Saturday, July 24, 2004

Nice blog, impeccable taste.
Bark on, Matthew, bark on.

I'm not gay or owt, or Tory for that matter, but I love that man.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Did the cassette kill the record industry? Did VHS kill cinema? These are the questions that come to my mind when the music industry bleaters bang on about file sharing. It has been blatantly obvious for years now that overpricing and competition from computer games, DVD and the like have had the biggest impact on CD sales and that file sharing is a relatively minor concern.

Now some new research challenges the bleater's view and goes some way to confirming what we always suspected, that file sharing actually increases sales.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

As a 70s guy, one of life's minor annoyances has been putting up with condescending lectures from up their own arse 60s lefties on the political brilliance of their decade compared to what came afterwards.

Now, it seems we have to put up with condescending lectures from up their own arse present day "lefties," too:

Politically the sixties generation came to maturity in the eighties. They were worse than useless. They threw away the precious gains of the forties and the sixties. Their irresponsibility in political attitudes ceded power to the right.

I don’t blame the sixties for crime today. I blame the eighties culture of greed, excess and selfishness. Trouble is, it was the Greers, the Kuireshis, the Tariq Ali’s- and their political equivalents at every level of the Labour party and the Democrats – at their prime in the Eighties, who were supposed to hold the line. We needed them to be making the compromises, getting their hands dirty for the sake of others against a rising tide of the right. They walked away from the fight to preserve their purity. Whether it was militant, or identity politics, or the Bennite revolt. It was the pose that mattered not the achievement.

Those of us who come after the deluge might have expected a society based on community, on compassion, on a society geared for the needs of the many, not the few. Instead, we got the triumph of the individual. The sink estate. The failing school. The low tax economy.  Of course, The right is truly  to blame, but I refuse to forgive those who spent that timed indulging themselves and their consciences, disappearing up their own arses (or noses) for a decade while the hard won achievements of half a century were thrown away.

So how, I wonder, did New Labour go about turning the tide and making the world a better place? By boldly challenging the flawed and failing ideology that brought us to this sorry state or by accepting and adopting its rhetoric and most of its policies while frantically playing down the importance of anything that smacked of Old Labour and those hard won achievements of the previous half century?

You decide.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Nick Cohen on the CGAS Party.

Oh, and hello, BTW. I was going to write a long, thoughtful and detailed piece on Butler, comparing and contrasting with Hutton, but my PC crashed at an inopportune moment. I'm lying, I couldn't be arsed.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

I see the PM decided to submit himself to the ultimate test of a politician's mettle - an interview with Steve Wright on Radio 2. None of your namby pambying around with the likes of Humphries and Paxman for our fearless warrior against terror. Ho no. It's the pitiless probing of Steve Wright in the afternoon for him. What a joke.

We all laughed when Thatcher spurned the big guns of her day after she came a cropper with Sir Robin "Do you think it was a funny joke, Mrs Thatcher?" Day in favour of cuddly old Jimmy Young, but even Jim's successor on Radio 2's sort of current affairs programme is too much for our Tone.

I listened to some of Blair's effort with Wrighty, before the toe curling insincerity got the better of me and I baled out, in the process missing Ask Elvis, possibly the finest few minutes of radio entertainment available now that Mark and Lard have gone their separate ways.

Anyway, one thing I did catch was a curiosity. They got to talking, as inevitably happens on these heavyweight political occasions, about working out. As in the gym. "Yes," says Tone, "I try to go to the gym three times a week." Whereupon Steve responded with something to the effect that it has been suggested this is a symptom of a mid-life crisis for Blair.

Who would suggest such a thing? Love Blair or loathe him, there's no denying this would be raising the bar considerably for mid-life crises. Consider the normal run of the things. Forty something guy, stuck in a dead end job, looks back over a life of squandered opportunities and unfulfilled dreams. So how would this be for Tony? Here I am, he murmurs sorrowfully, my life more than half over and what have I got to show for it? Well, I transformed the Labour Party into a modern, electable force, achieved a landslide victory, then a second term as Prime Minister and turned the Tories into also rans. I'm seen by many as a major player on the international stage...

You get the picture. Whatever regrets Blair might admit to in his darker moments, I'm not sure they involve better pecs and a six pack.

Thursday, July 01, 2004