October 29, 2007

Are these leaders cuckoo?

Look at these two PM’s and see what they have in common.

Neither of them is an oil painting. Whatever charisma and leadership skills they might cobble together would not even qualify for more than a footnote in history.

Neither of these men earned their positions of power. They inherited them by default when the sitting prime minister became incapacitated; Ariel Sharon by a stroke and Tony Blair knifed by a cabal of ministers and senior civil servants opposed to the Iraq war (and – perhaps more significantly – incensed by Blair’s relationship with George W Bush).

These are not lame ducks but cuckoos – sitting pretty in a comfortable nest woven by some unfortunate bird that got bumped off the tree.

And from this lofty perch - their lungs filled and cheeks flushed with all this unearned power – they play god with vital national interests whilst trampling the basic principles of democracy with an arrogant disregard for the views of the people.

Gordon Brown is determined to sign away sovereign British rights in a new EU treaty. Breaking his party’s election promise to consult the electorate in advance, Brown continues to refuse a referendum being requested by 70 percent of the British people. This unelected leader will not ask the people because he knows they will say NO.

Ehud Olmert – taking breaks between police investigations – similarly presumes to know everything better than his own people. He presumes to know what risks Israel can take in territorial concessions better than his own people who, unlike him, have faced enemy bullets in Israel’s wars. In the war – or intifada – that will surely follow the Annapolis conference’s success or failure, it will not be Olmert’s kids facing Arab bullets and Iranian missiles. They dodged army service years ago and are happily ensconced in the comfortable USA.

This unelected leader will also not ask his people because he knows they will also say NO.

No, it will be the sons and daughters of those he refuses to consult that will be in the front line after Olmert has given away whatever concessions Condi Rice needs to end her White House term with something to boast about.

There is an ornithological term for the cuckoo: it’s called a ‘brood parasite’.

I’m no bird watcher, but I couldn’t have put it better.



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