Friday, May 07, 2010

The British Hung Parliament of 2010

Actual outcome below.

[Diagrams from the BBC]

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Rambling Thoughts On U.K. Election Day

A General Erection is underway in the U.K. today.

Today is also Tony Blair's birthday, so what strange gifts will the fates bring him, as he enjoys his retirement? Having created an electable Labour Party which has governed the U.K. since 1997, Blair's New Labour will probably lose its majority under Prime Minister Gordon "bigoted woman" Brown.

Not that Blair may care what becomes of his gloomy, ugly ex-pal Brown. That strange principle of promotion-of-the-worst is hard at work for Blair. After fucking up the already-fucked-up Middle East with George W. Bush, Blair is of course now a European Union Peace Envoy to the Middle East.

What has any of this to do with Muhammed Ali (above)? Not much at all, but you, my loyal four readers, should know that Ali is an Irishman:
The boxing legend and three-time world heavyweight champion became the first man to be given the freedom of Ennis, County Clare, for 600 years. Ali visited the town, in the west of Ireland, to pay homage at the home of his Irish great-grandfather, Abe Grady.
I think many people would agree with me that politicians and political leaders are today about as likely to act selflessly and honorably as a banker on Wall Street. If you seek the power and freedom that money affords, then political power can be like having your own Automated Teller Machine (note that I said "can be" and not "is").

However, Ali reminds you that great people and people of greatness are still all around us. They are just so rarely in politics. To the winners and losers in today's election: remember, there's more to life than power. If you lose, remember, there's more to life than power.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Life At The End of a Newspaper

The times are grim at newspapers everywhere, it seems. Which depresses me. I've loved newspapers all my life. They are to me what horses might have meant to a person one hundred years ago, watching as the automobile took over everywhere, uprooting and obliterating the human-and-horse relationship that had existed for thousands of years.

And so too with newspapers, though their existence is much briefer: whether mundane or momentous news, the transience of each daily edition is nevertheless one which (I would reflect as I read my copy) unites people, for Prime Ministers, Presidents and monarchs all read the papers as much as the proles on the bus.

As unpleasant but necessary as the fat bully in a school playground, blow-hard right-wing conservative newspapers are always a fun read. I am therefore amused and saddened to hear from the Washington Post, about that other D.C. newspaper, the Washington Times (sample headline above; even Reagan and Bush were suspiciously limp-wristed). It is of course owned by the Moonies:
The finances are so tight that the newspaper hasn't paid some of its bills or tended to basic maintenance issues--such as hiring an exterminator to deal with mice and snakes sneaking into the building on New York Avenue in Northeast.

"The feeling everyone feels is that it's a totally rudderless ship," said Julia Duin, the paper's longtime religion reporter. "Nobody knows who's running it. Is it the board of directors? We don't know. There was a three-foot-long black snake in the main conference room the other day. We have snakes in the newsroom--the real live variety, at least. One of the security people gallantly removed it."