Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
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.
AL Gore and the Al Goreans are massing:
They’ll pick one of their own superdelegates, Al Gore, Mr. Party Elder, Mr. Nobel Prize, Mr.
I-Got-Screwed-Out-of-Victory-Last-Time and Mr.
Trust-Me-the-Globe-Really-Is-Round-and-Warming and I’m finally gonna get a chance to do something about it from the White House. The Draft Gore folks will be ecstatic and the Democratic blogosphere is already excited.
Gore – the man who lost to Bush…
JOANNA Lumley is stading for political office.
Chaps of a certain age will visualise La Lumley with that shocking 70s haircut that she sported in ‘The New Avengers’ (the last British series to be networked in the States, apparently) , others will think of her as in that dire comedy with the one of French & Saunders not married to Lenny Henry. Doubtless there are other options, but there she is in the list for the English Democrats, at #9.
It would appear that there are two Lumleys, and this one looks to be quite youthful, so I would think that either her parents refused to have a television or had a sadistic streak. Unless she changed it herself, of course.
I think it is fair to say she will not get elected this time.
The two men toyed with the ball. Both resisted any urge to play head tennis, which always ends in shame for the politico.
It was a simple game of pass and don’t move. Sarko didn’t nutmeg Brown. And Brown didn’t smack the ball into the stands with the cry “‘Ave it!”. How we would have warmed to him had only he done so.
To one side, Arsene Wenger, Arsenal’s erudite manager, looked statesmanlike and in charge.
Meanwhile, about half a mile away, about 600 bobbies in blue boiler suits are yomping down Blackstock Road. It’s the Mail’s “Operation Overkill”. It’s a swoop on drug dealing, money laundering and selling fake documents.
VOTE Max Wank for a better life in Germany:
Over 800 town hall employees make more than £100,000 a year. Some even make more than Polly, if you can believe that.
“JE THAMES,” puns the Sun, showing its readers a picture of the topless stunna and his girlfriend canoodling on a boat down the Thames.
“Over here, Kermit,” cry the tabloid paparazzi from the river bank. “Bombs away,” scream the schoolchildren from Westminster Bride as they give full throat to the entente cordiale.
Mrs Sarkozy is soon back on dry land. She is the Mail’s “lady in rouge”, which is Frenglish for Lady in Red, which is a song in which singer Chris de Burgh rhymes “dance” with “romance”.
France is Britain. And Britain is France. This is all “crazy”. The Independent looks on as “Britain went made for France’s first lady”.
Or as Le Parisien newspaper puts it in more sophisticated tones: “Les Anglais conquis par Carla” (The English charmed by Carla).
And of Mr Sarkozy, La Bruni’s little sultana?
ELIOT Spitzer and ablonde. Well, at least he like variety…
HERE’S a video of Carson Public Works Commission Chairman Jan Schaefer at a Carson City Council meeting. Mayor Jim Dear wants Vera Robles Dewitt (the assailant, and owner of Carson Bail Bonds) arrested…
She’s been struck in the “eye”…
Danger ! Draft Constitutional Renewal Bill Part 6 tries to remove even the limited constitutional safeguards of the “destroy Parliament” Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006
We were going to comment initially on the
Draft Governance of Britain – Constitutional Renewal Bill (.pdf 98 pages)
regarding the welcome plan to repeal sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime Act 2005, which has chilled free speech and freedom of assembly in the over large Designated Area around Parliament Square and Millbank and Whitehall etc. – see the Parliament Protest blog
This repeal appears prominently as Part 1 Clause 1 of the draft Bill, however, any joy at this proposed return to the status quo ante, is marred by Part 6 of the Bill,
It looks as if we will have to again go through all the fuss and lobbying that we saw over the wretched Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, the previous attempt by this Labour Government to neuter Parliament by Order of a Minister.
See the Save Parliament website as a reminder of the dangers to our Parliamentary democracy from the executive branch of Government, which seem to be looming, yet again.
On Politics And Competence:
One reason that the ignorant also tend to be the blissfully self-assured, the researchers believe, is that the skills required for competence often are the same skills necessary to recognize competence.
ALEXANDER Litvinenko’s wife Marina wants a full inquest int her husband’s death:
Officials at the highest levels at the Kremlin have insinuated that my husband’s friends in London killed him “in order to smear Russia”. In a scam worthy of the old KGB, a fringe American journalist was invited to Moscow for an interview with Russian prosecutors, who showed him the British extradition papers – the ones that I am not allowed to see. His “conclusion” – that my husband poisoned himself while smuggling radioactive material for terrorists – was published in a third-rate New York newspaper and then trumpeted in Russia as an American-sourced report. I have to protect my husband’s good name from such dirty tricks. A full inquest would put an end to these kind of smear campaigns.
What odds on that happening?
La Bruni is not with Phil but the Guardian’s front-page picture of her looking at the Queen’s consort, a smile playing across her lips, suggests she longs to be. While Philip smiles broadly, Carla’s eyes sparkle. Sarkozy is looking into the camera, a man unnerved.
The Telegraph’s snips Sarkozy away and features only Phil’s noble profile and Bruni’s gaze. “Britain is enchanted by Madame Sarkozy,” says the Express on its cover. And Madame Sarkozy is enchanted by a Briton.
On the Times’ cover, Bruni is with Her Majesty, who is talking and pointing something out. But Carla has only eyes for Liz, her head a whirl of what hold this woman has over Philip, and how it can be slackened.
As the paper’s headline says: “When the Queen met Madame le President”. It’s a Lloyd-George-knew-my-father moment.
HILLARY Clinton can remember when she was a little person, just like you pequena…
Footage of Hillary opening Live Aid coming next…
All this is dressed up in glowing terms as, “a new Franco-British brotherhood,” with Nick telling us that we ought to get together as “we have the same enemies throughout the world.” Not quite right is that.
He forgot to count the French.