Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Big Frei up

Apparently America is warming to Al Gore, according to the Beeb's man in Washington, Matt Frei.

Would this be the same Al Gore who won some 600,000 more votes than 'President' Bush in 2000? 51 million votes seems fairly warm. Perhaps if he hadn't had a VP candidate who was almost as right wing as Bush dragging him down or a Supreme Court not appointed largely by a senile Hollywood actor he'd be in the White House and the nightmare of the last seven years would never have happened.

You have to question what the point of Frei is. He might as well be in Washington, County Durham for all the insight he brings. In fact the BBC's website has been dire on US issues for years, with Newsround-like tone and a hazy grasp of foreign affairs - tipping (Canada-born) Jennifer Granholm as the next Democract US presidential candidate, for example. Only slightly less dumb than tipping A-nuld for the White House.

With the Washington Post (especially Chris Cillizza's unmissable The Fix), Meet the Press and, of course, the irrepressible Daily Show at our fingertips, do we really need a no-mark with a fat expenses account hob-nobbing across the Atlantic? Make 'em good or make 'em go away. Please.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Quick change of plan

Was going to blog tonight about the House of Lords reforms (snooze). Why can't we have real democracy rather than the ludicrous regional list system, under which you can choose any candidate you want, as long as it' the one the party machine favours?

Under Jack Straw's plans, half the upper house will be chosen by party leaders and the other half will be, well, chosen by party leaders - with only a handful of members (those the parties aren't too taken with anyway) at risk of lsing their seats.

But then Guido's blog led me to tipped me in the direction of some telling revelations about the sad death of former MP Fiona Jones.

Now I'd never taken to Mrs Jones, she seemed like a whinger with an air of sleaze hanging over her after her arrest and subsequent convicition for electoral expenses irregularities (a conviction that was rapidly overturned on appeal).

But, having read Jane Griffiths' blog, and an excellent piece by Patrick Barkham in The Guardian, it's clear there's more to this than a sad woman turning to drink as her career is thwarted. It's yet another incident in the life of this god-awful Labour government that should have them hanging their heads in shame. Particularly shocking is the accusation over a male cabinet minister's supposed 'sex for promotion' offer.

I was going to suggest anyone concerned about House of Lords reform could post on Jack Straw's own local newspaper blog. where, apparently, this week's most pressing issue is the managerial talent of Blackburn Rovers' Mark Hughes.

Come to think of it, you might want to ask him about the death of Fiona Jones as well...

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Walker, (anything but a) Texas Ranger

The Oxfordshire assistant coroner's reward for peristence in demanding the truth from the MOD and the US junta after over the death of Cpl Matty Hull si a big fat P45. At least he didn't get the Dr David Kelly treatment....

Well done to Mr Walker and The Sun for exposing US and British hypocrisy over 'friendly fire' (or killing your own side due to your acknowledged gross incompetence and unsuitability for the role, which is what those of us who've watched the video prefer to call it).

No doubt, just like our Prime Minister's questioning in a corruption and cover-up probe, the majority of the UK population will be happier ignoring at and watching Corrie instead.