Hello to you all. How are you today? Let's start with a joke, Nick Griffin of the BNP was deeply annoyed about the egg throwing in the week, “The bastards could have separated the whites first.”
OK, so it wasn't the best joke you will ever hear but it's quite funny. As I said in the week, he does have the right to speak but we also have the right to protest. Throwing stuff is, technically, assault so don't do that, no matter how funny it is. Significant Other suggested that there should be mass silent protests. Every time the little tosser opens his mouth in public there will be a small group of quiet banner holders. He can't complain about that and there is no chance of him casting himself as a victim as he tried after the flying raw omelette the other day.
He tried to claim that it was orchestrated by the main political parties trying to silence him. Has he not seen 24 or Spooks? Has he not read 1984? If that is his paranoid understanding of how the State silences it's critics I think it can be best described as quaint.
The election of the BNP MEP's was used by David Cameron to argue against Proportional Representation when Gordon Brown talked about electoral reform, because 65% of the population DIDN'T vote but of those that did, a largish proportion voted for Fascists. No,no Mr Cameron, you miss the point. The BNP got in because most people didn't vote. None of you got a popular mandate because most people stayed at home.
The challenge with PR is to motivate people to vote. As it stands many feel disconnected from politics, I don't why, surely these hard times should get more people engaged, anyway, so they don't vote and the minor parties whose only policies seem to be about focusing anger on people who aren't them, motivate their supporters really well. Your task is to get your people out to vote
The cliché is that a week is a long time in politics but look at the turn around, sort of, in Gordon Brown. We had the crushing defeat of both the Local and Elections and then the fun of the reshuffle. Various Ministers stropping out, some to spend more time with there families, some to spend more time with their stylists (although I really shouldn't mock Caroline Flint because I thought she looked great in her photos and she did her job well, can a woman not be clever and attractive?), others left thinking that many others would follow them out only to hear the sound of a slamming door and some giggling. I'm assuming that James Purnell feels a little silly now.
This week, however, the tide may have started to turn. There has been some quite good news on the economy, you remember that I assume? Worst economic crisis in living memory? Gordon Brown did well at the G20, could be said to have saved Western banking. This week we had manufacturing figures that showed that production was up 0.2% last month and the month before. There were figures regarding mortgage lending, up by between 14 to 17% on the month before. And then the slip that Gordon had been waiting for.
On Radio 4's Today programme the Shadow Health Minister, Andrew Landsbury, was being interviewed by professional interrupter John Humphries when he let it slip that the Tories would protect the NHS, schools and International Development but apart from that there would be 10% cuts in spending. A couple of hours before Prime Ministers questions and an open goal was presented to the PM. I would imagine that the smile on his face looked really rather sincere that day.
PMQ's was super fun. Watching anyone land, metaphoric, punches on David Cameron is always fun. I am not a Labour supporter but I am a Tory hater so anyone getting the upper hand on them will always get my support. Go Gordon, Go Gordon.
The Government did have one little problem this week in the form of the Law Lords. They ruled that Control Orders, the fantastic piece of law that says, ok we think your guilty but can't prove it but we will lock you up in your own house, where illegal. The part that they decided was illegal is the bit where you can be charged with something but not told what. Or told the evidence against you. But they believe that you did or might do something illegal, probably terrorist related, and the evidence was gained in a way that disclosure of it might endanger national security. You don't think locking people up with no charge or disclosed evidence against them might annoy them a little? And their friends? And family? Do you think that these injustices may help radicalise those who were getting moulded that way?
The Awards for the Week I think now,
The Award for not knowing what a song is about but using it on an advert anyway,
One of the best examples of this up to now was the BBC advertising itself using Lou Reed's Perfect Day. A song about heroin abuse I believe. That's how I want to see my national broadcaster. Oh and then they released it for Children in Need.
The winner is the new Heinz Baked Beans advert for their new little packs designed for microwave use. The song they have chosen to use is Ring my Bell. See, microwave finishes, little bell rings. What was that song, oh yes, You can ring my bell. I don't wish to come across as a joy-spoiler or that I take the music thing to seriously but it isn't about a bell. It's a euphemism. It's about rude things not baked beans from a microwave, unless of course Heinz are aiming at people who really like baked beans, I mean really like baked beans.
The Award for a bit late now of the week,
You may have noticed that the British aren't too fussed about their privacy are civil liberties. We love a CCTV camera because we have been told that it will make us safer. We love to be told by a Government that curtailing our freedoms and civil liberties with ID cards and databases and spying and holding on to email and phone information will completely stamp out terrorism, it will never happen. You can not be 100% safe and have any freedom. But, sorry to start a sentence with a “but”, I want to start my book with a “but” just to annoy people, you tell BBC viewers and listeners that there is a new 118 info service that is a mobile phone directory and they will be up in arms. Oh my, the vitriol aimed at this company via the medium of stroppy email and text to the BBC was immense. “it's an invasion of my privacy” was the major complaint. It really isn't. You can remove your number from the system and if someone wants to know your number the company will text you first and ask if they can pass on your number. Oh and there is the point that they got all the numbers from various websites that we had all used, entered our mobile phone numbers and then not read the small print when they ticked that they had read the terms and conditions. IT'S YOUR OWN FAULT PEOPLE! Only yourselves to blame.
I think that that will do for this week. Now I promised last week that we would all be back to normal and there would be a Sunday blog each week again. A small problem there because next Sunday is my first wedding anniversary and we will be in the Lake District, in a tent, not my idea. Significant Other wanted to go camping so camping we will go but I'm sure I will enjoy it. Will Twitter though.
Right off to Wimborne Folk Festival this afternoon and have been told by my friend that I'm not allowed to laugh at Morris Dancers, despite the fact that they are funny, and I must celebrate a life with bells on. Have a good week.