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 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.
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!