Monday, 22 December 2008

Diana Watch

If eyes can be flash dance, then you have it. I have been to London and behaved like country mouse as I always do. There is nothing funnier than smiling at lots of people on the Underground. Oh what a delight travelling by tube is. In Paris there are postcards of the entrances to some of the more attractive Metro stations but strangely there aren’t any in London, very odd, they are, at least, as lovely as the ones in Paris and are not in anyway a spectacular embracement to our nation. Nine Lessons and Carols for the Godless was a very fine way of spending time and we had a really good time in London. The Mark Rothko exhibition at the Tate Modern is a thing of beauty, please go and see it as these are some of the finest paintings you are likely to see.
Some news. There were two stories that made me laugh out loud this week. The first one is about hedge funds, no wait, don’t close this and go and do something less boring instead, it really is funny. A man called Bernard Madoff, which is pronounced Made Off I’m told, has been charged with massive fraud. Well he turned himself in to be honest, no actual investigating by the financial authorities. The man has a special comedy joke name and yet many people gave lots of money to a man who could only steal it. $50 billion. Yes that’s right; he has de-frauded lots of people, many of them very clever bankers, not rhyming slang, of $50 billion. In very little seriousness this was always going to happen, no oversight, massive greed, almost free credit and a man with a comedy name. Mr Madoff was a respected banker and then he started a hedge fund. He made some money so lots of people gave him lots of money, which they had borrowed at virtually no interest, so that they could make lots of money whilst doing absolutely no work whatsoever and not really checking to make sure that all is well because they were making lots and lots of money. HE HAD A COMEDY NAME, it’s your own fault.
The other thing started with my incredible disbelief and then moved on to serious laughing. The disbelief part was when the news announced that George W Bush was on a farewell tour of Iraq. He’s doing what? See how well we have rebuilt your country, ok we bombed the shit out of it first but, hey, it’s looking better now. Really? Is he that arrogant? Does he understand so little? Yes it would seem that he really doesn’t understand which made the laugh out loud part even funnier. At a press conference in Baghdad an Iraqi journalist got up, slowly removed his shoe and, whilst shouting quite poetic abuse at the still President Bush, proceeded to hurl that shoe in his general direction. Then, whilst the secret service decided whether or not to bother doing anything, after all it was only a shoe and he is only President until January the 20th and guarding the next one is going to be really hard work even compared to this douche bag, don’t we deserve a little break, the journalist removed his other shoe and throw that as well. Only then, when the shoe thrower had thrown all shoes available to him, short of wrestling the shoes off of those sat closest to him, only then did the secret service bother to wrestle him to the ground and beat the crap out of him, which could be heard through the very thin walls of the poorly reconstructed building in which the press conference was taking place. If you are going to beat a man it’s best not to do it when the worlds press can hear you, free advice there for you, think of it as a Christmas present if you like. For some inexplicable reason the news footage of this event has become really popular in the Arab world and you can see why,

It is very funny.

There was some serious news this week but we won’t linger on it to long it is Christmas after all and I’m sure you have more important things to be doing. In Scotland a man, or an NHS Doctor as he was referred to in most newspapers and on TV news leading to a great many clich├ęs, “he pledged to do no harm but decided to kill” etc, was found guilty on a series of terrorism charges. Fair enough, he got out of a burning jeep that had just crashed into Glasgow Airport’s front door and was filled with petrol and nails, when searched his house contained a bomb making “factory” and he had made a martyrdom tape, so I think that he may have done it. The part that ruined my week was that a second man, Mohammed Asha, stood in court with him and was charged with aiding Terrorism. The evidence seemed only to consist of the fact that he knew the first man and was a bit brown, which as we know is now a crime in Britain. Martin Amis can write from the point of view of terrorist and all is well, a young Muslim woman does the same thing and is in court. Any way, was found guilty of all charges. He had no case to answer. He could now go back to his career as a doctor which he seems to have excelled at. Well, no. he was immediately re-arrested and told that he was to be deported because his presence "is not conducive to the public good" . It makes you proud, doesn’t it? A man comes up against British justice which works well, weighs the evidence and finds him innocent, and then the Government decides that, despite doing nothing wrong but knowing someone who turned out to be bad, he should be removed. As his statement said "I am an innocent man. The use of the Home Office notice is disingenuous and appears to be sour grapes on the part of the Government."

Some shopping numbers now and the Office of National Statistics has released figures that show sales to be up 0.3% on last year in November and, as we discussed before, it was a record year for sales last year, so good news I think you would agree. Mean while the British Chamber of Commerce released some numbers to show that sales were down and that if we didn’t go out right now and spend all the money that we have there would be no shops left at all in the New Year. Now the ONS is an independent civil service group that collates all available statistics, the BCC is a lobby group for shops that only surveys about 60% of them, which do you believe?

Christmas awards now,

The Christmas Award for most expensive car to drive in the congestion charge zone,

This goes to this stretched hummer that we saw on Friday evening,

If they get 1 mile to the gallon I would be surprised.

The Awards for Products of the Year,

Various products were in the running for this, they include,


I wouldn’t buy it, and the Daily Mail mug,


But the winner is, The Palm Pistol, go to,


the developer says that it is seeking to obtain medical equipment coding from the centre for Medicare and Medicaid services for the pistol. If successful, it is possible the medically prescribed purchase of the gun could be reimbursed by Medicare or private health insurance companies. It describes the medical purpose of the gun as extension of life expectancy and “prevention of sudden onset death.” Thank you to the BMJ for that one.

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas xx

Oh and a special mention to my friend Kate who sent us the best Christmas card this year, thank you xx

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