You kip #1

The Euro election results are in, and the UK results can be summarised as “everybody got shagged, except the swivel-eyed loons“.

The Tories and Labour each got their lowest share of the vote since the modern 2.5 party system was established. The Lib Dems only gained 2% on last time, coming in behind the swivel-eyed loons on 15% of the vote (the loons got 16%).

There are various explanations for the result. A major one is the EU’s unpopularity… which itself has come about partly because pro-Europeans have been utterly, appallingly rubbish at explaining to the public why the EU is good; partly because that everyone of whatever political hue always blames Europe for their own failings; and partly because a small proportion of the British population are xenophobic wankers.

We can’t do much about the last of these – culling isn’t really an option these days. But hopefully the Ukip result will encourage pro-Europeans to actually make the Europe case (and more importantly, to explain why EU withdrawal would suck).

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Shell has published a fairly scathing report about its activities in Nigeria, and the corruption and civil unrest that the oil has brought.

So… is this is a cynical piece of window-dressing, or a genuine attempt to avoid making the same mistakes in the future?

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And it gets worse

Apparently the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are being well-treated. As long as your definition of ‘well-treated’ is ‘beaten almost to death’.

Meanwhile in Iraq, the torture stories worsen. Seymour Hersh says he’s seen unimaginably horrible things happening to detainees and their children.

What can be done?

Morrissey‘s (English) heart is in the right place, but his prescriptions are horribly wrong: if Bush were to die, Cheney would take over, and that would be worse.

If Cheney were also to die, Dennis Hastert would take over, and I don’t see that being any better. Next-in-line Ted Stevens is Alaskan, and having an Alaskan president might be groovy, but he seems a little too embroiled in the whole military mess as well. Then the first sensible person on the list is Colin Powell. It’d be nice to have State back in charge of foreign policy, and it’d also be good to have a black President…

Now, I think that calling for the simultaneous assassination of four senior politicians would be going a bit far. But if anyone enterprising fancies organising some kind of jolly for top Republicans – a trip through the Paris night in a Ritz Hotel Mercedes, perhaps, or a walking tour of Afghanistan, or a lava surfing trip to Mount Santa Maria in Guatemala (perhaps with local nuns ensuring Cheney’s safety), then I’d certainly salute them.

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Why they hate America

I don’t hate America. I do, however, hate Americans like Steve Sturm. If I thought all Americans were like Steve Sturm, I would seriously consider supporting terrorism against America. I suspect that many of the people who do hate America do so because they do believe this.

That said, there is some merit in his ‘worth of people’s lives’ calculus. I would adjust his metric slightly:

* a human life: 50 points

* Steve Sturm’s life: zero points

(found via this post, which confirms the belief stated in the paragraph above).

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There seems to be a trend at the moment among writers of good blogs to give co-writing duties to half-crazed right-wing idiots.

I’m always loath to miss a good bandwagon, and I feel that actually managing to lower the standard of SBBS would take serious effort. So I’m aiming to hire Adam Yoshida as my co-writer, which, unfortunately will mean teaching him to write, which will take about ten years; but time well spent, I think, because he’s such a very good half-crazed right-wing idiot.

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Guess the dynasty

In an attempt to bring levity and fun into your miserable lives, the SBBS editorial team have come up with an exciting new game: Guess The Dynastic Tyranny. We give you a summary of a news story, and you guess which dynastic tyranny it’s referring to…

1) The government publishes a document made up entirely of outrageous, easily-disprovable lies – which supports government policies that everyone else knows are disastrous.

2) The leader gives a speech about how business and trade make everyone better off.

3) After the death of the leader’s dynastic forbear, his embalmed corpse is displayed in the national parliament building for genuflection and general worship.

4) A citizen of this state who fled to another country for political reasons 30 years ago faces life in jail should he return – and is likely to be forcibly taken home should he visit the neutral third country where his wife lives.

5) The leadership claims that economic growth has been strong for the last two years, but -ordinary people in the country are seeing little or no benefit.

6) While a constitution formally grants the people great power and protection from government excess, the leader does not believe himself bound by the document. The government regularly carries out actions that breach it, in spirit at the very least.

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