Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On Northern Ireland

Time's been my enemy once again but I didn't think midnight should come and go without a word on the cessation of Operation Banner. I'm not as well versed on on the history of the Troubles as I'd perhaps like but the army's exit must stand as the surest sign that lasting progress has been made in the province.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh Frick

Mr Don Frick in fact. Twice struck by lightning and a mere 27 years to the day separating the fateful bolts. Though judging by the pictures I saw of him on the news today I suspect it would take all of heaven's furious wrath to knock him down.

Apocryphal anecdote

I will post something of some measure of substance but in the meantime this from Kevin Maguire's New Statesman column this week:

"After the invitation that never was, the by-election stunt that never was. Labour's stunt machine considered dressing an activist in the Edwardian tailcoat and wing collar of the Bullingdon Club to dog Druggie Dave in Ealing Southall. A party worker rang a gentleman's outfitter in Oxford, posing as a prospective member of the Buller. On being informed the full rig cost £3,000, he inquired how much it would cost to rent for a couple of weeks. "Sir," sniffed the tailor, "you are an impostor. A real gentleman would never ask such a question."

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Iraq 1 Saudi Arabia 0

Iraq have beaten Saudi Arabia in the final of the Asian Cup. Despite a ban on vehicles in Baghdad and warnings that celebratory gunfire would be punished thousands of Iraqis celebrated in cities around the country.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hitch on Galloway

Not surprisingly, here's one person not too cut-up about gorgeous George's 18-day suspension from the Commons.

The part about writing a review of his prison diaries is, well, very funny.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Out of position?

Beckham might have adapt to a new style of play judging by this quote I read at the weekend.

A New York Cosmos executive once said of Franz Beckenbauer:

"Tell the Kraut to get his ass up front. We don't pay a million for a guy to hang in defence."

I hope for Beckham's sake that American 'soccer' has progressed- in more ways than one.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bloody PCs

I'm forced to use an inferior product just now and it's screwing up the post formats - see below. I've no idea why and I haven't the patience nor the expertise to sort it out. I'll be back on my lovely, lovely G5 next week.

Croatia for the BNP?

So says a story in today's Observer. I'm a little sceptical myself because the article makes senior members of the British National Party look incredibly silly and paranoid. Even more so than one might expect I mean.

The Observer reports that a wealthy BNP sympathiser owns 1,100 hectares of land a few miles south of the town of Knin and that,

"It is here that a small cabal, comprising senior members of the British National Party, plans to hole up once, as they expect, the world's supply of oil runs out, triggering anarchy."

Nick Griffin has apparently visited the site on numerous occasions and when the dread day arrives, leading party members will up sticks for this Croatian idyll. It will be a sustainable community which harnesses solar power and natural water supplies. Unfortunately, the Observer doesn't give us any insight into what Griffin and co plan to do when they get there. After all there'd be little point in continuing as the BNP. And wouldn't they need to outmanoeuvre the impending fossil fuel armageddon by a good few years? Otherwise there'd be no planes or ferries to get them there. They'd have to paddle in a Union Flag dingy.

In case you're absolutely convinced Griffin et al are more bonkers than you'd believed, let me at least point out that when the Observer asked the party about the plan it did deny the story. None the less the paper has established that high-level talks did take place about the possibility of decamping to Croatia and that advice was sought from an energy expert named Andrew McKillop. McKillop has a pet theory about the end of oil and gas supply and tours widely lecturing on the subject.

Now, you may wonder what credentials Mr McKillop has or whether he himself is crackpot. But when questioned by the Observer about his encounter with the BNP he was moved to comment that:

"It was all a bit Monty Python. They seemed extremely paranoid."

Complete with funny walks, I shouldn't wonder.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Boris is in

Not in a fashionable way you understand but he's declared. So there now remains a longlist purportedly containing 40-odd names including the tousle-haired Old Etonian. I don't know who else is on the list and I don't know how egalitarian the Tories' selection process is. Will Boris be subject to the same interview process as some of the lesser lights; you wouldn't have thought so.

He's got to be the person they select if there's any hope of beating Ken. Not that I'm suggesting Ken needs to be beaten but I do quail when he's invited the likes of Yusuf al-Qaradawi to London. But it would at least make for an interesting contest. What's most worrying about Boris - apart from the apparent blithering incompetence - is the reaction he inspires in people not wholly interested in politics. Today at work I mentioned to some people I knew that he was standing. More often than not their reaction was along the lines of, "oh, I like him, he's nice". Londoners, we are sleep-walking towards Boris. Thankfully Ken has already pointed out that Boris has failed to shine in any of the junior shadow cabinet posts he has held and more often than not he's been forced to resign.

Helpfully the Grauniad was on hand to remind us of some of his greatest moments. My favourite?

On voting Conservative, he said: "Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3."

Will he won't he?

Boris Johnson has until noon to tell an expectant capital whether or not he intends to seek nomination as the Tories' candidate for mayor. I'd fancy his chances against Ken, but whether Cameron's persuaded him of that remains to be seen.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm going out


After steadfastly ignoring various invites to the join the bloody thing, I've succumbed. I think this marks a nadir. Still, let's see how it goes.

There's even an article in the New Statesman about it this week- what would Aristotle have made of it? or some bollocks. Apparently Stephen Fry's changed his 'friends list' to 'people who would like to be his friends list'. I like his thinking because they're not really friends. I can't figure out how he's done it though. I'd like mine to read 'Fellow Travellers List'. Bit of faux-subversion. Would the American owners notice? Would it lead to a McCarthy-like purge?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Come back soon

Pub fight: Motherwell rules.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Floods are God's judgement on Western decadence

Not the words of President Ahmadinejad but the deranged rantings Reverend Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle. The Thick of It is on in ten minutes so I'll probably have to come back to this one. More proof that if you have the word reverend before your name you can get away with saying whatever poisonous bilge erupts from the pit of your stomach.

Unite against terror

If as some are predicting we're going to have to put up with this crap for the next 50 years then please go here and sign.


'The Thick of It' returns

Escape those Jihad blues for an hour this evening. BBC4 is repeating 'The Thick of It' special 'Rise of the Nutters' shown around Christmastime last year tonight at 9pm. That's followed by a new episode, 'Spinners and Losers', on Tuesday at 9pm. While the series was very funny I thought 'Rise of the Nutters' eclipsed it.