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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Re: HRH by tucsonmike on 12 April 2006 2:04am
The irony is this weeks Time Magazine Ten Questions interview is with Prince Andrew.
Yes, I would be happy not to bow and scrape. Just develops scabs on my limbs.

Please answer an ignorant Yanks question. I've been reading in the Economist how Tony Blair wants to fiddle with the House of Lords. How much power do they still have? The article seemed to insinuate many people are tired of Blair and would glad to see him exit.

As for the President, even if I think the President is a dingbat, I salute the office, not necessarily the occupant. Oh Geraldine, what would you say if there were just one Secret Service Agent between you and President Shrub, sorry I mean Bush?

I'll never forget meeting Justice Rehnquist as a young man. I met Boston's Mayor Kevin White on my second date with Elaine. It was Saturday night and he was out walking his dog near his Beacon Hill home.
(Elaine behaved even if she is a Southie).:-)
Re: HRH by rideon on 12 April 2006 11:07am
well sighthound, i'm not a big royal fan at all, and if I met any of them I wouldn't bow, and definitely not curtesy - wouldn't look good as a bloke - but then it might cause a "we are not amused"!
planned holidays by rideon on 12 April 2006 11:12am
Anybody going anywhere nice this year for their annual trip?
Re: planned holidays by peripatetically on 12 April 2006 2:25pm
Rideon, you should maybe started a new thread with a new title and not changed this one. But I think I know you emant to do what you did? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Re: HRH by sighthound on 12 April 2006 4:14pm
Well, Mike, if I ever got that close to Bush, I'd probably not be able to keep myself from launching into a tirade and I'd find myself in jail or shot. Guess I should just avoid politicians. <G>

When I was a child, I met Richard Nixon once - before he was Pres (he was running against Kennedy at the time.) Looking back on it, it was a very weird moment but I was too young at the time to be impressed. We were checking into the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in in Honolulu after arriving by ship from L.A. (You could still sail from CA to Hawaii then.) Jerry Lewis and his family had been on our ship where he had premiered his new film, "The Bellboy" and we were in the limo following his and arrived in the hotel lobby where (it must have been some kind of publicity stunt) Pat Boone and Tenessee Ernie Ford, dressed in bellboy outfits, met Lewis and tried to take his bags. And in the middle of this, another limo with lots of security men arrived and Nixon got out and, looking very disheveled and confused, wandered around and started trying to shake people's hands. Wow, I hadn't thought about this in years - so weird but I remember it made me very grumpy because it stopped the registration process dead in its tracks and I really wanted to get to our room so I could change into my bathing suit and get out to the beach.
Re: HRH by perfectbitch on 12 April 2006 7:42pm
The House of Lords is the upper chamber of parliament and comprises of heredetry and life peers none of whom are elected. Heredetry peers pass on their title to their eldest son or daughter if there is no male issue.
When Blair first came to power, he had a mandate to reduce numbers in the Lords and to review the balance of power. The Lords vote on every bill and can recommend changes etc. They have the power to stall bills betond the life of a parliament.
Blair has been accused of trading electoral loans to his party for peerages. This is nothing new and has gone on secretly for aeons but Blair also promised transparency in party donations, however, this did not cover loans. The Lords reforms he promised have never materialised in a satisfactory form.

His unpopularity is mainly due to the perception that he is just Bush's lackey. The war is very unpopular here - remember, 6 million took to the streets to protest against it before troops were sent. At that time, public opinion was split 50/50 but now I think it is about 70/30.
Blair's popularity has plummeted recently and I don't believe he can win another election. If he's not careful, neither will anyone else at the head of "New Labour."
Personally, I feel betrayed by the guy - he has changed the Labour Party into a very right wing organisation. There is no doubt that the party needed reformation but he went much too far. The country was fed up with Tory sleeze and almost anyone could have defeated them in that election.
Hope this helps you to get an angle on things Mike. Linz
Re: HRH by sighthound on 12 April 2006 9:11pm
What I don't understand is WHY Blair became Bush's lackey since they are, nominally, from opposite ends of the political spectrum. What is in it for Blair?

And did Blair show any indication of planning to move so far to the right before his election?
Re: HRH by perfectbitch on 12 April 2006 10:26pm
It does seem odd, sight, as Blair was so very pally with Clinton. However, I believe we are constitutionally bound to support the US in conflict situations as a result of WW2. This is not common knowledge - I only heard this from a reliable source but a poitician nonetheless. The US were certainly able to acquire a lot of land here at the time. I don't know details but the crux of it is that you have us by the short and curlies.

I am so cynical that I believe that our politics is so corrupt and in the hands of huge commercial concerns who are able to manipulate any leader of any party - whoever is the most popular at the time.

Blair did show a few signs before the election, especially his admiration of Thatcher the Milk Snatcher. One of the first things he did was to stop student grants and replace them with loans. Considering his electoral cry of "Education, education, education," this seemed like the 1st betrayal. He then said he wanted to achieve 50% attendance at uni. This has resulted in the devalueing of the bachelor's degree and many average minds with Mickey Mouse degrees in such subjects as quilting. I think quilts are wonderful but worthy of a degree???

Sorry, I digress but I think my anger at him got the better of me. I am proud to say that I have never voted for him. I tend to vote for the Green party - not because I think they could ever form a government but to keep the issues on the political agenda - it's a stratagy used by quite a few nowadays.

I am concerned with his desire to introduce identity cards as they are likely to take the form of a smart card used for everything and connected to a central data base to be made available to numerous bodies. I am not sure I would want my employer to know if I had been out for a drink the night before, how much I had spent in a food store etc. I know I sound paranoid but I don't think that level of civil control is desirable. I would support the use of a form of identity card which was far less intrusive. Of course, since the tube bombings, people are less secure but even Blair has had to admit that any form of identity card would not have prevented the bombers from their mission.

On the lighter side, have you noticed how manically stary his eyes have become - just like Thatcher's did. I reckon they are drugged up in order to cope - I kinda know that too! : ). Linz
Re: HRH by tucsonmike on 13 April 2006 7:52am
Well Linz, thank you for the explanations. It certainly puts things in perspective. Bush is now so unpopular, Republicans running for election this year are trying to distance themselves from him like you would not believe. All 435 House seats are up for reelection and 33 of the 100 Senate seats. This is the most interesting Congressional election in more than a decade. By the end of this year, you will have people officially throwing their hats in the ring for President. I know I would not want the job. Just goes to show you politicians egos. If you were applying for a job in business with the record deficit and the war in Iraq, you would think twice. Not these folks.

Hillary Clinton is up for reelection to Senate in New York. She will probably win with no problem and already has a surplus to run for President. There is no question, John Kerry is running again.
One twist one of our prominent columnists George Will wrote about is the possibility of African American Conservatives winning as Republicans in four states.
Michael Steele, the Lieutenant Gov. of Maryland is running for Senate.
Kevin Butler- a minister who runs several Detroit area mega churches as Senator from Michigan.
Keith Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State is running for Governor. He has an uphill battle, because the incumbent Governor, Robert Taft is the worst in Ohio's history. (His approval rating is something like 8%). The Taft's were the First Family of Ohio, producing Senators and one President. (My father has a colleague and friend who is a Taft, so I got to hear all the stories). But I digress. Blackwell in other words has to run against his own party's record.

Last but not least is Lynn Swann. He is an articulate retired Pittsburgh Steelers football player who is a broadcaster and running for Governor of Pennsylvania. That is a tight race with him neck and neck against a veteran politician, former Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell.

If all four of these men win, things could be very interesting in both parties. We also need to see how many Democrats gain seats.

The Congressional District next door to me, is going to be an interesting race. Glad it ain't mine. The veteran Republican Congressman, Jim Kolbe decided not to run after 22 years in office. THE issue in that district is immigration and border issues. The Republican, Randy Graf is a former State Senator who practically wants to declare war on Mexico. The Democrats range from far left to the center candidate, former KVOA TV Anchor Patty Weiss. I would work for Patty, but since we will probably buy our friends house, we are in the other Tucson congressional district. Raul Grijalva never has serious opposition. The Republican challenger is a perennial named Joe Sweeney who wont even come close. He, like Randy Graf is bigoted.

My next question for our British and Australian friends. How do you folks get chosen for jury duty? I checked on the website for my jury duty for tomorrow and was excused. Here, they can't call you more than once every two years. All are eligible and must answer the summons unless:
1. You have a felony conviction and have not had your rights restored.
2. You are proven mentally incompetent.
3. You are a police officer.

Re: HRH by Ahren on 13 April 2006 8:51pm
Jeez this thread's changed a bit!! Going from someone meeting the Queen to a discussion about politics. I think I'll just go now, it's getting too much like hard work!!
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