Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/16

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Subject: [Leica] Scary Who, Howard, and Wilson
From: msmall at (Marc James Small)
Date: Thu Sep 16 18:03:02 2004

At 08:51 AM 9/16/04 +0100, Beddoe, Neil wrote:
>How many Americans can tell me who Michael Howard is?

Be real, Neil.  Anyone who regularly reads the ECONOMIST or the like knows
that he is the Leader of the Loyal Opposition in the House of Commons.  And
many USians also listen to BBC either directly or on the Web or on cable TV.

And I suspect that the Americans who live north of their border with this
Great Republic, the denizens of the Dominion of Canada, will be even more
familiar with Howard's name, as the Canadian press gives more coverage to
the Old Country than does the US media (ours tends to concentrate on
hi-jinks by the junior members of the Royal Family and the like).

I am embarrassed to admit that the only former British PM I have ever met
in person is my least-favorite, at least since Gladstone, Lord Wilson.  We
did have a wonderful 15-minute chat about Earl Halifax, for whom Wilson
worked in Washington during the War Years, all the while me biting my lip
to keep from asking him the killing questions about his repetitive and many
failures as the leder of a great nation.  (My Significant Other of the time
had been one of the folks hosting Lord Wilson and I certainly did not wish
to embarass her by asking Wilson the sort of probing questions I could have
asked ... 

My own feeling is that Howard is not the man for the moment, though he has
proven himself most capable at damage control.  (I understand that the Tory
website discusses him in their "About Michael" section.  I retch.  Such
fawning for a "common touch" is inappropriate and banal.  I could not
imagine Churchill authorizing the publication of a pamphlet entitled "About
Winnie".  And what of Lord Salisbury, the last Peer to hold the seals as
Prime Minister?  Gads!  The "Common Touch" of former PM's was to actually
activate their bodies in depressed areas:  think of Churchill's visits to
the bombed sections of London and many other British cities or the like.)

Put money on it:  Blair will win the impending next election and will then
resign.  If he chooses not to do so, the Tories will sweep all in the NEXT
election, as the Socialists will implode --  a favored US political image
is that of the "Democrat Party Firing Squad", with all armed figures aiming
inwards at their own people.  The Tories did this a decade back, as Labour
did in the '80's.  

British politics are vital to the US:  normally, we get far more out of
Socialist governments than we do from the Tories, but, then, Thatcher and
Reagam proved that evem those who spoke for the soul of their respective
nations could get along.

And, for those who have been spared the embarrassment, Senator John Kerry
from the Sovereign State of Massachussets (the first Colony in these
hustings to actively shoot back at the British in 1775 with that "shot
heard round the world") is the Candidate for the office of President of the
Democrat Party.  He is running against George Bush, the Republican
incumbent.  At the moment, the polls show Bush comfortably ahead in the
electoral-vote count but, then, much can change in the 47 days until the
election is actually held.  Expect a cliff-hanger but, at the moment, the
smart money is on Bush to win.

Marc  FAX:  +540/343-7315
Cha robh b?s fir gun ghr?s fir!

Replies: Reply from reid at (Brian Reid) ([Leica] Scary Who, Howard, and Wilson)
Reply from Jim at (Jim Hemenway) ([Leica] Scary Who, Howard, and Wilson)