Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
THIS Ford Figo* advert in India shows Silvio Berlusconi and 3 ladies on their way to a Bunga Bunga party. Is Silvo kidnapping them? Can Silvio only get women to sleep with him if he ties them up first? Who’s in the back seat, the Yorskhire Ripper?
The caption reads: “Leave all your worries behind.”
Is Silvio going to – you know – dispose of the ‘worries’ lest they tell all to the police? Maybe not. It’s not like he’s in an Indian mini bus, so chances are that the victims will get to live after they’ve been raped.
HOW did Obama’s trip to Israel go? Well, he never called it the Holy Land (a pet hate – a term that often used on the BBC). Firts there was the tree planting:
“Tree gifted by President Obama to Israel this morning is dug up hours later for ‘pest’ testing.”
THERE are bad budgets and then there are bad budgets. And this one is a true stinker in at least one respect. Osborne’s decided to try and pump up house prices. The simpleton fool:
A state-backed mortgage guarantee scheme worth £130billion will see the market flooded with 500,000 cheap loans.
The Government is to subsidise deposits and provide state backing for loans to help homebuyers get on the property ladder or move up.
But there were warnings that the scheme risks creating a house price bubble.
No, that last line is wrong, is too milquetoast.
CHRIS Huhne is in prison. He’s been as newsworthy inside than he was outside. To date we have been told:
The Sun: “DISGRACED Chris Huhne gets used to life on the inside as his girlfriend Carina Trimingham pays him a visit.”
DISGRACED English MP Chris Huhne was ridiculed on his first day in London’s tough Wandsworth jail yesterday — when a prison officer called him to breakfast by yelling: “Order! Order!”
READERS of the London Evening Standard knew what was in the Chancellor’s Budget before George Osborne had adressed Parliament.
Editor Sarah Sands made a statement:
“An investigation is immediately underway into how this front page was made public and the individual who Tweeted the page has been suspended while this takes place. We have immediately reviewed our procedures. We are devastated that an embargo was breached and offer our heartfelt apologies.”
WHO funds your MP or Senator? The debate on Press Regulation is peppered with accusations that the politicians are in the pockets of big media and institutions. Should allegiances be declared in the manner of football kit advertising, or the suits drivers in F1 and Nascar wear? Should David Cameron wear a Sun newspaper logo on his chest? Should Ed Milliband sport a Unite union badge? In his last day’s in office should Tony Blair have worn BP flashing lights on his lapels? In America, you can sign a petition on the White House We The People site calling for the political elite to declare their vested interests at all times.
SMELL that? A Republican who says marijuana should remain illegal causes a stink:
Assemblyman Steve Katz, a 59-year-old Republican who voted no last year on a bill to legalize medical marijuana, had been traveling 80 mph on I-87 through Coeymans, N.Y., where the speed limit is 65 mph, state police said. During the speeding stop, police said a trooper noted the odor of marijuana and found Mr. Katz in possession of a small bag.
If Lord Ahmed is a pariah why doesn’t the Labour Party kick out more members for alleged anti-Semitism?
THE Labour Party has suspended their Lord Ahmed for his alleged comments that a Jewish conspiracy lurked behind his imprisonment for driving offences in which a man was killed. Says Labour:
“The Labour Party deplores and does not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism.”
Good that it does. Odd that it feels a need to state it. But, then, anti-racism is the moral cause the elite use to binds the nation.
But what does Labour do when others are accused of racism? Take Tam Dalyell, then a Labour MP, who said Tony Blair was being “unduly influenced by a cabal of Jewish advisors”? That time, Labour did nothing.
A Cabal is defined as:
the artifices and intrigues of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government); also : a group engaged in such artifices and intrigues
NICK Clegg will not be meeting Chris Huhne in prison. In some parallel universe this man in the Deputy Prime Minister. He’s just there to make David Cameron look much, much better, isn’t he?
But Skull Reaper A-ji has been banned from wearing his mask in council chambers.
Rules state that “a person taking the floor shall not wear items such as a hat.”
LORD Ahmed is a Labour peer. In all likelihood, he will be expelled from the Labour Party if the following proves to be true. The Times leads with “Muslim peer blames Jewish conspiracy for jailing him”. The Times makes Ahmed’s religion central to the story. Were Ahmed Christian, would his religion be headline-making news?
Save your sympathies, perhaps, for Martyn Gombar. He was the 28-year-old Slovakian killed on Christmas Day, 2007. Lord Ahmed’s Jaguar smacked into Gombar’s car on the M1 near Sheffield. Gombar’s vehicle was stationary at the time. He had crashed and come to a halt in the outside lane.
IN 2012, Kermit the Frog was sworn in as San Francisco’s District Attorney. Operating under the pseudonym George Gascón, Kermit is talking about California’s three-strikes sentencing law, school truants and safety.
CHRIS Huhne, the former Liberal Democrat Cabinet Minister, and ex-wife Vicky Pryce perverted the course of justice. Their lies earned theme each eight months prison.
Huhne, 58, will kick off his tour at HMP Wandsworth in South London. Pryce, 60, begins in HMP Holloway.
The judge said Huhne had “fallen from a great height”. But he still managed to sound lofty as he told reporters:
“I am just incredibly sorry. I want to say that to family, to friends, to constituents and to colleagues. Going to jail is a fairly small bit of the total penalty. What was really painful was losing the one job I really wanted to do. Climate change is something I care passionately about.”
CREEPING, much? The relationship between the powerful and the media them is tight in Australia. The country’s PM Julia Gillard has a few words to say on the new tabloid-sized The Sydney Morning Herald:
For generations, for the people of Sydney and beyond, the thud of The Sydney Morning Herald on the doorstep has been a welcome sound.
The Herald, first published in 1831, now stands as the longest continuously published newspaper in the southern hemisphere. So old and trusted is this newspaper that it is affectionately known as ”Granny”, an old insult that became a lasting badge of honour and the name of the paper’s most loved column: Column 8.
The Herald’s remarkable pioneer John Fairfax declared he would publish his newspaper ”upon principles of candour, honesty and honour” with ”no wish to mislead; no interest to gratify by unsparing abuse or indiscriminate approbation”.
This is a lofty aim and a continuing ambition for the new Herald.
As a free society we must always value a free press, and that goes for politicians, too. I’ve received my fair share of criticism from the Herald, as has my party. But I have never doubted that the value of the debates the Herald starts and the debates it reports on…
With this new compact format, the delicate task of unfolding those huge broadsheet pages and the occasional wrestle with them will become a memory. But the Herald will endure.
It is my sincere hope that whatever its format, The Sydney Morning Herald will remain a great newspaper of record, which repays the faith of its readers with quality, integrity and a recognition that with great power also comes great responsibility.
I warmly wish the Herald every success in its new compact edition.
Julia Gillard is the Prime Minister of Australia.
Talking truth to power.
IF it works for Paris Hilton and Premier League footballers (although they’ve moved on to massive headphones), it’ll do for Senator Chuck Schumer, who has taken to holding imaginary conversations to dodge the media:
Politico says Schumer (D-N.Y.) “is well known for pulling a flip phone out of his pocket and pretending to hold a conversation.”
“I try to teach my colleagues this excellent technique. I say, ‘You want to avoid these pesky reporters, talk on your cellphone.’”
Talks softly and carry a big mobile. Or make talking to yourself your own:
HUGO Chávez has been lying in state in an open casket in Caracas. The poor looked on and in. Many wept. Elsewhere many wondered what next for the Axis of Diesel, the bond that links Venezuela to Iran, Cuba and Syria. Chavez expressed solidarity with Robert Mugabe, Colonel Gaddafi and President Assad. If you don’t like America – and America is not keen on you – Chavez was an ally-in-waiting. And he had charisma. In 2005, officials from Venezuela signed a deal to send cheap heating oil to the poor of Massachusetts. Local congressman William Delahunt called the deal “an expression of humanitarianism at its very best”. We thought America would get the oil, spin it on the money markets and sell it on at massive profit. It didn’t. Sure, Chavez was a bigot, a racist and violent, but he knew himself and he knew his crowd…
Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro, center, raises his fist next to Bolivia's President Evo Morales, center left, as they walk along the coffin containing the remains of President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Maduro will continue to run Venezuela as interim president and be the governing socialists' candidate in an election to be called within 30 days. Seven days of mourning were declared, all schools were suspended for the week and friendly heads of state were expected for an elaborate funeral Friday.(AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
SCRAPS in overseas parliaments are much, much better than the ones we have in England. You see politicians knocking each other out, jumping on desks and shouting ’til their veins burst. In the Commons, you just get a bunch of posh blokes posing at each other and seeing who can piss the highest.
Over in Jordan, parliament had to be stopped when a ruckus broke out MPs yesterday.
THE homepage of the BBC website has no mention of Republican US senator Paul Rand’s momentous filibuster. It’s buried on the Us section. Rand spoke for 13 hours to delay the nomination of White House counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan to the top job at the CIA. Questions abound about the possible use of drones against Americans. Using drones to fire on Americans would go against the sixth amendment – an American citizen’s right to a fair trial.
- Citizens have not been consulted directly, however. Instead they have been ventriloquised through ‘sock puppet’ charities, think tanks and other ‘civil society’ groups which have been hand-picked and financed by the European Commission (EC). These organisations typically lobby for closer European integration, bigger EU budgets and more EU regulation.
- The composition of ‘civil society’ at the EU level is largely dictated by which groups the Commission chooses to fund. There has been a bias towards centre-left organisations, with a particular emphasis on those promoting policies that are unpopular with the public, such as increasing foreign aid, restricting lifestyle freedoms and further centralising power within EU institutions.
IS Barack Obama a dictator? No, of course he isn’t. But would he like to be one? As he said:
“I’m the president of the United States, I’m not the emperor of the United States.”
CANCER gave Venezuela a bloodless coup when it claimed the life of Hugo Chavez, the country’s President.
Sean Penn liked him:
“Today the people of the United States lost a friend it never knew it had. And poor people around the world lost a champion. I lost a friend I was blessed to have. My thoughts are with the family of President Chavez and the people of Venezuela. Venezuela and its revolution will endure under the proven leadership of Vice President Maduro.”
VENEZUELAN President Hugo Chávez has died. He had cancer. Or as Vice President Nicolas Maduro put it, he had poison, administered by “enemies of the fatherland”. He’s waiting for “scientific proof” that Mr Chávez was poisoned.
REJOICE! North Korea has new future leader for its hereditary Communist dictatorship. Kim Jong Un’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, has given birth to a baby. Yep, he is the little un.
Reports are that the child has already been seen banging his fists on table, screaming, demanding and being utterly unreasonble. Says one insider: “He has the makings of a top notch despot.”
AUSTRALIA’s carbon tax forces companies to pay a (£15; $24) levy for every tonne of greenhouse gases they produce. Julia Gillard’s government is keen to create a clean energy economy. The tax will hit airlines. But, thankfully, Gillard is here to help them, too. Her glasses are travelling at speed:
Albert Park optical stylist Sue Feldy has been inundated with phone calls after she was exposed as the woman behind Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s new glasses …
Mrs Feldy was sworn to secrecy over her role in shaping Ms Gillard’s new look, but gained official permission to speak after being contacted by a radio station.
“I think I knew it would cause a bit of a stir,” Mrs Feldy said. “We have to keep getting them in, the stockist can’t keep up!”
Mrs Feldy flew to Canberra with 100 pairs for Ms Gillard to browse.