Archive for September, 2004

Reading (In)Comprehension

September 28th, 2004

Melanie Phillips is distressed at the Prime Minister’s failure to give the speech that Melanie Phillips would have given to the Labour Party conference earlier today. He has, therefore, “muffed it”, “bottled out”, and “made precisely the leap of logic which has given such impetus to the anti-war zealots”, and so on and so forth.

OK, moving along…

Then, she finds another part of the speech over which to become exercised…

And remember when to be in favour of gay rights was to be a loony leftie, race relations was political correctness, and Red Ken frightened people even as brave as your own leadership? Now the parties compete for the gay vote, unite against the BNP and Ken has led and won the debate on congestion charging and community policing. So many things that used to divide our country bitterly, now unite it in healthy consensus…

Think for a moment about what this passage indicates to you.Then follow this link and find out what it indicates to Melanie Phillips about Mr Blair.

Then goggle a bit, giggle a bit, and after that go and pour yourself a large drink.

Dead Socialist Watch, #120

September 28th, 2004

Victor Grayson, British socialist and MP, born in Liverpool, 5 September 1881, disappeared in London (presumed murdered) 28 September 1920.

Dead Socialist Watch, #119

September 28th, 2004

André Breton, surrealist, poet, born 18 February 1896, died 28 September 1966.

Widmerpool Award?

September 28th, 2004

I mentioned yesterday that right-wing hack Stephen Pollard was going to win next year’s Widmerpool Award, which celebrates, among other things, pomposity, self-importance and lack of self-awareness. But now Crooked Timber’s Chris Bertram emails me to suggest that there may be physical as well temperamental affinities between Anthony Powell’s immortal creation Kenneth Widmerpool and Pollard.

Well, are there? You decide.

The pics on the left are images of Kenneth Widmerpool at different stages of the life-cycle, taken from the Channel Four adaptation of A Dance to the Music of Time (and lifted from the excellent website). The pics on the right are images of Stephen Pollard, lifted from here, here and here.

I’ve cropped and resized these images to carve out irrelevant detail, and presented them here in low resolution to save on bandwidth, but I haven’t otherwise buggered around with the photos, the originals of which you can find by clicking on each of them.

In other news, Pollard fessed up to pulling numbers out of his arse, and insists that all he ever meant to do with his ridiculous claim that the EU kills a person every 13 seconds was encourage other people to produce a more credible estimate. Ho hum.


September 27th, 2004

Have you read this, about the British National Party?

Crap Towns

September 27th, 2004

So here’s another list of crap towns:

4-Glasgow and Edinburgh

What to make of this? I’m surprised to see Glasgow so high, which has always seemed to me to be a fine place, and I’ve always enjoyed visiting Nottingham, wihch I do about once a year, and which has very nice new trams these days. I dare say Edinburgh makes the list because the city pisses off significant groups of the kind of people who vote in this kind of poll rather than because it’s an all-things-considered crap town.The others are something of an unknown quantity to me, though I’ve heard bad things about Sunderland. (Can it be true, as has been alleged to me, that this city of 300,000 people doesn’t have a cinema? That seems very weird.) And I’m not sure that Clapham really counts as a town in its own right, though I’m happy to be corrected.

Booze News

September 27th, 2004

Oddbins in Oxford now sell Anchor Steam and Liberty Ale (also from the Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco), both of which are splendid.