Politicians | Anorak - Part 161

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

Empty Seats At Obama Rally

obama-empty-seats.jpgDID you see the panoramic shot of a 14,000-strong Barack Obama crowd in Boise?

They’re going over-the-top for Obama.

Over in Los Angeles, they’re going bonkers for Barack.

Cameras to the left, fans to the right, celebrity supporters straight ahead…  

Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)

Lembit Opik Needs A Spare Cheeky Girl

LEMBIT Opik, darlign of glossy mags and a Cheeky Girl has a lookalike.

Stage actor Neil May, 40, from Leicester, signed with an agency but demand for a Lembit lookalike, so far, has been a little disappointing, reports the BBC.

Perhaps he needs a Cheeky Girl. We hear there is one going spare…

Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

Bugging Out With Sadiq Khan

id-cards-gordon-brown.pngLABOUR MP Sadiq Khan is the subject of controversy.

The Sunday Times reports that officers from Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorist branch bugged visits by Mr Khan to Milton Keynes prison in 2005 and 2006.

Khan wants to know the truth. And this is the same Mr Kahn whose views on civil liberties – ID cards, anti-terrirsm laws  – can be found here.

Would he be upset if one of us were bugged?

UPDATE: The BBC 10 ‘clock news says officials knew of the bugging last year, but Ministers only just found out. Maybe if they had the ability to gather intelligence..?

Pic: Hack

Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)

Hillary Clinton Cries, Again

clintons-tears.jpgHILLARY Clinton cried once. Her composure wasn’t shaken by a question about the poor or the downtrodden, but by a softball lobbed by a woman at a coffeshop asking how she managed to get out of bed and soldier on each day.

And now President Jeremiah is at an event at the Yale Child Study Center, where she worked while in law school in the early 1970s.

Penn Rhodeen, who was introducing Clinton, began to choke up, leading Clinton’s eyes to fill with tears, which she wiped out of her left eye. At the time, Rhodeen was saying how proud he was that sheepskin-coat, bell-bottom-wearing young woman he met in 1972 was now running for president.

Here’s Hillary: 

“Well, I said I would not tear up; already we’re not exactly on the path.”

English speakers might not be able to understand what Hillary is talking about, her language is that of the American corportate office, but her rheumy eyes tell a universal story.

This is a woman prepared to repeat herself. Can we cry? “Yes we can!,” reply the masses in full cry.

The risk is that Hillary’s tears will become cliched, a nervous tick. At moments of high tension, President Ahmadinejad will introduce a kitten into the summit and reduce America’s leader to a wet-faced mess.  

We are unsure how Americans will react to so much crying. In Britain we like to think of oursleves as grounded stiff-upper-lipped cynics. But when Princess Diana died we emoted. Indeed, anyone not crying was seen as the essence of evil, something much less than human, a Nazi or a member of the House of Windsor, perhaps.    

But Hillary knows her audience.  

Look out for Hillary ululating as the sun rises over a field of corn and she tells us how lonely she is. Vote for Hillary – she needs your support… 

Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comments (7)

Maria Shriver Endorses Barack Obama

arnold_0105.jpgREPORTS the LA Times: “The California first lady, who apparently wavered until almost the last minute, aligns herself with other members of the Kennedy clan.”

Do the Kennedys get to vote, what with them being American royalty?

Shriver tells us: “I thought, if Barack Obama was a state, he’d be California.”

Rich, spoilt, lacking in power, depleted of energy, sticky, prone to tremours, ready to fall into the Ocean, famous for its faults, the third largest state …  

Says Shriver, reaching the stage at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion after attending her daughter’s equestrian show: “Diverse. Open. Smart. Independent. Bucks tradition. Innovative. Inspirational. Dreamer. Leader.”

Bucks tradition, says the unelected daughter of the Kennedy clan…

Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comments (2)

William Hague And The Luftwaffe

THE Croydonian sees William Hague:

“Having rediscovered a really rather good second hand bookshop the other day, I have availed myself of ‘Stranger than the Bullet – an unconventional history of the vote‘, and will be doling out snippets from it whenever the mood takes me”:

The shockingly silly photo opportunities continued unabated in 2001…First, there was the mistake only narrowly stopped from turning into a disaster when William Hague spoke outside an aircraft museum in Essex [Doubtless Duxford. C]. A smart aide noticed that he was speaking in front of a World War Two Luftwaffe plane. Only the strategic movement of a few supporters and their placards made sure that he did not appear in the next day’s papers against a backdrop of swastikas“.


Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

PM’s Pets: Stop Donald Trump, Sex Toys For Teens And Chuck Norris Road

lisboa-poldraw.jpgANORAK’S fairly regular look at those petitions appearing on the Prime Minister’s website.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Introduce cat control restraint whereby cats are confined to their owner’s property and a compulsory neutering and microchipping scheme to protect cats put in place… Change legislation that affects cat ownership, they have slipped under the radar for far too long – Rozzalin White

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Lower the legal age for the purchase of ‘Sex Toys’ to 16. Currently the legal age for purchase of sex toys is 18. The legal age for consent to sex is 16 – Danny Beattie

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: 4th, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)

Oabma, Clinton, Romney, McCain: Rock, Paper , Scissors

McCain beats Clinton.

Clinton beats Romney.

Romney beats Obama.

Obama beats McCain.

Who’s who? And is Obama wallpaper? 


Posted: 3rd, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)

Bigamists And Polygamists Can Claim Multiple Benefits

NEWS is that husbands with multiple wives will be allowed to claim extra welfare benefits.

Reports the Telegraph: “Even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, the decision by ministers means that polygamous marriages can now be recognised formally by the state, so long as the weddings took place in countries where the arrangement is legal…

New guidelines on income support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state: “Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate … The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65.”

In Britain, bigamy is punishable by up to seven years in prison. Jail may be more costly than paying out benefits.

We will wait and see how long it is before an MP is found to be paying his entire harem from the Commons’ cheque book…

Posted: 3rd, February 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment

Politics Is A Family Business

peter-hain-toast.jpgPETER Hain employs his 80-year-old mother on a House of Commons salary of £5,400 a year.

Hain has used Adelaine Hain as a part-time secretary for 16 years.

The Telegraph reports that more than 170 MPs – one in four – employ family members.

Indeed, more power to them. The money saved on advertising positions vacant and interviewing candidates must save the public purse a not inconsiderable sum. 

Anroak recommends this policy being developed and candidate MPs required to have at least one member of the family with decent shorthand, a sound telephone manner and their own pen…  

Owen Paterson, the shadow secretary of state for Northern Ireland whose wife Rose is paid almost £30,000 year to work for him, said: “If you can find me a Cambridge graduate who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of my constituency, who is willing to work long and anti-social hours at very short notice for that sort of salary then good luck. Until then, my wife is the best person for the job.”


Picture: Peter Hain is toast – Poldraw

Posted: 3rd, February 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (4)

Norman Tebbit’s Plan To Cull Gun Culture


It’s the Sunday’s Express’ front-page news, and the headline of the year.

“Tory peer Lord Tebbit wants to tackle Britain’s gun culture by teaching boys how to shoot.”

Isn’t it time we brought back National Service, let the lads take the Empire shooting test, perhaps at each other?

Little changes about Norman Tebbit. A picture proves Tebbit to look very much as he did in the pomp, all skin, hollowed cheeks and pied dog hair.

One thing that has altered is that Tebbit plan provides for free bullets, based on hand-outs not earnings, a reversal on the former Conservative Party chairman’s traditional position.

Says Tebbit:

“Kids should go out on shoots. It gives them a sense of excitement and kids, particularly young boys, have a need for a degree of violence.

“It is much better than playing a ghastly computer game. To have them struggling through the brambles, seeing people shoot is much more in the interest of the kids.

“Boys would soon find themselves in a man’s world and having to obey instructions.”

It’s an idea. But there is a suspicion that the strategy is a ruse to cull the hoodies and reduce the country’s Asbo mountain.

Look out for jousting-style tournaments, in which lads get on their bikes and cycle towards each other with guns blazing…

Posted: 3rd, February 2008 | In: Politicians, TV & Radio | Comments (3)

Labour MP’s Husband Makes House Calls

“HUSBAND of MP probed by police over f-word phone rant,” notes the Mail.

The celebrity polce force was called in after a local councillor complained about a call from Tony McCarthy, husband to Portsmouth North MP Sarah McCarthy-Fry, who happens to be a senior parliamentary aide to Labour Chief Whip Geoff Hoon.

Says the paper: “He was furious after they jokingly discussed her actions during a protest march when she helped drag a dead Christmas tree through the streets of the city.” What to joke about there? She was making a valid point about who hard it is to drag a dead Christmas tree through the streets. Blessed are the dead Christmas tree draggers.

McCarthy told Councillor Fazackarley:

“I do not suppose you will give me a ring back because you are an odious little b*****d . . . You don’t have the bottle to ring me back, do you, because you are a real little t****r. Why don’t you join the f*****g Tories, you odious little t****r.”

Says Mr Fazackarley: “I was shocked that someone I have known for 15 years should use such language. You don’t expect the husband of an MP to ring you up in the early hours effing and blinding.”

Indeed, usually you leave that kind of thing to the MPs themselves, or to someone speaking to a call centre…

Posted: 3rd, February 2008 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment

Barack Obama Does Bob The Builder, The It People’s Chorus

CAN Barack Obama do it? Yes we can. Can Hillary Clinton do it? Yes we can. Can it all be set to a melodious honied beat? Yes it can:

Posted: 2nd, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

Clinton And Obama Dream Ticket Is Race And Sex

CNN to Senators Clinton and Obama: “People all over the country are saying if you got together it would be a Dream Ticket”.

Senator Obama: “I was a friend of Senator Clinton before the nomination race began and I will be a friend of Senator Clinton’s after the nomination race is over”.

Senator Clinton: “The Republicans are more-of-the-same, we represent change. You can tell that just by looking at us”.

Change is a woman and black man. Everything else is pretty much the same…

Feel the electricity. Feel the change…


Posted: 2nd, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment (1)

Clinton And Obama: Feel The Electricity


Or is it static?Spotter: Althouse

Posted: 2nd, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

Hillary Clinton Gets Bush

SAYS Hillary Clinton: “It took a Clinton to clean after the first Bush and I think it might take another one to clean up after the second Bush.”

(I’ve re-read the headline and it contains a whiff of unpleasantness. Anyone read Fishing For Boys?)

Posted: 2nd, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

Tom Cruise And Hillary Clinton

TOM Cruise And Hillary Clinton are the dream ticket:

Posted: 1st, February 2008 | In: Celebrities, Politicians | Comment

Mike Huckabee On What Makes America Great

MIKE Huckabee has been to San Francisco. He says:

“The beauty of America is that a person can come and even make a disruption, and you know what, that person is not going to be taken out and shot.”

Aim high, America. Better yet, aim at the moose…

Posted: 1st, February 2008 | In: Politicians | Comments (2)

Magic Moments With Boris Johnson

boris-johnson-magic.jpgA PICTURE of Boris Johnson in the Mirror.


A woolly hat pulled over his haystack hair, the Tory candidate for London mayor is walking in the city in the company of two men. Johnson has his left hand stuffed in his outside jacket poket.

The two men are each reaching with their right hands inside their left inside coat pockets.

If this were America, we might suppose Johnson was about to be offed. Insterad he smirks, perhaps waiting to be presented with a huge bunch of cotton flowers, a white rabbit or Paul Daniels.

The story, and one is hardly needed, is that Johnson “refuses to apologise for failing to declare £234,000 of campaign donations”. These were not made by him, rather to him.

Johnson says he was told he did not have to register the money. He may be right. The Mirror does not say.

What we do learn is that it’s all desperately unfair, particularly in light of how Peter Hain was hounded from his job as Work And Pensions minister over undeclared funds.

“TRICKY TORY,” says the Mirror. “Shazzamm!” say the paper’s reporters.

Posted: 1st, February 2008 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment (1)

Bill Clinton Says Slow Down Economy To Combat Global Warming

firstladybillclinton.jpgBILL Clinton says that to combat global warming industrialized nations need to: “We just have to slow down our economy and cut back our greenhouse gas emissions ’cause we have to save the planet for our grandchildren.”

This appears an odd thing to say, with the US worried about recession. (Video here.)

But, then, if there is a recession, President Hillary Clinton can blame it on global warming. Recession will be a good thing.

Right? Right on!

Posted: 31st, January 2008 | In: Politicians | Comments (8)

Let’s Have A Heater Debate: EU Wants Patio Heaters Banned

patio-heaters.jpgFIONA Hall, a Liberal Democrat MEP, says: “Patio heaters are scandalous because they are burning fossil fuels in the open sky, so producing vast quantities of CO2 with very little heat benefit.”

Surely, much depends on how close you are to the heat? And if you place the patio heater indoors, does it still qualify as a patio heater or is it more of a radiator, or a death trap?

The Telegraph says the proposal has been attacked by publicans, who say bars and pubs need the heaters for customers driven outside by smoking bans. Readers learn that the trade has invested £86.5 million in heaters over the past year and “a ban could cost pubs, cafés and restaurants an estimated £250 million a year in lost business”. Not to mention what it would do to the market in new patio heaters.

To give balance to Hall’s argument the paper calls upon Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party. Says he: “Not content with devastating the pub trade with the illiberal and ill-informed smoking ban, these autocratic busybodies now want to make smokers stand in the cold and the rain.

“We are constantly being told that the continental café culture is something to aspire to. But a ban like this will hammer the cafés of Brussels, Stockholm and Copenhagen just as surely as the pubs of Leeds and Sevenoaks.”

Is Farage saying that Leeds and Sevenoaks have much in common with those European capital cities, so creating a united European view of the matter? Or is it just all a slight on Brussels to bracket the seat of European power with a town in Kent? And do the people of Sevenoaks mind?

Let’s have a heater debate…

Posted: 31st, January 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

John Edwards And Rudy Giliani Stand As Independent Candidates

john-edwards-hair.jpgTHE INDEPENDENT brings its readers a “FREE US ELECTION WALLCHART”.


The Indy is too modest. This is more than you or anyone needs to know.

The poster unfurls to reveal that John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani are “CONTENDERS FOR THE WHITE HOUSE”.

Both men have, as all papers and news wires report, now retired from the race.

The Independent seems unlucky. But it has been here before. With the result of the New Hampshire primary still unknown, its front page featured a picture of Barack Obama and the legend: “IOWA… NEW HAMPSHIRE…AMERICA?”

The answer was: “YES…NO….MAYBE.”

Posted: 31st, January 2008 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment

Global Warming With The Al Goreans

camel.jpgIS Al Gore in Israel?

“A rare snowstorm swept the Middle East on Wednesday, blanketing parts of the Holy Land in white, shutting schools and sending excited children into the streets for snowball fights…

Men in long Arab robes pelted each other with snowballs in the Jordanian capital, Amman, and the West Bank city of Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian government, came to a standstill.

Reports of Al Gore moving in to Syria are as yet unconfirmed…

Posted: 30th, January 2008 | In: Politicians | Comment

The Leaked Document On ID Cards

THIS is, as it is claimed, the scan of an internal document of the Identity and Passport Service. It’s about the plans for the UK’s identity card scheme…



Pic: Hack


Posted: 29th, January 2008 | In: Politicians | Comments (3)

Derek Conway’s Family Business

TORY MP Derek Conway has been upbraided for using taxpayer-funded expenses to pay his teenage son almost £50,000 as a “researcher”  – “even though there is no evidence of any work having been done.”

It emerged that Derek Conway had also employed his eldest son, Henry, as a researcher while he attended Cambridge

Mr Conway’s son, Frederick stopped “working” for his father last August after the scandal became public and is now understood to be studying at Sandhurst military academy.

It also emerged yesterday that Mr Conway used to employ his elder son, Henry, as a researcher while he was at Cambridge.

Henry was also paid £10,000 a year between July 2001 and October 2004. It was reported that he earned £32,000 over that period.

Frederick who at the time was a geography student at Newcastle University, was paid up to £11,773 a year, plus bonuses, for almost three years. In total, he received a gross salary of £45,163 plus pension contributions worth another £4,500.

Geography students: Discuss…  

Posted: 29th, January 2008 | In: Money, Politicians | Comments (6)