Over the last few weeks we have been presented with a new facet of our ruling Coalition. It turns out that they in addition to their nastiness they are also pretty incompetent. This should not really come as much of a surprise. However it has been shocking to see just how incapable they are.
First up was David Cameron’s rather hasty visit to Egypt and the Middle East. Nothing wrong in principle with such a visit. But the timing was all wrong. Just as the region is in the continuing throes of popular democratic uprisings. Made the Prime MInister look a bit like a Johnny come lately - over keen to jump on the bandwagon. But only when it has shown some signs of success. The big, but big gaff was to go accompanied by legions of military salesmen. Not just accompanied by them, but our Prime Minister seems to think it is his job to actually promote these sales. In the Middle East of all places - a region already awash with billions of pounds worth of the latest killing machines. And just at the moment when masses of people are protesting against dictatorships - some of whom are quite happy to use our weapons to shoot and kill their own citizens. It is quite incomprehensible how David Cameron could have gone ahead with this visit in these circumstances. Not much in the way of real leadership here.
Shortly afterwards we had another example of David Cameron’s unfitness for high office. As the Libyan government’s reaction to the popular protests begins to turn violent we have our Prime Minister at his most gung-ho, issuing all kinds of threats. What can only have been an impromptu action on his part - designed no doubt to bolster his macho and military image. For no sooner had his stirring words been uttered than it emerged that no-one else was on board for this kind of action. Not the USA, not his partners in the EU, not Egypt and certainly not Russia or China. This is not leading from the front - this is foolhardy grandstanding of someone pretending to be a leader.
Then we have the sorry tale of William Hague our Foreign Secretary Who initially doesn’t seem to have a clue as to the whereabouts of Gaddafi - was he in Venezuela perhaps? Then the delays in getting UK nationals out of the danger zones. Something which all other countries seemed to manage without any fanfare or delays. And of course the granddaddy cock-up of them all - the Keystone Cops approach to diplomacy in the desert. A helicopter of armed SAS soldiers flies into rebel held territory. Unannounced and they end up captured. What a disgrace for the proud SAS. At the same time we have a British naval ship in the port of Benghazi - the centre of rebel held territory. So just what was the point of all this bravado? The Keystone Cops approach should remain forever in Hollywood. Not the sort of action that even a halfway sensible Foreign Secretary would sanction.
These recent foreign escapades have been the most obvious of the Coalition’s incompetence. The others have yet to emerge fully into the public domain. They could however prove many times more damaging to the future well being of our country. I refer of course to the reckless way the Coalition is going about slashing public services, reducing the living standards of most people, while at the same time indulging in an untested and badly thought out so-called reform of key public services. All to increase the opportunities for private profit and to benefit the already rich. Time will tell to what extent these so-called reforms will turn out to be the greatest example of both nastiness and incompetence from any UK government.