Monday, April 18, 2005

I'm not sure if it was a blogger or someone at work today who said "Apparently Phil Collins has promised that if the Tories win the general election he'll return to Britain. This means we have to vote Labour!"

The Sean Connerycottish National Party had a PPP on after the Channel 4 news. They wanted our vote because the parties down south were talking about English issues and not Scottish ones. Excuse me? Didn't we give you a Parliament to get rid of Alex Salmon and his tedious bunch of supporters who think they're Braveheart when in fact they're the Clan MacAdder from Blackadder (Blackadder "And how stands that mighty army, the Clan MacAdder?" MacAdder "They're both well." Blackadder "I've always thought Jamie and Angus were such fine boys." MacAdder "Angus is a girl.") The SNP's moan would have more weight if it wasn't for the fact that, by standing for the British rather than Scottish Parliament they are following the power, rather than their principles, unlike New Labour, of all people, of whom Donald Dewar stood down in order to stand for and run the Scottish Parliament. But Gordon Brown has a Scottish seat doesn't he? You'll be waiting a long time for full independence Alex.

Last week had the BBC broadcasting a party political broadcast on behalf of Labour... during Newsnight. This was the absurdity of Alistair Campbell's crusade against the BBC he was trying to portray them as sandal-wearing, bearded yoghurt-knitting, Open University supporting lefties when the fact is that the BBC is always fairly centre-ground and leans in the direction of whoever is currently in power and who they think will be in power at the next election. The BBC rarely transmits on it's news shows Blair in Parliament or at Prime Ministers Questions because they know he's bad at it, they do what they can to avoid broadcasting Michael Howard or Charles Kennedy getting the better of him during debates, the BBC deserves much of the credit for keeping the Government going, having Jeremy Paxman being sarky for a couple of evenings a week should be a price they are willing to pay.

But anyway, last week Newsnight had a special report on the case of Kamel Bourgass and how he'd nearly masterminded a plot to kill thousands of Londoners. By the end of it I was quite impressed that, while one branch of the security services had been fabricating evidence of WMD in Iraq, the other had been working to stop real terrorists. It gave Charles Clarke the chance to say that this case somehow proved that we need ID Cards (which at the time I thought odd, because Bourgass was in this country illegally he either wouldn't have had an ID Card or would have got one illicitly, meaning they would be useless), David 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' Blunkett to saying that we need tougher anti-terrorist laws, just like the ones he wanted to bring in, presumably then we wouldn't have to rely on having to find Bourgass guilty of committing any crime before banging him up and it gave Michael 'I want to put an end to the immigration freedoms that allowed my father to come to this country in the first place' Howard to moan about illegal immigrants before biting the neck of a virgin, or Anne Widdicombe, whichever was closer.

It was a couple of days later that I found out it was mostly bollocks. The only reason Bourgass got locked up was because he'd helpfully stabbed a policeman while resisting arrest. Although a lab said it had found ricin at the flat Bourgass was using it then discovered that that was a mistake and told the Government. The Government announced the lab had found ricin, it strangely didn't get round to announcing the retraction. Furthermore, while Bourgass had an intention to make it he had no luck in the cooking, scientists said his recipe was hopeless. They then added for good measure that ricin is a crap way to try and kill people, it's not very deadly unless ingested in large quantities, again information not passed on by the Government. They couldn't even tie Bourgass to Al Qaeda. The BBC weren't alone in trumpeting this as a Government success story, next day The Sun told us 'He Wanted to Kill YOU', although who hasn't thought that at some point when seeing someone read the Sun, although they were probably interesting in the 'illegal immigrant' angle.

Roll on May 5th. Then we'll have a few weeks of politics before they break up for their summer break and we'll at last be able to talk about serious things that matter once again.


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