Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Another AL Kennedy classic..

AL Kennedy is a strange, strange commentator.

She appears to live in a manichean world, where the constant ballte between light and dark is fought between Tony Blair and George Bush versus everyone else in the world, whose gentle common sense, sanity and sweet reason is perverted, distorted and assaulted by these demons in human form.

"..Bush and Blair together are the Laurel and Hardy of demonic foreign policy, Bush and Blair apart are quite evil enough to provoke spontaneous vomiting in small children."

Now, that's pretty evil.

This revelation of the darkness in the souls of her leaders has led Ms Kennedy to become rather enraged, sadly at the expense of both prose style and meaning.

Here is her description of Bush-

"Being an utter bastard with numbing consistency is his only speciality beyond mangling his native language and playing golf like an unhinged Muppet in times of crisis"

I like the imagery of a bastardly, incoherent, unhinged, muppet. Animal or Kermit?

Reading these commentaries is like talking to an alcholic with extremely bad breath. You know there is a point being made, but the fumes and the stink make you utterly unable to focus on it.

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No more Butler saw

As the Butler report is now out, can we have a general amnesty for "what the Butler saw?" cliches.

For those sub editors struggling for a replacement cliche, may I suggest "Butler says the spies did it"

Sidebar: The butler report is 216 pages long. It was made available to the media at 11.30am.

Analysis (on any side) that appears before about 5pm is therefore being produced by a reporter who hasn't read it fully and the report is to be distrusted. the same is true times 5 for any reporters for 24 hour news channels, whose journalists are spending half the day in front of a camera and can't be reading it carefully.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Here's a few Billion I spent earlier..

We're suffering from investment fatigue. Gordon Brown stands up declares that he will spend £16 googolplex on Childcare and collectively the political class sighs, shrugs shoulders and whispers, "yes, but did you see the body language?"
It's like Christmas has come all over again for public services. Of course, there's always someone who has to pay, and this time King Gordon has announced the slaughter of the first division association to pay for at all. In the New Labour bethlehem, It's not the innocents, but the tax gatherers who face a good piking.
Still, it's hard, even for me, for there to be much disagreement about downsizing the civil service. Over the Eighties and Nineties, everyone else slimmed down the back offices, delayered, computerised, out sourced and reduced headcount. It's siple really. The advent of computing should lead to a cull of white collar workers.

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Monday, July 12, 2004

A period of silence would be helpful.

What a bunch of clowns. On the day of the comprehensive spending review, I wake up to an avalanche of columns about…. whether Tony Blair nearly resigned a month ago and whether Gordon Brown will succeed him

a) Immediately.
b) Soon
c) After the next general election.
d) One day
e) Never.

All anyone seems able to do is roll the magic 8 ball and announce their own prediction. So the Sun has Tony in charge for another 5 years. (By the way, is there anything more stupid than briefing the Sun that the PM wants to stay until he has "locked Britain into the heart of Europe"? Duhhhh). The Mirror's Kevin Maguire on the other hand, thinks that it will be a phoenix like recovery for Blair to last until party conference.

Away from those nasty red-tops, The Mail claims it's all Peter Mandelson's doing, the Sunday Telegraph says that Cherie stopped Tony from quitting and Tim Hames in the Times tells everyone to calm down. The Times also has an article saying some sources suggest that Ed Miliband (brother of the more famous David, son of the more clever Ralph) demanded that Alistair Campbell tell him when Tony B would stand down, but that both Ed and al say it ain't so. Michael White is bored of the whole thing, but produces a column on the topic anyway. Oh, and the telegraph says everything in the garden is rosy and Tony and Gordon are getting on fine.

No-one cares what the Independent or Express thinks.

Since all these stories are wildly contradictory, the only conclusion possible is that a bunch of idiots are talking crap to journalists.

Sack them all. I don't care if they're cabinet ministers, special advisers, senior sources or confidantes, any senior Labour figure spreading this stuff is a numpty of the first order. As an embedded blogger for Labour's poor bloody infantry, I'm mad as hell. Do these idiots not think that we've got something more important to talk about this week?*

Aaargh, just by writing this means I'm adding to this nonsense. So here's my advice. Don't read any politcal reporting about the Blair leadership. the only person who knows the truth is Blair and he's not going to tel anyone the truth for very good reasons. Everything else is speculation.

Save yourself the effort and read something witty, to the point, entertaining and accurate. fafblog. It's the best blog.

*I am aware of the conspiracy theory that holds that is a distraction from Butler, but as it's on the wrong day, is massively damaging and only the launching of a doomsday device at London by invading Martians would knock Butler off the front pages, I'm dubious.

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