Sunday, 26 October 2008

Diana Watch

I’m not sure what to start with this week; there hasn’t been a lot of good stuff to get your teeth into. I know this because one of the notes I’ve made is about a story concerning public toilet provision by Local Counsels and another is who the new presenter of Countdown is going to be. See, I told you it was a quiet week and for all of you who now need closure on that little information nugget it is Andrew Armstrong out of off of Armstrong and Miller and looks like this bloke Photobucket and that is because this is a picture of him. To be honest I don’t watch Countdown anymore. It used to be my “program to have an afternoon nap too” but I no longer nap you’ll be pleased to know. The public toilets thing may seem fickle and a bit silly but that’s mostly because the British find toilets very amusing or acutely embarrassing, how also could advertisers sell all these germ killing, smell masking products to us. If your poo smells that bad you have a really bad diet, this is a message from your body too you and even if your diet is ok it usually smells a bit, it’s poo. Sorry I’ll move on, actually no I won’t, I’ll carry on and make myself sound a little weird but go with it, what are you people doing on or in your toilet that you need them to be completely sterile? The adverts go on and on about germs but why this obsession? Are people eating meals in there or preparing food there? Urine is sterile anyway so that’s not a problem and I’m usually keeping away from the bit that might be a bit “germy” anyway. Advertising is more clever than we think, well some of us, and they are creating a problem that does not exist and convincing you that it really matters and that they have, coincidently, the solution. When you next watch some adverts see if you can spot one for a useful product. You’ll be hard pressed to find one as most of them are for products that we really don’t need or products that aren’t new versions of already existing products that actually do the job pretty well in the first place. Sorry, I’ll get back to the point and, yes, I know that is how Capitalism works but it’s falling apart so let kick it whilst it’s down and find another, more friendly way. I know that the public toilet provision by Local Counsels is not a very interesting subject because it doesn’t really affect most of us but there were a couple of really sad lines in this report. It was claimed that some old people were not going out because they were worried about the difficulty in finding a toilet. Now that might raise a little chuckle but that maybe one of the saddest things I have ever heard, older people trapped in their homes because they don’t know if they will be able to have a pee somewhere. Frankly this is a pathetic state of affairs and all because public toilets are a bit expensive to maintain. However Sheffield city council are running a great scheme called the Community Toilet Scheme where local business’ are encourage to open up their toilets to the public, i.e. pub toilets that you can use without buying a drink, which is nice.
Ok so there was some politics around this week so let’s get on with it. The thing that amused me most this week was how George Osborne, the Tory Shadow Chancellor, has developed the power of invisibility this week. He had an open goal on Friday when new figures showing that the British economy had shrunk by 0.5%, the first fall in 16 years, were published. Britain was teetering on the edge of recession, the Pound had fallen against most of the worlds major, and less major, currencies and share prices fell again but where was the Shadow Chancellor to make the argument that “this Government has failed” and that his ideas are better? Hiding, that’s where because he is a chicken. He is hiding because he can not answer questions about his asking Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska for a donation to the Conservitive Party because what he did was illegal. Now I can say that he did ask for the “donation” because at the end of last week he threatened legal action against the Telegragh that initionally published a letter from Nathaniel Rothschild in which he detailed the meetings and conversations that took place and around the Russian’s 238ft yacht Queen K but when the, also very wealthy, Mr Rothschild bought forth a witness who backed up his story, Mr Osborne backed down very quickly. Now was this a tacticle retreat, a drawn out legal battle would be very embarrassing for the party, the greater good, or was it because he was guilty as guilty could be? Who knows? Well those involved do, but we shall never be so priveliged. The lesson that we can all learn from this is “don’t piss of Peter Mandelson because he will win in the end.” It turns out that Lord Mandelson was also at this party and may have said some less than flattering things about Gordon Brown and these leaked out and where printedin a newspaper or 2. The most likely source for this leak was Mr Osborne or at least “friends of”, so can you guess who was the most likely main cog in the machine that encouraged Nathaniel Rothschild to write his letter? Oh yes, it was the formerly badly moustachioed one. Let us take a break now to enjoy that moustache.

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Ah, that’s better. I have also been trying to find my most favouritist video clip from Newsnight when Matthew Parris “outed” him live on air in 1998, not for any mean reasons but for Jeremy Paxman’s reaction but I can’t find it, which is a shame.

There was also a story that illustrates very nicely all that is wrong with British politics and the media. New crime figures were published this week and they showed a massive rise in violent crime. Well they didn’t actually but you would never have known that if you watched the television news or read a paper because they gave rather to much coverage to the Tories who used this to scare us all into staying indoors and not trusting anyone, ever, because they will kill you and steal you skin and brains, oh no that’s Dead Set which starts on E4 on Monday night, Zombie horror drama set in the Big Brother house, written by the brilliant Charlie Brooker, whats not to love, anyway, you get the point, they used this to scare you. The radio and TV news’ own version of events was just as bad. What actually happened was the Home Office issued some clarification to Police forces on how to categorise certain crimes. The guidance was issued after consultation with the public on what they felt was important and it was felt that a gentle tweaking of the system was needed to make more of “intent” rather than just out-comes. This resulted in some crimes moving up a level or 2. No more crimes were committed, in fact over all crime is down and this includes violent crime but you would never know.

I’m stumbling toward the end now like a Kerry Katona sentence, sorry cheap joke, and so to the awards,

The “Oh My God, How Can it Take Then So Long” award,

This goes to American football which I am considering watching as I type this. There is an NFL game being played in London today between some team I’ve never heard of and some other team I’ve never heard of and I looked in the paper to see when it started and, more importantly, when it finished because I don’t want to miss the Strictly Come Dancing Results show. It starts at 16:30 and finishes at 19:00. A perfectly reasonable 2 and a half hours, I might watch, then I look to see what else is on this evening and notice that on BBC3 between 19:00 and 20:00 is the last hour of the game. 3 and a half hours! There is only about 80 minutes of play! What the hell are they doing the rest of the time?

The Good For Them Award,

The runner up for this award goes to Sarah Palin who seems to be, single handedly, attempting to save the American economy by spending, spending, spending. It seems that she may have spent $150,000 on clothes in 2 months, you go girl! You really are one of those middle class, worried about their jobs and investments, problems paying the mortgage, hockey moms aren’t you?
But the winner of this award and also the good sport award goes to the drinks maker Dr Pepper. In a public statement earlier this year they said that if the mystical Guns ‘N’ Roses album “The Chinese Democracy” was released this year they would give every person in America a free Dr Pepper. This album has been 14 years in production and is reported to have cost in excess of $13million (£6.5million) to produce. But suddenly we have a realise date and it’s the 23rd of November. D’oh! But they have steped up and there is now a system in place, it’s a little complicated if you ask me so not all 300 million will try and get one, for every American to claim their free drink.

I’ve gone on a bit again this week, sorry, and a bit to much about toilet stuff to, also sorry, but one more thing. This should have been in last week but I went on for so long I didn’t put it in. Have you seen the video that Ringo Starr released explaining that he wasn’t going to sign anymore stuff after a randomly selected date, if not here it is,



My favourite line is “I’m warning you, with peace and love, “. Can you warn someone with peace and love?
Hope you all have a nice week, I’m going to see Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip this week and I’m really looking forward to it. Last week ballet this week hiberty-hop, I am a true renaissance man!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Ballet

Ok, so a quick review of the ballet that we went to see on Monday. It was modern ballet and not the traditional “Swan Lake” type which I thought I might enjoy more but I’m not sure now. The point of going was because Significant Other wanted to go and she had a jolly good time which was the important thing but I experienced something that I hadn’t done before and how am I supposed to find out if I like something if I don’t give it a try. I did like the parts of the show when there was some “proper” dancing and some of the special effects were used in an interesting way and combining them with the dance was very affective but there was a lot of the dancers throwing themselves around and I wasn’t so sure about that but that is just my opinion and everyone should make up their own minds. I’m thinking about going to see some more traditional ballet to compare and to see if I like that. some of it was a bit like the video I made though.

Even Worse Than The Leotard

Dear Guy Richie and Madonna,
Unlike other people in our rather cynical world I’m not going to revel in your sadness because 2 people getting divorced is sad but I would ask you to stop using the press and your live performances to be rude about and too the other one. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that your marriage and its legal dissolution does not just involve you, it also includes your children. Please remember that when you are getting your PR person to phone a red top newspaper and tell them about the last time you had sex or that the other one only wanted you for your money or any other salacious nonsense that your children will be exposed to this unpleasantness and negativity and they will not thank you for your selfish behaviour,

Yours Hopefully,
Martyn xx

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Diana Watch

Is having a pant drawer rotation system weird? Pants go in on the left side and then take them out on the right side. That is not weird right? Anyway, writing this in the morning which is unusual for me but I’ve been up for a while because I watched the Grand Prix at crap-o’clock this morning. I wasn’t going to, because of the un-godly hour, but my very, very deaf neighbour was watching it in bed and I was awoken to sound of screaming engines and I would have been wondering what was going on so I got up. This is probably the dullest introduction I’ve ever done but we have some context now. I was going to start with a different story but when I went to get the paper this morning the Sunday Express had, as predicted, had an immigration story on the front but we’ll come to that, no, no, a much better story. In the same week that Express group newspapers had to payout lots and lots of money to the people who had dinner with Madeline McCann’s parents on the night she was kidnapped or the “tapas 7” as some are insisting on calling them, they have gone for this story, “FBI psychics turn up new Maddie suspect”. Oh come on, how desperate do you have to be to keep a story running to report that some chancer has done a drawing of a face and made up an address because that is what they claim has happened. I think we have discovered why the crime rate in America is so high. It has nothing to do with poverty, ridiculous gun laws or a society based on the individual first as eloquently summed up, rather surprisingly, by misogynist mumbler 50cent when he called his album, “Get rich or die trying”, oh no, it is because you won’t get caught. The FBI use psychics? Now I haven’t seen CSI but I’m pretty sure that they attempt to investigate the crimes using physical things like finger prints and DNA and they don’t just say, “Bollocks to this, it’s a bit hard. Someone phone Derek Acorah.” They also use the polygraph test which is rubbish as well. Now back to the immigration story on the Express which can be summed up thus, “they are coming over here taking our jobs”. Now we use this as a joke to indicate a racist person or story but the headline is actually “IMMIGRANT JOBS SHOCK” and the story IS that they are coming over here taking our jobs but as the comedian Marcus Brigstocke said, “No, they are coming over here DOING our jobs.” The paper offers no context whatsoever for the figures that they offer, number of British-born adults in work here fell by 365,000 in the past two years and number of foreign-born adults working in Britain has soared by 865,000 in the same period, because most of the people who have come here have done so to do really poorly paid jobs that your average British person thinks is below them. If there were not jobs for them to do people would not come here. There is also the point that if they looked at up to date statistics rather than the ones that prove their rather blinkered view point, they would notice that as the economic situation has worsen and the Pound has weaken against the Euro many Eastern Europeans have started to go home some the unemployed bankers can now go and pick strawberries in the rain and clean toilets. The reason they feel that they can bring up immigration, again, is because a Government minister, the new Immigration Minister Phil Woolas to be precise, has bought it up, say that we should have a cap on the number of people coming here and there should be a maximum number of people living in Britain of about 70 million. The problem is that any statement about immigration is, by legal definition, racist, whether intentional or not. Within the EU there is freedom of movement and the right to work and people from other, largely, white counties don’t really want to come here. This leaves brown people so the cap on immigration is a cap on the number of brown people coming to Britain. I’m sure some one at the Daily Mail is, as I type, dusting down and ironing their favourite black shirt. Oh the politics of fear strike again. Sorry I’ve gone on a bit there but it was that or more financial stories and I think we are all a little bored of those. Although just a quick one, the amount of money promised by various Governments around the world to bail out their banks is £2,000,000,000,000, which I think is £2 trillion, I think that’s the correct amount of noughts, but the level of personal debt in the UK alone is £1 trillion, so this bail out is not really that much money. Just some more context there. I’m all about the context this week. So the Government lost the vote on 42 days detention without charge in the Lords, which is great, but this hasn’t put them off, oh no, instead they will try and reintroduce the idea hidden in some other legislation later on and now they are proposing a super database to log every data about every phone call, website visited and e-mail sent by every person in the country. Oh where do you start? Again the assumption is that everyone is guilty or will probably do something wrong at sometime which isn’t a very nice feeling and whilst the content of the phone calls and e-mails won’t be held, so sort of pointless anyway because all it will prove is that you knew a person or at least dialled the wrong number, it is still information that no one needs to have unless they actually believe you have done something wrong. There is also the losing data point and you always hear “this Government” when there is a data lose story but there is a very good reason why “this Government” is the one that looses data, it because it’s the first one to be truly digital and now it’s really quite easy to loose a memory stick with thousands of addresses on it, whereas when the Conservatives were last in power, which was a long time ago, thank the none existent lord, in order to have lost an equivalent amount of data you would have had to have lost a stack of paper 2ft high, which is considerably harder. It’s a little bit unfocused this week, sorry, but now some awards, Sad Thing of The Week, It was announced this week that Levi Stubbs, a founding member of the 4 tops has died. I love the 4 Tops. I know it’s odd to give an award for dying but how else was I supposed to bring it up and he gave me so much pleasure in my life it seems only fair. Disappointment of The Week, I believe that there is a new Bond film out soon. I know this not because I have seen trailers for the film but because of the high number of adverts that use the words “Bond’s choice”. Now this is usually high end products, watches, cars, that sort of thing and it is a saddening that a film cannot exist as a film alone but must cross promote and none more so than a Bond but this week I saw an advert that bought together Bond and Coke. Why the hell is Bond advertising Coke? It not really a product I would associate with the fictional spy? What next? The Bond Burger from McDonalds? 007up? Don’t sell your product short. Icky Thing of The Week, A survey by Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine swabbed the hands of travellers on public transport and found that more than one in four commuters has bacteria from faeces on their hands and the further north they went the worse the results got with 53% of men in Newcastle having the offending little germs on them. I am never shaking anyone’s hand ever again and to think that as a Nurse I am constantly being criticised for a lack of hand washing, I no longer think that it is me that’s the problem. Sporting Achievement Award, 2 runners up this week, the first going to the very grumpy Andy Murray for beating Roger Federer to reach the final of the Madrid Master tournament. I know that Federer is not having a great year but never the less, good work. The second runner up is the Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who set a new world record for most runs scored by a batsman in Test cricket, passing Brain Lara’s record of 11,953 and raising it to 12,027. The winner however is Felipe Massa, the Brazilian formula 1 driver who is battling with Louis Hamilton for this year’s world championship, not for his driving but for his press conference performance when asked about his “pass” on his team mate, Kimi Raikkonen. It is against the rules in Grand Prix racing for the team to order one of their cars to let the other one through so that he can score more points but listening to Massa you would have thought that he had caught Kimi through cunning and guile and shear speed rather than his team mate mysteriously slowing down for a couple of laps to let him catch up and pass him. Brilliant to listen to though. I think that will do for this week because I may have out stayed my welcome but one more quick thing, I’m being taken to see modern ballet tomorrow evening. Dance really isn’t my thing, well I like Strictly Come Dancing but I don’t think it’s going to be like that, I’ll let you know how it goes. A bit like this I think you’ll find,

video

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Why oh why?

Dear Everyone who is still wearing shorts,
Stop it! Just stop it! I don’t know why you are still doing it; it is autumn and cold, ish. Soon it will be winter and I know you will still be wearing them and I will find it even more annoying. Do not your calves get cold? I saw a man wearing flip-flops the other day and I wanted to stamp on his toes. A more interesting point, however, is why does this annoy me so? I really don’t know, it just came upon me (stop sniggering at the back) the other day and now I can barely contain my rage. What is wrong with me? Maybe it is just simple displacement or transference as it is my birthday on Friday and the process of ageing makes me angry and upset so I try to ignore it but I sort of like the attention of people buying me things, hence the reason I’m telling you I suppose. Oh I’m so conflicted,

Yours with nice warm calves,
Martyn xx

Monday, 13 October 2008

Diana Watch

Ok, I know it’s late but the dog ate it. Well, sort of, well not at all to be honest, we went to Kent for the weekend because it was Significant Others Fathers birthday, nice time had by all I think. The new car did very well on the motorway if you’re interested; you’re not, are you? Fair enough I suppose, if you wanted car reviews you’d watch Top Gear. But the delay in a day does give us some new news. Now we own 4 banks, the Government has bought 40% of RBS and 60% of HBOS/Lloyds not yet merged super bank. The plan announced by the Gordon Brown last week made, up to, £500 billion pounds available to the banks. The difference between the US bailout which just bought the bad debts off of the banks offering nothing for the tax payer, the UK plan involves the government buying shares in the banks in order to refinance them but if the banks want the money they have to meet certain criteria laid down by Chancellor, such as having to lend for mortgages. This is a much better plan by than the US bailout but it is also a massively costly plan, the American plan is $700 billion (£400 billion) or $2800 (£1600) per US citizen, the UK plan is £500 billion ($871 billion) or £8300 ($14,500) per UK citizen, it really better work but I think it will and there is every chance that it will make a profit. A number of the papers and news programs have noted that Gordon Brown looks happy and that there is a bounce in his step, I’m happy for him, he’s a good man in a crisis I’m told. Does anyone else have a plan? David Cameron? Hello? Ah you there?
Tonight the House of Lords, are they still here, I thought Labour said that they were getting rid of them about 10 years ago, are voting on the rather controversial 43 days detention before charge. You may remember it from the slightly unsavoury way it was bribed through the lower house and it is expected that it will be defeated but that is not way I bring it up. I mentioned it because one of the excuses that the government have used for this unnecessary extension is that it will only be used in exceptional circumstances. Well, so far the longest any suspect has needed to be held is 27 days, within the current limit, and what are “exceptional circumstances”? there have been several recent cases of local authorities “using” anti-terror legislation, when I say using I mean abusing, we have had a council using it to spy on a family to see if they lived were they said they did I order to make sure their child was at the correct school, we have had councils spying on noisy dogs and people dropping litter (http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article4036231.ece ) and now the UK government has seized the assets of another country using anti-terror laws. Which Axis of Evil country was this I here you ask? Which evil doer threatened our way of life and maybe even our utter existence? Well it was Iceland. Some of their banks were going under so we used anti-terror laws to seize any UK based assets they might have. Another brilliant argument against any more state power, they cannot be trusted to use it appropriately. It really annoyed the Prime Minister of Iceland as well, he said, “it’s not very nice to wake up and find that someone has used anti-terror laws against you”, see he was livid, well, for an Icelander. But this underwhelming statement does bring up a very good point for those who labour under the “if you’ve got nothing to hide” misapprehension; you don’t worry about the constant erosion of your civil liberties until they are all gone and it’s you under suspicion.

A quick mention of the American Election, oh yes it’s still going but only 3 week to go, and John McCain is trying to calm his Republican party and their rallies as I have read two reports in separate newspapers where the journalist has written that they have heard shouts of “Terrorist “ and, more scarily, “Kill him” when Sarah Palin has been attacking their democratic opponent. Is this 2008 or is this a clan rally? They do realise that incitement to kill is an offence don’t they? It does seem to us that Obama has adopted the strategy of shut up, smile and wave. Let them do a lot of shouting and insulting and you will look like the bigger man, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. It is, usually, the Democrats who self destruct but it does look like that this time it might be the Republicans and I say bring it on.

Let us move on to the awards,

Scary thing/Bravest thing of the Week,

The Blind Road Speed record was broken this week; a Belgian man in a Lamborghini did 192 mph on a runway this week. Is that brave? Yeah, I think so.

Little Git of the Week,

Significant others new car has been parked in our road since she bought a few weeks ago with no problems at all. As I mentioned earlier we where in Kent this weekend and her car was parked outside her parents house for only about 3 hours before someone stole the dust caps off of the wheels. Now, whilst this isn’t crime of the century it really is very annoying and such a pointless thing to do.

Best Article of the Week,

In yesterdays Sunday Times someone, sorry journalist that wrote this article, compared the fight between McCain and Obama to the eternal battle between Wile E Coyote and Road Runner with McCain being the unlucky yet persistent Coyote. Whatever he does, bombs, jet skates, poorly researched and argued claims that your opponent was friendly with terrorists, the Road Runner is left unharmed but he is left sooty faced and smoking.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Really A Terrorists Friend?

And so we have entered to boring bit of the U.S. election. You know, the bit where everyone starts shouting at each other and saying what they like with quite a lot having, at best, a minimal grasp on the truth. Sarah Palin has started it with a claim about Barack Obama of associating with terrorists and “Palling around ”with an ex-member of US-based militant group Weather Underground, which opposed the Vietnam War in the 1960s. What actually happened was that Mr Obama once served on a charity board with a member of the group, but he has denounced its activities. The man in question is Bill Ayers and when he was carrying out some non-fatal explosions Barack Obama was a child and he is now an education professor at the University of Illinois.
Now I do believe that Mr Obama has conveniently forgotten the bit were Mr Ayers gave him a job in 2000 but I think we need to be careful when we start banding the word “terrorist” about. Many respected politicians of our times are convicted terrorists but their cause was our cause so that’s alright and forgotten about. The phrase used many times in this situation is “one mans freedom fighter is another terrorist.” The man in question here was campaigning against, what he felt, was an unjust war with a non-aggressive country being invaded by America in which innocent civilians were bombed by the US air force, one of those pilots is the other candidate for President by the way, who was shot down whilst carrying out one of these very dubious missions. Oh the similarities. If you against the war you are some how un-American.
Any way, here are some pictures of U.S. Presidents and others meeting some convicted terrorists and other unsuitable types.

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So here we have Various Presidents and the Queen meeting Nelson Mandela who was convicted and imprisoned for various terrorist offences, Gordon Brown laughing and joking with Martin McGuiness, convicted terrorist, Donald Rumsfeld meeting and trading with Saddam Hussein, George Bush Snr meeting King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 bombers came from, were Osama Bin Laden was born, raised and funded, which represses women and homosexuals and funds the teaching of radical Islam around the world, George W bush with Ex-President Musharraf of Pakistan who took power via a coup and was never elected and George with the current Pope who used to be in the Hitler Youth and was then drafted to the German anti-aircraft corps but he deserted in 1945. It’s not as easy as you think to avoid used-to-be-terrorists.

Did She Really?

Dear Sharon Stone,
I’ve read something in the paper and I can’t believe that it is true so I thought I’d write and find out. I can’t believe that it’s true because it so monumentally stupid and lazy and vain and mad and idiotic and cruel and thoughtless that no sensible person would ever think of doing it, although as I was typing that list of unpleasant descriptive words I remembered whom I was writing to and what you said following the massive, devastating earthquake in China, so you might have done this. Did you or did you not, as was alleged at the custody hearing of your child this week, think about having the feet of your 8 year old boy botoxed so that they wouldn’t sweat and he would, therefore, not get smelly feet? I just want to know if this is true or not. You can see how I could not believe that anyone would suggest anything so stupid but it seems to say that you did in the court papers,

Yours Quizzically,
Martyn xx


Ps, is it me or does this man look like a who from Dr Seuss

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Representative Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and a Who.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Diana Watch

Just how stupid is OJ Simpson? If you had been acquitted of killing your wife and you were really famous would you not keep your head down and live a very quiet life?
Anyway, to the news cave! I wasn’t going to talk about the US election or the financial problems this week as they have dominated this for many weeks but two things happened this week that need a little comment. The US congress passed the bail out bill this week and another $150 billion had been added to it for small company tax breaks etc but I think we need some context, again, for this huge amount of money. This will, possibly, cost the US tax payer $850 billion, there are an estimated 300 million people within the US, now works out at $2800 per person I think; it depends on the number of zeros you use obviously. That is a lot of money; why not give that to American families and what they do with it. My hunch is that they would save it, in a bank, therefore democratically saving the banking system. They probably won’t buy shares or derivative products. Just remember how many times various nice policies have been vetoed by Bush saying “We can’t afford it.”
The second thing that happened was perhaps the best joke I have heard all year and it was by significant other who wondered aloud if Sarah Palin was in fact a contestant in the ultimate episode of the Channel 4 series “faking it”. For those not familiar with the concept behind the show it was very simple, take a member of the public and teach them to do something they couldn’t do before and then get them judged, with 2 other people who normal carry out this skill, before a panel of experts who try and pick out the fake. Usually they did things like DJing or one I remember was turning a big bloke from the navy into a drag act but this, this is their hardest challenge to date. Can they convince an electorate of 300 million that a simple, poorly informed, religious zealot, moose shooter is in fact a politician you can vote for and make Vice President? Let us hope not. Another quick Sarah Palin story, Larry Flint, publisher of Hustle magazine, has been advertising for a Sarah Palin-a-like to star in a porn film with the slightly disappointing title of “Nailin’ Palin”. He could have done so much better than that, suggested in the paper were, “Drill, Baby, Drill”, “Polar Bare” and “Northern XXX-posure”, all better I think, any other suggestions gratefully received.

British politics has been shocked this week by the surprise return of Peter Mendelson to the Government. The man who has had to resign twice before heading off to the EU was brought back by Gordon Brown this week on the same day that he published a small article in the Guardian entitled “In defence of Globalisation” so I think we can see in which direction the Government is going to go in the next few months. I sure that he hasn’t just returned to be Trade and Industry Secretary; I think his electioneering skills may be called upon at some time. I think that this may be a stroke of genius from Gordon Brown, as long as Peter doesn’t have to resign again, because he is a skilled politician and he now has tremendous experience of world trade which might be useful during these troubled times.
Also this week Boris honey monster Johnston, mayor of London, managed to force Sir Ian Blair, head of the Metropolitan police, to resign. Is this the politicization of the Police force? Well no because it was already happening but it is a new high. This is a worrying development and a slide towards the American style of political patronage for high office which is a really bad idea. I appreciate that that wasn’t the most eloquently argued point but it is a really bad idea as you end up having the law “interpreted” through politics-tinted glasses and people start making decisions based not on the law but on career opportunities.
Sometime I defend society because I don’t think it is as bad as we are all told by the news media, they take one or two examples and extrapolate it to the whole country and decide that we are all a bunch of bastards yet we still purchase their newspapers and watch their 24hr news channels, but sometimes there is a story that is just so depressing and upsetting that I crushes your optimistic world view. This is one of those times. This is how the story appeared in the Daily Mirror,

A tormented teenager plunged 60ft to his death from a multi-storey car park after a callous crowd of onlookers cruelly urged him to jump.
Police and community leaders yesterday condemned the “horrifying” behaviour of the jeering mob as Shaun Dykes, 17, hovered on the brink of suicide.
Trained negotiators spent three hours patiently trying to coax him down as he threatened to leap.
Meanwhile, several hundred people gathered outside the busy Westfield centre in Derby – with “a small but significant minority” egging him on.
Sickeningly, some yelled: “Go on, jump,” and “How far can you bounce?”
Supt Andy Hough admitted he was shocked by some of the comments hurled at the teenager on Saturday.
He said: “They were shouting for him to jump. I find it a disturbing reflection on society when people feel inclined to do that. It’s very disappointing.” Shaun, of Kilburn, near Derby, is believed to have been suffering from depression and is thought to have recently had a relationship breakdown. Yesterday his distraught parents were too upset to comment.
His headteacher Rob Howard said: “One or two students were standing near people goading him to jump.
“One student told me he could not believe people place such little value on life. It’s almost like they are in a television show. The sad thing is that a couple of the students, if they could have got close enough, felt that they could have made a difference.”
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Dr Alastair Redfern, added: “I’m horrified. I hope these people feel deeply ashamed. Here was a very troubled person crying out for help.”
Yesterday flowers and tributes were laid at the scene by friends of the former John Flamsteed school pupil, who was studying at the city’s Heanor Gate science college.
Lindsey Reid, 17, Shaun’s best friend since he was four, said: “He was the joker, always smiling. He’s not the sort of person you’d expect to do this.”

It has also been reported that people were taking photos and filming the event on their mobile phones and after he jumped they rushed forward to photograph his corpse. What can you say about this that hasn’t been said before? Nothing can be added to this.
Sorry for the depressing story but it needs reporting, lets try and lighten the mood a bit,

The Awards now,

The Award for Most Satisfying Thing of the Week,

This award goes to the moment when I wrote the word “Twat” on the forehead of Claire Rayner as pictured in the paper. I know it’s childish but she is really annoying.

The Award for Most Changed Views Over the Course of a Lifetime,

This goes to John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols. You may remember the Sex Pistols as an anti-establishment punk band from the 70’s, the decade that taste forgot, swearing on the Bill Grundy show and releasing some half decent singles. Then John appeared on “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” and managed to say “Cunt” on live TV, an admirable thing to do if you ask me but last night upon my television he appeared advertising butter. Dear god!

Will Self was great by the way on Monday, very funny indeed.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Unlikely Endorsement

Dear All,
Well it seems that the American Election is all over, bar the shouting. An endorsement of Barack Obama has been made by one of the worlds political heavy weights. According to NME.COM (http://www.nme.com/news/slash/40101) the legend that is Slash says that Barack is the man for him. "I think Obama's great," he said. "It's the first time in eight years [since George W Bush came into power] I've heard somebody speak English. I think it's refreshing to see someone who's reasonably intelligent come in.” Great news for the Obama camp I think you’ll agree.

Yours Still Hopefully,
Martyn