Conservative knives out for George Osborne

The Chancellor has been personally blamed for the party’s misfortunes and poor opinion poll ratings, with senior figures warning that change is needed ahead of the general election.

There are renewed calls for Mr Osborne to give up his role coordinating the party’s campaigning, as fears mount of disastrous results in May’s English local elections.

Some critics are demanding that he should be replaced as Chancellor by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary. Such a move would be a dramatic shift for the Prime Minister, as Mr Osborne is his closest political ally.

One senior Conservative at the heart of the party, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Telegraph: “George is the problem.”

Concerns centre on what is perceived to be his failure to understand the middle classes, their values, and their economic struggle.


Peculiar Faith

White Guilt won’t solve anything. Neither will White Denial. Trying to figure out where one sits on that spectrum is a distinct privilege for white people, like me. People of color don’t have those moments of luxury, those moments when they get to pause and wonder about all the complexities of a social and political system designed to favor white people and white communities.

As I sat in a dark theater watching Django Unchained last week I was glad for little light. What I watched belongs in shadows and in dark corners and all those places where human beings rightly cower in the face of horror. Watching that film I felt assaulted by violence, torn by conflicting loyalties, wrenched by poignant moments of tenderness, amused by reversals of fortune, and appalled by the human capacity to act with unspeakable cruelty. Yet none of that compares to what African Americans feel…

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Words for Worms

Greetings, Bookworms!

You know when you’re in a bookstore, browsing, and you get sucked in by picking up a title in the bargain bin? How about when you have grand intentions of bettering yourself and pick up a pile o’ classics only to watch them collect dust on your shelves? We’ve all got the shelf of shame. And the ladies at the Broke and the Bookish? They want us to own up to it. Today’s Top Ten Tuesday: Stuff I Bought But Never Read.

toptentuesday1. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Sometimes (okay, a lot of times) I get self important and think that I will be able to appreciate even the most highbrow of classics. That’s when I buy things like Madame Bovary and then watch them moulder on my shelves for an eternity. I mean, I SHOULD like this. A doctor’s wife has adulterous affairs? I mean, hello

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Timing is everything, Boris Johnson, as David Miliband will testify

“It is the most shattering experience of a young man’s life when one morning he awakes, and, quite reasonably, says to himself: ‘I will never play the Dane.’” Uncle Monty’s words in Withnail & I are delivered with unforgettable pathos and wit by Richard Griffiths, who died on Thursday. They refer to the disappointment etched into the destiny of almost every actor. But they ring no less true in the ranks of the political class.

When Boris Johnson finally admitted to Michael Cockerell in last Monday’s BBC documentary, that “if the ball came loose from the back of the scrum” he’d quite like to be prime minister, he was simply being candid about the political psyche. There is a part of every new MP that believes he will one day occupy No 10: Hamlet in the lethal Elsinore that is Westminster.

It has taken David Miliband more than two years to accept fully the “shattering experience” of which Uncle Monty speaks. As president and chief executive of the International Rescue Committee, he will be based in New York, the capital city of the world, putting to good use his talents and experience in response to the planet’s worst humanitarian crises. But he is also serving notice that he knows he is never going to be pri


The Slog

At Easter, it’s worth pondering where real opposition would be without Jesus of Nazareth

For once, I remembered to put the clocks forward. But somehow, it still doesn’t feel like clocks-forward weather. We’ve had some tremendously high winds over the last two days. It is my habit when urinating here to go outside in the garden unless the weather is especially inclement. Not only does one save around four gallons per day of water by doing this – in time, water will become our most valued resource – I also get a tremendous sense of independence from walking onto grass and weeing where the mood takes me.

That said, during high winds it is always important to retain a focus on the direction of wind travel. I am becoming increasingly absent-minded these days, especially when halfway through a piece and pondering how to end it. Such musings are unwise while…

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Beyond the Cusp

There are more than enough rumors, slanders, myths and misconceptions about the Jewish people and their desired relations with the world. Though I am not the most learned of people on this subject, I will still try and give it a shot as best as I am able. The concepts that Jews have designs on ruling the entire world are false. We Jews have a desire to live on the lands which G0d promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and as described to Moses and Joshua which is best described as the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea with an additional small area east of the Jordan River. If one searches the Internet for “Map of Biblical Israel and the Twelve Tribes” one will easily find the actual lands the Jewish nation carved out and took possession as was promised to them. The Jews have no desire…

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PA Pundits - International

HelleDale.ashxBy Helle Dale ~

I have added an UPDATE with a link to a video and an excerpt of the transcript at the bottom of the Post. This is from an interview on an Australian late night current affairs TV program as recent as Thursday night. In that interview, a long term Middle East foreign correspondent says the same thing as what is alluded to in this Post from Helle Dale…..TonyfromOz.

Under President Obama’s leadership, U.S. influence among Middle East nations has waned, and in fact declined since President Bush left office.

During last week’s visit to Ramallah, Palestine, Obama was the object of demonstrations by irate Palestinians. They are not alone in their anger over neglect and unfulfilled presidential promises, as Princeton graduate and Fulbright scholar Sarah Mousa wrote following Obama’s Middle East trip:

Throughout the region, people celebrated Obama as a potentially revolutionary force via US policy…

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Last night I went to a house party where I only knew one person.  I hadn’t been to the house before, so I had the address in my hand as I walked quickly through the dark. Just around the corner from where I thought the house party should be, I passed another house party in full swing: I could see rooms full of costumed people standing and laughing, plastic cups in hand.

For a moment I thought about walking in. It could just as easily have been the party I was going to, and I would know almost as many people there.

But I found the right party just around the corner. I poured myself some of the applejack cocktail I’d brought and scanned the room. By the time the one person I knew appeared, I’d already met several other guests, including a kindred spirit who also “didn’t know anyone…

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