Anorak News | Britblog Roundup 133

Britblog Roundup 133

by | 3rd, September 2007

Greetings one and all to this week’s Britblog Roundup, drawing together the best of the past seven days’ blogging as nominated by readers and correspondents.

In addition to this electronic version, I will be discussing selected highlights from the roundup with Chris Vallance on Radio 5 Live’s “Pods and Blogs” show in the small hours of Monday night / Tuesday morning (Doctorvee will be on to talk about the Scottish Blogging Roundup as well). I’ll post a link to the audio version of the interview when it’s available for those who want to savour my honeyed tones.

Gosh, this is thirsty work. Wait; ah, that’s better. Sweet liquor… eases the pain. Yes, the roundup.

The big story this week was the tenth anniversary of Diana’s death – at least according to the media. Perhaps I’m being cynical, but this struck me as an entirely media-driven event – a sombre one, no doubt, for the young princes, Diana’s close friends and family, and the ludicrous Mohammed Fayed, but the world has moved on and, unless you are responsible for setting the front page of the Daily Express, people have other preoccupations. Anyway, Alex Massie had a thoughtful piece on what Diana meant (and means), and His Grace Archbishop Cranmer had some sharp words for what he terms the “Dianification” of the Tories.

The Tories took a bit of flak from all over the blogs this week, in fact, despite the fact that the other big story of the week, violent crime, was generally reckoned to be one that plays well for the Conservatives. Don’t Trip Up cautioned Team Cameron against tacking to the right, while the Ministry of Truth took apart Dave’s asinine pronouncements on violent video games.

Jonathan Calder had some more general thoughts on the media prism through which our politicians’ success or failure is seen, and Cicero’s Songs, who is considering standing for Parliament himself, ponders the sacrifices that men make when they enter that arena – with honesty, nuance and vision, seemingly, being the first to fall by the wayside.

Finally, this week also saw the sad news that Arnold Schwarzenegger has pulled out of appearing at the Tory conference (which will hugely disappoint at least one Scottish Conservative of my acquaintance). Curious Snippets from a Cynical Optimist bids the great man hasta la vista.

From further to our right comes the curious tale of Ferdie, the BNP supporter sitting on the platform at Maze Hill train station.

Ferdie says that the only parties he has respect for are the BNP and the Green Party. At least they stand for something.

My ears prick up at this point. Up to then I’ve been leaving James to “handle” the conversation, which he’s been doing quite nicely with a series of non-commital “yeah mates” mindful of the fact that this may not be Ferdie’s first can of the day and that he has a big scar running along his left cheek and terminating at the corner of his mouth. A pretty serious scar. I’m interested for two reasons, firstly as I’ve always suspected that the BNP and the Green Party are going to make big gains in the near future, the only parties capable of capturing any kind of fallout from the long dire years of Thatcherite Centrism and largely because a local Green councillor I work with has often said that traditional, disillusioned Labour voters will often, when canvassed, say that they’ll vote BNP first choice, Green second if anyone stands in their ward.

The second reason is that Ferdie’s black.

On your left, meanwhile – or maybe not – Ming Campbell as the Capo di tutti Capi and Chris Huhne as Batman? Believe it. Further left still – or maybe not – the Skipper has some choice words for the fat cats raking it in at the top of British business.

Finally on party politics, a Lib Dem writes of hypocrisy chez Islington Labour, and Justin’s warm feelings towards foxes are in inverse proportion to his views on Brighton Council.

This was also a week in which there was plenty of discussion about that hardy perennial, the coming environmental apocalypse. From Lancashire comes a bizarre story about Preston City Council, who are apparently considering building floating homes on the Ribble, to the derision of the blog campaigning to save that river from the developers.

The global warming cynics are still out in force. Wayne reckons that the so-called consensus on climate change is bogus. I myself spotted something in Private Eye which caused some amusement; a company in America (where else?) who are offering to offset the greenhouse gases created by human flatulence.

Fart Neutral™’s goal is to bring attention to global warming in a unique and humorous way.

We offer a line of gift cards, t-shirts and other items, each of which comes with a certificate for a 1000 lbs. reduction in greenhouse gases. The 1000 lbs. greenhouse gases reduction not only neutralizes a person’s farts for one year, but it also offsets greenhouse gases created in the actual production of the apparel and gift cards.

A purchase from Fart Neutral™ is truly “green from top to bottom.”

Cynics like me have criticised the BBC for planning to devote a whole day to something called “Planet Relief” when it’s supposed to be impartial. But over at the Miscellany Symposium, on the other hand, they take a rather different view. The Beeb don’t give equal time to racists, so why should they humour climate change deniers?

One unalloyed benefit of the media’s obsession with global warming; it has thawed The Tin Drummer from his hibernation.

A few unrelated snippets: the link between Robert Graves, Claudius eating poisoned mushrooms, and the CIA’s experiments with LSD is explored by Blood and Treasure.

One man whom we wish would eat a poisoned mushroom; Jamie Oliver. (Some choice language in that one.)

From the provocatively named Benefit Scrounging Scum comes a small vignette of the contradictions of the NHS – you can have a boob job if your flat chest causes you psychological distress, but a motorised wheelchair is still denied to someone who needs it. And so she is sitting at home blogging when she could be out with her friends.

Speaking of sitting at home blogging, the Thunderdragon explains why a 22 year-old blogs when presumably he should be out riding his bike and playing conkers, or whatever 22 year-olds do nowadays.

Chris Dillow poses an interesting riddle: why is Britney Spears’ fanny like the Guardian? (Apart from both being bookmarked on my laptop.)

And finally for this week, my absolute personal favourite. From the Overnight Editor comes a fabulous poem: “Do Not Exceed The Stated Dose”. If you only bother to click on one of the posts in this roundup, make it this one.

That’s your lot for this week. Till next Sunday, as the man said: Toodle-pip!

Source: Mr Eugenides 

Posted: 3rd, September 2007 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink