Friday, November 28, 2008

The Mugabe-esque arrest of Damian Green

I find it utterly astonishing that, beyond denying all involvement (yeah right!), the government has not made any comment on this.

Meanwhile, it's been confirmed that counter-terrorism police have confiscated documents and computers from Green's Commons offices. There goes the confidentiality of all his constituents then, along with perhaps the confidentiality the rest of us entrust in our MPs, whose files can apparently be arbitrated by the police on a whim. Bastards.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

George Osborne

Osborne's response to the PBR was brilliant, a defining moment for him (and this along with Harman's first turn at PMQs proves that a good parliamentary performance can change everything). He is the shining beacon of hope in a valley of economic gloom and despair - the likelihood that someone as intelligent and sensible as him will be Chancellor in just over a year's time provides me with the thinnest glimmer of hope that things might turn out okay.

And then I remember how much damage the Labour party intends to do before then. Scorched earth, indeed...

Monday, November 24, 2008

45% on the highest earners would lead to 1978 madness

Anyone who knows anything about economics knows this is an unworkable policy from a man who knows he can't win the next election, so he's putting Labour on full-on damage limitation mode by appealing directly to the left and the "class war" types in the strongest possible terms. Tomorrow, David Cameron must clearly point out that the man who doth protest so loudly at his opponent's supposed "party politics" is the most tribalistic leader to ever inhabit Downing Street.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oh my god! Will people please stop going on about Boris Johnson using the word "piccaninnies" in an article. The fact is, he used it in the exact same context the critics are using it: to describe someone else as being vaguely racist. In his case, it was Tony Blair. However, the difference between he and the critics is that instead of repeatedly bashing Blair over the head with it, he focused on his work and ascended to the job of Mayor of London.

Pull the other one

Today, Gordon Brown said he was "not thinking about anything related to internal politics".

LOL! He never thinks about anything ELSE. He frames every political decision he makes around how best to boost himself and damage the Tories.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Eureka! (Light bulb)

The regular 60 watt light bulb is being phased out in lieu of the newer "environmentally friendly" low-energy bulbs, purely at the insistence of the European parliament (not for any commercial reasons, just because they like interfering in people's lives). But my mum says the new things flicker and give her migraines. So, fearful that she soon won't be able to get them any more, she has stocked up on the old-style 60 watt and 100 watt bulbs and filled two shelves of a cupboard with them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Screenwipe review

Oh man... that was the worst Screenwipe ever. I wondered if the show might have a shelf life, has it run out? The Brand/Ross item was the most imbalanced one-sided diatribe I've seen on the subject (the BBC should be ashamed really), it ignored the three most pertinent facts: it was an abusive personal attack on a private individual (so much for it being 'edgy comedy'), if anyone in any other walk of life had done it at their workplace they would expect to be sacked immediately (so much for overreaction), and the papers needed something a bit lighthearted to draw readers in during the sustained economic doom and gloom that have been dominating the headlines over the past few months.

This was followed by a rubbish poem from some bloke I'd never heard of about the same subject and the "overreaction". We then got five minutes of footage of Paul Ross reading from a book (or possibly autocue), occasionally overnarrated by Charlie Brooker making fun of him by pretty much just saying "he's just reading from a book".

Admittedly this led into a decent item about budget cuts in tv but overall it was a bitter disappointment that a show so fine has become something so poor. Oh, and Brooker has put on too much weight as well. (So has Liza Tarbuck...)

How not to interview, part 2

Gordon Brown's latest line of attack is that the Tories are being "partisan" on matters supposedly too important, which is not only rubbish (as if to question his policies is a partisan matter? Isn't that the entire point of having an opposition?) but also utterly hypocritical - is Gordon Brown physically capable of giving an interview in which he doesn't veer off on a bizarre tangent specifically to attack the Tories?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Judging by the first ten minutes of I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, those MEPs who raised their concerns about Robert Kilroy-Silk using the show to canvass support, to their own detriment... should forget it. The idiot won't shut up.

(Although their complaints of him abusing office seems unfair - according to Kilroy, these three weeks of leave are his first holiday in the whole year.)

Incidentally, Brian Paddick is "fed up of being taken too seriously". Um, I don't think that's really your problem, Brian...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Random incoherent thought for the day

I was just reading Cramner on how Prince Charles wants to be known as "Defender of Faith" (ungh) when he becomes King, and the phrasing of one of his questions struck me. "And does he not also feel obliged to be King to those of an atheist persuasion?", Cramner asks.

But why are atheists considered to have no faith? Most of them adamantly believe that there is no god, no afterlife, etc.

While it's unprovable that such things exist, it's equally unprovable that they don't. Those of us stuck in the middle here are usually known as agnostics, or so I understood anyway.

Atheism is a faith. It's a belief. And I suspect many of them would be horrified to realise that they believe in something...

Colbert goes Marvel.

For the benefit of non-US readers (and that includes me!):

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shove this up your pipe and smoke it

Marvel collected editions decidey people (like you're even reading), listen up. You're missing out on a golden opportunity here. You have a nice little back catalogue of Brian K Vaughan X-Men comics that you haven't collected into TPBs because sales sucked the first time round.

So. Now that he's big and famous and all. How about making one sensible-sized volume out of the lot of them? X-MEN VISIONARIES: BRIAN K VAUGHAN, featuring the as-yet uncollected X-MEN ICONS: CYCLOPS and X-MEN ICONS: CHAMBER miniseries, his story from X-MEN UNLIMITED #22, the X2 WOLVERINE PREQUEL (preferably with Vaughan's own dialogue reinstated on the Wolverine book - an issue he complains about on his web site) and hey, why not throw FCBD RUNAWAYS/X-MEN in there as well!

It'd make for a great package (especially if you use Jo Chen's RXM cover on the front) and despite the somewhat unsuccessful nature of those mini-series BKV obviously has big "name value" in the graphic novel business now (hence DC putting out that Batman/Wonder Woman book for no other reason). Marvel's sitting on a pot of gold there!


"...thinking as a conservative that gay marriage is wrong..."

That's not a conservative opinion. That's an authoritarian opinion. Banning gay marriage actually undermines the entire concept of marriage. Denial of reality is not what conservatism is about (although obviously some "conservatives" seem to feel otherwise) and reality is that some men like other men, and some women like other women, and a true conservative would surely want society to support those men and women who wish to formally and legally commit to their life partners rather than unwillingly existing in the narrow culture of promiscuity which is all too often used as a blunt instrument of propaganda to attack homosexuals with.

And as far as the religious side of the argument goes, that's for each individual religion to decide. The state does not dictate who the church is allowed to marry (and by that same coin you'd hope it would work the other way round as well).

Friday, November 7, 2008

On Obama's win

Clarence B Jones, of all people, put into words what has bugged me most about the US Presidential Campaign. Now I do like Obama, but I think McCain was an equally good candidate (and in some ways better) and I feel like he never got a fair crack at the whip in this election, that he restrained himself against his Democrat opponent because of the racial divide (and of course, even worse, he got tarred with the Bush brush, which given what happened in the 2000 primaries is deeply ironic in the most awful way possible) to the point where at one point he was even defending his opponent in the face of criticism (some say too little too late, but has that EVER happened in a US Presidential election before?).

What Clarence B Jones (Martin Luther King's speechwriter - yeah, I noticed that too) said was that this was a referendum on race. And I do feel like a lot of people saw it that way (including, I suspect, many of the people who voted in it), and if that were the case then the right side definitely won. But it wasn't a referendum on race - it was actually a contest for the most powerful position on Earth, at a time when the financial world is in turmoil, the economy both at home and abroad is slumping and the country is deep in the middle of two very difficult wars. Obama's protectionist policies won't help the economy, his record on the wars is patchy at best, and frankly he has fewer policies than David Cameron (who hasn't even fought an election yet!). I feel resentful about the way he has been almost blindly elevated to the top, no questions asked. There are things to worry about the new President-elect - but his oratory skills, his character, and most definitely his race do not fall into that category.

And actually, the most appalling derivative of the notion that Jones describes is that anyone who voted for John McCain was voting against the idea of a black President. While I'm sure there are some awful people in America to whom black people should be seen and not heard (and for that matter only seen mowing their lawn, licking their shoes and having whips cracked at them), I refuse to believe they constitute the full 48% of the electorate that voted for McCain. In fact looking at the overall number this represents a 6% swing from Republican to Democrat over four years. Does that change really justify the mass hysteria we see at the moment? Is it even a resounding victory for the "referendum on race"?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Really, BBC?


You couldn't find a single Republican celebrity who'd talk to you? And yet you quoted all these Obama supporters, four of whom I'd never heard of?

I'm pretty sure Kelsey Grammer is still a McCain supporter... and that he's more famous than at least four of these so-called celebrities...

Speaking of media weirdness, why is ITV2 showing episodes of the talk show "Sally Jessy Raphael" that were filmed in 1992? Aren't the issues sixteen years out of date? And more to the point, who on earth is watching it?

Update - turns out it was a clip show. But a clip show made in 2002 (the year this show ENDED) all the same. The rest of ITV2's daytime schedule: Jeremy Kyle (double bill), Ricki Lake (ended 2004), Montel Williams (ended this year), Judge Judy (triple bill in the morning, double bill in the evening). Who the hell watches this stuff?

Update II - This Week just broadcast live from New York, they had four studio guests on and every single one was an Obama supporter. What was the point of even going there?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gordon cannot be allowed to bask in the glory of Help For Heroes

I just saw the X Factor start with Gordon Brown praising its charity single in aid of Help For Heroes, and the hosts thanking him for dropping VAT on sales of the CD.

The charity Help For Heroes would not be remotely necessary though, if Gordon had not worked completely against the military covenant during his eleven years in Downing Street, failing soldiers by cutting funding for their healthcare, equipment and housing, among many other necessities. The charity only exists because the situation has simply become that dire.

So Gordon must not be allowed to bask in the glory of someone else's initiative - especially when it's yet another disaster of his own making.