"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy Hanukkah !

PMQ's in the House yesterday ended on a happy note from Andrew "Brownose" Dinsmore ...
Mr. Andrew Dismore (Hendon) (Lab): Last night was the first night of Hanukkah. Will my right hon. Friend take this opportunity to pass on his best wishes to the Jewish community and acknowledge its great contribution to our society and life?

The Prime Minister: I agree entirely. When I addressed the Board of Deputies of British Jews, *****I told them that their community plays an enormous part in our life, not only through all the voluntary organisations in the Jewish community, which do a huge amount of work, but also through the contribution that is made right across our national life by organisations that represent the Jewish community. I pay tribute to what they have done over the centuries in our country.

Latkes all round at No 10 for supper then.

Here is a handy recipe ...

Latkes are potato pancakes fried in oil. The oil reminds us of the miraculous oil that lasted for eight days when the Temple of Jerusalem was rededicated.

4 cups peeled, grated potatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt - pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
2 eggs

Wash, peel, and grate the potatoes. Squeeze out liquid. Combine with onion, salt, flour, and pepper (and chives). Lightly beat the egg, and stir into the mixture.

Heat the oil in a pan, and spoon in tablespoons of the mixture to make medium sized patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown lightly on the other.

Serve with applesauce, cottage cheese, yogurt, or sour cream.

***** Strangely enough this was in April (when Prudent Gordon was still Chancellor) on the evening when David Abrahams sat next to Jon Mendelsohn and told him that he secretly donated money to Labour through intermediaries.... was that what he meant yesterday by ..."the contribution that is made right across our national life by organisations that represent the Jewish community." ???

Curiously it was that happy event and the Party Conference in Manchester that led Ivan Lewis MP for Bury South to write an article for the Jewish Chronicle with an unambiguous title...

Brown is a philo-semite. Expect great things -
JC.com 22/06/2007

Labour Party members and the world’s media will descend on my home city of Manchester this weekend to witness a historic “coronation”. Every section of society will begin to ask some key questions: Who is Gordon Brown? What does he stand for? Like all citizens, British Jews will be concerned about mainstream issues such as the economy, taxation, public services and the environment. Equally, Middle East policy, antisemitism and the threat of fundamentalist terrorism will be at the forefront of many peoples’ minds.

Having worked for him as a Treasury minister, I can confirm he is a remarkable man. He was the co-producer and many would say the main philosophical architect of New Labour and its unique contention that, in the modern world, economic dynamism and social justice are inextricably linked, not competing options. The Blair-Brown splits were overplayed, but Gordon has never cared much for the status and trappings of power and his impatience is fuelled by a burning desire to progress great causes like the elimination of child and pensioner poverty at home and making poverty history in Africa.

In Tony Blair, the community couldn’t have had a better friend in the good and bad times. But Gordon Brown’s friendship was developed not in the context of a political project but in the DNA of his upbringing. His father was a Church of Scotland minister who studied Hebrew and developed a profound affection and respect for Israel through regular visits.

His empathy with the Jewish cause encouraged Gordon, as a young 12-year-old, to write an article in the parish magazine entitled “Persecution”, later described by Brown’s biographer, Paul Routledge, as a “paean of praise for the Jewish people”. Our future Prime Minister highlighted the positive contribution of so many Jews throughout the world and described persecution as the “pernicious eclipse under which the Jewish people have always existed”.

Forty-three years later, in his recent speech to the Board of Deputies, Brown said: “I commit that never again will the Jewish community have to fight antisemitism alone, the Jewish community do not cause antisemitism and it must not fall on them to have to defeat it.” Even the cynics have to acknowledge that this is an authentic commitment.

In government, his empathy has been matched by action — condemning without qualification terrorist acts against Israel and boycotts of Israel. The Chancellor’s grant to the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET) (Nov 2005 of 1.5 Mn Pounds), which will fund at least two sixth-formers from every school in the country to visit Auschwitz, is unprecedented.

In the run-up to the leadership campaign, Mr Brown has addressed meetings and events organised by HET (see pic), Labour Friends of Israel and the Board of Deputies. In a period of rising antisemitism and extreme hostility towards Israel, some political leaders may have distanced themselves from a community which feels insecure. He demonstrated an integrity and empathy in contrast to the shallow opportunism of Messrs Hague and Cameron.

So what of the future? Our new Prime Minister believes that a two-state solution is both just and inevitable. However, there will be no grand plans which promise hope and deliver little change. He has made it clear that improved living conditions and jobs are key to marginalising the extremists. Economic development is the “roadmap” to a peace which is sustainable and real.

The USA, irrespective of its political leadership, will continue to be a key ally — but like any successful relationship, reciprocity will be expected and asserted. Iraq will not be deserted for short-term political gain but nor will our troops be asked to make sacrifices for no purpose.

At home, Prime Minister Brown will not compromise on his belief that the state’s first responsibility is the security of its citizens. He understands that you cannot fight Islamic fundamentalist terrorism according to the rules of cricket or elevate individual rights above national security.

Equally, he will focus on building a new consensus around common British values, which seeks to marginalise the extremists and support leaders who are willing to say difficult things to their own communities. Mr Brown has made it clear that he regards faith schools and charities as a major part of the solution, not the problem.

The Chief Rabbi has acknowledged Gordon Brown as a leader of great moral purpose. He becomes our Prime Minister as Britain and the world face great challenges. He will undoubtedly be a strong leader, combining intellect, integrity and substance.

More than that, over time I predict many of you will decide he is someone you would like to have around your Friday night dinner table.

Ivan Lewis is MP for Bury South

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish