Politicians | Anorak - Part 167

Politicians Category

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

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:
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:
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:
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?”


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.”


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

Boris Watch: Mind The Yawning Gap

boris-yawns.jpgBORIS Johnson is used to illustrate the Guardian’s article that yawning is contagious.

Researchers at the University of Leeds found that people most affected by “contagious yawning” are more empathetic and “have a more developed sense of social awareness”.

This should not be confused with their being suggestible and unable to think for themselves, no more human and free willed than one of Pavlov’s dogs.

Researchers noted that when a plant yawned 10 times, engineering students in the vicinity yawned, on average, 1.5 times while psychology students yawned 5.5 times.

Interestingly, the Times uses its picture of Boris in full gape to enliven the story that “Tories say supermarkets should charge for parking”.

The Conservatives presumably mean those out-of-town supermarkets surrounded by farmland and immersed in a disused cement quarry.

That for later. For now, Boris Johnson is on a Routemaster bus. Johnson says he will consider, if elected as London mayor, reintroducing the London buzzzz…


It’s just that it’s late in the afternoon and you wait all day for a yawning Boris and then two come along at once…

Posted: 11th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (6) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

David Cameron’s Barmy Army: National Citizen Service

david_cameron.jpgIF David Cameron gets in to Number 10, every 16 year old in the land will be “expected” to devote their summer holiday to “patriotic” duties. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

We talk not, of course, of the lads versus the Waiters XI on a Faliraki beach, nor of the Sixth forms annual invasion of Calais and Boulogne.

Cameron, who most likely survived CCF at his public school, stripping off his civilian uniform of a straw boater and tailed suit to wear junior-sized officer fatigues, says youngsters should partake of military training.

There is a war on. And having observed the Russian Nashi scouts training for death or glory in the words and Canadian nippers at Camp Okkuta preparing for war with live grenades (watch and learn), Britain cannot rest on her laurels.

Says Cameron: “This will make people feel proud about themselves and proud about their country”. Hurrah!

“North and south, black and white, rich and poor,” says Cameron, adopting Del Boy Trotter’s common touch, “They will be putting something back into the community”.

And that community is the one close to the Three Peaks, which Dave wants youngsters to climb.

“It will be a way of learning respect for our country and each other, just like national service was.”

The Sun salutes the initiative. “It will be lampooned by Labour as a six-week hug-in for hoodies,” says the paper. “…But hang on – not all youngsters are tearaways looking for someone to mug.”

Indeed not. Some have already found someone to mug. Other are already carrying live ammo for Queen and country. Young Camerons are on a jolly night out on Boujis.

“Mr Cameron has come up with an imaginative and optimistic idea,” readers learn.

What imagination indeed to get children into uniform. And as for optimism, adults will surely be hopeful that having climbed Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in 24 hours, the youth will be too patronised to pull on a hood let alone beat them to a technicolour pulp.

It will be just terrific. And so much better than the Cub Scouts, Boys Brigade, Sea Cadets and all other youth militia groups currently in vogue…

Posted: 6th, September 2007 | In: Politicians, Tabloids | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Plenty Of Room Up Top On Boris Johnson’s Battle Bus

boris_johnson_haircut.gifBoris Watch – Anorak’s look at Boris Johnson, Tory candidate for London mayor. (Pic: Beau Bo D’Or)

DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Boris Why Londoners should vote for me.”

Boris Johnson uses his Telegraph column to outline his vision for the future, a vision, it should be noted, as seen through his trademark custard fringe.

“It is one of the most tragic sights of the London streets. There she is, exhausted, in high heels, weighed down at either hand with heavy shopping,” says Boris.

Boris observes “bus-driver sadism” as the woman, gasping and perspiring like Jane Eyre on the plantation, arrives at the bus door just in time to see the leering driver hiss it shut in her face.

A vote for Boris is a vote for busses waiting for you. A vote of Boris is a vote for sitting on the bus and waiting for the old crone to reach the doors. Boris will alter bus life forever.

Says Boris of the driver: “…They are simply paid to ply the route, and they are paid according to a formula that depends on the number of miles travelled during the day; and so the buses’ real incentive is to whizz around London as fast as possible with as few passengers as possible, and certainly not to linger for a straggler.”

They are not callous swine. They are just doing their jobs.

And of that bus. Boris is aboard.

Says he: “I have just driven a Routemaster bus for the first time, and everything about it is a joy: the riveted aluminium so redolent of Second World War aircraft, the indestructible floor of compressed rubber and cork; the way its flanks heave like a warhorse as it throbs into the life, the efficiency of its engine that can do 11mpg, as opposed to the 3mpg of its heavier successors.”

It’s a thing of beauty. Take her up, Blondie.

“Someone once said that ‘only a ghastly, dehumanised moron would get rid of the Routemaster’, and that someone, of course, was the man * who got rid of it.”

* Ken Livingstone (the overarching reason to vote for Boris).

DAILY MAIL: Keith Waterhouse tells us: “Here’s why I shall back Boris the Card.”

Never before has Waterhouse voted Tory. The peers of his youth believed thinking Tory a capital offence.

But in the London’s mayoral election, Waterhouse will be voting Tory. That’s assuming the other three Tory contenders for the post are turned down.

(In the Times, Boris’ three agonists are billed by Tim Hames as “Mr Neverheardofhim, Ms Neverheardofher and Mr Neverheardofhimeither”.)

Says Waterhouse: “Once or twice in recent years, when spotting a politician who shows signs of not having come from outer space, I have quoted the last paragraphs of Arnold Bennett’s The Card in which he chronicles the audacious rise and rise of Denry Machin to become the youngest mayor ever of the Five Towns.

‘And yet,’ demands one of his embittered rivals, ‘what’s he done? Has he ever done a day’s work in his life? What great cause is he identified with?’ ‘He’s identified,’ comes the reply, ‘with the great cause of cheering us all up.’”

THE TIMES: Tim Hames (see above) says Boris is Spike Milligan.

“For instance, when he was asked by an officer who found him lurking in an ‘inappropriate’ place ‘Milligan? What are you standing there for?’, he replies: ‘Everybody’s got to be standing somewhere, sir.’

“It can be on this logic alone that Boris Johnson is standing for Mayor of London.”

Boris Johnson is not Ken Livingstone.

Posted: 6th, September 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (4) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

It’s Been Emotional: Back To School For Hugs

seals.jpgIT’S back to school time. School children are dusting off iPods and polishing their trainers; teachers are dusting off the bongo drums and learning the value of hugs.

As the Telegraph says, happiness lessons are to be taught to all secondary school children, the Government is expected to announce today.

School days will be the happy days of a child’s life.

As readers learn (and do feel free to smile and even chuckle – it’s what Life Long Learning is all about): “Under the programme, following a concept known as the Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (Seal), the children were encouraged to talk about their feelings in group assemblies or in one-to-one sessions with a teacher.”

As Mick Hume writes in the Times, “What does it matter if children cannot spell ‘emotional’, so long as they are in touch with their feelings?” Hold hands and discuss over a cup of warm milk.

A happy school force is a productive school force, goes the motto. And what they are producing in the learning factory is joy and goodwill.

Susan Hallam, who led the research for the Institute of Education, says: “Most of the effort in recent years has been on academic work. Seal gives teachers and pupils permission to think about things that are not academic.
It allows them to take time to consider how they think about themselves and others.”

Claps your hands. And honk your noses. Seal is a winner. And we are interested to see if seeking happiness from within will keep today’s children away from euphoria-inducing drugs and rave music. Look out for the school orchestra replacing the hate-filled recorder with yogic humming, lots of clapping and upper body swaying.

Posted: 5th, September 2007 | In: Broadsheets, Politicians | Comment (1) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Free Money For Readers When Tony Blair Resigns On…

blair.jpgWHEN will Tony Blair resign his post as Prime Minister?

Tony Blair will leave Downing Street “well before” the next general election, says Jack Straw.

The Sun reveals that Blair will step down as Labour leader on May 31 next year — exactly ten years and 30 days after becoming PM.

Geoff Hoon says: “Having set the outer limits of how long he is staying, that still leaves questions in the context of the elections in May. A lot of people will be asking if it makes sense to him to carry on through those elections.

Anorak’s hoodie in the Home Office tells us that Tony Blair will revels all on Wednesday May 9.

And you can win a £25 free on that day.

Anorak has partnered with Betfair to offer readers a £25 free bet. Open an account and Betfair will give you £25. Bet on Tony’s departure date and celebrate in style. Tax free!

Posted: 22nd, April 2007 | In: Politicians | Comments (2) | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The Ice Man Cometh

‘ON this Budget day, when Gordon Brown will tell us how much he’s got and how he’ll be spending it, it’s useful to see where taxpayers’ money goes.

Antony Gormley

Some of the Treasury’s cash is spent on hospitals. Some is spent on schools. And some is spent on building an ice sculpture that, as the Times says, only a few polar bears will see.

As part of a project called Cape Farewell, which is intended to raise awareness of climate change, Arts Council England paid for artist Antony Gormley to make a life-sized figure from snow.

And there it is, stuck in the frozen wastes of the Arctic, just as the Turner-prize winning sculptor intended it to be.

But Gormley was not alone in his mission to make the world’s costliest snowman, and was accompanied on his trip aboard the Nooderlicht schooner by eleven other artists.

One of the group, the artist Rachael Whitbread, spent her time doing “a lot of walking”. The paper says that Whitbread was concentrating on the “sound and feel of her footsteps on the snow and ice”.

And, like her fellow artists, she’ll be featuring the work inspired by such musing next year – in the freezer section at Asda…

Compiled by Paul Sorene’

Posted: 16th, March 2005 | In: Politicians | Comment | Comments RSS feed:RSS 2.0