Between reforms and indulgences - Blair and Sarkozy

I'd like to point out two key moves made by Tony Blair during his life. Two decisive acts of allegiance that may well explain a third one ; the most famous - allegiance to Bush and his suicidal crusade in Iraq. These two events didn't happen during his PM mandates but set a perfect frame around them :

- the first act of allegiance ? before taking power, and actually in order to take it : Blair made a pact with a curious devil named Ruppert Murdoch

- the second act of allegiance ? not long after leaving power : Blair clinched a deal with the most controversial Pope since WWII, to embrace the ultraconservative Roman Catholicism Benedict XVI dreams of restoring fundamentalism

As far as economy is concerned, Blair and Murdoch symbolise reforms and conservatism, but what strikes me most about Blair is the gap between his very pragmatic sense of reform and his very utopic mysticism... and Murdoch is not only obsessed by money but by the success of candidates with a messianic touch. This Citizen Kane didn't succeed with Pat Robertson in the late 80s, but earned his reputation of serial kingmaker with Tony and Dubya.

You want to keep an eye on Nicolas Sarkozy, a great admirer of Tony Blair the Reformer and Murdoch the Entrepreneur, a great friend of George W. Bush the Leader, a great echo to Ratzinger's theories about genetic determination or Europe's Christian heritage...


Hillary vs anyone = Bloomberg 2008 ?

Over one year ago, I predicted a candidacy of Segolene Royal in France would be the best opportunity for center hopeful Francois Bayrou. Sego eventually did get her chance, but Bayrou blew his own.

I've been telling the same about Michael Bloomberg for a while : should Hillary Clinton prevail in the Primaries and run without Obama, the mayor of New York could win as an independent. Except this time, the man would deliver.

Don't get me wrong. I'm mentioning "the man" and not "the male", and the fact that both Royal and Clinton are female is a pure coincidence. There was clearly a question of character and competence for Royal*, whilst Clinton mainly suffers, more or less unfairly, from a popularity problem.

I'm quite sure Bloomberg waits for the outcome of the Democratic race. Should he bring a new, disruptive face as a Veep**, he would gain momentum within weeks. Heck : for all you know, he could hire the best team. Not as a candidate, but as the head of a non partisan administration.

The US are ripe for a telluric change in politics. This is no more about Elephants vs Donkeys but about forward looking and humanists vs conservative and determinists. And consider "conservative" and "determinist" at the literal sense of the term : a hardcore liberal can be ultra conservative and an ayatollah of free trade as determinist as a radical Hegelian.

Bloomberg is by no means the perfect man. Yet he does stand a chance and he could make a change.

Anyway, I believe both Obama and Hillary can deliver great presidencies. And I sincerely hope whoever wins will actually reach across the aisles to make a sustainable difference.

What America needs now is not alternance from Reps to Dems but from offside politics to noble politics, from the negation of the republic and of democracy to the essence of republic and democracy.

* see my not so kind
blogules on her in French.

** I mean someone coming out of the blue, not out of the Grand Old Blue Party.


From Sim City to Sin City

I haven't been precisely kind to Dubai lately*, but things keep turning uglier in this tiny Emirate where - I hate to say this - everything tends to take biblical proportions.

Building the tallest Babel Towers (Burj Dubai) is one thing, competing with Sodom and Gomorrah quite another. The rape of 15 year old Alexandre Robert by 3 Emirati (2 former convicts including one H.I.V. positive) recently made the international headlines only because he was a Westerner and because his family decided to fight ; to overcome the humiliation ; to help all the silent victims, and to prevent more crimes from happening in the future.

This tragedy could become a turning point for Dubai's rulers. This time, it's too late for your usual cover up, you can't hide the dark sides of your wonderful mirage anymore. You can make a few bucks out of a Disneyland Resort, not out of a Mickael Jackson's Neverland. Either you stick to denial or you decide to take measures.

This Emirate is led by people who do have a strategic vision, people who should understand that firing a few people won't be considered as measures, that scaring away a few potential customers is much less serious than building a social bomb at home, or alienating the global Muslim community. Dubai could thrive as a neutral heaven in the middle of the Middle East, where sailors meet pirates, raiders traders, fundamentalists infidels. Dubai will collapse if it doesn't come to its senses.

This is no more about luxurious condos but about that most valuable ressource : human beings. This is no more about concrete but about the cement of a nation.

* to mention a few :
- blogules in English : "Red blogule to the DP World - P&O deal's Architects and winners"(20060224), "
Halliburton and the 40 thieves (continued) - Dubai, we have a problem" (20070312)
- blogule in French "Dubai - de Sim City à Sin City" (20071101), later published on Agoravox.
- one letter published in Newsweek (20070810 - following their Dubai Rising article last summer) : "I wonder if your writer went behind the scenes in Dubai. The bulk of its population is poor Muslim foreigners from the East living in ghettos, workers building a dream world they cannot afford and which is denied to them anyway because even longtime residents cannot become citizens. I saw Dubai rising, all right. But I also saw the seeds of unfairness, injustice and anger being sown ; these are the kind of things that breed fundamentalism. And I saw wealthy Westerners all over the place, enjoying this Middle Eastern Vegas. Let's keep a watch on what may rise from that."

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