It's been a long week and there's a lot of things that have crossed my mind. Rather than be overwhelmed I've decided to put down some quick thoughts on events that have crossed my mind
I know I'm a bit late to the party as everyone has probably talked that speech of Milliband's to death. My take? You've got to admire the power of the bloke. He only has to open his mouth and the markets move. Shame it's downwards. On a more serious note a few things struck me. If he's on the side of the working family (or whatever marketable phrase he's using these day) what will he do when the pension get hit by dwindling returns because utility companies are no longer a sound reliable investment? Also, having listened to him on Radio 4's Today programme (yesterday's edition) I was fascinated to hear him say how he would do it when he's passed the legislation. Strange that. No mention of introducing a bill. No mentioning of debating it in Parliament or voting on it. Just passing it. Nice to be so assured of it's progress.
One other thing. On the same show he was asked about lowering VAT and he said he wasn't going to do that. Now correct me if I'm wrong but I think he can't lower VAT without permission from the EU. Now if that's true surely he knew that - in which case he lied. If he didn't know it - he certainly isn't of PM calibre.
That (Other) Speech
The one by the Iranian president (plus his other comments). I don't quite get all the fawning by the media over his "conciliatory" tone. Why? Well all I seem to be hearing in terms of their words and actions is something along the lines of "you all put your guns down first and then I'll think about putting mine down afterwards." Very little has changed really other than the tone of voice and they've only come to the table because they want something i.e. the sanctions lifting.
A couple of things spring to mind here. When the Wikileaks cables all were released there was one little gem that didn't get a lot of airtime. It was advice from the British to someone else about negotiating with the Iranians. It basically said, the Iranian's really only understand and respect strength . It further went on to suggest that anyone should beware of negotiating with them as they play games in negotiations in which they want concession after concession and basically twist their negotiation partners in knots. So. Watch this space.
The other thing that springs to mind is that if everyone plays in good faith as they are being exhorted to and we learn that Iran hasn't been playing a straight bat, you can't just roll back time for the situation the world could find itself in. Of course I hope they're serious about peace but right now I'd insist they show their cards first and then double check they still haven't loaded the deck.
Another horrible, horrible situation. I wonder about this "white widow" Samantha Lewthwaite. There's a red notice issued although Kenya is saying she wasn't in shopping mall and they aren't obviously connecting her with the events. So who's the "other" white western woman, who appears to have joined the terrorist ranks? I'm wondering if it is Lewthwaite but suggesting it isn't means you don't have to answer how a building can be surrounded by security forces and she still escapes.
Just some thoughts.