Tuesday, 31 July 2007

It Makes Me So Angry...

Marx wrote that capitalism would end through the rising up of the working class to bring down a system run by, and for, the benefit of the wealthy few.
While we can only hope that one day a revolution will overhaul the unfair capitalism system we presently have foisted upon us, with every revelation of the rich getting richer and the poorest getting a swift kick in the arse, it inches closer.
Revelations such as the senior executives of the Environmental Agency, main job to defend the country against floods, handed tens of thousands in bonuses while flood victims watch their possessions float away on a tide of filthy water. I reckon they will share in your joy at the bonus for successfully implementing budget cuts as they go into the second week without power or potable water to drink.
Talking of potable water, Thames Water bosses were one of the first to implement a hosepipe ban last year despite being so inept in fixing the antiquated system that today it still leaks a third of it's contents, and yet received a £1.5m bonus.
The shameful list of the vast majority getting shafted by the tiny minority is endless but we just murmur about the injustice of it all and forget aboutit until the next time some Company Executive receives a wedge of our money that would lift countless families out of poverty or pay for some much needed hospital equipment.
Sickening, but a whole lot more so for those poor bastards who wake up everyday on the wrong side of this wholly unfair and unjust system.

Brown In Blair's Clothes

It was all going so well for Gordon Brown. He was up in the polls and gaining rave reviews for his decisions so far in Government and then his honeymoon period comes to a shuddering halt one flight to Washington later.
Don't know what he thought he could gain by cuddling up to a universally unpopular American President and all the more fool him if he thinks he can avoid the same fate as his predecessor who was forced to jump before he was pushed by his own party.
After a few members of his new, European looking Cabinet made all the right noises about moving away from supporting the more radical aspects of American foreign policy, Brown has plunged headlong back into the debate about cosying up to the most right wing and gung-ho administration for generations.
The words "We should acknowledge the debt the world owes to the US for its
leadership in this fight against international terrorism" are sounding very Blairite, and are sure to stick in the craw of many of the same people who were looking for Brown to lead us out of the American love-in years of Blair.
The Conservatives must be licking their lips at Browns own goal but he should be more
worried about the sound of knives being sharpened by his own party members.

How NOT To Bring About Peace

Imagine the scene as the US administration sit around the table discussing the Middle East. Death, disaster and mindless violence everywhere you look so the only obvious solution is to pour billion of dollars worth of military weapons into the region and to hand it to some of the worst offenders.
Saudi Arabia supplies over 50% of jihadists in Iraq as well as providing the men who flew two planes into the World Trade Centre, is set to benefit from US military assistance. This is despite gross human rights violations including domestic violence against women being legally and religiously sanctioned, bodily mutilations conducted as judicial punishments, oppression of religious and political minorities, torture of prisoners and public demonstrations forbidden.
All religions other than Sunni Islam are banned and churches and temples are not allowed but they are still deemed fit to be handed a devastating arsenal.
Israel, handed $30bn in military aid, has been the subject of 138 resolutions, most of them calling upon Israel to comply with basic principles of international law and condemning actions taken by Israel in a territory they have occupied for 40 years and resolutions demanding the country to comply with previous resolutions.
Egypt has a long standing history of suppression and torture overseen by the ruling authoritarian regime and has been heavily criticised by Amnesty for Human Rights abuses but still stand to profit by $13bn worth of US weaponry.
Good plan boys, i am sure the best way to bring about peace in the middle east is to arm half of it to the teeth.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Rich & Famous Mugshots

It seems the latest craze among the young, rich and famous is to find yourself on the wrong side of the law but the right side of a police photographers lens.
Celebrities getting caught doing things they shouldn't be and their subsequent mugshots being paraded for all to see has bought much satisfaction to many, me included.
Some come out of the event with a picture that doesn't actually look to bad. Paris Hilton's, Mel Gibson's and even Lindsey Lohan's latest effort are not too shabby.
Hugh Grant looks suitably uncomfortable in his which is to be expected as he had just been caught on the receiving end of a prostitutes receiving end. Receiving it.
My own personal favourite has to be Nick Nolte's 2002 mugshot after he was arrested
and charged with driving under the influence. Judging by his hair, i would guess his car was a convertible with a broken 'hood-up' button.
There is no truth in the rumour that after he stepped out of the car the Officer asked him if he was drunk and Mr Nolte slurred "Would i wear a shirt like this if i was sober?"

Thursday, 26 July 2007

The Long And Short Of Men's Hair

There is an advert running on the TV at the moment that has a little song which contains the line 'I like men with long hair' which is a sentiment i go along with wholeheartedly.
There is also the line that the female singer likes machines that buzz in just the right place but let's put that to one side and get back to men's hair.
I have always preferred men with flowing locks which have put me at odds with most women who prefer their mans hair to be short and tidy and probably says something about me i would rather not know.
The fashion here seems to be for short, tightly cropped or shaven hair which is fine unless it is on a man who is trying to disguise a bald spot which just makes me think of the past trend of combing hair from the side across the mans bald head.
I am not talking about hair halfway down a mans back like some sort of heavy metal fan, i am thinking of Kurt Cobain length before he took a shotgun to it or Brad Pitt in Interview with A Vampire.
It also has to be clean and worn down, if he puts it up into a pony tail he
just looks like a git with a pony tail.
I can see me being pretty lonely standing on the i-like-men-with-long-hair side of this post.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Moving Iran Into The Cross Hairs

A Senior US official at a briefing in Baghdad, July 2007.

Washington say Iran is in collaboration with elements linked to al-Qaida.
Washington say Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Washington say Iran is hosting al-Qaida training camps.
Washington received this information from captured insurgents.

Ever get that feeling we have been here before?
Surely, even the most idiotic of Presidents would not try this one again.
Would he?

Sunday, 22 July 2007

I'm Talking Bol*icks

With the exception of any penis related activity, i am of the opinion that anything a man can do, so can a woman.
Obviously, due to the physical differences, some of these things men are much more better at so they will always beat us ladies at anything which requires strength or speed, but there strongest asset is also their downfall. Higher levels of testosterone.
Throughout history, women have been seen as the more sensible, caring and sensitive gender. You only have to flick through the stats of serial killers, murders and war-mongering types to see the female half of the population are very under represented.
With India electing their first female President, Mrs Pratibha Patil, their will be two less testosterone filled swingers on the World stage and if you pardon me being a hairy legged, bra burning feminist, i think the planet would benefit from more women leaders.
From Bush strutting about as if he had a grapefruit in each armpit to Berlosconi trying to single handily increase the Italian population with every woman he meets, male leaders seem just too concerned with their 'machismo'.
Author Daniela Gioseffi hit the nail on the head when she said 'Why is the half of humanity with a special sensitivity to the preciousness of life almost wholly unrepresented in defense establishments and peace negotiations worldwide?'
It leaves us with 2 solutions. Either elect more women to office around the World or make with the nut crackers at the next summit meeting!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Warts & All History Lessons

I recently made a flippant remark about The British having a blind spot when it came to the 4th of July in America, a dirty little secret we keep hidden under the rug as not to make ourselves look bad.
I have always maintained that the History lessons we serve to our children are biased towards our triumphs and our failures are glossed over, and to be honest, Britain has been one of the greatest monsters in History.
School Authority, Ofsted, have finally come around to my point of view and said that History lessons lack a world view and children are not taught History in context. The World Wars being a major case in point where the reasons behind the fighting is not discussed, starting only with when Britain entered the War and ignoring the wider context and events that led to the outbreak of both wars.
It is important that our children know about the back story of events in World History even if it shows us in a bad light.
Our role in history includes slavery, invasions, empire building, slaughtering of whole populations, unprovoked wars and a whole list of wrongdoing. To filter our actions through some misguided sense of not making us look anything but the heroes, gives the students a twisted and misleading reality of our History, and that needs to be addressed if we are to stop them growing into historically ignorant adults.

Friday, 20 July 2007

From Potter To Plato

Coming home tonight i saw a witch sitting on the kerb sipping something out of a flask. A bit further along there was a wizard with a long white beard leaning against a wall chatting to another wizard.
After checking i was still awake it suddenly dawned on me that the reason there was so many strange sights about tonight was the release of the final Harry Potter book.
I have not read any of JK Rowling's books and only saw the first film because we were given free tickets but anything that can inspire children to queue up outside a bookshop of all places has to be good.
In an era of iPods and Playstations, i love the idea that a good old fashioned book can so grasp the imagination of kids and encourage them to get there nose into a book.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh novel in the series, is expected to be the biggest and fastest-selling book ever written. Water stone's predicts that on the first day alone the book will sell more than two million copies in Britain and more than 10 million worldwide. Books have inspired forces for both good and bad and can be powerful instruments, tools, and weapons so if Rowling can get kids engaged in reading again it would of been worth hearing kids shouting 'Wingardium Leviosa' every 30 seconds for the past 10 years.

Because She Got High

Attending University means different things to different people. To some it is an opportunity to gain a qualification that will lead to a well paid job.
For others it is the chance to break free from parental rule, inhale, smoke and drink anything you can get your grubby little hands on before re-emerging 3 years later grasping a 3rd and wondering where the hell the last 3 years of your life went.
Some take that award and actually put into practise what they learnt in the student halls of residence, some people such as the new Home Secretary Jacqui Smith who has admitted to rolling up her fair share of spliffs during her time at Cambridge University.
Refreshing for a politician to admit to her drug taking past, especially one given the job of overseeing the possible reclassification of cannabis from a Class C drug to Class B, although her boss may not see it that way.
Admission of a less than whiter than white past used to sound the death knell to any decision maker. When asked if he had tried the drug, Bill Clinton famously said that he had had a few tokes but he didn't like it, didn't inhale and never tried it again.
Fast forward a few years and Democratic nomination, Barack Obama, far from trying to deny it, wrote in his memoir that in his youth, "Pot had helped, and booze. A little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though."
So what if Jacqui Smith smoked cannabis while at University, there are far worse things she could of done while she was. She could of joined the Conservative Party.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

First Impressions

"If this weren't a one-shot deal and people were exposed to her vapid, condescending behaviour on a weekly basis, she'd not just be unwelcome in America, she'd be run out." The New York Post.
That would be Victoria Beckham after less than a week in her new country then.

Britain Takes On Russia

Britain is currently embroiled in a bit of a tiff with the Great Bear at the moment with Ruskie diplomats being asked to empty their desks and nick off back to Russia.
Fully aware that Russia could quite easily put us over its wobbly knee and give us a hiding anytime it chose, we have been looking to our EU partners for support but received only the international version of Euro countries tapping their watches and mumbling, "Wow, is that the time."
With the exception of France, nobody is looking to tangle with the largest country on the planet and to be honest, who can blame them.
Russia is yet to retaliate to the expulsion of its diplomats but has told our Government to expect 'serious consequences'.
The British line has since undergone a dramatic change from the initial macho 'Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough' to the snivelling 'we act with deep, deep regret'.
I am sure this will blow over after the Russians send a few of our own diplomats back to Blighty with a flea in their ear but it is a warning to our new Prime Minister to not punch above our countries weight.
Better to stick to taking on countries softened up after 10 years of sanctions and severely depleted armed forces if you want to act tough.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Philin...Phillan...Philent...Giving Away Money

In between deciding which sheet to wear for the day and philosophising about matters, Greek thinker Plato once turned his thoughts to what passed for wealth 2300 years ago and decided that man either spread his wealth or become what he despised.
Karl Marx picked up the mantle, combed his impressive beard and wrote a whole book on the matter which has those of us who bothered to read the thing, pondering on the disproportionate distribution of wealth ever since.
There must have been a copy of the Communist Manifesto in Glasgow local library because the new style of 21st century communism based on the common sharing of wealth has reached unprecedented levels with Sir Tom Hunter giving away £1bn to charity.
Scotland's richest man is pledging to give away the money which will make his the single most generous philanthropic commitment made by a Briton.
Earning his money from a chain of sports shops, Sir Tom said he is increasingly concerned about the growing gap in the UK between the rich and poor and wanted to boost opportunities for those at the bottom.
"There is more great wealth in fewer hands than ever before in history. With great wealth comes great responsibility."
It really does restore your faith in humans, Scotsman and Germans with silly facial hair writing political books.

Great Solo, Shame About The Song

What we consider to be great music is a matter of taste, that is what makes music so great because there are so many genres to pick and choose from.
Being a bit of a guitar freak, i ordered the 100 greatest guitar solo album as chosen by the good people of Guitar World magazine and there are some steaming solos on the 5 Cd's that would have anyone air guitaring around their living room.
As with anything like this, we all have our own opinion on what should be top and shake our heads at some at the choices others have made but i have something to moan about. Although the solos are mostly outstanding, most of the songs are not that great (in my opinion i hastily add).
My whinge is based on the top 10 which is: 1.Stairway to Heaven-Led Zeppelin, 2: Eruption-Van Halen, 3: Freebird-Lynyrd Skynyrd, 4: Comfortably Numb-Pink Floyd, 5: All Along the Watchtower-Jimi Hendrix Experience, 6.November Rain-Guns n' Roses, 7. One-Metallica, 8. Hotel California-The Eagles, 9. Crazy Train-Ozzy Ozbourne, 10. Crossroads-Cream.
Great guitar work undoubtedly, but apart from November Rain, One and Hotel California,the songs themselves are not anything to get excited about (in my opinion i hastily add again).
I believe Slash to be the greatest guitarist that my ears have ever witnessed but the one solo i would put above all is the full guitar solo in My Sharona. A real stonker of a song and it didn't even make the top 100. Scandalous.
Any Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd lovers sharpening their keyboards to lay into me for not knowing great music when i hear it, i refer you back to my first sentence.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Blame Both, Not Just One

Of course the restarting of negotiations between Israel and the rest of the Middle East is to be welcomed. More than anything the whole region deserves some peace after decades of killing.
George Bush was right to call for the Palestinian Authority to reject violence and instead discuss their differences over a table with Israel.
What i don't agree with is the way the whole focus, and blame, seems to be laid at the Palestinians door.
Yes, the Palestinians have been guilty of suicide attacks on innocent civilians in Israel and firing rockets in Israeli towns and they should be roundly condemned for their actions. Israel have been just as guilty of atrocities and mass killings themselves and should be lent upon by the White House with just as much vigour to stop their excursions into Palestine and rocket attacks on cars that not only take out the intended target but any innocent unlucky enough to be in the vicinity at the time.
Both sides are to blame and both are as guilty as each other of killing civilians and retaliating to each others aggression so both should be warned to cease their murdering, not just one of them if we want to be seen as even handed.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Doctor, Doctor...

Turns out that the NHS doctors who tried to rearrange the inside of Glasgow airport recently, failed in their attempt because they measured the size of the car wrongly.
After taking the size of the window they planned to drive the flaming car through, they then went and used a car which was wider.
Doesn't it fill you with confidence in our health service that these trained professionals, who make life and death decisions and were considered fit enough to be employed to work in our hospitals, cocked up because they had a shaky grasp of the use of a tape measure?
Dread to think of the scene if one of them had to administer a suppository.

Paraplegic Running For Research

There is an athletics event happening in the UK city of Sheffield tomorrow that seems to be attracting more interest than usual.
One of the runners in the 400m is double amputee and Paralympion Oscar Pistorius who will run against Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner despite the sport’s governing body, the IAAF, passing a rule in March that banned any runner deemed to benefit from artificial help.
That stance has been modified to allow South African Pistorius to compete against his able bodied peers as a part of its research into whether or not Pistorius gains such an advantage from the carbon fibre blades he uses on both legs below the knees.
Pistorius is the double amputee world record holder for the 100m, 200m and 400m and recently finished runner up in the 400m at the South African able-bodied national championships. It is a great achievement for the athlete and before the discussions on whether an athlete gains an advantage over his competitors by wearing false limbs starts up, i wish him all the best but fear that he is caught in the proverbial catch 22.
If he does well then it will close the case on ever allowing amputees wearing false limbs to partake with able bodied athletes. If he trails in at the back of the field, the same case will be closed just as firmly so as inspirational and brave as these athlete may be, they will never be sharing an Olympic athletics track with anyone else other than other Paraplegics or for research purposes.

Britain's Relationship With The USA

A fortnight into his new role and Gordon Brown is rattling through his to-do list with all the ferocity of a man who knows he has a whole terms work to cram into half that time.
Pleasantly surprised, he has hit all the right notes so far with his rolling back of some of Blair's more idiotic rulings but he has put his finger, thumb and the rest of his hand on the problem that hounded out his predecessor. Britain's relationship with the USA.
In appointing Iraq war critics to high profile positions in his cabinet, Brown has stated his Government will not be as pliant to the US regime as the former ministers who bowed and scraped to them.
This was confirmed during the week when the International Development Secretary, Douglas Alexander, told US foreign policy analysts that soft power, rather than military strength was the way to go and policy should be based on moral and fundamental values rather than special interests.
Apparently, it didn't go down very well in Washington who had already raised eyebrows over the direction Brown is taking the UK foreign policy. It has not been lost on them either that Mr Brown is touring European leaders before visiting the USA as he turns to look across the English Channel rather than across the Atlantic.
There will be a test at some point in the next 2 years where Brown will have to decide whether to stand with the USA foreign policy or move away, possibly over Iran.
Until then words maybe cheap but they are the words Britain have wanted to hear.
Just hope his actions match them when it matters.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Bravery Of Bullfighting

The Spaniards are not renown for their kindness to animals as the annual Goat-tossed-from-the-belfry-ritual shows, and the killing is hitting full stride as the 'sport' of bullfighting reaches its peak.
It is a story of romance and passion as a sword-wielding matador pits his courage against a ferocious raging bull, risking his life to entertain the crowds. Or so they would like you to think.
Actually, the truth is the bulls are weakened beforehand by using weights and/or drugs to sap their strength and their horns are shortened and blunted which impairs their coordination.
Before the matador even gets close to the beast, men on horses drive lances into the bull’s back and neck muscles, impairing the bull’s ability to lift his head. Then come the banderilleros on foot, who plunge brightly colored sticks with harpoon points into it's back.
When the bull is sufficiently weakened from blood loss the matador appears and, after provoking a few exhausted charges from the dying animal, tries to kill the bull with his sword.
A few minutes later, another bull enters the arena and the sadistic cycle starts again.
Hard to find words to express the actions of the men who partake in this disgusting practise but pathetic, cowardly scum sums them up nicely.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Enjoying The Beckhams

Since 1773 there has been a festering sore inflicted upon the British by the Americans.
As our tea floated upon the tide of Boston Harbour that fateful afternoon, the British swore revenge. Finally that day has come.
A revenge so sweet that just the thought of it could turn you diabetic. Yes, we have sent you the Beckhams!
To be fair, the one with the high pitched voice and the liking for ladies knickers and skirts is not too bad. It is his wife that has you reaching for the nearest blunt instrument to stave in your own head to get some relief from her mindless whitterings.
The less talented one out of a very untalented group, Victoria is best known for her work in the Spice Girls where she was appointed the position of pouting from the back of the group before she added pointing to her repertoire.
Of course her claim to fame now is having a boob job, marrying a footballer and being thin enough to supplement her income by working as a chopstick.
So there you go America, enjoy the pair of them and next time don't be so quick to ditch our favourite beverage in the sea, because we still have to find a home for the Gallagher Brothers. You have been warned.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Pulling Out The Troops

When i put forward my opinion on this subject before, the reaction ranged from a gentle shaking of heads to a firm 'She's lost the plot', but as i read the White House is being urged to hurry the withdrawal of troops from Iraq i need to repeat it again, "Withdrawing the troops is wrong'.
The reason behind the call to bring the troops home is a selfish call where the lives of our boys and girls is put above the lives of the Iraqi's. America has 3500 and the UK 160 dead military while Iraqis numbered 750,000 a year ago.
While the troops are there we have recently seen suicide bombs claim horrendous numbers of fatalities, 7 July: 105 killed in Amirli, 19 June: 87 in Baghdad mosque blast, 18 April: 190 in car bombings in Baghdad, 29 March: 82 killed in double suicide bombing in market, 6 March: 90 killed in Hilla, 3 Feb: 130 die in suicide truck bombing, 22 Jan: 88 killed in Baghdad car bombings....and so it goes on.
To pull out now would just leave the Iraqi's at the mercy of the kind of people who manage to go about their deadly business despite the troops presence. The resultant bloodbath would be horrific. No, we shouldn't of gone have war in the first place but it has been done, we invaded their country, we filled it with terrorists and to just up and leave it now to save our own skins is not the right, or moral, option.
We will take more casualties and that makes me feel sick to think of, but not as sick as the Iraqi people who will be left twisting in the wind and at the will of people given a free hand to inflict even greater carnage.
We went into Kosovo to prevent a slaughter but we are prepared to leave Iraq in the throes of an even greater one?

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Live Earth, Good Cause But...

Raising awareness of climate change can only be a good thing. It is something i have been twittering on about for longer than i care to remember so the Live Earth concerts that went on around the World yesterday can get the message out louder.
The message is sound but the delivery is open to ridicule for every critic of environmental issues who have been queuing up to bash us over the head with the carbon footprint of those chosen to lecture us about reducing our carbon footprints. The sad thing is, they do have a point.
Apart from the fact that i do have a natural tendency to stick two fingers up to anyone who doesn't practise what they preach, the practise of getting together a bunch of musicians to perform for a cause is getting, dare i say, boring?
Back in the 80s, Live Aid did a great job of raising money to save lives in Ethiopia but since then we have had concerts for anything and everything and i couldn't help think that as we were being urged to turn our TV's off standby when we go to bed, i would need to leave millions of TV's on standby for hundreds of years to equal the amount of energy the Red Hot Chilli Peppers took to fly to the concert to tell me it.
Al Gore was behind the whole shabang and he has the chance to do more good than any amount of environmentally friendly concerts he can conceive by running for President and using the weight of the most powerful office in the World to make real, far reaching changes on a global scale.

Tour De France Visits England

After years of suspicious blood tests and dodgy urine samples, a real-life instance of a clean cyclist has brought organisers of the Tour de France to its knees and a question mark hangs over the continuation of this cycling endurance test.
There was uproar in the French head offices of the race today shortly after a cyclist was over-heard to of boasted of being drug-free.
A test has uncovered that the cyclist in question had not actually taken any performance enhancing drug of any description.
'This has really taken us all by surprise,' a Tour spokesman said in a press interview, 'We just assumed that he was out of his box on EPO. This is the first time in my memory that someone has actually turned up clean to one of our races. We heard of that kind of thing happening decades ago but simply dismissed it as low-class gossip.'
The race organisers are in a closed session meeting that may go on throughout the night as they try make sense of this incident and decide on a way forward.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

A Message To You, Rudy

There are several ways a politician can have his campaign derailed before it has even got going. In America the smallest thing can result in plummeting down the popularity stakes and before you know it you have as much chance of reaching the top job as Fred West has of winning landlord of the year.
Howard Dean's primal scream and John Kerry 'looking French' sent them tumbling last time so Rudy Giuliani should fall so far he will wake up in Australia after the latest revelations concerning his wife's antics in the canine world.
Judith Giuliani demonstrated surgical products for a controversial medical-supply company that used dogs to demonstrate their instruments by needlessly operating on them and then destroying the unwilling patient. Hundreds of pooches were either put to death following the sales demonstrations to sell medical stapling tools, or died during them.
Granted, it was his wife and not him massacring dogs for profit, but the fallout should have a negative effect on his chances unless he comes out and condemns her actions or she breaks down and pleads for forgiveness.
At least it will take the spotlight off his 'interesting' private life which includes a 14 year marriage to his own cousin.

Happy Birthday Dubya

It is a certain American Presidents 61st Birthday today so three cheers and the bumps to old Dubya.
I hope that my presents turned up safe and sound and i want pictures of you riding that bicycle, eating that years supply of pretzels and reading the copy of 'The Idiots guide to retiring early'.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Only 16 Months To Go

My blog stats suddenly exploded, appears a few media outlets are using paragraphs from this
blog or linking to it, some big hitters as well, such as the online version of the Wall Street Journal are linking here from their stories.
As it seems the posts that are interesting the American press is the Presidential race, i guess i will have to make it a regular feature so expect a series of 'A Europeans Look At The Presidential Race ' or some similiar titled posts for the next.....16 months!! Blimey.

Great Aussie Oil Grab

Most famous for inventing a bent stick that you can throw which then comes back and smashes you in the face, it would be fair to say that Australia doesn't really figure in our thoughts as much as some other nations.
That would probably explain why the Australian Prime Minister John Howard is usually left out of the bile reserved for Iraq War architects Bush and Blair. A firm supporter of the invasion in 2003, Howard rejected the anti-war call of the war being about oil by stating "We are not there because of oil and we didn’t go there because of oil, we want to give the people of Iraq a possibility of embracing democracy." A pretty conclusive denial from the balding Aussie so one can only imagine the colour he turned the air when his Defence minister swung his big size 9's straight into his plums by saying that access to Iraq’s oil was a key reason for sending and keeping Australian troops there.
"Iraq is an important supplier of energy, oil in particular, to the rest of the world, and Australians need to think what would happen if there were a premature withdrawal from Iraq," Dr Nelson said. "We need to ensure, notwithstanding the significant natural resources that our country has been blessed with, that we are able to access the energy requirements in our region and throughout the world."
I sense a fact finding trip to the outback in this ministers near future as Mr Howard tries to fend off the outcry over his decision to help his pals liberate the Iraqi people not only from Saddam, but more importantly, from their oil.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Roswell Debate Goes On

Probably the most debated extra-terrestrial event happened today in 1947 when either a UFO or a weather balloon crash-landed on a farm near Roswell Air Base.
A rather large group of people believe that the 'weather balloon' was actually an Unidentified Flying Object from outer space. In fact, they believe the military actually recovered three or four alien bodies, and recovered the UFO and point to the press release put out by the Military Authorities at the time which stated that they had indeed recovered a UFO. Only for it to then be retracted 24 hours later.
With excellent timing, Lieutenant Walter Haut, who was the PR man at the base in 1947, and who issued both the press releases after the crash, died and left a sworn affidavit to be opened only after his death.
The text was released and asserts that the weather balloon claim was a cover story, and that the real object had been recovered by the military and stored in a hangar. He described seeing not just the craft, but alien bodies. Local undertaker Glenn Dennis had long claimed that he was contacted by authorities at Roswell shortly after the crash and asked to provide a number of child-sized coffins.
The arguments over whether it was a cover up or just fanciful thinking will continue for some time yet, but 60 years on it still has the power to divide opinion and that's the hallmark of a truly great conspiracy theory.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

We Don't Do 4th July Here

July 4th is not mentioned over here, it is a dirty little secret we keep hidden because Britain don't like to admit losing wars, it is bad for our ego so we pretend that America just sort of came into existence and then concentrate on how we bashed the Hun.
Then won a Football World Cup against them as well.

Move along, nothing to see here.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Forces Struggling To Recruit

There are some vacancies that must be notoriously hard to recruit for. I cannot see an orderly queue forming for a career as a suppository tester for example and the applications for OJ Simpson's escort must be pretty thin on the ground.
Another job that they seem to be having problems with is recruiting for the UK Armed Forces, hence the Government stating today that Britain's armed forces have staff shortages of almost 6,000 people, leaving personnel overstretched and unable to meet the demands placed on them.
"Recruitment is down and we are desperately failing to replace the numbers that leave" stated the Army Recruitment Officer with surprise in his voice.
So what could possibly be the problem encouraging young people to join the Armed Forces? Personally, i believe that anyone who actually wants a career killing people is the last person we should be handing over a loaded weapon to, which is probably why i am not in charge of recruitment, but what can the Army, Navy and RAF do to boost their numbers?
I would play down very real possibility of getting killed while being sent on missions to replace leaders of other countries on trumped up charges.
The chance to join the War on Terror might be best kept quiet, especially if you are hoping to recruit ethnic minorities who might take offence to a policy that seems centred on targeting Muslims.
So the angle i would concentrate on is that you get a really smart uniform.
That's what i would go with.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Name That Kid

The 3 girls may not be so difficult but the first 2 boys i had to double check. So which famous music artists did these youngsters grow up to be?

Terror Threat Britain

Welcome to the top post Mr Brown. Our top priorities are the Postal Strike, the Prison overcrowding crisis and the fact that there have been 4 terrorist attempts in the last 2 days.
Gordy sure has to hit the ground running as the pictures of a flaming 4x4 firmly embedded in the side of Glasgow Airport and car bombs being taken away on lorries emanate from our TV Screens.
Blair's reaction to terrorism was a strange beast. He held talks with the IRA and released all the convicted terrorists early under the Good Friday Agreement and then changed tact completely following the July 8 bombings and went steaming into the Muslim Community with all guns blazing. Literally in many cases.
Don't know what Browns reaction is going to be but we can just thank our lucky stars that the only person seriously injured this weekend was the driver of the jeep who is in hospital with serious burns.
Will Brown react with the knee jerking clamp down on all as his predecessor did or attempt to engage with a section of community angry enough to take the lives of innocent countrymen along with their own.
Prevention is always a better option than cure.

Al Gore For President?

To most Brits, Al Gore is that guy with the environmental film. To others he is also the one who got more votes than Bush but still lost anyway.
I don't know the subtle differences between Republican and Democrat policy, it always seems more personality driven, but from what i can gather, i would fall into the Democrat camp. Hillary Clinton is the current Democrat favourite but a new poll by 7news seems to suggest that Democratic voters would prefer former vice-president Al Gore to any of the declared contenders.
I have mentioned a few times how much better off the World would be if Gore had beaten Bush those few elections ago and Gore has spoke previously that he had no plans to put himself forward for nomination but he may have a change of heart with the poll showing that 29% of Ms Clinton's backers would switch their support to him.
I don't know what Gore reputation is in the States, but he has an enhanced reputation as an environmental campaigner in Europe where man-made climate change is given a much higher priority than in his homeland.
He is likely to bump up his reputation again with the Live Earth concerts which he helped to organise with eight shows held simultaneously around the world to raise awareness and funds to combat global warming.
Al Gore as President may yet become possible and the healing of the destructive Bush years can begin for both America's reputation and the environment.