Terminal 5: At last an Irishman called Willie speaks !

All the media have searched in vain for a BAA or BA manager to explain the Terminal 5 cock-up. Willie Walsh of BA was all over the media, like a rash, when the Queen opened the place and admired the absence of queues.

But now: Not a manager to be found to talk to the waiting world.

GMTV have been hanging on the BA Helpline since midnight last night, listening to their hold music and recorded “we are sorry to keep you waiting” announcement.

But now, at last, an Irishman called Willie has been found to comment on the disaster. Here’s what he told the Press Association:

Well it’s not a very good situation at all. The going is rather unusual down there. I’d call the track surface ‘shiny and smooth’ – which is not a going term normally used. There are an awful lot of obstructions on the course and I’d say this is one for the Jockey Club to look at, if not a Steward’s Enquiry, before they go under orders”.

Thank you random Irishman called Willie.


Democrat senior statesman: Moves afoot to make Hillary bite the bullet

Stephen Tall writes a very interestingly article on LibDemVoice entitled: “What will convince Hillary to drop out?”

I wrote a comment there asking whether the US Democrats have a equivalent of the “men in grey suits” who might pay a late night visit to Hillary and, after plying her with a stiff Jack Daniels, persuade her to raise the pearl-handled revolver to her temple.

Imagine my surprise when, by coincidence, browsing Political Wire I cam across this:

The Las Vegas Review Journal runs a brief Q&A with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) about settling on a Democratic nominee for president.

Q: Do you still think the Democratic race can be resolved before the convention?

Reid: Easy.

Q: How is that?

Reid: It will be done.

Q: It just will?

Reid: Yep.

Q: Magically?

Reid: No, it will be done. I had a conversation with Governor Dean (Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean) today. Things are being done.

Bosnia gaffe bursts Clinton’s "super-stateswoman" bubble

I’ve blogged before about my annoyance at Hillary Clinton’s insistence that she is some sort of Super-Stateswoman with a history of solving the world’s conflicts from Bosnia to Ireland.

So, it was with an element of schadenfreude and vindication that I witnessed Hillary’s Bosnia discomfort. She said she visited Bosnia in 1996 under a hail of bullets, running “with our heads down into the vehicles”. A diligent TV researcher visited the bowels of the archives and unearthed footage showing that her arrival, in fact, was something akin to a walk in the park.

This gaffe is a very welcome emblem. Through the campaign, Clinton has constantly tried to portray Obama as inexperienced while stating that she has great experience on the world stage. (Northern Ireland ? Of course, ol’ Hillary melted the heart of Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams and had them signing up to the Good Friday agreement in no time)

The 3am red phone call ad was typical.

But, until the Bosnia gaffe (which, unbelievably, was unforced – Clinton herself freely bragged about her visit) there was nothing which illustrated the lie behind the 3am phone call ad.

That lie is that Hillary has been a statesperson. She hasn’t. She has been a Senator for a bit longer than Obama (who by the way has experience in many other areas). She was First Lady of the US and Arkansas.

That doesn’t make her Henry Kissinger.

I don’t wish to diminish the role of the partner to the US President, or indeed partner of the Governor of Arkansas. However, the Clinton campaign has built it up so much, that I am delighted that the Bosnia gaffe has burst the bubble.

Carl Bernstein on CNN describes the Bosnia gaffe as a “watershed” in a very interesting article on Hillary Clinton’s relationship with the truth.

MP’s second homes legal fight – adding insult to injury

We’ve been here before. It happened in connection with publication of detailed MP’s travel expense claims. Good old Norman Baker fought to have them released. The reactionary drag on progress which is the Speaker’s office, in cahoots with the worst of the MPs, fought to keep them covered up. They were released.

Now the same thing is happening with MP’s second homes’ expense details.

I am just flabbergasted that there should be any attempt not to publish this information. The public has been paying these expenses into MPs pockets, so the public has every right to know how much was paid out for what items.

To think that the public is now paying to fund a legal action, on behalf of the speaker, to stop publication of the details is a classic case of “adding insult to injury”. It is just breathtaking.

Gordon turns into a sofa

2000th post

There is a determined and subtle sofa-isation of Gordon Brown going on. On GMTV this morning they were trailing: “We’ll be talking about violent video games and how to better protect children from them. Psychologist Tanya Byron will be here….with the Prime Minister”.

See what he did there ? …Subtly smarms his way onto the sofa holding onto the skirt tails of our Tanya…

Never mind “This morning we’ll be talking to the Prime Minister about global warming, the financial crisis, AIDS in Africa etc”… No, instead it’s Gordie simpering on the sofa saying “Yes, Tanya….well done Tanya….very important….lots of hard work done by Tanya….vital to have a simplified classification for video games…well done Tanya”.

….And not even a “while we’ve got you on the sofa, Prime Minister” question!