Johnsons

Harry Hutton at Chase me ladies I’m in the Cavalry has been chasing Boris Johnson, sorry Johnsons. He wrote a very nice letter to Sir Boris in which he suggested that:

The modern Conservative Party is an old man wanking into a sock.

And he got a reply! Ok not from BJ himself, but still.

Meanwhile BJ himself is ruminating on the subject of Prince Harry’s coursework, but somehow he gets distracted:

…The whole thing still filled me with such tedium that the lobster decayed, emitting appalling vapours. I had to dispose of the crustacean…

Nevertheless his article is full of fascinating insights:

And if you are a politician, or a journalist, believe me, you find that you are asked endlessly to suck in and then expel information like some undersea coelenterate [n : radially symmetrical animals having saclike bodies with only one opening and tentacles with stinging structures; they occur in polyp and medusa forms].

Back in 1868 US president Andrew Johnson was very nearly impeached, which is exactly what Pootergeek wants to happen Boris Johnson’s hair, on the grounds that

it wilfully misrepresents the state of his scalp to the Commons and to the country.

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Football

At it’s best football is a beautiful, skilfull, tactical, magnificent game. The problem is that often it’s not at it’s best, and sometimes I’m left wondering what I’m doing watching 22 self-satisfied prima donna pretty boys with £500 haircuts rolling around on the floor clutching their ankles in mock agony. In the unlikely event that the referee picks up on the fact that they’re cheating, they protest their innocence with irritating wide-eyed disbelieving faces, as if this is the greatest injustice since the Birmingham Six. Football needs to get it’s house in order: video referees would be a start, with every penalty-decision automatically going to one.

Football is billion dollar business, and the fans are funding it. Why anyone would remain loyal to a club which routinely takes the piss by hiking up the price of tickets and merchandise and regularly changing its strip just to sell more, I can’t imagine. It really makes no more sense than pledging an oath of loyalty to Coca Cola.

Sorry to those not interested, I just thought I’d take SBBS somewhere John would never go.

Posted by Larry

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Wobbling indecisively

For a brief moment it seemed as if drugs law in the UK was heading in the right direction. But, in case you missed it, Tony Blair recently hinted that he might reverse the declassification of cannabis: half a step forwards, and half a step backwards.

Jim Bliss is quite pissed off about this, and explains why. Then in the comments-section he gets even more pissed off when David Duff chips in with his tuppence worth. Well worth reading.

My own views are that if you’re worried about drugs-related crime, or about people’s safety, then prohibition is pretty counter-productive, not to mention the fact that criminalising vast swathes of the population for activities which do no harm to anyone else strikes me as unfair, and not what the law should be used for. But whether you agree with that or not, it’s clear that Tony Blair can’t make up his mind on this issue and so is half-arsedly tinkering with the edges of the law, which is not what good governments do.

Posted by Larry

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Pull out the troops?

In the light of the appalling recent events in Iraq, should we pull out all coalition troops soon? John doesn’t know and neither do I.

Option 1: Don’t pull out the troops.

The best case scenario here is that the coalition troops will protect the people of Iraq while local forces are built up. Arguably we owe them this. We will keep the insurgency under control until such a time as the Iraqi security forces have the training and resources to take on that job.

The worst case scenario is that the continuing presence of allied troops will actually make matters worse. By appearing to be a military occupation, it will stoke the fires of the insurgency. Those susceptible to the view that the Iraqi administration is a puppet of the US will have that view confirmed, and more attacks will follow. Coalition troops, as well as Iraqi recruits and civilians, will suffer heavy casualties.

Option 2: Pull out the troops.

The best case scenario is that with no allied troops on Arab soil, the ferocity of the insurgency will gradually die down, and normal life in Iraq can begin. Meanwhile, no more coalition soldiers will be killed.

The worst case scenario is that the embryonic Iraqi administration will be unable to cope unaided with the insurgency. It’s credibility will be damaged every time there’s a major attack, and confidence in it will be undermined, even to the point of collapse.

Posted by Larry

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PR

Since the election, in the blogosphere and elsewhere there’s been a lot of talk about proportional representation. Perhaps that’s because the current first-past-the-post system is blatently and transparently undemocratic. For instance Labour got around 1.6 times as many votes as the Lib Dems did, but ends up with more than 5 times as many seats. Similarly Labour got just 1.09 times as many seats as the Conservatives, but ends up with 1.81 times as many seats.

Jarndyce at The Sharpener does a good job of knocking down some of the bogus arguments against PR, and I’m sure John would wish me to encourage everyone to go and sign these two petitions.



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Torturing Americans

That’s as in Americans who torture.

‘Brooke'[a female interrogator at Guantanamo] came back round his [the prisoner’s] other side, and he could see that she was beginning to withdraw her hand from her pants," said Sgt Saar.

"As it became visible, the Saudi saw what looked like red blood on her hand."

When the interrogator wiped what he thought was menstrual blood on his face, the prisoner raged, almost breaking free from his handcuffs.

But "Brooke" taunted him further, said Erik Saar, asking whether Allah would be pleased with him and telling him to have fun trying to pray.

Finally the detainee was returned to his cell without water, leaving him unable to cleanse himself.


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Tory Leadership: One Bloody Well Down

Nicholas Soames has resigned from the tory front bench, but would rather have "root canal surgery without a bloody anaesthetic" than challenge for the leadership of the 1922 committee. When asked if he might in fact challenge for the leadership of the entire party, he went the colour of an angry Alex Ferguson on poppers and spluttered "Don’t be so bloody stupid". Other prominent tories have so far been less forthcoming, and considerably less entertaining.



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Non-comedy

Sorry to do my first guest-post on a depressing note, but it’s looking likely that we now have a rogue state led by a mad murderous tyrant with weapons of mass destruction.

Madly enough, North Korea is the world’s only necrocracy: the president is not "The Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il, but is his father’s corpse ("The Great Leader" Kim Il Sung). Kim Jong Il on the other hand has written 6 operas, exercises total control over the media, and doesn’t like long hair. However not even he (hopefully) could be mad enough to contemplate actually nuking anyone, given that he’d be dead within the day if he did.

Anyway I’m sure we all hope that John is having a great time there.

Posted by Larry

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Absence and distractions

I’m going to be doing Interesting, Fun, Non-Work things from tomorrow until a week on Sunday.

In the meantime, I’d recommend you have a look at The Sharpener, a gathering of the finest minds of Britblogging (even if they didn’t ask me to join. Bastards). Also check The Militant Pine Marten and Tampon Teabag, two very-new-indeed blogs by people I know in the real world. Hopefully this will put pressure on them to keep up the writing, or something.

Larry from Tampon Teabag will also be guest-posting here when I’m away, unless he forgets.

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