Home / Tag Archives: Politics

Tag Archives: Politics

Feed Subscription

Evacuating people from Cairo – only £300

Yesterday morning, the UK government sent a plane to Cairo to evacuate Brits who want to leave. Other governments are doing the same, but only the UK is charging for it. It’s £300 per person. When asked to justify this charge, the Foreign Office said: It’s very important that we maintain commercial flights in and out of Egypt, so we don’t want to be in a position where we are providing flights at no cost, because that would undercut commercial airlines So on the one hand there are people wanting to leave a city in turmoil, which has seen looting ... Read More »

Going down in flames if that was required

President-elect Obama has chosen Susan E. Rice as his UN ambassador. She sounds good: During her first run at the State Department, Ms. Rice was a point person in responding to Al Qaeda’s 1998 bombing of United States Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. But her most searing experience was visiting Rwanda after the 1994 genocide when she was still on the N.S.C. staff. As she later described the scene, the hundreds, if not thousands, of decomposing, hacked up bodies that she saw haunted her and fueled a desire to never let it happen again. “I swore to myself that if ... Read More »

Letters to a Young Contrarian

Over the summer I read Christopher Hitchens’ Letters to a Young Contrarian, twice. Its message is: bloody well stand up for what you believe in. It’s an ode to rationality and fierce decency in a world where – it says – harmful behaviour is too often defended by well-meaning apologists. In a series of letters to a young student, it says that ‘left-wing’ does not have to mean ‘relativist’, and does not mean always trying to reach a compromise: sometimes it means putting your foot down and saying ‘stop’1. It says that authority – of all kinds – should always be ... Read More »

It’s like rain

Last week William Hague took the lead in PMQs, and said: Isn’t there something supremely ironic about being lectured about food waste by a prime minister who is past his own sell-by date? Which is quite supremely stupid. That’s not ironic, that’s just arsing about with words. Isn’t there something supremely ironic about being told to clean up your act by someone who was washed up long ago? Isn’t there something supremely ironic about being lectured on food dialogues by a has-bean? See: stupid. Just a worthless ad hominem. Obviously it’s meant to sound like the PM is being hypocritical, ... Read More »

I’ll decide the important issues in elections, thank you very much

I don’t understand one-issue by-elections. I’m not going to vote for the BNP candidate who declares the campaign solely about free bouncy castles. That’s ass-backwards. If he gets elected, there’s nothing saying he can only vote on bouncy-castle-related issues. Trick. I might agree with David Davis about the 42 days, but I disagree over a lot more. Even if he campaigns on general civil liberties, that’s only one part of the political agenda. I’m assuming his seat is safe, so this is really about consciousness-raising. Which could be worthy, but only works if everyone is in on the game. You ... Read More »

My MP’s thoughts on climate change

Theyworkforyou.com email me whenever my MP – John Maples – says anything. He’s in the Conservative Party, and not the most active of MPs: Has spoken in 12 debates in the last year — below average amongst MPs. Has received answers to 9 written questions in the last year — below average amongst MPs. Replied within 2 or 3 weeks to a high number of messages sent via WriteToThem.com during 2007, according to constituents. [Andrew’s note: not mine, though] Has voted in 60% of votes in parliament — well below average amongst MPs. (From Public Whip) He didn’t turn up ... Read More »

Let the sniper-fire comment go

I can’t help feeling sorry for Hillary Clinton. She’s at the point in a political career where the vitriol is non-stop, and while I’m aware politicians have to be thick-skinned, the media scrum to kick someone while they’re down is always unpleasant. I’m sure she can cope ok, but I don’t see the virtue. I also find it galling that people are still bringing up the infamous sniper-fire comment. On Sunday Norm said “she was either lying or deceiving herself bigtime”, and the general media attitude seems to be she’s either a liar or stupid. Thing is, memory doesn’t work ... Read More »

As succinct a definition as you’ll find

Welsh channel S4C filmed a love scene for drama Caerdydd1 inside a baby-changing room at the Welsh Assembly. Some people aren’t happy, including Conservative William Graham: This is obviously unpleasant and unnecessary. Potentially it’s distressing for people who don’t like the idea of one of the buildings they funded being used in this way. Do they not show Torchwood in Wales? Then came the most cognitively dissonant statement ever: One doesn’t want censorship but nothing that is controversial or concerning should happen. Coincidentally, this is also the Conservative Party’s new slogan. the website for which is currently displaying ‘Bad Request ... Read More »

A new definition of ‘lying’

I’m spending lots of time following the US elections, at least partly because UK politics is so embarrassingly stupid at the moment. To wit, David Davis on the MP bugging row: “Why was this allowed to happen without ministerial knowledge?” he said. “When it was discovered in December, they didn’t tell Jack Straw or Jacqui Smith. “These intercepts have broken a prime ministerial promise. They involve the intercept of the justice whip – someone who works with Mr Straw. “This is a very serious issue. It’s a breach of a prime ministerial undertaking to Parliament, so it makes the prime ... Read More »

Media frenzy

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith told the Sunday Times she wouldn’t feel safe walking alone at night in her area of London. In the past few hours I have heard this described as: Correct. It’s a warzone, and here’s an anecdote to prove it. Incorrect. London’s streets are completely safe, and here’s an anecdote to prove it. ‘Feeding a culture of fear’. A major gaffe – what’s the Home Secretary doing admitting that the streets aren’t safe?! (the media might hate ‘spin’, but if you don’t use it you’re apparently a rubbish politician). How exactly should she have answered that question? Read More »

Scroll To Top