Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
BOOK of the day: Zombie Thatcher by Bronwen Winter Phoenix (Author), Al Terry (Illustrator):
MARGARET Thatcher refuses to jump. In 1995, Swedish host Stina Lundberg Dabrowski asked Maggie to jump. Margaret Thatcher said no.
Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Ed Miliband all reply in one voice: “How high do you want us? And when can we come down?”
I must confess, I nearly had kittens when I first saw this. I’ve looked carefully into this and spoken to Alex, and I believe him when he says that he was angrily trying to take a camera off his girlfriend who was annoyingly taking pictures of him in the pub imitating a pot plant. These things happen – I should know! The fact that this is supported by the people who were with him that night suggests that he has been very unfairly treated.
That’s something very apt about UKIP’s affinity with pot plants. They’re the things people get given as house warming gifts and let die in a stuffy room. They fill a space until you can find something better to go there.
Wonder what kind of pot plant it was Mr Wood was apparently trying to imitate? Do you think it was a foreign or domestic type..?
POLITICIANS love hanging around with pop stars don’t they? It gives them the chance to feel vaguely important and they hope that a little cred will rub off on them so they can impress their bosses or voters.
Well, one United Nations dignitary was left trying to prise his foot from his mouth after he tweeted a picture of himself with U2 frontman, Bono (Mr G8). Oh wait. It wasn’t Bono. It was a man dressed up like Bono.
DAVID Cameron called UKIP “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”. In another age, he might have called them prospective voters. As the local elections loom, sections of the press are focusing on UKIP. The coerage is not always fair. They are looking beyond UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the head-shaking politician whose incredulity at life is evidenced in his way of speaking in lists, a man who could describe cup of coffee as “It’s brown, it’s foreign, it’s bad for you and it has no place on British life.”
Let’s see what the press has come up with so far:
UKIP candidate Alex Wood
HOW popular in George W Bush?
Harry Enten says he isn’t:
Back in 2010, Gallup asked Americans what their retrospective approval rating was for Presidents John F Kennedy through George W Bush. In every instance except for one, the retrospective approval was higher than the final approval was when they left office. Most Republicans, for instance, love to make fun of Jimmy Carter. Carter was the only president of the 20th century to lose re-election after replacing a president of a different party. He left office with a 34% job approval rating. His retrospective job approval rating in the 2010 Gallup poll jumped by 18pt.
Second, Bush’s retrospective approval is the second worst among presidents in the last 50 years ago. To save you doing the math, Carter’s 52% approval rating is higher than Bush’s 47%. Only the Watergate-tainted Richard Nixon recorded a lower retrospective approval than Bush.
Michael Baron has a different view:
“Perhaps Bush’s name is not mud anymore. A Washington Post/ABC poll asked respondents to rate Bush’s performance for the first time since December 2008, when only 33 percent rated it positively and 66 percent rated it negatively. What the pollster found is that today 47 percent approve and 50 percent disapprove of Bush’s performance. That approval number is precisely the same as President Obama’s in the most recent Post/ABC poll.”
The less he does the more they like him.
NOW that Margaret Thatcher has died and the funeral is over, what will you do to keep her memory alive? Peter Jones has a solutions. The smart shop for household items has for £185 a Bronte Margaret Thatcher Extinguisher*.
This exquisite hand-made and hand-painted fine bone china figurine is of Mrs Thatcher depicted at the start of her parliamentary career on the evening in 1959 when she successfully contested the Finchley seat. Comes with a limited edition certificate personally signed by Margaret Thatcher. Limited Edition 300 Height 4″.
YOU have to be hard-nosed to survive in politics and Toronto’s mayor – Rob Ford – found this out the hard, literal way as he walked at full tilt into a TV camera.
Ford was rushing out of a committee meeting at Ontario’s City Hall when he walked briskly into the snout of a large camera.
TO New Zealand for some a capella singing. The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill – Third Reading – Part 20 has been passed. A Maori love song fills the air:
HOW many people lined to route to see Margaret Thatcher’s funeral?
More than 250,000 lined the streets of London, clapping and cheering as her coffin processed through London – Daily Mail
…estimates put the number of people on the streets at 100,000 – Daily Telegraph
Margaret Thatcher funeral attended by ‘Essex Man’ – BBC
MARGARET Thatcher’s funeral was a made-for-media event. The mountain of puff and guff that paved its way were hard to ignore. We did as nation meet Thatcheration point. Now she is gone, we can move on.
COMPARE and contrast the deaths of Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher, as told by Alastair Campbell, Tony’s Blair’s older spin doctor. He writes on his blog:
…Cameron decided to…tear up his own travel plans, and head back to London effectively to demand a recall of Parliament…
So we are left with the question – why? What was so urgent that these tributes could not wait until Parliament was back? And it is hard to escape the conclusion that as a politician, not as a national leader, Mr Cameron and his team saw some advantage. Perhaps, as has been suggested to me by a civil servant, he was worried that the many Thatcher worshippers on the Murdoch papers, the Mail, the Telegraph and the Express would turn their ire further upon him if he did not bow down in worship with them. Perhaps he felt some potential benefit in associating himself closely with a strong leader who, in death, was likely to have greater focus on achievements than failings. Perhaps he felt that this association would help him with his right wing which fears he is not a strong leader, and that his brand of Conservatism is shipping support to UKIP. Perhaps he thinks her presence back at the heart of national debate will help him with the difficult decisions ahead, on welfare for example.
Some of his readers write in response:
Cameron is doing what he always does, i.e. making it up as he goes along and not missing an opportunity to bathe in what he probably sees as reflected glory. He’s an opportunistic media savvy, snake oil salesman.
Yep, you’re right. This is a seedy attempt by the Conservatives to promote themselves…
Readers may well recall the words of Campbell’s boss Tony Blair when Diana’s died:
“I feel like everyone else in this country today, utterly devastated. She was the people’s princess, and that’s how she will stay, how she will remain, in our hearts and in our memories forever.”
Campbell wrote in his Diaries:
Such are the facts.
Photo 1:Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron delivers a reading next to the coffin of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during her funeral service in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, Wednesday, April 17, 2013. Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s Iron Lady, was laid to rest Wednesday with a level of pomp and protest reflecting her status as a commanding, polarizing political figure.
HOW did the local newspapers respond to the death of Margaret Thatcher? Did Nottingham and Dorset have a shared view of the thrice-elected Prime Minister? What about Wales and Scotland? Is she lamented in Derry as she might be in Oxford?
A few of the juxtapositions between Thatcher’s image and the other fornt-page news jar and amuse: The Daily Echo (Bournemouth) has news of hospital bugs; the Hull Daily Mail has news of a “benefit cheat mum” and the Yorkshire Evening Post says “Heart Ops Get The Go AHead”. Maggie died from a stroke.
REBECCA Lush Blum has created the Facebook page Turn Your Back On Thatcher: police sanctioned protest about this grotesque state funded funeral.
WHAT did we learn for the Margreat Thatcher death parties? Personally, I learned nothing. I knew she was divisive. I knew the BBC was idiotic (they banned the Ding-Dong The Witch Is Dead song). I knew anyone who wears a jester’s hat in public shouldn’t and that anyone over 12 who sees juggling a mode of self-expression has issues. And that was it.
Writing in the Daily Express, Peter Hill learnet more:
Thatcher’s dead ‘parties’ have shown the political Left to be utterly unworthy of government. They have shown the political Left to be utterly unworthy of government, motivated as they are by spite, envy and pettiness and, as Mr Blair has pointed out, devoid of any purpose other than protest.
Labour’s leaders have affected to distance themselves from the shameful, graceless mob but that’s where their support comes from. Let’s hope voters remember.
Read the rest of this entry »
ANDREW Mitchell, the Tory MP for Sutton Coldfield who lost his job as the Party’s Chief Whip when he was accused of calling Downing Street police “fu**ing plebs” has a new job. Mitchell, who denies using the p-word, has been hired by Montrose Associates.
What do they do, then?
In an increasingly complex and unpredictable world, the threats and the opportunities multiply and take on new forms… They face new challenges arising from corporate relationships and partnerships, political and reputational threats, and regulatory and security concerns. Handled correctly, these different dimensions of international business represent opportunities to stand out and grow more successfully.
THE pathetic BBC made the drive to make a Judy Garland Wizard of Oz No.1 in the hit parade a meaningful political act by banning it. Others who wanted to celebrate Baroness Margaret Thatcher death have been drinking in Brixton and meeting in Trafalgar Square. There, a man held aloft a pig’s head. It was not his own. “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie – dead, dead, dead,” came the chant. A few Millwall fans arrived and tried to tear down a banner. And it was, all said and done, a bit pathetic.
“If people could print off … sheets of Ecstasy tablets at the party they’re at at that time, that just completely takes away our border protection role in its known sense… In the near future we will need to protect a digital border instead of just locating physical objects as we do now. If it’s made of atoms, you’ll be able to print it… [it] will change the very existence of mankind beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations”
DING! DONG! This was the day the newspapers decided to be more like The Onion. It is what Margaret Thatcher would have wanted. She was always sticking up for the little people.
THE idiotic BBC has decided not to play the Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead, the tune from the Wizard of Oz reinvigorated by the anti-Margaret Thatcher. It will not feature on the Official Chart Show. All 51-seconds of it have been censored.
Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper tells the BBC:
“The decision I have made is I am not going to play it in full but that I will play a clip of it in a news environment. When I say a news environment, that is a newsreader telling you about the fact that this record has reached a certain place in the chart and here is a clip of that track.
“It is a compromise and it is a difficult compromise to come to. You have very difficult and emotional arguments on both sides of the fence.
“Let’s not forget you also have a family that is grieving for a loved one who is yet to be buried.”
Freedom loving Daily Mail upset as BBC chief refuses to ban Thatcher Ding-Dong death song – oh, the irony
THE Daily Mail has campaigned for press freedom. It says “no” to Leveson. The same Mail wants the BBC to ban Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead, the ditty from the soundtrack of the 1939 film The Wizard Of Oz and sung by Judy Garland.
It’s in the Top Ten following Margaret Thatcher’s death.
Maybe Mail/Telegraph could campaign for some kind of state regulation of the media to prevent Wizard of Oz songs being broadcast?
Party! Booze? Fags? Pop? The students…
… asked for the a screening of Ken Loach’s documentary film Which side are you on? to ‘continue the celebration’.
HYON Hak Bong is North Korea’s ambassador to the Britain. The embassy is a seven bedroom house in Ealing, west London. Is it the most humdrum, average embassy in the country?
Signs are that Bong had left the house. The North Korean leaders have written:
The situation on the Korean Peninsula is inching close to a thermonuclear war … North Korea does not want to see foreigners in South Korea fall victim to the war. All foreign institutions and enterprises and foreigners, including tourists, are requested to take measures for shelter and evacuation in advance for their safety.
Where is Mr Bong?
MARGARET Thatcher: cats or dogs? Lady Carla Powell of Bayswater settles the debate:
“Lady Thatcher adored animals. I have a dachshund puppy called Maggie that she loved. I name all my animals after friends and distinguished people. I have two black sheep called Barack Obama and Colin Powell.”
Photo: Sir Charles Powell, fromer private secretary to Margaret Thatcher, and his wife Carla outside Buckingham Palace in London after he receives his Knighthood form HM Queen Elizabeth II. Date: 16/07/1991
OWEN Jones is turning into a troll. Writing in the Independent, he looks at Margaret Thatcher’s legacy:
In the coming days, some on the right will attempt to snuff out criticism of her legacy… Those who grew up in the Britain that Thatcher built will be patronised: you were still learning how to walk at the height of her power. And that is why it is crucial to separate Thatcherism from the woman who spearheaded it.
Eh? What about the Labour Party, who waged at least one of its wars on a lie? The Labour Party that gave us an undemocratically elected Prime Minister? The Labour Party that caused the current recession? The illiberal Labour Party that sought to control our eating, drinking, smoking and thinking?