Monday, 29 December 2008

Spot the Successful Peace Envoy

The peace envoy, putting in the hard yards.

The result of all that clever work.
Damn, he's good! A wonderful diplomat and such a transparently honest man. A grateful nation should buy him another house.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Gotta Love the Catholic Church

A Happy Christmas from Idle.

I trust you will all be clean and well-groomed for Matins on Christmas Day.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Friday, 12 December 2008

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Next Year's Model

Click on the pic for larger image and so you can read the text. Didn't the Tuscan just buy one of these in the East Midlands?

UPDATE: The launch of this model has been cancelled and replaced by The Bankrupt, an exciting new model that utilises all the parts we can find in the inventory. All GM's Senator models are to be recalled and scrapped, by way of showing dissent.

UPDATE 2: The launch of The Bankrupt has been cancelled with immediate effect. The new model, sponsored by the US Treasury, is provisionally named the Last Chance Saloon.
(I'll get ma coat)

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Dealing With the Economic Downturn


Mr Brown's efforts have no immediate effects, but he's hopeful.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Spirited Democrat v Chippy EU Bullies

You do not have to be a political anorak to read the following and feel your blood boil. I would run across a busy motorway to punch the bog-trotter Crowley on the nose; I'm not too fussed about his dead relatives, I have to say. Perhaps I plugged one in a firefight in the early eighties in Armagh.
Thankfully, the man pictured is a proper geezer. The Czechs take over the EU presidency in January.

Excerpts from the transcript of a meeting between Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic, and members of the Conference of the Presidents of the European Parliament, Friday 5 December 2008, Prague Castle.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit MEP: I brought you a flag, which, as we heard, you have everywhere here at the Prague Castle. It is the flag of the European Union, so I will place it here in front of you. It will be a tough Presidency. The Czech Republic will have to deal with the work directive and climate package. EU climate package represents less than what our faction would wish for. It will be necessary to hold on to the minimum of that. I am certain that the climate change represents not only a risk, but also a danger for the future development of the planet. My view is based on scientific views and majority approval of the EP and I know you disagree with me. You can believe what you want, I don't believe, I know that global warming is a reality.
Lisbon Treaty: I don't care about your opinions on it. I want to know what you are going to do if the Czech Chamber of Deputies and the Senate approve it. Will you respect the will of the representatives of the people? You will have to sign it.
I want you to explain to me what is the level of your friendship with Mr Ganley from Ireland. How can you meet a person whose funding is unclear? You are not supposed to meet him in your function. It is a man whose finances come from problematic sources and he wants to use them to be funding his election campaign into the EP.

President Vaclav Klaus: I must say that nobody has talked to me in such a style and tone for the past 6 years. You are not on the barricades in Paris here. I thought that these manners ended for us 18 years ago but I see I was wrong. I would not dare to ask how the activities of the Greens are funded. If you are concerned about a rational discussion in this half an hour, which we have, please give the floor to someone else, Mr Chairman.

EU Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering: No, we have plenty of time. My colleague will continue, because anyone from the members of the EP can ask you whatever he likes. (to Cohn-Bendit:) Please continue.

Klaus: This is incredible. I have never experienced anything like this before.

Cohn-Bendit: Because you have not experienced me..

Klaus: This is incredible.

Cohn-Bendit: We have always had good talks with President Havel. And what will you tell me about your attitude towards the anti-discrimination law? I will gladly inform you about our funding.

Pöttering: Brian Crowley, please.

Brian Crowley MEP: I am from Ireland and I am a member of a party in government. All his life my father fought against the British domination. Many of my relatives lost their lives. That is why I dare to say that the Irish wish for the Lisbon Treaty. It was an insult, Mr. President, to me and to the Irish people what you said during your state visit to Ireland. It was an insult that you met Declan Ganley, a man with no elected mandate. This man has not proven the sources from which his campaign was funded. I just want to inform you what the Irish felt. I wish you that you get the programme of your Presidency through and you will get through what European citizens want to see.

Klaus: Thank you for this experience which I gained from this meeting. I did not think anything like this is possible and have not experienced anything like this for the past 19 years. I thought it was a matter of the past that we live in democracy, but it is post-democracy, really, which rules the EU.
You mentioned the European values. The most important value is freedom and democracy. The citizens of the EU member states are concerned about freedom and democracy, above all. But democracy and freedom are losing ground in the EU today. It is necessary to strive for them and fight for them.
I would like to emphasize, above all, what most citizens of the Czech Republic feel, that for us the EU membership has no alternative. It was me who submitted the EU application in the year 1996 and who signed the Accession treaty in 2003. But the arrangements within the EU have many alternatives. To take one of them as sacrosanct, untouchable, about which it is not possible to doubt or criticize it, is against the very nature of Europe.
As for the Lisbon Treaty, I would like to mention that it is not ratified in Germany either. The Constitutional Treaty, which was basically the same as the Lisbon Treaty, was refused in referendums in other two countries. If Mr. Crowley speaks of an insult to the Irish people, then I must say that the biggest insult to the Irish people is not to accept the result of the Irish referendum. In Ireland I met somebody who represents a majority in his country. You, Mr. Crowley, represent a view which is in minority in Ireland. That is a tangible result of the referendum.

Crowley: With all respect, Mr. President, you will not tell me what the Irish think. As an Irishman, I know it best.

Klaus: I do not speculate about what the Irish think. I state the only measurable data which were proved by the referendum.
In our country the Lisbon Treaty is not ratified because our parliament has not decided on it yet. It is not the President's fault. Let's wait for the decision of both Chambers of the Parliament, that is the current phase of the ratification process in which the President plays no role whatsoever. I cannot sign the Treaty today, it is not on my table, it is up to the parliament to decide about it now. My role will come after the eventual approval of the Treaty in the Parliament...

Pöttering: ... In the conclusion - and I want to leave this room in good terms - I would like to say that it is more than unacceptable, if you compare us, compare us with the Soviet Union. We are all deeply rooted in our countries and our constituencies. We are concerned about freedom and reconciliation in Europe, we are good willing, not naïve.

Klaus: I did not compare you with the Soviet Union, I did not mention the words "Soviet Union". I only said that I have not experienced such an atmosphere, such style of debate in the past 19 years in the Czech Republic, really.

Monday, 1 December 2008

A Public Service

When they are not raiding MPs' offices in the Palace of Westminster under "anti-terror" laws, this is how plod might spoil your Christmas.

I don't know if many or any of this blog's lamentably small readership shoot, but those that do should see this letter that I received today. And those that don't shoot but know people who do, should warn them.

A friend of mine was shooting in Devon last week and he and one of his fellow guns were stopped on the A361 at about 5pm and BOTH were breathalysed on the grounds that even the passenger might be committing an offence if he was shown to be over the limit in charge of shotguns. Both were clear and proceeded on their way. My friend contacted the BASC to find out what the situation would be had his passenger been over the limit. He was told by the BASC that, even if you are over the limit, if your shotguns are "secure" in a car being driven by someone else and you are not being "a danger to the public" you are not committing an offence and the police should not breathalyse a passenger without considerable cause. My friend is in the investigations business and spoke to a police contact who looked into the incident. Apparently the police are targeting 4 x 4 vehicles throughout the country but especially in shooting areas and particularly if they are muddy and it is after lunch. You should warn your clients and friends to be particularly careful as it is not only their driving licences that are at risk. Their shotguns can be confiscated and their permits can also be revoked. Traffic police can (and are) asking if shotguns or rifles are being carried and if so, people are being asked to show their permits. If they do not have them, the shotguns can be (often are) confiscated then and there. We are under enough pressure without further ammunition (forgive the pun) being handed to the antis. Can you see the headline? DRUNK WITH A GUN.

Friday, 28 November 2008

The Blair Ditch Project

Thanks to Boris, this bugger retires today.

"The Scotland Yard head told London mayor Boris Johnson he had never been distracted by any of the controversies surrounding him.

Sir Ian said he will be "fully exonerated" by an investigation into how contracts worth several million pounds were handed to a close friend.

Needless to say, this has cost us several hundred thousand pounds, what with his pension-pot top-ups and paying off his full contract. Why is it that a chief plod is offered such a bullet-proof contract? Don't tell me that you couldn't attract the right calibre without such a contract - it's the top job, for Christ's sake! This woeful excuse for a straight copper has behaved shamefully in his post, has been proved dishonest at worst or incompetent at best, yet walks away with all the wonga. Furthermore, he has presided over a Met where a chancer like Tarique Ghaffur can negotiate a million-pound settlement for a cooked-up racism case, instead of being reduced to the ranks and sent to Neasden to do some community policing, which is what should have happened to the lying swine.

And his parting shot - authorising a squad of 9 (nine!) anti-terrorism officers to the home of a front-bench MP, respected on both sides of the house, to do a lot of what's-all-this-ing in every drawer, cupboard, nook and cranny, when the MP in question has done no more than behave as all opposition members are expected to behave, and as all journalists do, be they good, bad, or Robert Peston.

And it is apparent that the Speaker, that illiterate numptie Gorbals Mick, approved the charade. He should be encouraged to visit his study in his plush quarters, with a deep fried mars bar and a revolver, and contemplate his position.

Irate Idle

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Husband of the Year Awards

In 5th place, someone who for some reason reminded me of the Tuscan on his grant-maintained European farm. But those must be a couple of his maiden aunts in the cage; certainly not the fragrant Tuscana, pbuh. But he could've made them walk, so no podium place for him.

In 4th: this put me in mind of the idle bro at Glasto. But bicycles DO get nicked, he's given her a mat to kip on, and he's sharing his water. So no medal for him either.

Bronze: this is more like it.

Silver: terrific! But he blew it by holding her hand, the soppy fool.

GOLD: Unbeatable. The insouciance of the hand in pocket and drag on the fag are nice touches. Those Albanians are gallant gentlemen.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Idle's Do-it-Yourself Adage Kit

Using the following three photographs, competitors are invited to come up with an adage, phrase, or aphorism pertinent to the current economic climate. First Prize: a VAT holiday for two in 2015.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Loathsome Disingenuous Trollop

This isn't really a caption competition, but by all means caption it if you like. The reason for the photo was that her dress struck me as being utterly absurd. She looks like a flowerpot man. A neck like a rugby player's thigh with a tiny head stuck on as an afterthought.

This woman would be lucky to be the chairperson of a lesbian outreach group, were it not for her Ugandan activities with Ed Balls, and her consequent inner-circle status with McBust. I hate the very sight of her, safe in the knowledge that she holds me and folk like me in contempt. She is incapable of a statement that is not phrased in biased terms, and I require better from a minister of the Crown. Her reaction to the (mirabile dictu!) Cameron decision to give up on his hopeless duplication of Labour spending plans was a classic of its type: “Unlike the Conservatives, we refuse to abandon people in tough times. The British economy needs a shot in the arm, not a slap in the face.”

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

An Old Tale, Refurbished For Our Times

The Prime Minister was visiting a primary school. One class was in the middle of a discussion related to words and their meanings. The teacher asked the PM if he would like to lead the discussion on the word 'tragedy'. So the illustrious leader asked the class for an example of a 'tragedy'. A little boy stood up and offered: 'If my best friend, who lives on a farm, is playing in the field and a tractor runs over him and kills him,that would be a tragedy'. 'No, said Brown - that would be an accident.' A little girl raised her hand: 'If a school bus carrying fifty children drove over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.' 'I'm afraid not', explained Brown - 'that's what we would call a great loss'. The room went silent. No other children volunteered. The PM searched the room. 'Isn't there someone here who can give me an example of a tragedy?' Finally, at the back of the room, little Johnny raised his hand...In a quiet voice he said: 'If a plane carrying you and Mr. Darling was struck by a 'friendly fire' missile & blown to smithereens, that would be a tragedy. ''Fantastic!' exclaimed Brown. 'That's right. And can you tell me why that would be tragedy?'' 'Well,' says Johnny 'it has to be a tragedy, because it certainly wouldn't be a great loss and it probably wouldn't be a fucking accident either'

Berliner Zeitung gets it right

Monday, 17 November 2008

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Every Genius Guitarist Needs a Good Stick-Man

Our resident obituarist is en route to his Tuscan retreat to check if the beast has burned down the barn and eaten all the egg-laying chickens. So, in his absence:

Mitch Mitchell (left) RIP

Is Hey Joe the best ever debut single? Idle votes AYE. Can you come up with a better one?

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Friday, 7 November 2008

Next Time, Hank.......

... I'll take the photos and YOU can let the fucking bear out.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Credit Where Credit is Due

If you lined up all the presidential hopefuls of two years ago, and arranged them in order of ideology, McCain would have appeared right in the middle, and Obama so far to the left, he was in another room; segregated, as it were. Hilary Clinton would have been one spot from McCain, to his left, or at his side (now THAT would have been a crazy VP pick, after Obama had ignored her).

So I ought to feel that my horse didn't come in. Yet I don't. I am content. McCain's choice of Palin achieved the rare double of throwing his experience argument out of the window, whilst at the same time encouraging independent voters to walk away from him. And Hilary? That smug sense of entitlement was probably the most unattractive single thing in this two-year election affair. If there was a whiff of racism in the whole process, it came from the Clintons, not the Republicans. Enuff said.

Of course, there is no reason to go bananas. “This is the most meaningful thing that has ever happened”, says Oprah Winfrey. Calm down, dear, you've overdone the slimming pills, and you are looking at America and the world through a prism of slavery, disgruntlement, and affirmative action. You could only make a bigger twerp of yourself by getting onto a stage and shouting "Payback Time!"

And there is the small matter of Obama's complete lack of experience in running anything, apart from the Harvard Law Review. You have to be slightly worried about someone whose achievements have been to get other people to vote for him, without any track record of improving their lot in life. With this election, he has taken that "risen without trace" ability to its apogee, which means that we are no longer talking about him as a "community organiser" aka race-based careerist, but as a national figure who got the Hispanics, the Jews, the patrician New Englanders and plenty of po' white folk to vote for him.

Idle likes a bit of oratory, and admires those who attempt to make a silk purse from a sow's ear with their rhetoric, even in the manner of a Kinnock or a Galloway. But where they stopped far short of any meaningful achievement, Obama has succeeded. I reckon he did this because he didn't get angry. Passionate, certainly, but persuasively consensus-building rather than narrow and chippy. The Right might very well find his policies distastefully socialist - there was no manifesto, so we'll have to wait and see - but they clearly didn't get scared by him.

I doubt he'll be a very poor president, and he's been wise to manage expectations lower, starting with his acceptance speech last night - "it may take more than one term to get there" (Where? Why, THERE, of course!). An unspecified point on the map that has everything to do with mood and temperature, and nothing to do with a measurable improvement in the lives of American citizens.

There was nothing "Audacious" about his Hope, in truth. There were enough intelligent and high-achieving blacks in the Republican ranks, notably Rice and Powell, to suggest that the way was clear for an attempt at the summit. The Democrats' problem was they always seemed to promote black racist firebrands or dodgy pastors like Jesse Jackson. The history of black mayors in Democrat cities was often depressingly sub-Saharan with tales of embezzlement, sexual voraciousness and contempt for the voter. They needed to find someone of above-average intelligence with a credible message for all America, and to produce him when the incumbent party was most vulnerable. This, they achieved. They didn't stop to think much about policy, it seems, which may be no bad thing. The last lot demonstrated that arriving in the White House with too long a wish-list doesn't necessarily make for good government.

It is undoubtedly something, for a black guy with a young family to get the keys to the motor after 43 middle-aged white men have had them. But we only care about his competence, and everyone knows he'll be an improvement on the last middle-aged white man.

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Monday, 27 October 2008

Dog Spoils Trophy Photo

Trust a runty small dog to bugger up this stalker's Kodak moment.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Do you like them any better like this?

A mural in Los Angeles. Banksy's cousin, presumably. From The First Post

McCain looks like Barbara Cartland, Palin like that irritating scouse actress from Educating Rita, and the Dems don't look too scary. Just as well, as they are nailed on victors, barring assassination. If you want scary, any undoctored photograph of Mrs Obama would do.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

2008 Blogger Clerihew Open Championship

Edmund Clerihew Bentley (July 10, 1875 – March 30, 1956) Popular English novelist and humorist of the early twentieth century, and the inventor of the clerihew, an irregular form of humorous verse on biographical topics.

I'll start you off:

Osborne (George)
Attempted to forge
Relationships with billionaire Russians
But there were repercussions

Tuscan Tony
Is quite bony
But it's very hard to tell
Since he drank all that Moscatel

The Beast
To make any sense
When they converted from lsd to pence

Would still
Lighten the gloom
On a fogbound day in Frome

Guido Fawkes
A good game
But he's really quite tame

Nick Drew
To the Gold Medal with a poem to remember
In Idle's competition a year ago last September

Monday, 20 October 2008

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Know Your Enemy

When Obama becomes president, as he surely will, he will have to deliver on his Troops Out promise in Iraq. Unhelpful comments from our commander in Afghanistan, that it's all going pear-shaped, will doubtless encourage Obama to disengage from that country as well, and quickly. In which case the whole seven-year affair will have been a complete waste of blood and treasure. A corrupt and compromised Afghan "government", whose writ extends no further than the inner ring-road of Kabul. An Afghanistan/Pakistan nexus of frothing-mouthed malcontents, reverting to gentle, caring, progressive Taliban ideology, will have its usual easy route into Britain, due to our puzzling, continued accommodation of Pakistani immigrants.

The ragheads in the dust of Karachi and Kandahar will claim a great victory, actual and moral, over the soft, decadent West. And much of our media will assist in this, and many of our politicians will advise that we should allow towns in the midlands and the north west to have a qualified form of sharia law, where a majority votes for it.
Perhaps Bill Clinton was right, that one should engage regimes like the Taliban only from 30,000 feet and be careless about collateral damage.

This is what they look like, my friends. Arm yourselves.

Pic from The First Post

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Where were YOU......

.... on the day of the stockmarket meltdown?

Given the choice, idle chose an estate above Skipton in the high Pennines. Sunshine nearly all day and a helping breeze for the partridge, 256 of which didn't make it to sunset, but they did not die in vain, contributing as they did to the economy of West Yorkshire and now the deep freeze of the lady idle.

A memorable day's sport. View captured by the not-very-good nokia E61i.


Wednesday, 24 September 2008

GayGordo's Financial Crisis Summit in America

Twatto is off to America to sprinkle his gold dust upon the troubled financial markets. Then I read that Hank Paulson won't meet him. It goes on to quote McGloom:

"I and then Alistair will meet financial and government leaders in New York to make these proposals." However, the official schedule for the trip shows he has a breakfast on Thursday morning with "fund managers from Wall Street" to discuss the financial crisis. He is also meeting Mayor Bloomberg and giving a speech on Friday about the global turmoil. Mr Brown will announce a new global malaria action plan that will aim to completely eradicate the disease by 2015. Also travelling with the Prime Minister were (sic) Elle Macpherson and the Duchess of York.

Dunno about the Duchess of Pork - possibly tagging along to try to improve her bank balance (sorry, her profile), but thank fuck the lovely Elle will be there. At least someone who understands finance will be on the Brown team.

Did I ever tell you my story about when I met Elle? Twice on the same day in two different countries? A memorable tale.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Serious Stuff - Idle's New Hero

I got to meet a woman today who I have long admired. She spoke for only twenty minutes - she was one of ten contributing to the debate - but what she said and how she said it was profound. Somali women of Yemeni origin are a new one on idle, who has tried manfully to expose himself to the women of the world, but you will have to take it from me that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a luminous beauty. It is hard to believe that such a slight and soft-spoken woman can be quite so brave. Her upgrade to Hero status was passed nem con. Read her autobiography.

One of the benefits of temporary idleness (Indian plutocrats take a lot of getting along with, and sometimes my sunny diplomatic nature turns to naked contempt) is that one can take up all sorts of diversions and distractions. So I found myself today attending The Centre for Social Cohesion's conference in Westminster, sitting next to the grandson of a very great Prime Minister, and being intellectually challenged and entertained by, amongst others, Ayaan, Mark Steyn, John O'Sullivan, Melanie Phillips, Theodore Dalrymple and others. This was robust stuff, discussing "Soft Jihad, and How to Stop it", followed by "Western Civilisation: Strategies for Recovery". It was all off the record, so I will simply say that there was consensus that our late-twentieth century liberal Western civilisation was more likely to die by suicide than murder, and that we had to organise ourselves to avert the catastrophe.

It's not an attractive name, The Centre for Social Cohesion, and there are a few swivel-eyed neocons passing through, but today's confab was excellent, and meets the approval of the founder of the No Nonsense Party. And I got to meet Ayaan.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Gordon's Landslide

Gordon Before.....Gordon After

Much to his Mum and Dad's dismay
Gordon fell apart one day
It happened at terrific pace
The first to go was Gordon's face.

"We can't have this" his Dad opined,
"You're due on telly's News at Nine"
But even as he spoke they saw
Gordon slipping more and more

First his nose, his chin, his eyes...
Then his neck and then his thighs,
"Stop him someone!" Mother hoots
"His jowls are heading for his boots"

Too late, too late - and what bad luck
His looks, just like the country, fucked
The normal-looking Celtic man
Now resembled Aberfan

And there he lay: PM no more,
Just a slagheap on the floor....

Apols to Python (Monty)

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Adam and Eve, Taliban Style

I can't remember where I got this cartoon came from, probably from the excellent Theo.

I think it needs a caption.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Credit Crunch Gifts; No.1 in a New Series

Is Harriet Harman's birthday coming up? Let's have a whip-round for her.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Can't Stand This Rain Any More

We're off to Prague for a jolly. Armed with good shoes, a raging thirst and a cameraphone to gather some images that would delight even a professional tottywatcher.

Now this is what I call a proper capital city. There may be the odd phalanx of the yellow hordes to contend with, all teeth, specs, and Sonycams, but they tend to disappear at sundown and only reappear at a leisurely 6am (!)

The stag parties long since opted for the cheaper fleshpots of the Baltics. The weather forecast is approx 10c warmer and 90% drier than Southern England.

Na shledanou, as they say in Praha...

Friday, 29 August 2008

McCain "picks Palin" as VP Running Mate

Your US2008 broadcaster, idlenewsinc, sheds more light on this unlikely pick:

Thursday, 28 August 2008

That US Election Made Simple

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Not a Promising Start.....

The idle take on the London show in Beijing:

Okay, it's a London bus, but not the one we all like, which would have looked like this:

And out of it popped:

Now, don't get me wrong; I rate Jimmy Page highly. Led Zep were THE band of the early seventies. But if Jimmy Page is the musical face of London 2012, gawd help us. The poor old bugger was sweating like a sex tourist in the back alleys of Saigon, playing a riff which, though immediately recognisable, required carbon-dating to find out its exact age to the nearest century.

So, to reduce the average age of the combo to 50, they chucked in Leona Lewis, who I gather is a Simon Cowell wage slave. Could she sing like Robert Plant? Could she fuck. And her legs? In close up, they look a bit like these:

And then we got the tattooed lady himself, a global icon, but surely one whose particular sport and personal wealth make him as good a representative of the Olympic ideal as Lewis Hamilton, or Tiger Woods, for heavens sake!

And all with a troupe of dancers with umbrellas which was not exactly as artistic and memorable as Gene Kelly, more a bunch of spazzo office workers hurrying for the bus home in an August downpour.

They have had three years to come up with something this dreadful which lasted a mere 8 minutes; don't get your hopes up for an hour-long show in 2012.