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Politics

Self-Replacing Elites

The BBC’s Paris correspondent Hugh Schofield is broadly happy with his children’s French education, but he does have one complaint: French schools have absolutely no extra-curricular activities. There are no debating societies, no orchestras, no film clubs, no sports teams, no painting classes, no school newspapers, and no drama, at least none worthy of the […]

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Assimilation

Further to my most recent extended comment on That Bigoted Woman, I note The Mirror reports that Gillian Duffy, who wondered during the UK General Election where all those Eastern Europeans are flocking from, has come out in support of David Miliband for the position leader of the Labour Party. David Miliband is the offspring […]

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Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You

Sarah Palin is a phenomenon: Sarah Palin is a singular national industry. She didn’t invent her new role out of whole cloth. Other politicians have cashed out, used the revolving door, doing well in business after doing good in public service. Entertainment figures like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, and even Ronald Reagan have worked the […]

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Flocking Hell

“Bigotgate” [Deliver us from the media’s standard scandal suffix!] has come to this: There’s a report on the BBC News Website that actually devotes a paragraph and two full-colour charts to a 30-minute dip in Twitter sentiment towards Gordon Brown in response to his tetchy grumbling to an aide in the back of his official […]

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Oops, Odone Again

Most literate adults in the UK know that The Daily Telegraph wants the Conservative Party to win the upcoming General Election. Those who have been following the recent public unravelling of that newspaper’s opinionist Christina Odone—she is to the Telegraph what Madeleine Bunting is The Guardian—know that she particularly wants the LibDems to do badly […]

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Identity Crisis

This week, a friend of mine who still reads The Guardian [online—does anyone not looking for a public sector job still pay for the print edition?] drew my attention to a piece there about how success by the Liberal Democrats at the upcoming General Election could “push out black and Asian MPs”. That is, because the […]

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Two excellent blog posts

The first is at Freemania: The really important thing about Iraq: us Today Gordon Brown gives evidence to the Chilcot inquiry. This weekend, amid violent attacks on polling stations, Iraq holds an election. I wonder which will get the most coverage? The rest of the world exists primarily as a mirror for us. The second […]

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Unfortunate headlines of the day

The BBC News Website has changed its original headline: SARAH PALIN LASHES OBAMA AT FIRST TEA PARTY CONVENTION —bring your houseboy, and let’s party like it’s 1779!—to this one: SARAH PALIN CONDEMNS OBAMA AT FIRST TEA PARTY CONVENTION but, Liz Jones’s latest wibble—search for it if you like; I’m not going to link to it—retains […]

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Bloggertarians, Tin Foil Hat Wearers, Loons

Foes of President Barack Obama and his policies can vent their frustrations by engaging in fictional warfare, thanks to a new online strategy game with a heavy political component. The satirical game 2011: Obama’s Coup Fails, launched last month by a group of Ron Paul supporters that call themselves The Founders, throws players into combat […]

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Evans, Dear Boy, Evans

Via Paulie’s “Shared Items” feed at Never Trust a Hippy, I read on the Democratic Society Blog one of the best “Did Magna Carta die in vain?” comments ever [see foot of the post I link to] and, on Tory Troll, an account of yet another FAIL by frontline interviewers. Here’s a tip for the […]

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The Smell Of Home

I’ve been known to be uncomplimentary here about Tamworth, the town where I grew up. Back in the 80s, an Australian barman once told a friend of mine that, travelling around England, it was the place where he had been beaten up most frequently for being Australian. And he was white. Thanks to Paulie for […]

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Making The Cars Run On Time

Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula One chief, said yesterday that he preferred totalitarian regimes to democracies and praised Adolf Hitler for his ability to “get things done”. Mr Ecclestone endorsed the concept of a government based on tyranny. “Politicians are too worried about elections,” he said. “We did a terrible thing when we supported the idea […]

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The Spirit Of Lord Rothermere Lives On

Every single “serious” newspaper in the UK led with Iran this morning. But The Daily Mail devoted its entire front page to an attack on Gordon Brown and the Iraq Inquiry, and The Express (alongside a photograph of a Euro Lotto winner cradling a giant cabbage) to asylum seekers, the largest group of whom before the war came […]

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“Bringing this agenda towards fruition”

The resignation of Hazel Blears reminded me again that this nation’s government now has a “Department for Communities”. Letting that phrase pass my lips without implied quotation marks would be like vomiting into my mouth without washing it out. Thanks to Kevin Harris’s “neighbourhoods” blog, I can sample a little of that department’s output, a […]

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Position Statement

Tom Freeman doesn’t see the sense in The Times capitalizing the words “Left”, “Right”, and “Centre” when its writers use them to describe political leanings. I think the newspaper is right to do so. Language is a communication channel, and shouldn’t be a fashion accessory or status symbol; however, in this country, more than many […]

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The Squeaky Wheelchair

Paul Evans worked for a company that built Websites for political organizations long before the current crop of johnny-come-latelys started twittering about “digital engagement” and “campaigning 2.0”. This post of his about the kinds of people who use the Net to harass politicians and the kind of people politicians should listen to—two groups that, in […]

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Noblesse blancmange

For some lucky and rich people who describe themselves as Left-wing, one of the worst things about free markets is that they have given the oiks the freedom to enjoy the pleasures that were previously restricted to their betters. A real “socialist” state would provide the lower orders with more suitable goods: perhaps they would […]

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An Apology

I’d like to express my profound regret to everyone reading this post for any offence I might have caused by thinking of writing this post while listening to Radio 2 in the shower at the same time as rubbing my naked body with shower gel. In mitigation, my Webcam was switched off at the time—and in […]

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Clash Of The Titans

From a letter to the Halifax and Calderdale Evening Courier by Jason Smith, the Bradford Chairman of the UK Independence Party: GREEN’S ARREST SHOWS WE ARE BECOMING DICTATORSHIP As unaccustomed as I am to defending Tory MPs, I feel I must speak out about the arrest of Damian Green, who was apparently held for nine […]

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Shug/Shag/Cad

I’ve been very busy this weekend, but here are three things that I enjoyed reading in between upgrades and back-ups: Minette Marrin on Jacqui Smith and UK prostitution1, Shuggy on Barack Obama and the US constitution, and an obituary of William Donaldson: [Donaldson] first came to prominence in 1961 as the London producer of Beyond […]

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Those Beige Headlines In Full

TIGER WOODS WINS 2008 US OPEN DESPITE KNEE INJURY CAUSED BY ILLEGAL KARATE ATTACK FROM EVIL MAFIA GOLFER ROCCO MEDIATE. OBTAINS CRUCIAL PAR SCORE ON SUDDEN-DEATH HOLE USING “CRANE KICK” BEFORE COLLAPSING ON THE FINAL GREEN IN AGONY, MUTTERING “I DID IT FOR YOU, ELIN!” LEWIS HAMILTON CLINCHES WORLD F1 DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP IN HIS MCLAREN, […]

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Best Of Three Five

John. [originally uploaded by Ryan Brenizer] Excellent shots of the candidates for the US Presidency taken at the Alfred E Smith dinner by a wedding photographer are here on flickr. I wish there were more to look at. (And I wish the photographer hadn’t added that crappy “exposed film” border. It’s digital. Get over it. Don’t tart […]

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Too Horrible To Contemplate?

Imagine several million small children across the planet waking up on Christmas Day to discover that six of Santa Claus’s reindeer had had pixie dust blowouts at 30 000 feet over the North Atlantic, leading to a catastrophic loss of power and Santa’s sleigh plunging into the freezing ocean, killing all on board and scattering the […]

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Credit Crunch Leads To Balance-Of-Satire Surplus

Here are two I enjoyed: Hopi Sen’s “What would Bertie Wooster do?” and The Daily Mash’s “Government takes 60% stake in Al-Qaeda”: The prime minister said : “We must ensure that, as an institution, it continues to provide a useful, ongoing threat without actually blowing things up.” The Daily Mash is a free online site. […]

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Palin Derangement Syndrome—PalinDrome?

You could argue that Mick Hartley won this game when he collected Reports confirmed my suspicions: Palin, not McCain, is the FrankenBarbie of the Rove-Cheney cabal. from The Huffington Post, but I think quoting Naomi Wolf is cheating. Here’s a good one from yesterday’s International Herald Tribune. Roger Cohen writes: From an inspirational notion, however […]

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