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Vote For Spare Change…

May 4, 2010


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Given the General Election on Thursday, it would be perverse not to ask for political poems. Here’s one of my favourites:
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Bastards

Bastards sitting in their offices
And bastards trying to boss you around
Bastards up there in Canberra
You expect those bastards to be bastards
But what gets me
Is having bastards all around you
Bastards on your own side who turn out to be
Bastards.
I guarantee if they started a society
To rid the world of bastards
In six months the bastards
Would take it over.

Len Fox (1905-2004), from his self-published collection Gumleaves and People (1967)

173 Comments
  1. mishari permalink*
    May 4, 2010 9:42 AM

    Eventually he (Gordon Brown), John Denham and the bloke from Dragon’s Den went into the Las Palmas Cafe ostensibly to launch something called Labour’s Seaside Manifesto… —David Hare, The Grauniad, today

    …and the comedy keeps writing itself…

  2. May 4, 2010 9:51 AM

    It’s end of the pier comedy too.

    I was working in Poole yesterday and passed hundreds of posters of the 2 Rees Moggs en route. Somerset is farming country so not much evidence of anything other than self-interest on display.

    Apparently Dave asked Annunziata to change her name to Nancy Mogg so as not to give the appearance of too many toffs in the area. What an honest guy!

  3. mishari permalink*
    May 4, 2010 10:30 AM

    The Rees-Moggs are road-company Wodehouse caricatures: Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps and Honoria Glossop with blue rosettes. Anybody cretinous enough to vote for them should have their franchise withdrawn instantly.

    Farmers? They’re the ones in the wellies and the cows are the ones with the horns, right? Or is it the other way around?

  4. May 4, 2010 11:11 AM

    Farmers moan whilst cows moo used to be the surefire way of telling them apart.

  5. May 4, 2010 11:18 AM

    I don’t think I’m out of joint
    When I think to myself
    “What’s the point?”

    The battlelines once were clear
    Now you can’t see differences
    Even if you peer

    No way I’ll be voting Tory
    But the other choices
    Are a different story.

    Lib Dem, Flying Yogic party or Green
    It’ll have to be the ballot box
    Where I come clean.

  6. mishari permalink*
    May 4, 2010 12:16 PM

    As I was walking past St. Paul’s
    I met a man named Edward Balls
    He crawled and begged me for my vote
    I said “Fuck off, you slimy scrote.”

  7. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 4, 2010 2:39 PM

    David Cameron or Gordon Brown
    a scotchman here, a scotchman there
    whichever scotch git wins the crown
    we really don’t have a prayer.

  8. May 4, 2010 4:42 PM

    David Cameron memorably described as CP3PO made of ham.

    David Cameron
    The ponce
    Needs a hammer on
    His bonce.

  9. May 4, 2010 11:36 PM

    Obooki’s Guide to the British General Election

    His name is Gordon Brown
    and he’s just a fucking clown.

    That’s David Cameron:
    he thinks he’s already won.

    And that man is Nick Clegg,
    who’s counting on a second leg.

    He’s Peter Robinson:
    he thinks Ireland should be one.

    And Gerry Adams next to him
    is wanting the exact same thing.

    Alex Salmond and Ieuan Wyn Jones
    represent their forebear’s homes.

    And that man’s Lord Pearson,
    defending England from the Hun.

    And Nick Griffin by his side,
    hiding views he has to hide.

    And she’s Caroline Lucas:
    she’s happy when we take the bus.

    The others are a mongrel lot
    who want all MPs to be shot.

    And that man there is Tony Blair;
    he’s smiling cos he doesn’t care.

  10. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 12:11 AM

    In a dramatic escalation of the anger unleashed by the economic crisis engulfing Greece, communist protesters stormed the Acropolis today… —The Grauniad, today

    Why aren’t we ‘storming’ Stonehenge?

  11. hic8ubique permalink
    May 5, 2010 1:13 AM

    …We aren’t very well-red?
    {Sorry.}

  12. pinkblossom permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:06 AM

    The Storming of Stonehenge

    Enough is enough. Was the slogan, we had.
    A huge General Strike, had not gone so bad
    But still we needed more, a gesture so loud
    that they’d hear it away, at the back of the crowd.
    “We’ll tumble Stonehenge, we’ll take it by storm
    that will show them we’re through
    with Big Capital norms.”
    But the pink dawn of hope
    must begin without me.
    I’m still stuck fast in traffic
    on the A303.

  13. May 5, 2010 9:30 AM

    When I were a lad and lived just down the road you could park next to Stonehenge and wander freely. Now it’s been tourist-heritaged out of existence and you can’t get very close at all. I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the National Trust’s unwillingness to let a few druids do what they do a few times a year.

  14. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 9:45 AM

    That’s nothing: when I were a lad, you could build a lean-to up against one of the standing-stones, cover yourself in woad and move in. You could then make a comfortable living reading chicken entrails and napping flint…

  15. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:59 AM

    Spies of Warsaw was pretty good. I liked this:

    By the side of the road, at the entry to each village, stood a sign attacking the Jews… the dramatic ‘This flat-footed stranger, with kinky hair and hooked nose, he shall not our land enjoy, he must leave, he must leave.’
    ‘Perhaps an amateur poet, that one,’ Stefan said.
    ‘One publishes where one can,’ Mercier said.

    Anyone catch Luther, the Idris Elba vehicle? The Mowbray Verdict: crap.

    My favourite political song:

  16. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 11:10 AM

    Funny you should post an Alabama 3 song. I know Rob, Jake, Orlando and the boys well (my years in Brixton). I was delighted for them when The Sopranos used ‘Woke Up This Morning’ as its theme music.

    I didn’t watch ‘Luther’ but thanks for the heads-up. I can’t help feeling that it would have been so much better (for us and for Idris Elba) if it had been made by HBO or FX or any US cable channel.

    Although I’ve got Spies of Warsaw, I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Looking forward to it, though.

  17. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2010 3:29 PM

    That (horribly mutilated) track must have set them up for life. I got the CD for my son, who liked what he’d heard on the Sopranos. Of course the know-nothing didn’t like any of the rest of it, while I thought it was brilliant. A wide selection of styles, great tunes and some inspired lyrics.

    Yes, Luther looks as big a disaster for Elba as he was for the Catholic church (should have worked Napoleon in there somewhere as well).

  18. May 5, 2010 3:39 PM

    Woad? I had you down as a wattle and daub man.

    I heard that the Alabama 3 Soprano’s track had the electronic rhythm section added by a Soprano’s sound man and that it was previously more country & western style. Can our ex-Brixton correspondent shed light on this rumour?

  19. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 5:57 PM

    They recorded a number of versions of the track. The Sopranos one was the ‘something mix’ (can’t remember exact name). As far as I know, what you hear on The Sopranos is pure A3 but wasn’t the track that’s on the LP ‘Exile On Coldharbour Lane’ but a later mix that they issued as a single.

    BTW, MM:

    Before tomorrow, consider this: given the choice of centuries of English literature, David Cameron’s Desert Island book would be The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. It’s an alluring image, the Tory leader thousands of miles from civilisation, trying to make brown crab linguini out of twigs and sand. — The Graun, today

    Something to contemplate the next time you’re tempted to invest Cameron with intellect…I know, I know…you’re going to say it was a choice calculated to win over DID listeners but what on earth would make him think that would do it? He must be an idiot…

  20. May 5, 2010 7:04 PM

    I know I bang on about Yuri Norstein but have a look at this. It’s from his 20 years in the making version of Gogol’s The Overcoat and is a longer version than has been posted up on YouTube before.

    Bear in mind too that it’s all flat drawing on different layers of glass.

    Seemed appropriate for the blog title

  21. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2010 8:09 PM

    Actually, The River Cottage Cookbook is a key text for those of us who are on the cutting-edge of contemporary literature. Hugh’s account of his struggle to wrestle ingredients from the natural world and then to transform the raw material into objets de cuisine is regarded as a paradigm of the artist’s striving to make order from the chaos of existence. His ‘Pigs’ Testicles With Stuffed Eels And Caramelised Onions’, for instance, is an amusing and refreshing take on current sexual mores… (cont. p94)

  22. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 9:05 PM

    Huge Family-Whelkstall isn’t merely a cook with a silly Wodehouse-ian name, he’s an artist: such brio! Such gusto! Such Vimto (Are you sure about this one?Ed.)! Such a lot of other words ending in ‘o’!

  23. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:18 PM

    Such bollo.

    Spurs in the Champions League! Whodathunkit? What price Blackpool in the Premier League…? Shorter odds than clegg@number10.co.uk, I fear.

  24. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 10:22 PM

    Never mind that, HLM. Here’s some important news:

    A Russian MP has asked President Dmitry Medvedev to investigate claims by a regional president that he has met aliens on board a spaceship.

    Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the leader of the southern region of Kalymkia, made his claim in a television interview.

    MP Andre Lebedev is not just asking whether Mr Ilyumzhinov is fit to govern.

    He is also concerned that, if he was abducted, he may have revealed details about his job and state secrets.

    The MP has written a letter to Mr Medvedev raising a list of his concerns.

    In his letter he says that – assuming the whole thing was not just a bad joke – it was an historic event and should have been reported to the Kremlin.

    He also asks if there are official guidelines for what government officials should do if contacted by aliens, especially if those officials have access to state secrets.

    Mr Ilyumzhinov said in an interview on primetime television that he had been taken on board an alien spaceship which had come to planet Earth to take samples – and claims to have several witnesses.

    He has been president of Kalmykia, a small Buddhist region of Russia which lies on the shores of the Caspian Sea, for 17 years.

    The millionaire former businessman has a reputation as an eccentric character. —BBC News website, today

  25. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2010 10:47 PM

    I hope Spurs enjoy their 2 games, HLM.

    Niagara Falls
    the Rocky Mountains
    Casanova’s balls
    the Chatsworth fountains
    a Pickford’s van
    the Serengeti plain
    all of them much smaller than
    David Cameron’s brain.

  26. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 11:02 PM

    Archer’s acquaintance with truth
    Cliff’s contribution to rock
    The modesty of Cherie Booth
    Melton Mowbray’s cock
    None is as miniscule
    As the Cameron’s brain, the fool.

  27. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 5, 2010 11:21 PM

    Nice one, I spilt my drink reading that. You owe me 1 finger of McTavish Very Old Hi-Kwalitee Scotch Whisky.

  28. mishari permalink*
    May 5, 2010 11:42 PM

    A case of Old Mukherjees Finest Scottich Alcohol Beverage (Warning: Do Not Dispose of In Municipal Drains) is wending its way to you on the fleetest of my dromedaries…

  29. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2010 11:33 AM

    I don’t think work is going to help ET escape Gotterdammerung. According to the G postal voting will jam up the system till later on Friday. A bad twenty-four hours.

    In ’87 and ’92 I just stayed up for the Basildon result. You knew which way it was going from the preferences of those mockney slags.

  30. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 6, 2010 12:39 PM

    want it there at the double?:
    whitevan man with stubble
    elf petrol with mobil
    full english with bubble

    sending couldn’t-quite-carey?:
    one old dromedary
    one fasting azeri
    felafel and berry

  31. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2010 1:59 PM

    …cynic…

  32. May 6, 2010 2:32 PM

    MM No working abroad won’t help me escape Cameron Year Zero but it will at least, as Hugh Fearnley Whitingstall would put it, give a simulacrum of virtual paradise where the participant bears witness rather than passively consumes. With chips of course.

    Went to vote at 9.30, the place was empty, we were almost the first ones in. The candidates on the ballot papers bore no relationship to the ones writing the campaign literature pushed through our letterbox.

  33. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2010 2:50 PM

    Inez and I went and voted first thing this am. She said “You’re making me crazy with your pacing up and down”. Anyway, as we exited the polling station, I said (in an offensively chirpy fashion) to the Tory twerp hanging around the school gates: “Jeez, your pal Call Me Dave…what an idiot…a 20 point lead down to level pegging..what a putz…” (or words to that effect) whilst Inez looked the poor fucker up and down disdainfully and said “Maybe next time”.

    He looked like he was going to burst into tears. Let’s hope…

  34. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2010 3:02 PM

    I didn’t realise you were going abroad. That should at least put some distance between you and the general wailing and gnashing etc.

    A large turnout, so they say. That used to favour Labour in the old days, but under the current conditions nothing is clear.

  35. May 6, 2010 4:17 PM

    The slithy tove
    Has nothing on
    Michael Gove.

    With wingnut ears
    He’ll rule our schools
    For 5 long years.

    For 5 long years
    There will be no peace
    From his special brand
    Of unctious grease.

  36. pinkblossom permalink
    May 6, 2010 6:30 PM

    Vote for the Cure

    Down the road, from Gasworks Green
    Phillippa Stroud would soon be queen;
    better than being “a” queen, by far
    she’ll pray to save that scene , ha ha!

    “Drive those pufftah demons out!”
    This charismatic Tory shouts.
    “Time perhaps
    to change some Laws?”
    Cheam’s next member,
    shafting yours.

  37. mishari permalink*
    May 6, 2010 7:40 PM

    If you vote Tory, I swear to God
    (and I’m not a man given to bluster)
    I’ll track you and insert the old cattle prod:
    It’ll feel final, but it’s just the end, buster.

  38. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2010 9:06 PM

  39. obooki permalink
    May 6, 2010 10:18 PM

    God, I turn on the election special and find myself listening to Michael Gove. I remember after 5 seconds why I’ve paid no attention to politics in the last 5 years. – I do hope Sunderland lose in their childish race to be first.

    My bet on the Libdems isn’t looking great at the moment.

  40. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 6, 2010 10:46 PM

    It was always a two horse race.

    I must say I rather enjoy listening to Mandelson since he stopped taking himself seriously. He can be quite amusing. Still glad he’s a ’53 man, however.

  41. obooki permalink
    May 6, 2010 11:41 PM

    No, I still can’t stand Mandelson – I had to get up and go and do something else when he came on. – George Osbourne reminds me of Piers from The New Statesman.

  42. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 12:42 AM

    Mandy? No, no, no….Osborne? I just want to hit the fucker (sorry, I got drunk early on and I’ve just woken up)…let the games begin…just turned on the idiot box…

    Oh. Christ..,..”I’m talking to Ian Hislop and Edwina Curry…”…bottle, were’s my bottle?

  43. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 12:56 AM

    My personal hit list…Ed Bollocks…Jaquie Smith…Charles Clarke…Melton Mowbray (WE MUST DESTROY MOWBRAY and his enteryist pals…

  44. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 1:00 AM

    “…it is vital that we do not go back to the bad old days of the past…” —some spud-fondler on the BBC

    As opposed to the ‘bad old days’ of the future….idiot

  45. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 1:02 AM

    Should we set Robert Peston as the new standard of stupidity? I think so…

  46. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 1:09 AM

    Looks like Basildon is lost. Might as well go to bed. Or kill myself.

  47. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 1:13 AM

    Basildon? Fuck Basildon…how are things going in civilization?

  48. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 8:15 AM

    “…we go to Nicholas Winchell who is keeping an eye on the Queen’s movements…”

    “…yes, David, the Queen remains at Windsor…”

    I’m so on edge I can barely contain my yawns…

  49. May 7, 2010 9:09 AM

    The queen’s movements???? Bad taste thought of the week.

    Was waking up thinking that Cameron had strolled it and instead got a “No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition” moment. Having told us all how great the British electoral system is I wonder how Cameron will spin this result let alone deaL with it.

    Right I’m off to Bologna Book Festival .

  50. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:19 AM

    Yeah? Say hello to Dr. Whatsisface, the kiddie laureate…

  51. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 9:23 AM

    Have a good trip, ET.

    Same here: went to bed feeling suicidal (see above) woke up to find something quite different than I’d expected. I wonder if the knives will be coming out for Cameron? A shockingly poor result considering the general contempt for Gordon and NewLab. Fashioning a coalition looks like being a tricky job. Are we the new Italy? The weather would be nice.

  52. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:24 AM

    I just heard Tessa Jowell (making the case for Fatty Brown) say that “…in order to spare the Queen the embarrassment of choosing a government…”

    Huh?

  53. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:30 AM

    That fat fuck McNulty got the chop. Result.

  54. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:31 AM

    …and the loathsome Jaqui Smith. Hurrah.

  55. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:32 AM

    “…those are the only two triggers that can activate the Queen…” —some talking head on the BBC

  56. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 9:33 AM

    We can’t have the Queen being embarrassed, but what could be more embarrassing than Tessa Jowell?

  57. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:38 AM

    Mind you, you can see her point. There’s the Queen, having a cuppa and a fag and thinking: “Jesus, they’re all so fucking awful…”

  58. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 9:57 AM

    How did Gorgeous George get on?

  59. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 9:59 AM

    Dunno…he got my vote (Inez, who’s always found me persuasive, went LibDem).

  60. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 10:30 AM

    I think he might have lost.

  61. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 10:35 AM

    …on the BBC: Nick Clegg’s Car

    I dunno whether to laugh or cry.

  62. mishari permalink*
    May 7, 2010 11:17 AM

    Complete genome comparison reveals that up to 4% of some humans’ DNA is Neanderthal —The Grauniad, today

    Well, that’s the Tories explained…

  63. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 2:06 PM

    So Galloway went down. I wish he’d put a bit more effort into speaking in the H of C. A wasted talent.

    Culled this from the Editor’s Comment in today’s IW County Press:

    ‘Opponents of the Jazz in the Meadow event at Ventnor Botanic Garden envisaged drink-fuelled damage to the plant-life and drug paraphernalia littering the borders if the event was allowed to go ahead on May 22nd. Now, forgive me, but aren’t those jazz hats more likely to overdose on Sanatogen than anything more lethal?’

    Quite right.

  64. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 7, 2010 2:45 PM

    Jazz hats are crazy about Gingko Biloba. And cats go for Bird.

    Talking of which, sorry about George, I didn’t realise he was running. He’d always get my vote.

  65. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 7, 2010 11:46 PM

    Clegg getting into bed with Cameron? I must be having a nightmare.

  66. mishari permalink*
    May 8, 2010 8:53 AM

    I can’t see it myself. Cameron was already waffling about electoral reform, which I imagine is non-negotiable for the LibDems. I think it’s going to have to be a LibLab deal. Well, it’s that or another fucking election…On a happier note, Fatty Griffin and his toy Nazis were wiped out in Barking&Dagenham.

  67. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 8, 2010 12:22 PM

    This site changes every time I look at it. Is it a model of the political situation?

    I see some people are saying Cameron might jump at the chance to have Vince as Chancellor. No-one fancies Osbourne, not even his own party.

    Good news about Fatso and his minions. Annunziata Rees-Mogg was seen off by the sturdy electors of Frome. Excellent!

  68. mishari permalink*
    May 8, 2010 12:36 PM

    Yeah, Nancy Mogg got blanked but unfortunately, her ludicrous brother got in with a large majority (boundary changes, doncherknow). I just can’t see Clegg doing it. The Tory policies are just complete anathema to your average LibDem.

    And what the fuck does Cameron’s offer of an inquiry into voting reform mean? What the hell’s wrong with the Jenkins report commissioned (and ignored) by Blair?

    I think Osborne has the same effect on most people: he makes their skin crawl…

  69. hic8ubique permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:01 PM

    I’m thinking of the prominent photo of Cameron in yesterday’s Guardian…

    Skin-crawlingly weak and effete
    C’s dainty paws are too petit.

    His gesture limp ecclesiastic
    says ‘Kiss my ring. Be genuplastic!’

    His queen’s handshake proffered the Queen
    a haddock’s greeting might have been.

    His eyes, his hands like fish and foul
    can’t even throw up sponge (or towel).

    Women cringe at such a creature.
    Repulsive, every ichthys feature.

  70. hic8ubique permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:14 PM

    I suppose that should have been ‘ichthous’
    the better to simulate an adjective.
    I really should learn to walk away and let things sit awhile.
    Often I think a verse is finished only to find it keeps on in my head.
    If I find more expressions of loathing, I’ll be back.

  71. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 8, 2010 7:46 PM

    That’s interesting. I was discoursing on Cameron a couple of days ago, adumbrating strengths and weaknesses, considering how his apparently ‘liberal’ outlook would go down with his own party etc, when Mrs M said ‘I just can’t bear looking at him’. Not a view much discussed by the commentariat, but important all the same. However, I think Gordon might suffer from the same prejudice.

  72. hic8ubique permalink
    May 8, 2010 8:05 PM

    It’s down to instinct, ergo, as Mrs M knows, there is little to discuss.
    Brown elicits a slap as well. He gets the ‘Wake up and get a pulse!’ slap.
    Cameron gets the “Don’t touch me with those pointy little fins!’ slap.
    Does this make me a bigoted woman?

  73. mishari permalink*
    May 8, 2010 8:59 PM

    Every woman whose opinion I’ve solicited on the subject has responded in much the same way as hic and Mrs. MM…that is, with an almost instinctive revulsion. There’s something oily and dishonest on the surface of Cameron with glimpses of something far nastier beneath it. His own party are coming to similar conclusions:

    David Cameron was facing a growing backlash from his own MPs and party grandees today over the conduct of an election campaign that left him short of an overall majority and trying to make a deal with the Lib Dems.

    The Observer can reveal that Lord Ashcroft, who pumped £5m into marginal seats, is furious with the Tory leader for having agreed to take part in television debates that he believes undid much of his work for the party.

    Friends of Ashcroft also say the peer is angry because he believes Cameron failed to stand up for him properly in the row over his “non-dom” tax status, which harmed the Tories in the run-up to the election.

    Today, one senior frontbencher rounded on the Conservative leader, demanding that he sack key figures involved in the campaign, including the man who ran it, George Osborne, the shadow chancellor. The frontbencher said: “He ran his campaign from the back of his Jaguar with a smug, smarmy little clique – people like Osborne, [Oliver] Letwin and Michael Gove. He should get rid of all of them. The party will settle for nothing less.”

    Another senior and normally loyal Tory MP complained that Cameron’s big idea for the campaign – “the Big Society”, under which armies of volunteers would come together to tackle the country’s ills – was “complete crap”.

    “We couldn’t sell that stuff on the doorstep. It was pathetic. All we needed was a simple message on policy. We could have won a majority if we had not had to try to sell this nonsense.”

    Cameron is certain to feel the wrath of his MPs at an emergency meeting of the 1922 committee of backbenchers tomorrow, called to discuss a possible coalition with the Lib Dems. —The Obs, today

    Let the bloodletting begin…

  74. May 8, 2010 10:52 PM

    Cameron was a PR man for Carlton, which used to be quite the nastiest outfit in the generally unedifying world of British TV. How anybody could think for a moment that he was trustworthy is beyond me. It’s reassuring that despite most of the press trumpeting him as the statesman of the future, a large number of voters didn’t like the look of him either.

    I know you won’t agree, but I’ve felt increasingly fond of Brown. At least he seems to be an actual human being. I fear that Clegg , while not completely android like Cameron, may be some sort of half-human prototype.

  75. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 8, 2010 11:20 PM

    Cameron is loathsome, agreed, but as I’ve convincingly demonstrated, an exceptionally gifted intellectual. Of course he has many of the faults of the intellectual, a weak character, a tendency to shilly-shally, a Mekon-style forehead.

    I can’t agree that Gordon is almost human. The way the skin seems to be sliding off his face puts me in mind of the theories of well-known Isle of Wight prophet David Icke, who I saw in Tesco yesterday. There must be at least a 50-50 chance that Gordon is a giant lizard who is shedding his skin and about to reveal himself in all his scaly majesty and run round biting his opponents’ heads off. Good luck to him.

    Very acute description of Clegg, Zeph.

  76. mishari permalink*
    May 8, 2010 11:30 PM

    Listened to Cider With Mowbray on the radio. A simple tale of plain folk (the adjectives are interchangable) going about their daily business of cider consumption, straw-chewing, wurzel-mangling, carnal relations with animals, incest, morris dancing and falling over. Happy days…

    I understand your feelings about Brown, zeph. I almost feel a twinge of sympathy for the man in his (self-inflicted) agony…

    But then I remember the lies, the crimes and the betrayals of the last 13 years; the sheer nastiness, brutishness and dishonesty of the man; his crawling to Murdoch and the City; his cowardice and disdain for the electorate– and I hate his guts again.

    Brown came in lying his fat head off about the Ecclestone affair in 1997 and he’ll go down lying about his desire for electoral reform. To hell with him…

  77. May 9, 2010 12:05 AM

    There was a comment from somebody on CiF who knew Brown years ago and said he was a decent man then. But they added something about his being a Faustian story, which I thought was interesting. Who was Mephistopheles, I wonder.

  78. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 9, 2010 12:10 AM

    No sign of freep since the election. I wonder if he’s gone into exile in Lichtenstein with Bonnie Prince Joseph?

    Sing me a song of a lad that is gone
    Say could that lad be I
    Merry of soul, he sailed on a day
    Over the sea to a small, German-speaking country.

  79. mishari permalink*
    May 9, 2010 12:47 AM

    Brown’s Mephisto was, I should imagine, Mandelson. A staunch Brownite who decided that the more polished, media-friendly Blair was a safer bet (hence Brown’s hatred for Mandy over the last 13 years).

    Whatever Brown started out as, he ended up corrupted (not personally: I believe his one saving grace is a signal lack of interest in enriching himself). The proximity of the sinister Mandelson will do that. The Ecclestone affair (during which Brown lied brazenly) was a fair indicator of what was to come…

    Has freep become a Jacobite exile? How very whimsical. I shall pass my wine-glass over the water glass when I toast (signifying my fealty to the ‘King across the water’, Bonnie Prince Freep, the young-ish pretender…

  80. hic8ubique permalink
    May 9, 2010 3:38 AM

    I’ve long loved that consolatory Jacobite tradition, Mishari, and find it adapts well to all sorts of covert rebellions.

  81. mishari permalink*
    May 9, 2010 10:41 AM

    Yes, indeed, hic. My cabal used it a lot when we were plotting to overthrow the the old farts at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club at Cowes…we boarded them in the smoke…the scuppers were awash with Pimms…we ran up the black flag and started cutting off their mooring privileges…the slaughter was tremendous.

    One has to laugh at Bum-Face Cameron’s claim that 300 seats gives the Tories ‘a moral authority’ to form a government. Sadly for the idiot Cameron, the constitution doesn’t recognise ‘a moral authority’ to govern: either you win (or control) enough seats or you don’t.

    It’s a bit like arguing that you have ‘a moral authority’ to win the lottery because you’ve bought more tickets than anyone else…as MM says, truly a giant intellect at work.

  82. freep permalink
    May 9, 2010 10:45 AM

    Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency
    Liberal Democrat hold

    Michael Moore LD 22,230 (45.3%)
    John Lamont C ….(etc)
    Lab, BNP, UKIP, SNP etc….
    …..Chris Black (Jacobite) 134 (0.27%)

    A little way still to go, but the 134 loyal Stuart Borderers are sharpening their peat cleavers and making ready. The news from Lichtenstein is good. Prince Joseph has started shaving.

  83. May 9, 2010 12:18 PM

    My partner’s father has been staying with us the last few days. Interesting watching a Dutchman try to understand why anyone would think our electoral system is preferable to PR. The Dutch are completely baffled and amused by the whole thing.

    Interesting also that Clegg is half-Dutch. I don’t think he’ll back down on PR, if only through fear of his mother.

    Not that PR is a perfect system. In the upcoming Dutch election it may give a degree of legitimacy to their own Nick Griffin, the far-right bouffant Geert Wilders.

    Enjoyed Marina Hyde’s analysis; the electorate has delivered the result most humiliating to all parties. Keeping Labour almost alive is crueller than simply destroying them; the lack of a Tory majority shows Cameron’s lack of appeal and trustworthiness; and the Lib-Dems had their brief bubble burst.

    Sorry no poems for a while. The muse has been silent.

  84. obooki permalink
    May 9, 2010 12:47 PM

    Yes, the same occurred to me as ExB’s comment: that PR wouldn’t only help the LibDems; it would help the fascists.

    This is what it would look like, purely based on number of votes:

    Party Seats Change

    Conserv 234.69 -71.31
    Labour 188.61 -69.39
    Lib Dems 149.67 +92.67
    SNP 10.77 +4.77
    DUP 3.69 -4.31
    Sinn Fein 3.77 -1.23
    Plaid Cymru 3.63 +0.63
    SDLP 2.43 -0.57
    Green 6.26 +5.26
    BNP 12.36 +12.36
    UKIP 20.12 +20.12
    UCU 2.24 +2.24
    English Democrats 1.42 +1.42

    I was intrigued by that guy who was standing behind the returning officer in Brown’s constituency, who looked like some sort of ultra-nationalist, but who was actually standing for a party called Land is Power, aka The Landless Peasantry Party:

    http://landlesspeasants.org/

  85. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 9, 2010 1:04 PM

    If he’s half-Dutch, shouldn’t he be Clogg?

  86. mishari permalink*
    May 9, 2010 1:14 PM

    There were strange gatherings. A vote would come
    that would be no vote. There would come a rope.
    Yes. There would come a rope.

    John Berryman, from Dream Song 10

  87. hic8ubique permalink
    May 9, 2010 2:55 PM

    This is a delightful song. Wish I could produce an audio version for you…
    A New England response. (Add your own Pimms no.1)

    ‘We sailed out of Stamford town,
    With them Bloomington stinkpots all around,
    When from up on deck the call came down,
    Tanqueray Martini – O
    Well both our captain & the crew,
    They must have the drink you can look right through,
    There’s really nothing else will do,
    Tanqueray Martini – O

    CHORUS:
    So haul your sheets back with one hand,
    Set your drink down if you can,
    & we never sail out of sight of land.
    Tanqueray Martini – O

    To Greenwich town we did put in,
    Being nearly out of gin,
    To continue on it would be a sin.
    Tanqueray Martini – O
    & our captain’s laid out on the floor,
    He’d been elected to buy some more,
    He broke his leg trying to get on shore.
    Tanqueray Martini – O

    (chorus)

    Now nine parts gin & one vermouth,
    That’s the yachtman’s friend & that’s the truth,
    From Sheepshead Bay to the Bay of Booth
    Tanqueray Martini – O
    & them Montauk girls they look so fine,
    Rigged loose up front & snug behind,
    With a packing slip by Calvin Klein.
    Tanqueray Martini -O…

  88. May 9, 2010 5:12 PM

    Just back not from Bologna Book festival but a schloss on the German/Poland border. Some of the Germans in the audience commisserated with our current possible position – a Con/Lib alliance. It’s similar there too.

    Our van croaked in sympathy with Gordon Brown and is now being towed back home.

    Had hoped I’d missed the hysteria peaking but it looks like this one could run and run.

    Looks like France and Holland are trying to pull Belgium apart again.

  89. mishari permalink*
    May 9, 2010 6:14 PM

    Great song, hic. I do so love a shanty.

    Welcome home, Ed. The Captain’s drunk, there’s a reef up ahead in the dark and it’s all hands to the pumps and no error…you should have stuck in your schloss…

  90. pinkrepresentation permalink
    May 9, 2010 7:58 PM

    Cameron Blues

    Gimme the keys to nummer ten,
    so I can start some rulin’
    and me ol’ chum George
    wants in next doors,
    to start his fiscal foolin’

    We’re up to grab them billions stumped,
    to save the banks by you, you chumps
    and then its time,
    for some Big Society
    (a Welfare State
    of Georgian variety)

    so let us in
    let us in
    let us in.

  91. May 10, 2010 8:30 AM

    Carol Ann Duffy on the Today programme. Dear Lord. Really poor stuff.

  92. freep permalink
    May 10, 2010 8:54 AM

    Agreed, Ed. The Duffy is bad news for poetry. If you’ve got nothing to say, say nothing. If you feel you really ought to say something, but not sure how, don’t say nuffink. If you are Poet Laureate, just keep quiet and go back to the hogshead of sack. When you’ve found a way of saying something better than a fourteen year old’s musings, give it a polish. But in these times of fast moving events, you need a comedian’s sharp wit, not doggerel which just gets published / broadcast because you happen to hold a public (and slightly bogus) position.

  93. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 9:07 AM

    Yes, I was never much impressed by The Duffster. Of course, to suggest she was, you know, a bit…well…crap, actually, got me accused of misogyny, racism (anti-Irish) and God knows what else.

    After all the warnings from the Tories that Clegg must join them pronto, by Monday, before the markets open, lest the world economy collapse–what happens? The FTSE opened 200 points higher and world markets are rising.

    As long as all these worthless fuckers are dickering, they’re not making useless laws and making our lives miserable with their stupidity and ineptitude.

  94. May 10, 2010 9:59 AM

    The ridiculous thing is that this interim, government-forming period is the way things are done in (I believe) the majority of western European democracies. From the hysteria and fear-mongering you’d think every politician in the country had been swallowed by a whale.

    Not a bad idea. I can see the headlines: Illegal Immigrant Ingests Parliament – House Prices Fall.

  95. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 10:19 AM

    UKIP Condemns Euro-Whale. David Cameron Says Tories Will Force Unemployed Whales To Work or Lose Benefits. Labour Says Whale Is A Murdoch Plot. Nick Clegg Proposes Amnesty For Whales. Fatty Griffin Says ‘Whales Are Un-English’. The Sun Says: Exclusive!!! Interview With Jordan’s Tits!!!

  96. May 10, 2010 10:35 AM

    “Neighbouring European countries fail to understand why the UK gets itself in such a blather over democracy in action.”

    Doesn’t make such a snappy headsline as ” Is ConLib Pact a Con?” so you have to see the newspaper’s reasons for stirring the pot.

    They’ve got papers to sell, we’ve just got to live in a country with several hudred circles to square before we can do anything else.

  97. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:03 AM

    How that Duffy poem got past the self-censor I don’t know. Embarrassing is not a long enough word. Harsh and disdainful she may be, but it should have been SM Pugh as PL. That woman can write.

    I’m not too sure about the freep axiom. If having something to say was the condition for speaking I’d be struck dumb forever.

  98. freep permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:37 AM

    You are completely correct, MM. I had quite forgot myself, and know in my heart that the sole purpose of the poet’s existence is to say nothing, and say it with elegance. My test for this is usually Milton. Take any delicious fragment, such as this:

    How sweetly did they float upon the wings
    Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,
    At every fall smoothing the Raven doune
    Of darknes till it smil’d …. (Comus)

    And it will be found to say almost nothing, yet exquisitely

    But Ms Duffy …..

  99. May 10, 2010 3:03 PM

    Her clunky, obtrusive rhymes like goat
    Should be rammed down Carol-Ann Duffy’s throat.
    If she can’t produce a poetic air
    She’ll never be invited to Bologna Book Fair.
    A poet’s life (I’m just supposin’)
    Is spent drinkin’ coffee with Michael Rosen
    The authors greet each other: “Hello darling mwaah!”
    But for Carol-Ann Duffy it’s absolument nul points.

  100. hic8ubique permalink
    May 10, 2010 3:07 PM

    a creamy breath of words , freep

    here is one for you…

    ‘Silently one by one,
    in the infinite meadows of heaven,
    Blossomed the lovely stars,
    the forget-me-nots of the angels.’

    ~H.W. Longfellow

  101. hic8ubique permalink
    May 10, 2010 3:13 PM

    Al’s rhymes are more of duck than goat,
    more sinus formed than from the throat.

  102. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 3:33 PM

    Carol Ann, we’ve had enough:
    Your verse is crap, your rhymes are duff;
    Your work belongs in Hallmark cards
    With other useless, vapid bards.

    .

    .

    Hair used to help soak up Gulf of Mexico oil slick


    BP ‘may stem oil with golf balls’

    from the BBC website today

    I expect they’ll be trying fairy-dust next…

  103. hic8ubique permalink
    May 10, 2010 4:55 PM

    These booms are predicted to travel direct to you via the Gulf-stream, so when you see giant hairy oily drain-clog-esque
    kielbasa floating by next Autumn/for years to come (?)
    think of this hair-roots effort:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/us/06hair.html

  104. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 5:14 PM

    Oh, Jesus…hair stuffed into pantyhose?

    “It looks like a giant hair sausage,” she said. “It’s very nasty looking.”

    I’ll bet.

    Reading and listening to all the Labour loyalists waffling about how Brown ‘saved us from financial meltdown’; about what a ‘great man’ he is; about his financial ‘expertise’; suggesting that Brown is the man to lead a ‘progressive’ coalition with the LibDems etc etc, is grimly amusing.

    I’ve been reading an excellent account (Bad Money by Kevin Phillips) of exactly how Wall St and the City were taken over by the greedy, the incompetent and the crooked (all under the benevolent gaze and enthusiastic encouragement of Bush and Brown). Monbiot summed it up well last year:

    At the G20 meeting in London on Saturday finance ministers and central bankers put their great heads together and decided to do next to nothing. Their proposals to restrain the excesses of the banking industry were meek, flimsy, lily-livered.

    Unless there is some table-turning at the Pittsburgh summit this month, there will be no cap on pay and bonuses, no pruning of banks deemed too big to fail, no separation of retail and investment banking, no measure to restrict the speed or scale of the financial markets. Their dam is built of paper and it’s already beginning to leak.

    There was collective cowardice here, but the main impediment to effective restraint can be summarised thus: Gordon Brown. Before the meeting the prime minister told the Financial Times that the question of pay and bonuses could not be resolved at home, but “is a legitimate debate for the G20 and the world community to have”. He then set out to kill that debate.

    Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel had proposed an absolute cap on bonuses and stiff sanctions for companies that break it. Brown refused. He held out for three days until Sarkozy and Merkel dropped their firm proposals, in favour of a commitment to “explore ways” of limiting bonuses. The bankers must be quaking in their Gucci boots.

    Confident that no real restraint will be imposed, the banks have already decided that bonuses are back. This year the City of London will reward itself for the destruction of other people’s livelihoods with payouts of about £4bn. Nothing has been learned, because governments are not prepared to teach them a lesson. The only firm response to the crisis so far has been to give our money to the people who caused it.

    The government maintains that if its regulations are too stiff, British bankers will leave the country. It’s true that they have been threatening to depart in droves, but the obvious answer is: “Sod off then.” The government wrings its hands about the potential loss of revenue. But in the year before the crash the entire financial sector (of which the City of London is just a sub-station) generated only £12.4bn a year in corporation tax.

    According to the Office for National Statistics, the government’s interventions in the financial markets have already added £141bn to public sector net debt. Its potential liability is £1.2 trillion. It would take, in other words, between 12 and 97 years for the government to recoup the money it has given to the banks, assuming that its failure to regulate doesn’t result in another bail-out in a few years. The City of London is a net drain on public accounts.

    To sustain this parasitic industry every other sector must be cut. Yesterday the Guardian revealed that the government is now prepared to cut the health and overseas aid budgets – hitherto considered sacrosanct – to plug the deficits caused by Britain’s bankers. Every new arrival on the dole queues, every delayed operation, potholed road or crowded classroom for the next two generations will be achievements to be laid at the gates of the City of London. Yet the bankers have seldom had it so good.

    No one on this side of the Atlantic – arguably no one on earth except Alan Greenspan – bears as much responsibility for this crisis as Gordon Brown. In 2004 he told an audience of bankers that “in budget after budget I want us to do even more to encourage the risk takers”.

    In 2007 he boasted that the City’s success was the result of the government “enhancing a risk-based regulatory approach, as we did in resisting pressure for a British Sarbanes-Oxley after Enron and Worldcom”. Even as analysts warned that a crash was due, he continued to deregulate the City and appoint its villainous bosses to government committees and quangos.

    No one now bears as much responsibility for ensuring that the crisis can be repeated as Gordon Brown. There are several pressing questions that historians of the United Kingdom will ask of this age. One of them is as follows: why was this man permitted to remain in power?

    George Monbiot, in the Grauniad, Sep. 7, 2009

    Why, indeed? Those Brown quotes should be tattooed on the forehead of every one of Brown’s apologists and sycophants. The apologists will say “Oh, but the Tories would have done exactly the same.” No doubt; but what a pitiful and disgraceful excuse for a Labour Chancellor and Prime Minister to rely on…

  105. May 10, 2010 5:42 PM

    Dear Ezra Al-Adwani

    many thanks for making my ode to duff Duffy look far more literate than I managed.

    TS Edwardiot

  106. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 5:57 PM

    No worries, chum. Keep plugging away at your magnum opus, The Waste-Paper Bin: it’s your ticket out of the bank.

  107. freep permalink
    May 10, 2010 7:06 PM

    Vote Clegg, get Milliband. Things move too fast for us old timers. The dogg has just been sick.

  108. May 10, 2010 7:32 PM

    With many more exciting permutations yet to materialise freep.

    I must admit the Tories false sense of entitlement is a joy to behold and one they’ll continue to flog for many a month.

  109. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 8:08 PM

    I must say, Ed, I’m with you you there. The deflated look on the faces of the insufferably smug Cameroons is a thing of rare beauty.

    Meanwhile, if Labour think that the loathsome ‘We’ve Been Punished Enough For Iraq’ boy Millipede (AKA Blair-lite) is a vote-winner, I’m afraid they’re in for a rude awakening…

    Also a delight was watching the odious Alistair (Goebbels) Campbell almost come to blows with the equally ghastly Adam Boulton on Sky.

  110. obooki permalink
    May 10, 2010 9:36 PM

    Hmm, it’s getting interesting. Both parties promising the LibDems electoral reform: – something that’s in neither of their long-term interests.

    If I were the LibDems, I’d join with Labour, cos they’re more desperate, demand immediate legislation on electoral reform – and then, as soon as it was made law, instantly renege on the coalition and cause a general election.

  111. freep permalink
    May 10, 2010 9:51 PM

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/10/election-adam-boulton-alastair-campbell

    Marina Hyde has excelled herself again. Life can continue without politicians and bankers, as my dogg continually reminds me.

  112. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 10:26 PM

    I don’t know if you noticed, obooki, but Cameron’s first offer was to allow his MPs a free vote on holding a PR referendum. I mean, how stupid does Cameron think the LibDems are?

    The Tories would all vote against it, Labour would sit on their hands out of spite and the LibDems would be double-fucked: firstly by cozying up to the enemy and secondly by achieving nothing. A risible offer (or non-offer, to be accurate).

    Now Cam’s offering something that he can’t deliver (AV) because his back-benchers won’t wear it. Mind you, I don’t see how Cameron expects the LibDems to vote with the Tories on anti-European legislation. The whole notion of a Tory/LibDem coalition is a complete non-starter.

    As you (and your dogg) say, freep: life goes on regardless.

    Here are Campbell and Betsy Boulton going at it. Boulton, who appears to have wandered in off the set of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, makes Campbell look like the very model of sweet reasonableness:

  113. obooki permalink
    May 10, 2010 10:40 PM

    But unless I can’t count, it doesn’t seem to me that Labour and the LibDems can form an alliance – 258 + 57 = 315. Not enough. Presumably the SNP would demand Scottish independence as their price; and the Greens would want some rubbish around climate change which no one’s ever going to agree to.

  114. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 11:12 PM

    You’re quite right, of course. They’d have to suck up to the Taffys, the Micks, the Jocks, assorted loons and single-issue nutters and the Green (Caroline Lucas).

    Mind you, given how much some Tory back-benchers loathe Cameron and his cabal, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them cross the floor. Interesting times ahead..,.

  115. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:32 PM

    SDLP vote with Labour, Obooki. SNP and Plaid both seem quite keen: Salmond’s a realistic chap and knows there’s no chance of independence while so many Scots vote Labour.

    It’s really quite exhausting keeping track of all the various strands. Nice to see Gordon doing the decent thing, and not before time.

    Ed may be gaining ground in the unannounced leadership race. I forecast this is going to become confusing on PH.

  116. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 10, 2010 11:34 PM

    Have you axed your archives?

  117. mishari permalink*
    May 10, 2010 11:51 PM

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention, MM. Sorted now. I think your take on the small fish is pretty accurate. A LibLab coalition is workable but who gets to be PM? The next Labour leader?

    I was under the impression that the PM can be anyone–anyone, that is, who can command a majority but he or she need not (constitutionally speaking) be the Leader of a Party. Have I got that wrong? Because, frankly, I don’t know if I could bear Millivanilliband as PM. I might have to move abroad.

  118. obooki permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:06 AM

    I have consulted my tome on constitutional law, and it claims the monarch has the authority to make anyone PM, incl even yourself or MM. As usual in Britain, it is merely convention that it is the leader of the party with the majority. – Which is as much to say, we don’t have any rules.

  119. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:25 AM

    I can’t think of a Prime Minister in recent times who wasn’t party leader (come to think of it, I’m not sure how that position is defined), but you could be right. If the PM is in the Lords, for instance, I don’t know how that works. Salisbury is the last one I can think of, but I’m not sure what his position in relation to the Tory party was. I think Douglas-Home renounced his peerage before he became PM (and leader, I assume).

    I suppose you’re talking about Dave Milliband (and I share your scepticism), but I think Ed looks more promising. He doesn’t look like a startled 12-year-old schoolboy, for one thing.

    It’s all academic, really. I can’t see how they could hold that coalition together, considering that plenty of Labour MPs don’t want PR. A minority government, I think.

  120. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 12:28 AM

    The Queen’s appalling taste in clothes, husbands, off-spring and dogs marks her as a dreadful parvenu hausfrau. Such a person is hardly likely to do the decent thing and name me Prime Minister, though God knows, it’s what this benighted country is crying out for.

  121. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:31 AM

    M’learned friend Mr Obooki QC seems to have cleared that one up while I was cogitating. Get your chequebook out.

  122. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:38 AM

    My only acquaintance with Her Majesty was the time she drove past the pupils of Lewis Lane Junior School in her Roller circa 1962. She probably doesn’t remember me, but I would be happy to serve if required. A large golden welcome would of course be necessary. Followed by a rapid retirement.

  123. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 12:39 AM

    Lawyers…bah. In case you ever wondered why McCrum kept droning on about ‘Globish’, a link on obooki’s site cleared it up: the bugger’s written a book on it. Christ…

    Today, I picked up 3 Martin Amis 1st editions in as-new condition w/dust-jackets (The Rachel Papers, Dead Babies and Night Train). A quid each.

  124. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 12:51 AM

    They could be worth as much as 20p in a few years time.

  125. hic8ubique permalink
    May 11, 2010 1:38 AM

    If you were just a bit faster off the mark, Mishari, you might have saved me wading through that Globish dog’s breakfast.
    I hope the service isn’t flagging.

    MM, (I read ‘Meltdown Monday’ earlier and thought it was you)
    how is your off-spring faring in the states?

  126. May 11, 2010 9:03 AM

    McCrum’s Globish blogs are hardly good PR for his book. I got bored after the first one and suspicious when the second appeared.

    His publishers won’t be happy.

  127. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 9:15 AM

    Actually, MM, they’re worth rather a lot already (judging by what dealers are asking for copies in pristine condition).

    Yeah, McCrum just wouldn’t shut-up about his non-theory. More frustratingly, he never actually managed to explain or give a convincing example of ‘Globish’ (as opposed to pidgin, slang, vernacular etc). Now we know why.

    The Graun is becoming more and more cavalier about the separation between ‘journalism’ and ‘advertising’: witness all the technologically-illiterate gibberish about the iPad.

    Rusbridger wrote a piece about the iPad–Rusbridger! I ask you: what next? Polly Toynbee on Alfa Romeo’s classic 1930s Mille Miglia winning eight-cylinder normally aspirated dual-overhead cam engines? Charlie Brooker on Kant’s Categorical Imperative? Mowbray on the joys of sobriety?

    In other news, the Bay City Rollers are back…MM will be pleased.

  128. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 11:21 AM

    I was more of an Osmonds man myself: hard to separate the Rollers’ cutting-edge style and consummate musicianship from their fucking Scottishness. A bundle of confused Calvinist sexualism tied with a tartan ribbon.

    Bolton v Campbell is pretty funny. Apparently he had another ding-dong with Ben Bradshaw later on. Rupert must be pushing him very hard indeed.

    I haven’t heard much, Hic, so I assume things are going well. Unable to finish any meal due to huge portion size and surprising absence of very fat people are two nuggets I picked up. I suppose you do get the impression from UK tv that the US is almost exclusively populated by the obese. I wonder if Americans still think that British people don’t wash much and have bad teeth? An American gf I once had certainly thought that, and I’m not sure I changed her mind. Nowadays I bathe at least once a month and my three remaining teeth are in excellent condition.

  129. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 12:14 PM

    It depends on where she is, MM. If you spend your time in NYC or Boston or LA or San Francisco, you’ll not see the elephantine herds. Head south to Mississippi or Texas, where 8 out of 10 people are obese and you will.

    Boulton is a bad joke. Clearly he feels responsible for letting down Rupe and he’s feeling the pressure. Here he is with Bradshaw:

  130. May 11, 2010 12:55 PM

    I remember eating at a health food restaurant in Denver which operated a pay at the till and help yourself buffet service.

    We were unique in that we only ate what we wanted. The rest of the diners came back with plates piled almost sky high with stomach churning combinations of spaghetti bolognaise and sweet and sour pork on one plate.

    Given that the menu contained pizza, fried chicken and burgers I failed to see how it conformed to be a health food restauirant. With the ammount of food people were helping themselves too and the items on the menu it could be argued in court that people left the restaurant in worse health than they entered it.

    Mind you the elephantine hords over here are far more common than they used to be.

  131. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 1:24 PM

    Interesting to hear that fool Osborne on Today saying that a Tory minority government was a non-starter. So it’s a deal with the LibDems or nothing?

    One wants to kick idiots like the loathsome Reid and his equally repellent pal Blunkett; to hear them blathering on about Labour needing time out of office to re-generate whereafter they’d come storming back in a year or so, is bad for my blood pressure.

    They reveal their ignorance. I thought the same thing myself until I considered what happened the last time senior Labour twits took that position: 18 years of fucking Tory rule–and that I couldn’t abide. Anything is better than that. Anything.

  132. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 11, 2010 1:47 PM

    Blunkett is evidently storming back after his mandatory time in the wilderness. Shoot him. He won’t see that coming either. And shoot Adam Boulton and Kay Burley. Shame. I once had plans for her.

  133. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 1:58 PM

    ‘The wilderness’, of course, being The Sun and the US security company looking to cash in on ID card schemes, both of whom Blunkett pimped his whorish arse out to…shooting’s too good for the son of a bitch.

  134. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    I’m sure I saw something about all you can eat restaurants in the UK on tv recently. Judging by the porkers I see ambling round Tesco every week, all of them with 18 two-litre bottles of Diet Coke in their trolleys, they really aren’t necessary.

    It’s axiomatic that anything ‘Dr’ Reid says must be bollocks. The ‘regeneration’ idea is just laughable. A completely bogus application of a scientific term to an entirely inappropriate subject.

  135. freep permalink
    May 11, 2010 2:44 PM

    None of the parties offered reductions in expenditure on health or education in their manifestoes, which only served to emphasise the low level of intellectual debate. These notions of human well-being are absurdly-over rated.

    It would be a simple matter to slash the number of GPs by 80%, and replace all those no smoking signs with new ones that say: If You Are Fat You Will Die. They wd be accompanied by pictures of grotesques drowning in gravy and clotted cream, screaming to be cured of their addiction. Nobody who is fat would receive any medical attention at all until they got down to 10 stone.=, unless they were bitten by a dogg.

    And then we shd reduce the school leaving age to 12 and have all thirteen + year olds sent to walk round the coast of Britain litter picking, with five pounds, a tent, a bottle of water and a loaf. They would learn much and stay thin and save the NHS grillions. Universities and hospitals would be closed for five years to see what difference it made to the nation’s health and academic inclinations.

    By my calculations that would save £200 billion p.a., reduce the national debt in 12 months, and all the unemployed teachers and doctors could be employed in tree planting, useful arboriculture, and providing respite care for dog owners.

  136. hic8ubique permalink
    May 11, 2010 3:03 PM

    When Al Gore caved in to spare the country a protracted siege, some Americans who had the option and wits removed to Canada rather than endure the predictable after effects.

    The problem of morbid obesity is most apparent in impoverished areas of the US. People expect food to be cheap and readily available.
    I blame the MacDonalds ‘Happy Meal’. Children who are fed this over-processed fatty food develop a taste for it early on. I think it’s widely misunderstood, but people who eat that sort of low nutrient rubbish are in consequence malnourished and therefore always craving something to put in their mouths. Peanut butter (one legume I cannot bear to eat) is frequently requested by food pantries that support the poor, but it’s half corn-syrup! That’s in everything. Now there are rampant allergies to corn and peanuts among children.
    In Sweden it’s against the law to advertise to children under 12 yrs of age. In the US, ‘brand loyalty’ begins in utero. Of course the poorest most ignorant people nevertheless have giant tvs from which to absorb these messages.
    So, people who can afford to live in San Francisco (or even better, Marin county) appear relaxed and healthy. Go across the Bay to Oakland where the less affluent return home at the end of the day after providing services over the bridge, and you’ll find the fat people at all-you-can-eat buffets of trans-fats, salt, and sugar. Oversimplified, but you take my point.
    If you spend time in the People’s Republic of Cambridge (Massachusetts), you may encounter folk from anywhere in the world, but I’m sorry to say, MM, that your average American doesn’t think of the British at all (bathed, dentured or otherwise) even Canadians are a vague far-away idea. The media are incredibly US-centric.
    Many Bostonians still do understand themselves to be Irish, though.
    I once was astonished to hear one irate father on the sidelines of our sons’ match exclaim that another het-up father was a ‘fucking Prot!’

  137. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 6:00 PM

    hic, I lived, for brief periods, in Southie, Dorchester, Charlestown and Brighton (for the uninitiated, all heavily Irish-American neighbourhoods). The ‘up the IRA, Erin Go Bragh, fiddly-diddly, gimme a pint o’ Guinness, boiled bacon and cabbage’ paddy-whackery of the locals used to get on my tits.

    Mind you, the Italian-Americans in the North End, Watertown and Medford (places I also lived) were just as bad with all the cannoli bakeries, pizza joints, Knights of Columbus, Saint’s days, mother-fixations.

    I got on better in the Italian ‘hoods because the locals flatly refused to believe I wasn’t Italian. They thought I was kidding them when I’d say I was an Arab. The old folks would pinch my cheek and say “What kidder you are, you kill me…”

    Looks like we’re going to have a Tory/LibDem deal. Oh, well…I don’t know why I give a shit. God knows, they’re all the same–Labour, Tory, LibDem– neo-liberal, Capitalist stooges: fuck the lot of ’em…I’ll tend my garden and scarper if it all become too much.

  138. hic8ubique permalink
    May 11, 2010 6:23 PM

    That’s a lot of neighbourhoods, Mishari. You must have been a student here. Or a bad tenant!
    Lots of Sicilian and Portuguese fishing families on the bit of granite I dwell upon leaning to the East… Cape Ann.
    Here is a popular local annual tradition that makes Morris men look dignified:
    (For you especially MM)

  139. obooki permalink
    May 11, 2010 7:07 PM

    That’s the thing I don’t get about McCrum – you’d think, if you’d spent 4 years researching a book about a subject, you’d have come to a pretty clear definition of what that subject actually was. – I wonder if his subconscious response to the comments on his blogs was: oh shit, they’re right; everything I’ve been working on for the last 4 years is bollocks.

    My father has a similar story to MM’s about meeting the Queen: he was sitting on a wall outside a pub one day when the Queen drove past and waved at him. He went back inside and no one would believe him.

  140. pinkrepresentation permalink
    May 11, 2010 8:39 PM

    Saw the Queen, Prussian Phil and her mother on the Epsom Downs once. All three totally blanked me.

    Was rather crowded on account of a horse race mind.

    As for the other thing I hold Blunkett very responsible. That outburst was sinisterly well-timed… not just his usual casual idiocy… strings were being very clearly being pulled there…the Murdoch exocet just in case Clegg started to turn Labourwards.

  141. May 11, 2010 8:46 PM

    That noise in the background whilst Cameron’s giving his speech…

    I don’t think it’s cheering.

  142. mishari permalink*
    May 11, 2010 8:47 PM

    The wretched tribalists of Labour have a lot to answer for, PR. They didn’t want electoral reform any more than the Tories do. That’s what really scuppered any LibDem/Labour pact.

    All day I’ve been hearing risible geriatric nincompoops and crooks like Blunkett, Reid, Sir Stuart Bell and Martin Wicks saying they’d vote against a referendum on electoral reform if it came before the House. It’ll be interesting to see what concessions Clegg got out of the Cameroons…

  143. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 11, 2010 11:24 PM

    So in effect I voted Conservative. I won’t be doing that again.

    I understand that most Americans have no interest in this country, Hic (as Jon Stewart said, the only way Americans learn about world geography is by getting attacked), but I think that perception of the British must have been general among the less insular portion of the population. I’ve heard it on a couple of comedy shows- Larry Sanders, I think, and possibly Frasier. It’s one of those handy stereotypes, not always inaccurate (English people of my era are frequently snaggle-toothed, and since a bath took half an hour to fill daily immersion was often impractical), like the Somerset lad with bovine interests, the Arab with a similar taste in camels, the Blackpoolian with his chips and trousers up to his armpits, the Swedish… well, you know what I mean. It’s an interesting phenomenon that the Bostonian Irish (I think they were big contributors to Noraid) should be so fond of the ould sod. Mrs M’s father, who came over from Ireland to join the RAF, seemed only too keen to forget all about it.

    Greasy poles. Another stereotype.

  144. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 12, 2010 12:19 AM

    You’re looking at it the wrong way round, freep: we should be looking for ways to slash the number of citizens rather than making cuts in the vital economic fabric. I favour Jacob Rees-Mogg’s Slaughter Lottery, white spot- life, black spot- the other. Expiration Centres will be set up round the country where end of life facilitators (applications from persons with City and Guilds in Butchery Level One) will be on hand to apply their expertise. Your dogg’s diet will be enriched beyond belief.

  145. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 9:21 AM

    Poor Clegg. I don’t much care for the man but it’s hard not to feel for him. To read the outpouring of bile and vituperation on CiF: ‘traitor, backstabber, etc etc’ makes me realise how very dim most Labour tribalists really are.

    What were Clegg’s choices?

    A. Join Labour in a coalition, which was clearly the LibDem preference. Clegg said very clearly during the campaign that he was honour-bound to give the party with the biggest share of the votes first chance to form a government and he was as good as his word. However, when he talked to Labour they offered him nothing. The tribal dinosaurs of Labour rejected the LibDems. Whose fault is that? Clegg’s?

    B. Sit it out and let the Tories form a minority government…which would inevitably fail in a month or two. How could it not? Then what? Another election and one in which the Tories would almost certainly get a proper majority. Then we’re all truly fucked.

    C. Join the Tories, who’ve offered almost everything the LibDems have asked for and act as a brake on their nastiness and ideological mania. Clegg is a pragmatist and made the only real choice available to him.

    Labour’s rejection of a chance to keep the Tories out says it all. They’re beneath contempt and the degraded scum of New Labour deserve to be out of office until the Blunketts, Bells and the rest of the crooks and creeps who’d rather let the Tories in than countenance electoral reform, are utterly purged. I don’t know if I’ve ever hated them as much as I do now.

  146. May 12, 2010 10:04 AM

    I think the fear is that Clegg won’t be able to act as a brake to the nastier side ( side being a bit of an understatement ) of the Tories.

    Hague’s interview on Today was pregnant with things unsaid. I very much doubt electoral reform will happen – there will be weasel words and conditions set that will be impossible to meet – just as what happened with the joining the euro.

  147. freep permalink
    May 12, 2010 10:09 AM

    MM, I had forgot the third platform of Freep’s Dogg’s policy, which is the sort of PRI you envisage (Population Reduction Initiative). The dalmatian up the road was in favour of age-related euthanasia, and certainly Moss, the small brown article that jogs along behind the ex-prison officer for his Daily Mail was all for the Rees-Mogg Random Slaughter Lottery. But the dogg prefers Ugliness Extinction as the chief means of gaining a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing society. Some of this is very easy. All male persons without hair are first into the acid pit, followed by anyone with a wrinkle quotient above 17%. Anyone who has used the word ‘brand’ in the last ten years is exterminated.
    You know it’s for the best: A society 10% of its current size, without hospitals, universities, ugliness, marketing executives, coarse behaviour or unpalatable speech can only be for the best.

    Agree about Clegg, mish. He has a hard time coming, though, and will find it hard to keep the old guard of libertarian liberals – those who knew the party pre-SDP – in the fold. And if they abandon him (they keep the libs alive in the many local councils that they captured in the last 10 years) the party will turn into something else. That old Lib guard was preferable to the Lab tribal bastards like Blunkett, Reid and Bell.

  148. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 10:26 AM

    We must hope, Ed. I think that even the dimmest Tory must realise that they did not get a mandate to institute right-wing reforms willy-nilly. And Cameron must always have in the back of his mind that it would only take a handful of LibDem rebels to make a vote of No Confidence possible. The real danger is in the first six months, I think.

    Another election in this period will almost certainly benefit the Tories: they have the money and nobody else does, the public would not turn to Labour so soon after rejecting them and the LibDems would be seen as essentially useless.

    After six months, though, once people have had a chance to get a good look at the cretin Osborne, the slap-head Hague and the Arse-Face Cameron in action…well…things could be very different, especially if the LibDems play a canny game and Labour purges itself of the Blairites.

    Of course, the real blame lies with New Labour, as a little trip down memory lane will confirm:

    We are committed to a referendum on the voting system for the House of Commons. An independent commission on voting systems will be appointed early to recommend a proportional alternative to the first-past-the-post system.
    Labour Manifesto, 1997

    They lied, just as they lied about so much else. The Jenkins Commission was duly appointed and made their report: Blair, Brown and Mandelsion promptly kicked it into the long-grass. If New Labour had kept their word, it could all have been so different

    Agreed, freep, but I think you’re taking the long way around. What’s needed is a nice lethal plague virus from those clever chaps at Porton Down; a virus that kills the poor, the slow, the unattractive, the fat, the bald, the badly dressed, the vulgar etc etc. A new dawning of a young, fit, immaculately coiffed and shod Britain: tasteful, wealthy and slim.

  149. May 12, 2010 10:53 AM

    I suspect the plan will be to make the LibDems look useless and to manipulate things so that anything that goes wrong can be blamed on them.

  150. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 11:09 AM

    I dunno, Ed. That could be a hard-sell, even with the right-wing media in full cry. After all, the right-wing media made virtually no difference this time around (hence Adam Boulton’s and James Murdoch’s very public meltdowns), the Tories are keeping all the ‘great offices of State’ and the LibDem front bench are brighter than Cameron’s lot by orders of magnitude.

    Interesting times ahead…

  151. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 12, 2010 11:27 AM

    A trivial thought, perhaps, but I don’t think the effect of a few weeks of official cars, deferential civil servants and access to Downing Street should be overlooked. The LibDems might find resisting those unliberal measures harder than they thought. Especially when the price of resistance is another election in which the Conservatives blame them for bringing the government down.

  152. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 11:38 AM

    Too right, MM. The ways of the human heart are dark and manifold: a ministerial Jag here, a grace and favour apartment in Admiralty Arch there and who the fuck knows?

    Keep in mind, though, that the LibDems are the most democratic of the 3 parties. They have in place straight-forward and easily put in train means for rejecting policies and ejecting leaders: something Clegg will doubtless keep in mind. The generality of LibDem party members are much more left-leaning than Clegg, who’s basically Tory-lite.

    My word, yes…it could all turn into the most spectacularly messy cluster-fuck very, very quickly.

  153. May 12, 2010 11:39 AM

    MM it certainly turned Labour’s heads. Their rejection of electoral reform in 97 was purely because they had power and so didn’t need to spend time negotiating something that wouldn’t do their majority in parliament any favours.

    On a completely different note I have been enjoying reading John Ashberry’s poems. I don’t always get some of the references but he certainly has a winning way with language.

  154. May 12, 2010 11:44 AM

    Only I meant John Berryman – much as I like Ashberry too. But Berryman seems more incisive and sparse in his lines.

  155. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 12:07 PM

    Berryman is one of my favourites. There’s a good on-line collection of his work HERE.

    I love the way he combines the slangy, the spare and the vernacular with the almost-rococo, the enigmatic and the obscure. Great stuff.

    Stone me…Theresa ‘How Do You Like My Leopard-Skin Fuck-Me Pumps?’ May is Home Secretary. Incredible.

  156. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 12, 2010 1:33 PM

    That is pretty astounding. I thought she was seen as the person most likely to get the chop. I hate to say it, but it looks like a gender thing.

  157. May 12, 2010 1:49 PM

    Cameron’s opening speech on the steps of number 10 doesn’t seem to acknowledge the fact that the Tories actually aren’t back in power after 13 years.

    Not a good start.

  158. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 2:33 PM

    I’m sure you’re right, MM. That and the fact that there’s no quicker way of disposing of an unwanted politician than by making them Home Secretary…

    Poor old Call Me Dave thinks he’s been divinely anointed as opposed to having gone crawling to a party he despises to shore up a minority government. His brains are in his hair and he looks the type to start losing it soon…

  159. freep permalink
    May 12, 2010 3:41 PM

    Yup, Home Secretary is the Card of Death to be dealt, and that’ll teach Theresa May to dare to be a woman in cabinet. Only two people have made a passable job of being Home Sec since the war – Woy Jenkins and Douglas Hurd.

  160. pollyanna permalink
    May 12, 2010 10:37 PM

    Well, I’m glad that someone’s actually doing something about running the country, but some of the twits in this Cabinet are laughable. George bloody Osborne as Chancellor – what a joke – the recession will be back tomorrow.

    The more I see pictures of David Cameron, the more I thinkg he is actually a muppet. He looks like a muppet – he has a stupid grin, probably practised it in front of the mirror. Trying to look commanding but nice, just ends up looking comical.

    Typical “girl” that I am, I didn’t really notice what DC said in his speech but did notice the unfeasibly high heels Mrs DC was wearing.

  161. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 10:37 PM

    So far, the LibDem/Tory coalition have declared that:

    They will not to allow a third runway at Heathrow

    The detention of children for immigration purposes is to be ended

    Educational resources will be directed at disadvantaged pupils

    A “freedom bill” or “great reform bill” will be introduced to scrap ID cards, scale down the DNA database, scale down the ‘surveillance state’, allow demonstrations without a permit, disallow ministers from interfering in inquests

    “We will restore the earnings link for the basic state pension from April 2011 with a ‘triple guarantee’ that pensions are raised by the higher of earnings, prices or 2.5%”

    Taxing non-business capital gains at rates akin to income tax, meaning the level could raise from 18% to 40%, or even 50%

    Make the first £10,000 of income tax-free

    And to top it off, they’re unleashing Vince Cable on the banks.

    You know, there was be a party I used to vote for who one would have expected to have policies like these. What were they called…?

    Let’s see what happens but if they go ahead with these, they’ll prove themselves far more radical than the scum of New Labour ever were.

  162. mishari permalink*
    May 12, 2010 11:45 PM

    It would make a cat laugh. Labour imagine that choosing Millivanilliband is going to bring back voters? That Blair-lite, Thunderbird puppet simp, facilitator of torture, Zionist cheerleader and war-criminal? Yeah…good luck that. Idiots.

    If you think your life is miserable, check out Infomercial Hell.

  163. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2010 12:04 AM

    Looks quite good, but I’m not getting carried away. Before May 1997 I had no hopes of New Labour, but their initial burst of activity had me reassessing that pessimistic outlook. More fool me.

    I have the impression that Chuter Ede was a solid Home Sec post-war, freep. Attlee didn’t give him the ‘you’re not up to it, old boy’ treatment, anyway. We must thank Jim Callaghan for the introduction of cats’ eyes, too. I think he said it was the only worthwhile thing he’d achieved in politics. I’m not sure about Douglas Hurd: was it Tony Benn who said he was a weakling?

  164. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2010 12:06 AM

    Replying to your previous post there, not Infomercial Hell.

  165. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2010 8:28 AM

    Oh, I know. Time and again I find myself thinking “Maybe this time, it’ll be different (a good example of what Wilde called ‘the triumph of optimism over experience’) only to kick myself for being fatuous enough to hope. But as Pope said:

    Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never Is, but always To be blest

    On a more upbeat note, the NME has posted one of my videos on their website:

    http://www.nme.com/awards/video/id/QFA59LsuWPM/search/sons%20of%20anarchy

    Another fellow, a university lecturer in film studies, is using another one of my vids in his teaching:

    http://asanda2mediastudies.blogspot.com/2010/02/breaking-bad-technological-convergence.html

  166. May 13, 2010 8:42 AM

    If you heard Andrew Lansley on Today this morning you’d be wise to keep that optimism in check. Weasel words and cluelessness in turns. Good to see that the expression “Cuts in real terms” is still a useful umbrella to hide your real intentions under.

    The NHS is going to be as impossible to run as it was under every government.

  167. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2010 8:50 AM

    You’ll note, Ed, that no-one’s talking about the horrors of PFI. As Private Eye pointed out last week, Gordon Brown’s six year-old son will be 42 when the PFI hospital in which Brown launched the manifesto is finally paid for.

    PFI, of course, being a Tory idea eagerly adopted by the bungler Brown as a way of keeping government borrowing off the books at the price of making things cost 10 times what they would have cost otherwise. Whenever I hear some idiot talking about Brown’s financial acumen, I want to spit.

    But there’s no disputing that the NHS is hugely wasteful–billions spent on ‘management consultants’ and worthless IT projects ad nauseum–thanks New Labour…

  168. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2010 11:43 AM

    Nice to see you are going viral. The IW council have negotiated a huge PFI to mend the roads. There’s no denying that they need attention (avoiding the potholes on this street is like doing a slalom), but the Island will probably have sunk into the sea by the time it’s paid off.

  169. May 13, 2010 12:00 PM

    MM when we were in in Russia the army were doing the road works. All armed with besoms to do the job – I think that involved sweeping the numerous drunks into the holes.

    Can’t help feeling that if the Big Society gets pressed into action then everything will end up PFI’d. Business men after all are the only ones who know how to do the job.

    The Lansley interview left my other half spitting feathers. She’s still wandering about muttering ” No policies, no principals, no clue”.

  170. mishari permalink*
    May 13, 2010 1:28 PM

    Personally, I think if we sweep everyone who can’t answer simple questions like: “Who was Roderick Spode? What did McNulty do to vagrant buttocks? What made Miles Davis’ trumpet sound so distinctive? How many giant inflatable pigs does it take to fill a van?”, into potholes and tar them over, we will have taken a step on the path to a brave new world…

  171. May 13, 2010 1:32 PM

    Who is Roderick Spode?

    Wait there’s a knock at the door. Hang on a minute.

    “Line goes dead”

  172. MeltonMowbray permalink
    May 13, 2010 1:47 PM

    Ah, I see one of the potholes has been filled. I wonder who owns those glasses lying beside it?

  173. HenryLloydMoon permalink
    May 13, 2010 9:18 PM

    Leader of the Black Shorts.
    Bite them with dentures.
    Harmon mute.
    Four.
    Er…. three.
    Er…

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