Saturday, January 28, 2006

News roundup

Gerard Baker writes in the Times today that war with Iran may be a necessity. Do Americans have the stomach for another fight? Yes, says the LA Times finding 57% in favour.

The Birmingham Guild of Students have suspended the Christian Union and frozen their assets because they insisted that membership be restricted to, err, Christians.
The Christian Union was also advised that the use of the highly controversial words "men" and "women" in the constitution were causing concern becuase they were excluding transsexuals.

Sir Ian Blair, Met chief, thinks the media are "institutionally racist". Whilst there can be no doubt that the media give greater prominence to the murder of whites, they also consistently downplay the involvement of ethnic minorities in murder. "Institutionally illogical" is probably fairer.

So will Hamas carry out their promise made in December to introduce a tax on non-Muslims. We shall see.

Cartoon rage continues in Denmark. Some background for those not up to speed. In the latest development, Saudi Arabia yesterday recalled their ambassador to Denmark. Freedom of speech means freedom to offend.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Labour - the real succession question

The question is not when will Tony Blair step down as leader of the Labour party but what he will do thereafter.

I invite suggestions.

Mine are

i) full time President of the EU
ii) Secretary General of the United Nations
iii) Celebrity Big Brother contestant 2008
iv) the newly created President of the Earth


Brokeback party

I am not homophobic but i cant stand a hypocrite.
Simon Hughes campaigned in 1983 as the "straight choice" against Peter Tatchell in a very hompohobic campaign.
He has magnanimously decided to declare his sexuality so the voters can be "informed"
So nothing to do with the Sun approaching you at the weekend with gay sex chat line allegations then Si?

Update - LibDem MP Malcolm Bruce on the Today program this morning firmly disagrees with the suggestion that "it's not exactly going to plan is it?".

What is the plan, Malcolm?


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Venezuela is without doubt the new Mecca of the Left cries the BBC excitedly,

"It's obvious why Venezuela is such a magnet for tens of thousands of visitors," comments the leather-elbowed Professor Edgar Lander, one of the main organisers of this year's World Social Forum in Caracas. "The revolutionary process being carried out by the government here has captured the imagination of the world."

Err right, i guess that'll be why Venezuela is still mired in abject poverty despite sitting on a trillion barrels of oil.

Some facts
Total population: 23,000,000
* World’s 5th largest oil exporter, yet 80% of population in poverty
* Population making below $1 a day: 15%
* Unemployment rate: 17%
* 3 out of 10 Venezuelan children live in severe poverty
* 176,000 children are beggars
* 50% of children 0-6 years are undernourished
* 4.5 million children are in need: 48,000 are prostitutes, 600,000 left school, one million work
* Fewer than 50% complete secondary education due to a chronic shortage of schools

Still, despite an onslaught of tree-huggers, darjeeling tea-sippers and we-are-the-worlders, not even Professor Lander can stop a market forming.

"The Chavez T-shirt is my bestseller, I've sold six shirts within the space of an hour. I'm making a profit of $7 per item." says Luz Castillo, who owns a little stall next to the conference centre for the Caracas World Social Forum without a trace of irony.

God bless him.


Hate the BBC, love the viewers

Has anyone noticed how wildly different are the opinions of the BBC from its viewers
Four excerpts from the excellent Have Your Say site

i) Is Iran right to develop nuclear energy?
and the most popular answer
"Let's see...Leader of Iran is threatening daily to purport the destruction of another country, hates the west and all it stands for, is sitting on plenty of oil to heat the home and drive the cars, and we're all just supposed to take his word that he's just a slightly misunderstood, actually nice guy who will never, ever, ever use the technology for nuclear weapons. Sorry, but I'm not that gullible. But in order to appease, the world will probably elect him king of the UN."

ii) Can a culture of respect be introduced?
the most popular answer could have been written by Mary Whitehouse herself
"Those of us children of the 50's will remember the rules enforced in schools of that era. Teachers were addressed as Sir or Miss and various deterrents were used according to the misdemeanour. These included 'lines' and the ultimate deterrent - the cane. Up to six strokes would be administered depending on the misbehaviour. We never told out parents or it would result in another 'good-hiding'.Until discipline is restored in the schools nothing will change."

iii) Do you trust firms to tackle global warming?
the most popular answer would make all lovers of Adam Smith proud "If it is cheaper to pollute, then firms will do so. Until pollution becomes more expensive than the alternative, there is no incentive for firms to clean their act up and reduce their profits. Ultimately, profit is the reason firms exist and they will do nothing to damage their bottom line."

iv) What are your icons of Britain?
and the most popular answer came from Alf Garnett reincarnated as "Smurfette" from London
"How about the ASBO or foul mouthed drunken unemployable yobs in hoodies spitting and dropping litter in the street. The ultimate 'real' icon at the moment is 'the chav' - a real unifier - universally despised and feared by the decent, powerless and silent tax paying majority of all races and creeds. I pity any tourist visiting this country expecting polite reserved well spoken Britons who want to show their nation in the best possible light, cheerful Bobbies, clean safe streets, cream teas, a world class transport system, etc. Being rather ancient, I can remember when this was actually so. Come out of your bunker Tony and dance to the music you've written for the rest of us....."


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

UK whale death - George W to blame

Further evidence of the God-like powers of George W


BBC 'surprised' at Iraqi poll findings

Iraqis and Afghans are among the most optimistic people in the world reports the BBC today,

The BBC finds this "surprising"

err, let me offer some clues to the closeted Primrose Hill chatterers

i) Iraqis used to be ruled by a genocidal tyrant that regularly tortured its citizens. Now they are a democracy
ii) Afghans used to be ruled a 7th century totalitarian facist regime that forced women to wear sackcloths and barred them from education. Now they are a democracy

What the **** is surprising about this?