Sunday, 3 May 2009

Diana Watch

“It's a hectare of badger mayhem!”

So, embarrassing incident of the week then. It isn't an award, I just thought I'd start with it. We pulled into Fleet Service station on the M3 on Saturday morning in order to avail ourselves of the facilities. As I wondered into the Men's I noticed that I had dry lips and decided, sub-consciously obviously, to lick my lips. As I did so I made eye contact with some bloke with his winky out, having a wee. He looks up from his task to see a skinny bloke licking his lips in his general direction. Oh dear. Then I headed straight for him to use the urinal next to his. I'm not sure I could have made it look any more gay if I had tried. Well maybe I could have offered to shake it for him when he'd finished, but apart from that, not much more gay. Ah well.

So this is the week that Gordon Brown did his best Amy Winehouse impression. By this I do not mean that he developed a life threatening drug habit or released a critically acclaimed soul album influenced by 60's girl bands. No, by this I mean that he said “no, no, no”. Sorry, that was a poor joke.
He started off by saying “no” to Titan prisons because they would cost a lot and not because they are a spectacularly poor idea. Have you seen how bad giant American prisons are? Gangs rule the roost and the guards only exist to stop them getting out, not to bring any form of discipline and rehabilitation. As with last weeks point that privatised home care is a bad idea because the contract goes to the lowest bidder who then has to make a profit so corners are bound to be cut, the same would be true for a private super prison. Money would be spent on cheap things like razor wire and saved on things like education and staff training. And by the way, isn't “Titan” a type of gay condom? Available in all good motorway service stations. I've said too much.
Then the Government seemed to back down over their plans for a giant database to record all our email addresses, mobile phone contacts and websites visited. This is a good thing, a great thing even but instead they just want your ISP to give them information that they wanted in the first place. So not so good then. I did sign up for a email campaign that I heard about through Twitter. The idea was, before the welcomed Government climb down, that on the same day we would all CC the emails that we sent to Jacqui Smith. The thought being, you want to read them, well here they are. Might bring down the Home Office servers though. Oh well, a small price to pay for National Security isn't it Mrs Smith?
The third “no” of the week was one of the hastiest political U-turns for quite a while. On Sunday of last week Gordon Brown released a video on Youtube, you know, that well known forum for in depth political debate and calling other people “cunts” via the medium of anonymous comments, telling us how he wanted to change the MPs allowance system. He wanted to replace the second homes allowance (a system introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1983, see I do my research for this, sometimes) with a daily payment for just turning up. There was to be very little debate and let's ignore the review that Gordon set up himself into the expenses issue and just cobble something together in order for some positive headlines.
By Wednesday night these plans had been dropped from Thursdays vote. And who says that this Government can't get anything done? That is speedy backtracking in anyone's book. All the Tories have to do to win the next election in shut up and let Mr Brown repeatedly shoot himself in the foot. All right thinking people pray to the God of all that is good that they won't but let's be honest, it's starting to creep into the back of your mind. We have about a year to go until the next election and unless the Economy recovers spectacularly and our Prime Minister wins this series of “Britain's Got Talent” with a note perfect rendition, the singing kind not the extraordinary kind (poor political satire there), of “My Way”, “Regrets, I've had a few, but then again, not over my plans to reform MPs expenses”, it is likely that an Eton boy with little experience life other than in Westminster will be our next Leader. I think I'd rather be in this mess than in that one.

I'm going to ignore Swine Flu, or Mexican Flu as Israel would like us to call it as Jews and Muslims consider the pig to be an unclean animal and don't like the sigma attached to catching swine flu but are happy enough for an entire nation to be stigmatised, always thinking of others the Israelis, as after only 7 days it seems it's not as bad as they thought it might be. The rules of diminished returns here. Every time the WHO cries “Wolf!” and we all panic (when I say we, I mean the media and an Asian man who I saw in Canterbury today wearing a mask) and then nothing happens they loose a little bit of credibility. One day we might stop listening and there may be some killer bug. Someone should write a cautionary tale about this sort of thing, you could call it “The Organisation Dedicated to the Improvement of World Health that Cried There Is a possible World Influenza Pandemic Coming” or something snappier involving a wolf.
OK so I'm not going to leave it alone but I did try and it was better than the rise in Card fraud since the introduction of Chip and Pin, which is what I was going to do. The news kept saying that Chip and Pin was bought in to reduce crime which is not entirely true. It was bought in to shift liability for that crime from the Bank to the Card holder, if some one gets your PIN (not PIN number, that's a tautology, what do you think the N stands for) it's your fault not theirs, some your have to pay for it.

OK, onto the awards then as I have dribbled on enough. Oh, new netbook by the way, very cool.

The Award for Publicity Stunt That Went So Wrong of the Week,

What could be nicer for the American People to see during these difficult times then a picture of an icon, in this case Air Force 1, flying low past another icon, say the Statue Of Liberty? They did it with Mount Rushmore and the afore mentioned plane, why not again with the Statue. Well, for one reason because of incredible amounts of Presidential security it was decided not to tell anyone that they were going to do it. Another might be because you would have to fly a very large plane low over a densely packed metropolis but that will be OK as long as haven't recently suffered from some sort of plane based terrorist act. Where is the Statue of Liberty, oh yes, it just off Manhattan Island. Still, won't go that badly will it? Oh yes it will. People running out of buildings screaming I'm lead to believe.

The Award for My Most Favourite New Thing of the Week,

I love a podcast and I have found a new one this week, well was told about. It is called “Answer Me This” and I love it, very funny indeed and Sony Award nominated. There is nothing nicer than finding a new podcast and then finding it has a massive back catalogue.

The Award for Selling Your Principles To The Highest Bidder of the Week,

A report this week pointed out, again, that breakfast cereals aimed at children have quite a lot of sugar in them. When I say quite a lot, I mean up to 37% sugar. This was reported on BBC Breakfast and they had a Doctor, well nutritionist who seemed to be called Doctor, from the Breakfast Cereal Defence League or some such in order to defend Coco Pops et al. “Sugar is a Carbohydrate and Children need energy”. Really, is that what you have been taught or did you read that on the back of a cereal packet?

The Award for Excellent Taste By An American State of the Week,

I know absolutely nothing about the great State of Oklahoma other than the wind comes rushing down the plain there and the band Flaming Lips are from there but it seems that this State had a vote to find a State song. I'm sure there was a fine choice of excellent songs but the good people of Oklahoma, where the wind comes rushing down the plain, decided upon “Do you Realise?” by the aforementioned Flaming Lips. It is a beautiful song that points out that we will all die and it really is a good idea to tell those that you love that you love them before its too late and they die without knowing of your love. I know it sounds depressing but it really is uplifting. It's on their album “Yoshime battles the pink robots”, do check it out on Spotify.
Anyway, back to the vote, the people of Oklahoma, where the wind comes rushing down the plain voted for this song but the States House of Representatives, always in touch with the Electorate, voted to ignore the will of the people because, now wait, this is good, because the band have a reputation for “Using obscene language” and wearing “Offensive T-shirts”. Why is this important to them? It wasn't important to the voters who were voting on a SONG! It wasn't important to the Governor who over ruled you with an Executive Order. An indie band is the subject of an Executive Order, how cool is that?
This is one of the things that confuses the rest of the world about America. It seems that, to them, swearing is the worst thing in the world. Yes, it is a little poor but really? The worst thing? Guns, OK. Massive Governmental abuses of power, OK. But if anyone swears? Throw stones at them and ostracise them because they are the spawn of the Devil.

Have a good week. I'm on holiday this week and intend on spending most of it at the allotment and then watching the last 5 episodes of Series 1 of The Wire.

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