Politicans and world leaders making news and in the news, and spouting hot air
THE BBC tells its readers:
LIVE Baroness Thatcher Dies
WORDS on Margaret Thatcher’s passing will run into the millions. But only STV has the apparent scoop that her son Mark Thatcher has also died.
In other news, over 300 people massed in Glasgow to celebrate the former Prime Minister’s death.
The car was parked in a restricted parking bay at the Magor M4 service station. The Chancellor was inside at McDonald’s.
Richard Hawkes, of the disability charity Scope says:
“They [the disabled] will see this as rubbing salt in their wounds. Many are already struggling to make ends meet, yet the chancellor’s response has been to cut vital financial support and squeeze local care budgets.”
ANGLO-Irish Relations have been strained for years. Ever since the Earl of Pembroke became involved in a local matter in Leinster in 1170, the English have played a role in Irish affairs. When John de Courcy seized control of Ulster 1177, the English became the self-styled civilising force. The Irish were the bestial savages. As these cartoons show, the Irish were portrayed as low-browed, wire-haired simians, More ape than man.
A TORY MP has been complaining that the fees office treats them like dirt. They just go along to try and claim what is rightfully theirs, what the law provides for them to have, and they get treated like crap. Paid massively late, they’ve got to go into debt to pay their bills while they wait for the cash to be paid out.
Yes, of course this is what we should be doing to all politicians:
A Conservative MP has criticised the body responsible for overseeing politicians’ expenses claims, claiming they are trying to ‘screw MPs into the ground’.
Karl McCartney, the MP for Lincoln, says he has been forced to borrow £25,000 from his parents because of late payments by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) caused by delays in the processing of his expenses payments, a situation he claims that many other MPs face.
LORD Ahmed has issued a “complete and unreserved” for saying Jews were behind his imprisonment for dangerous driving. It turns out that wasn’t Jews who made him drive dangerously and slam into car driven by a man who died as a result. Ahmed’s SatNav was not calibrated to feature the voice of Woody Allen’s Rabbi Virgil Starkwell telling him to “Dive, schmive. Go on drive, already so fast” into the car that’s come to halt in the fast lane. “Go! Send your texts messages. Speed and kill a father of two. Who is this Martin Gombar? Is he from a good family? Does he have a nice word to say about you?”
Following Ahmed’s claim that it was Jews who run the British media and the justice system – and they were responsible for his 12-week prison sentence – Lord Ahmed was suspended from the Labour Party. And then he saw the light. He told the Huffington Post:
“I only believe in facts and to be honest I should have stuck with the facts rather than with conspiracy theories. I completely and unreservedly apologise to the Jewish community, to the judiciary, to the newspaper owners.”
A FUNNY thing happened at the BBC. When Boris Johnson was interviewed by Eddie Mair on the Andrew Marr show, the subject of the London mayor’s love life came up. Mair wondered if Johnson had lied about having an extra-marital affair.
All good stuff.
Only problem is that if adultery is an issue, will BBC question masters, such as Andrew Marr, have their private lives scrutinised? It could help us viewers establish what angle they are coming from. It might be a case of ‘why aren’t you having an affair’?
And then what about other guests, such as, say, Bill Wyman, who appeared on the trusty Beeb’s sofa. Bill “chatted about his new photography exhibition – including talking through his nature photos, his time with the Rolling Stones, and concert photography.” He did not alk about Mandy Smith.
DOES the Sun like Boris Johnson, the charismatic London mayor? Not much. But at least it could be consistent. In “BoJo boo-boo“, the Sun’s editorial mentions the story of how Boris – “hardly ever off the telly” – helped a scooter rider knocked from his bike on a London street.
“The dazed victim hadn’t a clue who his recuer was.”
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)