to maintain a zone of influence in former Soviet satellites, some of which are now NATO members or aspirants, were obsolete.

Hillary’s either trying it on or else she understands nothing about Russia.  Asking Russia to cooperate by dropping its country’s defences?  Yeah right, the Russian people would really love Medvedev for that.  There’s little doubt that Russia is making alliances, especially with China, which it trusts about as far as it could kick it and the transparent goal is to reduce the U.S. hegemony, which has flow on effects in Europe.