SARAH Brown’s diary is being serialised in the Daily Mail. She wants to talk about her time living rent free in the middle of London with Gordon Brown. The Guardian writes:
A Stakhanovite prime minister might have thought the nation would pay for his bacon rolls when he was toiling on its behalf to steady the world’s economy.
Sarah Brown’s diary of life in No 10, serialised in the Daily Mail, shows that when her husband was at work, officials asked her to provide breakfast. She refused, saying the prime minister was not technically “at home”, and was later bemused to get a bill for 200 breakfasts they had provided.
COLONEL Gaddafi has ordered his own people to be murdered. The reports are of more than 300 dead. The world is outraged. But that number is not far off the 270 murdered in the Lockerbie bombing. Is the world still outraged by that? Are our political elite still demanding action on that?
On 21 December 1988, Pan Am flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland. Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was head of security for Libyan Arab Airlines. In 2001, he was sentenced at a Scottish court sitting in a disused US air base, Camp Zeist, in the Netherlands.
Libya admitted responsibility and paid compensation to the victims. Al-Megrahi said he was innocent. But his appeal was never heard. He dropped it.
LIBYA: This is today’s AFP/Getty picture in yet another brilliant Guardian piece on the Libya uprisings.
This is Saif al-Islam Gaddafi (The Sword of Islam) on Libya’s state television station. He says civil war is close unless order is restored. He’s wrong of course. When 250 people are murdered by State troops it has gone beyond a civil disturbance.
Muammar Gaddafi’s son was on the box to defend his father’s 41-year rule of Libya as protests spread to the capital Tripoli following the bloody and terrifying murders of protesters in Benghazi. The death toll is thought to be over 250.
SO. There was David Cameron using his position as Chief Big Society to sidle up to Kevin Spacey, artistic director of The Old Vic, and hand him a Big Society Award outside No 10 Downing Street. The actual award looks designed to be stuck to the bumper of a car.
Perhaps that’s what the Big Society (BS) is – a slogan to follow.
KIM Jong Il has yet to declare war on Justin Bieber for the singing foetus’s slight on his country. And No. 1 Kim is not letting it spoil his birthday. He’s got his party hat on. He’s opening his gift.
Russian mascot Dmitri Medvedev, has sent him this message:
Respected Your Excellency Kim Jong Il,
I congratulate you on your birthday.
I believe that you would make contribution to strengthening and developing the traditional Russia-DPRK good-neighborly relations at the responsible post of chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission in the future, too.
I wish you good health and success in your important and responsible work.
DAVID Cameron’s been at Toynbee Hall to make a speech on welfare reform. Dave humbly calls it “the most ambitious, fundamental and radical changes to the welfare system” since it was created.
It might be part of Dave’s Big Society. But no-one understands what Big Society means, least of all Dave who says it’s his “mission in politics”. When you’re mission is a vague mish-mash of cloudy bollocks, achieving it may be possible or impossible. The bollocks may even be the mission.
TIME for a bit of TV news fakery. YouTube user SaveOurSovereignty3 noticed that when Texas Congressman Ron Paul defeated mainstream Republican Mitt Romney in the CPAC straw poll 2011, Fox News reported the booing that followed the announcement of his name. Only, the TV people used film of people booing at the 2010 event.
IN Syria – the place George Galloway says “represents the last castle of the Arab dignity and the Arab rights” – 19-year-old blogger Tal al-Molouhi has been jailed for five years. Her crime? Revealing information to a foreign country.
Molouhi was charged with “revealing information that should remain hushed to a foreign country“.
THE Libyan Day of Rage will take place on 17 February. Muammar Gaddafi gears up for the protests modeled on events in Tunisia and Egypt by trying to deflect any protest away from himself. He wants Muslims to fight the West:
Gaddafi also issued a call for Islamic nations to join its strength against the Western powers and said that the world is split into white – a reference to the United States and Europe and their allies – and green – a reference to the Muslim world.
He said that white has decided to get rid of the color green and that these countries must unite against the White because all of them white, he said is the enemy of Islam.
IN this video, India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will spend three minutes reading out wrong speech to the UN Security Council meeting. Mr Kirshna will read out a speech created for Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado.
Anorak approves. This is how all diplomacy should be conducted. You toss the speeches into the air, everyone pulls one out and thus takes turns at being the bad guy or the good guy.
What relief it would be for Ahmadinejad to talk about his support for Brazil’s National Thong Day; for Barack Obama to actually be a Muslim leader for a while, say of Syria, and call for the leader of the Opposition to be shot in the face; and who would not pay good money to hear David Cameron demand that Australia be a Republic and free of Pommy bastards?
THERE are people in Trafalgar Square talking about solidarity with Egypt. One man holds up a sign says “Freedom For Palestine”. From what: Hamas or Hezbollah? Maybe both. You can take your pick of all manner of nutters in the Middle East you’d like to be free of. Maybe the Free Palestinians can wave in the Muslim Brotherhood, who are all for a free Palestine: one free of anyone who disagrees with fundamentalist Islam.
As for Egypt’s freedom… Well, what comes next? They are free of Mubarak. Are they free of the US? No. Not yet. Maybe. Obama is vacillating: Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells the House Intelligence Committee that the Muslim Brotherhood is “largely secular“.
THAT John Hirst is a murderingracist is matter of public record. But can we at least admire his achievement in getting out MPs to face the problem with European laws? The European Court of Human Rights agreed with Hirst that banning prisoners from voting was wrong. The big debate ensues: should all prisoners, whatever their crime, be banned from voting?
HARRY Baals is huge in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The new game in town is to say Harry Baals as often as possible. When Harry Baals was mayor it was easy to say Harry Baals. But now you need to build a Government centre to get Harry Baals back into your daily chat.
The city already has Harry Baals Drive. And the people want a Harry Baals centre. Democracy counts. Although the perky newsreader says that just because Baals gets the most votes it means nothing. This is why Saddam Hussein got into power. It was either him or the German-born academic Helmut Hertz. Democracy died a little that day…
On Tuesday we say “open sesame” to the delicious healthy cuisine of our peace-loving friends in the Middle East. That exciting region has been in the news a lot recently, especially Egypt. This week we learned that ancient land is much more than just pyramids and mummies – it’s also a place where people get disappointed when they lose their internet connection. While you are enjoying lunch, talk with your friends about Egyptian current events. Who are the ‘good guys’? Who are the ‘bad guys’? What should I do? When you have an answer, write an essay and send it to me. You might win an all- expense-paid diplomacy trip with my State Department team!
WAEL Ghonim is not only famous for being named after a Lulu Shout – he’s also the popular face of the protest in Egypt. The protests in Egypt have been leading the news agenda for days. Nothing is certain other than that the protests are a big news event.
On the TV, Western commentators arrive on camera to talk about Egypt and the will of the people.
A senior Egyptian official confirms to Fox News that President Hosni Mubarak will step down shortly and transfer authority to the Egyptian Higher Council of the Armed Forces as Egypt’s state TV says Mubarak will address the nation Thursday evening.