Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Defying convention

I'm big enough to reach across the partisan divide and say that the White House snub of Michael Howard is just wrong. It has been widely reported that, apparently angered by Howard's calls for Tony Blair to resign in the wake of the Iraq war, Karl Rove told him to 'forget' about meeting the President.

If the Bush administration is prepared to breach convention and so obviously state its preference for the outcome of the next general election in the UK, surely it is fair that, regardless of our political persuasion, we do the same.

Badge of honour

This is the most wonderful, wonderful thing. Will the RNC come up with anything better?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004


Yay! It's my birthday! Boo! I'm working! But yay! I got a Daily Politics mug!

Also, via John & Belle, this article made my morning. It's funny because, although I can't quite believe it, it seems to be true.

Just look at the guy's picture - he seems to be doing a cross between a fascist salute and that thing where you playfully punch someone on the chin. Except on himself.

Imagine him trying to pick up girls. Scary.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Last Action Hero

'What did you do on your hols Tone?'

'Nothing much Jonno, you?'

'I bloody saved a member of the public from drowning! Am I closing on the title of the most knockabout MP ever or what!?! I mean Christ! Look at me!'

'Well, Nye Bevan was a big guy...'

Damn you Fabricant!!!

Well, summer is here and the Westminster village lays silent. Champagne Tony is in Athens and the rest are doing, well, whatever it is they do on their hols. A lack of politics in the news has left a hack like me with nothing to do to occupy his time (erm – except maybe write my thesis!?!).

So I thought I’d share a couple of stories about the Tory legend that is Michael Fabricant, the MP with a name most resembling that of a Bond villain.

Michael narrowly misses out being included on the ‘political hairdos’ series as he doesn’t possess a combover, but a particularly luxuriant wig. To be correct - a Woganesque three luxuriant wigs of varying length – presumably to give the impression of growth. The longest of these, however, is of truly huge proportions. Think Limahl, or Pat Sharpe in his pomp. Its Commons debut drew a collective gasp from the gallery.

The coiffured one also has a rather interesting night time habit (not that kind of habit – I’ve got no intention of turning into a kind of liberal Drudge). His Parliamentary office is near the roof, and occasionally, Michael has been know to venture out and, using the floodlights, project ‘bunny head’ shapes onto Big Ben.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Summer is rubbish

Rain, wasps and no Brains Trust until September.

Not sure if I'm going to cope, seeing as I'm the kind of degenerate who giggles everytime he sees Richard Titmuss on a reading list...

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Political hairdos

Part 1 of an occasional series of topical political combovers

Nominee for CIA Director, Porter Goss:


Subtle, but distinguished. His hairline is concealed like a commie spy.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Non-story of the week

Oh, come on. What exactly is The Guardian trying to prove? No-one in the Labour Party really cares what is written in Renewal, let alone the outside world.

(Regular readers might want to look out for a hasty retraction of the above statement next time I have an article to hawk).

A plague on sport

Over at CT, Kieran Healy raises a subject that has always worried me. The use of performance-enhancing drugs appears endemic in athletics, not to mention other sports.

The way I see it, the problem isn't so much to do with pressure to compete, but that the use of illegal supplements and drugs has become an acceptable risk in the eyes of coaches and athletes alike. From my limited experience in high-level sport, almost everyone takes some form of (legal) supplement, not through personal choice, but because it is expected by managers and coaches. Protein supplements are incorporated into an athletes training regime and provided free of charge after training sessions. I can see that it can only be a short step between this and being persuaded to take performance-enhancing drugs.

Despite the fact that I'm usually really careful about what I put into my body, I'm ashamed to say that I've been persuaded to take the supplements provided without knowing exactly what was in them. Mind you, it didn't do me much good...!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Born to run

Now we all know the Boss speaks from the heart. But I sincerely believe that if he'd chosen to campaign by himself, he'd have had more impact. I just don't think any of those other bands can speak to ordinary Americans in the way that Springsteen does. REM just embody the kind of sixth form poetry that enrages you so much it makes you, y'know, want to slap someone just for the hell of it. And the Dixie Chicks? For Chrissakes man!

It's also really interesting to notice Bruce's luke-warm endorsement of Kerry/Edwards. Sure, he wants them to win, but I get the impression that like many of us, he can't help but wonder 'then what'. The truth is that whichever way you cut it, neither of them are fit to lace his boots.

Update: I was sorely tempted to title this post 'Bruce Almighty'.

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