Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
JSP: Are you prepared for what’s going to be slung at you as this election campaign gets under way? Your past is going to be raked over. What about drugs? In an interview, you said, ‘I’ve snorted coke, but I sneezed.’
BJ: I thoroughly disagree with drugs, and…
You smoked dope before you went to university.
That’s true, but the stuff you and I may have smoked is not the same as what the kids are having now. I think skunk and this stuff is very, very dangerous.
Well, you’re a father and you’ve got four children.
I don’t want my kids having drugs.
…You said in interviews that you’ve snorted coke.Well, that was when I was 19. It all goes to show that, sometimes, it’s better not to say anything.
Brilliant stuff. Always good if a journalist can encourage their subject not to speak…
“Oysters for everyone!” says Boris. “I promise to oysterize all of south London!”
THOSE new British coins:
The coins are thereby symbolic of what New Labour has done to the United Kingdom, to the British Constitution, and to the ancient rights and liberties of the British people. From the grandness of unity, purpose, meaning and wholeness which was symbolised by Britannia, we now have the splintered autonomy of micro-narratives; a disparate collection of sub-cultures and designer cults, each with its own language, code and life-style. What a farrago.
Do they weight the same as the old ones?
CIVIL servants love bottled water:
It sounds like it is very thirsty work at the DWP. Since April 2006 they have purchased 5.3 million litres of bottled water. Apparently they’re planning on introducing the use of tap water by summer 2008. Does that mean they don’t have any taps already? How difficult is it to say “we’re not buying that anymore, go use a tap”?
They do love their own branded bottled water…
Says the Mirror: “A mortgage famine is on the cards as more banks follow First Direct’s decision to slam the door on new borrowers. Experts fear we could be heading back to the bad old days of mortgage rationing as the worldwide credit crunch tightens.”
Says the Expres on its front page: “NOW MPS WANTS £23,000 PAY RISE.”
MPs are “accsued of lining their pockets.”
Only: “They want the astonishing sum to replace their lavish second-home allowamnces of up to £22,100.”
So the politicos want to do up their homes rather than move? Given the economic climate, this seems entirely reasonable…
SAYS JOHN McCain on Iraq:
Questioner: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for fifty years…McCain: Maybe a hundred. Make it one hundred. We’ve been in South Korea, we’ve been in Japan for sixty years. We’ve been in South Korea for fifty years or so. That’d be fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. Then it’s fine with me. I would hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Qaeda is training, recruiting, equipping and motivating people every single day.
Says Barack Obama:
We are bogged down in a war that John McCain now suggests might go on for another hundred years.”
And: “(McCain) says that he is willing to send our troops into another hundred years of war in Iraq.”
Well, that’s not quite what he said, is it..?
HARRIET Harman might not be such a fool to walk around in a stab-proof vest – she might just be paranoid.
The Sun says more than a third of Brits are “PARANOID”.
How do we know this? By scientists watching you and noting all you do down on pads, that’s how. Also, researchers sent 200 volunteers on a computer-generated four-minute trip in a London Tube carriage.
One paranoid passenger said a “dodgy” computer character looked as if he might turn aggressive or “plant a bomb”.
A second was scared she might be sexually molested, while a third feared a virtual passenger who kept moving a hand was a pickpocket.
A fourth was “spooked” by another virtual passenger. She said later: “I’m sure he looked at me more than a couple of times though I might be imagining it.”
Meanwhile a woman in south London is taking no chances, her party is handing out ID cards and her leader is invading Iraq just in case it has big guns that can kill us all in 45 minutes…
The Labour deputy leader dressed in the Kevlar jacket to tour Peckham, South London. Just in case one vest as not enough, she took along three spares, carried by three coppers.
Harman says wearing the vest on Monday was a “courtesy” while visiting police. Says she: “I didn’t have to wear a stab-proof jacket. Just as I might wear a hard hat on a building site, it’s about wearing the kit.”
Look out for Harman wearing full football kit to talk about sport, a nurse’s uniform to discuss the NHS and a burka to get into the mood for dialogue on the War on Terror…
When Anorak mocked up Gordon Brown as Oliver Twist, we meant it in jest.
But he can’t have any more. There aren’t any more. Everyone’s already here. To get more immigrants, the immigrants will have to go away and come back again. Perhaps British Airways could put them in bags to Milan and save on costs?
But Gordon Brown wants more. He says the number of job vacancies has now increased to 675,000 and businesses can benefit from being able to “recruit more widely”.
The Express presses ‘1’ on the speed dial and contacts Sir Andrew Green, the chairman of Migrationwatch UK.
KEN Livingstone is now a rank outsider to beat Boris Johnson to be London Mayor. And then this video appears:
SAYS Bishop Hill: “There’s a lovely anecdote doing the rounds of climate sceptic blogs about Sir David King, the climate alarmist and former chief scientific adviser to the British government.”
“It seems that President Putin asked some of his leading scientists to meet Sir David when he went to Moscow as part of the entourage of the foreign secretary. King apparently launched into his standard spiel about how we’re all going to fry, but was a bit taken aback when the assembled scientists told him he was talking rubbish. When they had the temerity to list all the scientific evidence which refuted his claims of impending armageddon, our man was left looking a bit of a ninny and turned on his heels and stormed out of the room.”
In Pennsylvania on a bonding mission, Hillary compares herself to Sly Stallone’s Rocky, specifically the moment when he races up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Says Hillary: “Rocky Balboa had gotten halfway up those art museum steps and said, ‘Well, I guess that’s about far enough’.
“When it comes to finishing a fight Rocky and I have a lot in common. I never give up. I know what it’s like to get knocked down. I’ve never stayed down and never will.”
In the film, Rocky loses to a black boxer with superior showmanship…
HILLARY Clinton or Obama? Why can’t they just breed:
The target is a big number. The Guardian says it’s twice as many as the number who marched against the Vietnam war or in support of civil rights during the heyday of US activism in the 1960s.
“The resources are completely unprecedented in American politics,” says Philip Clapp, of the Pew Environment Group. The Alliance for Climate Protection “has already reached out to organisations as diverse as the Girl Scouts and the steelworkers union to try to broaden its appeal”.
Steelworkers and girl scouts. The green movement is throwing up some unlikely bedfellows. Cookies and pig iron. The former Vice President of the USA waging war on the machines, one of which caused so many hanging chads and lost him Florida and with it the White House.
Gore hates machines, just hates them.
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev will run a 250m stretch of the torch relay after the Beijing Olympic flame arrives in Almaty, Kazakhstan on April 2, 2008.
Mr Nazarbayen is 67 years old. There is little like seeing a politician in shorts and sweat to make him appear statesmanlike and noble…
OVER the newswires come stories of suicide bombing Tibetans:
China on Tuesday accused “Tibet independence forces” of planning to use suicide squads to trigger bloody attacks — the lastest in a string of accusations that have taken aim at supporters of the Dalai Lama.
The prime minister of Tibet’s government-in-exile denied the claims, saying Tibetans are committed to a “nonviolent path.”
“To our knowledge, the next plan of the Tibetan independence forces is to organize suicide squads to launch violent attacks,” Public Security Bureau spokesman Wu Heping said Tuesday.
“They claimed that they fear neither bloodshed nor sacrifice,” Wu told a news conference.
Wu offered no firm evidence to support his claims.
When monks attack…
ON doing well at school:
The idea that we should seek to equalise outcomes between the “highly motivated” and the “less well motivated” is interesting. It suggests that giving everyone the chance to do well means (in the minds of people like Baroness Blackstone) neutering “doing well” to the point where everyone does well, regardless. Demanding that all universities have resources “concentrated” on them, across the board, is equally vacuous. “Achievement for all”; “resources concentrated on every area” — meaningless slogans, no doubt intended to sound appealing.
Says Labour MP Sharon Hodgson said: “This is just the type of big bold thinking we need to secure a fourth term. In many schools, children roam the streets at lunchtimes, which is often bad news for local residents and good news for the chippy or burger bars.”
Vote Labour and say “No” to lunchtime trade. That’s the small business vote secured.
Ms Hodgson goes on: “It’s just over a century since the School Meals Act in 1906, which aimed to ensure children were not too hungry to concentrate.”
It’s 1906 and all that. No central heating in those halcyon days of rumbaba and rickets. Turn off the generator. Make it cold and so improve the students’ powers of concentration
“We now need to ensure that not only does no child go hungry but their food is healthy. All children get a desk, pencils and pens and a teacher. They should also get lunch, it’s as fundamental as that.”
What about desks sprayed with a Vitamin Varnish, quills plucked from organic hens, pencils fashioned from carrot sticks and a teacher who brings in an apple a day for her class?
The “Kop derby” is, of course, last weekend’s match between Liverpool and their city rivals Everton.
Things were said to the players by the fans. Cruel things. Things the Sun will not lower itself to repeat.
But relief from harsh words is on the way as Prime Minister Gordon Brown “joined the debate”* about “appalling behaviour at football matches by backing The Sun’s Shut It! Campaign”.
The Sun’s front-page news is, rightly, the Sun’s campaign.
Gordon Brown who writes for the sun almost weekly, says: “We all know children imitate the behaviour they see from adults, whether it’s good or bad, and especially from their sporting heroes.”
He’s right. We’ve lost count of the number of children we see gulping for air between words, bankrolling an iffy war in Iraq and selling off the country’s gold reserves at a fraction of their worth.
During his first run for elected office, Barack Obama played a greater role than his aides now acknowledge in crafting liberal stands on gun control, the death penalty and abortion– positions that appear at odds with the more moderate image he’s projected during his presidential campaign.
The evidence comes from an amended version of an Illinois voter group’s detailed questionnaire, filed under his name during his 1996 bid for a state Senate seat.
Late last year, in response to a Politico story about Obama’s answers to the original questionnaire, his aides said he “never saw or approved” the questionnaire.
They asserted the responses were filled out by a campaign aide who “unintentionally mischaracterize(d) his position.”
But a Politico examination determined that Obama was actually interviewed about the issues on the questionnaire by the liberal Chicago non-profit group that issued it. And it found that Obama – the day after sitting for the interview – filed an amended version of the questionnaire, which appears to contain Obama’s own handwritten notes adding to one answer.
Guns don’t kill people; legislation kills people…
HILLARY Clinton is standing. But no one tells her. No one moves her to one side. But she’s not alone…
THE BritBlog RoundUp, as compiled by Philobiblon:
Our own Matt Wardman has instituted roundups of the Scottish, Welsh and Westminster parliament. Given the government’s sudden desperate enthusiasm for constitutional reform, how long before there’s a “English” to add to the collection?
And Amused Cynicism has turned serious to back a campaign to get parliamentary bills published in an accessible form. Whatever will these supporters of democracy think of next?!
Perhaps serious analysis of bills, as Spy Blog has done to the Draft Governance of Britain – Constitutional Renewal Bill. It is your democracy the Spy is trying to defend, so you really should read this.
Because of course legislation is the solution to all problems, as Feminist Avatar notes on An Open Letter by a Feminist about suggestions that the legal drinking age in Scotland be raised to 21.
Elsewhere in politics:
- * My heart sank when directed to a post making comparisons to Nazis (usually not a good sign of sensible argument), but on Prison Law Inside Out, the jailhouselawyer assembles an account of our disappearing civil liberties.
- * Blood & Treasure looks back to the Eighties with fond nostalgia – not for the music but the personal freedom.
- * A short sharp take on how the terminal five kerfuffle could enter the Guinness Book of Records.
- * What would really doing something about child poverty cost? Antonia has some calculations.
Keep your suggestions coming…
Carnival of the Libertarians on liberty…
Clinton and Obama fight it out on Wikipedia
“Modelling is using the body and only the body”, says Bruni, interviews last year when she was another jobbing model-celebrity-singer.
Says Grainge: “And you have a beautiful one, I might add.”
“Thank you,” she stutters, laughing. I’m clearly a sleazebag. Professionalism is dwindling. She then compares making music to the process of attraction.
“When you’re attracted to someone, it’s hard to explain, you can say you’re attracted to this girl ’cause she is pretty, intelligent and charming…”
“You have all those qualities, Carla,” I interrupt to gush. “Thank you, I’m liking this interview very much,” she says. “You’re almost like an Italian man.”
The kind of Italian mum who pinches you goose’s your sister and lives with his mum.