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December 22, 2000
[politics] Senior Tory regrets Spice joke. I’m surprised this piece of Tory ignorance did not get wider coverage — but who stares at a snow flake in a blizzard? The joke in full from the Guardian: ‘Liam wandered around the room, perhaps having had one or two and being full of Christmas cheer. “Have you heard my new joke?” he puppyishly asked a group of people. “What do you call three dogs and a blackbird?” No one knew. “The Spice Girls,” said Liam. Embarrassed shuffling ensued, but either misinterpreting this as collective deafness or perhaps out of exuberant delight at his own wit, Liam told it again.’
December 20, 2000
[politics] Francis Wheen in the GuardianJohn Redwood on William Hague: ‘After talking to Hague during the second leadership ballot in 1997, Redwood confided that he had “had more interesting conversations with a bathroom sponge”. When Hague was subsequently elected, Redwood said: “They have actually chosen the worst of all the six candidates.” On another occasion, he described Hague as looking like “a very old baby”. If this is Redwood’s idea of being nice, what is he like when he turns nasty?’
December 16, 2000
[comics] Warren Ellis on the American Elections‘Let me first congratulate my American readers for finally having a President selected for them. My contacts in the American political power structure inform me that the American national anthem will be changed in January to “Duelling Banjos” from the film DELIVERANCE.’ [Related Links: Duelling Banjos MIDI, Deliverance]
December 15, 2000
[politics] ‘NOBODY expects the Liberal Elite! Our chief weapon is surprise…surprise and fear…fear and surprise…. Our two weapons are fear and surprise…and ruthless efficiency…. Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope…. Our *four*…no… *Amongst* our weapons…. Amongst our weaponry…are such elements as fear, surprise…. I’ll come in again.’ [Related Links: The Spanish Inquisition – Monty Python]
December 13, 2000
[politics] Kiss of death — astrologer predicts that Gore will win. ‘”Mercury is going into Sagittarius,” she explains. “This is a move that puts the emphasis on truth, and things being out in the open. My assumption from this is that the recount will be allowed to continue. It would be the way to find out the truth and not having anything hidden.”‘ [via Guardian Weblog]
December 11, 2000
[politics] More on the Widdy Web from Simon Hoggart in the Guardian. ‘I found myself rather moved. Miss Widdecombe pretending to be horrified by something Jack Straw has said is much sillier than her thoughts about her cats, which at least are sincere and passionately felt.’ [via Pete@Bugpowder]
December 6, 2000
[ann widdecombe] Hey Kids! Put down that Playstation 2! Come and check out The Widdy Web Junior!! ‘I am called a Member of Parliament. We call this MP for short. A Member of Parliament looks after a lot of people in an area which is called a constituency. My constituency stretches from Maidstone almost to Tunbridge Wells.’
November 30, 2000
[politics] Why I am Eating all the Pies by Chancellor Gordon Brown, MP. ‘I have eaten all the pies. Or rather, I have eaten as many pies as one man can safely eat. The other pies I am saving for later on, in my freezer. To the uneducated man, this may seem greedy. But I can assure you it is not. It is, in fact, essential to the well-being of Britain that I eat as many pies as possible.’ [via Interconnected]
[hst] Hunter S. Thompson on the US Elections‘There are rumors in Washington that Gore’s most trusted advisors have sealed him off so completely that he still firmly believes he Won. … Which is True, on some scorecards, but so what? Those cards don’t count. … George W. Bush is our President now, and you better start getting used to it. He didn’t actually steal the White House from Al Gore, he just brutally wrestled it away from him in the darkness of one swampy Florida night. He got mugged, and the local Cops don’t give a damn.’
November 28, 2000
[books] Books Unlimited has the first chapter of Naomi Klein’s No Logo available… ‘And so the wave of mergers in the corporate world over the last few years is a deceptive phenomenon: it only looks as if the giants, by joining forces, are getting bigger and bigger. The true key to understanding these shifts is to realize that in several crucial ways – not their profits, of course – these merged companies are actually shrinking. Their apparent bigness is simply the most effective route toward their real goal: divestment of the world of things.’
November 23, 2000
[history?] UK Blogs discuss the ten year aniversary of Thatcher’s resignation… NotSoSoft, Blue Ruin and Wherever You Are. ‘I was really too young to have experienced exactly what the Thatcher years were like for myself, though, so to me she seems like some mythical beast. With her teeth drawn, I hope.’ — Blue Ruin. [Some other links: yet another great Steve Bell cartoon on Thatcher and Blair — The End of the Affair, and a once famous Thatcher impressionist — Steve Nallon’s website.]
November 22, 2000
[thatch] Guardian Unlimited asks: Where were you when Thatcher resigned? Ken Loach: ‘I was in a car going back to a flat we’ve got in Chiswick. I remember it must have been how people felt at the end of the war – street parties and people singing songs to a piano in the street. I knew the malign influence would carry on, but there was a wonderful feeling of caps in the air.’ [Tedious Autobio: Where was I? 1990. I was… twenty, living in Portsmouth, and a student. It was about 9.30ish in the morning and I was having a long relaxing shower. One of my flatmates banged on the shower door and shouted: “Hey Dazza! Thatcher’s resigned!” I started to shuffle a happy dance (it was a small shower) and sing Morning Has Broken at the top of my voice.]
November 16, 2000
[turkey shoot] Matthew Parris provides brilliant insight into the House of Lords as they discussed reducing the age of consent for gay sex to 16… It’s like something out of Royston Vasey… and it costs us 31 million pounds a year to pay for this group of inbreds and idiots: ‘The Earl of Longford insisted that homosexuals “should not be condemned”. The Earl (94) illustrated what he meant by not condemning: “homosexualism” was a sad disorder, he said, like schizophrenia and chronic alcoholism. Seduce a girl of 16, he added, and that was a dreadful shame. But seduce a young man and he would “become a rent boy”. Lord Selsdon said that he had “eaten the private parts of a green monkey”.’ [Related Links: BBC News Story, Transcript of the Debate, link via the ever dependable Blue Ruin]
November 14, 2000
[cartoon] Steve Bell on the US Presidential Elections‘Electile Dysfunction’
November 12, 2000
[politics] The Thrill of Agony and the Victory of Defeat[?] The Observer covers what happened next as Gore prepared to concede the election to George Bush…. ”Circumstances,’ he said, once through to the Governor of Texas, ‘have changed. I need to withdraw my concession until the situation is clear’. ‘Let me make sure I understand, Mr Vice-President,’ said Bush. ‘You’re calling me back to retract your concession’. ‘There’s no need to get snippy about it,’ said Gore. Bush replied that his brother Jeb was the Governor in charge of the Florida ballot. Gore’s voice retorted: ‘It may surprise you but your younger brother is not the ultimate authority on this.’ ‘Mr Vice-President,’ said Bush’s voice, ‘You need to do what you have to do.”
November 9, 2000
[politics] BBC News covers the presidential election between Nixon and Kennedy in 1960: ‘The campaign became an increasingly dirty one, with mud-slinging and accusations of dirty tricks on both sides. The Kennedy camp uncovered a story that Nixon had regularly attended parties with prostitutes at the Florida home of his friend Bebe Rebozo. They were about to release the story to the media when they found out that Kennedy had also been a party guest.’
November 8, 2000
[politics] Media Nugget of the Day covers the US Presidential Elections. ‘Any way you cut it, 2000 will go down in history as a classic.’ and the Onion — Bush or Gore: ‘A New Era Dawns’ ‘”My fellow Americans,” a triumphant Bush or Gore told throngs of jubilant, flag-waving supporters at his campaign headquarters, “tonight, we as a nation stand on the brink of many exciting new challenges. And I stand here before you to say that I am ready to meet those challenges.”‘
November 7, 2000
[politics] Guardian Unlimited covers the brains behind Bush. Scary. ‘Olasky also believes that liberal journalists have “holes in their souls” and practice “the religion of Zeus”, which came as something of a surprise to the east-coast press. “What could he mean?” they wondered. Frank Rich, a veteran columnist at the New York Times, and one of those accused of having a hole in his soul, said: “He still hasn’t told me whether the religion of Zeus goes in for Bar Mitzvahs.”‘
November 5, 2000
[politics] The Sunday Times discovers evidence of cocaine being snorted within the Houses of Parliament. ‘At least the myth has been destroyed that if people start out on a soft drug, they end up on heroin. That they end up on the Tory front bench is not an enviable fate, but it is not quite as bad as lying in a gutter with a needle sticking out of you.’
November 2, 2000
[fuel] Guardian Unlimited compares and contrasts the real 1930s Jarrow Marchers with the farmers and hauliers behind the fuel tax protesters. ‘The contrast with the self-employed hauliers and farmers, running the campaign for a 26p cut in fuel duty, could scarcely be starker. Although some of the farmer activists have been hit by the slump in agricultural prices, evidence of other fuel protest organisers’ prosperity can be seen in BMWs, Volvos and Mercedes parked outside their meetings. Protest leaders include Nigel Kime, spokesman for British Hauliers Unite and owner of a £2m haulage firm; Derek Mead, protest coordinator in Somerset, who owns a 1,600-acre dairy farm; and Derek Lynch, who owns a Kent haulage business.’
October 29, 2000
[steve bell] Missed this on Friday — Mad Cows take a bite out of Gummer and Major
October 27, 2000
[comics] Quimby 2000 Vs. Lex 2000
October 26, 2000
[politics] Picking on ugly people is not funny… unless they are British MP’s. [Related Links: The Ann Widdecombe Shrine]
October 12, 2000
[politics] Reuters profiles Margaret Thatcher on her 75th birthday. Still mad as ever: ‘Last month she won a standing ovation in Washington, D.C. for her reply to a question about what she thought of U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton “I don’t.” Last week she told the BBC that Britain’s war record showed it should not become “entangled” with its European neighbors.”We’re quite the best country. We rescued them,” she said. “We’ve got to keep our own independence. Is that clear?”’ [via Robert Brook]
October 10, 2000
[cartoon] Yet Another fantastic Steve Bell cartoon on Hague, drugs and Widdecombe
[yugoslavia] Guardian Unlimited looks at the corruption surrounding Slobodan Milosevic’s family‘Three days ago Marko and his family left Pozarevac, the Milosevics’ home town, in three black jeeps. As he did, rioters looted his internet cafe and destroyed advertising for his disco Madonna. His nearby lurid Disney-esque theme park, Bambiland, has been closed since the summer, thanks to a popular boycott.’
October 4, 2000
[countryside] Guardian Unlimited on the Countryside Alliance. ‘It would be easy for the Labour leadership to dismiss the Alliance. This is an organisation with a predominantly Tory membership whose central aim has been to preserve the right to kill foxes and which readily compares Tony Blair to Adolf Hitler. One poster which bore its logo depicted the gay agriculture minister, Nick Brown, as a man “who loves gays and buggers the countryside”. The logo also appeared in the magazine Earth Dog, Running Dog – from which the Alliance distanced itself. The publication described the black MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Oona King, as “typical of her species”, and told her to “direct her talents to advising her scrounging supporters on how to claim more handouts”.’
September 27, 2000
[cartoon] Yet another Steve Bell cartoon — the time regarding yesterday’s Tony Blair sweat meltdown ‘Boiling down to our irreducible core.’
[blair] Fantastic “sketch” of Tony Blair’s conference speech yesterday by Simon Hoggart: ‘He began with a ringing battlecry. “We’re crap!” he told the adoring delegates. “Yes, we’re crap, but we’re not as crappy as the other lot!” He didn’t put it quite like that, of course, but that was what he meant. It was that rarest moment, an apology from a politician. The dome, the fuel crisis, pensions, even prime minister’s question time. But he was sorry, God he was sorry. He’d never do it again. Would a bunch of flowers help?’
September 14, 2000
[cartoon] Yet another great Steve Bell cartoon on the petrol crisis‘Fat Blokes United in Disgruntlement’
September 12, 2000
[comics] Bad weblogger…. did not spot this great Steve Bell cartoon on the Petrol Crisis earlier.
September 8, 2000
[comics] Steve Bell on William Hague and The Millennium Dome‘…a pointless tent in the middle of nowhere…’
August 25, 2000
[america] Oh dear… Polly Toynbee gets a shower of Hate mail from the US‘You are nothing but an intolerant American-hating bigot. You can’t stand the fact that America is so rich and powerful while you live in a pathetic third-rate country that is of no significance at all. I see no reason why America should pay any attention to the whining, pissing, shitting, moaning and groaning of a bunch of idiots like you. The rest of the world has no right to expect us to share our wealth with it. It is our money, not the world’s. Bush will win in November. I hope when he wins you have a stroke and it kills you and all your fellow Eurotrash die from shock as well. America Uber Alles! Fuck the world!!’
August 15, 2000
[fear and loathing] Hunter S. Thompson can’t get interested in the US Presidential Election. ‘[..] he can’t even come up with a description for the junkies who’re mainlining it. “Anyone with half a fucking brain would be apathetic,” Hunter spits, before trailing off. “If you’re excited about this thing you’d be, um, I don’t know.” Even though Hunter’s not writing about it, he still follows, muting and unmuting CNN, which plays constantly on a 27-inch television not 12 feet from his ashtray and keyboard. He’s still biting with the same force, but the teeth are different – not as sharp.’ [via Metafilter]
August 10, 2000
[young william] A Guardian reporter follows in William Hague’s footsteps around Rotherham attempting to drink 14 pints in the process. Not surprisingly he gets a little drunk… ‘”He was in my class at Wath Comprehensive and he was a prat even then,” says Sharon, when the incredulous laughter finally subsides. “A prat. The first week of school, he stood in front of the class – nobody else did this – and his mum was standing beside him, and he said, ‘I would like to introduce myself. My name is William Hague and I’m looking forward to being at school with you all.’ I never slept with him,” she adds, as if it would have been only natural to have wondered. “He’s trying to be a Rotherham man,” says Liz, “and all Rotherham men drink a lot.” It is becoming increasingly clear that I’m never going to pass for a Rotherham man.’
August 9, 2000
[young william] What’s the big political story in the UK at the moment? Apparently William Hague used to drink 14 pints a day when he was a younger man. ‘Leading PR man Max Clifford said the opposition leader was “trying to get away from the image of the sweet, precocious, 16-year-old cherub who stood up at the Conservative Party conference.” But added: “It won’t work because it is obvious – you don’t look at him and see a 14-pint man.”‘ [Related Links: Wonderful Steve Bell Cartoon, Guardian Article]
August 7, 2000
[distortion] Phony Blair — amazing 3D distortion of Tony Blair, requires Pulse Player. [thanks to Yungee]
July 30, 2000
[farmers] The Guardian looks at why the British are so hostile towards farmers. ‘In the same Mail On Sunday that sympathised with Martin, Geoffrey Wheatcroft wrote a vigorous attack on all farmers for their “greedy whingeing”. “They are always whining,” he wrote, “and they are always holding their hands out. They expect – and they get – money to grow crops, and money not to grow crops. All in all, the way in which farming is subsidised has become the greatest single affront to British democracy. What makes it worse is the astonishing ingratitude of our farmers”.’
July 12, 2000
[photo] Young William from The Guardian’s Left a Bit Gallery. “Apart from the hair nothing has changed.”
July 8, 2000
[tory] newsUnlimited takes a look at William Hague ‘It was my first Conservative dinner, and it was a shock. The Party is old; most of the dinner guests were in their 70s. It was hard to believe that this Britain bouffant hair-dos, portly, uniformed chauffeurs, crinoline ball-gowns and floral prints still existed; Planet Tory. It was like stepping back into the 50s. One thing was sure, these people would not be knocking door to door at election time. At one table at the back was a small clique of young men from Glasgow University’s Conservative Society. They are strangely awkward, arrogant, odd-looking, dressed in clothes borrowed from their grandparents; young Williams revisited 20 years later.’
June 14, 2000
[comics] Salon reports that Lex Luthor is to run for president. [via Ghost in the Machine]
June 7, 2000
[comics] Great Steve Bell Cartoon on Elitism and William Hague in the Guardian today. “I, Commonsense Man shall wreak vengence on the Liberal elite”
June 6, 2000
[comics] Bill Clinton tells Russia that he had in the past a used comic book business: “”In my lifetime, I probably had ? earned money doing 20 or 25 different things. I’ve built houses, I’ve cleared land, I’ve worked in a grocery store. I had a used comic book business. Obviously, I was a musician. I made money as a musician. I’ve been a teacher. I’ve done a lot of different things in my life.”” Totally weird if it’s true… [via Ghost in the Machine]
June 2, 2000
[tory] Tebbit on Hague: “”Something somewhere sparked him off and suddenly he became an interesting politician – having previously been uninteresting,” he says. But he adds, crushingly: “As he gets more interesting, people forget that he’s bald, he’s got an unusual voice and he’s small.”” After the untimely death of Barbara Cartland I think Norman Tebbit may well fill the “mad quote” void on linkmachinego…
May 10, 2000
[ken4london] Livingstone and Labour close to compromise deal reports newsUnlimited.
May 7, 2000
[ken4london] newsUnlimited has an interview with Ken Livingstone — the new mayor of London. “It suddenly dawns on you that all those people have gone out and voted for you, and it was overwhelming and incredibly humbling, and I hadn’t expected to have that feeling…”
May 6, 2000
[mayor for london] BBC News has a picture gallery of the election for London mayor.
May 5, 2000
[mayor for london] “If the Archangel Gabriel had stood with the name Winston Churchill, Ken would still have won.” — Jeffrey Archer. So what does a London mayor do anyway?
[mayor for london] The results of the London Mayor election have been held up by “dust in the air”. Did they get British Rail into count the votes? [Updated 12.27pm] Anyway — Ken wins.
May 4, 2000
[mayor for london] It’s voting day in London. I voted at 7.00 o’clock this morning on the way to work… Here’s a couple of reports from BBC News and newsUnlimited… newsUnlimited is also reporting that a “virtual poll” has Livingstone winning cleanly in the first round.