Thursday, 30 April 2009

Scary Munter and the Halfwit Mince

Time magazine has produced a list of 100 global movers 'n shakers. McBust and Boris are the two UK politicians to make it into the list. Time/CNN asked a (supportive) celebriddy to write a puff piece on each honcho. Boris's was done by Conrad Black, taking time off from being cuddled by Big Billy Bob in his cell in Canada. I am not making this up. UPDATE: Brown wrote the piece about Obama (yeah, like he knows him well and they are great friends). Read the whole thing if you have the stomach for it.

Gordon Brown (left, proving he is NOT gay), had his puff piece written by Jake Rowling, a well-known creator of fantasy stories for children. I thought it worth a fisking. (No, Gordon, don't get excited, I said fisking. There is no T in it).

Gordon Brown by JK Rowling

Back in the mid-1990s, when he was new labour's brooding, intellectual heavyweight, I was a lone parent struggling to get by. Fisked: He was unpopular back then as well, but brighter than Tony; I had got up the duff and had the bairn.

He said he was not interested in stigmatizing the poor but in finding solutions for their predicament. I was tired of hearing government ministers lambaste the likes of me as irresponsible scroungers. I wanted Gordon Brown in charge. I wanted more taxpayer money, no questions asked, and he was the man to give it to me.

He went on to become one of the longest-serving Chancellors of the Exchequer that Britain has ever seen. While our economy grew strongly, he could have stood back and done nothing; on the contrary, he brought in and continually drove up the minimum wage, and 600,000 children and a million pensioners were raised out of poverty. He was given a scoring pass on the economy by Ken Clarke, so no shit stuck to him for years. The Tory legacy and low-tax competitive economy provided the money to raise the levels of welfare considerably, creating a client state. New bureaucracies sprang up, specialising in redefining 'poverty', so that people could be said to have been in it in 1997, but not now.

When capitalism shuddered on its foundations last year, Brownite words like responsibility and morality started issuing from the unlikeliest politicians. When it all caught up on Brown and went pear-shaped last year, more new bureaucrats and Spads were employed, to rewrite the history of his economic malfeasance, and to seek to blame other people in other countries.

Global financial regulation, something Brown had advocated long before last September, shot to the top of the political agenda. One of the first things to do was to pretend that his incompetent dismantling of our banking regulatory system had been a success, but now we needed to go further.

Now Prime Minister, Brown took a lead among European leaders in setting a course for economic recovery. He hosted the most important meeting of the world's major economies in years. In doing so, the British press said, he had become "Chancellor to the world." He had finally engineered the departure of Blair, who could see, anyway, that the economy was well up shit creek without a paddle. Gordon invited lots of people to London, because it was Britain's turn to host an expensive boondoggle, and it took a lot of time and effort to produce a communique at the end of it which was full of absolute whoppers about 'new' money to be thrown after the 'old' money that we ran out of last autumn. One pressman out of about three thousand might have said that he had become Chancellor to the world, at McBride's suggestion.

The son of a Presbyterian minister, with a formidable intellect and a work ethic to shame a nest of ants, the 58-year-old Brown is frequently dubbed "dour." I know him as affable, funny and gregarious, a great listener, a kind and loyal friend. These are strange and turbulent times, but issues of fairness, equality and protection of the poor have never been more important. Mention the God thing, always helps; makes him seem less likely to be ripping off expenses. When you are as wrong headed as him, you find your workload goes up, putting out all those fires. He often invites me to semi-official functions, as I am famous and good for the yoof vote. Because he has managed to increase the gulf between rich and poor since 1997, he sees there is much more to do in that tricky area. Obviously, I do not know what 'gregarious' means.

I still want Gordon Brown in charge. He is my inspiration for Voldemort, and without him I'm buggered.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Something To Be Getting On With

Off to London for a couple of days. Are the streets still paved with gold? Maybe idle will find employment.

Here's a terrific joke I was sent yesterday. It's new on me.

Paddy married a lovely girl, Maggie, half his age, in a small Irish farming village.

After several months, Maggie complained that she had never climaxed during sex and according to her grandmother all Irish women are entitled to a climax once in a while. So, to resolve the problem, they went to see the Vet, since there was no trustworthy doctor anywhere in the village. The Vet didn't have a clue, but he did recall how, during a hot summer, his mother and father would fan a cow that was having difficulty breeding with a big towel. This would cool her down and make her relax.

So the Vet told them to get someone to wave a big towel over them while they were having sex. This, the Vet said, would cause the young wife to cool down, relax, then climax.

So the couple hired a nice young visitor from Dublin to wave that big towel over them as the Vet suggested. After many efforts, Maggie still had not climaxed so they went back to the Vet. The Vet said for her to change partners and let the young man have sex with her while Paddy waved the big towel.

They tried it that night and Maggie went into wild, screaming, ear-splitting climaxes, one after the other for well over an hour.

When it was over, Paddy looked down at the exhausted young man and said, smugly: "And that, me son, is how ya waves a fekkin' towel!"

On the subject of bogtrotters who say 'feck', here is a pic that I seem to have saved into my document files. Might as well caption it if the mood takes you.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Mr Hannan Goes to Cheltenham

.... where our hero gives a rousing speech to the Tories' Spring gathering, and an even better one at a fringe meeting.

Tory Bear has them both, if you have ten minutes or so for each of them:

Hannan is in attack dog mode ahead of the European elections. The wider his audience the better. I notice Dave has started (another) referendum campaign on the Lisbon (Constitutional) Treaty.

UPDATE for the expat: here's one of them, YouTubed:

Sunday, 26 April 2009

In the Interests of Balance

Lord Bramall writes in the Sindy today, under the headline: Don't be sentimental, we have treated the Gurkhas well. UPDATE: this link now works, if it didn't before.

The Field Marshall was a Gurkha officer and loves them dearly, so I respect his views. He was very highly thought of when I was a very junior infantry officer. Nevertheless, he is an Establishment man, and I think we all know that Establishment people think differently to the rest of us.

Friday, 24 April 2009


Listen to Joanna Lovely and decide for yourself if the Gurkhas are getting a fair crack of the whip.

Bear a few things in mind:

1. The B-and-Bs of southern English towns are stuffed to the gills with economic migrants who, the moment they get in, are supported by the state, despite having made no contribution to this country. Mostly they arrive from France, which evidently is not good enough for them.

2. Anyone in the EU, regardless of their politics, can choose to live in Britain.

3. All the evidence is that you can, as an asylum seeker, display your hatred and contempt for Britain, its people and its laws, yet stay in Britain and receive its welfare; no record of contribution is required, at all.

4. Nepal is in terrible shape, politically and economically.

5. In September 2008, the High Court ruled that immigration rules denying Gurkhas who retired before 1997 an automatic right to stay in the UK were unlawful.

GayGordo said the new rules, allowing more Gurkha veterans to settle in the UK, are “a big advance on where we were before. Anyone who’s done 20 years service is going to benefit as a result of this decision. Anybody that has suffered as result of injuries and has got an award for gallantry will also be able to come. I think this is a big advance on where we were before.” Bastard.

Any front-line soldier knows that most displays of bravery and gallantry go unrewarded; saving your comrades or beating the enemy is its own reward. So, if you gave 15 of your best years to HM Forces as a Gurkha, avoided injury, and didn't get a gong, it's tought titty. What a disgrace.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Satisfactory Death of McBride

The highest poetry prize in all blogland (this week) is awarded to Bill Quango MP. Bingo produced a very fine parody indeed. He is the winner of the 'McBride in a Bottle' (One for laying down. And avoiding).
Macbride's Soliloquy: Act 5 Scene 5.

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
A creep in this petty place
So like The Day Today.
To spin to the last syllable of recorded air-time,
And all yesterday's news, only gave political fools
A pause for breath.

Out, out, truth vandal!
Life's but a walking shallow, a poor Draper
That cuts and pastes his hour upon the page
And then is heard no more.
It is a tale told by a half-wit,
full of soundbites and perjury,
Justifying nothing.

'Out, out, truth vandal!' was very good; what really won it for him was the 'poor Draper, that cuts and pastes his hour on the page'. Sublime.

But many other entries were worthy of medals. I won't reprint them in full here here, but I will tell you what caught my eye.

Nick Drew's ballad was splendid. One could imagine it being set to lute and tambourine. 'Now Derek was a therapist (of dubious degree)' was a good pun, and the line that Guido had 'bogeyed Brown' was brilliant, if distasteful. I was reminded of the ballad of Brave Sir Robin in Python's Holy Grail.

Apricotfox impressed me greatly.
'Here lies the rat, McBride.
Nasty, poisonous,vile and snide.
Result of failed spermicide'.
Ouch! What a start. She kept up the invective through 17 lines, too. One of the medallists for sure, foxy.

Alceste responded with an epic, with as simple a rhyme scheme as has ever been produced for 47 lines of verse. But it read very easily.
'Brown is brown beneath the skinside.
Stinking ordure fills his inside.
Moral compass set on sin's side.'
Yes indeed; absolutely. Like Foxy's, this was another dark and smelly concoction, but which got the measure of McBride and Brown exactly.

Welcome back to Newmania who won the bronze medal 18 months ago when idle first tried a poetry comp (for a very witty, but quite disgusting four-liner). Nick Drew won the gold. New readers of this blog might well enjoy the original post, and the results post.

This time, Newmania went Kiplingesque. Rudyard was almost without peer when writing about characters like McBride. Newms has our antihero raging from the scaffold:
'And now there's no sound but his breath and the crowd
And he laughs at their ravenous eyes
"Do you think when I'm gone it won’t carry on?
You think when I die that it dies?".’

Some chap tried a parody of Ozymandias, which spawned a run of re-writes, including a Blake and a brace of Audens, the last of which, Stop All the Clocks, I had high hopes for until it became clear that the least modest I could be would be to mention it in the way that I just have.

I could go on; it was an enjoyable thread, and thanks to all for entering. The temptation is to take an All Shall Have Prizes attitude, but I decided on balance that we had a winner. Some will say that parody is easy compared to original composition. I see it as an art in itself, however, and Bingo wins the bottle.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Idle's Spring Verse Compo

It's been some time since the last poetry competition. I planned to set the theme this time round as "The McBride of Frankenstein", but then I thought it might be a bit incestuous and blogger-centric.

So it's an open competition, but I might favour anything brilliant about the Satisfactory Death of McBride.

As ever, puns and inspired rhymes will catch the attention of the judge. You know the type:

He set out as a missionary
To the plains of Timbuktu
There he met a cassowary
Which ate him, and his hymn book too

Limericks, haikus, clerihews and sonnets - all qualify. Pour a glass and summon your muse.

I'll be competing with you.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

What I Did in the Easter Holidays

The true charm of pedestrianism does not lie in the walking, or in the scenery, but in the talking. The walking is good to time the movement of the tongue by, and to keep the blood and the brain stirred up and active; the scenery and the woodsy smells are good to bear in upon a man an unconscious and unobtrusive charm and solace to eye and soul and sense; but the supreme pleasure comes from the talk. ~Mark Twain

The scenery and the weather were terrific nonetheless. Lil, Elby and Calfy were delightful companions. The less said about Pig, the better. He spent a little under two hours trying to sodomise a long-suffering and dignified labrador of advanced years.

Friday, 10 April 2009

No Great Surprise

After all that flannel and smoke-and-mirrors stuff from the politicos at the G20, the First Wives Club have given us some real hard information.

Those who had given this any thought probably assumed this was the case, anyway. But now we know.

Wholly Weak

This fellow may look like a furry Cambrian druid. But he is in fact the leader of a congregation that used to be referred to as "the Tory Party at prayer". If such a thing ever had the ring of truth about it, it was several decades ago. One might more accurately describe the Church of England nowadays as the moral conscience of Socialism.
As a cheerful atheist who has no hang ups about belting out hymns in the fine architecture of our parish churches and the glorious caverns of our great cathedrals, I am in no position to argue the finer points of Christian morality.
But I will say this: if Dr Williams cannot muster up the courage to mount a robust defence of the established church in Britain, then he should not be surprised that it has become a laughing stock. As the Church of England becomes less serious and more liberal with each passing year, so the pews empty and the roof timbers rot. The beef-and-claret parsons of my youth have been replaced by earnest do-gooders who do not recognise the old certainties of individual responsibility and accountability.
Perhaps the church has always been political. But I doubt it has ever been so cringing in its attitudes to some other faiths. Rod Liddle, as ever calling a spade a bloody shovel, deals with it here. This is one of his conclusions:
It is a little like the BBC, in a way, the Church of England. We all knew why it was brought into being and we all signed up to the necessity for its existence, back then. And we might still have an affection for both institutions, based upon nostalgia and wishful thinking. And yet now, with every year that passes, one wonders why they both still exist, what the purpose is, exactly, for having them.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Nukes and the Norks

When Obama, doing his Friendship Tour schtick in Prague on Sunday, told his audience of moonstruck Bohemians about his vision of "a world free of nuclear weapons ", Mr and Mrs Idle, watching the news, expelled small quantities of whisky (he) and sauvignon (she) at the screen.
"What about the bleeding Pakistanis?" blurted idle.
"And those lunatic North Koreans?" said Mrs Idle, with contumely.

What we meant, of course, was that we disapproved of those two sovereign nations having nukes. Almost as much as we disapprove of the the Iranians having them, or the French. We thought it unlikely that they wished to give them up. The reverse seemed to be true.

In principle, we are encouraged to disapprove of nukes in their entirety, but there's no getting away from the fact that, if Iwo Jima was anything to go by, The Bomb in fact saved many more Japanese lives than it took, so keen were the yellow peril on fighting to the last man. Furthermore, mutually assured destruction resulted in the best possible end to the Cold War, with hundreds of millions of soviet citizens achieving freedom due to exhausted communist policies, rather than yet another global dust-up. Pax Americana - pax of any kind - was delivered because of the sanction at its disposal.

I wonder if Obama has given this much thought. Sure, he needed to apply a bit of flannel to all those Europeans who resent having the Americans' nuclear shield technology sitting in their farmland, but it strikes me as an odd response to Kim Junior's firing of a test rocket into the sea, even if it did only just clear the Kosong Beach Club. Others will say that he remained admirably calm, that he did not escalate the situation in the way that Dubya woulda, etc. But I couldn't help but think that, if there is one way of demonstrating that you can't get the nuclear weapon toothpaste back into the tube, it is certifiable fruitcakes like Kim, Leader of the Norks, having the opportunity to thumb his nose at the NATO summit in the way that he did. The timing was surely no coincidence.

Pakistani 'democracy' (that strange arrangement where power is shared, on a revolving basis, between Army Generals and surviving Bhutto clan members) is surely on the Oblivion Express, with a one-way ticket; the tribal areas, a euphemism for stone-age sharia governance, grow larger by the day, whilst Zardari's area of influence scarcely extends beyond the swimming pool and tennis court in the Presidential compound in Islamabad. I expect complete breakdown within a couple of years, which will lead to disengagement from Afghanistan. The result will be a vast area, running from the outskirts of Basra to the Punjab, in which individual freedoms cease to exist. Or at least what we feeble, decadent Westerners understand to be freedoms. You know, like women being able to drive cars, or feel the breeze on their limbs on a warm spring afternoon.

Let's humour Obama for a moment. America will not disarm until ALL the other nuclear states disarm (and we'll have to take it on trust that there isn't a hollowed-out hill in the Hindu Kush, concealing a Bond villain and his shiny rocket with its warheads attached). And what will this take? Gifting American liberal democracy to these states? Evidently they would prefer not, if you don't mind. Loads of money? Well, we are trying that trick, and it isn't working. Plan C - anyone know what that is? Thought not.

The nukes are here to stay; disarmament was only ever possible when it was just NATO v Russkies. Who can blame the the horrible Pakistanis and Iranians for wanting the bomb, when they so clearly despise us? And why would they ever use it as a bargaining chip - what could the West, or anyone, give them which would be worth them giving up their bomb?

The reason that Obama was cool about the Norks was that, being non-Islamic and a satellite of the Chinese, they are of no account. The problem, as we know, is the poisonous version of Islam practiced by Iran and Pakistan and Sudan and x and y and z. They mean to outnumber us, and in due course they will. It's a waiting game for them.

Monday, 6 April 2009


Caption Compo (Abruzzo Edition)

"Dad? Yeah, it's me, Tony. Do me a favour - can you dig out the file on the insurance policy we did for the Italian Local Government Association? ....... Found it? Yes, that's the one. Now for Christ's sake shred it, burn the remains, and then book all of us one-way to Uruguay on the next flight. Better make it Economy".

Saturday, 4 April 2009

When I Can't Think of Much to Say....

.... and I don't expect even a single comment, I simply update the Thought for the Day. I try to do this most days. Here's Captain Idle's Grand National tip.

UPDATE: The tipped horse didn't make it. Probably being fed to a cat near you right now. Good old Idle Talk finished the race again, though, without troubling the prize money.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Young Black Man Guilty of Lying to Judge Over Motoring Charge

Lewis Hamilton and McLaren have been stripped of their podium finish and all points at the Australian Grand Prix.
The sport's world governing body, the FIA, said they were excluded "for providing evidence deliberately misleading to the stewards".
Hamilton was summoned by stewards on Thursday, ahead of this weekend's Malaysian GP, to discuss what the FIA described as "a new element" of evidence.
BBC commentator and former F1 driver Martin Brundle said: "This does not look good for Hamilton or McLaren. They've decided that effectively he was telling fibs."
But let's not be too harsh on Lewis. There is, after all, a fine tradition of British men travelling all the way over to Australia and being economical with the truth.
UPDATE: "I'm not a liar or a dishonest person," said the 24-year-old on Friday. Hamilton also said the debacle was "definitely the worst thing I've experienced in my life". He added: "I could not tell you how sorry I am for the embarrassment. I apologise to the race stewards for wasting their time and making them look silly. This is not an easy thing to do, to step back and realise I was in the wrong. But I was in the wrong, I was misled." So that's an apology, is it?

G20 - Special Souvenir Anagram

"I am Gordon Brown" = "Mad on borrowing"

Any others?