The Anonymous Widower

Trump and Biden – First Encounter

I once saw John Major operate in a ninety minute speech to the Cambridge Chief Executives Club, who were a radical bunch and probably not very attuned to the Tory Party.

He gave a masterful performance, that was both serious and entertaining, as would many top flight politicians, from all round the world.

Neither Trump nor Biden hardly made a serious point and they certainly weren’t entertaining. It was almost like a boxing match, where the referee won!

September 30, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Success In Rio Down To John Major?

This article on the BBC is entitled Rio 2016: Does John Major deserve credit for Team GB’s success?

This is the opening paragraph.

The sight of Team GB above China in the Olympic medal table has led some to heap praise on John Major, whose government took the decision to launch the National Lottery. The lottery has poured money into sport in the UK, but can it claim credit for medal success?

Even, if to give total credit to John Major is perhaps a bit over the top, but without the Lottery funding, British Olympic performance, would be lucky to be as good as England’s footballers.

But money isn’t everything, as if it was Manchester City would win the Premier League every year and given the coffers of the Lawn Tennis Association, we’d dominate world tennis.

August 17, 2016 Posted by | Sport | , , | Leave a comment

John Major Talks Sense

I have always liked John Major and I have liked him even more, since I saw his talk to the Cambridge Chief Executives Group. Then, in the depth of his troubles, he talked sense in bucketfuls and explained how the economy was coming round.  He was so right in everything he said and it made me think, that what a lot of stupid idiots most of our politicians are.

Now in a speech in Norfolk, he has detailed his views.  It’s reported here in the Guardian.

The first paragraph, criticises the lack of social mobility.

Sir John Major has criticised the “truly shocking” dominance of the upper echelons of power in Britain by the privately educated and affluent middle class, it was reported.

Both myself and especially my late wife, climbed from fairly ordinary families to somewhere near the top.  C, who was a barrister, was one of the few of her profession, I ever met, who had come from a working class family and clawed her way up the hard way. But then we both had the sort of education, that John Major had enjoyed.

This dominance of power and especially in the Civil Service, by the privately educated middle class, is one of the things that I deplore. Last Thursday I was on a New Bus for London and sitting in one of the set of four seats in the middle.  These tend to be where the chatty congregate, so as I moved over to let a guy about fifty sit down, I made a comment, as you often do. We chatted and he said  that he worked in the Home Office and when I talked about the bus, I got the impression, he’d never used a NB4L before.  I said I was living in Hackney after my stroke and he said he had worked with my MP. ~This could have been on the Identity Card Scheme. He pitied me in that I had to live in such a crime-ridden borough. He then asked if I thought that the country was going to the dogs.  I said it wasn’t and said I was hopeful things would get better. If this idiot, is one of the Civil Service’s finest, then heaven help us.  But I suppose, he went to a good independent school and probably a decent college at Oxford or Cambridge. Just like my labour MP! Not like my late wife and myself, who went to good grammar schools and a good redbrick University.

John Major went on to talk about education and is reported to have said this.

Major said: “Our education system should help children out of the circumstances in which they were born, not lock them into the circumstances in which they were born.

“We need them to fly as high as their luck, their ability and their sheer hard graft can actually take them. And it isn’t going to happen magically.”

If John Major, my late wife and myself had been born in the last couple of decades, would we have risen to the surface? The sixties was a time, when those that wanted to did and many of us, square pegs, managed to rise from the round holes where society pigeon-holed us.

I also remember that when I was at meetings of the educated in Cambridge, I was one of the shortest around, as my family hasn’t always had the good food of the middle and upper classes. But then they often didn’t have some of my better characteristics.  Or my worse!

John Major also put forward his views on gay marriage.

On one issue that has caused Conservative grass-roots dissent – gay marriage – he urged people to accept times had changed. “We may be unsettled by them, but David Cameron and his colleagues have no choice but to deal with this new world. They cannot, Canute-like order it to go away because it won’t,” he said.

He is totally right. We don’t define the way the world chooses to go, but we have to live in it and accomodate it.

The report finishes by giving his views on Ukip.

And on another major area of concern, he recommended a less-confrontational approach to the threat of the UK Independence Party.

“We don’t need to make personal attacks on Ukip,” he said. “Many of the Ukip supporters are patriotic Britons who fear their country is changing.

“It is far more productive to expose the follies in their policies.”

I always wonder what would have happened to the world, if John Major had won the 1997 General Election.

November 11, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , | 2 Comments

Politicians Who Dye Their Hair

I can never understand, why people dye their hair!

I have a grey beard, but since going gluten-free, that seems as far as it got.

My late wife never dyed her hair and she was a natural dark blonde, with odd hairs of other colours, including grey and brown.  Her hairdresser, who also cut mine at the time told me a funny story about her.  He had just cut C’s hair and was preparing a very smart lady, who wanted her hair dyed a different colour. He asked her what colour she wanted and she said how about that, pointing to C. He had difficulty keeping a straight face as he told the lady it was totally natural.

My reason for this post is because I’ve just read this article about Chinese politicians dying their hair on the BBC’s web site. It shows how vain some of our leaders can get, especially as the previous Chinese leader had grey hair, as do many Chinese of my age you see in the UK.

I also remember seeing a speech by John Major, where he said he’d been accused of dying his hair, which of course he didn’t. I wrote about it here.

But we may accuse John Major of ,many things, but vanity is not one of them!

March 12, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Has Sir John Got It Right Again?

It must be sometime in the mid-1990s, when I saw John Major give a speech and take questions in the Cambridge Chief Executives Club. He gave his views on Black Wednesday, Kosovo and the Euro amongst other topics.  To say it was impressive at the time, would be an understatement, as most of the things he said would happen did.

So the fact that Sir John is now saying the worst might be over, may in itself be indicative of the fact that it is!  He spoke on the Andrew Marr show this morning and this is an extract.

Recovery begins from the darkest moment. I’m not certain, but I think we have passed the darkest moment.

There are some oddities in the figures at the moment: Why in the depths of this recession is employment growing? Why is industrial production going up? Why has the stock market risen?

“There are things happening out there that will become apparent and we don’t quite know why or how. My guess – and this is something a minister can’t say but I can – is that in due course we will find that we passed the bottom.

The first time was twenty years ago and no-one believed him.  Let’s hope this time, that the voters do! But then voters always vote for those who promises them the most.

I think, I’ll form the Pie-In-The-Sky Party!

No-one will pay any Income tax but companies will may 70% Corporation Tax. There will be absolutely no immigration and the NHS will be free, with no prescription charges to all those living here. Oh! And there will be no more subsidies for trains, but we’ll build motorways everywhere, where we can drive cars, that will not have any Road Tax and severely reduced fuel taxes.

At least with all the cars, we’ll be able to drive ourselves to Hell in comfort.

September 16, 2012 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

John Major at the Leveson Enquiry

This is an extract from the BBC’s report on John Major appearing at the Leveson Enquiry.

Rupert Murdoch warned John Major to switch policy on Europe or his papers would not support him, the ex-prime minister has told the Leveson Inquiry.

Sir John recalled the exchange from a private meeting in 1997, which he said he had not spoken about before.

Later that year, his Conservative party lost power to Labour, with the Sun backing his rival Tony Blair.

Sir John said he was subjected to some “hurtful” press coverage while he was PM, but was “too sensitive” at times.

In about 1997, I was at a meeting, when John Major gave his view on the world.  At that meeting, he said that “The Times, which used to be a newspaper, had accused him of dying his hair.” He then pointed to his grey hair and said.  “Would anybody die it this colour?”

June 12, 2012 Posted by | News | , , , | 2 Comments

John Major Talks Sense Again

I told a story yesterday about John Major and today he pops up on the BBC’s web site talking about Scotland and its political relationship with England.

Here’s an extract.

In a rare intervention into politics, former Prime Minister Sir John Major calls for the Scottish Parliament to be given powers to control everything except foreign affairs, defence and the economy.

Sir John warned against the dangers of devolution before the 1997 election. Today he calls for what some call “devo max”.

If you are wondering why the former Tory leader’s dressing in tartan, he explains that in return the English (and, of course, the Conservative Party) would see the end of the hated Barnett formula which gives Scotland more money to spend and a cut in the number of Scottish (usually Labour) MPs.

This may not seem like a live issue today, but it will be in the run-up to the next election. Scotland’s re-elected First Minister Alex Salmond has always believed that the Tories were most likely to give him at least some of what he wanted.

This is how Sir John puts it:

“The present quasi-federalist settlement with Scotland is unsustainable. Each year of devolution has moved Scotland further from England. Scottish ambition is fraying English tolerance. This is a tie that will snap – unless the issue is resolved.

“The union between England and Scotland cannot be maintained by constant aggravation in Scotland and appeasement in London. I believe it is time to confront the argument head on.

 Everybody should read the full article, as it talks a lot of sense.

I particularly liked this comment by a reader on the report.

Major speech by a major politician
How on earth, gold help us, did we ever end up with New Labour

 So let’s hope the British Parliament does the sane thing in the next few weeks and makes sure that they control the country and not the owners of a few newspapers.

At least none of these proprietors are no Berlusconi!

July 10, 2011 Posted by | News, World | , , | 1 Comment

What a Waste of Money!

The Saville enquiry cost £200,000,000 and didn’t find anything that most right-thinking people didn’t really know.  Read the statements of sensible politicians like say John Major, and they would probably have predicted the findings about ten years ago.

The population of Northern Ireland is just under 2,000,000 according to this report on the BBC. So that means the report cost about £100 for everybody there.  Wouldn’t it have been better to have given the money directly to the people, especially as about 11% are pensioners?

We must move on and even some of the most controversial characters from the depth of the troubles have done so.

Take Glenn Barr He is still a controversial character to both the British and the Nationalists because of his involvement with the Ulster Defence Association and politics. Now though he has retired from active and conventional politics and devotes himself to community projects in Derry, often concerned with high unemployment. 

This is also in his Wkipedia entry.
He has also worked closely with Paddy Harte, a former Irish Government minister, on promoting awareness of Irish Catholic participation in both World Wars.

 I first saw Glenn Barr on a BBC Panorama program in the 1970s.  Asked by the interviewer, what would happen if the British pulled out, he said that the Protestants and Catholics would probably fight for a couple of days and then realise they were all Irish and had a lot more in common. He was also asked if he had any regrets.  He said that he couldn’t watch Derry City, as he wouldn’t be safe.  I hope he can now!

In about 1980, I heard report on BBC Radio 4, about a guy called Paddy Docherty, who had found an abandoned coaster in Derry harbour.  He was filling it with Irish cast-offs like hand sewing machines and was going to sail it to Ethiopia, where such would be appreciated.  The trouble was that they couldn’t get the Deutz diesel engine repaired.  So I sent him some money to help, as did aot of others.  He sent me details of what he was doing and he was running the YTS in Derry.  His major supporters were Robin Eames, Cardinal Daly and others I knew to be on the right side.  His number two was Glenn Barr.  Iremember, I phoned Paddy up and had the most enlightening hour with one of the real heroes of Northern Ireland.  Years later, I met Jim Prior and he spoke appreciatively of Paddy.

Just thing what £200,000,000 would have done in the right hands in Northern Ireland, rather than in the hands of expensive lawyers.

I’d love to know what happened to the coaster.

June 16, 2010 Posted by | News, World | , | 1 Comment

Berlusconi Sues

So Silvio Berlusconi is going to sue the media all over the Europe for the reporting of his life in the last few years.

I did have rather a laugh at this story, as although I might like to be seen in the company of large numbers of gorgeous bimbos, or in Berlusconi’s case is it bimboni, but I really am not the man to do that.  I’m just too short at just 1.71 metres or five foot seven and a bit in Imperial units, which everybody still keeps using, to attract them in more than odd numbers.  And anyway, I’m too busy writing software to try to organise my life around bevys of young ladies.

But it got me thinking.  Am I really too short?

And then I found this web page.  When I looked at it, it had an advert for elevator shoes!

But I’m taller than Berlusconi (1.62 m.), Sarkozy (1.65 m.) and Putin (1.67 m.). I was surprised about the last one, so perhaps that’s why all those action man pictures show him by himself.  Or on a pony!

So perhaps, I’m in the wrong job.  I think though most British Prime Ministers are fairly tall.  I remember being in a lift with John Major in Athens and he towered above me.  So I’m out!  And who’d want the job anyway.

My late wife did her first barrister’s pupilage in libel chambers. Her advice to Silvio would have been don’t sue.  You’ll only give lawyers a lot of money and make matters worse.  Even if you win!

I’ll end with a quote from Mrs. Merton to Debbie Magee – “So Debbie, what first attracted you to multi millionaire Paul Daniels?”

August 29, 2009 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment