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For Romney, read McCain; for Ryan, read Palin. Good tactics, bad strategy. Obama can smile

Posted on 14 August 2012 | 11:08am

This is not hindsight speaking, because I said at the time of John McCain’s appointment of Sarah Palin as his running mate that it was ‘tactically brilliant, strategically disastrous.’ I have said it many times since, as The McCain-Palin blunder is one of my favourite case studies when out and about talking on why strategy should always take precedence, and tactics be subjugated to it.

Wind back a few years. McCain’s strategy was rooted in a spoken message – ‘experience,’ particularly in foreign policy, as a foil to the then young Senator Barack Obama – and an unspoken message, roughly summed up as ‘I am not George W Bush.’ In appointing Palin to the cliche position of ‘one heart beat from the Presidency’, he fired a huge double-barrelled shotgun through both planks of the strategy. His age and health suddenly became an issue at the thought that if the heart beat flipped out, the Western world’s leading politician would be a woman who claimed foreign policy experience on the basis that it was possible to see Russia from Alaska, and sometimes Russian plans flew overhead …. Oh, and Canada was also next door and that is a foreign country too, though not as scary as Russia. As for the ‘not Bush’ plank of the strategy, McCain blundered here too, given Palin makes GWB’s brand of Republicanism tame and wise by comparison.

It took the McCain camp a while to realise the scale of the blunder, because Palin’s appointment ‘excited the base,’ as the saying goes. Indeed it did. In fact it was in part because the base was getting antsy that he appointed her in the first place. The base was duly excited, crowds grew at joint rallies, the media reported fresh excitement, for a few days McCain looked fresh and newly combative. For the same few days, Obama looked worried. He needn’t have done. Tactical masterstroke, strategic calamity.

Most of you will have worked out why I have said this all once again – because Mitt Romney has gone and done the same thing. To quote one of my favourite Spice Girls’ songs – I am slowly weaning myself off Olympics mania before before diving back into Paralympics mania – ‘will this déjà vu never end?’

Romney’s base has been getting a bit agitato. The state of the economy and the divisiveness of the national debate give him plenty to fire at Obama, but he has been struggling to knock him out. His newly appointed running mate Paul D (what is it with this initial thing in the States?’ Ryan has certainly energised the media debate and the feel of the campaign on the ground, to the extent that he risks overshadowing the main man for a while.

But when the fuss has settled down a little, what does Ryan bring to the table? He brings a Republicanism that is to the right of Romney’s, strengthening the feelings of supporters they were not in much danger of losing to Obama. The question is what Ryan offers that might help Romney attract the support of those who voted for Obama last time round, but feel let down or disappointed. But delve a little into Ryan’s views and politics, and despite his vote for the Bush bank bailout, you quickly form a picture of a fairly identikit Tea Party man, and you therefore reach the conclusion Romney has acted to please the base, rather than appeal to the centre ground where he needs to win support. Whether on tax, trickle down economics, small government, big guns, medicare, gays, abortion, and family planning, he is well to the right of any spectrum. His comments on the NHS, coming on top of Romney’s ill advised dig at London’s readiness for the Olympics, get him off to a bad start with Britain.

For the moment, neither he nor Romney will worry about any of that. The base is purring. The money is flowing in. The media are loving their new toy. Like they loved Palin. But when the game got serious, nobody loved having Palin on the scene more than Obama. And if I am right that Romney is making the same mistake as McCain, Obama may grow to love Paul D Ryan too. That is why, as Romney and Ryan presented themselves to the world as ‘America’s Comeback Team’, Obama took to twitter with ‘Romney-Ryan: The Go Back Team.’ He knows this story well.

  • Gino

    This is what I posted on twitter when I heard of the choice…

    “In political news, Mitt Romney choosing Paul Ryan is probably a no brainer. Will get the strong republican vote in southern states no issue. Ryan is basically the safe contender, will push the Republican agenda, won’t piss off Romney whatsoever. Best thing for the democrats in all of this, is that Joe Biden will walk over Ryan at any gaffe though, and Ryan has them in buckets!”

    Firstly, I’ll articulate a little clearer some points, also I didn’t realise I swore when I tweeted.

    As you pointed out, it makes sense for the Republican base to be energised by such a polarising figure in the ilk of Palin, Ryan in this case, as he fits the views of the tea party, well, to the tea… However strategically, if he went with a more moderate, social-conservative package, his economic message could have been more “impressive” because he could have flabbergastered everyone with his Bane Capital experience, and utilised his running mate more on the economy to help make the swing voters go in the Romney direction. Someone like Tim Pawlenty or Eric Cantor (who I think will run in 4 years if Romney doesn’t win) would have been the “better” choices.

    This is probably all rubbish though, so my apologies in advance for going on.

  • Olly Shaw

    I really hope you are right. The problem might arise if this guy has a little nouse in order to disguise his more extreme views (something Palin didn’t have to draw a veil over her very obvious flaws).

  • Anonymous

    Overall, a good article AC.
    I just have some disagreements with calibration, degrees of left and rightness!
    Ryan is to the right of Romney, but then Obama is barely left of Romney! Romney is a very moderate republican. George W Bush was a very moderate Republican. He was also very much in the big government camp. His father before him was moderate as well, as was John McCain. Ryan is to the right of all those guys, but he supported not just the bank bailouts which puts him ‘left’ of many republicans (leftists should oppose bank bailouts more viciously than right wingers) he even supported the auto bailouts! Systemic risk in banking is one thing, no such thing with auto – pure politics.
    Anyway, people won’t believe it, but of all those republicans George W Bush was probably the leftest, most moderate one.
    Ryan is no Sarah Palin. He is a lot more moderate than her. He is also more experienced and smarter. Obama would love to debate Sarah Palin, but he won’t want to debate Paul Ryan – it’ll take more than patronising, swagger and a winning smile, plus Ryan has all those too.
    However – Romney is no John McCain. John McCain was a war hero, a man who believed in capitalism and competition, but who also believed in social security, education and so on. Like George Bush Senior, he was a man I’d trust with the red button. Obama I trust too. Romney I don’t.
    I’m sad that George W Bush was able to become president, sadder still that he got re-elected. But then again Al Gore was the worst and most anti-american presidential candidate in my memory so at least we were saved him. I am glad Obama won in 2008, for many reasons. But the best thing would have been if McCain had beaten Bush and then Gore in 2000 – he’d have been a good president I think, in the Eisenhower mould.
    I think Obama wins this election hands down. I think the republicans using a good candidate would be the same waste that many conservatives think it was to use William Hague in an unwinnable election in 2001. I think the party, or the candidates themselves, feels its better to wait till 2016, and it is then that I think Ryan will be a strong contender.

  • Olli Issakainen

    Objectivism?
    According to Joseph Stiglitz neoliberal ideology has made society unfair.
    Unrestrained power and greed are writing epitah for the American dream.
    Capitalism must be snatched back from free market fundamentalism and put to the service of the many, not the few.
    Chicago school of Milton Friedman developed anti-regulation, small state, pro-privatisation ideas aided by IMF plus Thatcher and Reagan.
    But free markets have yielded bad outcomes for wider society.
    Morality needs to be put back to capitalism.
    To the Tea Party supporters the Obama presidency means socialist capture of the White House.
    The ideology the Tea Party is Hayekian.
    Alan Greenspan was a huge fan of AYN RAND. He believed that central banks should not do anything about bubbles.
    Mr Greenspan also believed that markets were self-regulating. Then came 2008…
    Paul Ryan has focused on fiscal policy. He thinks that social security must be privatised.
    Mr Ryan is interested in the ideas of Hayek, von Mises and Milton Friedman.
    He has praised Ayn Rand´s value system and beliefs.
    Fox News and the Weekly Standard believe in “Ryanmania”.
    What has really happened is that the KOCH BROTHERS have taken over GOP.
    Objectivism celebrates pure self-interest. There is no role for government.
    Biggest donors to the Mitt Romney campaign have been Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and BARCLAYS.
    All these companies are owned by the Rothschilds!
    Paul Ryan has tried to distance himself from Ayn Rand´s Objectivism. He is, after all, a Roman Catholic.
    For Rand the Good Samaritan was wicked.
    Mr Ryan´s budget plan reflects the values of his hero Rand. He wants to slash the role of the state.
    Christianity is the US has been hijacked by the right.
    Mitt Romney´s capture by the right should help Barack Obama. But the globalist bankers have now switched their backing to Mr Romney.
    Growing conservatism and political polarisation characterise the US politics now.
    Republican party has anti-establisment wing.
    There has been ideological transformation.
    The American election is a battle for the future of capitalism.
    Do we want a capitalism dominated by financial engineering with companies as casino chips?
    Or responsible capitalism based on fairness?
    Globalist bankers have already made up their minds…

  • Michele

    Is everyone sure of Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton?

    I think we’re all feeling safer since bin Laden was executed so summarily and ‘elegantly’ but I doubt anyone in North Africa is …. the west has gained but his own region definitely hasn’t.

    Mitt Romney is not deserving of the Presidency but I’m not in thrall to Mr Obama.

  • Anonymous

    As usual, the Republicans always seem to be mired in allegations of financial irregularities, and they have been flying about around Romney, and now Ryan – the latest allegation is with Ryan and the financial banking collapse of 2008. Something about insider information and his own finances or something. Whether it is true, who knows.
    And Romney has a way with words, as with last week, where he introduced his election running vice-pres as “the next President of the United States of America”. Ryan must have thought that that was a good start, not.

  • Anonymous

    So much wrongness in there, when I get a minute I shall correct it.

  • Anonymous

    Alastair is this new style for the comments deliberate?! Either way please address it – make it stop!

  • Anonymous

    Might has well prod deeper, as you do – was the banking financial collapse of 2008 US Republican supporters caused, what with their infinite influence?
    Or am I low flying here, overhead, and talking about missed things?
    But it is an interesting thought, though, ey?

  • Michele

    What’s wrong with it?
    I find it handy to have a reminder of which posts I’ve already replied to, given the constant interruptions IRL.
    I think there’s also an Edit function for what’s not yet been passed on and that’ll be handy for the same reason.

  • Anonymous

    When America had free markets (long ago) it was better in every measure than it is today. Bush Sr, Clinton, especially Bush Jr, and Obama are anything but free marketeers. Reagan was a free marketeer, though he only managed to stem the flow of socialism, and in fact did nothing to reduce the size of the state (hence the deficits he racked up.) Before Reagan they didn’t have a free marketeer since… probably the 19th century.
    Free markets have NOT yielded bad outcomes. Every free market state has delivered better outcomes than every non free market state. You can argue about this or that within america, but you won’t find a socialist state doing better outside america. (Sweden and Denmark are as free market as anywhere else in case anyone brings them up.)
    Alan Greenspan absolutely DID think central banks should act on bubbles and indeed on burst bubbles hence his ridiculous anti capitalist low interest rate policies in the early 2000s he put in place to mitigate the effects of the recession Clinton caused and Bush exacerbated. The very existence of a central bank is socialist. There are no central banks in free market capitalism. Friedman believes in central banks – Hayek does not. You clearly do no understand the broader schools that the two men work under. Hayek calls Friedmans Chicago school “slow motion Keynesianism” in other words only one step away from the socialist views of Keynes.
    If the things you say are true about Koch and co, then Romney could never have won the nomination. He was the most moderate man on the ticket, if they wanted a small government free marketeer they could have picked Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, even Santorum – but not Romney.

  • Anonymous

    Back to an old topic but I just read a piece by Charles Moore on Boris Johnson from a week or so back in which he says:
    “Boris’s critics are getting as excited as his fans. Articles argue the impossibility of his being prime minister with a vehemence which shows their fear that it is all too possible.”
    Quite so. Take a valium for those nerves Alastair.

  • Anonymous

    go back to your flat Earth reaguns, you silly billy – this is called an upgrade. live with it or die. Alastair is just a puppet to what has happened, like you and me.
    And since I consider you my new mate reaguns, i will post you a song – youtube is bigger and better when clicked, so i am impressed, better video quality, and all that. Keep up reaguns, don’t be afraid of change, for goodnessakes, otherwise you will be in your coffin before you could say begorra…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMQR-welqoM
    Oi’ll tell you this for nothing, prots and caths over the water, gave me sleepless nights! Billy Orange and the Pope? Who is better? Don’t fecking ask me reaguns, I’m a pagan and a non-conformist!
    Yew tree song for you, from Wales/Cymru – wish people would see sense at times.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEC0V7-5FJM
    You’re relieved it is in others english, ey, not in confusing welsh, reaguns, translated and sung from the welsh?

    • reaguns

      No, it be the work of the devil I tells ya! Witches did this upgrade!

  • Brandon Friedman

    Is it possible Romney feels he can win pro-business center (Wall Street in shorthand) that went to Obamain 2008?

    In which case choosing Ryan to lock in the Republican base makes sense. After all, as a Mormon from Boston the rural Evangelical right views him with suspicion, particular on social issues. So he has to make sure the small government, fiscal conservative camp is firmly behind him. Ryan’s small-town Midwest persona will also help Romney with the social conservatives across the American heartland.

    I agree though, he probably had them all by default anyway.

  • Gilliebc

    No Ehtch, neither the Rebublicans nor the Democrats were directly responsible for what happened in 2008. It was the greedy crooked bankers as per usual. 2008 will be considered a minor blip though, in comparison with what’s just around the corner for the US. RT’s Max Keiser is a good source of info. I particularly recommend this episode of a ‘Keiser Report’ on YT ‘Ponzi Overdose (E313).
    To anyone unfamiliar with the Keiser reports with political analyst Stacy Herbert, they almost always begin the show in a fairly light-hearted, verging on the frivolous, manner. That doesn’t continue throughout the shows though, as serious matters are given real scrutiny. Well worth a watch by anyone who wants to know at least something about what’s really going on.

    • Ehtch

      Democrats traditionally have less in their back pockets, was the point I was trying to make, Gilliebc.
      You show me a yank with a large wad, and I will show you a republican, and all that. : )

  • Anonymous

    love the quote on a comment to an article on the Guardian US politics at the moment – “Romney is just an empty suit”.
    Sounds right out of NYC! They don’t suffer fools downtown in those parts.

  • Gilliebc

    Happy to agree with you on this one reaguns. I don’t like it one little bit. I don’t like that ‘thumbs down’ feature either. It’s all a bit childish imo. American I suppose. Guido tried a thumbs up & down system for a short while. But it didn’t last long. So it must a received a negative response, I guess.
    AC, we are in the main English/British who visit your site.
    I can’t of course speak for anyone else, but this American i.e. dumbed-down system of awarding ‘stars’ and likes and now dislikes isn’t very British. As reaguns said, please make it stop.
    I quite like the sites where the commenting system is powered by ‘Word Press’ where no likes or dislikes are given. The debate seems more genuine.

    • Ehtch

      Yes, these up and down arrows can cause confussion, it is the same on youtubby, it is a nonsense. There should be a thumbs up, and that is all, otherwise if the numbties get together, a post ends up being “can’t show comment due to too many down thumbs”, or words to that fascist effect!
      We will have to see how it goes, but I think I am right, up thumbs, and nothing else.

  • Anonymous

    One more thing – though you erroneously stated that Greenspan believed markets would self correct themselves without government intervention, the truth is that markets WILL correct themselves without government intervention. We DID have government intervention:
    – Deliberately and artificially low interest rates, which primed the bubble
    – Community Reinvestment Act and other pro-housing policies, which intervened and distorted the market, making houses more expensive (something the wealthy should love and the rest of us should hate and proving that there are more wealthy than poor people in UK even today)
    – State guarantees to bail out banks.
    Without this, the market would have corrected itself.
    However – no one should pretend that corrections can not be painful. They usually are painful, and indeed many would say they should be. But of course, politicians whose only policy or moral is the aim to get electet at whatever cost, do not see it that way.

  • Anonymous

    Newsnight at the moment, yah, know wild welsh blackberries, where in the last few years from this certain spot I pick, it is on the par to New Zealand Manuka honey, as an intense fruit. Usually offload it to local rels, but due to many funerals this year, there is a surplus. It is from a semi northern facing spot, so year on year, and the perfect semi-high welsh hill it grows, screened all around by wild hazel nut trees (prices out soon in autumn for wild hazels, if I can beat the fecking grey squirrels), it pumps fruit every year. Local ladies and gents are renound to reach old age without any complaints, before they die.
    Let me know, ten quid a pound, get it while it’s hot, yah.

  • Anonymous

    newsnight again – it is rocket science, you silly stupid cow, otherwise everyone would be doing it – a human brain getting it into the right frame of mind is more complex than building a simple machine, however complex man can make, you stupid bitch!
    Who is she? And who is this prick now, moving his fucking mouth, now, as if no tomorrow!!! Shut your mush up, NOW!
    Ainsley, put them straight, for gawd sakes. Oh fuck, she has started to bump her gums again, oh jesus christ almighty – SHUT UP WOMAN! ainsley please, save us from these pricks, jumping in

  • Anonymous

    furthermore, if they were trying to take China down then in 2008, then they failed miserably.

    sorry Alastair, posted a right load of shite today, seem to be in Sean Bean mode. Excuse me, while I get into my dress… no peeking mind, you dirty bastard… : )

    Go the Blades, yer feckars!

  • Anonymous

    I just don’t like the look of it! I don’t like change! The old one seemed clearer and easier to follow, though the features you mention do sound useful, I just haven’t discovered them.

  • Anonymous

    To be honest Gillie, its mainly the look I don’t like! I don’t mind the likes and dislikes, even though it’ll probably end up giving my posts a panto villain type of appearance!

  • Anonymous

    From:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/15/paul-ryan-mitt-romney?commentpage=last#end-of-comments
    “Europeans, accustomed to thinking that elections are won in the centre ground, by capturing independent voters, tend to assume – and hope – that the choice of Ryan will therefore be counter-productive. But this is a dangerous assumption, even though some US commentators, even conservatives, also share it.”
    Absolutely right. I don’t know who would win if we had a hard right or hard left party in the UK versus their polar opposite. But I believe either one can defeat a centrist party. Most of all I believe that if a party took the common ground, the populist positions of most UK citizens (ie left wing on bankers, right wing on crime and immigration) they would romp to victory.
    People in the US shouldn’t estimate the right wing. Goldwater was up against a formidable democratic administration, but when he returned in the form of Reagan, they ended up with a 49 state landslide of the kind Obama, Bush and Clinton can only ever dream of. Romney cannot do that, because he is not a right winger – but Ryan might.

  • Michele

    How do you define wrongness or rightness about what is mostly opinion?

    ……………… Sigh

    I must confess I get poffed (polite for you know what) about some of the anti-banker stuff that sounds more and more as if it’s covert for something else (for which the suffix ‘berg’ could be code).
    However, that’s not what you take issue with and what you do is mostly just differing opinions to your own and ‘wrong’ is the wrong word.

  • Anonymous

    Onions, Alastair! Not many times you get one person get ten wickets, and one of them is a run out,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/hi/english/static/cricket/statistics/scorecards/2012/08/o34168/html/scorecard.stm
    Different.

  • Anonymous

    Where’s Alastair these days? Or is Disqus playing up for bloggers, what with this new upgrade, teething problems, as is usual when things like this happen?
    Anyway, this makes good reading, and shows the hypocrisy of UK media, making out that Russia is a legal backhole. If they stole a bottle of water as well, wonder what more they would have got, let alone shout hot air on facelessbook!
    http://heresycorner.blogspot.com/2012/08/pussy-riot-sentences-show-what-russia.html

  • ObamaisnotaSocalist

    FREE MARKET ? you mean freedom to not pay marginal tax rates of 20% so that poor people dont get Foot Stamps and your children go to a cr*p school. The Rich may pay marginal tax rates of 22% but they dont care they can afford private schools

  • Michele

    ……. “the KOCH BROTHERS have taken over GOP.”…..

    We know about your devout Christianity and there’s history of Koch (or is it normally written in caps and I’ve screwed up?) family members having converted to Christianity to escape Nazism.

    Is there any chance that when you bring them to the board’s attention you explain ALL that you mean? I don’t grab code or even the idea that some grab on a lickel lickel piece of it and extrapolate in to ever increasing circles, recommendations to sect-ism via youtubes.

    I also don’t like the conflation of a religion with a nation (whichever side is up to that mischief and demonising the religion or bigging up the nation).

    Do us a favour mate.

  • Anonymous

    In this case its easy to define rightness and wrongness. If people want to argue about whether they think, for example, socialism is right or wrong, or free markets are right or wrong, then I agree that is mostly about opinion.
    But if you are talking about the definition of socialism or of free markets, then there are times, such as Olli’s post, where its possible to say someone is wrong. For example, as a poster above says in his handle, it is categorically wrong to call Barack Obama a socialist. We know what socialism is, and Obama doesn’t believe in it or pursue it. Likewise it is wrong to call Tony Blair, George W Bush or David Cameron a free marketeer.

  • Anonymous

    This is a fallacy, the rich pay a lot more tax than that for one thing, if you count how the wealth is taxed (its taxed in banks, taxed for driving cars, taxed for income, taxed when you buy any product etc) and second of all, if you are paying 22% tax you can argue about whether its really a free market – many would say once tax breaks 10%, once you hit 11% you are no longer in a free market. Thats a moderate position. I would say if you are paying income tax at all its not a free market. Free marketeers believe in low taxes (not no taxes) and in consumption taxes. America in its strongest period of growth, when it lifted more people out of poverty than any nation has done, in less time, and helped more of the poor people from around the globe than any nation ever has – it had 0% income tax.
    Free marketeers believe production and earning and saving are good, therefore should not be taxed, but borrowing and consuming are bad (if sometimes necessary) therefore should be discouraged and taxed.
    If you believe, like Alastair does, that taxing things like alcohol is good, because it discourages people from drinking, then you believe that taxing a behaviour discourages it. Therefore you have really got to ask why our government taxes work so heavily, even more heavily than VAT – its ridiculous.
    You might think all of that is wrong, but when you move away from that, you take a step towards socialism. Of course you’d still be far away from socialism and closer to capitalism, but you’d be moving from the latter towards the former.
    I agree with you that Obama is not a socialist.

  • Michele

    I’m sure everybody agrees with what these women were standing up for but they did choose a very wrong place, showed no respect at all for people with different priorities to theirs and rubbished the concept of ‘sanctuary’.

    It made as much sense and showed as little sensitivity as another current situation – the Ass that has hidden behind so many other people in his self-aggrandising melodrama (doing so in a country that also has the death penalty for just one crime).

  • Libdem

    BEHIND YOU!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Ha ha ha! For reasons that needn’t detain us, I’ve just clicked on the website of Karl Rove, ie the former ‘conservative’ strategist of George W Bush. Despite the fact he is on the right, and he is in America, its like a mirror image of Alastairs site and opinions!
    Every little tiny thing Obama does is apparently a sign that he has lost it, that the public and press momentum is now gathering pace and this last little obscure detail means electoral armageddon is sure to follow, run for the hills run for the hills!
    We see the same thing with Alastair and David Cameron or George Osborne and we used to see the same things against Ed Miliband.
    Its all nonsense! All of them are mediocre, but there is no inexorable slide in any man, or any tiny detail that can start one! They are all going into close elections, but Obama is certainly going to win his, and no one will clearly win the one in the UK.
    This strategy is similar to when Alex Ferguson tries to start his mind games to pretend his rivals are collapsing – hasn’t stopped United losing most of the titles since he became manager, as well as losing every European cup but two. I’m a united fan by the way.

  • Michele

    If you click on ‘Reply’ on a post you’ve already responded to but it’s not appeared yet, the dialogue box will show what’s pending.
    A couple of days ago there was an Edit function to something not yet ‘live’ but it seems to have gorn.

  • Michele

    Dunno what ‘parent’ relates to though !

  • Anonymous

    Alastair. the Jacks did “Ok” yesterday, didn’t they? Found another gem of a manager – third one on the trott. Considering the Swans only scored 44 goals in 38 last season, not bad start you could say. Well done to Burnley too, winning start.
    But MOTD needs a refresh though – thought they would have a change, but still have those three goons on it, glofing buddies together! Waste of money.

  • Anonymous

    Lots of posts seems to have got lost in the aether – on hols in France Alastair, perchance? This update hasn’t helped, what with a step change in fangled bells and whistles here. Was hoping you’d post my 5 – 1 Leeds clip, from many years ago, so you could show it to Fergie to pull his leg. Still support Leeds, but always also the Swans, but it seems they mirror themselves from when I was young, these days. Funny how things happen. Leeds here, 1972,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwQGzXXDynA
    Clip I saw on Georgie Best the other day – did you know Alastair his childhood favorite side was Wolverhampton Wanderers? Funny that, I have a photo of my brother and me in Wolves kit from 1969 outside our front door, before when things changed for me in 1970 with the FA Cup final when I became Leeds, vee Chelsea – we wos robbed by those Landahn fascists, inside job and all that…
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/video/2012/aug/17/george-best-tour-childhood-home-video
    Brilliant clip by The Guardian there.

  • Anonymous

    Still think Alastair is in a downer, tell me if I am wrong. Knew the Olympics was over-excitable, but all have to try and grab hold of ouselves when it is over.
    See what happens how much we have changed, takes strength to grab it, and not be as before, looking at life passing by, thinking we are nothing.
    If you are Alastair, I feel the same to only a fraction of the extent, since you were “there 2000- 2003 at start, and we can only imagine and compare, when so much emotional work has gone in, and now it is over.
    Might as well post an old song of our vast small land, from the past, to try and help, when you feel as if you are looking at something you cannot regain, will search, and I can guarrantee within about a quarter of an hour that I will find something perfectly suitable, here goes…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNodIPDkCG0
    Song, but it will do,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBRoPj1_fRY
    Hanky, Alastair? let it out…

  • Anonymous

    reaguns, since we have discussed the Olympics in the last few weeks, boxing and taekwondo and such, have you seen this from Finland from this weekend? And I have it on proper authority they did not do this due to lack of medals from the London Olympics, they do this every year, to get rid of their nokkia phones, it seems, i have been told…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19310319
    I like the Finns, they are barking – right up my street. Been a few times there, Oulu, Kemi, and a fascinating place called by a single vowel, Ii. In credible people – good rally drivers too, quite bonkers they are. Remember thay all leaving a nightclub next to the hotel I was staying in Kemi, in January, minus 25, unplugging their cars form electrical leads of their car engine oil heaters, totally pissed out of their skulls, fish tailing on they’re way home. interesting ladies too, that air stewardess with super dark hair and glacial eyes with Air Findlandia on the way up to the artic circle… mmmm…

  • Anonymous

    reaguns, again, seems Dave Simons has got on his hols.
    Hope he shows us his photographs what he got up to, and where. Have you gone too reaguns, as Alastair thinks myself has, France maybe, but who knows. Did his Grace get her A level results from the other day? Is that it? Bugger oxbridge, send her to somewhere with more imagination, say Brisbane Oz, or somewhere in USA to join some fucked up delta zeta epsilon mad house full of ladies, say Rutgers in New Jersey, or somewhere like that in the US, being brainwashed to be a future republican. Just say to her to tell them, Arthur Daley sent you love…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34QvL-PVwcc
    Ray, Ray, RAY! help me Ray…

  • Anonymous

    reaguns, twitter alert! The man Campbell is on top of monte something in France. Knew he was up to silly buggers! No doubt he is on a push bike as well – the silly tourist sod, and there’s me thinking he would be considering juping from a bridge in gay Parii, left or right fucking bank.

    Update your blog Alastair! You’re not cycling on mars after all, but even if you are, I am sure Captain Kik will let Lt Uhura will allow you to update your gobshite of a blog! : )

    Good view, up there, by the way, Alastair – post us a pic so we can see what is so fucking marvellous up there, will you? : )

  • Anonymous

    Alastair is on his bike, apparently on top of some mountain, in France, old boy,
    . http://twitter.com/campbellclaret/status/237162940250341376/photo/1/large

  • Michele

    Catching up on Romney’s gaffes, the most juvenile and showy-offy is the yahboo willy-waving in mid-East.
    What a clot.

  • Michele

    should read ‘one particular crime’

  • Michele

    Yes, said handle is a factual truth.

    Said handle is probably what it is for the frequent and necessary reminders needed to certain people (elsewhere, other blogs) that think Nazis were socialists because they have no grip on the nuance in translation re that party’s full name (hence the baseless-anyway paranoia about ‘socialism’).

  • Michele

    It’s up to Grace to publicise anything or not and I doubt she’s been brought up to be sent anywhere !!

  • Michele

    Self-declaration for everyone is massively abused in US, you must know that.
    ‘Charity’ donations need no proof from the donor or from the recipient.
    Regulation of either side is non existent.

    Additionally, the concept of insurance being for others’ sakes hardly exists, hence the sudden turnaround in popularity of Obama’s Healthcare plan (when people realised it would have to involve compulsory insurance).
    There isn’t even compulsory insurance for driving, take your kids to school, take the neighbours kids as well if your car is more like a bus ….. don’t own a house to sell in the event of a crash that damages or injures others? Heck, why worry, we’re still cowboys at heart eh? Yah hooooooo 🙁 let’s call it liberty.

  • Michele

    BJ depends on covert tactics, ends justifying means etc. Family trait? Spread rumours, wind people up, get them to do what is not in even their own interests ….

    He saw the opposition comprised too many choices in the Mayoral election, knows that always leads to ‘protest’ first votes and exploited it.

    All those no-hopers that attracted protest-only first votes and whose 2nd choices came in to use wasted Ken.
    Boris did not win on 1st choice, there was a miniscule majority, not overall.
    2nd choices from the wanton ‘protesters’ (even pretending they believed the sick snide accusation made about him) were massively for Ken but have a lower unit value.

  • Anonymous

    or druids… : )

  • Anonymous

    furthermore, NI is full of celt, even if they do deny within them sel’, before they declared them prot in a name, for hand of english whether, the pope and storm,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdPEvJ4Ax4E
    Give me shout reaguns if you fancy going for holiday to northern Bretagne in Le France, Lannion or Perros du Gurrec, got, umm, connections there, faces of welsh, speaking french – very spooky, oi’ll tell ye that for free!

  • Gilliebc

    It relates to the post that a further comment is made to M. Just hover the cursor over the ‘parent’ word and you’ll see it displayed. I have to admit when I first saw the ‘parent’ word, I wondered if it meant the commenter was a parent! (lol) and thought, b….y hell, this is a bit big-brother-ish! But it ain’t that at all. I guess it’s an Americanism. I assume Disqus is American?
    I also wonder why all ‘spell checks’ seem to be American. Surely there must be some English spell checks available to install on a computer? Perhaps someone may know.

  • Gilliebc

    I entirely agree Ehtch. As you say a group of ‘numbties’ such as the far-right lot who visit here en masse occasionally, could in theory get a perfectly good/sensible post taken down. I don’t see that dislikes are of any benefit. e.g. If I don’t like a post, I tend to either simply ignore it. Or, sometimes reply saying why I don’t like or disagree with it.
    Incidentally Ehtch, (Disqus take note please) this reply of yours didn’t show up in my notification bit. Also, and again, please Disqus take note. Previously, I was able to click onto a posted comment on my Disqus page and it would take me direct to the comment, either here on this site, or elsewhere. With this new ‘upgrade’ it only takes me to the blog, under where the comment was posted. That’s not a problem on this site, but elsewhere, such as the Telegraph site, where comments go into the hundreds, it’s too time consuming to even attempt to find a previous comment. Whereas before it was just a click away.

  • Anonymous

    Aw, right, I get it, Campbell, you are big mates with Linekar.
    How could you, he is a spare part. Rember him playing for Leicester in the early years, and he was totally full of himself.
    Not the type that should be an old sports presenter, sorry. Jimmy Hill was bad, but Gary is a fucking puppet nightmare.
    Get Savage and Yorath on MOTD. I say, blonde city!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTnH3zs8wRo
    What? welsh?……

  • Michele

    I’m still catching up on all the stuff I missed while away and offline so I don’t know whether what I’ve just seen MR saying is recent or from last month.
    Ahem; “A woman’s body has a way to stop her getting pregnant if she was really raped”.
    Words to that effect if not verbatim.

    On the one hand he says abortion shouldn’t be available even to a rape victim but on the other she’d not need one if she’d really been raped anyway……..
    We need to find a way of farming these selective eggs that have such reliable ways of knowing how the sperm got there, or ensuring women only get raped when one of that type is released by month!

  • Michele

    Durrrrrrr; hoist by my own with my last comment; it was just some other Republican candidate that espoused about women’s bodies ‘shutting down’ to stop them becoming pregnant by rape.

  • Michele

    Sorry for all the obsession re the twerp that thinks women’s bodies have a way to ‘close down and not become pregnant after legitimate rape’ (words to that effect).

    Some brilliant tweets about him here :
    https://twitter.com/#!/search/?q=%23Akin&src=hash

    ————

    On a similar topic, that of the Ass’s ‘ungentlemanly behaviour’. I suppose what Galloway was referring to was something as simple as Assange having not woken the women.
    Noooo George, what they were abused by was his failure to wear protection.
    That info has been in the public domain for well over a year, whatever we might think of these women, groupies, hero worshippers, workplace affairs or anything else, they believed in ‘safe’ sex.
    I don’t know whether they knew before or after the acts, former would suggest force would have been necessary, latter that he lied or just ignored what he knew to be their practice.

  • Anonymous

    Fergie needs to send van Persil to Belfast to that b & b, to get him up and running, for the Manc U way. Tell him to say hello to that fine NI lady in it, mmmm….

  • Anonymous

    art is art, religion is a concept of mind, Michele, sorry to break that to you love.

  • Michele

    If you want to believe PR are artists ‘love’, do so but do it just for yourself.
    Don’t insist (or even try to) that I should.
    If, on the other hand, you apprise yourself of their success – for their ‘art’ (as in lack of any before their little jolly) you might find that ‘altruism’ is a more suitable word for them and for you to understand the meaning of.

    PR (as in Press Relations and PUBLICITY) is a very apt initialism for their ACT (as opposed to real activism).
    I posted somewhere wondering how we would all feel if this had happened in front of people like TB and Cherie in their church of choice, I am not a believer but I would not find it forgivable even if they would.

    Their outfits are great; the sentences are gross but so was their MO.

    Don’t try to INSERT or foist your opinion on to me Ehtch, I have very different takes on art, design, realisation and quality than you.

    I’m also aware of how precious must be the freedom that Russians ( who believe in something I never have) now have the chance to express it after decades of its being repressed and banned. How bloody stupid were these idiots, their inability to see the irony of their wrongly-aimed spite is breathtaking.

  • Anonymous

    Sure I posted an appreciation vid of Lineker before, on his and his close mates fascination with that tonking a small ball around a farmers field game with his mates – waste of good acres I would farming say – brilliant vid from Jonathan Meades, in three parts, but quite ironic for you Alastair, since I heard you don’t ping the balls with any clubs at all, being of good scottish blood youself,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIYZQFcBnZ8
    Send my best to the fella Gary next time you bump into him. And tell him, a bag of chips is healthier than a bag of crisps, as pointed out by Alan Whicker years ago, when he visited us taffies,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QX48fx8g9M
    Oh grow up Lineker – get a sense of humour will you, or I will shove that golden boot of yours right up your shuffty! : )

  • Anonymous

    furthermore, why don’t Walkers get into chip shops Gary – you will have to bring that up in the next board meeting Gary, up in that Leicester, as like that chip shop chain, umm, what was it called again, blimey, I have forgotten, must search…. tha be it, Harry Ramsdens, from Yorkshire, laaarck, Gary, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Ramsden's I’d buy shares in it Lineker! Sure Walkers would storm trade in it, as long as they sell wotsit fish, unendangered, farmed rainbrow trout with their eyes looking up at you, next to your chips, as you tuck in, with free salt and vinegar.

  • Michele

    Totally disgusted by news about Lance Armstrong from America today.

    What happens if some time in the future someone finds that apples or bread or water enhance any human’s performance? Silly me, they do :-O

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t want to say this to you Michele, but might as well, research metart on google, and you might understand that they and you and me are on the same side. Sex is still cheap in the old soviet, non-Chechnya like muslim, states.
    Now as a fella, I don’t mind pretty ladies getting their kit off and being photographed, but I sense, somehow, exploitation is going on there. Maybe that is what Pussy Riots was trying to point out, and you have got to admit Michele, look into their eyes, they are well intelligent ladies, I can see it.
    So what do you have to say what I have just said? Have I spoken any sense?

  • Michele

    For heaven’s sake, read my lips 🙁

    A protest was legitimate.
    The protesters looked great.

    Neither of those legitimises it happening where it did.

    The place was wrong.

    The wrong people were being imposed upon (one could even say exploited).

    Let it be, we disagree and I can really really endure that thanks all the same LOL

  • Anonymous

    furthermore, Michele, to obviously point out to simple you, where was the russian orthodox church during Stalin?
    Say no more…
    You have got to educate these people at times, it seems.

  • Anonymous

    blimey Alastair, when I first post the vid above here a few months ago, it had, say, thirty views, now it is up to three hundred thousand odd!
    Savage must have tweeted it, as he does…

  • Anonymous

    Talking about Savage Alastair, he has just done a brilliant videobox for the beeb just, hinting what goes on inside those rich dressing rooms, with those lads comparing their key fobs of their cars, and who they shagged the night before and all that, maybe…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19425783
    But mainly about the transfer nonsense that goes on. I like Savage, he’s a lovely boy, be happy for him to drop his soap in front of me in the showers… : )
    Only joking!!!, or am I…

  • Anonymous

    Even more Savage today, with Didi Hermann, or however you spell his name – he’s german, is he? Or am I wrong? If I could spell his name I would google him to confirm any spells wrong I got again. On the beeb again, and again both explain brilliantly footie dressing room politics exposed by both, the link,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19430909
    And furthermore Alastair, because of Michael Laudrup, the incredible, eyes out on springs for Swans fans, new manager, a Danish telly channel, where Laudrup is a god for them, will show ALL Swans matches live on their telly channel. Extra bucks in the coffers, maybe, for the Swans, but I do not how the Premier pot of telly receipts work though, so maybe not. Link to this story,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19433468
    Interesting twist, you could say Alastair for the Swans. Funny how things turn out.