SUNDAY BLOG: February 9 2020

Trump: Have the Democrats Failed?

That depends on which side you are on in a very polarised country.  From this side of the Atlantic it seems to me that there have always been two issues which  American voters need to think about. One is about Trump and whether he acted unconstitutionally in his dealings with Ukraine. The other is about the Bidens. Why was the son paid a million dollars a year to sit on the board of a known to be corrupt company, when he had no qualifications or experience relevant to the role? And is it true that the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating corruption in that company was fired after the then Vice-President, Biden Snr., told the Ukrainian government that US aid would be withheld if they did not remove them?

Trump is now acquitted by the Senate. But questions about Biden remain. He is faltering in the primaries and running short of money. He would be a calamitous choice for  the Democrats to run against Trump. The whole impeachment saga has killed his credibility, if not in America, certainly in the rest of the world. So even though the Democrats failed, and failed badly, in their impeachment campaign, which I thought doomed from the start, the removal of Biden from the prospect of running for president, in a perverse way, does them a favour.

Cabinet Reshuffle UK

It is reported that the Boris cabinet will get a substantial makeover in the latter part of the coming week. This has been trailed since his election triumph. It is obvious to everyone that the general tone and performance of post coalition Tory cabinets has not been up to snuff, with too many ministers either below par or out of their depth or fighting each other. In some cases all three.

Government is not just about Brexit, it is about running the country so that people can go about their business and get on with their lives, supported by public services which run smoothly and deliver. Clearly this is not happening now, nor has it been since 2015. So Boris and Cummings have to wield the axe without fear or favour and come up with real talent. Of course one hopes, very much, that women and ethnic minorities will be well represented in the new line up. In their ranks talent abounds, not least because to get there they have had to try a good deal harder to override a system which for centuries has been organised to favour white straight men.

Neighbourhood Crime

Latest statistics reveal that while the police across the country are good at the big stuff the kind of crime, burglaries, car crime, knives, robberies, which affects ordinary people every day, is now all but ignored. A crime number is just about all you can expect to get. Lots of reasons are given, not least Osborne era cuts.

But the main reason is that the Peel model of neighbourhood policing which was designed to prevent crime as much as to solve it, has completely disappeared. We need a nationwide Neighbourhood Police Service to restore the principle of community security, which concentrates on the whole range of small but upsetting threats and fears which spoil the days and nights of far too many.

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