Sunday, 23 May 2010

Diana Watch

 The Daily Express really does live in a little puddle of its own reality and it has proved it twice this week.
  Firstly they were kind enough to provide another fine Princess Diana headline,


But early in the week that proved that they have learnt nothing from our lovely financial crisis,


Violence is pretty much always wrong, it is very difficult to justify it without sounding like a bit of a thug but I think we may have a case here where it may just be possible.
 A Saudi Arabian has beaten up a policeman in the eastern Saudi city of Al-Mubarraz. This may just sound like a night out in an English city but this has caused a little bit of a stir as Saudi woman are supposed to do as they are told.  
 The lady in question was walking in a park with a male escort; this act may have been illegal because it is against the law for unmarried men and woman to mix. Now I think that that is going to make meeting someone a little harder but hey, it’s not the worst human rights violation that happens in that country. Anyway back to the story. They were approached by a member of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, basically the Saudi religious Police, who wanted to know their relationship to each other as this may have been an illegal fraternization.
 The young man collapsed to the ground for reason unknown when questioned by God’s rule enforcer on earth (although God did also tell us to go forth and multiply which becomes a little more difficult if you can’t meet chicks) and at this point the lady, who until recently had been having a nice walk in the park, suddenly attacked the Hai’a. She, apparently, punched him repeatedly leaving him requiring hospital treatment for bruises across his body and face.
 Now, like I said earlier, it is hard to justify violence but how pissed off do you have to be to do this? This is years of institutionalized oppression and misogyny finally boiling over into one action of rage, either that or it was just a bit of PMT! (That was a joke, a joke using irony. It was an ironic joke about misogyny)
 Will this be an example to other woman in Saudi Arabia to rise up and demand more freedoms? Let’s hope so then they to may have proper political representation like we do here, ok we only have 4 woman in the Cabinet but hey, that is one more than Afghanistan so I think the point stands.

President Obama has set up a Presidential commission to investigate the oil leak in Gulf of Mexico. This comes as sheets of oil have started washing up in marshes and on beaches in remote areas of south Louisiana and “experts” (I hate that word) say that BP has massively underestimated the amount of oil spewing from it’s fractured well a mile under the surface of the sea. They say it could be up to 10 times as much as the BP estimate of 5000 barrels a day.

BP also admits that their stop it leaking plans are going less than well. They have been trying to siphon on the gushing oil into tankers on the surface but the amount that they have been able to collect is dropping, from 5,000 barrels on Wednesday to 2,200 barrels on Thursday. Let us again remember that they are losing an estimated 50,000 a day into the sea. They still have no plan to cap the well.
 The way the companies involved blamed each other when they were hauled up in front of a Senate hearing and what we have learned about the contracting and subcontracting is the best argument against privatised Nuclear power that I can think of.
 Would you like a nuclear power plant built and run by the cheapest bidder? Oh and the maintenance carry out by the cheapest bidder who sub-contracts it out to another company, who were also the cheapest bidder. And then remember that all of these companies have to make a profit. Do you really think that corners would not be cut?
 Oh and then the Nuclear power plants will have to decommissioned by a private company, who will sub-contract it out, and the nuclear waste will then have to be stored, which we can’t yet do safely for the long term and by “the long term” I mean the thousands of years until this stuff is safe.

I am try to keep it short now so lets move straight on to this weeks awards,

The Award for Just Being Funny,

Some men, a bouncy castle and an International sailing regatta, what's not to find funny,

The Award for Just Being Funny 2,

It’s not been a good couple of weeks for Princes Charles; firstly his mother still isn’t dead (despite a joke on this very subject from a BBC Radio presenter) so he still isn’t King. Then the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health was closed down because of alleged fraud and money-laundering, oh and promoting bollocks, and now Prince Charles is named in a legal proceeding for his part in interfering in the development of the Chelsea Barracks.
  Lord Rogers (one of luddite Prince Charles’ least favourite architects) designed a really rather lovely conversion for the barracks in steel and glass for the Candy Brothers who where working with a Qatari company all or partly owned by the Qatari royal family.
 When Prince “interfering, unelected busy body” Charles saw the designs he decided to write to the Royal family of Qatar personally saying that his “heart sank” when he saw the designs, this is probably because they look like buildings for the 21st century and not the 17th and 18th, the ones he like the best, what with the power of the Royal family back then and all.
 Lord Grabiner QC, representing the Candy Brothers said “He urged Sheik Hamad bin Jasim to reconsider the plan before it was too late and attached a scheme by a different, classical architect he preferred," That really sounds like interfering to me. 
The Qatari company pulled out of the deal because they didn’t want to openly disagree with Prince Charles with the say-so of the Qatari Royal family.
 Nick and Christian Candy are claiming the Qatari company breached the terms of their contract and must now make the payment that was due when Lord Rogers' scheme won the approval of planners.

 Whilst I am still chuckling to myself about Prince “ooh and nasty looking housing estate will look lovely just here on my land despite the fact that we will provided no extra essential services for these houses” Charles’ little problems have a look at the nominations for this years RIBA Awards, click here to view them, this is the sort of imagination we need in our domestic and public building.

This is a little cheeky but I am, sort of, friends with a couple of members of this band and they are going to re-release their EP so here is an advert for it,

You can buy it on itunes or go to their myspace for more details.

There will definitely be no Diana Watch next week as I will be attending the Hay Festival with significant other. Yes, it is a little pretentious but it is also rather fun. We are camping for 5 days so let’s hope that the weather remains nice. Oh and we are also popping in to the Hay Philosophy Festival just to add to the pretentiousness of our, rather long, weekend. Although to be honest we’re only going there because Robin Ince is playing. Books and walking in the Welsh countryside, who could ask for more?

 Have a lovely week and I’ll be back later.

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