...a blog by Richard Flowers

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Day 2220: Flags and Balloons


It is January so it must be time for Mr Balloon to have a go at Mr Frown about FLYING THE FLAG.

Here is Mr Balloon in the Daily Hellograph saying:

"This reserve is an intrinsic part of being British," he will say. "We don't do flags on the front lawn."

No, wait! That was LAST January!

Since then Mr Balloon has CHANGED HIS MIND and decided that we DO do flags – especially on BICYCLES. Double especially if there is a FOOTBALL photo opportunity tournament on.

See: Mr Balloon flies the flag for England!

No, wait! He's had another FLIP FLOP – flags are BAAAAD again.

"[he] told the BBC ministers had been wrong to tell people to 'plant flags in their lawns'."

That is the trouble with flags (and balloons): they go any way the wind blows.

Yes, Mr Balloon's [Thatcher Thatcher Thatcher]… I am SURE I can hear chanting!

Anyway, yes, Mr Balloon's nerve has gone. It is SAD but after only a year in charge he has already fallen back on the old Conservatory fallacy: shore up the right.

Therefore his latest wheeze is a scheme called "Let's Blame the Muslims".

"We should not lay the blame at the foot of one group," says Mr Balloon. "Why pick on one when we can pick on five," he continued!

Mr Balloon lists the people who he blames for the BREAKDOWN of OUR WAY OF LIFE™ and imminent COLLAPSE of SOCIETY ITSELF (copyright all Newspapers):

  • immigrants,
  • extremist immigrants,
  • non-British immigrants,
  • poor immigrants, and
  • stupid immigrants.
I MAY see a THEME developing: are YOU thinking what I'M thinking???

He also likened the Muslim Council of Britain to the British Nasty Party. Which, contrary to what you might think, did NOT mean that he wanted to be more like them.

"People like us don't want a 'them and us' society; not like people like them!" he said.

Last year it was "Multiple Patriotism"; this year they are "Monolithic Blocks". I know that soundbites are the EPHEMERA of politics, but it would be nice if he could make up his mind!

Not to say that the Muslim Council – like any group representing people – does not have any questions to answer about its policies and the people it chooses to support. But that does not mean you should put them in the same boat as a THINLY DISGUISED race hate club. Even Mr Balloon must have realised how RUDE he was being!

What IS it all about?

Well, Mr Balloon is – as ever – gagging to get into the media and this tragically ill-advised STUNT is cynically calculated to catapult him into the headlines. But this isn't JUST a desperate addiction. It is VITAL to him that he maintains his publicity because publicity is the only thing keeping him aloft – you can see it from the way the Conservatory polls tremble every time he is out of the limelight for a couple of weeks.

But what could have caused him to throw overboard all that careful work of the last year to try to fool everyone that he is NOT just another screaming Conservatory nutter, obsessed with immigration?

After all THAT worked SOOOO well at the last election (manifesto author Mr D Balloon).

Mr Tabman over at the Liberal Review suggests that it may have been the SHARKS in the WATER that made Mr Balloon get frit.

But I wonder if the problem isn't deeper than that.

It has been a year and we are STILL waiting for Mr Balloon to have ANY policies. He is supposed BY NOW to be reaping the benefits of some of his policy reviews: the tax commission (hastily photocopied Liberal Democrat green tax pledges); Iain Drunken Swerve's family policy review (damp squib hailed as "Back to Basics 2"); and now this report on national identity (a hint: you might need an identity of your OWN!).

Oh, and the "responsibility, responsibility, responsibility" mantra does not seem to have worked either. This week, Mr Balloon is trying out "failure of multiculturalism". He was using it on Monday morning's the The Today Programme interview. We lost count after the first FIFTEEN repetitions!

So Mr Balloon has to go out on the media stage and is caught without even a figleaf. His only option is to wrap himself in the FLAG. Man bites immigrant plays almost as well as man hugs huskie. Patriotism, or rather JINGOISM, is the only string left to Mr Balloon's bow, the only tune he has left if he is to get the press to watch him dance.

Of course, there is also the fact that he and Mr Frown have the same IDENTITY AGENDA. Mr Frown wants to use "Britishness" to overcome his paranoia about being seen to come from Scotland. Mr Balloon wants to use "Britishness" to overcome his paranoia about being seen to come from Gymkhana-land.

Mind you, at least Mr Frown has been a consistent supporter of the United part of the United Kingdom. Mr Balloon has largely abandoned Scotland and is only Vaguely interested in the North.

(Sending Mr Vague on a TOUR is NOT REALLY the same as trying to get elected… as anyone who remembers Mr Vague's "Save the Pound! Save My Job!" tour of the 2001 General Election knows only too well!)

So, does this mean that the curtain is coming down on the "All New Mr Balloon Song and Dance Spectacular, standing room only, women and children first"? Are the wheels are coming off the travelling circus?


Quite simply, Mr Balloon has done ENOUGH so that everyone thinks of him as "the sort of nice but dim one". He can remain buoyed aloft not by his own hot air but the bonfire of the vanities that is consuming the OTHER wing of the NewLabourTory Party (i.e. Lord Blairimort going up in flames!)

Offering an alternative would be too too confrontational, but as long as he remains the media darling and keeps repeating oh how awful the government is, he gets to be the only game in town.

All he has to do is stay in the public eye and let the heat waft him higher.

The only danger is if the public eye loses interest, wanders off, spots the Liberal Democrats and starts reporting on some REAL opposition.

Which means ever more attention grabbing launches of empty reports and a dance of the seven veils to tantalise the press and keep them putting him on the front pages.

A snag: after dropping the first veil, we've seen that he's an old fashioned bash the immigrants Conservatory underneath. The dance may not last as long as anyone thought it would!


Good news: Mr Balloon is to try to look LIBERAL by backing gay adoption!

Bad News: Mr Davis David has already arranged to look TOUGH by vowing to vote against!

Did it REALLY take them all week to work out a strategy so transparent?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Day 2219: DOCTOR WHO: Phobos



Look at these lovely gifts that I have bought for you: JAMES BOND! AND CARS!

Now you can buy all the rest for ME!

Posted by Picasa

Humph: Daddy seems more excited by finding this gold “Battles in Time” card

Posted by Picasa

It’s only some daft woman who’s stared into the heart of the TARDIS!

Meanwhile, Sir Mr the Merciless showed no FEAR today – spot the daytime TV link – facing Mr Andrew "Ice Warrior" Rawnsley in MORTAL COMBAT. Not the computer game.

Mr Sir M has been taking my advice!

On Iraq, he said we need STRATEGY in order to withdraw with honour, and that we SHOULD meet our moral obligations to the people, but through DIPLOMACY and the UNITED NATIONS. Just like I did!

On Lord Blairimort, he said it was time he was GONE! Just like I did.

Now, if only I can get him to take my advice on STICKY BUNS!

Meanwhile, Daddy has been listening to more Doctor Who on the Digital Radio 7. Mr Barnaby Edwards is in one of the BBC's "do you do digital" adverts for that, I mention just in passing!

Daddy can tell you about it while I go and read my his magazine!

Listening afterwards to the "Doctor Who Confidential"… sorry, that should be "Beyond the Vortex", Totally Different – sorry, not "Totally…", either, er… listening to the "making of", Big Finish associate producer Barnaby Edwards was telling us how this was the "high octane" one.

Hmmm. Bit less "high octane" bit more "lo cal" I'm afraid Barney.

For a story about terror, there really weren't so many actual scares in it. Apart from the predictable (but satisfying) pre-title sequence, there were few if any moments that were unnerving or disturbing at all.

Most of the characters seemed to spend their time getting irked, rather than frightened out of their wits, whether it's Lucie annoyed that the Doctor can't park, Farl the non-copyright alien infuriated by the semi-racist gossip, or the Doctor just generally fed up.

The setting is an adventure park for thrill seeking adrenaline junkies (no: "drennies" is not successful fake slang) on Phobos, the second moon of Mars. It must have sounded like a great idea inside writer Eddie Robson's head. But, I suspect that the excitement of throwing yourself into a white water flume or bungee jumping "the wormhole" comes from actually doing it, not from hearing someone try to describe it by making whooping noises in a South London recording studio. Big Finish have always had this problem: using a great deal of sound to try and substitute for the lack of visuals, and it never works.

There was some enjoyment to be had when the seeming thinness of the plot is revealed to be covering something a little more substantial. I would say I enjoyed that the superficial plot was somewhat "Scooby Doo" (good lord, the "monsters" haunting the theme park are really robots and it's all being faked by, essentially, the kindly caretaker…) except that Robson has Lucie declaim the old "you meddling kids" line and, really, we had in fact got the message already by that point.

Timothy West and Nerys Hughes both get to underplay charmingly, and there is a rather sweet gay romance subplot (well, one of them is gay, anyway). The parallel inter-species marriage breakdown/coming back together though is rather heavy handed.

On the other hand, oh dear it all turns out to be another "terrible thing from another universe", and guess what, it eats fear. Ho, very been there before, hum. And, in confusing twist, fear also kills it – it needs to be thrill-seeking fear, euphoric excitement that the beastie feeds on; full on terror is poison.

Well pardon me but how the hell did that evolve?

It is interesting to hear the Doctor dwell on some of the fears that he contains – fears of the past and the future (and if you wonder what that could refer to, just listen to that Dalek choir rising). But there isn't enough of this to build the story around. The Doctor talking about "ooh, these fears that I've got" would work if fear had been developed as a theme throughout. Instead it comes across less as a theme of the play, more just a plot device to wrap it up, more talking about the idea of fear and less about the experience of it.

And, although it might be trivial in comparison with the big picture, everyone – and yes, that includes the Doctor – seems to forget that the attempts to scare people off have escalated to the odd little murder. The presence of a bigger monster does not – or should not – excuse these killings. The "kindly caretaker" is actually a deranged serial killer and needs locking up, not leaving in charge to explain to the authorities that it was all down to an extra-dimensional deity.

Actually, that might just be the thing to get him locked up!

So, in spite of some nice production and quality acting, it all just felt a bit going through the motions.

Next time… will we finally get some answers about Lucie Miller? Will they reveal what the mysterious Headhunter is after? Believe what you like, there'll be "No More Lies".

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Day 2218: Bright Green Maps


We watched a television programme last night called “Comedy Map of Britain”. It was jolly good, with Mr Alan Whicker taking us on a journey of clips and anecdotes down the M4 motorway and linking places to famous (and not so famous) comedy people and stories.

But the best bit was the EXCITING MAP which was a fun piece of CGI, which stands for COLOURED IN GREEN.

I have MISSED seeing colourful green maps ever since the BBC weather people decided to turn their weather maps that nasty brown colour to indicate that GLOBAL WARMING has INCINERATED the British Isles.

The Comedy Maps map even had FLUFFY WHITE clouds hanging over it in thrilling 2D.


Day 2217: Elephants of History


Sir Isaac Newton: hangs about under a tree waiting for sticky buns to fall – conclusion, he is clearly an elephant.

Julius Caesar: Famous nose, trompled about all over the Alps – obviously an elephant.

Professor Albert Einstein: fluffy hair on top, wrinkly skin, sticky out ears, very intelligent – elephant.

Buddha: lives in India, enormous arse – elephant.

Sir Winston Churchill: drunk, fought big war – actually NOT an elephant AT ALL, probably some sort of RHINOCEROS!

Day 2216: The Beast and His Armies Shall Rise From the Pit and Complain a Bit


I am sure that you all remember Mr Mad Larry, who is one of the writers of “About Time” and creator of Faction Paradox, the time-travelling carnival of scary bone-mask-wearing people.

A LOT of his ideas seem to have MYSTERIOUSLY ended up in the new series of Doctor Who: from a TIME WAR against the Time Lords to ancient and terrible SOMETHINGS buried in the centre of the Earth.

So you would think he has a lot to GRIPE about.

And so does he! He has written a DIARY of his very own in order to tell everyone all about it.

It is NOT QUITE as upbeat as my Very Fluffy Diary. In fact, you might want to look up the words MISERABLE MISANTHROPE before reading it. On the other fluffy foot, he does have a great facility with words – even for one who is so disparaging of writing! – and it is worth reading just for the way he is able to shape them.

Scary telepathy story: my Daddies both read his website at the same time without each other knowing!

Mr Mad Larry would be very jealous – he thinks telepathy is the bees knees. You know, handy for making honey.

Day 2215: THAT'S More like it, Sir Mr the Merciless


At LAST, some decent news coverage!

Sir Mr the Merciless has gone on the attack with a new rallying cry for the Liberal Democrats. Sir M thinks that it is time we had a plan to get our soldiers back from Iraq where Lord Blairimort got them into a horrible disaster.

Funnily enough, this sounds a bit FAMILIAR from the leadership contest last year: it is another policy from the BRAIN OF HEWN that has been taken up by our Imperial Leader?

This is no BAD thing! It gave Sir Mr the Merciless some much-needed PUNCH to his performance.

Combining the BRAIN OF HEWN with the CHARM OF MING might sound like a Mad Scientists recipe for a Doctor Who monster, but do not knock it – it seems to have WORKED!

Sir Mr the Merciless has more to his plan than just setting a date. (Although, as it turns out, just setting a date would be more of a plan than Lord Blairimort or the Monkey-in-Chief ever came up with!) No, Sir M has said that we should start RIGHT NOW working out the details and negotiating with the regional powers – and that enormous American army! – so that by May we can begin to leave and everyone can be home by the end of October.

Listening on the radio to Conservatory Mr Fatty Clarke and Mr Tom McNulty for the Labour, they both BASICALLY agreed that we should be pulling our troops out of Iraq. Particularly because we are going to need to send them IN to Afghanistan (now that we have remembered that we were in the middle of a job THERE when the Monkey-in-Chief decided Iraq would be more FUN). Their COMPLAINT seemed to be that setting a DATE was just HEADLINE GRABBING by the Liberal Democrats.

Oh, PARDON US for doing the job of POLITICS!

And politically this IS a clever move – by saying this, Sir Mr the Merciless is LEADING EVENTS.

There is a lot of talk from TOP ARMY TYPES at the moment that is all pointing at getting our army out of Lord Blairimort’s mess, and that probably wouldn’t happen if a STRATEGIC WITHDRAWAL sooner or later were not on the cards. Now, the government and the Conservatories are going to have to look like they are COMING ROUND to OUR POINT OF VIEW when the army inevitably forces them to face up to the reality of the situation that Lord Blairimort has dropped them in.

But, we should NOT just be doing this for the politics. It is important to ask ourselves if this is right for the people involved, not just our army but also the Iraqis.

So, is setting a date WISE?

Well, this is the TRICKY question.

It has been suggested that a date will just provoke worse attacks from the insurgents and terrorists who have taken root in Iraq thanks to our invasion. On the other fluffy foot, setting a date may also force the Iraqi government to take some responsibility for holding their own country together rather than just hiding behind the Americans. Of course, that government will probably be the first against the wall once the Americans pull out!

What IS certain, is that SOMEBODY ought to be calling for the return home of our forces – democracy is only going to work if there are at least two choices. (Yes, I know Lord Blairimort does not think that way – that is telling in itself!) As the party that said we should never go in in the first place, it seems right that we should be the ones to study the situation and say that the time has come to get out.

The important thing is that we are NOT “cutting and running” because we cannot stand the heat. We should be going if – and ONLY if – we will do most good for the Iraqi people by going. Our presence is contributing to the chaos and harm, and we are not able to stop it.

But we also need to remember that WE OWE A DEBT to the people of Iraq. After all, we helped the Americans to SMASH UP their country.

I am sure that LOTS of Iraqis are glad that NASTY Saddam Hussein is gone now, but they JUST MIGHT have preferred us not to get rid of their electricity, clean water, hospitals, roads and neighbourhoods without murderous gangs roaming the streets and ethnically cleansing them.

Much mockery was heaped upon Lord Blairimrt for refusing to defend his own government in the debate on Iraq in the House of Commons. Pulling out of Iraq now would just be running away like a cowardy custard, said Lord Blairimort… before sprinting from the chamber, running away like a cowardy custard.

Sir Mr the Merciless WAS able to corner him during question time.

What could possibly be more important than debating it?” Sir M asked.

Well, lining up my private pension deal by buttering up the CBI and avoiding taking any of the blame for all of those dead people, obviously,” is what Lord Blairimort avoided letting slip.

I’m debating it now!” is what he actually replied – before turning to the next question from another Labour quisling asking if he liked fresh flowers in the morning.

The grinning maniac is on the television as I am bashing my big nose against the keyboard, telling bald-faced fibs to Mr Jon Sopel.

He says he still thinks the world is better off without Saddam – which is the EXACT opposite of what he said the week before invading, when he said Saddam could STAY if he gave up his weapons of mass destruction. The ones it turned out Saddam did not have.

The people of Iraq don’t want a Civil War,” he says, “this is something being imposed upon them by powers outside their country.

Yes!” yells Daddy Richard. “It was YOU! You imposed this on them! You are the one to BLAME!” Daddy is starting to FROTH. “And your precious Catholic faith says you’ll burn in hell because you refuse to accept that!

I refuse to accept that…” says Lord Blairimort AT THAT PRECISE MOMENT.

Daddy’s head explodes!

I refuse to accept that people’s choice is between a secular dictator or a religious fanatic,” says Lord Blairimort. “They can have ME and combine BOTH of those qualities!

Sir Mr the Merciless is RIGHT! It is waaaay past time we were given a DATE for DEPARTURE!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Day 2214: Cardinal speaks - Let us be homophobes… or we start hurting the children!


Lord Blairimort is reported to be UNDECIDED whether to allow the Catholic Church a "get out of jail free card" on the law on treating Gay Daddies equally.

Presumably he is torn between gaining forgiveness for his eternal soul… and getting into the Catholic Church.

This is all because a FROCK-WEARING MAN called Mr Tarmac Mary-O'Conman who is also the Cardinal Archbigot of Westminster for the Catholic Team has sent a letter to everyone in the Closet Cabinet saying that he wants SPECIAL RIGHTS for his lot to be bullies.

Has Big Bother taught us nothing? Did Jade die in vain?

The Archbigot writes:

"The Catholic Church utterly condemns all forms of unjust discrimination, violence, harassment or abuse directed against people who are homosexual."

So, I THOUGHT that the next paragraph would read:

"We therefore have no problem with the implantation of these rights for the protection of all people and look forward to treating prospective adopters equally regardless of their gender, orientation or marital status."

But it DOESN'T!

Daddy says note the careful use of the word UNJUST – obviously discrimination, violence, harassment or abuse are FINE so long as the Cardinal feels he can JUSTIFY it.

"What, then, is the problem?" asks Mr Mary-O'Conman.

That is EXACTLY what I was going to ask!

Fortunately, it seems that he has an answer: "It is that to oblige our agencies in law to consider adoption applications from homosexual couples as potential adoptive parents would require them to act against the principles of Catholic teaching."

Unfortunately, I do not understand the answer. Wouldn't that be the SAME Catholic Teaching that he just said "utterly condemns all forms of unjust discrimination"?

I am getting MORE CONFUSED!

He continues:

"We require our agencies to recruit and approve appropriate married and single people to meet the needs of children in local authority care for whom adoption has been identified as being in their best interest."

"We place significant emphasis on marriage, as it is from the personal union of a man and a woman that new life is born …"

EXCEPT didn't he just said they recruit SINGLE PEOPLE?

"…and it is within the loving context of such a relationship that a child can be welcomed and nurtured…"

EXCEPT didn't he just said they recruit SINGLE PEOPLE?

"Marital love involves an essential complementarity of male and female."

EXCEPT didn't he just said they recruit SINGLE PEOPLE?

(By the way: "Complementarity" might look like a MADE UP word, but I have looked it up and it means either "the quality of being complimentary" or "two opposites that together make up all the possibilities")

So… never mind that not all man-person-plus-woman-person couples can have a "union from which new life is born"; never mind that OBVIOUSLY gay daddies and mommies can have relationships of the same loving context that can "nurture and welcome" a child or baby elephant; never mind that gender is a considerably more COMPLICATED idea than just two opposites that make up all the possibilities – if he tried to think about ALL the other possibilities it is possible that Mr Mary-O'Conman's HEAD would EXPLODE! – never mind that the only difference between "married" and "civil partnered" is that the Archbigot and all his frock-wearing chums said they would squeem and squeem and squeem until they were sick if gay daddies or mommies were allowed to use a WORD; never mind ALL OF THAT.

His whole argument is that gay daddies cannot be married BUT DIDN'T HE JUST SAY THEY RECRUIT SINGLE PEOPLE?

I am beginning to DOUBT this person's credentials! Are we SURE that this man is a SERIOUS religious figure and not just a CONFUSED PERSON IN A DRESS?

Let me try to think this through.

He cannot be against gay daddies because they do not have two different genders – because they recruit single people.

He cannot be against gay daddies because they have not had a Catholic marriage – because they recruit single people.

Is he against gay daddies because they are… GAY?????


I will read on to see if it gets BETTER.

"We believe it would be unreasonable, unnecessary and unjust discrimination against Catholics…"

It gets WORSE!

He is saying that it is discrimination for Catholics to have to FOLLOW THE SAME RULES AS EVERYBODY ELSE. That is a dirty low down trick – and that goes double for a man who calls himself "holy".

What he is REALLY saying is: "we WANT you to treat us differently."

Yes, that is right: it is the Archbigot HIMSELF who is calling for discrimination where Catholics are concerned!

"Homosexual couples are referred to other agencies where their adoption application may be considered. This "sign-posting" responsibility is taken very seriously by all Catholic adoption agencies."

This would be like the signposts that used to say "No Blacks"?

"This is an appeal for "fair play"…"

No it isn't! It is EXPLICITLY an appeal NOT to have to play fair!

"…particularly for those many children, Catholic or not, who continue to benefit from the widely recognised, professional and committed adoption services provided through our Catholic adoption agencies."

This is beginning to sound like MORAL BLACKMAIL! "Won't somebody PLEASE think of the children!" If Mr Mary-O'Conman really WAS thinking of the children he would be trying to get as many adoptive parents as he could find, not ruling out couples because of his OWN SEXUAL HANG-UPS!

"Our agencies receive fees from local authorities directly linked to their adoption work."

So he is QUITE HAPPY to take MONEY from gay daddies, from their taxes, whether they want him to get it or not or not, but won't obey the same rules as everybody else.

"In addition they are supported generally by the Catholic Church community."

And are they giving to charity in order to HELP PEOPLE or in order for the Archbigot to be able to CROW ABOUT IT? Or worse in order to have FINANCIAL LEVERAGE over the government? Cash for Prejudice, you could call it.

It is rather wicked to use the generosity of the people you work for as a means of BIGGING UP your own importance, do you not think?

"Giving protection to the rights of Catholic adoption agencies to act with integrity…"


"…will preserve an excellent and highly valued adoption service…"

"It would be an unnecessary tragedy if legislation forced the closure of these adoption services, thereby significantly reducing the potential resources of adoptive families for the approximately 4,000 children currently waiting for adoption placements."


Look! First the threat:

"This outcome is wholly avoidable."

And then the QUID-pro-QUO, the LUBRICATION, the BUNG…

"We urge you to ensure that the regulations shortly to be laid before Parliament enable our agencies to continue their work with local authorities for the common good."

You fix-a it for me and the Papa, he fix-as it for you, capiche?

In conclusion: "There is nothing to lose…"

Now he is just plain FIBBING.

If you are EXCLUDING some people from the people that you let adopt then there are FEWER people adopting – SOME CHILDREN WILL LOSE PARENTS!

"…and children waiting for an adoptive family have much to gain, by our continuing successful collaboration."

Go on, Lord Blairimort! Be a COLLABORATOR!

This is a WICKED letter from a VERY BAD and possibly QUITE STUPID MAN!

If there had been bullying like this on the TELEVISION there would have been QUESTIONS IN THE HOUSE and Lord Blairimort would have said:

"We should oppose homophobia in all its forms."

WHAT will he say in response to THIS?

And shouldn't we see the Archbigot VOTED OUT?

And now... Now... NOW the Archpillocks of the Church of England are joining in!

They say that you cannot make laws about matters of conscience. So that would mean that they want the abolition of protection on grounds of religion? And they think that they should not have seats in the House of Lords Club?


Thought not!

Mr Dr John Sentimoo, The Archpillock of York, was on the The Today Programme just now saying that of course people should be allowed to put their NASTY DISLIKES above the law.

So, asked a HORRIFIED Mr Humpy, it would be all right to deny a couple adoption rights if they were BLACK, would it?

And Mr Sentimoo HAD NO ANSWER!

I am VERY GLAD that I am a MILITANT ATHEIST BABY ELEPHANT – these religious leaders are all selfish Prejudiced HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!

Day 2213: He's a bionic pensioner and ruler of Mongo. He's the MP voted not quite as cute as Mr Councillor Stephen Tall. Together… They fight crime!


Look, Look! The Liberal Democrats have an exciting New Crime Policy!

This has been widely reported in none of the newspapers and received no coverage on the BBC ten o'clock news, possibly because they were covering an announcement from Mr Balloon [Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher] that he has seen a butterfly, or learned how to fasten his own trousers or something.

Still, why cover politics when a story about robbing looters QUITE LITERALLY falls off the back of a cargo ship!

Daddy tells me to look up the words BITTER and TWISTED!

Life must mean life… is the headline that (when they're bothered) everyone seems to be sticking on the new crime policy initiative, as though being SUPER MACHO was the only important part, even though there are FIVE points to the plan. (The other FOUR are: (1) more police, fewer I.D.iot cards; (2) work and training to cut re-offending; (3) proper compensation for victims; and (4) take back our town centres.)

Okay, not QUITE everyone – only the Grauniad could warn that the policy could be spun another way… and then use that spin as their headline!

HONEST sentencing means telling people how long they are REALLY going to get rather than making judges say the words "life imprisonment" when it WON'T be, just because it makes the Home Secretary feel BUTCH.

Less mandatory life more mandatory LIE.

And isn't is a BETTER answer to control the number of people in prison by a DELIBERATE PLAN, rather than panicking because the prisons are all full and begging judges to set shorter sentences. Yes, I am looking a you, poor old Mr Dr Reid!

The other parties did not waste any time (or thought) in reissuing their standard "Lib Dems Soft on Crime" press releases.

Mr Edward Garnier, the Conservatory spokesperson on prisons (promoted to actual MINISTER by the Grauniaid – part of Mr Frown's cabinet of the talents, no doubt), said: "Once again, the Liberal Democrats show that they are soft on crime."

As opposed to the Conservatories whose silence on the BRIBES TO ARABIA scandal shows how they are merely soft on CRIMINALS.

Mr Tony McNulty, who really IS a Home Office minister, said: "If the Lib Dems really want to be taken seriously on crime they should start by admitting they were wrong to oppose Labour…"

Yes, CONFESS to the THOUGHTCRIME!!! Sorry, interrupted…

"…wrong to oppose Labour's tough and necessary measures on crime…"

But it is SO difficult to spot the "tough and necessary" ones amongst all the thousands of other things that the Labour are making illegal. Even the Labour don't know – that's why they keep REPEALING their own "tough and necessary" laws before they've had a chance to implement them!

Sorry, interrupted again…

"…and," he continues, "drop their policies which would result in offenders escaping justice."

As opposed to the Labour policies that just result in dangerous offenders ESCAPING.

Clearly these LAZY CLICHÉS from the parties of failed authoritarian "lock 'em up and forget about 'em" policies show why it is so important that we have a strong policy against crime to show that being a Soft Toy doesn't mean you are SOFT and being a Liberal MP isn't being LIMP.

Sir Mr the Merciless set out a BETTER answer, a PRACTICAL but RADICAL solution, that involves actually LOOKING at where the Labour have gone wrong over the last ten years.

Our local communities want to be able to say NO to the Labour's binge drinking and gambling in super casinos. Our police don't need I.D.iot cards, and DNA databases and another new thing made illegal every day, they want trained officers on the beat making people safe.

We don't want another ten years of the Labour's policies of failure.

And that's failure that the Conservatories, without any policies at all, are simply content go along with. Robbing Hoodies don't want HUGGING, Mr Balloon, they want HELPING with a plan to make them repay their debt to society and to pick up skills that will save them from having to go on the rob in the future.

So next time you are worried about the state of your neighbourhood, or scared to go into the town centre, think of the Liberal Democrats and remember: THEY FIGHT CRIME!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Day 2212: DOCTOR WHO: Immortal Beloved


Apparently, the BONES of a WHALE are to be put on display in the National History Museum. No, it’s not Sir Mr the Merciless on Mr Andy Marr’s sofa!

THAT was mostly jolly good, with a strong riposte to the polling figures and the comeback to questions about Lebit was good, once past the groan-inducing “Lembit is Lembit”, but one tip for Sir M: try not to dismiss the idea of a referendum on Scottish independence because people aren’t interested in “yet more constitutional activity”, just after you’ve called for a new constitutional settlement for the whole country.

We believe in proportional representation and that means in making coalitions after the elections, and THAT means being willing to negotiate with other parties over which policies they have their hearts set on. We all know there are policies WE do not want to give up!

Anyway, speaking of ANCIENT and TERRIBLE powers, Daddy has been listening to some more DOCTOR WHO.

Clue to Daddy Alex: remember not to read this until you have heard the recording we made for you!
After, I have to confess, a certain disappointment with the first two stories in this “season for radio”, this came as a real delight, a story based around ideas and driven by the characters that properly filled its time.

The TARDIS arrives… well somewhere. The continuity announcer said it was Greece, two thousand years ago but there’s nothing to say that that is really when the story is set. Sure, there are characters calling themselves Zeus, Hera, Ares and Ganymede but they also confess among themselves that these are not their real names. And we don’t meet any genuine locals – although the “gods” allude to having locals to rule. So it could be classical Greece, and an “explanation” of their gods. But equally it could be a future Earth colony where the characters here have merely adopted the names and styles of the classical gods.

Importantly, this doesn’t actually matter. The story isn’t about anything so mundane as “explaining” that those people who the Greeks called gods were actually aliens or time travellers. In fact, the story toys cheekily with exactly our expectation that it is that sort of tale, having characters refer to “chariots of the gods” only for them to be quickly debunked as “helicopters”. It’s soon revealed that all the talk of “magic wands” and “ether trumpets” is just twaddle to keep in character. Because what is really going on here is men playing god – and in more than one sense.

These people may not be divine, but they are certainly immortal and, interestingly, in a way that actually sounds practical: cloning. Suddenly the story is quite modern and relevant: in order to perpetuate their own lives, the gods are preparing generation after generation of clones so that there is always a new body for them to slip into should anything fatal occur.

Writer Jonathan Clements has thought this through: a clone is just an identical body, it’s not you – so they have a mind transfer machine. It’s no good if the clone is just the same age as you are, so he has them being almost farmed to make sure there is always a replacement in the right age range for perfect rejuvenation.

As Zeus so charmingly puts it: “he’s my heir and my spare”.

It’s not a wholly one sided deal: each clone has a chance – if their older self doesn’t die during the narrow span when they are fit for being used, then they get to retire with a rich pension. But would you bet your life for that prize? And anyway, you don’t get a choice: you’ve been bred to be used.

The Doctor refers to their mind transfer machine as banned throughout the galaxies – which is the sort of thing he’s always saying. But it could also be a satisfying reference to “Mindwarp” (or “Trial of a Time Lord” parts 5 to 8) where we see the Time Lords take precipitate action against a similar device.

So it’s a morality play: what gives the elder gods the right to live if in order to do so they have to kill the mind of their younger clone?

But it’s more than that.

The TARDIS arrives… and interrupts the suicide pact of young lovers Kalkin and Sararti. “Oh it’s gone all Romeo and Juliet,” declares the Doctor’s companion Lucie. A mite heavy handed you might think, but it flags up the next major theme of the play. Look out for all the “he thinks she’s dead / she thinks he’s dead” moments.

Because, obvious really in this set up, Kalkin and Sararti are both clones, of Zeus and Hera respectively. And their love is just a pale reflection of the love that has been between Zeus and Hera for thousands of years. Boy, when they said their love was forever they really meant it.

So it’s a love story: one that spans the millennia, and does that change the way we view Zeus’s motivations? People often say they will do anything for love, and the love will last but would they mean it if that mean taking another person’s body just to keep your love alive?

We also, cleverly and unusually, get to see two aspects of our Romeo and Juliet: young, passionate, naïve in the forms of Kalkin and Sararti; old, weary, decadent as Zeus and Hera. Much kudos goes to the cast for making all of these people – or, from another point of view, both of these people– believable. Jennifer Higham and Anthony Spargo give great performances, appropriately theatrical and manage to hold their own, but the play is really made by its special guest stars.

Ian McNeice you may remember him from “Rome” of even “Edge of Darkness” (if you are Jason Haigh-Ellery anyway) but in this context you really ought to remember him as Baron Harkonnen in Scifi’s adaptation of “Dune”. Here he simply is Zeus: a wicked and venal old goat, selfish and lusty, and yet still driven by a powerful love for his Hera. He becomes strangely sympathetic without losing any of these repellent qualities. Perhaps it’s just the way that he is so totally casual about his baseity. He makes no effort to cover up from the Doctor the technology that he and his cohorts use to perpetuate their pantheon.

“Don’t let the mystic mumbo jumbo fool you,” he says.

“Who is it supposed to fool?” demands the Doctor.

Elspet Gray has been in Doctor Who before when she played a Time Lord – so next best thing to a god. As Hera she is world weary and worried that she is no longer remembering. In fact, there is a fault with their “human photocopier” (another from insightful Lucie) and they really are losing something of themselves with each successive transfer. But the fear of losing your mind in old age is a third powerful theme here. Like Zeus, we find ourselves sympathetic for Hera and her worries. None of us want to get old, and none of us want to face the horror of losing ourselves. How many of us would take a chance on some miracle medical procedure, and damn the ethical considerations?

In passing, I should add that Sheridan Smith shines here too, conveying a lot of descriptive dialogue with pace and wit and putting across her Lucie’s character: thinks she’s all worldly-wise but actually rather sweetly naif.

McGann holds it all together with his by now assured performance. The relationship with Lucie has mellowed from “Blood of the Daleks” without going into the treacle of “Horror of Glam Rock” and is reminiscent of the sixth Doctor and Peri’s “Trial” era gentle ribbing.

Even as they leave, Lucie and the Doctor are still discussing what the last of the gods will do with their machine, whether they will live a human life or in the end chose to use it again, even with its failings. And a good thing too. This is a play that raises many issues and should leave you with much to think about.

Simply divine.

Next time… There is nothing to fear but fear itself: “Phobos”

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Day 2211: If the Conservatories do it, it cannot be Right!


Before Dale Winton gets his knickers in a twist, today’s title is a CUNNING PUN on the latest words of wisdom from my Daddy Alex.

Obviously there are LOTS of things that the Conservatories CAN do right, usually it only takes a little pointer from the Liberal Democrats: just look at their thoughts on Green Taxes, Opposition to I.D.iot cards, and Iraq (subject to direction wind is blowing).

So, the defection of Conservatory peer NUMBER THREE to the UKPNuts Party should be a non-story.

The question is: why do they KEEP doing that?

Their problem is not wanting to do the right things but wanting to do the right WING things: in particular: slash taxes, privatise the health service, and quit Europe. (Geographically, if possible; exiting the European Union would be a satisfactory start, though).

The public, of course, are not nearly so “hot to trot” on these topics – tax is the only one where the Conservatories can get people’s attention, because we probably are at the top end of the amount of tax it is fair for Mr Frown to take. But the Conservatories have entirely SURRENDERED the high ground on the issue of taxation by promising that they will not cut SPENDING. The simple fact is, you cannot spend more than you earn. When Mrs Thatcher explained this almost thirty years ago, people understood it – and they haven’t forgotten.

Meanwhile, people LOVE their NHS, and in spite of the ASTONISHING amount of effort on the part of Labour to mess it up, people STILL get wary of the Conservatories the moment they mention “business units” when they mean “local doctors”.

And most people are actually pretty BLASÉ about Europe, so long as they can go there for a sunny holiday and cheap booze they are not so very much bothered. That’s actually pretty amazing when you remember all the years that the press have been peddling their made up “straight banana” and “metric martyr” stories.

Mr Balloon [Thatcher Thatcher Thatcher] knows all this. The electoral MATHEMATICS has not changed since Mr Something of the Night… or Mr Iain Drunken Swerve… or Mr William Vague worked it out: the Conservatory Party CANNOT win from the RIGHT, there is less than 30% of the votes out there. They have to come into the centre and appeal to ordinary, middle-of-the-road, non-nutter people.

Lord Blairimort worked out a SIMILAR thing back at the start of the nineties, and promptly abandoned his party and replaced it with the Labour, which had all the same people but none of the calories. By seizing key right wing positions on certain policies, he was able to rob the Conservatories of anything to say other than “we hate foreigners!”, “we’ll cut the NHS to the bone!” and “moo!”

The obvious example is Law and Order, where it is IMPOSSIBLE for the Conservatories to be any MORE right wing than the Labour. This week the Labour went BEYOND satire and into complete pottydom with Mr Blanket the former Security Blunket saying that if ASBOs aren’t tough enough, then they should just BULLDOZE problem communities. What is this? Apartheid era South Africa? Something Clementine-Coloured Catspaw Mr Peter Hain would have NO RECOLLECTION of, of course.

Presumably, with a BULLDOZER poor old Mr Dr Reid could no doubt sweep LOTS more Home Office FAILURES under the CARPET!

(This is my Daddy Alex’s joke!)

Anyway, this is why Mr Balloon [Thatcher Thatcher Thatcher]… can you hear chanting?

This is why Mr Balloon has spent all his time trying very hard to HUG things – huskies, hoodies, homosexualists, all the “H”s really – and so very little time saying anything of any substance AT ALL, to try and create the impression that the NuConservatories are nothing at all like the Old Conservatories.

Which, funnily enough, is what Mr Vague tried. And Mr Drunken Swerve. And Mr Something of the Night.

Plus ca very fluffy change.

One thing HAS changed, though: the Conservatory Party itself. They have, in fact, turned themselves UPSIDE DOWN, or possibly INSIDE OUT. It used to be taken as COMPLETELY OBVIOUS that the Conservatories were run by an ELITE from Eton who told everyone what to do and the Grammar Schools Tykes jolly well kept in line and did as they were told. And they were glad to do it!

But then Lady Thatcher came along and changed all the rules and, not least with Lord Norman Skinhead as her Party Chair, she put the Grammar School Tykes in charge. They are the ones who worship her as the Cult of Thatchianity and, of course, they are the activists who are expected to slave away for “the Cause”.

Now along comes Mr Balloon [Thatcher Thatcher Thatcher] and he and his Team of Toffs are trying to take it all back. And the Conservatories do not like it. He is no longer “ONE OF US”! They picked him because they though that he was Mr Heir of Blair. That doesn’t mean they want any of this namby-pamby Liberal Conservatism if they DO win. And certainly not from a spoiled brat like HIM!

So IRONICALLY now that it looks like he might get them a Conservatory majority, they feel much more comfortable snuggling up with a party that expresses what they really feel.

Enter stage very far right UKPNuts!

I know, I know, I have got in trouble before for calling the “let’s ask the Queen to break the treaty that we signed Party” “nutters”, but BE FAIR: Conservatory Chair Auntie Maude calls them “nutters and closet racists mostly”. It is not like there are many OTHER Conservatory policies that I could copy!

Actually, Auntie Maude might be in a bit of a minority on that one, as apparently the Conservatory Party are backing a campaign that says they are “Better Off Out”. (As Buffy the Vampire Slayer would say: “great acronym, mom!”) Polling of their own members has 30% say they support the campaign, and another 33% say that they agree with the position, if only they would keep a bit more quiet about it. Only 33% of Conservatories were AGAINST. And the remaining 4% asked for another gin.

So dissention in the ranks, trouble at t’Mill, and hence no more Heir of Blair, now it’s Child of Thatcher.

Which, funnily enough, is what Mr Vague tried. And Mr Drunken Swerve. And Mr Something of the Night.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day 2210: Loans for Lordships – Police Swoop!


Another narrow escape for Lord Blairimort today. Tipped off that he was trying to escape disguised as a woman, police in the Cash for Coronets Case picked up Ms Ruth Turner by mistake.

Clad in a BURKA, Lord B legged it out the secret tunnel to the Cabinet Office.

Day 2209: Licence… to Bribe


Today my diary will be about a story that Sir Mr the Merciless brought to my attention: Lord Blairimort, the Secret Service and the BRIBES TO ARABIA scandal!

Of course, I WAS going to have a go about the government’s miserly plans for the licence fee that funds the BBC, “one of the greatest assets of this country” as Lady Shirley Williams (Tom Baker) put it.

The rise is going to be fixed at 3% this year and 3% next and 2% a year for the three years after that, rather than linked to the inflation rate. This is supposed to give the BBC “stability”, a PARTICULARLY LUDICROUS idea in the week that the government admits that it’s lost control of inflation.

Actually, I was pretty nearly pushed over the edge by Conservatory Caroline Spellman – a “man” who casts “spells”? WARLOCKS, I hear you cry! – who called the licence fee a “stealth tax”. WARLOCKS, I hear you cry! It is possibly the LEAST stealthy tax in history as everyone has to pay and gets constant intrusive television advertisements telling them they’ll be hunted down like a dog if they don’t cough up. In fact, what is wrong with the licence fee is that it is a POLL TAX but the Conservatories used to think that those were a GOOD IDEA!

Anyway, I WAS going to do my diary about that, but this is a MUCH more important story.

Sir Mr the Merciless raised the issue in Prime Minister’s Comedy Slap-about Half-hour. He wanted the answers to a lot of questions. In particular, why Lord Blairimort stopped the police from asking a lot of questions.

Lord B said the Liberal Democrats wanted to be principled without thinking of the cost to Britain and called this “an object lesson in the absence of leadership”.

In fact, Lord Blairimort has things fluffy-bottom-about-face, as usual.

LEADERSHIP is about persuading people to do things THE RIGHT WAY, and not about cravenly capitulating to a feudal despotdom with a human rights record that makes the Spanish Inquisition look like Strictly Come Dancing!

PRINCIPLES mean doing the RIGHT THING even if there is a cost, and working out how to protect people’s jobs might involve a bit more hard work than JUST DOING WHAT THE BAD MEN SAY!

Lord Blairimort was clearly touchy on this subject already this week, since his Press Conference, when he was asked if there was REALLY any threat that the Saudis might stop cooperating with our secret services (like Lord B had said there was, but like MI6 had said there really wasn’t!).

I have TRANSCRIBED here his answer in full – together with some helpful translations for those who do not speak NuLabSpeak:

Blairimort: Well I won’t get into discussing the intelligence aspect of this,
[translation: because you caught me that way before]

Blairimort: but I can absolutely assure you there is no doubt whatever in my mind,
[translation: there never is]

Blairimort: and I think those of any of the people
[translation: me]

Blairimort: who have looked at
[translation: glanced at]

Blairimort: this issue, that had we proceeded with this
[translation: had we not stopped the police proceeding with the legitimate investigation of a crime]

Blairimort: the result would have been devastating for our relationship with an important country with whom we co-operate closely on terrorism, on security, on the Middle East peace process,
[translation: if we arrest them for corruption, they won’t let us drive tanks around in their desert]

Blairimort: and a host of other issues,
[translation: I can’t think of any but I bet you can’t either so I won’t get challenged for saying this]

Blairimort: and that is leaving aside
[translation: but I’m going to mention it anyway]

Blairimort: the thousands of jobs that we would have lost
[translation: just think about the money, stupid]

Blairimort: which is not for consideration in this case but nonetheless I just point it out.
[translation: I told you I was going to mention it anyway!]

So, basically, what Lord Blairimort is saying is that we have to bribe the Saudis to get lots of jobs and if we don’t then the terrorists will get us.

What kind of security are we getting here? The best that money can buy?

It may have escaped his wickedly wizardliness but, thanks to the CIA, Osama Bin Laden is a multi-BILLIONAIRE. It’s just possible that he might be able to bribe them better than we can!

Anyway, despite the MYSTERIOUS continued silence from Mr Balloon (nothing to do with his close personal friendship with the arms dealer at the centre of the case, of course) it is not just Sir Mr the Merciless who wants some answers.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has some “serious concerns” about why Great Britain is apparently in breach of our TREATY AGREEMENTS.

Apparently the OECD are the people who started off by running the MARSHALL PLAN, so it’s ONLY America, France, Germany, Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy and so on…

HONESTLY, if you carry on like THIS Lord Blairimort, it won’t be long before the police are round Number Ten arresting someone for PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE…

Day 2208: Gordo vs Goody


Embarrassment this week for Mr Frown as he arrives for his BIG TOUR in India. “What’s that on the BARBECUE?” he asks, descending from the not-quite-yet Prime Ministerial jet.

Well, quite.

It’s about the antics of the Ceebeebies in the BIG BOTHER house, as seen on Channel Furore. This is the STORM IN A TEACUP that has swept the country this week – at least until a REAL storm swept the country and made that sort of metaphor a bit BAD TASTE. Oops!

People seem to be STRANGELY SURPRISED that if you take a load of complete strangers and treat them like the ELEPHANT MAN for a fortnight then they turn into a FREAK SHOW!

Politicians were quick to sense a FIGHT brewing… and join in!

Never one to allow a BANDWAGON to pass without hopping aboard, up popped Mr Balloon [Thatcher Thatcher Thatcher…]

Everyone has got a responsibility here,” he said, immediately leading me to the word FATUOUS in the dictionary.

Speaking as a soft toy who is not a shareholder in Channel Furore; who doesn’t work as a producer with Endemol (doesn’t that sound like a cream for sore bottoms?); and who has never watched ANY Big Bother (except for the bits that were on the BBC when Dr Who was in the house!) perhaps Mr Balloon could explain exactly HOW any of this mess is MY responsibility?

Mr Balloon couldn’t be saying that it’s everyone else’s fault so it’s certainly not his, could he?

Mr Balloon couldn’t be saying that it’s everyone else’s fault so it’s certainly not his, could he?

No, we all remember that the DOOMED TV CAREER of Mr Balloon was with ITV Digital, not Channel Furore. Yes, he worked with the sock-monkey, not with people who make REAL television.

Actually, the people who WERE taking responsibility were the SPONSORS, Carphone Warehouse, who decided “NOT IN MY NAME” would be a good slogan for them that this week.

Anyway, Mr Balloon’s not going to do anything to stop this sort of thing but he would just like to be on telly flapping his lips please. In which case, can HE apply to be on the next series? He’s got to get used to being voted out!

He continues: “There's a great regulator called the off button and I think we should use it.

I don’t know if he said anything else because at that point I REGULATED HIM!

Unfortunately, that just meant Mr Frown came back on, leading the choruses of “Burn the Witch! Burn the Witch!

Bugger MY chances of appearing statesman-like, will you!” said Mr Frown, Prime Ministerially.
And lo, did Mr Frown lead the nation into an 80% vote against racism.

(Bullying, however, is to remain accepted for the meantime.)

It would be TERRIBLY CYNICAL to say that it has been AWFULLY GOOD for the ratings, though, when 8 million people tuned in to see Jade get what was coming – a HUGE step up from the 3 million viewer last week that saw talk of the “Reality Bubble” finally bursting with people turned off in droves. Apathy is clearly FAR worse than HOSTILITY in television.

But, but, but… that is the SHORT TERM approach. How much more damage have Channel Furore done to their own brand?

A channel that relies on drawing in the smart young, left-liberal set – and the spending power of their middle-class incomes that makes them attractive to advertisers – might think it FUNNY to play to their prejudices by turning an ignorant girl into a celebrity chav. But those are the same people who are not likely to think it funny that they’ve been supporting racism, and consequently the people less likely to tune in next time.

You might think that that would be a good thing – the storm tearing down the Big Bother house. But it might just be another step on the way to Channel Furore becoming a terrestrial SKYONE – all bought in American sitcoms and dramas, anchored around the big reality show and cheap-as-chips “quiz” game. (You know the one I mean – it’s got Mr Swap Shop in it!)

Still, it certainly EVICTED Ms Tessa Jowell’s efforts to start handing over the BBC’s licence fee cash to Channel Furore as part of her plan to emasculate the corporation reinforce the public service ethic! Certainly, every time THAT idea raises its ugly head in the next ten years, the BBC should just need to play the tape of the Channel Furore man on the The Today Programme refusing to answer whether they were trying to profit out of broadcasting racism as entertainment. And then refusing to answer the question again. And again.

And again.

Fearless, independent and answerable to the public. Ah Channel Furore, what happened to you?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 2207: Go Directly to Gaol, Lord Blairimort


As you should ALREADY KNOW from reading my Daddy Alex’s diary, last night I let my Daddies stay up past their bedtime in order to watch a programme on the Channel More called “The Trial of Tony Blair”.

We thought that it was jolly funny, and you might like to catch the repeat!

It was about a made-up person called “Tony Blair” who is a pretend version of our Prime Minister, Lord Blairimort. They gave several other famous people pretend names too, presumably for LEGAL REASONS. So, Mr Frown was called “Mr Brown” and Mr Balloon (played by Alexander Armstrong who does very well when he hosts “Have I Got News for You” from time to time) was given the REALLY silly name of “Mr Cameron”!

To be honest it was a bit of a WISH FULFILMENT piece, with pretty much everyone getting what they deserved: “Mr Cameron” was a vacuous bicycling ninny with his suit in the Lexus, incapable of making a decision who lost the election; “Mr Brown” was a quivering coward with horribly bitten nails who got lumbered with a majority of two; and Mr “Tony Blair” got a bad case of the Lady Macbeths and a well deserved one way ticket to the Hague.

We loved it!

Mr “Tony Blair” was played by Mr Michael Murray, who once appeared as Citizen Smith in G.B.H. as a notorious power hungry left-wing moderniser in a sharp suit who descended into twitching madness. You wouldn’t have thought typecasting would be a problem, would you?

We did not get to see the actual trial – Daddy thought it should have finished with Mr “Tony Blair” standing in front of the panel and the lead judge pronouncing:

Anthony Charles Lynton Blair, we find you…” cue titles.

But in a way, that was just as telling; the ACTUAL outcome of a trial being a FOREGONE CONCLUSION!

He WAS put through the wringer a bit, though, the “Trial” of the title clearly meaning TRIBULATIONS rather than facing the beak!

No sooner has he moved into his very expensive new house than the housing crash comes along and wipes out his equity, not helped by the (hilarious) cameo appearance of Mr Brian Haw, the man that the REAL Lord Blairimort worked so hard to ban from protesting in Parliament Square.

(You remember – that was the reason that only “Christians” with torches and pitchforks are now allowed to bother people within a mile of Parliament!)

None of the people he thought of as his friends wanted to know him any more; the expected jobs with the UN or the Gates foundation fail to turn up; and his memoirs turn out to be unreadable self justifying pap (with added “God” to the horror of his publisher). “Where’s the money going to come from?” he was asked after proposing yet another castle in the air idea; “business men, millionaires,” he says, “there must be hundreds on the last Honours list”. To Cherie’s chagrin, the money does not arrive.

Then there are the nightmares from Iraq that start to haunt him.

With Hillary Billary in the White House (great “Chairman Mao” style portraits of her in the American Embassy, by the way!) and the Monkey-in-Chief in rehab, the Americans decide that they will look a bit less hostile if they let the UN set up a War Crime Tribunal on the invasion of Iraq!

Tragically, we do not believe that it will ever turn out this way, although many moments were completely believable: the US ambassador saying to “Tony Blair”, for political reasons, “we’re going to have to say a whole load of nasty things about you in public; I just want you to know we don’t mean any of it,” or the way that “Mr Brown” did not have the bottle to ACTUALLY send “Tony Blair” to gaol, but told the British Ambassador to go and hide in the LOO so he didn’t have to vote to veto!

The script would wind you up to the point where you are almost ready to feel sympathy for him, only to have him deliver a crushing reminder of why he deserves it so much.

In fact I had to say “BAD DADDY!” to Daddy Richard once, as he demanded MORE suffering! “That is not the REAL Lord Blairimort,” I said.

Having to be put through the humiliation of fingerprinting and then a mouth swab for DNA, “Tony Blair” recoils, as anybody would.

Sorry, Sir, but it’s compulsory,” says the nice police man.

Since when?” he demands.

Since you made it so, sir,” he is told.

Confronted with the awfulness of waiting in a casualty cubicle spattered with blood and poo, you finally feel that he is witnessing the depths of his failure.

I didn’t know I was getting special treatment before!” he says, “Couldn’t we, you know, go private?

There IS no private casualty, Tony,” says Cherie.

Has he learned his lesson at last? What do you think?!

How did we miss that?” he says.

His obsession is with his “Legacy”, and specifically what it is NOT going to be. (A Clue: Iraq. A Clue, Mr “Tony Blair”: too late!) He began the story by asking his secretary “what WERE my principals?” When she suggests: “to do the right thing?” he spends the rest of the story worrying whether he DID do the right thing.

It is all too familiar to those of us in the REAL world, where this week muddle-headed Lord Blairimort says that HE won’t be giving up flying off long haul on his freebie holidays and stuff the consequences for global warming.

Yes it is Lord “Do as I SAY, not as I DO” Blairimort all over.

Another clue came in his monthly “news conference”. (This is Blairimort-speak for “I stand at the front and flap my lips while you can ask questions that I will ignore”.)

Asked why the 300th birthday of the Act of Onion would be celebrated with no fireworks and only a new coin, he said:

On Scotland, I think the most important thing is not fireworks but argument…” yes it is all WORDS not DEEDS with him!

One thing – alarming to Mr Frown – that some people picked up on was the way Lord B implicitly accepted an assumption that HE would be at the EU summit in June, and by extension STILL Prime Minister. Obviously, this is just reading too much into his words. (That ALWAYS happens!)

The pretend Mr “Tony Blair” had “unexpectedly” stayed on until 2010. Lord Blairimort would NEVER break his word that way. Surely? Would he?

Day 2206: Job Opportunity


A letter has FLOODED in! I am indebted to Mr Theo of As I Look Out On This Magnificent Vista for this cutting from the Bristol Evening Post that I have brought along today.

Oooh, it’s just like THE NEWS QUIZ isn’t it! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Day 2205: DOCTOR WHO: Horror of Glam Rock


I have been watching my new DVD of JAMES BOND in "DOCTOR NO". I have been listening to the COMMENTARY. This means that I can watch "Doctor No" and hear Miss Ursula Andress VOICE. Ironically something you CANNOT do if you just watch the movie!

Daddy has been listening to a DIFFERENT Doctor, so I’d better let HIM tell you about that!
Well, this was strangely insubstantial.

As indeed were the alien "Only Ones" with their twee Seventies voices. In fairness, they – as your typical ethereal alien spirits – were supposed to be, though their all consuming corporeal bodies were a little thin in presentation too.

This is a bit of a disappointment from Paul Magrs, famous as a magic-realist author, who previously brought huge if occasionally infuriating ideas to the eighth Doctor in the BBC Books "Scarlet Empress" and "Blue Angel". He has also lampooned the glorious seventies before, though the gratuitous mention of The Tomorrow People here is at least not so disparaging as Paul's thorough rubbishing of them in his Past Doctor Adventure "Verdigris".

He's also written a Big Finish for the eighth Doctor before with the three-parts hauntingly beautiful, one-part crushingly clichéd "The Stones of Venice". Unfortunately the shorter form does not seem to have suited him.

The setting, an isolated service station, was very reminiscent of Sapphire and Steel Adventure Six, right down to the arrival of a Rolls Royce. You almost expect Bernard Cribbins to be credited as "man" and Una Stubbs as "woman". Actually they're Arnold Korns, manager to the stars, and Flo, the tea lady. Arnold is stuck with a Bowie in-joke for a name but no real character. Flo was so phlegmatic, unflappable in the face of monsters, you were constantly waiting for the big reveal about her. Unfortunately, it never came.

In Sapphire and Steel, the mysterious force of time would be up on the glass bridge and never seen. This, though, is Doctor Who so we have to reveal the aliens and show how rubbish they are.

Missed opportunity one: have the monsters reveal they have no plans for invasion, they're just stopping off for a quick snack while their ship refuels – you're going to make the "just a motorway service station" crack anyway, you might as well make it pertinent.

None of the characters really grabbed me as behaving realistically. There are alien monsters clearly visible in the car park that have already torn the door off one car and ripped up another. And yet still not once but twice, people decide that they can make a run for it. Unsurprisingly, death follows swiftly. It's hard to feel sympathetic, though, when they're clearly applying for the Darwin Awards.

Also, there does appear to a perfectly serviceable escape route. The Doctor orders Lucie, Trish and Tommy to check the glass bridge over the motorway to make sure the monsters cannot get in from the other side. Distracted by the evil space stylophone, they never actually check, but then the monsters never break in from the bridge either. Why risk escape via the car park without even trying the road bridge first? This mistake is lethal!

Missed opportunity two: the introduction of Pat as being – in the future – the aunt of the Doctor's companion Lucie appeared to be an interesting opening, with paradoxes and puzzles ready to spill out, but failed to be developed and ultimately added nothing to the plot. The possibility could have been explored that Lucie did not remember her Auntie Pat until they met in the story – by implication she has altered her own past because if Pat survives then she will be alive for Lucie to remember whereas originally she was not. Then you have the difficulty for the Doctor of whether to save Pat and allow the paradox to stand or let her die and restore the original history.

That may well be similar to "Father's Day" but what the hell, they're going to nick the ending of "The Idiot's Lantern" anyway! – But also c.f. the whole Charlie Pollard arc from "Storm Warning" to "Neverland".

Yes, the ending is ripped off as well. In fact, say what you like about "The Idiot's Lantern" the scene with the Doctor building a Betamax out of odds and ends while running to save the world is terrific and terrifically Doctor Who. The Doctor downloading the baddies onto the MP3 that Lucie just happens to have with here is derivative and dull. Add to that Lucie and the Doctor's saccharine exchange "I'm so glad I'm travelling with you" – so out of character for what we've established so far, but so stolen from "The Unquiet Dead" – you begin to wonder if there's anything original here at all.

It would matter less if any of it were actually funny – yes, this one was billed as the comedy episode, if the Horror title hadn't given it away. The episode seems built out of knowing references – such as shoehorning in "Oi Doctor, leave them kids alone" (about five years two early to be a reference to Pink Floyd, though, surely) – but none of the homage is in any way witty or even arch. Nor is the situation funny – unless you find people describing Seventies clothes to each other funny – and the delivery isn't so much deadpan as just dead.

And there was another outing for the "wig" gag – this time a straight lift from the Pertwee story "Carnival of Monsters" – I do hope this isn't becoming a running joke.

Missed opportunity three: if the monsters do insist on their tedious plan of devouring Trish and Tommy's teenage fanbase, someone should probably have pointed out to them that scuppering the act's appearance on "Top of the Pops", killing the act’s manager, and killing half the act might just forestall this feast – possibly the first ever Doctor Who monster defeated by the inadequacy of their research. That would have been funny!

Worst of all there was no particular sense of the Seventies in this[*], something that the series on television has recently done so well for the Fifties and the Eighties. A casual remark about the Wombles does not make it 1974 (yes, yes, I know Bernard Cribbins is in the cast). And with a second series of "Life on Mars" coming soon!

[*]okay, no particular sense of the Seventies until the closing credits faaaabulously remixed in glam rock style. Pity Nick Briggs was required to read the credits over them, but at least that'll give you a reason to buy the CD, won't it?

In summary then, a concept in search of some ideas. Hmmm, actually, that's more Prog Rock…

Next Time… Strap down your Barry Letts, the gods of Greece are coming… By Zeus! It's "Immortal Beloved"

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Day 2204: If we don't hang together…


Mr Frown has spoken to the nation through the medium of the Daily Hellograph and he has said he would quite like it to REMAIN a nation, thank you very much.

This is because he has the same initials as the country… yes, he is Mr UK Frown.

Actually, I am inclined to agree that it is A GOOD THING for our countries to stick together. We can achieve so much more together than apart – we in London benefit from the industry and invention of the Scots just as much as they benefit from the wealth generated down here in the City. After all, the Bank of England was invented by a SCOTSMAN!

But Britain as an idea is under threat!

This is in part because Lord Blairimort has spoiled the whole idea of Britain as a power for GOOD in the world through his nasty adventure in the Middle East. How can people be proud of being British any more?

But there is also the threat from people who want to split us up from within.

Devolving powers but still working together is a very LIBERAL idea. The Labour and the Conservatories like to control things from the middle; for them the idea of lots of different local people having the power to make decisions for themselves is very strange.

Socialist parties like the Scottish Nasty Party have the same idea but not so much ambition. They know that they cannot win the support of the WHOLE country, so they want to try and split off a bit that they CAN control and set up a new centre to control it from.

In fact, perhaps this is why Mr Balloon's Conservatories are coming around to the idea of splitting up the country – they can hardly get any support outside of the Home Counties any more, so they would rather rule a ruined Kingdom than try to win over a United one.

I am less impressed with Mr Frown's ideas for KEEPING the country together: history on the National Curriculum, an Institute of Britishness, and a shiny new £2 coin.

Golly, I AM inspired!

Why not try to come up with a really BIG project that the whole country can get behind! How about throwing us all into a HUGE national effort to save the environment – every school and every town could compete to generate more clean energy, Blue Peter could run the totaliser! It would give us something to be PROUD of being BRITISH for again!

Speaking of keeping it together, Mr Balloon has followed Mr Frown onto Mr Andy Marr's comfy sofa for a cosy chat about whether he could hold the Conservatories together.

Mr Balloon was challenged about the UKIP: "look," he said, "one of their MEPs has just defected to the fascists: you can tell how nutty they are from where their defectors go to! I mean look the two Conservatories who just defected to UKIP, clearly that means we are as nutty as… oh bugger!"

Rumours that Mr Balloon is now so nervous that he has taking to chanting the word "Thatcher" six times quickly CANNOT be true, can they?

Asked how to keep the country together, Mr Balloon says that the answer is for there to be a STRONG central government that can IMPOSE solutions on the different factions.

Well, no, he says that that is TERRIBLY BAD for Britain but that is what he wants for Iraq. Nice that Conservatory principles can be applied everywhere, then.

Mind you, asked to pick a cash saving, Mr B immediately chose to abolish regional councils. Sure, the Minister for Magical Accidents may have set them up as expensive QUANGOS, but rather than fix them, democratise them Mr Balloon chooses to re-centralise them. Maybe he is confused!

No, Mr Balloon’s real message for the New Year is "responsibility, responsibility, responsibility". Mr B says that he wants to give everyone lots more responsibilities.

Clearly this word has been FOCUS GROUP tested in order to play well with Conservatory voters, but Mr Balloon does not seem to be using ENGLISH in the same way as other people.

Surely, a RESPONSIBILITY is something that you are REQUIRED to do, even if it is something you would rather not.

e.g "a particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible"

You have a responsibility to keep your car in good repair and insurance up to date. You have a responsibility to see that your family are all all right. You have a responsibility to point out when the leader of Her Majesty's loyal opposition is being a right idiot.

Mr Balloon seems to want to have FEWER responsibilities for the government and MORE for, well, everyone else.

What LIBERALS really want is to give people lots more FREEDOMS.

We would like to think that Mr Balloon meant giving people more choices, more control over things that happen in their local area – more say on school boards, more accountable councils, health trusts that provide what people ask them for.

When Mr Balloon talks about "setting hospitals free, letting them own their own buildings, choose their own Romanian cleaning staff" he does not seem to be talking about letting the LOCAL PEOPLE own their own hospitals: he seems to be thinking of the hospital as an independent BUSINESS.

He doesn't seem to be thinking about PEOPLE at all!

People should have proper choices, like whether to have a new school in their area, rather than the false choices they get at the moment: to like it or lump it (or take the Mr Ruth Kelly option).

Unfortunately, we suspect that what Mr Balloon is REALLY saying is: "well WE'RE not going to spend any more money on your school/street cleaning/hospital; that's YOUR RESPONSIBILITY now!"

Mr Balloon wants to present the people with a clear choice: "We can present Britain with a clear choice," he says, "a modern and coherent Conservatism, based on the idea of social responsibility, or a divided and defeatist Labour Party wedded to the old ways of state control."

So, our choice is to do as we are told by Mr Frown or… do as we are told by Mr Balloon.

Very modern and coherent.

I think that people would like to be able to choose things for themselves! I think that they should take back the freedoms AND the responsibilities by getting in a good Liberal Democrat government that will trust them with freedom!

I think that's a better answer.

Meanwhile, Mr Balloon has found time to expound on his latest new idea in the Daily Hellograph.

He and Mr Frown are together on that, at least!

Ooo, count the number of times the "liberal Conservatory" mentions "Lady Thatcher"… one, two, three, four, five… six times! Not at all scared by UKIP, then.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day 2203: Bully Pulpit


EXCLUSIVE I have received an ANONYMOUS and ENTIRELY MADE UP e-mail:

"Help, I am being bullied by Dale Winton! Signed, Mr Balloon"

What SHOULD a fluffy elephant believe?

Actually, there IS a serious point here.

Sometimes there are ISSUES that ought to be raised. Who ate the last sticky bun? Where did all that ermine come from, Lord Blairimort?

But is that an excuse to publish ANY accusation that you like? When does FAIR COMMENT turn into SMEAR and SPIN? And doesn't that just undermine EVERYBODY'S trust in journalism and politics?

Look up the word GOSSIPMONGER, says Daddy Richard!

Unlike me, PROPER JOURNALISTS produce EVIDENCE if they want to be taken seriously.

It may be that revealing the source of the evidence in public would be harmful to that person, which is why it is sometimes proper to keep the name of your source out of the article.

But it is not to say that you can publish anything willy-nilly without having to convince ANYONE of your evidence.

For a story like this – one with "unnamed sources" – a proper journalist would be expected to have at least two separate sources and – and this is a key point – they would have to convince their editor (who would NOT be the same person as themselves) that those sources were real, not least because that editor might find themselves having to defend the story in COURT.

And if you say you are "protecting sources" then it is to say that you are willing to make the accusation and then go to prison because you cannot prove it.

What is BAD is when UNSCRUPULOUS and BIASED people want to be anonymous just to SCORE A QUICK HIT on their opponents.

I personally would not go to PRISON just in order to let someone use me for a cheap slander. What sort of a person WOULD?

"Ah," says the journalist, "but POLITICIANS like to give us stories anonymously!"

I am sorry to say that they are RIGHT. This is the "sources close to the minister", "senior opposition spokesperson" or "look it's NOT Simon, okay" sort of story.

Do you know what? I think that politicians SHOULD NOT do this!

In fact, I think that all the Liberal Democrats should make a PROMISE not to do ANY "off the record" briefings. We should ALL be accountable for what we want to say.

Then no one could publish a story with an "unnamed Liberal" briefing against another: we could say "HA! That is no Liberal Democrat; publish their name!"

And this is ALL MY OWN IDEA, just in case anyone thinks that my Daddy Richard is anonymously briefing me to say it!

Is there REALLY any bullying in the Liberal Democrats?

I have checked and this story does not seem to be right.

(And there is NO evidence that Sir Mr the Merciless's imperial guard are sending the CHOCOLATE MUD MEN of MONGO to be melted in the oven of that Pink Dog!)

In which case this is just someone hiding behind an "anonymous source" with nothing more to say than: "Liberal Democrats BAAAAAAD".

That is SMEAR and SPIN!

If you think it is BAD when the Labour does it, then it is bad when ANYBODY DOES IT!

It makes people cynical, and not believe what they read and not trust anyone, journalists or politicians or even each other. It UNDERMINES the whole system of journalism, and that means that it undermines DEMOCRACY.

More than that: it is bad for the CONSERVATORIES. Yes, that's right it is BAD FOR YOU TOO.

Perhaps you might think that you will do better if people think EVERYONE is the nasty party. You could not be more wrong. People have not forgotten who the NASTY party are.

Keep slinging mud and some of it sticks – but remember: it sticks to your own paws too!

It means that fewer people actually vote and that means that – funnily enough – means someone like Lord Blairimort gets a majority of power on a minority of votes. And the Conservatories get NOWHERE.

Think about that: knifing the Liberals (or the Labour) and pretending that it is TRUE – you might as well stick the knife in Mr Balloon yourself. And THEN what will happen!

A clue: BANG! POP!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Day 2202: The Urge to Surge


So, you’ve gone and kicked off a horrible terrible CIVIL WAR with both sides liking nothing better than to take pot shots at foreign soldiers just for getting in the way. Do you:

a) apologise to the United Nations and ask for help from the countries in the region and the rest of the world to try and ease tensions and help as many people as possible;

b) try to walk away and leave then to it, whistling innocently and hope that nobody notices;


c) stick your head further into the briar patch and shout loudly “Nyar nyar, can’t get MEEEEE!”


I may be fluffy, but I am not totally STUPID. I realise that things are going to be horribly terrible no matter what we do now. Just to abandon the people of Iraq to get on with their civil war would be cruel and heartless. Besides, we broke it; we bought it – as they say in Americaland.

Trying to force two warring armies apart – especially when they are warring in the crowded streets of a city – is either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid or, and this is what I think, BOTH!

Only one man could rally the nation behind such a bold plan.

Tragically, he was not available, so the Monkey-in-Chief addressed the nation instead.

Unusually for him, he actually tried to make a case for doing this damn silly thing in this damn silly way, setting out the reasons why failure in Iraq will be VERY BAD NEWS for America. Very bad news INDEED.

Of course, he overlooks that there was NO NEED to be there in the first place: when he set out on this course when many wise people warned him that if he invaded with no support from the UN and no plan for after the invasion then his hopes for a peaceful democratic pro-western state would be BOUND TO FAIL.

In spite of this, he told them he had lost patience and he invaded with no support from the UN and no plan for after the invasion. And his hopes for a peaceful democratic pro-western state HAVE FAILED.

Now says he has to keep going because it might be awful if he failed.

Still, this time he has taken the trouble to flag up a number of reasons to BLAME THE IRAQIS when it all goes belly-up again this time. He calls these “benchmarks” for the Iraqi government: share the oil revenues with the people, organise local elections, undo the de-Bath-ification (who needs BATHS! ugh wet!) that, er, the Americans insisted on in the first place, cure cancer, host the Winter Olympics and get a number one hit in the new downloadable top 40.

Yes, I know – how are they supposed to share the oil revenues when Halliburton have snaffled them all???

The BBC have provided a handy “at-a-glance” guide to the Monkey-in-Chief’s plans.

(Guess what: it is (c) above!)

He is going to rush a whole lot more targets troops into the capital, Baghdad. 80% of sectarian violence occurs in Baghdad, he says – possibly because that is where the sectarian sectors meet in the middle! And to really guarantee that a QUICK GETAWAY is out of the question for WHOEVER REPLACES HIM, he will be embedding more of the American troops into the Iraqi army.

This time it should work, he promises. Previously, they just never had enough troops in Iraq to control the country on the ground. According to the Brookings Institution, the previous high point, in November 2005, saw only 160,000 US troops and that number has fallen now to 140,000 in November 2006. So this new boost of 20,000 will take them to… hang on, maybe MATHEMATICS isn’t the Monkey-in-Chief’s strongest suit.

This strategy is built on the Baker-Hamilton IRAQ SURVEY GROUP findings. That’s “built on” in the sense of having them buried under the foundations of a freeway flyover, of course.

Where Baker-Hamilton recommend addressing Iran and Syria, they kind of meant addressing some NICE DIPLOMATIC LETTERS and not announcing “WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!”


The Monkey-in-Chief’s idea for winning the cooperation of the regional powers is to say he’s going to give them a good kicking, even though so far he’s been totally incapable of doing anything more that seriously p… BAD WORD them off.

Still, the Monkey-in-Chief is lucky enough to only have to face television cameras rather than anything really dangerous. Like the US Senate.

(This week Fried Rice was on the menu!)

Asked to explain how long a surge is, Ms Condescending said: “oh, we don’t expect it to last 18 months or two years”. She later clarified that she meant the surge and not the Monkey-in-Chief’s presidency.

The World response was, for once, pretty unified.

It’s never going to work!” said the French, Germans, Russians, Chinese, Patagonians and the ambassador from the off-shore sea fort of Sealand.

I for one welcome the new commands from our ant overlords,” said Mrs Bucket speaking for anyone British who still believes she’s important, adding “but even I don’t think it has a cat in hell’s chance!

And the Iraqi Prime Minister commented: “I didn’t ask for this job, you know!”

With confident support like this, how can the Monkey-in-Chief fail?!