Archive for September, 2005

Question Time

Friday, September 30th, 2005

I would like to propose a new feature for BBC's Question Time. At the end of the program there should be an audience clapometer to indicate how well they thought the panel faired. Maybe a custard pie for the one with the worst rating?

From last night's program my impression of the panel was… (oh, and please feel free to comment!)

Ken Clarke
Surprisingly accomplished performance by the hush puppied, jowler wobbling old boy. His candidacy for the Tory leadership was, I originally thought, quite comical. But his apparent honesty and people's touch have won him many supporters and his momentum (all of it) is gaining. Had the popular vote from the audience – or was it a protest vote. Almost blew it at the end by denouncing wind power in favour of nuclear.

Simon Hughes
Muddled and incoherent arguments with no real passion or self belief. Came out with a few mediocre pro-liberal stabs but was largely ineffective. Was chastised by Dimbleby for not answering a question and then behaved like a naughty school boy.

Janet Street-Porter
Excellent performance all round. That end of the table always seems to be reserved for people with lucid opinions who have no need for accountability, but she spoke buckets of common sense and was very eloquent in execution. Her obsession with anti-private practice in the NHS was, however, a little naive and unrealistic.

Steven Green
What a tit! Wasn't able to form a single opinion of his own without first quoting from the bible. A miserable performance at ever conceivable level that would make even (his) God utterly embarrassed. Every time he spoke there was a collective groan from the audience. He made me feel slightly sick.

Patricia Hewitt
This can't have been easy for her as the knives were out and sharpened by the audience and fellow panellers alike. Despite the tide of public opinion against her she gave a robotic performance designed to disarm her (and government) critics by deliberately waffling on about absolutely nothing for as long as she was allowed to get away with. Sapped up precious broadcasting time with bags of government spin, empty sentiments and painfully slow delivery. Pathetic Hewitt. Should have had a sack of potatoes instead.

David Dimbleby
Possibly the sharpest and most hostile I have seen him in a long time – gave the panel a tough time and elicited some hard truths (especially from God's Twit). Apart from when he kept banging on about an IDS quotation to Ken Clarke to the point of embarrassment, he was otherwise quite brilliant.

True Democracy

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

So, during the Labour party conference yesterday Walter Wolfgang, 82, shouted "nonsense!" during Jack Straw's speech, just when he was trying to get the point across that they were only in Iraq to build democracy. This was clearly a breach of freedom of speech – Jack Straw has every right to say what he thinks. Iraq was then shown how a proper democracy should work by the efficient and swift removal of this evil and dangerous man, by Straw's Security (otherwise known as the 'SS'). As it transpires, this man was clearly a threat to security as he has a history of evading authorities. Only in 1937 did he manage to escape from Nazi Germany! Our own authorities (otherwise known as 'The Police') fortunately acted quickly enough to prevent any further security breach and detained him under the Terrorism Act. Or was the fox hunting act..erm, well which ever one they used, it had the desired effect.

This was a close call for Labour, and lessons must be learnt. Not only did this man interrupt a speech by a member of The Party, he even had the audacity to question the integrity of the Foreign Secretary! Either these conferences need to be held in private or we need better screening of members of the audience. Just one glance at his name should have told the conference organisers that he might be trouble – why was he let in at all?

I hope the people of Iraq can learn from this incident. In a true democracy (the one we're giving you), freedom of speech is very important and must be preserved at all costs: but for heaven's sake, just make sure that its from people you know and trust! You have the full weight of your own security forces (the ones we're giving you) in order to impose your freedom of speech and ensure that your future (the one we're ruined you) isn't compromised by silly little men like these.

Take Responsibility? Go on then!

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Today we saw Kate Moss' reluctant PR effort to stem the over-hyped media reaction to taking cocaine – something that isn't exactly a new phenomena in the modelling world – by issuing a statement that she takes "full responsibility for [her] actions". Great, well done. So what's she going to actually do about it that's 'responsible'? Is she going to check into the Priory clinic and embark on a useless course of therapy? Is she going to go to the police and tell them where she got the drug from? (not that they'd have to look very far – check out the mumbling mess that's attached to her hand who goes by the name of Pete). Is she going to issue another statement and claim that taking cocaine was a mistake that she'll never do again?

No she'll no doubt ride the current buzz (sorry..) and wait for it to pass before restarting her excellent modelling career. Can't really blame her though, as the current political climate is rife with senior politicians "taking responsibility" but not actually doing anything to correct their admitted errors. George W. Bush took "responsibility" for the farcical handling of hurricane Katrina – but did nothing. Blair took "responsibility" for the Iraqi WMD debacle and did even less! Words, words, and yet more twisted words.

The problem is that as more people use this phrase, it's meaning diminished. Lenny Bruce used this desensitisation to great effect – try saying "nigger" over and over again and eventually it becomes a surreal collection of consonants and vowels without racial overtones.

All this is not exactly a good example to set to the younger generation who are always being derided for their apparent lack of responsibility. If I was them, I'd be pretty confused.

Perhaps a more appropriate phrase would be "absorbing responsibility".

Thank God for the Lib Dems?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Well done to Charles Kennedy for coming out with the stunning revelation that "Blair is costing lives". At last a British politician has done some plain speaking that attacks Bush's preposterous "War On Terror". He also makes the connection between the invasion and an increase in the threat of terrorism – a widely held view that Blair is belligerently refusing to accept. Kennedy should be applauded for making such a stance, but the guy's a twit so I'm not going to. Maybe that's a bit harsh, after all he's in charge of a party full of twits – despite having some of the most sensible and honest policies in the UK. Shame.