Politicians | Anorak - Part 148

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Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air

Gordon Brown ‘Rude’ To His Garden Girls

gordon-brown-rock.jpgGORDON Brown is gasping for air. And now the Spectator reports:

Disturbing reports have emerged that Gordon Brown is rude to his secretaries — or garden girls, as they are known inside Downing Street. He is said to shout at them abusively. On one occasion he is reported to have impatiently turfed one of the girls out of her chair and sat down to use the keyboard himself.

All recent prime ministers — Thatcher, Major, Blair — were loved by the garden girls. All recent prime ministers from time to time endured problems. Only Gordon Brown has vented his frustration on secretaries, who can never answer back or speak for themselves. In the end this intemperate and regrettable conduct may cause him as much damage as Mr Abrahams.

Odd. No, not that Brown should be a control freak and looking to keep his typing up to speed – he may soon need a job. (If he types as quick as he talks he is in trouble.) But that the secretaries are called the “garden girls”.

Says Sue Cameron in the Financial Times:

The garden room girls are the elite cadre of Whitehall secretaries who serve the prime minister. Since the time of Lloyd George early in the past century they have worked in the rooms overlooking the Number 10 garden – hence their name.

The garden is frequented by woodpecker, thrush, jackdaws, jays, dunnocks, robins, magpies, blackbirds, both wood and feral pigeons, sparrows, crows and finches.

Make your own jokes…

Pic: Poldraw

Posted: 2nd, December 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

CNN And Democrat Party: Network News Editors Set The Agenda

hillary-clinton-nuts.JPGDESPITE a ratings record of 4.4 million viewers, it looks like the biggest loser of Wednesday’s debate in Florida could be CNN.

The network is being criticized for having a liberal bias. And the fact that an unpaid adviser to Hillary Clinton was able to ask a question of the Republican candidates is the least of their problems.

The main charge against CNN, and one that seems to have strong basis in fact, is that the editorial team cherrypicked issues that a liberal assumes would matter to conservatives – like god, guns and gays – and ignored more substantive issues like healthcare, energy and education.

As Roger Simon, of, wrote shortly after the debate: “The serious issues directly affecting the daily lives of ordinary citizens were barely touched upon at all.”

Certainly, as Personal Democracy Forum points out, the environment, healthcare and education were among the top 40 viewed questions submitted to YouTube.

Yet CNN editors ignored them, limiting candidates to questions on subjects such as immigration, gun control and the confederate flag.

According to Fred Barnes, of the Weekly Standard, “there were 6 [questions] on immigration, 3 on guns, 2 on abortion, 2 on gays, and one on whether the candidates believe every word in the Bible. These are exactly the issues, in the view of liberals and many in the media, on which Republicans look particularly unattractive. And there were two questions by African Americans premised loosely on the notion that blacks get nothing from Republicans and have no reason to vote for them.”

Conservative bloggers at RedState are calling on Republican candidates to boycott CNN and they’re calling for executive heads to roll.

Meanwhile, Michelle Malkin is keeping a running total of the number of questioners who it turns out have links to the Democrat Party. At last count she was at five.

CNN is standing by its editing process, saying the network were focused on the questions, not the questioners.

But if that’s the case, it still did a terrible job considering the hammering it’s now taking.

Added to that is the quesion that few people seem to be asking: If a network news editor is going to decide which questions are asked at a debate, what’s the point in having user-generated videos in the first place?

Posted: 30th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Giuliani Affair, Romney’s Garden, Huckbee’s Taxes, McCain’s Torture And Getting Hillary Clinton

IN a sign of just how close the Republican race for the nomination is proving the candidates in last night’s YouTube/CNN debate turned on each other with ferocity.

With less than six weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses and less than two months to the first primaries, Mitt Romney traded barbs with Rudy Giuliani over illegal immigration.

Romney accused Giuliani of being soft on illegals’ rights and Giuliani accused Romney of turning a blind eye to illegal immigrants employed by a landscaping firm that worked at his home.

That mud might stick, but so did the boos of the audience as Giuliani repeated his accusations.

Meanwhile, Fred Thompson went on the attack with a YouTube video of his own, highlighting Romney’s past support for abortion and Mike Huckabee’s support for taxes.

There was barely any time to devote to pillorying that old chestnut, Hillary Clinton, as the candidates turned on each other over abortion, guns and tax.

Romney and John McCain clashed over torture. And Thompson attacked Giuliani for his support of Bernard B Kerik, the former New York police commissioner whom Giuliani appointed and who has recently been indicted on charges of fraud and tax evasion.

All in all, it hasn’t been a good 24 hours for the Giuliani campaign. Yesterday reported that Giuliani billed obscure New York City agencies tens of thousands of dollars for a security detail in the Hamptons during 1999 and 2000 when he was having an extramarital affair with a woman who lived there.

The only crumb of comfort for Giluliani may be that commentators appear divided on who came out on top.

The New York Times Caucus blog said it was hard to pick a winner for the evening “because the fur was flying in all directions.”

The New York Post declared it Thompson’s best debate yet with Giulani appearing too liberal.

But Britain and America chose John McCain as the winner of the evening, talking well on immigration, foreign affairs and torture while Thompson lacking fluency, Giuliani was off form and Romney couldn’t shake accusations of flip flopping.

Meanwhile, Redstate went with Huckabee and McCain, accusing Giuliani and Romney of being so so, and Thompson of failing to deliver anything better than a few good one-liners.

All eyes would now turn to the CBS Democratic debate scheduled for December 10. But the debate has been canceled because of the writer’s strike and candidates’ unsurprising reticence to cross the picket lines.

Posted: 29th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gillian Gibbons: Grin And Bear It

gillian-gibbons.jpgGILLIAN Gibbons is in jail on a charge of “insulting Islam”, as the Sun puts it. She is “timid” Gillian. She is the Express’s “teddy bear teacher”, and so too the Mail’s.

But there is – alas – no mention of Sudan’s Teddy Taliban, who have seen fit to incarcerate Gibbons.

What readers do get, of course, is to read the account of Gavin Sherrard-Smith, who today appears in the Mirror, having already told Mail and Express readers of his flogging in Qatar for breaking that country’s alcohol laws.

Mr Sherrard-Smith tells a good anecdote, one in the eye for those who return from Arabic country’s with only a pair of Giorgio Ferrari sunglasses and slides of them haggling for a discount on the “Tommy Copper” hat. But having heard the story three times, the pain is growing dim.

The danger is that by the time Mr Sherrard-Smith reaches the Telegraph, readers will have grown immune to the news, some even writing in to say how had the beaten Britisher gone to St Albions School he would have considered his treatment as no more than a light tap on the knuckles.

Over in the Mail, the tabloid voice of Islamic womanhood, former Apprentice wannabe Saira Khan, says the issue is “deadly serious”. It is “far from funny”.

Indeed. It is almost beyond satire.

The call is for the fundamentalist to show sense. Boris Johnson, writing in the Telegraph, talks of a time when Britain would have sent a gun boat to rescue her. “Civis Britannicus sum,” he cries. “I am a British citizen,” says Gillian ‘Gordon’ Gibbons. “We used to send gunboats to your part of the world. Ruddy fuzzy-wuzzies.”

But one thing has been left out: the identity of the teddy bear.

A soppy Rupert, a mentally negligible Paddington or a rabble rousing, not to forget Buddhist, Winnie The Pooh?

Posted: 29th, November 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Calling Ron Paul To The Boston Tea Party

THE United States of America is in turmoil and only one man can help: Ron Paul.

After raising over $4 million invoking the name of Guy Fawkes on November 5, Paul’s supporters are now invoking the Boston Tea Party to raise millions more on December 16.

They even have a fund-raising video straight out of the Simpson-Bruckheimer school of film-making, replete with stirring music, patriotic imagery, and dire warnings of a “once glorious nation” in decline.

Even if the patriotic fervor does make you want to throw up at times, you have to admit it’s more exciting than Fred Thompson’s latest snoozefests.

Where is the stirring music? Where is the oppressive regime? Where are the Redcoats?

Posted: 28th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Huckabee And Giuliani On The God Tricket

NOPE it’s not the title sequences for a new sitcom. It’s the promo video for the CNN/YouTube Republican debate in Florida tomorrow night.

And with less than two months to go to the presidential primaries the debate actually promises to be a tad more exciting than this dreary promo suggests.

While Hillary Clinton continues her runaway lead among the Democrats, the Republican field remains wide open, with Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney constantly at each other’s throats, Mike Huckabee champing at the bit and John McCain and Fred Thompson battling hard to stay in the race.

Oh, and did we mention Ron Paul? His name seems to evade the mainstream media most of the time, but Paul continues to attract vehement support and piles of cash online.

But ahead of the debate, Mike Huckabee is hogging most of the limelight.

Huckabee’s latest ad portrays him for what he is: a good Christian candidate for President.

The ad may also contain a number of veiled digs at Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith and his flip-floping on issues such as abortion, according to the New York Times.

Either way, Huckabee’s appeal among socially conservative Christians is sure to hurt Romney, and by doing so help Giuliani.

Indeed, Huckabee’s recent surge in Iowa polls and his strong campaign has set tongues wagging about a possible partnership with Giuliani next year.

The New York Sun points out that Huckabee and Giuliani have refrained from criticizing each other as the campaign has intensified and that Huckabee has even taken Giuliani’s side in his recent spats with Romney.

Certainly, Giuliani could do with the conservative street cred of a former southern Baptist minister who so appeals to evangelical Christians.

Posted: 27th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fred Thompson Blames Fox And The Land and Sky Gun Show

FORMER Law and Order star Fred Thompson has taken something of a drubbing in this presidential race so far, lambasted by commentators on the left and right for running a damp squib of a campaign.

Only recently, Democratic consultant Bob Shrum accused Fred of “running like a dry creek.”

Finally, Fred can take it no more. He’s come out fighting. And his surprise target is Fox News.

But Fred’s had enough of all the bad press, Fox included. He’s sick of people talking about the fact that even his aides and advisors sometimes doubt his commitment. He’s sick of talk of his falling poll numbers in key states like New Hampshire.

What Fred wants to talk about is how well he’s doing in the country at large, where he’s currently running second in many national polls.

But if this guy can’t even make an argument with Chris Wallace look interesting, what hope has he?

It’s a pity considering Fred had been having such a good Thanksgiving weekend, visiting Land and Sky Gun Show in South Carolina where he declared it “a beautiful day in paradise” between cooing over an assortment of firearms.

Or was that just a coded message to Wallace and his colleagues? That they could be visiting paradise shortly courtesy of a Fred Thompson over-and-under Winchester shotgun if they don’t get those conservative pundits to start playing a different tune.

Posted: 26th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

George Bush Praises Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani Says Barack Obama Only Human

IT’S got to be one of Hillary Clinton’s least desired endorsements since Jenna Jameson said she wanted the former First Lady to be president.

Yesterday, President Bush told ABC News that Hillary was the strongest competitor in the Democratic field and noted her experience of the pressures of being in the White House.

The soon-to-be ex president went on to attack Clinton’s closest rival, Barack Obama, for his desire to negotiate with America’s enemies such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

It’s hard to say what the Bush effect will be. But you’ve got to guess that he is one of the last people Hillary wants on her side with less than two months to go before Democrats choose their candidate for the 2008 election.

Perhaps it’s the promise of Thanksgiving turkey in the air because yesterday another Republican sprang to a Democrat’s defense.

This time it was Rudy Giuliani who let Obama off the hook for telling a group of school kids about his drug and alcohol use during a misspent youth.

According to the New York Daily News at least one pupil took this to mean that you can fool around with both and still be a success.

And what was the response from the Republican frontrunner Giuiliani?

“I respect his honesty,” Giuliani said.


“One of the things that we need from our people that are running for office is not this pretense of perfection,” added the twice divorced former New York Mayor who spent a period living with a gay couple and who has been pictured dressed as a woman.

“We’re all human beings.”

No, you’re not. You’re politicians.

And if you’re a Republican candidate who can’t berate a Democrat for using coke, weed, and booze, then what chance do you stand in 2008?

Posted: 21st, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Mitt Romney On GodTube: James And Patrick Conspire

DID you hear the one about the future Republican president who is an apostate and a freemason?

Keep watching this space as James and Patrick report on the shocking background of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney from a damp churchyard in the middle of Middle England.

It’s exactly the kind of incisive commentary that is sorely lacking on US TV.

According to James and Patrick, the American public finds itself in an extremely dangerous situation.

On the one hand, they can vote for a Democratic feminist from a dangerous liberal organization called the United Methodist Church. (James and Patrick don’t know much about the UMC, but they’re definitely up to no good.)

And on the other hand, there’s the crafty multimillionaire Mitt Romney who’s going to play down his Mormon faith to garner the votes of the Christian right.

James and Patrick say there’s only one thing left for the great American public to do: pray.

That’s right, America, pray! Pray for a third party candidate who can lead you out of apostasy and into the light!

We’re guessing that the billionaire Jewish mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, is not the third party candidate that James and Patrick are hoping for.

And we’re not sure why they never found time to mention the current Republican frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani.

Do they know something we don’t? Is Rudy gonna be out of the race before long? Have they had a sign?

Or is it just the fact that they are too busy ensconced in conspiracy theories about previous presidential elections involving Frank Sinatra, the Kennedys, the Catholic Church, the Bush family, the mob, the Mormon Church, and every twitching expert’s favorite, the Illuminati?

It’s such a shame to let this stuff go to waste on GodTube.

If anyone out there knows Nick Park get him to take a look at this. It would make a great creature comforts

Posted: 20th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Chuck Norris Is Mick Huckabee’s Sidekick

IN the world of presidential elections, who endorses you can be almost as important as what you believe in.

Thrice married Rudy Giuliani increased his moral credentials with the endorsement of televangelist Pat Robertson.

Mitt Romney allayed fears of his Mormon beliefs with the endorsement of Moral Majority co-founder Paul Weyrich.

Now it’s Republican former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee’s turn.

But Mike doesn’t need to prove his moral or conservative credentials. He’s an ordained southern baptist minister.

Nope, what the softly-spoken Mike needs to prove is that he’s got a pair. And what better way to prove that than with the endorsement of one of America’s most fearsome warriors: Chuck Norris.

“There’s no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard, only another fist,” Mike tells us in his latest campaign ad.”When Chuck Norris does a push up he isn’t lifting himself up, he pushing the earth down,” Mike adds.

“Chuck Norris doesn’t endorse. He tells America how it’s going to be.”

Are you threatening us Mike? Are you trying to scare us into voting for you?

Anorak says: Guns don’t kill people. Chuck Norris kills People.

We sincerely hope not. Because we hear that Steven Seagal is a Democrat.

And Steven could have Chuck any day.

Posted: 19th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (9) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gordon Brown’s GMTV Wake-Up Work-Out With Fiona Phillips

gmtv-gordon-brown.jpgTHAT the country needs a make-over has not escaped Gordon Brown, who has had his teeth done, given up smoked kippers and lost some timber by way of an example to one and all.

But it might not be enough and if Gordon is to achieve any frontline celebrity’s life’s aim and score a presenting spot on GMTV he needs help. He needs Fiona Phillips.

As the Mail reports, Brown wanted GMTV presenter Phillips for his team, to be part of his Government “for all the talents”.

To those of you not au fait with GMTV, Phillips’ talents are too manifold to list here but are thought to include smiling, grinning and both raising and lowering her eyebrows in a way that conveys a lively mind met with a caring heart and approachability.

It is said Mr Brown did offer Miss Phillips a job as “a health minister” and a peerage. Lord Fiona Of The Sofa.

And the offer was not founded on barren ground. It was Phillips who once opined in the Indy, somewhat modestly: “How people can say they’re not interested and don’t like politics is always a bit beyond me.” She then worked out: “Politics is what we live in.”

Brown can learn from her. And Learning is a two-way street. As a health minister Phillips would note that we live in our skin, an organ that with a decent exfoliate and Labour prime minister can glow.

Look out for Mad Gordon’s Wake-Up Work-Out, Gordon Sunshine weather girl, Dr Gordon’s Clinic, Psychic Gordon’s Horoscopes and much, much more… 

Posted: 19th, November 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Oxford Union: Luke Tryl Invites BNP Leader And Holocaust Denier To Speak

tories.jpgTHE Tenth Rule of Conservative politics stipulates that no would-be leader should ever be pictured wearing top hat and tails, nor sat on a damask cushion with two silver spoons in his mouth (Shockjock Jon ‘Gaunty’ Gaunt sees such shiny cutlery in newborn David Cameron’s maw but fails to provide pictorial evidence in his Times Q and A).

Young ambitious Tories should also avoid associating themselves with Holocaust deniers like David Irving.

But Luke Tryl, President of the Oxford Union, a former chairman of the Halifax branch of Conservative Future, the Tory party’s “youth wing” aims to be challenging and mould breaking.

So, as the Independent reports, Tryl, “who sees himself as a future prime minister”, has invited Irving to address the Union. And to put a tin lid (surely topper) on the night, has also invited along BNP leader, Nick Griffin.

Says Mr Tryl, possibly cradling a teddy: “The BNP are in a minoroty, but they gain support when they say liberals are silencing them.” Good then that an ambitious Tory is providing them with the oxygen of publicity…

Posted: 19th, November 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (5) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

John McCain’s Grey Area: A Hillary Clinton Bitch

HILLARY Clinton’s team plants a question. And the student chosen to ask it resists all urge to say something outrageous when picked upon. What would you have asked Hillary?

And then John McCain is on the campaign trail. And he takes a question:

Posted: 16th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Bill Clinton Wants Hillary To Be One Of The Boys

clinton-woman.jpgSAYS Bill Clinton of wife Hillary over the newswires:  “It’s a great time to be a Democrat.” Bill was speaking to more than 800 students and supporters at Trident Technical College. “Even though those boys have been getting tough on her lately, she can handle it.”

What can Bill mean? Surely not that Hillary is being picked on because of her sex?

Reading this Anorak is minded of the words of Alan Coren, explaing why he never had an affair: “I would never have an affair because I wouldn’t want my children to have for their mother the sort of woman who would be married to a man who would cheat on her.”

How much respect does Hillary command?


Posted: 12th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hillary Clinton Talks To Plants

IN America, as reported by Fox News: “Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s campaign admitted Friday that it planted a global warming question in Newton, Iowa, Tuesday during a town hall meeting to discuss clean energy.

“Clinton campaign spokesman Mo Elliethee admitted that the campaign had planted the question and said it would not happen again.

“On this occasion a member of our staff did discuss a possible question about Senator Clinton’s energy plan at a forum,” Elliethee said.

The question went:

Question: “As a young person, I’m worried about the long-term effects of global warming How does your plan combat climate change?

Clinton: “Well, you should be worried. You know, I find as I travel around Iowa that it’s usually young people that ask me about global warming.”

A “plan”? Surely plant..?

Posted: 10th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Respect And More Respect For George Galloway’s Parties

WITH Saddam Hussein deposed, George Galloway is the world’s foremost moustachioed politician.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Galloway is now the MP for not just one party but two parties. As the Independent’s headline attest: “Respect off conference agenda as Galloway party splits in two.”

Galloway is the Respect MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. And the party he launched three years ago is holding its annual conferences. Two. At the same time.

At Westminster University, Regent Street, a hall will be opened for the Respect Party’s annual conference, chaired by a Mr John Rees. Over in Bishopsgate, Galloway will be speaking at Respect Renewal.

To avoid confusion, we will refer to Mr Rees’ party as Respect Due and to Mr Galloway’s party and Nuff Respect.

Posted: 9th, November 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (56) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

It’s Official: God Supports Rudy Giuliani

IT’S official: God supports Rudy Giuliani.

The twice-divorced, abortion and gay rights supporting former mayor of New York has the official blessing of leading evangelical Pat Robertson.

You remember Pat? He’s the gay hating, liberal hating, pro lifer who once said that September 11 was god’s wrath for America’s support of pornography, secularism and abortion.

With the Republican race still extremely close, candidates are scrambling for whatever support they can get. And backing from Robertson is sure to boost Giuliani’s conservative credentials among Christian voters.

But why would Robertson choose Giuliani?

Apparently, he is is willing to overlook Giuliani’s errant ways because he believes Giluliani is the candidate most able to defend the country against “the blood lust of Islamic terrorists.”

Plus, Giuliani has apparently promised to appoint conservative justices who could some day overturn abortion rights.

Then there’s the issue of electability.

Rudy might just be the best hope conservatives have of preventing the Democrats from winning the race for the White House.

Hillary Clinton came out well ahead of her Democratic opponents in the latest New York Times/CBS poll of Democratic party leaders.

But a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll today shows that although most voters support Democrats over Republicans (50 percent to 35 percent), when voters are asked to choose between Clinton and Giuliani, the numbers are almost tied, with 46 percent supporting Clinton and 45 percent supporting Giuliani.

Posted: 8th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gordon Brown Turns On The Education Spin

THE handover from Tony Blair to Gordon Brown was going to be smooth and seamless. We would not notice. And what we might notice – Gordon’s gulping for air and teeth – we would come to love.

And so it is that, like Tony before him, Gordon Brown is accused of spin. This is, of course, a baseless attack. Who can forget the sight of Brown draped in the flag of St George a small Muslim man dandling on his knee that spin was over?

But some don’t listen. Some cannot move on. And following yesterday’s story that Team Brown spun a story about what schools would feature in his keynote speech on education, the Times has more.

“No 10 spin row,” says the front page. “No row,” says Downing Street, reading aloud. “Gordon Brown was dragged deeper in to a spin row,” continues the Times.

Then: “’Prime Minister Gordon Brown misled press and schools and now must apologise.’”

Evidence? “We were contacted by the Downing Street press office. They told us that Westfield Community School, one of our schools, would be mentioned in a speech the following day by Gordon Brown,” says Tom Bevan of the Western Gazette.

“We received a call the day before from the PM’s office to say we would be mentioned in the speech, and asking us if we were comfortable with that. We said yes,” says Iain Hulland, head of Alder Grange.

“The school was alerted by the Prime Minister’s office that Astley Community High School would be included. We issued a press release,” notes Northumberland Council spokeswoman.

“We are sticking by our version of events and have nothing to add to our statements from last night, which we stand by,” Prime Minister’s spokesman.

And we are encouraged to realise that nothing has changed…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 7th, November 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Ron Paul Uses A Terrorist To Push For The White House

YOU would have thought that allying yourself with a terrorist might not be the best way to run for the White House in 2008.

But for Ron Paul, the libertarian outsider competing in the Republican race, it earned him more than $4 million—in one day.

In one of the biggest fund-raising drives ever seen, Paul’s supporters used Guy Fawkes–or rather the V for Vendetta version of the Guy Fawkes tale–to appeal to the American people to donate $100 each on November 5.

The goal was to raise $10 million “for liberty,” “for freedom,” yada, yada, yada.

In the event, the one-day drive raised a little over $4 million. But that is still an impressive feat. According to the New York Times, Republican contender Mitt Romney’s best one-day total is $3.14 million. Hillary Clinton’s best is $6.2 million.

Paul is running the ultimate grassroots campaign.

His supporters swarm the internet, agitating and proselytizing. They became such a nuisance at the conservative blog, that Redstate blogger Leon Wolfe warned everyone who had joined up in the past half year that they were not to “shill for Ron Paul in any way shape, form or fashion.”

“Unless you lack the self-awareness to understand just how annoying, time-consuming, and bandwidth-wasting responding to the same idiotic arguments from a bunch of liberals pretending to be Republicans can be,” wrote Wolf. “Which, judging by your comment history, you really don’t understand, so allow me to offer an alternate explanation: we are a bunch of fascists and we’re upset that you’ve discovered where we keep the black helicopters, so we’re silencing you in an attempt to keep you from warning the rest of your brethren so we can round you all up and send you to re-education camps all at once.”

Needless to say, censorship did not go down well across the blogosphere.

So what does Paul believe in?

He told Jay Leno recently that he stands for free market economics, free trade, saving the billions that are being wasted “maintaining our empire around the world,” bringing the troops home from Iraq, and doing away with social security and income tax.

A fantasy world indeed.

Posted: 6th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (27) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gordon Brown Spins Education

“HOW No 10 spun schools a line,” says the Times. Gordon Brown, straighter kinda guy, is making ready to deliver his speech on education.

Gordon will speckle his generalities with specifics. He will refer to five schools, beacons of excellence. His office sends letters to regional newspapers in Birmingham, Lancashire, Yeovil, and Bradford.

This is a heads-up for headmasters, a tip to the editors and hacks on what Brown will say. A local success story is big news. Hold the Local Heroes feature on Leonard ‘Legless Lenny’ Potts and his Teddy Boys Picnics. This one’s a runner.

Brown’s letter enthuses: “I want to involve and engage parents at every stage of the journey of their children’s education. More regular, ‘real-time’ feedback about their children’s progress; regular e-mails, regular meetings. And more parents sessions at schools – to share information and set goals – at key transition points for their children.

“Many schools across the country are already leading the way on parental involvement and I want to pay tribute to them. Westfield Community School in Yeovil, for example, offer a Parent Support Adviser and run a Parent Forum.”

The Western Gazette receives the missive and responds with the story “PM praises town school for parental support”.

Others give Gordon a mention and how he has praised [insert school name her]: The Wiseman Catholic Technology College (Birmingham Post), Alder Grange Community and Technology College (Lancashire Telegraph), Victoria Primary School (Telegraph and Argus, Bradford) and Astley Community High School (this one a press release issued by the ruling local Labour council).

Gordon rises to speak. And none of the schools are mentioned.

Says the Prime Minister’s spokesman: “We were not suggesting this was going to be a direct quote from the speech. The Prime Minister is perfectly entitled to give quotes about best practice.”

Tom Bevan, a staff reporter for the Western Gazette, says: “They phoned on Tuesday and said one of your schools was going to be mentioned in a speech by the Prime Minister. They definitely said that it would be in the speech.”

A second journalist, who does not want to be identified, “for fear of reprisal from No 10”, says: “They told us the quotes mentioning the school would be in the speech. That is certain.”

Gordon Brown is unavailable for comment, but is believed to not want it on the record (it says here) that Tony Blair made him do it…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

Posted: 6th, November 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Hillary Clinton Is Where John Edwards And Barack Obama Want Her

WITH exactly one year to go to the presidential election and just two months to the presidential primaries, John Edwards has got Hillary Clinton right where he wants her.

Team Edwards has released an impressive campaign video that highlights Clinton’s slippery performance during the Democratic debate on Tuesday when she appeared to change policy every time she opened her mouth.

Edwards will continue the onslaught later today during a speech in Iowa where, according to the New York Times, he will say: “Senator Clinton is voting like a hawk in Washington, while talking like a dove in Iowa and New Hampshire. We only need one mode from our president: tell-the-truth mode all the time.”

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has accused Clinton of prizing political calculation over honesty.

Reporters are having no end of fun comparing Hillary’s slipperiness with that of her husband who once debated the finer points of the meaning of the word “is.”

And while some in the Clinton camp are accusing her rivals of sexism by ‘piling on’ to the lone female candidate, Clinton’s opponents are accusing her of playing the victim card now that the pressure has finally started to intensify.

Edwards and Obama still appear to be Democratic long shots. But the past week has definitely been a long one for Mrs Cllinton’s politics.

Posted: 5th, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (14) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Carol Vorderman Pulls In Her Trousers

CAROL Vorderman is stood before the Countdown board, as she has stood for 25 years. To mark the show, and Channel 4’s silver jubilee, the Mirror notes that Carol will be wearing the same trousers she wore all those moons ago. “I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into them – but luckily, I just managed,” says Carol.

Thankfully, the ways of fashion mean that 25 years ago Carol’s trousers were baggy from waist to turn-ups. It was only after celebrity and Lycra came knocking that Carol took to wearing tighter clothes. It is commitment to her style that causes Carol to augment her old Comfi-Slax with a tri-buckled belt pulled tight betwixt bust and hips in the manner of a circus strong man.

Says Gordon Brown in the Telegraph: “I wish she could have helped me with some of my budgets when I as Chancellor – I might have got the sums right more often.”

Or “Phwaoor often”, as he might have meant to say…

Posted: 2nd, November 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Nick Clegg Has No ID

SAYS Liberal Democrat MP Nick Clegg: “If the Government seeks to make ID cards compulsory on every British citizen, I will lead a people’s campaign to thwart the programme.”

A campaign for anonymity from a leading Liberal Democrat MP who wants to be party leader…

He has every chance of success…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or

(Clegg is the one on the right or left)

Posted: 1st, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fiery Reaction To Cherie Blair’s Muslim Veil Comments

IN “My doubts about the Muslim veil,” the Telegraph looks at Cherie Blair.

Says the former self-styled First Lady: “Women covering their heads, women dressing modestly, I have no problem with at all. I think, however, that if you get to a stage where a woman is not able to express her personality because you can’t see her face, then you do start to have to ask whether that is something that is actually acknowledging the woman’s right to be a person in her own right.”

The reaction will be swift and merciless. Anorak’s attention is drawn to goings on at the Edinbridge Firework Society, Kent. The shadowy group has erected a 25ft effigy, complete with grin-and-tell book and pile of cash. It is to be torched.

That it should come to this…

Posted: 1st, November 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (14) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Gordon Brown’s Motto For Education

“WITHOUT Labour, nothing,” says Gordon Brown, words echoed by Brighton and Hove Grammar School.

We call for “Achievement beyond expectation” (Banksome School, Darlington). It is “Onwards and upwards” (Camden High School For Girls).

And do we not strive for “Excellence through endeavour (Kennet School, Newbury).

We could go on. Gordon Brown does. He wants a return to the halcyon days when the school motto, and not a curry kebab with spliff chaser, was on the lips of every shiny-eyed child.

He tells an audience of headteachers, as witnessed by the Independent, that the school motto should “make it possible for young people to bridge the gap between what they are and what they have the wherewithal to become.”

Indeed, without school mottos, where would Gordon Brown get his soundbites from? Brown used his school motto – “I will do my utmost” – in his first speech as Prime Minister.

“To strive and achieve is to succeed,” says Brown’s advisors at Howard School, Medway.

Ad captandum vulgus…


Posted: 1st, November 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (7) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0