Monday, 13 April 2009

Diana Watch

Hello and happy Choc Fest. Shall we start with a question again? Again the same joke as we already have. Anyway, 2 people have resigned this week because of their own stupidity and my question is this, had anyone heard of either Damian McBride or Bob Quick before they lost their jobs? No? Me neither but that hasn’t stopped them dominating this week’s news.
Bob Quick felt he had to resign after he forgot to put a SECRET report back in its folder when he got out of his car and it was photographed by one of the press pack outside of Downing Street and published on the internet. The document in question referred to an anti-terror raid that then had to be bought forward by a few hours. Arrests were made, evidence was taken. No harm done but it seems that that was not enough for some and he had to go.
Did people really believe that the anti-terror operation was harmed in any way by the photograph of a bloke that no one had heard of, carrying a document that would have been really hard to read from the internet? Do Al- Qaeda do Google image searches on the hope that they might be able to blow up image and than a building? No, no they don’t. He made a mistake, give him a brake. He that is without sin, etc.
The other self-shooting comes from Damian McBride who, until yesterday, was a special adviser to Gordon Brown. A what now? What does he do? Or, at least, used to. It turns out that G.B. has loads of Special Advisers but only one who has a friend with poor internet security. Mr McBride sent an E-mail to his friend, the always scruffy, Derek Draper, married to Kate thingy form GMTV, you know was on Strictly and was rubbish, yes that’s right, her, vacuous, which contained made up stories about various members of the Conservative Party. That’s made up stories. MADE UP! Mr Draper’s E-mail account was hacked, presumably by someone who knew what they were looking for, and then the e-mail was sent around to various newspapers. Bye, bye Damian. Mr Draper was setting up a leftish leaning gossipy website to counter the many right-wing (for right-wing read Tory backed) blogs and websites and his friend sent him some made up stories for it. Childish, yes, resignable, not really. Neither of the gentlemen published these stories, it was only between themselves, a chuckle between friends. No one got hurt. What, however, is really offensive is the fake indignation from the Conservative Party. “oh how offensive this is”, “we must have an apology form Gordon Brown”, “We would never do anything like this”. Really? Then where do all the stories about Government ministers’ expense claims come from? The list of expenses is yet to be published yet the right wing press, your people, seem to have a story a day about them. Geoff Hoon, Alistair Darling, Jacque Smith, they have all had stories about them in the last week but no Tories? Are we to believe that is only those in power that take advantage of the system, for that is all it is, no one has done anything that breaks the rules.
And why are papers so obsessed with Minister expense accounts? Jealousy, that’s what I think. Newspaper expense account used to be legendary but recently they have been cut back a lot. No more can a 3 hour lunch be charged to the paper. It’s sad really.

Another question. When did Riot police start wearing balaclavas? Now the G20 protests took place on a quite pleasant day, the sun was out and the sky was blue, so they weren’t wearing the woolly head gear to keep their ears warm. What other reason could there be for keeping your face covered? Perhaps it’s the same reason as those bent on breaking stuff at a demo do, so they are not recognised. A worrying turn of events in a police officer I think you’ll agree. The anarchists knows that they are breaking the law so they cover their face, so why cover yours officer?
The problem the police have is that they immediately denied having any contact with the gentleman who died at the G20 protests without even pausing for breath. They wait to find out what had had happened, just a flat denial. Than there were some eyewitnesses who said they did and so their story changed and then there was some video footage of a policeman pushing the gentleman to the ground and their story changed again. Then a second piece of footage turned up which showed the masked officer using his baton on the gentleman legs and then pushing him to the ground. The story changed again. The Met police’s PR machine has managed to make it look like a cover up even if there wasn’t one. You have to be impressed by that sort of incompetence.

To some of you Choc Fest is known as Easter and it seems that is important to those of you who go to church, WHICH IS A VERY SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION YET YOU STILL FEEL THAT YOU SHOULD HAVE SPECIAL TREATMENT AND TEL THE REST OF US WHAT TO DO. Anyway the Church of England has been complaining about football being played on Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday should be kept special etc. In principle I agree with them, shops should be shut and we should have one day off from the stresses of everyday life, but their argument is self defeating. The argument that they put forward was that families should be together on Easter Sunday and that is exactly what going to the football does for families, well some families. Fathers and Sons and Grandfathers and, rarely, sometimes ladies go to football. Yes, they do go and shout racist, homophobic and sexist things but they do as a family. Together. Much like church in that way. And yes they do exhibit certain behaviours so tribal (chanting, rhythmic clapping) that if they saw them on the Discovery Channel they would consider them backwards but they have fun as a family.

And so to the awards,

The Award for Missing The Point Headline of the Week,

This goes to the Sun who started the week with a Jade Goody funeral front page. The headline was “Leave Her In Peace”, the sub-headline was “Jacks Plea For Jade.” The newspaper in question then countered this perfectly reasonable request with a banner across the bottom of the page, “12 page funeral special”. Nice.

The Award For Extreme Crafting of the Week,

What newspapers and the TV media like to do following an earthquake is to take your mind of off the huge numbers of people who have died by drawing your attention to one or two stories of remarkable survival. “Don’t look at that huge pile of dead bodies it will make you sad, but here is a dog that survived under the rubble and only had to eat the leg of it’s dead master to do so”. Following the earthquake in Italy we have had, sadly, very few of these stories but one very old lady was pulled out from under her house after a couple of days under it and when asked how she passed the time she said “oh, I had my crochet.” Good work old lady, your current house is in pieces on top of you but your new house is definitely going to need doilies.

The Award for Creative Linking of Unrelated Stories of the Week,

A rear mention for the Daily Star (Britain’s cheapest newspaper you know) who masterfully weaved together two stories that seem so disparate that they really should have some sort of award, oh look, they have. First, take two seemingly unrelated stories, say, Sales at the Shops and alleged terrorism plots for which there have been arrests (1 person has since been released with no charge). Second, find an extremely obtuse way of linking them together. And then third a headline and you then have “Stuff The Bombers”. A story that is actually about the sales the high street shops will be putting on over Easter but you have framed it in such a way to make it look like that people are going out to spend in order to spite, or despite, a huge bomb that didn’t actually happen. Genius if you ask me.

The Award for Finding Another Reason That The Finance Industry is Evil, of the Week,

This belongs to a fact that I learnt this week. Within the finance industry it is usual for Woman to be paid at least 50% less than Men for doing the same job. It is still usual for this to happen. Despite it being illegal to do so. Gives you a warm feeling inside, doesn’t it? Oh no, wait, that’s a urine infection.

The Award for Not Understanding Why Things Work In Other Countries But Not Here,

I’m I the only person who finds Alistair Darlings eyebrows sinister? Anyway, he gets this award for a plan that is supposed to appear in the budget. The plan to which I refer is the £2000 scrapage plan. For those not aware of the plan, it is basically a plan to give us £2000 to scrap our crappy car and buy a new one. A nice, green one at that. This plan has worked very well in Germany at helping their car industry so we want to try it here. The difference between the German version of the plan and ours is that the Teutonic version stated that the car bought had to be a German one. Can you see the problem yet? We don’t have a car industry. We make cars for other people. Germans have VW and BMW and Mercedes. We have Aston Martin and Landrover, not really affordable, even with £2000 off. The German plan therefore supports the German companies and the profits stay in Germany, within tax avoidance boundaries obviously, but the British plan will see the profits spreading out across the world. It turns out that we are a generous people after all.

Hope you all have a nice week. The Express had an article on Friday or Saturday entitled “Why does it always rain”, well it’s bloody lovely here and has been for several days so sod off and stop trying to depress people.

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