Aug 30

Psssttt! Wanna Buy A Vote?

The democratic process is precious. People have struggled, fought, indeed even died, in order that we may all be free to cast our votes for those who represent our interests in the Mother of Parliaments. Every five years or so (depending on the whim of the incumbent Prime Minister) the populace are allowed to make a mark on a piece of paper against the name of the person whom they think will do best for them.

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This kind of voting is simple to operate, easy to understand, difficult to subvert and provides wonderful television on election night as the counts come in. The basic tenet of "one person, one vote" forms a very important part of our society. The vote is the prime symbol of our control over those who regulate our lives.

And I've just been given two more. Unasked, for free.

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Aug 30

Greed 6 - Sport 0

Imagine the scene - a packed stadium gazes intently down upon some of the most significant specimens of human perfection on the planet. They line up in this cauldron of sporting ferment and take their stations, preparing to expend an unimaginable amount of energy in an unbelievably rapid sprint down a perfectly prepared running track.

These eight demigods stretch into the blocks, crouch and place their fingers into the furthest forward position permissible by the rules. They flex their rearward legs as the starter raises his pistol and the expectant crowd falls into a breathless hush. 

Then Usain Bolt twitches and the race is over. A pall of extreme disappointment descends on the assembled atheltics fans as they are denied the spectacle of seeing the fastest man in history demonstrate once again just how much better than everyone else he is. The other runners take up their positions again and all run to the end of the track. Someone wins, but few really care any more.

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So what's this to do with greed?

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Aug 18

Another Small Catastrophe

This is just a quick post to remind you that I'm still alive. Sorry for the infrequent posting recently, but banks don't fix themselves, you know.

Since the last post we've had the phone-hacking enquiry (it's not hacking, it's maybe cracking, but more likely eavesdropping) and English riots (not even riots, just shopping out of hours with fireraising). We've even had the renewed prospect of our esteemed Miinister for the Envronment and Climate Change going to jail (please God, please) but apart from all that there's not much of note happening here.

But at last, we've had a real news story, in fact a catastrophe - a Shell Oil production platform has sprung a leak and dumped an enormous amount of oil (between 200 and 600 or so ton(ne)es of oil into the North Sea.

Judging by the amount of local press coverage, this is a serious event with serious consequences. Particularly, the effect on wildlife cannot be understimated, and will be very dramatic. So horrific, in fact, that we have hidden a quite distressing picture of an oily bird behind the Read More line below. If you feel that you are strong enough to be able to view the spectacle, please click through.

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Aug 3

Headline Of The Year

This headline beats even the fabled "Freddie Starr ate my Hamster", which was, of course, completely fabricated. This one really happened! (Allegedly.)

From today's Torygraph:

Paul Daniels injured in Sooty pizza-throwing accident

daniels sooty Sooty Paul Daniels

It is of course entirely coincidental that they both have new shows opening soon. Isn't Sooty looking well for his age?

But there's one thing about the story I just don't believe.

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Jul 24

Our Thoughts Are With Norway

This weekend our thoughts are with the people of Norway, who are coming to terms with the sudden violent deaths of at least 92 of their number.

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Here in Scotland we can remember some of the shock created by such an event, as we have had our own Dunblane tragedy to deal with. As in Dunblane, the incidents in Oslo and Utoya seem to be the results of a single sick mind.

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