Mar. 17th, 2006

chickenfeet: (redflag)
That's all right then! Wouldn't want anyone to think Tone was selling peerages cheap like.
chickenfeet: (fishy)
Comments in yesterday's food poll raised some interesting issues about taboo foods so, as promised, here is a follow up poll.

[Poll #692699]
chickenfeet: (casablanca)
So here we go with the voting in Humiliation the Movie 2 - The Horror Returns. Participants should now indicate which of the following films they have seen. The winner will be the person who nominated the most watched flick.

[Poll #692724]
chickenfeet: (robespierre)
I've been doing a bit of speculation about where power lies in various governments and what that tells us about the polities in question. For the purposes of the analysis I'm only thinking about modern states that have some approximation to departmental ministers.

So what are the prestige jobs and positions of power (excluding of course the head of government)? In most modern democracies it's the Finance Minister. This would certainly be true today for the UK, Canada, Germany, Australia and most other places that I can think of. Historically it wasn't always so of course. In the UK, Foreign Secretary was once the plum job. In the USSR the only one that mattered was the head of the Cheka/OGPU/NKVD/KGB. In Imperial Japan before 1945 it was the service ministers. No doubt one could find other exceptions but they would be rare, especially in democracies.

Which gets me to the point of all this. What's the equivalent in the USA? Once upon a time it was the Secretary of State, a fact that is even reflected in some rather obscure points of the Constitution, but few would claim primacy for State today. The key post in the US government is Secretary of Defense (a misnomer of course), reflecting the extraordinary power that the armed forces have over American policy. Ironically, the comparison with Japan in the 1930s starts to look rather apt. Can anyone spell "pre-emptive strike"?
chickenfeet: (wrong)
...or is the idea of two ladies from Jersey travelling to Melbourne, Australia to play lawn bowls against their counterparts from the Isle of Man not just a teensy bit loony?
chickenfeet: (viking)
From the Grauniad:

Ms Jowell's breach emerged as a select committee report gave a damning verdict over the handling of the introduction of 24-hour drinking by her own department.

Life in the Civil Service doesn't sound too bad, though depending on where Ms Jowell's breach emerged and how long one had been drinking I could imagine it proving a bit disturbing.

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