Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On Moqtada al-Sadr

Or the "young radical cleric" as the BBC would have it. Is that an attempt to infantilise him? A dismissive establishment tag much like angry young man? I'm certain al-Sadr will pay it no mind. I'm all for the ridiculing of Islamofascist nut bags but this is off kilter. Not even the omniscient beings at Wikipedia will hazard a guess as to al-Sadr's date of birth. Anyway, he's ordered the Madhi Army to suspend trading for a bit while he gets his house in order. Apparently he's concerned about... er... radical elements.

Monday, August 27, 2007

On a classic you've never heard

The Chameleons - Up the Down Escalator

Serious posts are likely to be scare in the next few weeks. (Nothing new there scoff the wags among you)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

On Heelys

Kids, you can't wear them on the platform of Balham tube station anymore. Transport for London has banned them after safety fears. Trainers with wheels? Walk, fat boy.

On "a type of Norman Tebbit in clown's uniform"

Is Boris really "by far the most rightwing candidate" ever to stand for mayor of London? He hasn't got the nomination yet of course. Decide for yourself here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

On Alex Salmond

Actually, I can't be arsed. Dismissive I know but I don't know what to do about this sententious monolith, this mini-Hitler, this starry-eyed wannabe Braveheart, potbellied moron. Your suggestions, please.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On Ryan Adams

On Friday night BBC Four showed Ryans Adams in concert at a venue somewhere in east London but the name escapes me. Anyway, I was a bit disappointed with it all. He was sat on a stool dressed like a psychedelic Rick Astley while he crooned along to his band. So to put the memory aside here's one of his finer moments. Pamphleteer FM brings you 'Come Pick Me Up' this Sunday evening.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On Inayat Bunglawala

Christopher Hitchens called him a "sinister and preposterous individual" and anyone who visits here regularly - for, yes, there are some - will know I'm loath to ever disagree with the great man. Though can someone be both sinister and preposterous? For me it conjures up images of Sideshow Bob. Bunglawala does look preposterous; impossibly bookish. But that line of attack will win me few admirers so I'll desist. Even if he did recently say he was a bit of a daft lad back in his book-burning days and renounced book desecration as a little embarrassing. He stopped short of renouncing his endorsement of the Rushdie fatwa, but hey, some addictions are hard to kick.

The man crops up on the Grauniad's Comment is Free pages with an unparalleled ubiquity. Now, 'Bungle' takes a lot of criticism and in response he steadfastly ignores it. I was quietly pleased when I took a well-aimed shot at some of Conor Foley's sentences just recently. Ok, he was writing about a book that only he and I and maybe two others had read, but he took the time to respond. Bungle? Not a bit of it. I've just had a look on Fisking Central to see if Bungle's had the treatment but it appears not. In fact, it appears Fisking Central isn't fisking much these days. I hope someone has done him because I'm not about to. It's late and this chair's not comfortable. However, let's have a quick look at what Bungle turned his ever sharp eye on today.

Channel Four was in the news yesterday after West Midlands police complained that the broadcaster's 'Dispatches' film 'Undercover Mosque' had been edited in such a way as to distort and misrepresent certain of those individuals featured in it. Bungle was off like a shot. Today's offering was somewhat shorter and off-the-cuff than most of his scribblings but if he can make a point lamenting some failing in society and show that Muslims suffer the most for it, he will do so with relish. Bungle points out:

"While the original C4 programme will have reinforced some prejudices people have of Muslims, today's CPS/police statement will, I think more justifiably, reinforce the distrust with which many Muslims regard sections of our media.

Hate speech must be combated. Documentary makers have an important responsibility, however, to do their research properly and carefully identify those who actually incite hatred. They must take great care to avoid unfairly stigmatising whole institutions and groups of people."

Indeed, but when Channel Four news last night invited one of those featured in 'Undercover Mosque', Abu Usama, on to the programme to explain his comment he merely repeated over-and-over that they had been taken out of context. Oh, but homosexuals are indeed an abomination. And that kafirs are lesser humans than Muslims. And that Osama bin Laden is worth 100 Tony Blairs. And that women are 'deficient'. But that his comments on the programme were, again, taken out of context.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's nearly Monday

Ne'ermind. Get summa this in your lugholes.

Maxïmo Park - Graffiti

Friday, August 03, 2007

On Rhain Davis

Silly name, serious talent. I'm not interested in the rights and wrongs of the kid signing for Man U - just watch him. Though I reckon if he was playing on the pitches I honed my 'skills' on as a nine-year-old he'd have been chopped down instantly if he'd started any of that multiple step-over crap.

Like a miniature, Sunny D addicted Cristiano Ronaldo.

On Smeato

John Smeaton, the baggage handler who tackled terrorists as they attacked Glasgow airport, today visited the prime minister at Downing Street. Gordon Brown hailed the 'Smeatonator' a hero and judging by the clip on Channel Four news just now John Boy was fair pleased.

"This is Glasgow, you know - we'll set about you. That's it."

On Facebook advertisers and the BNP

Six well-known businesses have withdrawn advertising from the social networking website, Facebook, after their adverts appeared on pages devoted to the British National Party.

The groups concerned are First Direct, Vodafone, Virgin Media, the AA, Halifax and the Prudential. Already I've had an email drop into my inbox from 'Unite Against Fascism' encouraging its supporters to sign a petition to have the BNP removed from Facebook. As someone who has done sporadic campaigning against the BNP and will happily rail against the obfuscations, casuistry, and lies on which that benighted political party is founded, I quail at any call to arms that effectively seeks to proscribe its involvement in any area of society. I do not question the group's right to operate in a democratic system and expect its opponents - I am one of that number - to expose their lies and distortions in a straightforward manner. Shouting them down, I have found, wins few converts.

A BNP spokesperson told the BBC, "There's nothing wrong with the BNP. Unfortunately the media have created a bogeyman and really the fault lies with the media, who for some reason have vilified the BNP, and it has scared these people off." I almost admire the unnamed apparatchik's chutzpah. It's almost on a level with the pronouncements of the former Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, better known to you and I as Comical Ali. This absolute failure to engage with the prevalent accusations against it is the ground on which the BNP can be rightly ridiculed and denounced.

A spokesperson for Vodaphone said the company had taken the decision to withdraw its advertising from Facebook as:

"Our public policy principles state that we do not make political donations or support particular party political interests and therefore to avoid misunderstandings we immediately withdrew our advertising as soon as this was brought to our attention."

Frankly this is a fudge. Similar non-statements were released by the other companies involved, citing concerns about "protecting the brand". Fine. But if they are to take action to that end then they ought to state explicitly what they perceive the threat to their brand to be. In withdrawing their advertising from Facebook the groups involved are betraying a "political interest" albeit unstated. Could it be that Vodaphone, while not wishing to be associated with the party, would still like its members and supporters to buy their product?

The BNP will use this type of publicity to any advantage it can. It is already providing the party with free publicity and the companies that have taken this action have done so in the most spineless fashion. Some will rush to say their reasons for doing so should be obvious, but it is precisely this sort of arrogance and failure to properly expose the lies of the BNP that will do our cause no favour.