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,

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