Sunday, June 29, 2003

You've got to laugh.

Not content with being the richest man in the world, really, all Bill wants is to be loved.

But it just never happens. He makes products we all use and we hate him for it. He tries giving lots of money away, but we all just shrug our shoulders and say he can afford it. Now he tries to help rid the world of spam, and what better way could there be to make him a hero? It's the bane of our lives, is spam, and here he is, this knight of the shining computer flashing his wallet around and going after the spammers when all the governments of the world sit idly by and watch.

So he sends his writ to a telecoms engineer with a flying club website. Well done Microsoft, you've done it again.
Now here's a thing.

So the strutting peacock of world politics decides that the US does need the rest of the world, after all. The New American Century may have to wait a little longer and may well have to involve other countries as well. Only two months ago the world according to Rumsfeld was one where a triumphant US would take on all comers, with or without the coalition of the willing, it didn't matter one way or the other, the mighty US of A would do it all on their own if they had to.

Now the talk is of multi-lateralism again, from the most belligerent hawk of the lot. And what has it taken to effect this seismic change in attitude? A belated realisation, maybe, that in both Afghanistan and Iraq, peace is a damn sight harder to win than war.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

I've been stalking again. I just can't keep away from those aliens. A random read from the section entitled, helpfully, Loony Lefties yields:

Now if you understand this, you can see why your average conservative is against what the EU now represents and why your average social democratic liberal despises what America now represents. There is of course some overlap, with conservatives like Chris Patten preferring Europe and lefties like Tony Blair seemingly preferring America, but this is the general picture. If the right weren't anti-EU, it wouldn't be the right, because social democratic welfarism is virtually irreconcilable with conservatism. If the left weren't anti-American, it wouldn't be the left, because populist, economically free toughness is virtually irreconcilable with social democracy, liberalism or socialism.

Apart from the sheer mind numbing tedium - standard in political blogging, even the Sullivan guru, who in real life writes moderately diverting journalism, in his blog is virtual temazepam - does this guy live in some alternative universe where Blair is leftie? Blair, the man who moved the Labour Party to a position where it looked for a brief time that the Tories were going to nip round the back and postion themselves to its left.

And nobody would have thought it strange.

Friday, June 27, 2003

Spent some time lurking and occasionally commenting in some political weblogs. Most blogs are pimply kids who think no further than the boil on the end of their nose - at least the politicised have a modicum of interest in the outside world.

By far the most fun are these guys. Well, I know the political blog world is mainly made of the rabid right, but to go there is a surreal experience.

I keep going back to have another guilty peek when I could be posting or better still, working. It is just so weird to find talk of positive discrimination being evil, black people's genetic disposition to be be thick and have cocks dangling round their ankles (made the last bit up) and a curious fascination with what gay people choose to do with their bodies.

And someone actually said "blah blah ... somewhere to the left of Lenin." Wow, I've not heard that one for a decades. And as for. "... if it wasn't for her the unions would be running the country now..." it was enough to bring a nostalgic tear to my eye.

Altogether now, "Let's do the Time Warp again....."

Thursday, June 26, 2003

Now this, I like. Set the time stamp to BST and the time is 5 hours ahead. Set it to Africa/Windhoek and it's right.

Those Blogger boys should be writing computer games.
New Blogging technical thingie in operation. Thank you Mr Blogger.

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Yeh! My first comment. Does that mean I'm a real blogger now?

Anyway, if it's supposed to be satire, Mick, that just makes it worse. If that's what passes for humour in the Labour Party these days, I'll stick with Peter Kaye ads. And Richard and Judy. Now there's satire for you.

I really must stop commenting at other people's blogs and do some work occasionally.

Nearly took the Labour Guy's link off in a fit of pique 'cos he took down a comment. Shouldn't have called his teen page teen shite, I suppose. It is, though.

Smacking your kids in the news again, someone wants to ban it.

As the stepfather of two teenagers and father of a nine year old, this is something that exercises me less than it used to - I was a real zealot when I was seven, let me tell you. But I just love listening to the arguments - the childless, right on lefties who have never faced a screaming tantrum telling us how to be parents and the floggers who live in a wondrous dreamworld where it possible to hit a child with a "loving smack".

The uncomfortable truth that many parents realise is that it never feels right to do it, but by God it works.

Personally, I am pleased to say I have only ever smacked out of anger and frustration.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

On a more serious note, what's the crack with Big Brother for Chrissakes? Desperation or what?
Received a reply from the Labour guy:


Thanks for the email. I visited your site. I mean this in a respectful way
when I say I think you'd get on well with my dad who shares your view of the

Tax is a tricky, dangerous thing for a reforming Labour Party. Like it or
not, there are still huge sections of British society who think that we
squander their hard earned resources. More than that though, what Peter Hain
was advocating just doesn't add up. Even Megnad Desai, economics guru to
Tribune denounced his idea as unworkable.

Anyway, thanks for the kind email.


Nice. I refrained in my reply - much against my better nature, I might add - to query the whereabouts of this reforming Labour Party of which he speaks.

I especially like the "I mean this in a respectful way" bit. Serves me right, I suppose, for calling this the middleagedcurmudgeon, but I'm not much older than he is, f**** sake.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Just found some Labour MPs blog.

If nothing else it's good to see a politician, and a Labour one at that, staggering into the 21st century. Unlike the divine Blair, he has an email address, and I sent him one to see if he'd reply.

For the record, this is wot I rote, apropos the Peter Hain debacle

Hi Tom,

Nice blog. Good to see at least one politician dipping his toes into the twenty first century.

Now for some 20th Century politics:

"If there is one good thing to come out of a frustrating day it is that we have heard it from the horses mouth that we are not going to hit people in the upper bracket with more income tax"

What an amazing thing for a Labour politician to say at a time when there has never been more resentment about fat cat pay. Show's just how far the party has travelled and shows how you have let the right set the agenda to such an extent that to entertain the notion of the rich getting slightly less rich is some sort of heresy.

But as I understand it, Peter Hain was hardly advocating kicking down the doors of capitalism, and I think his point was that many people in the middle income bracket could have a lighter tax burden if the super rich - among them those executives who get millions for dragging companies through the mire - paid more.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't it the middle income, middle Englanders who brought New Labour to power in the first place?

Maybe, despite the inevitable howling from the press, this could have been a vote winner rather than a vote loser. Hey ho. We'll never know.

Anyway, I'll read your blog with interest.