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April 23, 2008
[politics] Twitter / DowningStreet … Gordon Brown – the British Prime Minister – has a Twitter Feed (it seems to be produced by Civil Servants in his office) …

prime ministers twitter feed

March 25, 2008
[blogs] Civil Serf blogger faces disciplinary action‘The unnamed civil servant at the heart of the controversy is said to be a fast-track civil servant who, on her blog, said that she was “just senior enough in my department to really know what’s going on, but not senior enough to attract suspicion from my blogging”. […] Followed closely by political observers, the blog attracted an influential following and was the subject of an investigation to discover its source. Last week the blog went off-line and a civil servant was reported to have been confronted and admitted authorship. She has been suspended, according to reports.’
March 20, 2008
[politics] The Boris Johnson Generator … a web page which creates a Boris Johnson speech automatically … ‘My friends, as I have discovered myself, there are no disasters, only opportunities. And, indeed, opportunities for fresh disasters I love tennis with a passion. I challenged Boris Becker to a match once and he said he was up for it but he never called back. I bet I could make him run around. Watermelon smiles Sorry.’ [via qwghlm]
January 7, 2008
[tv] The GOP Primary Field in Buffy Villains — great list which neatly sums up Republican Presidential candidates (especially for non-american Buffy fans) … ‘John McCain as The Master – The oldest vampire. Got killed early, but there’s some talk about how he might rise again.’
October 23, 2007
[comics] Partying with the ‘Dickster’ — Peter Bagge meets Dick Cheney.
October 4, 2007
Facebook and David Cameron‘The Tory leader may yet regret drawing attention to an area of the internet where political debate is indeed lively. Others dedicated to Mr Cameron on Facebook include Keep Cameron out of Number 10! (594 members), David Cameron is a twat (71), If David Cameron shows up at Glastonbury festival we will sacrifice him (59), and the particularly popular Stop David Cameron … his lies make baby Jesus cry (1310).’
July 17, 2007
[politics] Margaret Thatcher and Ice Cream: ‘Fans of the Mister Softee style have Margaret Thatcher [..] to thank. She was one of the team of chemists at J Lyons who first developed soft frozen ice cream.’ [via boundr]
June 28, 2007
[politics] Ten Years of Waiting come to an End in 57 minutes at the Palace‘Telling staff to call him Gordon, he acknowledged that it had been an emotional day for them saying goodbye to a great leader and a great family. He thanked them for the welcome and said it had been an interesting day for him. “It’s not every day you meet the Queen at 1.30pm, become the prime minister at 2pm, speak to the president at 3pm, and get told by Sarah to put the kids to bed at 7pm,” he told them.’
[politics] Go to Australia or use your own Judgment‘As prime minister, with ultimate responsibility for Britain’s nuclear deterrent, Mr Brown has to write a letter, in his own hand, giving instructions detailing what the UK’s response should be in the event of a pre-emptive nuclear attack. The letter will be opened only by the commander of a British Trident submarine, who would have to assume that the prime minister was no longer in a position to take “live” command of the situation. The options are said to include the orders: “Put yourself under the command of the US, if it is still there”; “go to Australia”; “retaliate”; “or use your own judgment”. Each new prime minister writes the letter as soon as he or she takes office…’
January 28, 2007
[politics] Downing Street E-Petitions: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to replace the national anthem with ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet‘What we specifically want to see, is that the National Anthem be changed in favour of “Gold” by Spandau Ballet. Further, we would like our National Olympic Committee to decree that Tony Hadley is the only person permitted to handle medal ceremonies where the National Anthem is played. We don’t mind what he wears when he does this, but preference is given towards a a gold colured suit.’ [thanks Phil]
January 23, 2007
[ireland] A Policeman’s Best Friend — Steve Bell on brilliant form today.
December 25, 2006
[xmas] Merry Christmas to Everyone … from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. [via Blah Blah Flowers]
December 8, 2006
[politics] Dick Cheney’s Google Searches: ‘birdshot pellet removal, quail hunting “involuntary manslaughter”, katherine harris naked, iraq exit strategy, mullah omar MySpace’
[iraq] Steve Bell: I Will Leave Forn Policy to the Grown Ups.
October 27, 2006
[politics] Sketch The Naked Truth of a Leader at Bay — another sketch from Simon Hoggart watching Tony Blair at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday … ‘Claire Curtis-Thomas, Labour MP for Crosby, said to Mr Blair, “you will be aware that at this precise moment I have one hundred rather attractive naked men outside my front door.” I wish I could have bottled the look on his face. It was the mien of one who has no idea how he is supposed to react. Shock? Bafflement? Good humour? What bothered him was the fact that he had no idea where the question was going; there was nothing in his fat fact file that could possibly help…’
October 2, 2006
[google] Eric Schmidt to address Tory conference — the Chairman and CEO of Google is speaking at the Conservative Party Annual Conference tomorrow … ‘Googling for policies?’
September 27, 2006
[politics] I’m right, you’re wrong, and the voters know it… — Simon Hoggart on Tony Blair’s last speech at the Labour Conference … ‘The organisers tried to whip up a frenzy which was almost, but not quite there. Before he arrived there was a “spontaneous” demonstration in which members of the audience held up hand-written posters: “We love you, yeah, yeah, yeah”, “Too young to retire” and simply “Thank you”. It was like waiting for a very cuddly version of Stalin. We saw a video in which ordinary folk and celebrities gave thanks for the existence of Blair. One old lady said: “I’m grateful for the £200 fuel allowance – it’s better than a woolly hat.” And they claim the British have a poverty of ambition! Then he arrived…’
September 7, 2006
[politics] Tom Watson: Minister leaves government to spend more time with his blog‘It is with the greatest regret, therefore, that I must leave the Government.’
August 9, 2006
[ukblogs] Jeffrey Archer’s Official Blog‘I read in another newspaper that I’m converting to Roman Catholicism. One phone call, and they would have discovered that it hadn’t even crossed my mind.’ [thanks Phil]
March 25, 2006
[politics] Nutkin and the Nobles — Simon Hoggart visits the House of Lords as they discuss Squirrels‘Lord Redesdale was one of the few peers to have even one kindly word for the “predatory” [grey squirrel]. They were friendly little animals, he said, and would eat crisps out of your hand. In Regent’s Park, “a grey squirrel climbed up my trouser leg to look into my pocket”. I can remember when politicians of all parties used to pay guardsmen a shiny half-crown to perform that service. Now, in these more censorious days, they’re reduced to furry rodents.’
February 1, 2006
[comics] Are you a Red Dupe? — An important announcement from Haunt of Fear #26… [via Pete’s Linklog]


January 25, 2006
[politics] The Guardian Asks: Why is the US so obsessed with Cuba?‘Psychologists might argue that the real reason for America’s pathological irritation is Castro’s refusal to go quietly. He laughed off the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961, stirred things up during the missile crisis in 1962, and welcomed the Pope with open arms in 1998. To the sound of grinding teeth across the Straits of Florida, he has attempted to play down the fall of the Soviet Union and a 44-year-long trade embargo with the US as mere flesh wounds. He is, in short, a one-man blow to their pride.’
January 18, 2006
[politics] Day 13 … and Things aren’t going to Plan in the House — Simon Hoggart on George Galloway‘Take the scenes last week when he pretended to be a cat, licking imaginary cream from the cupped hands of Rula Lenska, while she murmured to him “here pussy, pussy, pussy, yes, ooh, little pussy … you’ve got cream all over your whiskers!” (In the words of the old Grolsch lager ad, “Stop! This porno film is not ready yet!”) You can be sure that episode will never be forgotten, and every time Mr Galloway rises to repeat his grand denunciation of George Bush and Tony Blair, he will be met with a chorus of miaows.’
January 15, 2006
[books] Burning Down the Sixties — oldish interview with James Ellroy. On Oliver Stone’s JFK: …

‘That movie is electrifying for the first 45 minutes because it hints at Cuba. It never hints at the mob, and it’s too bad, because it is the mob. You know, it’s the mob-renegades-CIA-crazy-Cuban-exiles nexus, and anything else is horse shit. I would believe the single-gunman theory before I would believe the military-industrial complex theory. It’s preposterous. “Gentlemen, I’ll give you your damn war.” Ha! War this! [points to his crotch]’

January 7, 2006
[politics] Get Back To Work, George — find out how much George Galloway is costing the British taxpayer whilst he’s in Celebrity Big Brother.
[comics] Drawing Fire — Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson describes why political cartoonists should never give out their email addresses. ‘…every time I draw a cartoon critical of George Bush my inbox gets inundated with a tidal surge of hate mail. I’m not alone, of course. Steve Bell gets it too. In fact the first piece of digital bile I received asked me why I drew Mr Bush as a monkey, when he was the president of the United States of America and I was just a schmuck. I politely replied that I never had, and that my correspondent had got the wrong lefty cartoonist. I got a reply saying I was an asshole anyway.’
December 5, 2005
[politics] CIA Sabotage Manual — used in Central America in the 1980’s – reminiscent of Jack Chick. [via jzw]

image of cia instruction manual

November 17, 2005
[blogs] The New Commentariat — the Guardian on the UK’s Political Blogs … ‘Britain’s bloggers are divided not just by ideology, it turns out, but by their perception of their own importance: while Samizdata proclaims that blogs are the future, for example, Oliver Kamm insists they are an essentially parasitic medium, that can only exist insofar as it feasts on the output of traditional media.’
October 19, 2005
[politics] Suits Them, Sir — Simon Hoggart on the Tory Leadership Election … ‘It was one o’clock and the voting was due to begin. Four Tories were hovering outside, like boarders waiting for the dining room to open. “There should be a numeracy test,” said Ann Widdecombe crisply. “If you can read an opinion poll, why are you voting for anyone except Ken Clarke?” “Ann and I have a lot in common,” said John Bercow, once a rightwinger, now a social moderate. “We support Ken Clarke, we like spaghetti bolognese, and we are choppers, not twirlers!” I thought this must be some terrifying euphemism, but it turned out to mean the way they ate their spaghetti.’
October 4, 2005
[politics] Steve Bell: ‘Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner B.A.T.Bloke!’
September 1, 2005
[politics] Steve Bell: Are you Smoking What We’re Smoking?
July 27, 2005
[bell] Steve Bell: Uneasy Rider [Related: Archive of Steve Bell’s Cartoons]
July 14, 2005
[comics] Tony and George G8 Comic – Page 1Page 2 — from Sean Philips and Mark Millar … [via Do You Feel Loved]
July 12, 2005
[politics] Simon Hoggart: ‘Parliament was united against a common enemy yesterday, an enemy that will stop at nothing, that has only contempt for our way of life, and is utterly indifferent to our loathing. But as well as attacking George Galloway, MPs also had harsh words for the London bombers.’
June 6, 2005
[blogs] The Bloggers have all the Best News — the Guardian looks at the state of political blogging in the UK and US… ‘In the UK, there was a feeling that the general election would provide domestic blogs with a similar spark to Rathergate. There was no shortage of primary material, such as the attorney-general’s advice on the war in Iraq, but there was little sense that the internet impinged on the mainstream media. While Belle de Jour got the mainstream media speculating on her (or his) identity, and the likes of Scary Duck greatly amuse, there is a sense that the Americans take their blogging more seriously than we do. With the odd exception (Guido Fawkes’ Order-Order.com and Mick Fealty’s Slugger O’Toole blog on Northern Ireland for example), there is little heavyweight comment and it is rare to see a blog break a story or substantially move it on.’
June 3, 2005
[watergate] How Mark Felt Became ‘Deep Throat’ — Bob Woodward describes his friendship with Deep Throat … ‘I took a job at the Montgomery Sentinel, where Rosenfeld said I could learn how to be a reporter. I told my father that law school was off and that I was taking a job, at about $115 a week, as a reporter at a weekly newspaper in Maryland. “You’re crazy,” my father said, in one of the rare judgmental statements he had ever made to me. I also called Mark Felt, who, in a gentler way, indicated that he, too, thought this was crazy. He said he thought newspapers were too shallow and too quick on the draw. Newspapers didn’t do in-depth work and rarely got to the bottom of events. Well, I said, I was elated. Maybe he could help me with stories. He didn’t answer, I recall.’
June 1, 2005
[watergate] After 33 years, Deep Throat, the man who brought down Nixon, Confesses All‘As it turns out, the greatest secret in American political history was blown a long time ago by an eight-year old boy at summer camp on Long Island. Deep Throat, the boy boasted to his friend, was Mark Felt, the number two at the FBI at the time of the Watergate scandal. That boy had some reason to know. He was Jacob Bernstein, the son of Carl Bernstein, who with Bob Woodward broke the Watergate story for the Washington Post.’
[politics] Deep Throat Revealed — Metafilter discuss Woodward and Bernstein’s whistle-blower outing himself. Orthogonality: ‘You have to be of an age to remember the times. And the hideous sideburns and the too-wide, too-ugly, too-polyester neckties. The Christmas bombings and the secret bombings (said by Nixon himself to have been inspired by seeing the musical 1776) and his “secret plan to end the war” and then “Vietnamization”. The enemies’ lists and the paranoia about “the Jews”. And “pray with me Henry” and C.R.E.E.P and Dean and Erlichman and Haldeman (each with his sideburns and the god-awful neckties, too). And the jowls. The hatred, rooted in envy, for the Kennedys and for the whole East Coast Establishment. And the V-for-victory salute. And the sweaty face. All the way back, to HUAC and “a little dog named Checkers” and the “good Republican cloth coat” and “you won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore” and Eisenhower’s reluctance to endorse his own Vice President’s succession. And finally the “This is the 37th time I have spoken to you from this office….” The whole long national nightmare…’
May 6, 2005
[ukelection] Robert Kilroy-Silk. Not a happy man, really — A picture of Robert Kilroy-Silk losing the Erewash Election. He got 2,957 votes.
April 29, 2005
[election] In the Eye of the Storm, it’s Blinking Tricky — Simon Hoggart watching Tony Blair and Gordon Brown: ‘[Nick Robinson of ITN] asked “Are you saying that you would have behaved in an identical way to Tony Blair if faced with the same circumstances?” There was a pause which might have lasted two seconds, but seemed to go on forever. [Tony Blair’s] right eye turned to stare malevolently at Mr Brown, like some Oriental jewel that has the power to turn men’s minds. The eyebrow above it arched in a V-shape. Finally the chancellor spoke, or rather barked: “Yes!” The right eye suddenly relaxed and even seemed, just for a moment, to gaze fondly on Mr Brown. Applause broke out from the businesspersons. “Well done!” said Patricia Hewitt, sounding, as always, like a doctor congratulating a small child on surviving a jab without crying.’
April 19, 2005
[politics] Are we going forward, back – or sideways? — David Aaronovitch on The General Election: ‘…I was on the tube train from north London to Watford. The train travels overground through the suburbs of north-west London, Middlesex and Hertfordshire: Pinner, Harrow, Northwood Hills, Croxley, and more. Strung out along the tracks are thousands of unremarkable houses, their monotony punctuated by stations, 30s shopping streets and the odd school or church. In each house lives one, two, three voters – each with their own understanding of the world, their own personal ideologies, their impressions, their experience of the world. And there are millions and millions of them. And, as ever, the thought scares me slightly. What do they want? We insiders talk about voter volatility when what we mean is we have lost the plot.’
April 6, 2005
[ukelection05] Alastair Campbell’s Weblog — almost certainly fake … ‘Out getting eggs for R, C and G. Couldn’t help notice Britney Spears has a perfume out. Was tempted but don’t think Fiona would be too happy. Or Tony!! He prefers Christina Aguilera.’
April 5, 2005
[ukelection05] On Flickr: UK General Election 05 Photo Pool
[election05] Election 2005 — The Guardian launches another blog to cover the Election on May 5th. [Feed: Election 2005]
April 1, 2005
[election05] Please stop calling us Tories, say Tories‘Though the label Tory has been used for years as a term of abuse by the left, it has never been deemed pejorative by the Tories themselves. Indeed, Conservatives have for centuries been proud to call themselves Tories.’
March 29, 2005
[ukblogs] Tories plan to beat “bias” by bringing in Bloggers‘The faction behind it denies that it is “rocking the boat” in the pre-election period and says that in the early weeks the website will be used to campaign for a Conservative victory. It wants people to use the increasingly popular practice of “blogging” — writing on-line diaries — to break the power of the broadcast media.’ [Related: conservativehome.com]
March 18, 2005
[politics] Bloggers4Labour‘Uniting all Labour-supporting bloggers (and web sites) under one roof.’ [via Mad Musings of Me]
March 14, 2005
[politics] On David Blunkett and Simon Hoggart: ‘…did Blunkett tell Jim Naughtie on the Today show, whilst talking about the British sense of humour, “I even used to like the News Quiz, but I can’t listen to it any more. Jim Naughtie almost choked, “I think we will leave that one right there” was all he could say. The presenter of the humourous News Quiz show is of course Simon Hoggart…’
February 19, 2005
[politics] Bloggers will rescue the Right — Iain Duncan Smith wonders if weblogging will be the saviour of the Conservative Party … ‘[Blogs] should put the fear of God into the metropolitan elites. For years there have been widening gaps between the governing class and the governed and between the publicly funded broadcasters and the broadcasted to. Until now voters, viewers and service users have not had easy mechanisms by which to expose officialdom’s errors and inefficiencies. But, because of the internet, the masses beyond the metropolitan fringe will soon be on the move.’
December 21, 2004
[politics] Farmer Clarke makes himself at Home — Simon Hoggart on Charles Clarke and David Blunkett … ‘At one point Mr Clarke referred to his predecessor, whom, he said, he was delighted to see in his place. There was a cheer from Labour MPs. Mr Blunkett was sitting three rows back, looking pretty miserable but surrounded by loyal and supportive friends. I can relate to that.’

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