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World Affairs

Easy, Tiger

One of the extracts from novelist John Fowles’ diaries in the Guardian today neatly sums up the attitude of a certain kind of educated observer to the War On Terror: Rushdie fuss. Eliz in a paranoiac state, that I might support him. This is a clear moral choice. From what I have heard of him, […]

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Says It All

Who Knew? has a telling post. Imagine: you have invested your life savings in a multinational corporation, who would you choose to run, respectively, its US and UK arms: Bill Clinton and Tony Blair or George W Bush and John Major? Whatever happened to the Right’s ability just to manage serious stuff competently?

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Walken For President

AYATOLLAH KHAMENEI is man-handled into his office. Waiting for him are four associates, standing: CONDOLEEZZA, RUMSFELD (an old Wise-guy), VICE-PRESIDENT SCHWARZENEGGER, and BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BOB HOSKINS (a fireplug pitbull type). PRESIDENT WALKEN sits in KHAMENEI’s recliner KHAMENEI is knocked to his knees. He looks up to see a smiling WALKEN. They pick him up […]

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A Lie

BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme five minutes ago in its report on the 60th anniversary of the dropping of The Bomb: “In the United States there was a steely determination to triumph [in the war] in the Far East by whatever means, at whatever cost.”

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Roadkill

I once put it to Norm jokingly that one reason he has the patience to pick through the foul-smelling giblets of articles like Madeleine Bunting’s in yesterday’s Guardian is that he has spent years marking terrible student essays. The truth is it’s because he is a top bloke. Rather him than me though.

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Two Names Better

George Bush beats Britney Spears; Martin Luther beats George Washington; Tony Blair beats Michael Jackson beats Jesus Christ; Bill Clinton beats Saddam Hussein; Osama Bin Laden beats Kofi Annan; Bob Dylan beats Donald Rumsfeld; Angelina Jolie beats Arnold Schwarzenegger. But tough luck to Madonna, Seal, Bono, and Sting. If you’re so famous you have one […]

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Hero Of The Revolution

I’m surprised that The Independent didn’t suggest one hundred thousand cheering Georgians had mistaken George Bush for George Galloway: “Addressing a 100,000-strong crowd in Freedom Square in Tbilisi yesterday, Mr Bush said the November 2003 uprising that toppled the country’s former leader Eduard Shevardnadze had been an example for Ukraine, Iraq, Lebanon and other countries […]

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(Swear) Word On The Streets

I am back from some more letterbox stuffing. The best house sign I read this evening was: “The velociraptors housed behind this door have only been trained to disembowel callers wearing blue rosettes“ Despite this kind of heartening sight, the activists here are nervy. Doing my rounds, I bumped into two—both County Council candidates—and I […]

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Loathsome

Anyone on the Left who thinks it might be “instructive” for Labour under Tony Blair to suffer a reduced majority and who fancies some protest voting (or, indeed, protest abstaining) needs to reflect on Michael Howard’s re-launch of the Conservative election campaign yesterday. Howard, the Jewish son of Romanian refugees from the Nazis, wants to […]

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Madder Than Qaddafi

After reading Anthony’s piece about Google bombs, I couldn’t resist a peek at “Jew Watch”, the anti-Semitic conspiracy site that came so high in searches for the word “Jew” that the civilized world had to displace it with a Google bomb. Their front page story (complete with photo of the recently deceased) is—I kid you […]

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My Fellow African-Americans

One evening during my recent week off ‘Blogging I was working with the radio on and heard an advertisement for 1 Xtra, a (relatively) new digital radio station extending the celebrity-/booze-/shagging-obsessed tabloid youf franchise of Radio 1 to Britain’s blacks. The ad’s female voiceover trailed a “documentary” about Condoleezza Rice with the words, “She has […]

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Muammar Qaddafi Unites Israel and Palestine

Following Colonel Qaddafi’s accusation at the Arab League summit in Algiers today, that the Israelis and Palestinians are “stupid”, thousands of members of both populations have come together to sign an unprecedented cross-community petition declaring Qaddafi “a gibbering loon”. Waving his arms theatrically as he introduced a joint statement issued with President of the Palestinian […]

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And Your Point Would Be?

First the BBC turns against you, then Ted Kennedy snubs you: Kennedy spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner said: “Senator Kennedy has decided to decline to meet with Gerry Adams, given the IRA’s ongoing criminal activity and contempt for the rule of law.” She said the events surrounding the death of Mr McCartney underscored the need for IRA […]

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The Last Outpost Of Traditional Rule

The ever-temperate front page of The Independent screams, “IS LEBANON WALKING INTO ANOTHER NIGHTMARE?” Without a copy to hand, I think you can imagine the name and the roseate visage that make up the byline beneath the headline. Because the Indie charges for access to the online version of its output I can only quote […]

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Kiss That Frog

“Israel, not entirely evil,” says French socialist (responding with friendly politeness as I address him in an English accent on the streets of Paris): When London Mayor Ken Livingstone wrote a poison-penned tirade against Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Friday’s edition of the British Guardian, it made headlines in Britain, Israel and beyond. […]

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Hold The Front Page

I’ve just heard a radio ad for the annual national Comic Relief campaign. (For one day every year Brits get themselves sponsored to do silly things for charity.) The radio spot featured thanks and testimony from a previous beneficiary of the fund: Yousef, a gay asylum seeker who sought refuge in Britain because homosexuality is […]

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Iran’s Nuclear Programme: The Truth

The BBC has a round-up of “experts’” views on “Iran’s nuclear crisis”. Helpfully, after the introduction to the piece, each comment is abstracted to a single line. One of the wise men questioned by Auntie—Sanam Vakil, of the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington—offers this new insight into the affair: “The Iranians need some really big […]

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The Price Of Imperialism

Under the headline “Asylum Falling Around The World”, The Beeb reports the United Nations reporting that: “The number of asylum seekers coming to the industrialised world fell by a fifth in 2004 to its lowest level in 16 years, according to the United Nations.” . . . “…the number of asylum seekers from Afghanistan and […]

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“Doing The Patriotic Thing”

Yesterday I had lunch with a “fellow” Catholic whose grandfather used to hide fugitive members of the “old” IRA in his house in the Irish countryside. We discussed the disgust being expressed by republicans north and south of the border at the behaviour of the supposed descendants of his grandad’s lodgers. Cathal (not his real […]

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Decked Out

As Saddam’s half-brother is handed over by the nervous Syrians, it’s an appropriate moment to catch up with some old friends. For those of us whose outrage at the continued immunity of various collections of state-sponsored goons around the World has been curdling for years this is a heartwarming sight.

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Excuses, Excuses

If it’s any consolation to you, my last remaining reader, as you vainly reload this page expecting new material, I have at least been getting out a bit more over the last few days, even as far as Wales. There, Auriol and Peter treated me to a superb meal, a browse through a couple of […]

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