Tuesday, 30 November 2010

The art of Diplomacy. The wrong end of the stick?

DIPLOMACY: statesmanship, international negotiation, statecraft, tact, artfulness, craft, delicacy, discretion, finesse, savoir-faire, skill, and subtlety.

DIPLOMAT: negotiator, conciliator, go-between, mediator, moderator, politician, public relations expert, tactician.

DIPLOMATIC: tactful, adept, discreet, polite, politic, prudent, sensitive, subtle.

The above adjective and 2 nouns sum up the subtle meanings of diplomacy. Antonyms include: awkwardness, clumsiness, ineptness, tactlessness, thoughtlessness. - Impolitic, insensitive, rude, tactless, thoughtless, undiplomatic, unsubtle.
American Diplomats, and some others, have got the wrong end of the stick. They appear to be doing the exact opposite of what diplomacy requires, and they still expect to be loved?!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Julian takes on the U S of A

It takes some guts to take on an entire nation single handedly, the most powerful nation in the world!
Julian Assange, an Australian, launched his not -for - profit whistle blowing media organisation Wikileaks in 2006 to bring important information to the public. Wikileaks slogan is, "We open Governments". He has no home, he stays with friends around the world, dyes his hair, always pays by cash, lives in airports, constantly on the alert, he moves in the shadows. He has received several awards notably The International Award for exposing extra judicial assassinations in Kenya. The Americans label him an anti -American agitator of the worst kind, and suggest he endangers the lives of countless individuals. they would wouldn't they? Assange offered the White House and Pentagon an opportunity to redact material to protect innocent lives , but this was rebuffed at every stage, thus Wikileaks has chosen to pursue its own redactions. Governments are afraid. They prefer to live under a stone where they can hide their worst excesses. Comments about Putin, Merkel, Sarkozy, etc, may be embarrassing, but are to be expected, don't we all harbor variations on these thoughts? It's the larger cover ups, the corruption, the cruelty, the criminality that should be exposed, dragging this into the light is what Julian Assange and Wikileaks is all about. "You're a greater man than I am Gunga Din". Rudyard Kipling 1892.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Ed Miliband goes for ' The Squeezed Middle'.

Edward Miliband the new leader of the soon to be renewed New Labour party has decided to plump for the 'Squeezed Middle'. The trouble is, that he seems uncertain where the 'Squeezed Middle' actually is. With his left wing family background one would think he'd be plumping for the 'Squeezed Bottom', but being, of course, an ambitious career politician he aims for the greater number of voters. While he was baby cooing, changing nappies these last weeks in his fashionable London house he will have been conducting high powered breakfast think tanks over the toast and marmalade, formulating those 'magic words' 'the Squeezed Middle'! How hard was that?
Politicians are so disingenuous aren't they? - Margaret Thatcher's 'This lady's not for turning' she thought was a triumphant phrase, Macmillan's 'You've never had it so good' only managed to infuriate everyone, Tebbitt's 'Get on Your Bike' was an extreme turn off. Tony Blair, that cheap two-faced vaudeville act and his 'Peoples' Princess' was sick making. Now we have the slogan 'Big Society' from Cameron (who should know better), and most recently Mr. Milibands's incomprehensible (even to him) 'Squeezed Middle'. Politicians are so disingenuous aren't they? How stupid do they really think we are? Remember, Ed's just a new stag on the block.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Our happiness? Politicians only pretend to care.

The Greek word 'eudaimonia' is often translated as meaning 'happiness', 'joy', or human flourishing', - The art of being able to compromise with the real world, free from anxiety. The path to 'eudaimonia' was 'ataraxia', and 'ataraxia' means equilibrium. To attain this state one must have control over one's emotions. Diverging philosophies, the Epicureans, the Stoics, and the Sceptics wrestled with the art of 'how to live well'. In his Essays, the wise French man Michel de Montaigne lays out quite clearly his methods for living a 'good life'. "We should have wife, children, goods, and above all health, if we can: but we must not bind ourselves to them so strongly that our happiness depends on them. We must reserve a back shop all our own...."
The society we live in now disavows almost every aspect of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and scepticism. We have to have even more discipline in our lives if we wish to 'reserve the back shop for ourselves' that Montaigne sought in the 16th century. We are 24/24 bombarded with the gruesome details of an outside world, we cannot escape. But escape we must. We must try to step back if we are ever to achieve even a modicum of happiness.
Politicians say they are interested in our happiness, they seek our vote. Politicians and happiness just don't mix!

Friday, 26 November 2010

The Euro - who wants it?

It was in the interests of France and Germany to lock themselves and subsequently a number of other ill fated smaller European countries into the restrictive and binding currency - the Euro. The idea was originally muted as early as 1929 by Gustav Stresemann but it wasn't until 1989 that France extracted German commitment to reunification, and then President Delors put forward a three point plan which laid out the path to the EMU. The euro was finally launched Jan 1 1999, and became legal tender Jan 1 2002 when it replaced the old national currencies. 12 of 15 European countries are now members.
Greece succeeded in getting clearance to join the euro on Jan 1 2001 by faking its deficit figures. 4 Smaller countries have joined 2005-2009, and Estonia is likely to join 2011.
Ireland joined Jan 1 2005. It is predominantly Ireland and Greece who are now feeling the strain due to the effects of bad economy and bad monetary policies. Ireland and Greece may leave the euro in 2011. Spain, Portugal and Belgium are also in trouble! The wonderful dream for joint European currency was an idea probably sketched out on the back of an envelope by a politician. It would enmesh countries who had totally differing ways of doing things, totally different cultures. It was a ridiculous dream. At first Greece and Ireland had plenty of money to spare, in fact they were awash with money.They behaved like children in a sweetie shop, corruption was rife,and now all the money has gone! Britain is deeply embroiled in the fate of the euro, so we are having to bail out Ireland - (at the moment). Germany ploughs ahead calling the shots, dragging the French poodle behind it. France's moment will come! They too have, and are, spending far far too much on their 'State' systems. What a relief Britain didn't join the Euro, - several of our politicians wanted to, including the 2 Clarkes. Anyway, we now have our own set of serious financial problems, largely due to a profligate Newlabour government who failed, under Brown to keep their eye on expenditure. Labour always leave the country in debt. This time they've done it good and proper!
I suggest a kindly action Britain could make to Greece. Return the Elgin Marbles forthwith! Neil Macgregor are you listening?!
As for Ireland, we are loaning them cash, couldn't the wealthy Irish in the great USofA be magnanimous and hand over money to help out, after all they were quick enough to do this when they wanted a unified Ireland.
Apologies for this blog, am no economist!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Blame Margaret Thatcher, then Newlabour

The trains are in a mess. Too many cars on the road. People don't want to travel in buses - except the needy and oaps who get their tickets free. Today we hear that there is going to be an increase in rolling stock - well - by 2019.
That grossly self serving man John Prescott promised, as minister of transport, to get things fixed. He would put the show on the road and public transport would be reborn! Railways would be brought back into public ownership, and oh, transport would be again as if Margaret Thatcher had never existed. Of course nothing of the sort has happened, and a succession of labour transport ministers have muddled along with the same increasingly complicated, incompetent, schizophrenic overcrowded and ultra expensive system. Are we to be saddled with high speed rail or not? We don't know. We know we can't afford it, and could it go the same way as the ill fated tram system in Edinburgh? Probably.
New labour promised the moon (they were all fake promises), now the coalition under the boot of the lobbyists promise other Shangrilas! A nationally owned well run integrated transport system shouldn't be too much to ask for. But when is the good of the British People ever taken into consideration?! Always too many vested interests barking in the wings. As long as mps and dignitaries can travel around in their chauffeur driven limousines, their first class train and upgraded plane seats, they will never experience the horrors of our 'public' transport system. If we could only turn the clock back to the days of a state run railway system. It wasn't perfect but it belonged to us, and we all had a stake in improving it. Margaret Thatcher has a lot to answer for!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

THE wedding gets tiresomer and tiresomer

Not into December yet and we are already being bombarded with inane news about the lovey dovey royals! They are to be married in Westminster Cathedral we hear. Cost will be about £5bn! How can a wedding possibly cost as much as 5bn?! I find this sum an obscene amount to spend on a wedding. AND, because it will take place on April 29th and the nation will be given a bank holiday near Easter (so that we can drink in the pageantry!) businesses will be closed for all but 3 days between April 22nd and May2nd. We must be living in a fool's paradise. The country has hit the buffers, the cupboard is bare, and we will be contributing a massive sum that we can't afford, to a marriage that will probably go the way of most marriages, down the drain. But fear not, Mr.and Mrs. Middleton,- the bride's parents, are going to chip in. I wonder how much of the £5bn they will be coughing up? Perhaps the dress and the cake? Today is the 24th of November, cheer up, only 5 months to go!
This wedding is going to get a whole lot more tiresome before it's over, such a consolation that the Prince and his fiancee are going to take complete control. You bet they are.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Ireland went mad in the sweetie shop

I suppose it is inevitable that Ireland will soon be blaming their financial 'difficulties' on the potato famine. There has been mention of cheese, but so far, not a word about potatoes. Ireland joined the dreaded euro club to become rich rich rich, and it did, for a while. The trouble is that the people went mad, and overspent in the sweetie shop. The beautiful Irish countryside became pock marked with dreary little houses, house prices went up and up and up. Cash was king for a while, and behind the scenes the banks were weaving their sorcery egged on by an ignorant greedy government. For several weeks the Irish government has been denying even the slightest possibility of asking the European Union for a loan. Now the die is cast and the final bailout could be as high as £85billion. Britain's contribution will be c£6 - £7.5 billion even though we are deep in debt ourselves. Our banks are inextricably linked with Irish banks, and Ireland is our top trading neighbour so it is obviously in our interest to put our best foot forward and help them. Ireland is totally against raising its rate of corporation tax from 12.5% (ours is currently 28%), but Merkel and Sarkozy are determined that Ireland should be forced to do this as part of the European loan deal. The German foot is now bearing down on the Irish throat, and the Irish have only themselves to blame.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday ruined by religion, and Balls, and Gove

Leaning over to switch on BBC radio 4 at c6am, and really looking forward to the tail end of the world service followed by the Today programme I am immediately reminded that today is Sunday - Ouch! and I am plunged into a temporary depression. We live in a secular society, the BBC should be both secular and neutral. But no, the establishment insist we should be pumped with the fanciful thoughts and sad gloomy music of the country's religious face. Why? If people want to follow their religion they should be given a dedicated BBC programme then they could have religion 24 hours a day, and it wouldn't have to be forced upon the rest of us (probably the majority), who don't believe in god. In state schools the same applies. Some sort of prayer/ song/or dedication must be perpetrated before commencement of lessons. Why? Who says so? In this wondrous democratic society to ask the people would be out of the question! The Church of England has always set a good example. Give a mild religious vaccine when you are young, coat it in delightful little ancient English church with some charming hymns, and hey presto! one is free from religion's yoke for ever. Get them young is every religion's watch word. Infiltrate and brain wash early because the human mind finds it very hard to break free later.
On Andrew Marr's 9am signature tv programme we were confronted with a double delight, Ed Balls and M Gove. The aggressive Balls is still poking his index finger and exclaiming 'look'! He now thinks that the anti-terror detention law for 28 days was a step too far. Well, why didn't he say so at the time? M. Gove -no more likable, should have his lower lip reduced in size.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

That tiresome wedding.

Does anyone really care who marries who, what, where, in the royal family? We all know now that Camilla,- queen in waiting - thinks the proposed marriage between "big willie" and "babykins" is wicked. Personally I agree with her, though I suspect she is using the word in its 'avant garde' sense, whereas I am using the word wicked to mean, well, wicked. What the ill fated Kate wears when she walks up the aisle, who the designer is, what colour the taffeta, and how much she is contributing to the economy by having it made and designed in Britain, matters not a jot. I'm totally sick already with the pages of photographs of every nuance of every glance, and all the insane paraphernalia of stupid newspaper stories. Giving Diana's engagement ring to Kate Middleton was a big mistake,- haven't the royal family had enough bad luck? The two royal sons aren't exactly exemplary examples of decent young manhood. Well, Prince Harry did spend a couple of days in Afghanistan, or was it Iraq? These army visits were sandwiched between visits to clubs followed by drunken taxi rides home, generally with a bottle attached to each hand, his elder brother never far behind. Now from time to time they both appear resplendent in military uniforms, so they must be ok?! Prince Charles has done wonders with his garden, done wonders with his Duchy Originals, I'm sure Camilla will make a wonderful queen. So can we please get on with our financially restricted lives free from the trauma, expense, and hoo-ha of another royal wedding.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Lord Young jumps in with both feet.

Lord Young the prime minister's new adviser has put the cat amongst the pigeons, and now the fur is really flying! Ms Eagle, new labour's queen of sour has risen inevitably to the occasion. "How dreadful"! she dryly exclaims, "David Cameron is all over the place. How shocking to even suggest," she says `a la Mr. Macmillan, "you've never had it so good". Politicians are all cut from the same cloth . The opposition wait on the side lines for a mistake made by the other side, then jump in to have a good old snipe,even Ed Miliband popped up from his baby break to squeak ineffectually at the government. In fairness people in general ARE better off. More people own their own homes, have more than enough white goods, more than enough food, satellite dishes, and flat screen tvs etc etc, their mortgage payments are kept historically low due to very low interest rates.But the tactlessness of announcing this to all and sundry with noises of clinking glasses and clattering plates going on in the background beggars belief! Lord Young has now resigned. David Cameron should mind his ps and qs, this is the second faux pas he's made in a matter of days. A cat has 9, how many lives does a prime minister have?

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Battle for the sanity of our cows.

Today we hear the Lincolnshire factory farmer has reduced the number of cows he wants to lock up in his factory farm from 8.000 to c4.000. Thin end of the wedge. Once he's had the go-ahead for this number of cows the sky will be the limit. Foot in the door and all that. He is on the same push as the gm foods lobby. Kill off all the small conventional struggling dairies then the prices will really take off! Personally I think milk is far too cheap anyway. Super markets have largely been responsible for pressurising dairy farmers into keeping their profit margins to a minimum, thus small dairy farms (with less than 100 cows) are in great danger of going under. Unscrupulous people can move in and take advantage of a fragile situation, and this is exactly what's happened. We can only hope and pray that this horrific plan will be given a swift knock back. see Compassion in World Farming for in detail information.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Whatever next? Cows factory farmed in Lincolnshire?!

Thousands of cows are threatened with life in one large shed in Lincolnshire. No more grass for them to munch and ruminate in their specially adapted digestive system that includes four stomachs. They will see virtually no daylight, never commune in open green fields. They are to become, like the grossly misused chicken and pig purely exploited money making machines for the farmer. Those to be incarcerated in this ginormous shed are a specially chosen (engineered) breed, one that will produce the maximum amount of milk. We are told their lives will be wonderful, they will want for nothing, there will be a vet at there beck and call. They will not even have to experience the cold or the dark! They will be fed a good substitute for grass of which a large proportion will be natural fodder and specially 'balanced' to suit their needs. Oh! the pleasure of life as a factory farmed cow! The gigantic shed is to house 8.000 cows. In America - where the idea comes from (don't you know), the farmers can pack in even more. One consolation for the poor cow if the planning application goes through, is that it's normal life span of 25 years will be reduced to about 5.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Rendition,? I remember Jack Straw denying all knowledge!

Yes I remember it well,  the day when Jack Straw - (erstwhile head of the Orwellian sounding Ministry of Justice) shook his head slowly and denied  all knowledge of  the horrible practice of rendition and  torture.  Lord Goldsmith denied all knowledge, and   David Milliband  actually stood up in the house and said he knew nothing.  Today we hear that the British government are to give millions of £s  to the 14 British residents/citizens as compensation  (I presume)  for a case the accused men would almost certainly win. If the case were to proceed M15 and M16 would be obliged to submit embarrassing documents,  they wouldn't want to do that - 'for security reasons.'  Now there is talk of an inquiry.  Don't hold your breath,  inquiries are good for pretending that the  truth will out, they're used as   a way of  keeping the general public at bay, and they generally end up  as an expensive whitewash.  Another costly British  fiasco. Britain is not a whited sepulcher, although she  likes to think she is.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Annie Lennox proves my point about the poppy

What a kerfuffle going on about Annie Lennox and her appearance last night on 'Strictly' when she appeared with  the red twisted  aids symbol on her lapel instead of the ubiquitous poppy.  She's a pacifist, I'm a pacifist, but I'm darned if I'm going to wear the same symbol as Mr. Blair, Mr.Brown. Mr. Cameron, and  co. who voted for the illegal war v Iraq. The poppy represents the dead from the 1st world war,  the 2nd, and all wars when men were conscripted to fight in defense of their country.   These 'leaders' degrade the symbol,  turning the fragile poppy and their laying of wreaths at the cenotaph into part of their  propaganda machine.  For instance, they have absolutely no intention of stopping the war in Afghanistan.
The poppy is sold to raise funds for the servicemen from those earlier wars who were damaged in mind or body. One can give money to this fund without wearing  a poppy. I can still remember a time when only a few people bought poppies, now it's de rigueure, and one can expect to be castigated if   one doesn't wear one. Ah me! thanks to newlabour we have   a new phenomenon  -   the politically correct police.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Common poppy - papaver rhoeas

This fragile annual has become the symbol of deaths in the first world war. It's bright red flower lasts a day. The vast fields of France and Belgium became the battlefields where war machinery, bombs, and trenches churned and undermined the ground, turning the landscape into a horrific wet muddy treeless  quagmire.  Thousands of young male conscripts died in this landscape, youths from all aspects of life, all social strata, a whole generation was wiped out. Britain still suffers from the trauma.
The poppy, almost certainly introduced by neolithic man and later farmers,  benefits from a disturbed habitat.  It's seeds can lie inactive for  hundreds of years then will germinate after disturbance. As the landscape healed so the poppies covered the fields with blood red flowers, and it is easy to see how they came to represent the dead soldiers. The war to end all wars!  That was the cry that went up after the bloodbath of the 1st world war.    Today, political leaders, military leaders, establishment leaders, and a whole mishmash of worthies lay wreaths at the cenotaph. This year it is almost politically incorrect not to wear a poppy on your lapel.  Do our 'leaders' feel guilty about  the wars they have recklessly started?  Is  that the reason they turn out every year looking pompous in their long expensive black coats?  When will they really  remember why they wear the poppy? It is to remind us to stop war forthwith.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Women go full circle in their self obsession

Women worked hard and  long to gain the vote. Curiously it was the 1st world war that helped, when women proved they could be useful and  practical , and did not have to exist solely as  a decorative adjunct to  men. By the 1920s women had abandoned the grotesquely restrictive corset,  the huge hats  (sometimes decorated with whole birds), the voluminous clothes, the frills and furbelows.  Women espoused a more natural life, they cycled, skated and swam.  In the 1930s women added enormously to the war effort. They drove trucks, worked on the land and in factories, took part in dangerous missions etc etc. They proved they could work alongside, above, and in support of men. Where did it all go wrong? Now women are obsessed.  Does  my bum look big in this,  are my teeth white enough my nails long enough and the right colour,  am I thin enough, my hair blonde enough, my skin bronzed enough?  Is  my handbag cute or  large enough,  got  the right logo, and are my shoes high enough, my cleavage low enough, and very importantly are my lips full enough, my nose small enough,  my breasts big enough? And the irony is that the female quest for the alpha male is no more for the purposes of procreation, women now want   to postpone that for as long as possible, almost to the point of  no return.   When will women get their priorities right? Full circle, they have the vote,  but  are back to being as counterfeit and useless as they were in the 19th century.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Selfish students with nothing to say

When  students have something worthy to protest about, then I'll support them.  Students reflect nowadays an innate selfishness.  They think the world should revolve around them and their likes and dislikes. When was it NOT hard to find your way in an adult dominated world?  If they were demonstrating about man's inhumanity to man, man's  ignorant big- headed  attitude to other animals then I'd be happy to lend my support.  Who are they demonstrating for? - themselves.  They are not starving, they are not living on the streets, they are not being cruelly treated. So what are they complaining about?  There are plenty who ARE starving, plenty who live on the streets, and plenty of people and animals who are being cruelly treated. Why have they never taken to the streets and complained on their behalf? In France thousands of people took time off their work to demonstrate against the raising of retirement age from 58/60 to 62.  What a cheek! They also belong to the selfish generation who believe everything 'out there' should be at their disposal, at their behest. It is entirely probable that after the student rally yesterday most of the partakers will take to the pubs where they will spend the money they say they haven't got on -  booze.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

3 of Newlabour's best get booted before a jury,and another bounces back.

Three apparently erring Newlabour politicians  have finally lost their appeal to get their hearing held  under the jurisdiction of the H  of C. They will now have to face a jury.  Curiously I can remember feeling that Morley was quite a decent guy, so whether he and the two others are any worse than the rest remains to be seen.  With a maximum sentence of 7 years they will be shivering in their shoes.
Phil Woolas (detestable little man)  is still giving everyone the run around, mainly due to Harriet Harman jumping the gun and stating categorically on Andrew Marr's programme last Sunday that PW was out out OUT!      HH,-  her of the ginger rat/squirrel insult, felt  she  didn't have to hear the opinions from the Labour party members first, but pronounced his guilt off her own back on national tv.  That should have been the end of Mr. Woolas.  But oh no!  He keeps coming back. The £500.000   pension pot, and generous  financial  'parting package' he'll get just isn't enough for Mr. Woolas.  I expect Mr. Jack Dromey was behind HH's  pronouncement,  and on radio 4 yesterday he yoked Ed Milliband into the decision which was a super crafty move. NewOldLabour are in a bit of a mess and now not in any position to coherently fight the Conservatives.  Ed Milliband, with a new baby screeching in his ear, Harriet screeching in his ear, and Labour mps screeching in his ear,  will be enjoying his paternity leave, I don't think.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

X President Bush thinks torture is ok!

In The Times today George  Bush expresses his opinion on torture, the Iraq war, lack of weapons of mass destruction etc etc.  Is he suffering from a guilty conscience?  Is it possible that he is trying to burnish his image? Too right!  Pity he's not a Roman Catholic, then he could enter that little wooden tardis and say he was sorry for all his sins and be forgiven.  Then he might feel better, and not have to wring his hands in public in the Times newspaper. He will never be forgiven in my eyes.  I fantasize about George Bush and his  henchmen having to suffer a bath full of water boarding, and then say whether they think it is torture or not. I guess he might feel worried about an international case being brought against him for war crimes and/or violation of the laws of armed conflict. Actually I fantasize about getting my hands around his throat.  You bet he was sorry  it transpired there were no weapons of mass destruction. That blew his case for going to war!  The reality is, that he will return to his estate and feel good about himself in a 'Christian' sort of a way. He is convinced it was the 'right thing to do'. Haven't I heard that phrase  before?

Monday, 8 November 2010

Simply a battle between Strictly and the X Factor?

Strictly is compulsive viewing.  If you watch for approx. half an hour you'll get sucked in. Don't. This programme as with so many others on the tele is addictive but entirely vacuous, conducted almost entirely for 'stars' to boost their flagging careers. The professional dancers are true to their title, and their short displays amidst the froth of bright and gaudy sequined dresses is artful and of high quality. The 'oldies', though not the best dancers are still strutting their stuff after several weeks of the competition.  Why should that be?  I think it's because their professional partners are the popular ones, and these are the male professionals.  They get the male and the female votes. These men are all great dancers - Brendan  Irish Mr. Nice Soft Guy, Vincent  has the Italian WOW factor, Patsy Kensit's partner (can't remember his name) is over the top camp, Anton who partners Widdy is a great dancer and such a gentleman! James makes up for his overly ambitious temperament with his tall good looks. So there you have it, people watching can be fun, but are viewers simply being manipulated in order to enhance BBC ratings, their horns locked like stags at bay in battle with the totally excruciating X Factor programme on the other side?

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Phil woolas - detestable man gets come uppance

Yesterday Phil Woolas came to grief.  What joy! Best thing that's happened for a long time. Harriet Harman (holier than thou Harriet) was interviewed by Andrew Marr this am on tele. She sat on the edge of her chair  trying to look like little miss goody two shoes, instead looked as if she was nursing a viper in her lap.  I'm not sorry,  but PW has been set adrift by newlabour in the blink of an eye.  HH says she couldn't possibly sanction mps in her party who told untruths in their quest to enter parliament.  What hypocrisy!  When asked about her salacious remarks about Danny Alexander's red hair she shrugged as if that was just water off a duck's back. In my opinion her remarks were tantamount to racist. Her remarks were offensive, very personal and unkind. anti rat, and anti red squirrel (a protected species in Scotland). Did I detect a smigdeon of ginger dye in her hair today?!