Goodbye to George Bush

So farewell then, Dubya. It was with tears in our eyes that we saw your final press conference yesterday, after eight tumultuous years, though in my case they were tears of appreciative laughter.

I defy anyone to watch one of those internet anthologies of Bushisms – the gaffes and bloopers of the outgoing president – without a sense of wonderment at his Prescottian battles with the English language. In his gift for surreal improvisation he resembles an unintentional Paul Merton, a linguistic dada-ist, armed with nuclear weapons and a worrying sense that God is on his side. No longer will the White House be inhabited by a man who blissfully jumbles Slovakia and Slovenia, who fears for the fate of the “Kosovians”, or who believes that the secret of Balkan stability is “to keep good relations with the Grecians”, with their lustrous black locks.

We say goodbye to the global strategist whose sunny optimism still persuades him that Japan and America have “had a peaceful alliance for 150 years” – something of a revelation, one imagines, to the people of Pearl Harbour or Hiroshima – and we say goodbye to the conservative thinker and moralist who simultaneously understands that “families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream”, and who yet finds compassion in his heart for the unmarried mother of two. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family,” he told her, and we can all attest to that profound truth, especially when they won’t keep still.

For eight years Dubya has been kicked around by the environmentalists. He has been blamed for his refusal to ratify the Kyoto treaty; and yet you could not say that he was impervious to criticism. “Goodbye to the world’s biggest polluter,” he said the other day to a startled Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy, and you could not accuse him of entirely lacking green credentials when he once proclaimed: “I know the human being and the fish can coexist peacefully.”

He has been accused of presiding over a financial disaster, but you cannot say that he doesn’t know what a budget is. “I know it’s a budget,” he observed to the nation. “It’s got a lot of numbers in it.” And he had a secure grasp of the concept of the balance of trade. “It is clear that our nation is reliant upon big foreign oil. More and more of our imports come from overseas,” he pointed out. His economic strategy was “to make the pie higher”. But how, apart from getting cheap Iraqi oil? Tax cuts were part of the formula, as he said: “A tax cut is really one of the anecdotes to coming out of an economic illness.”

The real answer, though, was education, as he reminded an audience in South Carolina: “Rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?” And he was always eager to explain the attractions of books to young people who may have been less intellectually voracious than he was himself. “One of the great things about books is that sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.”

Above all, he understood the importance of being true to himself, and being straightforward, and he had his own special definition of the trustworthiness he offered the world. “Well, I say that if you say you are going to do something, and you don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness.”

It was this absolute conviction that if he believed something was right, then it must be right, that enabled him to shrug off the insults of his foes and point out that “they misunderestimated me”. And they did. He was elected not once, but twice; he made a huge and lasting impact on world affairs; and in spite of all these virtues he is currently in danger of going down as the worst president in the history of America.

A poll of US historians reveals that 61 per cent currently offer him that accolade. They deem him worse than James Buchanan, who presided over the drift to civil war; they rate him lower than the fabulously slothful Warren Harding; they rate him lower than Richard Nixon. When Dubya waves for the last time from the White House lawn, there will be a global fusillade of raspberries.

With his catastrophic war in Iraq, we will be told, he managed to discredit the idea of American democracy around the world and, by allowing the banks to get out of control, he has managed to officiate at the moral collapse of capitalism itself.

Those are the twin charges, and though his defenders will point out that there have been no terrorist attacks on America since September 11, and that he gave far more aid to Africa than Clinton, those are the charges that will stick. Dubya may plead that the final verdict on Iraq will take time, and that future historians may be kinder, but the overwhelming opinion of the British public is that he is a cross-eyed Texan warmonger who triggered the credit crunch.

And, therefore, without wishing to defend G W Bush, I want to enter an important qualification. Yes, he did lead the coalition to topple Saddam, and was, therefore, implicated in the loss of tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives. But at every stage he did so with the messianic support of Tony Blair, and the tacit approval of Gordon Brown; and when it came to persuading a reluctant public of the threat posed by Iraq, it should never be forgotten that the Labour Party and their spin doctors were far more ruthless and duplicitous than the White House.

And, yes, there is no doubt that the Bush administration, like the Clinton administration, is partly to blame for the sub-prime scandal.

But it wasn’t George Bush who allowed Northern Rock to collapse, a failure that preceded the collapse of Lehman’s; and it wasn’t Bushonomics that saddled Britain with the colossal borrowings that will so exacerbate the recession.

Whatever the charges that can be made against Bush they can be made, in spades, against the Labour Government. Bush may have beaten all comers in his joyful mangling of English, but you could not say that when it came to political ineptitude he was in a league of his own. Oh, no. For all his eight years in office, that premier league of incompetence was occupied by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

[First published in the Daily Telegraph on 12 January 2009 under the heading, ‘George W Bush was not alone in the premier league of bungling.’]

83 thoughts on “Goodbye to George Bush”

  1. George Bush is absolutely hilarious, if you ignore the results of his actions. One terribly funny time was when a reporter asked him if with hindsight, would have done anything differently in the Iraqi war. His mind was a blank, and there was a huge silence, and then he said “I am sure I will think of something” and there was another huge long silence and in the end, he just didn’t say anything at all.

  2. Tony Blair, misguided though he was, could at least turn a situation to his advantage with a witty quip.

    Not only has Gordon Brown tacitly approved the Iraqi war, (and how much better would we be off if TB and GB had refused to aid the US), wrecked our economy, strangled us with politicial correctness, flooded the country with unregulated immigration, and shamefully neglected our armies, HE ISN’T EVEN FUNNY.

  3. “But at every stage he did so with the messianic support of Tony Blair, and the tacit approval of Gordon Brown” …..and the Conservative Party……

  4. Mel, I might have this wrong, but wasn’t George W. Bush a jock? You know, he got into Yale because he was such a good football player, and they can be quite dumb and still get in, because Yalies like their football teams to win.

    I will check it out. Still, brownie points for your intellectual challenge of the Maestro, we should all do that more often.

  5. John, the Tories did initially support the war, but i can’t believe that any Tory leader would have been Bush’s poodle, like Blair.

    An inspection of the horoscopes of tony Blair and George W. Bush shows that they were so fond of each other, they actually could have been lovers. I am not suggesting any impropriety obviously, but it probably was there, bubbling away under the surface, while they both strutted around in denial.

  6. Hi Boris

    Very funny blog on Bush’s exit – so true – but as usual, beautifully written and so very funny – but Bush was a joke – but look what a mess he has left everything in – especially the World – but its okay ‘cos Gordon is saving that for us!

    Great blog! You have made my day today.

    with regards and respect!

  7. Mel, then again, he made it to be President, so what did that take? In a book I read by American screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, it said George W. Bush Jr. was always extremely tough, far tougher and more ruthless than his father. He ran wild as a boy, drinking, womanising, taking drugs, not taking anything seriously and his younger brother Jeb was the one the family expected to make it in politics. Underneath it all, George Jr. was the ruthless one though and one day he heard Billy Graham and turned to Jesus Christ. When he finally got his act together, he showed an instinctive understanding of how to be a “good ol’ boy” which appealed to the American male electorate and he also formulated a persona that appealed to American women.

    Another factor in his success was his use of negative campaigning, (picked up by Alastair Campbell apparently.) There was no foul lie that George Jr. would not spread to psyche out an opponent, particularly John McCain just after Bill Clinton ceased to be the President. Initially John McCain was looking good to get the Republican nomination, but then George Jr. started to spread stories about him that he had been a junkie in vietnam, that he had lied about his war record, had illegitimate kids, the most awful things about his wife…. In the end George Jr. prevailed and he wiped McCain out. He may not have the intellect, but he has instincts and the necessary ruthlessness.

    This book, written in a lurid journalistic style, with tons of juicy scurrilous detail about the Clintons, the Lewinsky scandal, Al Gore, the Bush family,and loads more, is an absolutely amazing read. I got it over the internet, because you can’t get it here. Title is AMERICAN RHAPSODY by Joe Eszterhas. (You can read ALL about Bill Clinton and Sharon).

    (Eszterhas wrote the screenplay for Basic Instinct, but also more reputable screenplays, like MUSIC BOX, about a female Hungarian lawyer who defends her father against charges of alleged war crimes.)

  8. Yes but No but !…It’s not just the clown is it ?…what about the “administration”…Rumsfeld / Cheney and countless minions . Thank God it’s over , let’s move on .

  9. Joe Eszterhas also wrote his own autobiography, Hollywood Animal, and is an acquaintance of a couple of my friends. Let me just say: It is wise to familiarize yourself with individuals before idolizing them.

    Also, Bravo, Boris! You certainly know how to kick a man when he’s down and certainly none have deserved it more. But when it came to persuading a reluctant public of the threat posed by Iraq, it should never be forgotten that some prominent British politicians who shall not be named, but who have been known to churn out a column or two, may have been involved in the process somewhere.

    I don’t know. I only know what I read in the paper.

  10. RAINCOASTER, what on earth makes you think I idolise Joe Eszterhas? Of course I have read HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL, I know exactly what he is like. That doesn’t stop me thinking that AMERICAN RHAPSODY is a very entertaining read, but where you get that I idolise him from beats me!

  11. Raincoaster, you have annoyed me now. just because Joe Eszterhas has done drink, drugs, and had more p…. than Frank Sinatra, doesn’t take away from the fact that he has done some very good work. MUSIC BOX with Jessica Lange, is a very serious, good film, so is BETRAYED with Deborah Winger. He may have given the devil his due by writing BASIC INSTINCT, but even SHOW GIRLS has its merits. It is kitsch and I never laughed so hard in my life.

    The end of HOLLYWOOD ANIMAL, when he conquers throat cancer, brings up his four beautiful children, falls totally in love with his second wife and finds God is actually very inspiring/

    I bet Boris Johnson would enjoy reading AMERICAN RHAPSODY, becaused he likes funny writing and wouldn’t be a prude about the racy bits.

    Raincoaster, you are v. patronising at times, if you apologise, I will accept it.

  12. This would be hilarious if it wasn’t soooo gaddamn serious!! I cant believe how this idiot even got to be president in the first place. What an appalling man. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
    Can’t wait for Obama to take the reins.

    Nice one Boris – you hit the nail on several heads there matey!!!!

  13. Raincoaster, I know it wasn’t intended as kitsch! I’m not dumb you know! It was a dreadful film, which inadvertantly became a cult hit because of its sleaze. You have to admit, some of the scenes are hilarious in their crude awfulness!

    OK Eszterhas has written some lulus…. JADE: tramp gets off on cheating and killing her lovers. SLIVER; a peeping tom bumps off sluts. MALE PATTERN BALDNESS: I passed.

    The tragedy is, he is capable of very good writing. AMERICAN RHAPSODY is definitely worth a read, there is an amazing chapter on Larry Flynt! Apparently he has now gone back to journalism with some success and MUSIC BOX is an excellent film. (JAGGED EDGE was quite successful as well.)

  14. SEXIST JOKE OF THE WEEK.

    Me: Isn’t it great that Kate Winslett won two Golden Globes.
    Male friend: She already had two Golden Globes.

    (Sorry Kate).

  15. According to the Eszterhas book, George Jr. is so tough and ruthless because he takes after his mother, not his father. His mother’s knickname is The Terminator.

  16. “To have an African-American president must be a wonderful thing if you are that part of that section of this country”

    John Howard – recent Australian Prime Minister and best mate of George Dubya

  17. George wasn`t the first to mangle the language with malapropisms. Remember his father`s Vice President, Dan Quale. Maybe they are both dyslexic. But then we learn today from an MP, there is no such thing. Sid

  18. Raincoaster said: “Let me just say: It is wise to familiarize yourself with individuals before idolizing them.”

    Oh so so true.

    Also, Bravo, Boris! You certainly know how to kick a man when he’s down and certainly none have deserved it more.

    And true again! Although Blair and Brown do run a close second. I’ve grouped them together like Batman and robbing. It seems right somehow.

  19. Well I don’t buy into this ‘George Dubya is thick’ thing for one minute. I think his core vote are pretty thick, but that also applies to New Labour.

    We might take it for granted that Blair sounded like he could string a sentence together, but he probably sounded like a pompous British homosexual in the deep south.

    At the end of the day Bush is Texan, he comes across like an all-American, cool as cucumber, Texan. He’s the sort of guy you’d drink a few Buds with. What self-respecting rural American would seriously want to shoot pool with Al Gore?

    Then look at some of the rubbish Brown has said over the years too:

    “We won’t allow house prices to get out of control”

    “No more boom and bust”

    He’s still at it, trying to blame everyone but him and his cronies with his “do nothing” jibes at the Tories and his broken record stance on the “global financial crisis” “that started in America”.

    His sidekick Vadera, who the BBC laughably big up as some kind of high-flying investment banking hotshot, was actually his pet advisor at the Treasury from 1999 to 2007, and according to her BERR CV spent the entire credit bubble advising Gordon on ‘city issues’.

    Again, she comes across as an intelligent and articulate woman, but she talks absolute tosh, meant for the consumption of gullible Labour voters.

    To be honest, I reckon Bush knew exactly what he doing throughout the ‘War on Terror’, the man is a charlatan and rich enough not to care what happens to the US economy.

    Brown and his little pet city guru on the other hand had obviously no idea what was going on or any clue how to manage the worlds 4th largest economy, and whilst they probably had the best of intentions made a complete and utter hash of everything, whilst still managing to talk as much bollocks as Dubya.

  20. Boris,

    If I must trade a silver tongue for a steely, rifled barrel, and for the courage to man it that a great deal of the world currently lacks, then I will – and I’ll do it 100 times over without regret.

    May our next President defend the West – which, at last count, still includes your relatively unconcerned, milquetoast island – with the same resolve demonstrated by our outgoing President.

    I pray that we in the United States might continue to have a strong backbone to lend and that you folks in the United Kingdom might continue to have one to borrow.

  21. StevenL
    Excellent points as always and I like your analysis and views >the man is a charlatan and rich enough not to care what happens to the US economy.

    Melissa

  22. Jaq I am very familiar with Joe Eszterhas and I don’t idolise him AT ALL. So that point was totally ludicrous. How do I idolise him by saying one of his films was good and a book he had written was well written? [Ed: let’s let the matter rest here and go on to better topics – cheers!]

  23. Another funny Bush comment. On the David Letterman show, just after Letterman had had a quintuple bypass, Dave asked George Jr.

    “What does it mean that you are a uniter not a divider?”

    George Jr. replied

    “That means when it comes time to sew up your chest, we use stitches instead of opening it up, is what that means!”

    HUH?

  24. “Baroness Vadera made the “green shoots” comment, didn’t she?” (angela)

    In fairness it was a loaded question she was asked. Nevertheless, it caused a mini crisis in the bunker and a smiling Peter Mandleson was wheeled out to defend her on newsnight.

    The fact that one of Brown’s inner circle making an embarrassing gaffe has been seen as more important by the opposition, the media and the PM than asking the question whether or not she is actually up to the job of managing 5 nationalised or semi-nationalised banks is worrying to say the least.

  25. Change of subject, if I may. While bullying Russian communists were attacking and bombing Georgia, killing thounsands and thounsands of innocent people and destroying almost most of the Georgia country, nobody even batted an eyelid for fear of the Russian communist bullies. Yet, now the same people- the EU, Labour, Brown, Milliband, the wasteful left-leaning biased BBC… are criticizing and demanding Israel to stop attacking Gaza where the Hamas terrorists have been launching at least 60 bombs a day over the border wall into Israel killing innocent people from. And the current so-called-trendy anti-Israel marches everywhere!!! Shame on the cowardy West!

  26. Steven, don’t they think anyway that she isn’t up to the job? I thought she had received quite severe criticisms from the Tories before.

  27. Angela I have no idea what you’re alluding to but I’m more than happy to follow ‘Ed’s advice:

    To be honest, I reckon Bush knew exactly what he doing throughout the ‘War on Terror’, the man is a charlatan and rich enough not to care what happens to the US economy.

    Brown and his little pet city guru on the other hand had obviously no idea what was going on or any clue how to manage the worlds 4th largest economy, and whilst they probably had the best of intentions made a complete and utter hash of everything, whilst still managing to talk as much bollocks as Dubya.” – StevenL

    So good I had to read it twice.

  28. “I thought she [Baroness Vadera] had received quite severe criticisms from the Tories before.” (angela)

    Has she? I follow politics and I haven’t seen any, let alone enough. Now they’ve achieved inroads however, I hope they don’t stop scrutinising her every move, past, present and future – because she’s really the one pulling your purse strings in this day and age!

  29. Although Bush doesn’t have much of a way with words, he certainly did know what he was doing in the war on terror. As an American, not some trendy liberal socialist the New York Times found in the village, I can say that I feel safer because of George W. Bush’s actions during the past 8 years. Because of his policies, there has not been a single terrorist attack carried out on US soil.

    As for the current financial crisis, it may have happened during Bush’s presidency but certainly not BECAUSE of it. For example, the government backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were out of control, and the Republicans in Congress tried for years to reinstitute regulations to prevent them from handing out and securitizing bad mortgages. Unfortunately, the Democrats in Congress blocked any attempts to reform these institutions. And look who benefited: Barrack Obama, John Kerry, and other Democrat leadership received campaign donations from those CEOs…all while the American people and, consequently, many other financial markets paid the price.

    If anything, Bush may mangle the English language, but he certainly knows how to win a war and put more money back in my pocket. I say Thank you George W. Bush.

  30. I’m pretty sure she has received criticism from George Osborne. I will research and see if I can find anything.

  31. I know that the Tories have criticised her for tactlessness for describing the Railtrack private shareholders as “grannies”. I thought George O. had had a go at one stage, but can’t find a link.

  32. About anti-Israel marches: Last week, one anti-Israel march spilled into a Marks & Spencer branch in Bristol, UK ( why?!! ) causing great mayhem inside the shop, the police were called and after the marchers had left the store, the shop staff noticed that several items of clothing had mysteriously disappeared from the coat-hangers. Cunning marchers!

  33. “Last week, one anti-Israel march spilled into a Marks & Spencer branch in Bristol, UK ( why?!! ) …” (angela)

    They are conducting a campaign of economic terrorism in solidarity with their friends Hamas. Read the posts on this board and see for yourself.

    http://tinyurl.com/9va4rn

    “They caused a direct cost to a direct funder of the right-wing Israeli regime. Bristol Council are completely powerless to do anything, even if they wanted to…” (From the above link)

    The Marchers were addressed by Kerry McCarthy MP (Labour), Trade Unionists and Islamic preachers.

  34. Correction: Kerry McCarthy MP did not address the March (though she had stated on her blog she planned to). According to one marcher she ‘made excuses and left’.

  35. Well I can’t claim familiarity with the quaint local figures you’re discussing, but I have heard Jeb Bush’s opinion of his brother, caught on tape and it is in accordance with the general consensus: that George W. Bush is as dumb as a rock. If you read The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, and you put that together with what William S. Burroughs said, you’ll understand that the ideal political person (from the party point of view) is a vaguely charismatic robot who takes orders well. History will confirm this is what George W. Bush brought to the White House, perhaps in greater abundance than any predecessor.

  36. As long as my comments are being held for moderation I might as well pile on.

    StevenL, you say that Brown’s

    “We won’t allow house prices to get out of control”
    and
    “No more boom and bust”
    are ridiculous.

    How does “Mission Accomplished!” sound to you?

    [Hi, Raincoaster. Saw this and doublechecked Spam and menus – nothing at all from you awaiting approval. Ed]

  37. Raincoaster, I’ve read THE RIGHT STUFF. Is George Bush in that? (JOKE). Seriously, what was the bit about the ideal political people, all I remember is the space story.

  38. “How does “Mission Accomplished!” sound to you?” (raincoaster)

    It was a gaffe, but they were declaring “major combat operations are over” which was true.

    The ‘war’ had finished, the USA had taken control of Iraq and organised Iraqi sovereign military resistance had been defeated.

    France was not formally at war with Germany in 1941, they had surrendered, major combat operations in France were over as far as Germany was concerned, yet the French resistance continued to fight the Germans with support from the United Kingdom.

    There was a lot of resistence in Iraq to the US occupation, some of it supported by other soveriegn powers and terrorist groups. These however, were not ‘major combat operations’ of the kind that happened between NATO and Iraqi forces in the weeks prior to the ‘mission accompished’ gaffe.

  39. RE: Anti-Israel march spilling into Marks&Spencer shop in Bristol, UK and conveniently shop-lifting at the same time.

    ” They were trying to cause a direct cost to a direct funder of the right-wing Israelis regime… ” ???

    Trying to ruin our British economy? Why???!!! Because most of them are unemployed and on several different benefits, not having to go to work, hence they have plenty of time to go marching and shoplifting at the same time ( how convenient!!! ) THEY ARE BITING THE HANDS THAT FEED THEM. What a stupid and cunning bunch!

  40. Shop lifting is absolutely rife now. In the M. and S. store at Marble Arch, they can’t display cashmere near the exits, because professional thieves pick their time, then run in, grab an armful of cashmere and leg it. They chain the cashmere now. The dodges people get up to in changing rooms are amazing… bringing in old sweaters and handing them back on hangers, while wearing the new ones, switching labels, all sorts of things. And food is a big item to be nicked now. Steaks, bottles of wine, my local store tells me people even nick eggs out of cartons – you get the carton home and there are only four eggs not six.

  41. You are so right in regard to your comments, however who is the bigger fool, “Dubya” or those who accepted every single year of his office without physically removing the man from his station.
    May I also say that you were brilliant on the “Andrew Marr” programme this morning.Yep, I rarely have the opportunity to spend time on “Bloggs” so this comment is rather late but still topical.
    Well, only two more days and perhaps a new era will evolve with common sense prevailing.
    We live on one world and breath one air yet cannot live in harmony; Destroying all that our planet has to offer us through greed, selfishness and perhaps fear that others will dominate with more frightening results.
    Many who think the same way as you, and as I see it, Obama is one, have historically been subdued or even erased because of their positive thinking and attempted actions intended to be for the good of mankind.
    I sincerely hope there is positive change afoot and both you and Barac bring stability to and reduce poverty on this beautiful orb that provides a base for a miniscule existence.
    Well done Boris, you bring a much wanted and needed level of common sense coupled with a little light hearted banter to the table.
    You speak the same language as the vast, unheard majority, please don’t join the minority when you lead us, “not into temptation and deliver us from evil”, I’m not that religious, but, Amen!

  42. Graeme, I loved your post and totally agree with you.

    What I am going to say now is the signal for all my friends to fall about laughing and say Oh God can’t you shut up, not that again, but you really should see the film THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL. The message of this film is exactly the same as that expressed in your post, why cannot we protect this beautiful planet and live in peace, respect and harmony with each other!

  43. “And food is a big item to be nicked now.” (ros)

    You can tell a lot about a particular area by what the local Tesco affixes security tags to. My local store seems to tag any bottle of drink or joint of meat worth £10 or more. Razor blades and nicotine patches are also high on the thieve’s agenda.

    I reckon the way to deal with shoplifting would be to microchip convicted shoplifters, so they set off an alarm if they enter any store that signs up to the technology. Every week they would have to report to the local nick and swipe themselves to prove they haven’t removed it. Missing your appointment without good reason would earn you a weekend in the cells.

    It’d cost a bit (including building new cells to keep them all in, but they’d serve a dual purpose, allowing the polices to lock up drunks for breach of the peace and bang them before the mags court first thing on Monday morning) but shoplifting costs us billions every year anyway.

    First offence and you are tagged for a year.

  44. RE: ” People even nick eggs out of cartons – you get the carton home and there are only four eggs not six. ”

    So where do they hide those 2 nicked eggs? Must be male shop-lifters and they hide those 2 nicked eggs in their ” lunch boxes ” !!!

    RE: Why can’t people live in peace and harmony?

    Well, I have heard people say this many times: Why can’t we live in peace and harmony? We are the same human beings, we breath the same air, we should protect our planet and respect each other

    Live in peace? While Russian communists were attacking Georgia, nobody in the west dared say a word. You know why? Because Germany told the EU not to interfere. You know why? Because Germany is Moscow’s biggest trading partner. Russian trade is particularly important to sectors such as the German machinery industry which has boosted exports to Russia fivefold. Now the Russian communists have turned off their gas supply to the west and eastern europe, the west has gone begging the Russian communists and now the EU ( including Russian ass-sucking Germany! ) are saying that UK must supply eastern Europe with her own oil. What a joke.

    Finland HAS TO IMPORT certain amounts of silver birch wood ( logs for fuel ) from Russia and pay in US dollars in exchange for Russia’s security protection ( in exchange for Russia not to invade her more like ! ), even though Finland has far too much silver birch wood even for her country’s own use and Finland can not even export her own silver birch logs to any countries as silver birch wood is not good as fuel because it burns too fast! And 30 Kilometres inwards inside Finland from the Russian border, only Finnish local farmers whose lands have been there for generations are allowed to live there- whenever they have visitors who come from outside this zone, they have to inform the Russian border authorities beforehand for ” Russia’s borders security “. All this I learned from watching Michael Palin’s travel shows on the telly. Palin filmed a Russian boat loaded with silver birch logs tugging along the river into Finland and he exclaimed: ” UNBELIEVABLE !!! ”

    Protect our beautiful planet, global warming… ? Well, since Al Gore failed at the US election with Bill Clinton, he has been making millions and millions of dollars for himself getting involved with global warming issues- talks, books, films… The UK local councils pay China big money- taxpayer’s money- to take in UK’s trash which has been sorted out nicely by UK householders because the councils don’t know what to do with it!!!

    I have heard that Tony Blair has been doing a roaring trade being paid huge fees giving speeches about how to stop global warming! They say flat screen TVs consume more electricity. Yet the MPs have been busy claiming money to buy big screen TVs and now Labour say MPs don’t have to show the annual total claims in details, just the annual total claim are enough.

    You will never have peace as long as an individual or a nation think of their own interest first.

    The only thing I like about Al Gore is the rumour that his picture on the Rolling Stone magazine’s cover had to be air-brushed because his big lunch-box looked too obvious. Even after the air-brushing, it still looks very prominent! Oh well, nobody is perfect…

    Google: GERMAN TRADE WITH RUSSIA

    Google: AL GORE ON ROLLING STONE MAG COVER

  45. Blimey! Thanks Angela for your comments and Bee for a first class resume of why we cannot have what we want.
    With this in mind I am amazed that whilst those who smoke, ALL adhere regimentally to the “no smoking in public places” directive; the “powers that be” cannot control our “Lenders” and “Investment Houses” despite a “Financial Services Authority” incidently protecting us since circa 1987 in one form or another. As “It’s them n us again” lets hope Boris stays with “US” and Barac recognises the initials!!!

  46. “The only thing I like about Al Gore is the rumour that his picture on the Rolling Stone magazine’s cover had to be air-brushed because his big lunch-box looked too obvious”- bee

    Airbrushed by Rolling Stone?

  47. Cos I meant to say, I thought they played up that sort of thing. (unless you mean his actual lunchbox. For his sandwiches).

  48. Steven, seriously, you don’t LOOK at your eggs in the carton before you buy them? That clarifies a great deal; in particular, why you have such respect for George W. Bush’s intellect.

  49. Mr. Holloway, as my writing is not very good quality which makes me feel frustrated as I do enjoy debating with educated people.

    Angela, LUNCH-BOX, Angela. Every man has a lunch-box; big or small depending on their genes. Now you know, hopefully. Well, Al Gore’s lunch-box was air-brushed by the Rolling Stone Magazine. Although I don’t know if this magazine has anything to do with Mick Jagger’s The Rolling Stone rock band at all.

    Heard about Royal Bank of Scotland lending £2.5Billion to a Russian “billionaire” to build up his business who is now facing bankruftcy? And guess what- RBS wrote off his deft of £2.5Billion, even though this man still owns a £41Million mansion in central London and a grand apartment overlooking Central Park in NY, US.

    As Labour has bailed this bank out, they have the right to call in auditors to look at the bank’s books and the bank’s bosses tried the hide this £2.5 write-off from the auditors!

    Google: RBS WRITE OFF £2.5B LOAN TO RUSSIAN BILLIONAIRE

  50. Bee – sadly the size of a man’s ‘lunch-box’ is no indicator as to the size of a man’s intellect or worth as a person. Unfortunately it’s no indicator as to the man’s worth in the bedroom either. *sigh* Owning a Sherman tank doesn’t mean the man knows how to drive it!

    Raincoaster has amazed me – Gearge Bush has intellect? He kept that one quiet.

  51. [Ed: inappropriate language] BUSH is a menace to humanity. The people of America have been taken for a ride [Ed: inappropriate]

  52. All the comedians will bemoan the loss of George W. Jr. because they had such fun imitating him. What will they do when David cameron becomes PM? Nobody can impersonate him, Rory Bremner has failed miserably. Rory has managed to catch that mannerism when he pokes his tongue through his teeth, which is typically DC.

  53. Jaq: Well girl, where are you going with this diatribe? “Performance” is a two way street and the contents of a “lunch box” whether food or otherwise have to be needed, tempting and consumable or discarded. This reminds me of a joke:- How many Physciatrists does it it take to change a light bulb? Only one BUT the light bulb has got to want to change!!
    Performance is similar, however good, it has to be appreciated and wanted or it will never improve due to a lack of esteem. Is that too deep?
    I only took this two day break to complete my “Tax on line” which I can assure you, “is taxing”. I am therefore thankful for the light relief this blog affords and am pleased I logged in.

  54. i don’t know about you, Jaq; but me, if I see a good looking man my judgement seems to sway, and maybe that is my downfall. I mean, I’m not very keen on W right now, but yesterday I saw Bush’s photo in the paper sitting on a Texas hospital bed, holding his newly born twins, he had thick, black wavy hair, dark chest hairs poking through his hospital-supplied -visitor’s V-necked shirt, looking at the camera with his meek eyes… Oh, my. He looked just like a young Clint Eastwood!

    In supermarkets, I always try to glance at good looking male shoppers; just above their knees, you know …

  55. Diatribe, Mr Halloway? What diatribe? Merely an observation, Sir. Is that too deep? (ohh if only..)

    You are welcome here, Mr Halloway. Don’t let finishing your tax form stop you popping by now?!

    By the way Mr Halloway, are you a religious man? Have you read the Song of Solomon? Try up to 2:7 (NIV) for starters “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

  56. i don’t know about you, Jaq; but me, if I see a good looking man my judgement seems to sway, and maybe that is my downfall.

    With you there, Bee. It’s an affliction.

  57. Entertaining though it was to listen to George W. Jr’s verbal slipups, he was also the most disastrous, destructive US President ever. Which President was worse than him? Richard Nixon looks positively saintly by comparison. All Nixon did was tape everybody’s conversations, mastermind a bit of breaking and entering, (or his aides did….the extent of Nixon’s involvement is speculation) and he had to resign. He had many successes with his foreign policy, but he still had to resign.

    Bill Clinton’s fling with intern Monica Lewinsky and his subsequent fibbing, seem trivial now compared to the havoc created by Bush Jr. although there were also financial scandals for Clinton. Anything worthwhile that Clinton achieved is forgotten – we only remember his womanising and his mistake with Monica. Clinton was impeached, but how bad for the country were his affairs really?

    Herbert Hoover (1929-1938) is supposed to be one of the least successful US Presdents ever but part of his failure was due to circumstances beyond his control. He presided over a huge economic collapse.

    James Buchanan (1857-1861) left the office of President with a tarnished reputation. The Civil War was not of his making, but his administration made it more probable – he was pro slavery. His presidency demonstrated the harm that can result when great talent and experience are shackled to a personality unsuited to office.

    On paper he was schooled in diplomacy and public affairs, but when States began to leave the Union, he seemed immobilised. Far too rigid to listen to a wider range of opinions, he relied on the council of a few close friends who were southerners. Buchanan thus dumped on his successor, Abraham Lincoln, the unresolved issues that would ignite the Civil War.

    arren G. Harding usually has a place on everyone’s who was the worst President list. (1921-1923). He had a limited intellect and minimal leadership skills. He was involved in corruption charges and there was news of a sensational love affair and illegitimate child, details of which became public after his death.

    There may be some incompetents in the above list and some who made huge mistakes, but none of them has harmed the reputation of the Unted States to the extent that George W. Bush Jr. has. Because of him, America has been despised and hated. How could Tony Blair be so blind as to ally himself unquestioningly with such a reprehensible, blinkered, selfish, irresponsible human being? Laughs? The laughs ran out. In terms of causing human suffering, George W. Jr. is in a league of his own.

  58. I agree it is unbelievable the lengths that Tony Blair went to in supporting George Bush Jr. Gordon Brown must have been in total agreement. Does anyone recall even the slightest murmur of protest from Brown, did he make a speech urging caution, let alone resign, like Robin Cooke? Not a peep!

    The cost in terms of human life and human suffering should also be laid at the feet of Blair and Brown, as should the responsibility for our fiscal collapse. Don’t tell me we would not be miles better off if they had not spent billions doing America’s bidding in Iraq.

    Yes, Gordon Brown should also shoulder the blame as well as Blair, and they will both go down in history as two of the most disastrous Prime Ministers we have ever had. Probably THE most disastrous.

  59. George W Bush is gone into the abyss where he belongs with the rest of his stupid,backward far right wing bible bashing red neck fools.
    It may have escaped the attention of many warmongers in the world who supported the invasion of iraq,and slaughter of its civilians,that the world was really begining to make real progress until we had to watch the worlds most advanced
    space aged weapons reign down on woman and children in what is to all intents and purposes a defenceless nation in relation to americas might…oh yes how brave the bush administration was.
    America must now realize that its leaders have not got the political education required to police the world…those reins must now be handed back to those who can…the U.N.
    p.s is dubya not a war criminal…he should be tried in the hague.
    What is the price of a barrel of oil…190,000 dead iraq,is,and a world in turmoil.

  60. P.S DID DUBYA MANAGE TO MAKE ENOUGH DOLLORS IN OIL MONEY FOR THOSE WHO PUT HIM IN POWER…I ONLY HOPE SO,OTHERWISE GOD ONLY KNOWS WHOS NEXT.
    BUSH,CHANEY,RICE,RUMSFELD…THE WORLDS GREATEST AXIS OF SKULL AND BONES EVIL…SHAME ALL OF YOU…A DISGRACE TO DEMOCRACY.

  61. HAVING SAID ALL THAT I STILL THINK BUSH AND BLAIR ARE THE BEST DUO SINCE LAUREL AND HARDY…LIKE THOSE TOO PEOPLE WILL STILL LAUGH AT THEM IN A HUNDRED YEARS TIME…THERE STUPIDY WILL NEVER BE OUTDATED.
    IS THERE ANY CHANCE OF TONY,CHERI,GEORGE AND LAUREL COULD DO THE CHARLSTON TOGETHER FOR D.V.D,…WE COULD SEND THE PROCEEDS TO THE ORPHANED CHILDREN OF IRAQ,AND THE KIDS OF THE AMERICAN AND BRITISH SERVICEMEN WHO LOST THERE LIVES…
    PERHAPS DUBYA AND DADDY COULD DIP INTO THERE VAST FORTUNE TO HELP AS WELL,THE OIL BARONS WILL MAKE A NET PROFIT IN TIME,FOR THERE CRUSADE AGAINST HUMANITY.

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