Thursday, June 24, 2004

In case you get bored watching the game tonight...

This is brilliant!


Marvellous news! Bill Clinton has a book!

Cool, I've just finished another chapter of the PhD! Speaking of epic tomes, I bought the Clinton autobiography on Tues. Despite the pasting it has received in the press and, predictably, by conservative commentators, it isn't actually that bad. Sure, I'm only a couple of hundred pages in, but it is already better than Hillary's. For starters, he can actually write coherently. Also, a lot of the book might seem dull to those only interested in salacious gossip about his philanderings, or Whitewater, but I actually find the way he talks about his background candid and refreshing.

Oh, and unlike a lot of people who have reviewed it, I'm actually bothering to read it...Updates soon

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Trashing the Blue Peter Garden

I've just found out something that, if it is true, is quite amazing. Apologies if this is esoteric, but does anyone remember when the Blue Peter garden was vandalised back in 1983? I was only 5, but I have a really clear memory of one of the presenters crying.

Well, apparently, one of the culprits was veteran footballer Les Ferdinand!!! This is only a rumour, and I'd really appreciate some confirmation.

Monday, June 21, 2004

FBU

This didn't seem to make any headlines at all, but probably has greater implications for the government than the current furore over the EU.

Labour traditionally relies on the unions, not only for financial backing (and the withdrawal of FBU support will cost the party a cool £50K), but for a core base of support. The implications of this move could reach to the next election and beyond, but it doesn't seem to be something that either the press or the Tories have picked up on. What will be interesting to watch is if other members of the 'awkward squad' of unions (i.e. Unison) follow this lead...

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Brave prediction...

Right, I'm off home in a minute to work in front of the football. I'm going to stick my neck out and say a 2-2 draw. This will leave us needing to win against Croatia and hope goal difference will see us through. Which it won't.

Ukip - some serious points

I'd like to thank Josh Chavetz for bringing me to my senses about Ukip. I've posted fairly flippantly on its rise in the past few weeks, but there is a serious side to their success, which should concern everyone involved.

Josh rightly points out that Ukip's philosophy is underpinned by some fairly unsavoury principles, namely racism, anti-semitism and homophobia. There have been a number of similar accounts since the elections of the less palatable side of Ukip, of which this article by Aidan Rankin is one of the most revealing, but none brought it home to me until now.

I'd like to add a few points of my own. Firstly, while I cannot argue with the need for a reasoned debate on Britain's relationship with Europe, Ukip's platform has nothing to do with Euroscepticism and everything to do with xenophobia, appealing to the lowest common denominator. For those who don't agree, I'd simply point to this election broadcast.

If this isn't enough, any party which embraces a recently disgraced for his racist views, a homophobe, a wife beater, and a convicted fraudster has a lot of ground to make up.

Finally, I'd simply point you to the Ukip manifesto, with its reference to 'freedom from overcrowding'. According to Ukip, "the UK population at 60 million is higher than ever before. We live on a small island. Our cities are overcrowded, our roads clogged up and our railways are grinding to a halt. Our doctors' surgeries cannot cope and the hospital waiting lists are growing. New housing estates are covering the countryside. In 2002, the UK government allowed in another 200,000 people. The UK Independence party will put an end to mass immigration."

Sorry, this is turning into a bit of a rant. I've got more, but this will do for starters.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Dead celebrities are rising...!

It all started so predictably, with Kilroy and boxing promoter Frank Maloney (and homophobe) moving into the fold. Now the number of long-forgotten celebrities endorsing Ukip is rising at an alarming rate. The list so far is:

Joan Collins
Jonathan Aitken
Anne Diamond
Rusty Lee
Geoffrey Boycott

If I've missed anyone, let me know.

Seriously though, what is the point of all these 'celebrity' endorsements? Is anyone really more likely to vote Ukip because Anne Diamond tells them to?

Update: My money is on Vanessa Feltz

Monday, June 14, 2004

Election fallout

Kevin Drum spoils a good post by making links between support for the war in Iraq and the poor showing for the UK and Italy in the EU elections last week.

As much as I wish he were right, I'm afraid that this is just wishful thinking. Almost all incumbent governments (Spain being the most notable exception) got a 'kicking', including Germany and France. While the war no doubt played a part in the UK, I can't help but think he is reaching a little too far this time...

Welcome to my new home...!

I've decided to move from Xanga to Blogspot in an attempt to broaden my blogging experience beyond Coop and Matt (no offence guys!)

I'm updating this site at the minute, but in the meantime, you can go to my old blog

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