Archive for January, 2010

Will the Health Care Bill Ever Be Passed in the US

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

The democrats are locked in tough battle, but not with the republicans this time. Instead they are fighting amongst themselves trying to suppress the health care reform bill that they originally crafted.

Many Senate and House seats will be up for grabs this November. The door is wide open for either side to walk in. The Republicans will be hot on their heels, trying to tarnish the bill and finding a way of compressing everything that the democrats have done so far. For now thought it all lies with the Democrats. They have a big job on their hands, their attitude over the next few months will say a lot about them.

Unfortunately for the Democrats they have taken nine months to write the health care bill, and walking away from it after so long is not what federal politics is all about. If they do not proceed with the bill there could be severe consequences. It would show their weakness and could be a direct statement that they are wrong and the republicans are right, this is not how it is suppose to work in politics .

Single-Payer health care made available to every American is essential for progress, this is a view affirmed by many. This bill was initially designed to get America there and this has been made clear by the Democrats. So why stop here, the best thing for the democrats would be to move forward with and pass the health care reforms. The democrats will be judged on this, and people will remember this for a very long time. It looks very simple, get the bill through and floor the opposition.

It is all in the hands of the democrats now. Victory or defeat is theirs to choose. The fact that the Republicans do not have the numbers put the choice in the hands of the democrats. For us it is a watching game and who knows how the game will end.

Gordon Brown To Face Iraq Grilling

Monday, January 25th, 2010

As the Iraq enquiry continues in Great Smith Street the political big hitters are finally facing the public questioning. Controversy has been growing however about the non-appearance of Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

At the start of the enquiry its chairman, Sir John Chilcott, stated that the enquiry would stay firmly away from the arena of party politics and that hearings would not be held in the run up to a General Election. Last year the enquiry committee confirmed that neither Mr Brown nor any of his current cabinet would be called to give evidence prior to the election.

This stance, intented to ensure that the enquiry remained politically neutral, has instead proved to be politically divisive, with the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Scottish Nationalist parties all condemning the ruling. The leader of the SNP in Westminster, Angus Robertson MP, was particularly hard hitting in his condemnation, claiming that Gordon Brown had much to answer for as he had agreed to “an illegal and immoral invasion” but had not provided troops with the resources and equipment that they needed.

At first it seemed that Mr Brown was happy to wait until after the election to appear before the enquiry. With his personal popularity at a nadir and a struggle to pull back the Conservative Party lead in the opinion polls the last thing that he wanted to do, with the election looming ever closer, was to remind the public of his vital role in the unpopular war in Iraq. Mr Brown seems to have cultivated the idea that then PM Tony Blair had been the prime mover behind the decision to go to war but recent evidence to the enquiry seems to implicate Brown in a way that a jittery Labour Party will find disquieting.

The recent evidence given by two very high profile figures, former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and spin doctor-in-chief Alistair Campbell, has planted Gordon Brown firmly at the front of the decision making process and the upcoming appearance of former Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith may prove to be equally problematic for the PM. Former Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, a staunch Blair supporter who recently called for Brown to step down as party leader, further sullied Brown’s reputation by stating to Chilcott that Brown, when Chancellor of the Exchequer, had for many years been responsible for the underfunding of the armed forces.

With pressure from all political sides, and with the public perception being that Brown is not appearing at the enquiry because he has something to hide, Gordon Brown has now written to the enquiry to state that he is happy to appear whenever the panel wanted. This surprise move has led to the enquiry committee stating that he will appear before them within two months.

Undoubtedly this is a damage limitation exercise on the Prime Minister’s part but with Tony Blair himself due to appear imminently the political heat is turning up, and the eyes of the world will be focused on Brown when he makes his feverishly anticipated appearance. Brown is never an assured and flowing public speaker and with his popularity showing no signs of recovery this could be a very risky strategy from Downing Street. We shall soon see whether this will be Gordon Brown’s finest hour or the final blow to his chances of being elected returning Prime Minister.