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Politicians | Anorak - Part 165

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

Glass Warfare: Gordon Bown Bottles It But Daily Mirror Sees ‘Liar’ Cameron

HEADLINES like “LABOUR IN CRISIS” (Indy), “Battered Brown struggles to restore his image” (Telegraph) and “”HE’S IN THE BROWN STUFF” (Sun) have missed the essential point.

Thanks to the Mirror, readers know that Brown is a hero and David Cameron is “DODGY”. The Conservative leader has been branded a “liar” over his story of a pupil attacking a teacher.

Dave’s conference speech contained an anecdote about violence in school. It pricked Dave to call for more powers to be given to schools to enforce discipline. The great and good clapped had and without mercy.

Says Dave: “I stopped a boy as she was ruining to his GCSE exam, and said ‘What’s the problem?’ And he said ‘Well, I got completely p****d last night. I’ve got a hangover and I’m going to flunk this exam’.”

(The Mirror does not use the word “pissed” in full because such language, as it tells us here, is unbecoming a serious politician, which Cameron is not, much less a serious newspaper, which the Mirror surely is.)

Says Cameron: “I asked a teacher about him and I was told he’d attacked a teacher before and he trashed a classroom.”

But Anita Harrison, a governor at Kingswood Art College, where the alleged incident took place, says “nothing like this has happened”. As a school governor, she would of course know what goes on in the day-to-day running of the school. As her fellow governor Ray Drayton says: “Nothing like this has ever come before the board.”

Which makes Dave a “lair”.

And the Mirror wants to know if you are the boy Cameron spoke with. If you are, call the news desk and “we’ll call you straight back”. But don’t call in class time, lest the school governors hear of it.

Text instead…

Pic: Beau Bo D’Or 

Posted: 8th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gordon Brown Bottles It And Prevents Change

GORDON Brown “BOTTLED IT”.

At least that’s what the Mail on Sunday’s front page says.

Gordon Brown offers another explanation, something along the lines of the country not wanting him to call a general election, a dental appointment he dare not miss and nothing at all about worrying that he might lose and go down as the second-shortest serving British Prime Minister in history, behind George Whatshisname.

But the News of the World, the Sun’s sister paper, knows better. It has the inside take. And announces in now shy way: “News of the World poll kills election – BROWN AND OUT.”

Indeed. It was the “Sun Wot Dun It”.

Reading on: “Gordon Brown’s plans for an early general election were thrown into chaos last night when he learned the devastating results of a News of the World poll.”

It told Brown of “a Tory lead of SIX PER CENT in 83 key marginal constituencies—meaning almost 50 Labour MPs would lose their seats”.

The News of the World foresees a hung parliament and the Tories in power.

Says Brown: “I made the decision for a different reason—because I want to get on with the job of change in this country.”

Of course, he could call an election and bring about change overnight…

Pic: Poldraw 

Posted: 7th, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (6) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Conservative Teresa May Puts Both Feet Wrong

THERESA May, Shadow Leader of the Commons, is doing a passable impression of Cilla Black birdie dancing on a cruise liner in the teeth of a mid-Atlantic storm.

But never mind the hair, the red lipstick and the teeth as she sways across the boards. Look at the shoes. Focus on the shoes. The Mail does. It’s Theresa ‘s 51st birthday and she is dancing.

The shoes, of course, it is always the shoes with the Tory MP, now performing as Shadow Leader of the Commons.

When May wore leopard-print shoes at Party conference 2002, aged men clacked their tongues. Women pursed their lips.

Theresa May had new shoes. Anne Widdecombe might have Rosa Klebb’s, but these were the real killer heels.

And then Theresa wore leopard-print Wellington boots. She had a look. This was her kit. She will be forever associated with leopard print.

To her mind, one imagines leopard-print stands for daring, edgy, stealth, strength and speed. But it works best on a leopard.

No-one dresses like Theresa May, at least no-one who should be in the public eye this side of a Bucharest alley.

And she runs the risk of appearing out of date. Doesn’t May realise that this season’s look is tiger-print, as modelled by Princess Diana’s miracle suit (‘Makes you look pregnant or your money back!’)?

Of course, if May hangs around long enough she will, like Margaret Thatcher’s handbag, return to fashion…

Posted: 3rd, October 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Conservative Party’s Emma Claire Pentreath Appreciation Society

DOES Emma Pentreath, a researcher for Hammersmith and Fulham MP Greg Hands think that in blacking up her face she will be fast-tracked to political prominence?

Wear an eye-patch, shrug an “oye vez” and dance like Sammy Davis Junior and Emma will be the MP for a safe Tory seat quicker then she can say, “What you talkin’ about Mr C?”

The Mirror delivers a picture of Ms Pentreath, her face blackened by a burnt cork wielded by Tory Philip Clarke, who works for the former attorney general Lord Lyell.

The picture is taken from Emma’s Facebook page. The caption reads: “Emma’s career in politics lies in tatters after she follows Ann Winterton’s lead and dresses as a ‘Nigger Minstrel’ for the Tory black and white Ball.”

Winterton, says the Mirror, is the Tory MP who made a joke of the deaths of Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay.

But this is no joke. The Mirror can’t even bring itself to say the n-word.

The Mail is not so coy. It sees the “Nigger Minstrel” and anther picture. It is captioned: “The piece de resistance! Teeth shining, nostrils flared and eyes glowing. Truly terrifying.”

The pictures appeared on the network known as the Emma Claire Pentreath Appreciation Society.

And it is hard not appreciate a girl who sacrifices any political ambitions she might have held to equip her party’s Black and White Ball with a bit more ethnic representation…

Posted: 2nd, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (7) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Boris Johnson: Gammon On For Livinstone’s Saddle

YOU join us at the Conservative Party conference where the handing over of the “blond mop of state” is engaging Messers Boris Johnson and Michael Heseltine. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

The Guardian’s Simon Hoggart sees Heseltine’s hair “as thick and as sculpted as ever, barely held in place like a Suffolk cliff about to crash into the sea”.

Then Boris Johnson arrives on stage. He is afforded a standing ovation. With Boris as mayor of London there would be no more “jack-knifing, self-combusting, cyclist-crushing bendy buses”.

Johnson rides a bicycle, on occasion. He has yet to be crushed or squeezed by a bendy bus but shares with us: “Once they stole my saddle, to whatever voodoo end.”

Is Ken Livingstone sticking pins into Johnson’s saddle? What chance Johnson nestling into the seat of power with a backside resembling a side of cloved gammon?

The Times hear Boris go on to say: “Ken Livingstone and Gordon Brown have got to realise that they can’t keep taxing and bullying and delivering so little in return.” So return Boris’s saddle and we’ll say no more about it.

But Johnson, with his “haystack hair and windmill arms” remains standing. (No seat.)
The Express’s Patrick O’Flynn sees Johnson’s words flow “like water from a high pressure hydrant”.

Heseltine’s quiff (pronounced cliff) should look out…

Posted: 1st, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


David Cameron: Mission Impossible, Combing Hair And The BNP

CAMERON Watch: It’s the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool and David Cameron is taking centre stage. That’s him perspiring under the arc lights. This is what the papers say of the man who would be leader:
THE SUN front page: “DAVID CAMERON – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE.”
David Cameron has a job to do.

“Good morning, Mr Cameron. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to track down some policies and destroy the 11-point gap between Conservatives and Labour. If you fail in your mission, the Tory party will self-destruct in three days.”

(Wasn’t it the message that used to explode?)

“Good luck, Dave. You’ll need it.”

Nice of the Sun to wish Cameron well, and on its front page. That’s good PR for you. Invaluable.

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Tories to end the litigation culture in schools.”

Bring back the short, sharp shock! Bring back the cane! Bring back fags!

Says Cameron: “This week we are going to mount the great Conservative fightback. It is going to be a fightback based on clear policies, based on clear direction and based on the clear choice that we will give people at the next election.”

Dave, you only have three days. Get on with it!

THE TIMES front page: “Cameron’s policy blitz to head off snap poll”.

Time is ticking. Gordon Brown’s call for a general election is nigh.

Page 6 and a picture of Cameron having his hair combed by a shadowy hand. William Hague (is it his hand?) says Cameron’s “combination of tenacity and intelligence marks him the best of us”.

There is a cartoon by Morland of Team Cameron taking in Blackpool Pleasure Beach. “Bring it On!” says Dave as the rollercoaster appraces the end of the track and a sudden drop. Ah, the optimism…

DAILY MAIL front page: “BATTLE IS JOINED. Tax breaks for marriage, a rescue fund for pensioners and cuts in stamp duty. The Cameron fightback begins.”

Page 6: “TORIES IN BNP STORM” – Muslim peer Sayeeda Warsi says the far-right party has some “very legitimate views”. Cameron says: “Sayeeda has spent most of her political life fighting the BNP. It is a dreadful party. But we have to recognise people have concerns about immigration.”

“Leader backs race row peer,” says Mirror. Cameron supports Muslim woman, suggests an alternative headline.

THE GUARDIAN front page: “Labour attacks Cameron on ‘unaffordable’ tax cuts” – pressure increases on Tory leader’s critical conference week.
“Leader backs frontbencher over views on BNP”

THE INDEPENDENT: “Cameron throws down election challenge despite impressive poll lead for Labour”

“Why has the Cameron bubble burst, and what’s your biggest regret?” Those quetions to you, Oliver Letwin

DAILY STAR: “CAM ON THEN – Tories can’t wait to fight Gord in poll”

DAILY EXPRESS phone poll: “Has Gordon Brown been a disaster for Britain?”

“Camerons hope for a walkover” – David Cameron is walking hand-in-hand with his wife, Samantha. She wears “short black skirt, black stilettos and blue cashmere cardigan”.

Pic: Poldraw

Posted: 1st, October 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tony Blair’s Wooden Horse Politics: Immigrants Invade In BMW

tony_blair_leaves.jpgTONY Blair’s car doesn’t look like a horse, much less a wooden one. But when police opened the doors of the £100,000 BMW, four asylum seekers leapt out. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

Less dramatically, the four did not emerge brandishing pistols and demanding to be taken to “your leader or else”.

We would have some sympathy for them had they secreted themselves inside the vehicle when Tony was still in charge, emerging to find their master plan undone by Gordon Brown’s lacquer and spray revolution.

But the Mail is unimpressed. A source is given space to tell one and all: “It makes a complete mockery of our border controls.”

Only it doesn’t. The four men emerged in a police garage. They were arrested. The process worked.

And they had best be dealt with quickly as the Mail’s front page thunders: “2M MORE MIGRANTS IN JUST A DECADE.”

The new estimate by the Office for National Statistics says numbers will grow by 190,000 a year. This, says the Mail, is 30 per cent higher than previous estimates.

But not as high as the Express’s estimates, the paper announcing on its front page: “Immigration will add 7million to our population.”

“520 immigrants a day to come here for next 25 years.” The Express wonders: “Should Britain be declared officially full to new immigrants.”

Or is Britain pleasantly peckish, able to stomach a few choice morsels, say physics teachers and a few footballers, but no more stodgy cleaning staff, waiters, labourers and just about anyone else who will do rubbish jobs for rubbish money.

“Minsters have had their heads in the sand for too long,” says Damian Green, Shadow Immigration Minister. Not to mention their feet in the warmer water – we free to go over there?

To the ports, dear readers. It’s time to invade the world cone again. Last one to the Mondeo’s a Rogarian…

Posted: 28th, September 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Boris Johnson London Mayor Race: Bozza v Ken v Brian The Snail

boris-yawns.jpg“TORIES pick Boris to take on ‘King Newt’,” announces the Telegraph.

Well, less announces than whispers as the news that Boris Johnson has been chosen to take on Ken Livingstone for the job of London mayor appears in a side column on the paper’s page 4. Boris’s face is sandwiched between the news that the “BBC ‘to rely on more repeats’” and “City bonuses are driving up the price of farmland”.

The only paper to give Johnson any space is the Independent, which brings its readers “’Fogey’ Boris is chosen to take Livingstone”.

The paper produces wallet-size biogs of the leading contenders. Ken is 62, compared a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard and introduced the congestion charge. Alias: Red Ken.

Boris is Eton College educated, writes for the Telegraph and wants to scrap London’s bendy buses. Alias: Bozza. Alias: Boris – his real first name is Alexander.

So is it a Boris or is it a Ken?

Londoners would do well to conjure with those names. Boris – Becker, Pasternak, Yeltsin and Karloff. Ken – Barbie’s lover, Barlow, Rosewall and Dodd.

Exciting times there. And the polemic is only agitated by the Indy noticing that the contest includes a Brian.

He’s Brain Paddick, 51. He is the likely Liberal Democrat candidate. Brian is “soft on cannabis”, an ex-copper and “in favour of a non-strike agreement with tube unions”. Brian is the dreamer. Alias: The Pot Cop. (Although only the Indy’s offices have ever heard him called that.)

Tickle me pink, as Boris might say. Yeeeesss,” as Ken is wont to drone.

The race is on. Ken or Boris to win? Or Brian – the snail…?

Posted: 28th, September 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Harrow Council’s Lie Detectors To Catch a Benefits Thief

THE BBC reports that lie detectors are being used by Harrow Council to try and catch out benefit cheats. Apart from the fact that lie detectors don’t actually work there’s a couple of other points at issue here, the most important of which is why do they get to test us?

Currently, they’re being used to try and deter people from claiming benefits to which they are not entitled which, in the grand scheme of things, is a very small problem indeed.

A few hundred thousand here or there, even the few £ billions that the whole benefit system leaks is a pittance compared with the £500 billion and rising that they take from us. So a far better use of this technology (for the moment we’ll accept their assurances that it works) is that we use it on them.

The vote stealers, those who tax us, should have their every public utterance filtered though these machines. When they say they’ll save the NHS, or improve education, then we’ll know when they’re lying and be able to prove it.

When it’s announced that the conker trees will have to come down in the name of elf ‘n’ safety, we’ll know, when we’re told that Britain’s place is in the heart of Europe, or that the Reform Treaty is very different from the rejected Constitution, oh my word yes, then the self-interested casuistry will be apparent to all.

There’s only really one problem I can see with this happy state of affairs. We don’t actually need any new technology to reveal the truth of these matters, we have a perfectly reasonable and usable one already. We are talking about politicians here, so knowing when they’re lying is quite simple: their lips are moving.

Tim 

Posted: 27th, September 2007 | In: Money, Politicians | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gordon Brown: Nothing To See

referendum.gifGORDON Brown is in Bournemouth.

The Sun wants a referendum:

Before and after…

Source: Dizzy 

Posted: 26th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: You Should See His Boyfriend

ahmadinejad-homosexuals.gif“IS American right to demonise President Ahmadinejad of Iran?”

This is the Independent’s “big question”.

Ahmadinejad is billed as “controversial leader”. He says things like “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We do not have this phenomenon. I don’t know who’s told you that we have it.”

The easy response would be “Your boyfriend did”. But that would be childish, no better then calling him names, such as “Evil” and “Madman Iran” (New York tabloids).

So should Ahmadinejad be monstered? The Times doesn’t say, it’s too busy watching Foreign Secretary David Miliband at Labour party conference and employing the headline “Aaaargh! It’s Frankenstein’s minister…”

Do the Iranian newspapers speak of Ahmadinejad in the same open fashion? As the man told us, his is free society, the Iranian peoples “joyous”. He can take a joke.

But to the Indy’s question. Is the US right. It says it is mistaken in conferring upon Ahmadinejad a prominence that is not his due. He is not the top nutter in Iran. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “calls the shots and dictates nuclear policy”. He’s the joyous one who told us: “The only way to confront the Zionist enemy is the continuation and fortification of resistance and Jihad.”

The Indy says the other mistake is that scaremongering enables Ahmadinejad to “portray nuclear power as a priority and a matter of national pride”.

What odds a nuclear mushroom cloud appearing on the Iranian flag, in similar fashion to how it’s allies at Hezbollah show a garish green Kalashnikov on theirs. (Flags, like weaponry, must move with the times.)

And, then, personal insults, as the Indy, says are never edifying. Ahmadinejad might be a jumped up, onanistic-eyed gibbon with chronic short-man syndrome but it would be beneath us to say so.

So he should not be demonised by the Americans. Ahmadinejad should be allowed to speak freely and openly. As his comments on homosexuality show, the more he speaks, the scarier he looks…

Pic: Cox & Forkum 

Posted: 26th, September 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Boris Johnson: Hedging His Bets

boris_joker.jpgBORIS Johnson’s website is back online. And he’s back in the papers. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

The Indy writes that at the end of this month Johnson is “almost certain” to be unveiled as the Conservative candidate for next summer London mayoral elections.

The Indy says that Johnson will then be faced by the “gargantuan task” of overhauling Ken Livingstone. It will be hard.

Johnson will, of course, be his own worst enemy and ultimately fail, although with some style and a few laughs along the way.

And he has a problem before that sad day, at least one foreseen by the Indy. If Gordon Brown calls an election in the next few months, Johnson will be campaigning for London mayor while campaigning to retain his seat in Henley on election day.

His camp tells the paper: “It is a hypothetical question…We suggest you ask Gordon Brown to get off the fence and take a decision. Then come back to us.”

In the meanwhile, Boris can wonder if he can pass of Henley as West London and hear Ken’s camp respond: “Failure to answer this question shows he’s not taking London seriously.”

It’s going to be painful…

Posted: 26th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


It Could Be EU: David Cameron Gives Two Fingers To Gordon Brown

david_cameron_policies.jpgDAVID Cameron is here to reassure the apathetic voter that when Prime Minister he will give you the EU Referendum you hanker for. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

Looking at the Guardian’s news that Cameron’s compassionate Conservatives are 11 points in the polls behind Brown’s New Labour Revisited, the odds on him getting his way and Sun readers getting their vote are slim.

But Dave senses a campaign. Just like William Hague sensed one when as Tory leader he campaigned to Save The Pound. Hague lost. And we, er, kept the pound.

But Dave is unbowed. In a piece entitled “Dear Sun Readers” he says: “On Monday the Sun’s image of Gordon Brown sticking two fingers up to the British public was provocative. But it was right.”

Cameron says Brown is nothing like Churchill. Indeed not, as Norman ‘On Yer Bike’ Tebbit tells Sun readers, Brown is the “heir to Margaret Thatcher”.

“What a difference to Churchill,” says Cameron. Indeed. “When he made that salute, it inspired this country to wipe the scourge of fascism from Europe.”

Readers may well wonder if Cameron reads the Sun. Monday’s picture was of Brown offering the two-fingered salute, the eff off to one and all, particularly the French. Churchill, as far as we can recollect, offered a palm-forwards ‘V’ for Victory.

“Small wonder,” says Dave by way of conclusion to a piece that mentions online health care in America and online crime maps in small US towns, “that so many people don’t believe a word politicians ever say if they break their promises so casually.”

As Churchill once said: “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it”…

Posted: 26th, September 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: No Homosexuals Please I’m Iranian

ahmadinejad-in-the-us.jpgDOES Mahmoud Ahmadinejad support a football team? It’s just that if he wants to appear likeable, he should get one. (Pic: Poldraw)

He could have joined Gordon Brown and said something about Jose Mourinho’s departure for Chelsea. They could have held hands, by “mutual consent”.

But Ahmadinejad failed. “The Evil has landed,” says The Daily News as Ahmadinejad arrives in New York. “Madman Iran Perez,” says the New York Post.

“People in Iran are very joyous, happy people, they’ve very free in expressing what they think,” Ahmadinejad tells the Guardian. Ahmadinejad says Iranian women are “the freest in the world”. The Guardian hears “laughter”. Perhaps there are female Iranian journalists in the press pack.

Land Of The Free

But should Ahmadinejad be anywhere but in the UN compound? “It’s a free country,” says Dana Perino, White House spokesman, of Ahmadinejad’s appearance at Columbia University. “We wish the same were true in Iran.”

But not that free. Ahmadinejad has been to the US twice before as Iran’s President. Only this time he wants to make friends. He wants to visit Ground Zero. But he isn’t allowed to.

The US is worried about what Ahmadinejad might do at the site of the twin towers? But what can he do but try to look caring and appeal to the US and the sure-to-be watching world that invading Iran would mean starting a fight with a little man who just wants to be loved. The man of peace.

Home Of The Brave

Wasn’t America once about optimism? Isn’t the hope that Ahmadinejad sees where the twin towers once stood, takes in the vibrant New York City and changes his ways? Or is fear the thing in America?

Here’s Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney showing that he can be toughest on Ahmadinejad by launching a radio ad in early primary states that repeats a call he made last week for the world body to indict the Iranian leader under the Genocide Convention.

Here’s the president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, introducing the President of Iran as a “petty, cruel dictator”. Says he: “When you come to a place like this, this makes you quite simply ridiculous. You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.”

Here’s Andrew Martin, senior at Columbia. He wasn’t to hear Ahmadinejad. He, too, wants to hear the Iranian president for himself: “I’d like to ask him about homosexuality in Iran; whether he believes what he believes about it and whether he believes it should be debated freely in his country.”

He asks his question. Says Ahmadinejad: “In Iran we don’t have homosexuality like in your country.”

And there is more laughter…

Posted: 25th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (7) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Gordon Brown’s Big Pitch: In Gord We Trust, The Papers’ View

gordo-poppins3.jpgGORDON Brown watch: Anorak’s on-the-hoof look at Gordon’s message to the masses. (Pic: Poldraw)

DAILY MIRROR front page: “SERIOUSLY GOOD GORD – Gordon Brown forged a powerful pact with the people yesterday.”

“Patriotic, passionate, packed with policy…the PM’s triumph.”

Pages 6 and 7: Brian Reade says “We’re in safe hands”.
Kevin Maguire says “Leader passes test”.

Pages 8 and 9: “GB’S GOT TALENT.” Says Gordon: “Every child has potential if they get the chance.” The potential to do what depends on policy and believing in Gordon.

“We must punish criminals and prevent crimes,” say Gordon. How to follow…

THE SUN front page: “NOT HIS FINEST HOUR.”

Brown’s no Winston Churchill. “A poignant 63-minute speech by Brown but just 12 seconds on the EU treaty” – did anyone besides the Sun notice?

Pages 4 and 5: “We fight them on the beaches. READERS WANT EU POLL.”

Pages 6 and 7: “BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT. PM vows: There’s no limit to what our people can do.” Hear that? Start campaigning for that EU Ref now!

Page 8: “If you respect and admire us all Gordon, give us the referendum you promised”

DAILY STAR page 2: “FANCY A DROP OF GORDON’S? Not now Mr Brown’s banning 24hr booze.”

THE INDEPENDENT page 3: “MR BROWN’S BIG PITCH.” A pun on Mr Brown’s big tent.

“The Prime Minister’s speech was full of stirring conviction but gave little away.”

Page 4: “Simon Carr’s sketch: “’This is who I am,’ he said more than once. Personal revelation. Tick the box. Then there were more boxes. Strength. Pride. United Kingdom. Countryside. The NHS, our island story. Tick, tick, tick, tick. Joy through work? Not this year; maybe after the election.”

Page 29: “Steve Richards writes under the headline: “With the utmost skill, Brown has distanced himself from Blair and reinvigorated Labour.”

THE TIMES front page: “Brown sets out stall for Middle England.”

Gordon Brown wants Tory voters to vote for him. He is stood before a blue backdrop. His tie is dark. So too his suit. “Populist initiatives aim for Tory country.”

Pages 6 and 7: “Initiatives, promises, policies, aspirations – and a definite feeling that we’d heard it all somewhere before.”

Page 7: Anne Treneman writes in her sketch: “It wasn’t a ‘me me me’ speech. It was a ‘me me me me me’ speech… This is who I am,’ he boomed as he embarked on an impressive slalom run of 12 sentences that all featured the vertical pronoun.”

Pages 8 and 9: “Sarah Brown speaks at a women’s reception. She says she plans to keep things “as normal as possible” for her family. He is not Tony. She is not Cherie.

DAILY TELEGRAPH front page: “Brown targets Tory heartlands.”

Page 4: “Brown takes on blue rinse to woo more Tories”.

DAILY MAIL pages 6 and 7: “Gordon steals Tories’ clothes.”
And: “He pays tribute to faith, family and, yes, Lady Thatcher”.

Quentin Letts writes his sketch under the headline: “So much hairspray, the ozone layer’s in danger.”

Page 9: “Peter Oborne says:” MORE TORY THAN DAVE WOULD EVER DARE TO BE.”

THE GUARDIAN front page: “I will not let Britain down.”

The paper keeps count of key phrases in Brown’s speech:

British/British – 80
Scotland – 2
I – 115
Tony Blair – 3
John Smeaton – 2
David Cameron – 0
Iraq – 1
Afghanistan – 1
Labour – 8
Conservative – 0

Page 9: Simon Hoggart in his sketch says that listening to Gordon Brown reminded him “of those dusty leaflets on sale in church porches in which children gaze up at Jesus, except that we were gazing up at Gordon.”

DAILY EXPRESS pages 6 and 7: “BROWN’S BORING BID TO TRICK THE VOTERS.”

The paper’s political editor notes that “in Mr Brown’s vision of history, anything that happened before he took over in Number 10 is conveniently wiped out”.

No little success then…

Posted: 25th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (5) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


EU Referendum: Sun Gives Two Fingers To Gordon Brown And Faceless Bureaucrats

gordon-brown.gifNO Page 3 in the Sun today. The sombre news is that The EU Referendum is upon us, or at least it would be if Gordon Brown stuck to his promise.

Readers see a front cover of Brown sticking two fingers up to one and all. He is the antithesis of Winston Churchill.

Of course, given the level of apathy at election time, the feeling is that any referendum would be won and lost by the movements of party activists and those few librarians and Page 3 Girls who have read the EU Constitution and understood it.

The Sun says this constitution is “The greatest threat to our nation since World War 2”. For those readers who missed it the first time, Gordon Brown once again gives you a two-fingered salute, the sign English bowman once gave the French.

But Broon is a Scot and welcomes a “European Army”, “the EU Human Rights Charter”, “an EU foreign minister”, “less control over immigration and asylum”, an EU diplomatic service”, “an EU presidency” and “EU in charge of health and education”.

“Wake up Britain!” orders the Sun. It’s the call to arms. It’s the Reveillez. Alles Britishers raus!

Stop looking for the Taliban in the precinct, divert your gaze from binge drinking and drugs and see the real menace. And join the Sun’s cause.

“We don’t want a ..UNITED STATES OF EUROPE,” says the paper, not bothering with its own referendum before it speaks on behalf of the nation.

We don’t want to be the US? The United States, the richest country on Earth, the land of the free, home of the brave, where you can get burgers the size of your head and a car visible from space?

We don’t want that?

No, we do not. We want freedom. We do not want to be run by a bunch of self-serving, faceless, anodyne company men and women in suits.

We want to be run by Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Leader of the House of Lords (and Lord President of the Council), the Rt Hon the Baroness Ashton of Upholland, Minister for Africa, Asia and UN

Sir Mark Malloch Brown and many, many more…

Pic: Hack

Posted: 24th, September 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Alisher Usmanov: Boris Johnson On Free Speech

mr_usmanov.jpgALISHER Usmanov is chucking his weight around. See here.

The Russian oligarch has bought into Arsenal football club.

The Times notes:

“With Mr Putin due to stand down as President in March, Mr Usmanov’s involvement with Arsenal may be an insurance policy against any unexpected downturn in relations with his successor as president.”

As you know. Boris Johnson’s blog is also down. Mr Johnson hit out at the closure of his website, calling it “a serious erosion of free speech”.

“This is London, not Uzbekistan,” says he.

“It is unbelievable that a website can be wiped out on the say-so of some tycoon.

“We live in a world where internet communication is increasingly vital, and this is a serious erosion of free speech.”

Pic: Matt Buck

Join the protest. The list so far. As with Justin, please add your blog to comments if you want to be included.

And then copy and paste the list to your blog.

Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry’s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric (who suggests dropping a line to the FA about Mr Usmanov), Mike Power, Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil’s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonko’s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murray’s articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graeme’s, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman, Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, The People’s Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishman’s Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc, The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo D’Or, Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic, The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Lenin’s Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Day…, Kathz’s Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Senn’s Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone, Amused Cynicism, Clairwil, The Lone Voice, Tampon Teabag, Unoriginalname38, Special/Blown It, The Remittance Man, 18 Doughty Street, Laban Tall, Martin Bright, Spy Blog The Exile, poons, Jangliss, Who Knows Where Thoughts Come From?, Imagined Community, A Pint of Unionist Lite, Poldraw, Disillusioned And Bored, Error Gorilla, Indigo Jo, Swiss Metablog, Kate Garnwen Truemors, Asn14, D-Notice, The Judge, Political Penguin, Miserable Old Fart, Jottings, fridgemagnet, Blah Blah Flowers, J. Arthur MacNumpty, Tony Hatfield, Grendel, Charlie Whitaker, Matt Buck, The Waendel Journal, Marginalized Action Dinosaur, SoccerLens, Toblog, John Brissenden East Lower, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Peter Black AM, Boing Boing, BLTP, Gunnerblog, LFB UK, Liberal Revolution, Wombles, Focus on Sodbury…, Follow The Money, Freedom and Whisky, Melting Man, PoliticalHackUK, Simon Says…, Daily EM, From The Barrel of a Gun, The Fourth Place, The Armchair News Blog, Journalist und Optimist, Bristol Indymedia, Dave Weeden, Up North John, Gizmonaut, Spin and Spinners, Marginalia, Arnique, Heather Yaxley, The Whiskey Priest, On The Beat, Paul Canning, Martin Stabe, Mat Bowles, Pigdogfucker, Rachel North, noodle , kerching (195).

Posted: 23rd, September 2007 | In: Back pages, Politicians | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Bloggerheads, Craig Murray, Bob Piper And Boris Johnson Downed By Alisher Usmanov

usmanov.jpgAS Tim Ireland tells me, his Bloggerheads site, and sites operated by Craig Murray, Bob Piper and Boris Johnson have been downed by Alisher Usmanov. Tim suggests the Arsenal fans might like to take the matter up in song.

Who’s Usmanov?

As the Guardian writes:

Arsenal’s newest shareholder, the Uzbek minerals billionaire Alisher Usmanov, continues to police discussion of his past and of his intentions for the Gunners after paying £75m for David Dein’s 14.58% share in the club.

Schillings, the lawyers acting for Usmanov, have been in touch with several independent Arsenal supporters’ websites and blogs warning them to remove postings referring to allegations made against him by Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan.

And:

Usmanov was jailed under the old Soviet regime but says that he was a political prisoner who was then freed and granted a full pardon once Mikhail Gorbachev came to power as president. Schillings have warned the websites that repetition of Murray’s allegations were regarded as “false, indefensible and grossly defamatory”.

DavidT at Harry’s Place:

Bloggers cannot operate if they are bullied by rich plaintiffs. Defamation law in the United Kingdom is both farcical and unfair, and is in desperate need of fundamental reform. Errors on blogs can easily be remedied: particularly where they permit open commenting (a libel risk in itself) which allows postings to be criticised, facts corrected, and arguments opposed. I know what it is like to be at the receiving end of a well funded threat of defamation proceedings, and it is no fun at all. It is outrageous that the law of defamation should be used to break bloggers: like butterflies upon wheels.

Mr Eugenides writes:

And let’s be clear on this point; these blogs are down not because Usmanov has been libelled, but because he says he’s been libelled, and has a room full of paid monkeys sitting at typewriters firing off theatening letters to that effect.

I don’t give a shit about this character, or Arsenal FC (no offence to any Gooners out there); nor do I share all or even most of Tim Ireland or Craig Murray’s politics. But that’s far from the point. If you can be silenced for calling a businessman a crook, then you can be silenced for calling a politician a crook, too. Then it’s everyone’s problem.

This one will run and run. No need to watch this space; there’ll be plenty of other bloggers stepping up on this one. Oh, and Arsenal fans; if you’re not convinced yet, think what this guy is going to do to your web discussions.

Dave Warner notes:

It appears Schillings has fallen victim to something our pals at Techdirt like to call “The Streisand Effect.” Back in 2003, Barbra Streisand sued a photographer in an attempt to remove an aerial photo of her California home from the Internet, despite the fact that the photo was part of a publicly funded coastline erosion study and wasn’t even labeled as her home. As a result, photos of her house were published all over the web within days.

[…] for all their claims that Murray is libeling their client, Schillings has not actually sued Murray for libel. They have told anyone who will listen that Murray’s book, Murder at Samarkand, is defamatory against Usmanov, but it’s been out for more than a year, and they have never taken any legal action against Murray. Instead, they seem more focused on getting any mention of Murray and his allegations against Usmanov removed from the web — and as the Streisand Effect teaches us, that’s pretty much impossible.

If Murray’s goal was to make Usmanov look like a thug, then mission accomplished.

Schillings has a page on its website entitled: The internet attacker.

It states:

The Issues

Our client was the founder and CEO of a financial services company. An anonymous source created a website which accused our client of assault, various financial crimes and unethical behaviour. We suspected that the source was a disgruntled former business partner, based both in the USA and the UK, but we could not initially prove this.

The Solution

The internet is not lawless. All the laws that apply to traditional publications apply, plus new regulations have been created. In this instance we:
# applied to Court for a “Spartacus” order requiring the source to identify himself or his ISP and webhost to identify him; and
# contacted the host, ISP and various search engines advising them that even though the allegations had physically been posted in the US they were defamatory under UK law as they could be accessed here
# search engines and ISPs removed the material.

Once the source was outed and starved of the oxygen of publicity, he quickly settled to avoid a defamation claim.

Tim Worstall writes:

The internet attacker

The Issues

Our client was the founder and CEO of a Russian metals company. An Ambassador created a website which accused our client of assault, various financial crimes and unethical behaviour, including heroin trading and rape. We suspected that the source was disgruntled and while he had published such allegations in a freely available book we advised our client not to sue for defamation.

The Solution

The internet is not lawless. All the laws that apply to traditional publications apply, plus new regulations have been created. In this instance we:

# applied to Court for a “Spartacus” order requiring the source to identify himself or his ISP and webhost to identify him; and
# contacted the host, ISP and various search engines advising them that the allegations were defamatory under UK law, although no one had ever tried anything in court.
# search engines and ISPs removed the material.

Once the source was closed down we could invoice our client in the knowledge of a job well done. The reputation of Gospodin Usmanov is, due to our prompt and careful attention, still spotless.

Laudatory comments upon our actions can be seen across the internet. If your reputation is at stake from some chavvy little blogger, no doubt any of the following would be delighted to provide you with references as to the effectiveness of our services.

Posted: 20th, September 2007 | In: Back pages, Politicians | Comments (30) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Rudy Giuliani’s Smile Costs $2,300

guilianijpg.jpgRUDY Giuliani is in London. This is part of Rudy 2008. It is 2007. Rudy is a man with his eyes on the future.

As the Guardian reports, the man who would be the American President is at the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

You can meet him. Lunch in the same room as Mr Giuliani costs $1,000. If you want your picture taken with the man, the full package costs $2.300.

Your money will be viewed as a donation and in no way reflects the width of Mr Guiliani’s grin nor the quality of food on offer.

And there are many takers. The paper says there are an estimated 200,000 American living in the UK.

One of them speaks with the Guardian. Says Mimi Aye: “I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative.”

Any doubts as to Ms Aye’s nationality are quickly dispersed as she falls into the trap of mistakenly believing British people speak the same language as Americans. She may as well be speaking Dutch, and very possibly is.

It’s eyes up from plates as Mr Giuliani mounts the rostrum. He is stood beside Winston Churchill’s granddaughter Celia Sandys. She calls him “Churchill in a baseball cap”.

This may resonate well among Americans. But it should be observed that Ms Sandys is not her grandfather, just as Jenna Bush (who was once arrested for using a fake ID) is not George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the United States.

But the connection is made.

Posted: 20th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (3) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Supermarket Years: Cherie Blair Gets Paid By The Word

cherie-blair.jpg CHERIE Blair is writing her autobiography. If she is paid by the word, the book could be one of the longest in history, rivalling Cherie Blair: The Trolley Dash Years for sheer girth. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

The Times’ cartoonist picks up on the theme of money and sees Cherie typing her book out on a cash register.

Happily, a lid has been placed on the book’s budget, as the Mail reveals in “Cherie gets £1.5m for her memoirs”.

Encouragingly, the Mail says the book deal will help clear the Blair’s mortgage. Although should interest rates rise, Cherie may well have to save some content for later. It is thought that a full half percentage point rise will lead to the sequel Cherie Blair: The How I Extended Over The Garage Years.

And then there is the assertion by the Mirror and Independent that the book is worth just £1milion to Cherie, opening up the possibility of a book-on-tape version and an official DVD. Indeed, our advice would have been for Cherie to deliver her story in instalments, the first years at a discount with a free ring binder. The full story would run for as long as Cherie needs the income.

As for the story, the Mail says “revenge is a dish served piping hot”. But the Times wonder how much Cherie will reveal.

And if she will revels all should the job demand it?

Posted: 20th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (8) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Madeleine McCann: Justine McGuinness Speaks

2baby0001.jpgWHAT happens to an ex McCann family spokesperson?

If she’s Justine McGuinness she doesn’t write a book, rather she launches a political campaign.

Now billed in the Mirror as a “family friend” of the McCanns, McGuinness uses her knowledge to call for stricter controls on Europe’s borders.

McGuinness is a member of the Liberal Democrats, currently in conference in Brighton.

She tells the Mirror: “If we want to protect our youngsters we have to make sure that children cannot be moved out of Europe, as well as in.”

This will strike a chord with parents who are forced by law to equip under16s – including babies – with a passport. It cost £45. The baby must not be smiling.

But – get his – a picture of a baby might not be enough.

Says McGuinness: “I think you need border controls when people come into Europe and when people go out. We have to know when people leave our boundaries and we’ve got to know whether they are leaving with children.”

She says this “would have helped” in the case of Madeleine McCann. Only how it would have helped has yet to be established…

Posted: 19th, September 2007 | In: Madeleine McCann, Politicians | Comments (18) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Boris Johnson’s Education Action: The Words That Best Sum Up Britain’s MPs

hazel-blears.jpgTHE charity Education Action has put together a list of entries to find the country’s most-loved word. (We know – it’s ‘bollocks’.)

Efforts by the great and good include – and we have taken the liberty of translating what they mean to you, the voter:

Andrew Miller, MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston:
Axiomatic: ‘There cannot be another word with such a self-evident meaning!!’
Means: I do crosswords at the cricket.

Anne Milton, Shadow Minister for Health and MP for Guilford:
Yes: ‘Because it is associated with hope, agreement, consensus and happiness!’
Means: I am always positive. But not in a weird way; in a good way.

Bob Russell, MP for Colchester:
Smile: ‘Smile, and the whole world smiles with you; or so the saying goes. When you smile, then it encourages others to smile. So let’s have it for “smile”- the nation’s (the world’s!) favourite word!’
Means: I might be a) on anti-depressants; b) genuinely happy to see you; or c) channeling Tony Blair.

Boris Johnson, MP for Henley:
Carminative: ‘My suggestion is “carminative” which I regard as a splendid word and which means a spell – its effects being highly beneficial.’
Means: I am quirky, unepxcted and, dare it go unsaid, magic.

Caroline Spelman, MP for Meriden:
Thanks
Means: I am humble.

Denis MacShane, MP for Rotherham:
Hello: ‘A word that always starts off something new, different, good. If it is to be a nasty moment like going in front of the Head or seeing the dentist or being interrogated by John Humphries then it is “Good morning” which is formal and foretells something less cheerful than what follows Hello.’
Means: I talk to people in lifts.

Derek Wyatt, MP for Sittingborne & Sheppey:
Wow: ‘Continually surprised at how much I don’t know and how much I’m told every day about how much I don’t know.’
Means: Brilliant!

Elliot Morley, MP for Scunthorpe County:
Crepuscular: ‘It is a word that describes creatures active in the twilight of day and dusk. It’s a great word with great imagery of a favourite time of day.’
Means: The sun is past the yard arm.

George Galloway, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow:
Indefatigability
Means: I can laugh at myself; and you should join in.

Gisela Stuart, MP for Birmingham, Edgbaston:
Papagena: ‘Because it feels good to say the word out loud and whenever I say it – I hear the wonderful Music of Mozart’s Magic Flute….’
Means: I am called Gisela.

Gregory Knight, MP for East Yorkshire:
Iconoclast: ‘In politics, to get things done, you sometimes have to challenge cherished beliefs, and make people think – and realise – that the accepted way of doing things may not be right for today.’
Means: I will never be Prime Minister.

Hazel Blears, MP for Salford:
Fellowship: ‘I believe unequivocally in the word ‘fellowship’. It means to have a sense of belonging to one another in society, and for me, is shorthand for the concept that by doing things together we can achieve much more than if we were to do things alone.’
Means: I might look like a Hobbit but in a team I can be mighty. Oh yes. Mighty.

Jeff Ennis, MP for Barnsley East & Mexborough:
Growler: ‘My favourite word is GROWLER, but not in the traditional sense. A growler is a pork pie in Grimethorpe slang and I believe that is a very descriptive noun.’
Means: I am from oop north.

Jim Knight, Minister of State for Schools and MP for South Dorset:
Piquant: ‘I love cooking and food, especially if it is pungent and sharp, but as well as piquant food I love piquant wit and a piquant look.’
Means: I am not taking the piss. It really is piquant.

John Hemming, MP for Birmingham, Yardley:
Quintessence: ‘Because it can mean something is really good, (the ultimate good). It comes from the old air, fire, water, earth, four element system.
1. The pure, highly concentrated essence of a thing.
2. The purest or most typical instance: the quintessence of evil.
3. In ancient and medieval philosophy, the fifth and highest essence after the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water, thought to be the substance of the heavenly bodies and latent in all things.’
Means: Verbose.

Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East:
Yes: ‘Because it is so positive.’
Means: See above.

Lembit Öpik, MP for Montgomeryshire
Azure: ‘Because it is a wonderfully sounding word and is an “alluring” shade of blue – which is reflected in the sound of the word.’
Means: Madame Cheeky, you do look good in that azure thong.

Madeleine Moon, MP for Bridgend:
Laughter: ‘Because without laughter the joy of life is diminished and friendships between different nations, cultures, religions and creeds are diminished.’
Means: Let’s all laugh at France.

Mark Pritchard, MP for the Wrekin:
Love
Means: Love me.

Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch:
Beamish: ‘as in Lewis Carroll’s Jabberwocky, “my beamish boy” which reminds me of my son.’
Means: Want to see a picture of my kids?

Menzies Campbell, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and MP for North East Fife:
Perseverance: ‘I am a great fan of the word Perseverance. As I have learnt in many different careers in my life – sport, the Bar and now politics – that we can achieve much through hard work and perseverance!’
Means: I am old.

Norman Baker, MP for Lewes:
Tangerine: ‘Lovely sound, quite musical.’
Means: Oranges are not the only fruit.

Peter Bottomley, MP for Worthing West:
Mississippi: ‘Our mother said there would always be people who knew more than us; she taught us to spell Mississippi because not many children knew how.’
Means: I saw Annie twice.

Philip Davies, MP for Shipley:
Freedom: ‘Because it encapsulates in one single word the essence of what I believe in as a politician. Freedom is the most precious thing we enjoy and I want to do everything I can to preserve our freedoms.’
Means: I once worked at Asda.

Robert Key, MP for Salisbury:
Idea: ‘Without an idea you can achieve nothing. To be incurious is to be the perfect victim – of greed, oppression, abuse and denial of freedom. The human soul transcends indifference and wickedness and ideas inspire the greatest leaders as well as the unknown soldiers for freedom.’
Means: What do you call a dear with one eye?

Pic: The Spine

Posted: 15th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


War On Terror: George Bush’s Victory Lite

george-bush-victory_lite.jpgQUOTE: “The principle guiding my decisions on troop levels in Iraq is ‘return on success.’” President Bush, speaking to the nation.

Figure of Speech: catachresis (cat-a-KREE-sis), the metaphor gone wild. From the Greek, meaning “misuse.”

Our goal in Iraq is no longer victory; the president didn’t use the word once last night. The goal now seems to be “success” (that word came up ten times). Frankly, that sounds to Figaro like second prize. But wait! Success isn’t really the prize at all. Un-surging Iraq will be a return on a successful investment. Our reward for sticking it out is a withdrawal to troop levels only slightly above last year’s.

Bush pulls off a rhetorical flip with a wildly inappropriate metaphor that turns an inevitable withdrawal into a bonus. We could use the same figure, called a catachresis, to transform the receding flood waters in New Orleans into a “return on success.” Heckuva rhetorical job, Mr. President!

Snappy Answer: “Is ‘return’ a pun?”

Figaro 

Posted: 15th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Maggie Thatcher’s Back To The Fuchsia For Gordon Brown’s Tonic

gordon_brown_saatchi_policies.jpgNOT only is Margaret Thatcher alive but her spirit moves Gordon Brown. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

No small thing that Maggie should meet Gordon Brown. The Times says this is one part of Brown’s “double whammy”, words echoing a Tory campaign.

Of course, Gordon Brown does not do spin. Brown does substance. He holidays in Dorset because he wants to. He cancels his holiday in Dorset because the Foot and Mouth outbreak is upon England and he has to sort it out.

Brown’s new advertising campaign, produced by Maggie’s old pals at Saatchi & Saatchi (“Labour Isn’t Working” – 1979) shows a sober looking Brown alongside the headline “Not flash, just Gordon”.

(By the same token, the LibDems’ Ming is about as merciless as blancmange.)

And here is Brown, a straight up kinda guy, shaking hands with Baroness Thatcher on the stops of number 10, once known as Maggie’s Den.

“Brown hijacks Maggie,” says the Express. “Brown has “twisted the knife into the Tories”. It is a “stunt”.

But Brown does not do stunts. “The Browns steal Tories’ thunder (and their ad agency, too),” says the Mail. Gordon is with Maggie and his wife, hereon known as Dennis.

This is a “propaganda coup” for Brown. It has “embarrassed the Tories”.

And Maggie seems oblivious to the games, dressed as she is in a red, or is it cerise (Mail) or fuchsia (Guardian) dress. As the Guardian’s lead picture revels, this dress matches Gordon’s tie. The pair appear to be working in harmony.

“Not since Di upstaged Charles has a lady’s lethal weapon been her wardrobe,” says the Guardian. So it is deliberate. Thatcher is a player. She plots all things, even down to her dress.

Thank goodness for Gordon, who plays it with a straight cricket bat (like his English sporting heroes).

Brown’s tie might just as easily be green or blue. It matters not to him…

Posted: 14th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0


President Bush’ Syncrisis: Bring Home the Troops

bush_teller.jpgQUOTE: “When we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from a position of fear and failure.” President Bush, quoted in the New York Times.

Figure of Speech: syncrisis (SIN-crih-sis), the not- that- but- this figure. From the Greek, meaning “to compare.”

You might call the syncrisis the figure of black and white, which is why this bichromatic president uses it more than any other. Include a pair of balanced phrases and throw in a dash of alliteration — “strength and success” versus “fear and failure” — and you got yourself a first-class issue definer.

Snappy Answer: “This isn’t a plan for strength and success. It’s a plan for death and taxes.”

Figaro 

Posted: 11th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0