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A week is a long time in politics

Yesterday Tony Blair finally gave evidence to the Chilcot Inquiry, which is examining the whys and hows of how we ended up invading Iraq. Needless to say, he's still the self-righteous, arrogant prick that he always was. Apparently his only regret was not being able to unify the divided country after we launched the invasion, i.e. his only regret was that he couldn't make us support him. Full coverage here on the BBC for anyone interested.

What sickens me about all this is that the view of the then-Cabinet and Blair seems to have been that it didn't matter what they were advised because it had already decided to instigate regime-change in Iraq. As a result, provided they had "evidence" that supported their own views, they were never going to question the veracity of the same and their only task was to get their parties and the Commons in line behind them.

I'm coming to the conclusion that it will be this Inquiry that sinks Labour at the next election rather than the economy or any of Brown's dunderheaded policies. Iraq is a huge scar on the UK and our on-going role in Afghanistan is a combination of Northern Ireland and Vietnam. Anyone can tell you that whether we're there for 3 years, 10 years or 50 years, we're not going to accomplish what we set out to do. Hell, the Russians tried for over a decade and it damn-near bankrupted them.

Gordon Brown is due to give evidence end of February/beginning of March. It'll be interesting to see how he tries to weasel his way out of any responsibility.

Enough with politics.

In more pleasant news, I met up carolanne5 and uninvitedcat on Thursday to see Compagnie Ieto at the Southbank Centre as part of the London International Mime Festival. There's a link below for anyone interested in seeing what they do - which seems to be a mix of acrobatics, mime and dare-devilery, which was v. interesting.

Link To Compagnie Ieto on YouTube

I'm very excited to have got a review copy of Servant of the Underworld by Aliette De Bodard through Amazon Vine. I talked about this book in one of my previous posts and I really don't think you can go wrong with Aztecs and a locked room mystery.

In other news, I am on course to fulfil another one of my New Year Resolutions, namely to read 100 books by the end of the year. So far, I've read:

1. The Hundred-Towered City by Garry Kilworth (STARTED IN 2009)

2. Triumff: Her Majesty’s Hero by Dan Abnett

3. Sixty-One Nails by Mike Shevdon

4. Stolen by Lucy Christopher

5. Rebel by R. J. Anderson

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

7. Legend by David Gemmell

8. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

9. Fire by Kristin Cashore

10. Death Message by Mark Billingham

11. Smiley’s People by John Le Carré

12. Pure Blood by Caitlin Kittredge

Unfortunately, I am already lagging behind uninvitedcat. But it's not a competition (she says to herself through gritted teeth).

Right, back to the writing table. My mother is threatening to tie me to a chair until I finished KYBS and I don't think she's joking.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
carolanne5
Jan. 30th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
Ooo what did you think of Legend? I've never read any Gemmell (for the stupid but true reason that it was the favourite author of someone I had little respect for).

hooton
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I mostly enjoyed Legend - mainly because Gemmell moves between characters effortlessly and there's a lot of action, plus you can see how it's drawn from the legend of the Spartans final stand.

However there are parts of it that will never fly in modern fantasy. Notably the relationship between the male and female leads (both the build up and resolution, which are cliched and contrived) but also the fact that there's no real depth to the heroes - they are all heroic in their way.

Still, it's definitely worth a read. I will lend it to you the next time we do a meet up.
carolanne5
Jan. 30th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)


My mother is threatening to tie me to a chair until I finished KYBS and I don't think she's joking.

... I like your mother alot.
hooton
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
Heh. I think she regretted it after I took up residence at the dining room table with my papers and laptop.
(Deleted comment)
hooton
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
So do we reckon a Conservative win?

I don't think it matters who wins, because it'll be the country that loses ... [/political cynicism].

I'd be surprised if the Tories didn't win because the expectation is there. Equally though, I know a lot of people of my generation who can't bring themselves to vote Tory because of the bad memories.

It's a bit like the 92 election where everyone thought Labour would win and the Tories slipped back with a slim majority. That would be a complete disaster because Labour would then do what the Tories did and completely implode.

Still, Brown keeps scoring own goal after own goal, so you never know. We could actually end up with a hung parliament.

How did you find Kristin Cashore's books?

I'm way behind in my reviews and should get that done. I thought Graceling was better than Fire because it had a stronger female character. The focus in both is more on the characters and the world than the plot (there is an awful lot of travelling scenes where the characters talk to each other) and there are times when the female characters wallow in their supposed weakness. That annoyed me more in Fire because I felt that was a book whose central message was "pity me for I'm so hawt".

So in conclusion, Graceling is a better read than Fire.
momentsmusicaux
Jan. 30th, 2010 05:45 pm (UTC)
Same with the drugs guy a few months ago, too.

Get evidence from specialists... don't like it? Ignore it and forge ahead anyway!

For the record, I never liked Blair. Even before the 97 election I thought he was a slimy one who'd just tell people what he thought they wanted to hear.
hooton
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)
I think all the parties share the same arrogance. There's no intellectual rigour from any MP nowadays, with the possible exceptions of Vince Cable and Frank Field.
momentsmusicaux
Jan. 31st, 2010 06:33 pm (UTC)
In a way, they are behaving like royalty used to before royalty realized it had to listen to its ministers and advisers who knew more than it did.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 4th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
The Iraq/Afghanistan thing is indeed utterly rubbish. I don't remember ever meeting anyone who thought it was a good idea, and before they invaded we all thought it would be some kind of phoney war propaganda thing and come to nothing.

Utterly rubbish, in short.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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