Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
Minister’s friends tell hair-raising tales
A friend of Housing Minister Caroline Flint claims that when she was a Students’ Union leader at University of East Anglia she did the popular lefty women’s thing at the time and kept her pubic hair au natural. Such was the density of her lower thatch, which can be imagined from the luxuriant black barnet on her head, and given the location of her choice of tertiary education, she was known as “Thetford Forest”.
Prescott’s clearners still around?
WITH John Prescott wielding his Peacemaker in Armenia, the cleaners move into his former grace-and-favour apartment, or “love nest”, as the Express has it.
It is “Prez’s dirty secret”, says the Star. The place needs a “deep clean”. The Sun sees the cleaning bill come in at £3,500.
A picture of Prescott with aide Tracey Temple sat on his knee appears.
The picture suggests that the cleaners may have been a bargain.
A new office chair does not come cheap, neither a new desk, a new carpet, a new door, a new work surface in the kitchen, a new bath, a new set of kitchen tiles, a new bed and a new croquet mallet.
Someone open the window. And fetch the mop and bucket. Quick!
Pic: The Spine
Says he: “Nick is experimenting with some sort of low-carbon moped for getting around London, so I’m sure there is photograph coming out of that.”
And one that should be reproduced for years and years and years to come…
Don’t worry if it’s a bit late. You see Venezuela has its own time zone.
DIZZY thinks Jacqui Smith said on the Today prgramme this morning, in an interview on ID cards, that “the database cannot be hacked”.
But can it be put on a disc and lost?
ARE the Democrats campaigning for the Republicans?
As he says: “Hillary will spend the seven weeks prior to Pennsylvania telling us Barack is awful. Barack will spend the seven weeks prior to Pennsylvania telling us Hillary is awful. And John McCain, the unity candidate, will spend the next seven weeks agreeing with both of them.”
Susan Rice, a foreign policy adviser to Senator Barack Obama, is discussing the foreign policy credentials of Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Clinton has issued her 3 a.m. phone call ad, in which she invites voters to worry about who is best equipped to answer the red phone at 3am when an international crisis breaks.
Says Rice: Clinton hasn’t had to answer the phone at three o’clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call.”
You may suppose that if anyone is ready to receive an unpleasant phone call at 3am it is Hillary, possibly from a intern asking if Bill is home.
Yes, we know, Slicky Willy has moved on. But it keeps coming up.
Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson says: “When Sen. Obama was confronted with questions over whether he was ready to be commander in chief and steward of the economy, he chose not to address those questions, but to attack Sen. Clinton. I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president.”
The phone is ringing. Hello. Hello. That you Linda? A click on the line…
“Peacemaker Prescott heads for Armenia,” says the Guardian.
“Prescott leads Armenia peace trip,” trills the BBC.
The Council of Europe is sending the former deputy-PM to Armenia because: “John Prescott will assess the post-electoral situation and explore possibilities for defusing the current political crisis and promoting dialogue.”
Picture: John Prescott using his peacemaker.
Noah Greenwald, of the Center for Biological Diversity in “Conservation Groups File Suit to Obtain Protection for Rare Three-Foot Long Spitting Earthworm”
Denial of protection for the earthworm is all too typical of the Bush administration …
JOHN Howard says we’re winning:
Perhaps the most convincing sign of all that some progress has been made is the significant decline in media coverage of Iraq – noticeable both in the United States and Australia. The dominant left-liberal elements in the media in both our countries apparently cannot bring themselves to acknowledge good news stories coming out of Baghdad.
TO hell with the peacemakers
VIA: Willilam Buckley “famously smoked marijuana — after sailing his boat outside the U.S. territorial limits, where it would no longer be illegal. Finally at the age of 78, Buckley wrote an editorial for the National Review decrying the war on pot.”
“Legal practices should be informed by realities,” Buckley argued, citing 700,000 pot arrests each year, 87% of which involved only possession of small amounts. “This exercise in scrupulosity costs us $10-15 billion per year in direct expenditures alone.”
But would America ever rise up and demand a change in marijuana laws?
It is happening, but ever so gradually. Two of every five Americans, according to a 2003 Zogby poll cited by Dr. Nadelmann, believe “the government should treat marijuana more or less the same way it treats alcohol: It should regulate it, control it, tax it, and make it illegal only for children”. The Dutch do odd things, but here they teach us a lesson.
Buckley’s position was unexpected, but it offered an honorable example of his real commitment to intellectualism. He began his essay by writing that “Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.”
His son said Buckley died “with his boots on,” according to BBC News — writing at his desk. “If he had been given a choice on how to depart this world,” the National Review wrote, “I suspect that would have been exactly it. At home, still devoted to the war of ideas.”
WHEN Alan Duncan MP announced that he was to marry James Dunseath, we wondered what they would say in Cheltenham.
Now a “senior conservative” in Duncan’s Rutland Melton constituency offers the Mail: “This is too much for many people here who thought they were getting a straight bachelor.
“He used to receive invitations from the strait-laced Duke of Rutland to stay at Belvoir Castle!”
The Duke offers no recorded comment…
HILLARY Clinton and Barack Obama fight it out in the TV gameshow Fix That Issue.
Do not adjust your set…
Bugs and Daffy represent polar opposites in how to deal with the world. Bugs is at ease, laid back, secure, confident. His lidded eyes and sly smile suggest a sense that he knows the way things work…
Bugs and Daffy. One is a compliment…
Daffy Duck, by contrast, is ever at war with a hostile world. He fumes, he clenches his fists, his eyes bulge, and his entire body tenses with fury. His response to bad news is a sibilant sneer (”Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin!”). Daffy is constantly frustrated, sometimes by outside forces, sometimes by his own overwrought response to them. In one classic duel with Bugs, the two try to persuade Elmer Fudd to shoot the other—until Daffy, tricked by Bugs’ wordplay, screams, “Shoot me now!”
Shooting Hillary… (It is Hillary, right?)
RON Paul: “DALLAS—Republican Ron Paul didn’t get many votes for president in his home state, but he easily won the primary night nomination for his congressional seat.”
BOB KRUMM notes: “I’ve noticed over just the last couple days that Barack Obama is falling under media scrutiny for the first time–and he isn’t bearing well under the pressure.”
First there was his campaign’s leaked conversation with the Canadians: “Don’t worry, I’m only anti-NAFTA so that I can get the votes of the rubes.” Then his Rezko dealings got some long overdue notice. Now he is actually getting fact checked on the things he is claiming. And guess what? The facts don’t check. And it’s being reported. In San Francisco of all places.
Blame the journalists for not checking things from the off…
DEPUTY DUP leader Peter Robinson is red hot favourite to lead the party at 1/20, over Nigel Dodds priced at 10/1.
Lots bluestockings can bid on include, in no particular order, although…
1. Dinner for two with Michael Portillo
2. A chauffeur driven in the latest Rolls-Royce for shopping, high tea at Brown’s Hotel, VIP seats at Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Sound of Music and a deluxe double room at Brown’s Hotel
3. Opera, personalised and performed just for you
4. A charcoal nude drawing by Chloe Cloherty. 32” wide x 42” high
A souvenir of Michael to take home
5. A house painting commission 24” x 30” in oil, by William Eyre
Redecorate the bedroom
6. A week of luxury on the Isle of Wight
Is it possible..?
HILLARY Clinton tries to be funny. But just ends up being unnerving:
BORED Minsiters who can’t be bothered to explain…
BARACK Obama is taking questions:
Reporters from the Associated Press and Reuters went after him for his false denial that a campaign aide had held a secret meeting with Canadian officials over Obama’s trade policy. A trio of Chicago reporters pummeled him with questions about the corruption trial this week of a friend and supporter. The New York Post piled on with a question about him losing the Jewish vote.
Obama responded with the classic phrases of a politician in trouble. “That was the information that I had at the time. . . . Those charges are completely unrelated to me. . . . I have said that that was a mistake. . . . The fact pattern remains unchanged.”
When those failed, Obama tried another approach. “We’re running late,” the candidate said, and then he disappeared behind a curtain.
As if by magic…
WAS 9/11 a cathartic moment in American history? Brand America reborn:
There’s no way to put this delicately, so I won’t: America’s global image is in the crapper. Last year, the BBC World Service conducted a poll of over 26,000 individuals in the world’s 25 largest countries and found that more than 52 percent thought the U.S. had a “mostly negative” influence on the world. Fifty-three percent of respondents to a survey by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs felt America could “not be trusted.”
Which means that, on top of everything else it represents, the current presidential election is something like an ad agency review — a chance to put a set of potential stewards for “Brand America” through their paces, to see the creative and strategic directions in which they’d take our product.
Can the Race For The White House rebuild America’s profile overseas? And do Americans care if it does?
Labour has lodged an official complaint, claiming Radio 4’s Today programme has given David Cameron an easy ride in recent interviews.
In a letter to Sue Inglish, the BBC’s head of political programming, Labour’s vice- chairman Dawn Butler says presenter-Sarah Montague avoided any “unexpected questions”.
Says Miss Butler: “On the last five occasions Mr Cameron has appeared on the Today programme, dating back to November 1, his interviews have lasted less than eight minutes, they have been exclusively on a subject of his own choosing, and no questions have been asked by the interviewers on any other topical issues.”
The BBC denies any bias. And we wonder if this is less the fault of the BBC than of its star interlocutor Jeremy Paxman, whose hectoring, smirky-style of interviewing is what we expect our politicians to endure.