Thursday, 31 May 2007

Canadian No More

I mentioned in a previous post that i was so ashamed that Phil Collins shares the same nationality as me that i would prefer to be Canadian.
It was then pointed out that having the best guitarist in the World hailing from Stoke on Trent more than rubbed out the embarrassment of the slap headed crooner. Saved by Slash.
Of course, if i had to choose my nationality i would consult this list, the Global Peace Index which ranks countries by their ‘absence of violence’.
It would come as no surprise to anyone except maybe Bush & Blair, that Iraq is rock bottom of the list as the most violent place on the planet. Israel and Sudan join it to make up the bottom three places you would not go to for a relaxing break unless you happened to be Rambo.
Top of the tree and most peaceful country is Norway followed by New Zealand and Denmark with the aforementioned Canada rolling in a respectable 8th.
It is a long drop down the 25th to Australia and almost double that again to find the UK at 49.
Interestingly, the USA (96) is one above Iran (97).
With the 4 Scandinavian countries in the top 10, i can only put their peaceful disposition down to all that snow, saunas and videos of a dubious nature.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Putting The Great Into Great Britain

In his long and drawn out resignation speeches to groups of handpicked supporters, Tony Blair has taken to finishing his speeches with the words "Great Britain is the best in the World".
Exactly what Tony thinks Britain is the best at is anybodies guess.
Healthcare? Sweden top that league table.
Entertainment? America knock us into a cocked hat.
Football, our national sport? Italy are the World Champions there chummy.
Television shows? America again.
Music? Not since the 70's grandad.
Industry? Don't even go there.
So just what can Blair be possibly thinking of when he says we are the best?
In Phil Taylor we have the 13 times World Champion, sweeping aside all comers from every corner of the globe.
Yes, we excel at a pub game where overweight men in shiny shirts throw sharp objects.
The thought brings a tear to your eye doesn't it. Much like the players taste in shirts actually.

Chavez On The Box Again

Since its conception, Television has scaled the dizzy heights (Simpsons, Buffy, Monty Python) and plunged the sickening lows (Seinfeld, Are you being served, Fox News).
It has served to etch mankind's greatest achievements in our minds (Moon landing, Berlin Wall tumbling, Maggie Thatcher removed from office).
All this is little consolation to the RTCV viewers in Venezuela because the President Hugo Chavez has shut it down.
Before you could say 'knee jerk reaction from the right', the right wing knee jerked that it was a sign of the authoritarian nature of Socialism and it proved Chavez was against freedom of speech and other things but you know what it is like listening to right wing rant, you tend to block them out after the initial 3 seconds.
The RTCV channel supported a botched coup against Chavez in 2002 and refused to acknowledge his support when people power brought him back again so Chavez had a valid argument and he was only following the precedent set by Maggie Thatcher who did much the same to Thames TV in the 80's after it enraged her by showing the documentary Death On The Rock against her demands.
The employees of RTCV should think themselves lucky that they have Chavez to deal with and not George W Bush.
He wanted to blast Al Jazeera to tiny biddy bits for not toeing the US administration line during the Iraq War so if Bush was making the decision to silence a TV channel, RTCV staff could have found themselves spread over several miles courtesy of a couple of 500lb US bombs.
It all makes Chavez's treatment sound quite respectable.

US & Iran Talking

Anyone with a passing interest in the Middle East cannot fail to watch the news with a heavy heart lately.
The same US administration that armed Israel last summer to slaughter Lebanese, is now arming the same Lebanese to fire at insurgents in the South of their Country.
Syria are widely believed to be meddling in Lebanese affairs while Israel's Premier tells his Government to expect a long, drawn out battle with Hamas as Israeli gun ships target Palestinian leaders.
Hamas continue to land their deadly home made missiles on Israeli cities when they are not busy killing each other.
I wouldn't know where to begin with the burning hole where Iraq used to be and Iran are in the cross hairs of two leaders who lied to the hilt to go to war with its neighbour.
Without doubt, the Middle East is on fire but the news that Iran and America managed to sit down and talk today is a chink of light in a dark, dark tunnel.
A century of the West meddling in Middle Eastern affairs have brought us to where we stand today so hopefully, this will be the start of us engaging with the countries there rather than dictating to them. It cannot make matters any worse.

Channel 4 In Another Controversy

The usually excellent Channel 4 are attracting some bad headlines recently as close on the heels of their slap on the wrist for their conduct over the race row in Celebrity Big Brother, they walk straight into another controversy over their Princess of Wales programme.
Demands are growing for the channel to cancel a documentary featuring pictures of the car crash that killed Diana in Paris in 1997.
Diana: The Witnesses In The Tunnel, includes the first public airing of images taken by French photographers immediately after the collision and shows one picture of Diana receiving oxygen and other explicit images of the interior of the car.
I am of the opinion that if you are so offended by such images, you can choose not to watch it but as sure as eggs are eggs, Channel 4 are including these images in an attempt to drive up ratings. The inclusion of these images was always going to be provocative and stoke argument and Channel 4 know this.
They also know that the publicity from the outcry will give them a huge audience. Pictures of anyone dying, whether it is a Princess or not, are not my cup of tea but there will be plenty of viewers who will tune in just because of the publicity this has generated.

Monday, 28 May 2007

The No Suspicion Law

Back in the bad old days, Britain had stop-and-search law that permitted a police officer to act on suspicion, or 'sus', alone.
The law caused much discontent among certain sections of the population and was abolished in 1980 following riots in Bristol, London and Liverpool because the law was widely believed to have been abused by Police to harass the black population.
Subsequent evidence that non-whites were six times more likely to be stopped than whites bore this out.
Unbelievably, the British Government now want to revisit the same laws only with a new
twist, there does not have to be any suspicion this time. Anyone is fair game for whatever reason the police deem fit.
Under the proposals, officers would have the right to stop, search, inquire about identities and movements with failure to comply leading to criminal charges or a hefty fine.
After a damning 2003 report on racism in the UK Police Force, the police commissioners grudgingly admitted that they were institutionally racist and promised to review their recruitment practices.
With the law being bought in under the catch-all umbrella of "anti-terrorism", we are seeing yet more of our civil liberties chipped away and further powers handed to a police service that, in light of recent events, very few have much faith in to do the right thing.
The question being asked is are we literally sleep walking into a Police State?

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Trying To Forget The 70s

For some unknown reason there has been a rash of programmes lately remembering the 70s.
As i was born 8 months shy of the start of the decade, i grew up in this era of bad haircuts,even worse clothes and music so sickly sweet you would need an insulin jab if you spent more than 30 minutes listening to the radio.
Of course my poo-pooing of the decade has bought me into confrontation with friends who bizarrely remember the time as one long party.
For me, when i cast my mind back to the 70's i think of flares, patchwork dresses, Gary Glitter, that damned Copacabana song, skinheads, interior decor that made your eyes bleed, power cuts, black & white television and that song about the Queen being a fascist that got to number 1 but nobody could listen to.
Take out Punk music and some of the Glam Rock stuff, and the music that you are left with are the types of songs that should be played to those held hostage in Guantanamo Bay, I would be confessing to the shooting of JFK after a few verses of My Ding A Ling or Tie a Yellow Ribbon.
Maybe i was too young and didn't appreciate all that was going on at the time but any era that can proudly boast Barry Manilow deserves to be quickly forgotten.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Another Nail In Blair's Legacy

The anti-war lobby has been given a huge shot in the arm by the British judicial system with the decision to clear two protesters who were acting to stop war crimes.
The two men were charged with conspiracy to commit criminal damage in their attempt to sabotage US B-52s and so prevent them from taking off at the launch of the Iraq War.
The verdict unanimously acquitted both two men, accepting their defence that they were acting to prevent the US air force planes from committing war crimes.
The result is another nudge towards acceptance that war crimes were committed by Britain and America in Iraq and all the implications that brings with regards to the International Criminal Court.
The main beneficiary will be future protesters who now have another precedent. Last year, five Irish peace campaigners were found not guilty after damaging an American transport jet at Shannon airport.
No statement from Downing Street but Blair's retirement not be as comfortable as he thought after this decision by the British Court.

Big Brother In Yet Another Scandal

When Big Brother started i was a huge fan, mainly because of the psychological side of it but after events in Australia it pains me to say that i think the plug should be pulled on the whole programme.
Producers of Australia's Big Brother refused to tell a female contestant that her father has died of cancer while she is on the show. He has now been buried without his daughter attending the funeral, still oblivious to her fathers death.
The programme has earlier given out a task where the contestants were handed life-like baby dolls to care for despite being fully aware that one of the females in the group had recently suffered a still birth age, reducing her to tears.
With the racism row on UK's BB still reverberating around, the programme has moved out of the realms of experiment and into a sordid exercise in humiliation and degradation.
There will always be people willing to suffer such humiliation for their 15 mins of fame and a shot at a career in television but to me this show has outstayed its welcome.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Understanding Control Orders

The use of control orders are under review as three terror suspects abscond and are expected to have gone abroad.
Control orders were brought in after the policy of detention without charge or trial was ruled illegal and are used when people are considered a threat to national security.
Tony Blair has insisted that control orders were being used only because tougher laws, the detention without charge, had been overturned by the courts.
To confuse matters even further, Home Secretary John Reid, today made a commons statement that the three were not considered to represent a threat to the public.
Maybe i am missing a something here but if they were not a threat to us, why where they under the control order in the first place?
If someone is considered enough of a threat to have to be locked up indefinitely to protect us, then surely the powers that be must have some evidence to these ends and then they should be bought up in front of a judge for sentencing.
In my world, if you have no evidence then that person is innocent, if you have evidence then you charge them.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

AC Milan Champs

Yes i know Liverpool were representing England against Italy's AC Milan in the European Cup Final tonight.
Yes i also know that as an English person i should of been behind the Reds.
As a girly and therefore by default unable to understand the offside rule or the reason behind emptying your nose every ten seconds and always when the camera is on you, may i present the reason i was cheering for Milan.
Ladies and gentlemen, Paolo Maldini or as he is also known in my home, phwoooar!!!.
Apparently he is quite a good footballer also.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

What Ethical Policy Is That?

When your Government includes a line in it's foreign policy that states it will refuse to sell arms to countries where there is 'an identifiable risk that the weapons could be used aggressively against another country or it's own population', you can expect not to see any of the 20 countries it lists as abusive of Human Rights on its arms-sold-to invoice.
With our ethical arms policy not to sell weapons to countries we judge as a cause for concern firmly in place, this weeks NGO Saferworld report on the sell of UK arms around the globe should make comfortable reading for the second largest arms exporter.
£400m worth of military equipment to Indonesia, Oops.
Military hardware including vehicles and heavy machine guns to Colombia. Oh dear.
More than £110m worth of military equipment to Israel during its war with Lebanon. Hmmm. Despite an EU arms embargo, £500m worth of military equipment to China. £10m worth of sniper rifles to Russia. Well, see, the thing with that is...
So out of the 20 blacklisted countries we deem as too quick to abuse Human Rights if they got their mucky hands on our military hardware, who haven't we sold to?
North Korea, the other 19 have either suddenly become pillars of the global community, trustworthy enough not to kill thousands on a whim or our ethical arms policy lasted as long as it took for these 19 abusive regimes to open their wallets.
Yep, i thought so also.

Michael Moore Strikes Again

Nobody divides opinion quite like Michael Moore but love him or loathe him, you certainly cannot ignore him.
After his excellent Bowling for Columbine & Fahrenheit 911, he is back sticking it to the US administration with Sicko, where he takes on the American health system and the major pharmaceutical companies who deserve a severe kick in the pants if anybody does.
His style may not be the most sophisticated but what he does do is take a subject, in the case of Bowling For Columbine he challenged the US gun culture, and drives it forcibly right between your eyes.
His tactics have been called into question with complaints of controversial editing and insinuation but his views have made him a hate figure for the right wing who do not much care for the spotlight being shone so brightly on their thoughts.
As for Sicko, i have no interest in the subject matter, America's Health System is America's affair but i am just glad to see someone continuing to stand up to Governments seeking to quieten dissent as it goes about its shady business unmolested.
I just wish we had someone like him here.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Vote Blair And Get Stuffed By Brown

I had just got home from the local communist, anti-semite, tree hugging, lefty, ban all guns, scum club which i frequent when i turned on the TV to see some dishevelled, greasy haired vagrant grinning awkwardly back at me through the screen.
On closer inspection i saw it was our Prime Minister elect Gordon Brown.
So what is Brown like nobody has asked me but if they did i would reply "Blair with an under active thyroid gland".
If George Bush took Blair to one said and said in his best Texan twang, "Yo Blair, i need my next British Poodle to be bland with the charisma of a house brick and the dim wittedness to follow me blindly whenever i decide to democratise a country by bombing the bejesus out of it", Blair would wag his tail excitedly and shout "Ta-Da" as Brown lumbered into view.
He has already said that he will steer the same course that Blair was leading so although we did not elect him we have all signed up to Iraq, Trident and Nuclear Power, privatisation, a 2 tier NHS, a failing education policy, tuition fees, faith schools, 90 days detention, the love in with Dubya, the assault on civil liberties and the War on Terror.
Democracy is great isn't it. We wouldn't know.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Hypothetically Speaking...

While Tony Blair was making his surprise visit to the UK troops in Iraq yesterday, the compound he was stood in came under mortar attack, as it does most days.
So let's just say, hypothetically, that as our esteemed leader Mr Blair, instead of safely strolling out to catch his helicopter ride back home, had copped a face full of explosives instead and parts of British PM had been sent flying in several different directions.
Putting to one side the act of the insurgents, what would the proper reaction be, as anti-war supporters, to the death of one of the main architects behind it?
Would we cheer because the bastard deserved it or would we shake our heads and solemnly bow our heads over another death in the basket case that is now Iraq?
As he was quick to send others to do his fighting over what has been proved time and again were his blatant lies, i think my reaction would be the former.
Not that i would dance on his grave or anything but it would be kinda ironic that he died due to his own disastrous decision making 4 years ago.
Nor am i advocating that Blair should be assassinated, i hope to see him and his pal Bush in the International Court on war crimes one day, but if he was, would it be such a sad day?

Friday, 18 May 2007

Yankee's & Limey's

To the uneducated European ear, American and Canadian accents are the same which proves a source of much annoyance to my Canadian colleague who suffers the taunt of 'Yank' quite often.
I know that us Brits are referred to as Limey's which comes from the old British naval practice of supplying its sailors with lime juice to prevent scurvy. After weeks at sea knocking back the lime juice, they must of stank so the name is apt.
The origins of why the Brits call Americans (and some Canadians) Yanks is more of a mystery.
My Oxford English Dictionary seems to think that it is derived from the Dutch surnames "Jan" and "Kees" which were popular back in the settler days and may have been used as a reference to the settlers of New-York (New-Amsterdam at the time) who were Dutch. I have had it explained to me that while we call all Americans Yankee's, in America it is a derogatory term for a Northerner in much the same way that redneck is derogatory for an American Southerner. We keep things easy with our derogatory terms for our Northerners, we just call them Scottish.
Anybody know any other explanations for the Yank nickname?

Paying Compliments

According to this poll, men are too concerned about being seen as a bit pervy to pay women compliments which is a good thing because the same poll carries on to say that almost 2 thirds of women think men who pay them a compliment are a bit pervy.
Can't win can you guys.
The problem seems to arise from the different criteria men and women have to define the term 'compliment'.
To a woman 'I like the way your hair looks today' is received by the female ear as a compliment.
'Oi luv, nice arse' shouted while leaning out of a car window is not.
Holding a door open and smiling is nice.
Not even trying to hide the fact that you are looking down our tops is not.
Of course the best compliment you can pay a woman is to just treat her with respect or failing that just nice things about her clothes, either way is good.

Double Edged Sword Of The Media

The double edged sword of the British media was prominent this week as the Madeleine McCann story continues to dominates front pages.
Four year old Madeline went missing in Portugal over two weeks ago with the broadcast and newspaper media religiously keeping the public informed as well as raising the profile of the case across the globe in the attempt of fencing off possible hiding places for the kidnappers.
The dirty, more grubby side of the media came with the news that Briton Robert Murat has been named as the only formal suspect in the case.
Innocent until proven guilty is never something the press stick to when they have a sniff of a story so Mr Murat has had every aspect of his private life researched, printed and questioned infront of the World.
I have no idea of Mr Murat's guilt or innocence but until he is charged the vicious character assassination by tabloid is unwarranted.
If he is found to have taken Madeline then it should be a free for all but if he isn't found guilty of anything, then his life has been destroyed while the likes of The Sun & The Mirror shrug their shoulders and move onto another story.
It is the way of the press i'm afraid but it stinks.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

They Put What In Our What??

Vegetarians everywhere are getting a bit of a glow to their otherwise pasty coloured cheeks as Mars alter their recipe to include animal products.
From this month, the chocolate manufacturer has started using rennet which is an enzyme taken from the stomachs of newborn calves, to make whey for its products.
Although this story has made quite a splash in the lentil eating community, their was an even bigger eeewww factor uncovered that has somehow slipped beneath my meat free radar.
What are your favourite Smarties?
Do you like the green ones, yellow ones or the blue ones. What about those beetle-coloured Smarties?
It turns out that red Smarties get their bright colour from a dye made from dried and crushed cochineal beetles. Just like my home-made rhubarb crumble, it leaves a particularly bad taste in the mouth.
After baby cows guts in the Mars Bars and crushed insects in the Smarties the idea of adding Folic Acid to bread as was mooted this week, sounds quite boring.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Smoking Ban Approaching

From July 1st this year smoking in enclosed public places will be banned in England and opinion is divided upon the merits of the decision between those who do and they who don't.
I do, about 20 times a day, but i support the ban much to the chagrin of those who tried to drag me in on their side of the argument.
Passive smoking is a killer so i cannot support the case that 'if i want to smoke and kill myself it is up to me' because it is patently untrue, it affects anyone else who breathes in our second hand smoke.
As i am dispelling smokes myths, i would also like to wipe the smug grin off the face of the anti-smoking lobby who cite draining costs on the NHS of treating smoking related illnesses because according to the Centre for Health Economics, the cost to the NHS is between £1.4bn and £1.7bn.
Granted that is expensive but tax from cigarettes raises £9bn annually for the Government so that argument is a non-starter because the NHS bill is safely covered 6 times over by smokers.
I have the first of July circled in my mind as my next attempt to give up and i am presently looking at the various methods available to help with hypnotism having the best success rate among the straw poll i have conducted among ex-smokers.
Expensive and i have serious reservations about anyone poking about with my mind so as a last resort possibly, but until it comes to that i am stocking up on nicotine gum, patches and lozenges.
Be warned, the first few weeks of July may see a few bad tempered swearwords in my postings

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Flying The Flag

It's the middle of May and all the countries across Europe grabs their national flag and wave it about like some sort of demented xenophobic as The Eurovision Song Contest lurches into view again.
For those outside of the continent, the competition is for all nations in Europe who perform a song which all the other nations vote on to pick a final winner in a televisual galafest.
The most asked question is usually 'How long has Israel been in Europe?' but as that cheerful tune about Nuclear Annihilation got booted out at the Semi-Final stage along with the two favourites (Denmark & Switzerland), this year we ask can the UK actually win the whole shebang?
In our wisdom we have put forward as the UK entry a song called "Flying The Flag" by a group so camp that they should be in a field surrounded by boy scouts ging-gang-goolying.
The risque lyrics are sure to be lost on the rest of the continent as one of the group asks with a wink "Would you like something to suck on for landing sir?"
As last years winners, Finland get to host this years final and the favourite is the glamrock like Swedish entry and I will stick my neck out and say i expect the bouncy UK entry to push for the top place.
Come on Scooch, let's teach Johnny Foreigner how to write a song.
Ba da da, Ba da da, Ba da da ,Ba da da , flying the flag, all over the world.....

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Bush - Blair Memo

You know something juicy is going to be dispensed when the Judge orders journalists and members of the public out of the court and carries on behind closed doors.
Such was the state of affairs at the trial of two Civil Servants accused of breaching the Official Secrets Act after leaking a conversation between George W Bush & Tony Blair to an anti-war MP.
The prosecution has called it 'potentially life threatening' while the defence has said that it would destroy the reputations of both men involved. The judge agreed that its contents were so sensitive that the press could not report what was said.
The defence has described the contents as "abhorrent" and "illegal" and would exposed Mr Bush as a "madman".
The Foreign Secretary, Margaret Beckett, claimed the disclosure of the document would have a "serious negative impact" on UK-US diplomatic relations.
The media are today arguing for a lift in the restrictions but the current thinking from journalists I have spoken to today is that there were plans to bomb Arab TV station al-Jazeera in Qatar. If true, fresh doubts will resurface over claims that previous attacks against al-Jazeera staff were military errors.
In 2001 the station's Kabul office was 'accidently' knocked out by two bombs. In 2003, al-Jazeera reporter Tareq Ayyoub was killed in another 'accidental' missile strike on the station's Baghdad centre.

Happy Birthday Mr. Joel

I have a confession to make.
It is with burning shame and a heavy heart that i unburden myself of this load that i bear.
You see, today i admit to knowing almost all the words to almost every Billy Joel song.
With Billy 'Uptown Girl' Joel hitting the big 58 today (Happy Birthday Billy by the way), i feel the time is right to drop any pretense of having cool tastes in music.
In the way of all the best confessionals, i blame my parents. Both were big Joel fans and you could count yourself lucky if you went longer than 10 minutes without hearing a belt of Piano man or It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to me.
A perennial favourite of Supermarkets, i always find myself singing along to his ditties as i price up the Brussels Sprouts.
So there we have it, i have a soft spot for Christie Brinkley's ex-hubby and could probably happily sing along to most of his records.
It could be worse i suppose, my parents could have been Bee Gee fans.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Miracle In Belfast

Two old enemies sit side by side sharing a joke as the once unimaginable image of Ireland's bitterest foes becomes a reality.
Rev. Ian Paisley, the Democratic Unionist Party leader who spent decades denouncing republicans, and Martin McGuinness, a former IRA commander, joined together to assume office as first and deputy first ministers at the head of a new power-sharing government.
Sinn Fein and DUP ministers shook hands as finally the troubles that have besieged Ireland for generations are buried.
Hopefully, a few other warring parties around the globe can see the results of just sitting down and talking instead of reacting with violence.
It was only a decade ago that Canary Wharf was targeted by an IRA truck bomb but those days are consigned to history as peace was given a chance and against all the odds, it blossomed. Rest of the World take note, talking to each other works.

We Want To Know NOW!!

It is a favourite gripe of the older generation that the younger generation is always worse behaved than they were.
After a study in Southern England, a potential link to behaviour problems and diet has been found and such is the findings that food safety experts are advising parents to overhaul their children's diet now.
The latest research into the effect of food additives on children's behaviour raises doubts about the safety of food colourings and a preservative widely used in sweets, drinks and processed foods in the UK. Although these additives are widely used here and are approved as safe and legal by the EU, some of the colours are banned in Scandinavian countries and the US.
The kicker is, it will be months before the results are published, despite the importance of the findings.
Because of scientists code of practise, the results will not be released to the public or acted on until they have been published in a scientific journal.The Food Safety Agency has been considering the safety of these additives since 2000 after research concluded that "significant changes in children's behaviour could be produced by the removal of colourings and additives from their diet.
I am all for safeguarding code of practices but if this finding has the implications that they are saying, just tell us now what foodstuffs the things are in and parents can stop buying them and maybe we can all get a bit of peace from kids high on E-numbers.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Looking Into The Future

I love scientific experiments like this. Professor Dick Bierman of Amsterdam University says that people can see into the future and has the proof to back up his claims.
The study looked into explaining things such as mediumship, ESP, deja vue, gut feelings and instinct.
Using lie detectors and MMR scans, the team showed sexually explicit, violent or soothing images to volunteers in a random sequence determined by computer. Soon he discovered that people began reacting to the pictures before they saw them. They began to 'wince' a few seconds before they actually saw a violent image.
Other Universities heard about the experiment and conducted similar tests and found the same results. One hooked up card players and found that they began reacting subconsciously shortly before they won or lost.
The Professor points to the many stories of survivors who had changed their plans at the last minute after vague feelings of unease.
"It is known as 'presentiment' because emotional feelings are being received from the future, not hard facts or information" said the Prof.
I am unsure what to make of all this but it is true that we do get 'gut feelings' and everyone knows someone with a story about how they changed plans at the last moment and avoided a disaster.
Maybe it is just luck but then again maybe we can actually see into the future.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Have A Nice Day Christopher H

Seems that Britain has lost Christopher Hitchens to America and while many lefties say 'good riddance' to the former Trotskyite, i have to admit the controversial figure was good entertainment.
Anyone who crosses the divide from left wing to right wing is going to get flack but i never considered him a real neo-con despite his support for American foreign policy.
Always critical of issues such as Israel, the nuclear bomb and religion, Hitchens is not your stereotypical neo-con and he will always frustrate as much as he pleases. Even when he and his brother were fixtures in the left wing media he never seemed to conform to the colours the liberal media attempted to paint him.
Hitchens no longer considers himself a Trotskyist or even a socialist, yet he maintains that his political views have not changed significantly.
He was famously described as a 'drink-soaked former Trotskyist popinjay' by George Galloway with reference to his alcoholism and i hope that now that he is an American citizen he continues to fire his barbs to all and sundry.
I think he will because we need people like him with his form of machine gun spray critiques even if we want to crown him or knee him in the swingers in equal measure.

Men & Women Have Differing Movies Tastes

There are many differences between men and women.
Not only are we better at driving, handling 2 X chromosomes, multi-tasking, reading instructions and looking at our hair in any shiny surface, we also have a better taste in movies.
A SkyTV survey of film buffs has found that Star War for men and Dirty Dancing for women were the tops for repeat viewings.
Action films, Alien and Die Hard were among the top male choices, along with sci-fi film Bladerunner and mafia romp The Godfather.
Women are more likely to watch Grease, The Sound of Music, Pretty Woman and It's A Wonderful Life over and over again.
Sorry guys, but you can take your Millenium Falcon and your light sabres and stick 'em up your Wookiee.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

French Turn To The Right

The Frenchies have been voting and the new backside on the Presidential seat is the right winger Nicolas Sarkozy, the former Interior Minister with the self styled nickname 'le tough cop'.
A blend of brutality and extreme pettiness has dominated France since Sarkozy became Interior Minister in 2002. His first bill introduced prison terms for begging, insulting security guards and loitering in communal areas.
When a fellow minister disagreed Sarkozy's approach to the suburban riots of autumn 2005, he was threatened with a punch by Sarkozy. The riots began in a Parisian suburb following the deaths of two teenagers, victims of the hardliner Sarkozy's police crackdown. Two officers were charged in connection with the deaths.
Worryingly, Sarko has made more crackdowns the cornerstone of his law and order policy.
We can thank our lucky stars that it was Chirac with his hand on the French rudder when Sarkozy's fellow right wingers decided to invade Iraq otherwise the brilliant scenes we saw at the UN as France prevented the US & UK from manipulating the UN to do its bidding, would have been waved through with a Gaelic shrug.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Bush And I In Agreement

It would be fair to make the comment that the US President takes some stick. One of the most unpopular presidents ever at home and considered on par with the scum that collects on top of ponds abroad, he will not be winning popularity contests anytime soon.
With that in mind, i am shocked to find myself agreeing with his veto on withdrawing the troops from Iraq. Before my front room fills with bricks thrown through my windows,let me explain in terms Bush supporters will understand.
America, along with the UK and a few other lickspittle countries, went into Iraq and basically destroyed it. Did to Iraq what Paris Hilton does to anyone male and breathing.
What the Democrats want is to pull out the troops. This would save American lives sure, but seeing as Iraqis are being car bombed in their hundreds, where is the moral right in just upping sticks and leaving them to die at the hands of Insurgents?
If they are dying in such large numbers with the Americans there, it does not bear thinking about what numbers of innocent civilians will perish if left to fend for themselves.
Bush and I obviously reach the same conclusion for different reasons but to take a country, fill it with terrorists and then to run away is reprehensible. If the cost of protecting Iraqi lives is more American and UK military deaths, then it is something we will have to suck up because a UK or US life is not worth any more or any less than an Iraqi life, and it was us who put them in such a life threatening position. We owe them.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Got To Love That Royal Family

As the Queen gets ready to kick off her first tour of the US in 16 years with a visit to Virginia, authorities there have asked people not to greet her wearing 'I'm With Stupid' T-shirts.
Shame that because i would imagine that even the Queen would not disagree if one was pointing towards her gaff prone hubby.
For the rest of her family she would need some 'I'm with the jug earred weirdo' and 'I'm with the balding fairy' shirts knocked up.
As the Queen jets into North America, her second eldest son jets back from South America whining about his treatment by the media.
After yet more stories about his golf playing, yacht partying 'business trip' to warmer climes, the Prince moans that he is worth the money because of the business he attracts to the country and that he has developed a thick skin that criticism drips off of like water.
That's handy then, means we can all call him a skivving, lard arsed tosser.