Saturday, February 24, 2007

Bad news for all those eejits who enjoy making rich people richer, Madeley and Finnegan are dropping their "You Ring, We Sting" money-spinner. They're going to have to think up some new scheme to replace it. You'd think they'd be satisfied with the book-plugging fees, but no. Maybe it's the buzz they get from sailing close to the wind, the risk of exposure, as when Richard was caught NOT shoplifting. No, I believe it's naked greed. I read that they got a millionaire on as a guest, along with their daughter, who put the anchors on him for £5000. Shameless! I don't watch the programme so I don't know if they dropped the product placement after that got too blatant for even Channel4. The last time I saw this pair at work they were giving their guest Jeremy Hardy a verbal kicking for daring to voice his disagreement with the invasion of Iraq. They were aided and abetted in this exhibition of bad manners by Tory tart A. (for Aussie) Platell. I wonder if Iraq comes up much on the show these days.
Maybe there's a website dedicated to this nefarious pair and their moneygrubbing antics. I must do a web search.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

All this fuss about British troops pulling out of Iraq. "Oo-er! What will the Americans say?" "Is there a split in the Coalition?" Who do they think they're fooling? Does nobody remember that not long ago Bush told Blair to send 4000 extra troops to Afghanistan? Then the cry went up that the British military are "overstretched", and Bush gives his poodle permission to pull some troops out of Basra.
Anyway Bush is getting tired of trashing Iraq and has his sights set on Iran. I believe he's ordered a dossier on the Islamic Republic from Downing Street.

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the media are wetting themselves over a petition on road charges - two million plus signatures! I think Ms. Catherine Bennett put that in perspective in last Thursday's Guardian -

A large figure, but one that should, perhaps, inspire only limited awe in a
country where eight million people watched Jade flop out of Big Brother. And
where, in 1989, 4.5 million people put their names to a real, paper, petition,
in support of the ambulance workers' wage claim. It seems to have been ignored.

Then there were the two million (?) who demonstrated their opposition to the invasion of Iraq on the streets of London. I note with interest that the figure of two million was used on last evening's ITN News. When the media refer to this protest the figure they give is a million or "over a million". Two million was the organisers' figure. It seems that ITN have turned against the war, asking what British troops have died for, and if anything has been achieved. Better late than never I suppose. Of course ITN has never been as supine as the BBC. The killing of Terry Lloyd would have done nothing to raise their enthusiasm for official versions of the conflict's progress. The words "so-called war on terror" were also used in the same report.

Monday, February 19, 2007

So farewell then, Maurice Papon, mass murderer. They tried you for collaborating with the Nazis in rounding up Jews for their death camps. You did it, but you walked free. That was some hold you had over the politicians and the judiciary. I suppose, like Hoover in the USA, you knew all their dark secrets. I could say you knew where the bodies were buried, but that seems inappropriate for a killer who preferred to dump his victims' corpses in the Seine. All those dead North Africans fished out of the river and nobody dared ask how they got there. Yes, you certainly wielded great power, and you used it like a true fascist.

Richard and Judy, venality personified. Once again caught in flagrante delicto, their grasping hands in the pockets of their viewers. Will they be punished? Of course not. I'm betting Channel4 will give them a rise as compensation for their embarrassment, as if people of their sort ever felt embarrassment.

I suppose my remark about eunuchs in yesterday's post could be taken as sexist. I'm never quite sure which words are in and which are out. I'm still wondering if it's OK to use the word Spaniard nowadays. Everyone seems to say "the Spanish". There's a lot of similar terms I'm wary of: has Somali become Somalian? Must Croats and Bosniaks now be Croatians and Bosnians? I'm sure there must be a handbook of correct terms I can consult, but I haven't found it yet.
But back to the eunuchs' female colleagues. "Blair's Babes" they were once called condescendingly, but that was before most of them voted for the barbarisation of Iraq. Blair's bomb-happy harpies is a bit of a mouthful. Brian Sedgemore's description of them as Stepford Wives is a fair equivalent of eunuchs, I suppose.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

" At times, I feel that colleagues would vote for the slaughter of the first born if asked to."
Alan Simpson's verdict on his fellow Labour MPs. I'm not sure that he's exaggerating. Simpson, who represents Nottingham South, won't be standing for re-election having realised that he can be more effective outside the Parliament than in it. Of course all MPs know that, but the money's good and then there are the perks, the junkets, the brown envelopes. Better a rich eunuch than a poor, honest man (the MPs' motto).

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Another Hallmark Holiday!" (Grandpa Simpson)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Strange how the police can, under current anti-terror legislation, arrest Muslims who haven't actually done anything on the basis of "intelligence", hold them for days without charges, then let them go. Although the quality of the "intelligence" is not subject to assessment by outside agencies, so we'll never know if it is more than finger-pointing by someone with a grudge against the detainees. At the same time letter bombs are exploding all over the place, but the police have no "intelligence" on the terrorists committing these outrages. Could they be white middle class fascists, i.e., the type of person our secret police don't consider a threat? Let's say someone like Copeland, the Brixton/Brick Lane/Soho bomber, who, Scotland Yard assured us, was not linked to any extreme right organisation. Several other sources assured us that he did have links to extreme right organisations.
Then there was the strange case of the Colne bomb factory; not Muslims, no story.

The England team were booed off the pitch at the end of last night's home defeat at the hands of Spain. Are those millionaires worried? Keep buying the shirts, suckers!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The UK has the highest crime rate in Europe in most categories of crime, though we do come third, after Estonia and Ireland, in the area of pickpocketing and personal theft. Nearly one person in three (32%) living in London has been the victim of crime. In New York the figure is less than one in four - New York for Christ's sake! Meanwhile our prison population is the highest in Europe and our cons are serving the longest sentences in Europe. So locking 'em up works then?
This is post-Thatcher Britain; privatise, marginalise, criminalise. Cut back on the Customs Service, let the heavy drugs in, pay your cronies in advertising a fortune in public money to advise us to "Just say no". Then when the druggies start committing crimes to feed their habits, build more prisons. It's the American way, and everybody knows that the Americans have got it all sussed. That's the ideal polity to which first the Thatcherites, then the Blairites aspired. Totally discredited, but, as the mill owners of Manchester told Herr Engels "And yet there is money to be made. Good day, sir". That was justification enough for "...barbarous indifference, hard selfishness on one side, unspeakable misery on the other, everywhere social war, every man's house a fortress, everywhere marauders who plunder under the protection of the law." Autres temps, les mêmes moeurs.

Of course, in order to accept this deterioration in their living standards the majority of the population has to be lobotomised, desensitised and detached from reality. Blair's "education..."x3 is making a decent job of this. Soon we'll be down to the levels achieved by Skinnerites in the US, a nation that believes George W. Bush is fit to hold its highest office.
Here's an extract from an article about a new US TV series that Murdoch's minions wish they hadn't commissioned -
"Luke Wilson plays ordinary Joe Bowers, chosen to be frozen by the military in 2005, who accidentally wakes up in 2505 to find a broken-down, thuggish America where language has become a patois of football chants, hip-hop slang and grunts denoting rage, pleasure and priapic longing, where citizens are obese, violent, ever-horny and narcotised by consumerism, TV and fast food."
So far in the future? I've always believed that science fiction is about the here and now, not a very original thought I suppose. I suggest that it could also be a description of the UK in ten, maybe five, years time. Still, keep on consuming, nothing lasts forever and the human race has had a good run.

Meanwhile, in South London, young men and boys are being gunned down at a rate of one every other day - americanisation has really caught on there. After the murder of Damilola Taylor something was to be done. We learn now that £7,000,000 was set aside to make Peckham a safer place. The public is entitled to ask what it got for it's money. Where is it now? Is anyone accountable for it? If this happened in a Third World country our media would be pontificating about corruption. That's not a word they like to use about British individuals and institutions. So nothing will be done, but somebody, or some bodies, will be a lot richer.