No Machiavelli today as Boggart Blog has a very special post that we put a lot of effort into. Check it out now.
During a press briefing yesterday a Downing Street spokesperson was asked had the Prime Minister congratulated Helen Mirren on her winning an Oscar.
The spokesperson replied that the Prime Minister had commented it takes a very special actress to take on a role of this kind and Helen Mirren is a very special actress.
As this bore all the hallmarks of Blair having said to his press secretary if they ask about the Oscars, make something up for me. I cant be arsed. Consequently the press pack took up the chase like the pack of bloodthirsty hounds they are.
And has the Prime Minister actually seen the film and this qualified himself to comment? a reporter demanded.
Downing Street spokespersons are imperturbable of course.
No, the Prime Minister had a very full diary and had not yet seen the film, but he had been informed about it and believed everything he was told by the people who had seen it…
And would these be the same people who informed him that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?
Among Andrew Marrs guests on the breakfast show yesterday were satirist Rory Bremner and Peter Hain, the Thatcherite New Labour Northern Ireland Secretary, champion of private finance initiatives in public service industries, privatisation of schools, social housing and everything else, cheerleader for war, genocide and the exploitation of the poor by the very very rich, nee Peter Hain, firey left wing idealogue, leader of protests against war, racism, suppression of trade unions and the excesses of capitalism. Hain took Bremner to task, accusing him of trivialising political debate and sreading cynicism about politicians through the way he made fun of their scheming, spin and evasiveness.
Bremner in turn took Hain to task for abandoning every principle on which he had been elected. He also smartly corrected Hains misuse of cynicism by pointing out that he had meant scepticism.
Not very good at English then, our Pete. But what can we expect from a cynical, sychopphantic, two – faced hypocrite?
*Sceptic: one who doubts everything.
Cynic: oringinally meaning a follower of an ancient Greeek school of Philosophy that taught the pursuit of virtue to the exclusion of all else, the modern meaning of cynicism is the ruthlessl pursuit of self interest (e.g. a cynical foul in football, a cynical marketing ploy in business.)
Boggart Blog may joke about the dark side of The Force, creatures of the night and all that stuff but we more serious minded folk at Machiavelli know it is dangerous to mock such things. For example, yesterday our colleagues joked about an e-petition on the Downing Street website concerning Jedi Knights and The Force.
Immediately after reading that Little Nicky Machiavelli was gobsmacked to read a serious story revealing that The Traitor Tony Blair has abandoned pretence and gone over to the dark side.
Without informing any of his democratically elected colleagues in the democratically elected government, the Arse Kisser in Chief has been carrying on secret negotiations with the Bush Administration aimed at getting us embroiled in their greatest (and most expensive) lunacy, the Missile Defence Shield (or Son of Star Wars to you and me.)
It may just be coincidence that the Boggart was joking about Star Wars on the day this story broke but we think its a little bit spooky.
That Blair would want to be involved in bestest buddy Georgies space game is hardly news, surely there can now be nobody who believes Blair to be a pretty straight sort of guy when the accumulated evidence screams he is as bent as a boxing day turd. What we should all be up in arms (forgive the pun) about is that nobody else in the government, not even Prime Minister in Waiting Gordon Brown knew anything about it.
Fortunately, but embarrassingly, it turns out to have been a repetition of Yo! Blair. Little Tony begged to be allowed to play with the big boys but was again rebuffed. As a U.S. Embassy spokesman put it, Right now we are concentrating on The Czech Republic and Poland as the primary sites but there may be opportunities to talk to other nations in the future.”
Although the stated aim of Son Of Star Wars is to negate the threat of a nuclear attack on America from Irans missiles (? wot missiles ?) the choice of Poland and the Czech Republic is a bit of a giveaway about the true intent. Americas political right, both the religious and rabid factions, are intent on provoking Russia and re-establishing the cold war, sparking off a new arms race in the process.
What possible reason could there be for this? Well it just so happens that many leaders of the American right have massive business interests in the armaments industry. So where is Blairs motivation for volunteering Britain as a target for Irans non – existent missiles, after all the Americans do not buy military equipment from us? The Russians are our friends and even if Iran was to develop missiles capable of striking Britain or the east coast of America, interceptors launched from here would bring down the nuclear warheads from incoming strikes on friendly nations.
An honest assessment is that neither Britain nor our European partners have anything to gain from this White House madness. So it looks as if the pathetic, shallow, self serving excuse for a human being we call Prime Minister is just so addicted to kissing Bushs arse he cant help himself.
The Government’s latest plan makeS euthenasia look like a good option for the approaching 70s even if they are healthy.
Were you ever tempted to think what nice caring people those New Labour robots were, the way they exhorted us to abandon our bad habits and save our spare cash for a comfortable retirement or so that we could leave a tidy sum to our surviving perners or descendants..
You poor deluded fools.
This LABOUR Government have already decimated many modest pension funds accumulated by hard working people and they plan to tax us every time we leave home. Now they are planning to tax us on living once we get too old to work, whether we are fit enough to go out for a drive or not.
Under Labour’s latest daylight robbery wheeze, inheritance tax will be 44% as it is now, but the residual amount in the pension fund at death will be taxed, starting at a rate of 70%.
So that’s 44% of everything and 70% of whats left in your pension fund. Not what is left after the taxman takes his 44% of the estate but 70% of the total value of the pension fund.
And that is the cheapest possibility, some types of pension will will be taxed more highly.
This could leave the descendants of many modestly rich people owing more in tax that they will actually inherit.
The only people to escape will be those who do not have a penny to scratch their arse with and of course Labour’s bestest buddies The Very Very Super Dooper Rich who can afford to stash their money in offshore trusts that cannot be taxed.
Oh well, goodbye savings. Open another bottle of wine and pass the fags.
We should never give in to tyranny.
Mention tyranny of course and people immediately think of Hitlers stormtroopers herding people into Gas Chambers or Saddams thugs dousing families in petrol and grinningly rattling a matchbox. The most dangerous tyrannies are more subtle and insidious though. Take the tyranny of The Bottom Line for example.
You, like me, probably spent most of your life thinking the Hippocratic Oath sworn by newly qualified medical professionals bound them to preserve life and alleviate suffering full stop.
Not any more it dont.
Sometime in the last few decades, probably quite recently in fact, it has been rewritten to read I will endeavour to preserve life and alleviate suffering while always prioritising the need to stay within budget. Or so it would seem.
You may remember Little Nicky Machiavelli slamming the government a few weeks ago over Health Minister Patricia Hewitts promise that she would get the deeply indebted NHS back in the black or resign. We suspected some creative accounting would be involved of course.
Well its almost March and, surprise, surprise, the NHS is back in the black. So what dark arts did the minister call upon? The tyranny of the bottom line of course. By that fiscal sleight of hand called accountancy the ministry have diverted our attention from what was going on so now they can point to The Bottom Line and say look, no deficit.
But what has really happened is not so easy to quantify. The necessary savings have been made by withholding the funds allocated for patient care, thus denying sick people the best treatments.
Every winter there is an upsurge of new cases presenting themselves to doctors surgeries and hospitals. People get sicker quicker in winter. Wisely the government has always put money aside for this peak in demand. Not this year though, saving New Labours Bacon and Hewitt’s sorry arse are much more important than preserving life and alleviating suffering in a world ruled by the tyranny of the bottom line.
Read about my experiences at the hands of the NHS bureaucracy. A Stroke OF Luck was published in the USA a few years ago and sold a few thousand before the publishers shut up shop (not my fault, honest.)
There is some strong language in the book but very little, it does not warrant the Adult Content warning Authorsden puts on it.
I had an e-mail today from Mr. Bliar, I suppose it was inevitable he would catch up with me sooner or later. The tone was not threatening or aggressive but I could tell he was not pleased that I had signed an e-petition protesting against the road pricing stealth tax scam.
Mr Bliar tells me I have been jolly unfair to him and his government; road pricing is not a scam or a stealth tax but a fair and just way of stopping poor (including disabled, unemployed and old) people from taking advantage of the over lax taxation system by constantly congesting roads that are built for the benefit of their richers and betters.
It is a bonus of course that at no extra cost, because we live in a society where everybody has to travel, the scheme will redistribute money from the undeserving poor via the government to the deserving super rich who will all be invited to bill the Transport Department for delivering invoices for non – deliverable services connected with the administration of the road pricing system.
Mr Bliar very patiently explained to me that the whole e-petition thing had been an anti Labour conspiracy led by George Galloway, Claire Short and Jeremy Paxman and was a full of unsubstantiated allegations and slanderous slurs.
As I read I began to feel disoriented, as if the ground I was standing on was no longer solid, that I had over the last ten years been transported to a parallel universe in which truth is whatever happens to be convenient at a precise moment, facts are totally subjective and if you tell a lie big enough and often enough people will eventually believe it.
Imagine my horror when on clicking to close the mail note I found I had signed up to have my house double glazed, bought a life insurance policy and taken out a loan at 500% interest.
Call me old fashioned if you like but I always thought a conversation was a two sided affair. Ah but then I am a sentimental old thing who has always liked to have conversations with dear friends, lovers and family members over a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or while walking by a river or lake.
In short I have not adapted to New Labours redefining of conversation. If you remember, The Traitor and War Criminal promised us a national conversation in which we were all to be invited to tell the Government how we felt about certain issues. The way Blair pitched it suggested that our views would be listened to and acted on.
The Downing Street e-petition site was intended to be part of this great conversation, a way of testing public opinion.
Well nothing is ever what it seems to be, especially where New Labour are concerned so it comes as no surprise to learn that The Traitor and War Criminal has said he will ignore the 1.6 million signature petition of protest and just carry on with his pet Road Pricing scheme (including the controversial spy in the car tracking system.)
In other words in the governments definition of conversation, one part put their point of view in a restrained and rational way and the other responds, talk to the hand coz the face aint listening. Or in more British colloquialisms bugger off you bastards, we give you chance to tell us how wonderful we are and all you do is complain.
I reckon its time to dig out those pitchforks and cudgels.
Not much doing today, we are gobsmacked by Blairs latest crackdown on gang culture. Given the Home Offices track record on goofing up this is fraught with potential hazards. For instance if someone is talking about a party or similar you might well ask who was there?
And they might well reply Oh, just the usual gang.
At which point the boys in blue would burst in and arrest everybody.
All week I have been hearing about the coming schism in the Anglican Church. Apparently the Bishops have papered over the cracks for now but the Evangelicals are refusing to share communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury over the British and American churches liberal attitudes on homosexuality. So it looks like the Anglican Church will soon split into the Anglican Peoples Church and the Peoples Church of Anglia. Very Life of Brian.
Now what has that to do with the headline? Not much actually but while the Anglicans who have been busy telling us they are the third largest Christian community in the world are totally obsessed with what members of sexual minorities get up to the the privacy of their homes, across the pond big time blogger Amanda Marcotte of Pandangon has been getting a lot of grief about some disparaging remarks she made concerning Roman Catholic attitudes to abortion and contraception. Let’s be realistic, its almost impossible to ridicule Roman Catholic attityudes on contraception.
In typical American style the argument soon came down to whether anybody has the right to criticise a faith they are not attached to. Christians do not apply this restriction to themselves of course – being adherents of the one true God they assign themselves the right to slag off all non Christian faiths without attempting to gain the least understanding of what those faiths are about.
Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians are very quick to say that criticism of their faith is hurtful and blasphemous yet they see nothing wrong in Evangelical Christians claiming that all non Christians are incapable of behaving morally as morality can only come from God, or that pagans are all Satanists and paedophiles. Faced with this kind of irrational criticism from adherents of religious faiths I’d say we have a duty to ridicule their beliefs.
When I keep coming across the hate fuelled idiocy of Fundamentalist Christians Amandas allegedly offensive remarks are the epitome of restraint and reason.
The real problems at Pandangon arise from the fact that Amanda told the truth and Christians (even the reasonable ones – sorry Jenni and Roz, ) just cannot and have never been able to handle the truth. Which is why they turn a blind eye to the facts that a quarter of the human beings in the world do not get adequate food, around a fifth do not have access to clean drinking water, the problems of overpopulation can only be solved by contraception and sex education, we need massive aid programs to put right the harmful effects of western exploitation of the third world, Africa needs medicines not missionaries to control the plagues of HIV and malaria and South America and Asia need socialism not sanctimony to give everybody the chance of a decent life.
In view of all that, yes it must be right to ridicule religious faith, if only to help believers keep some kind of grip on reality. God did not create the world in seven days, Moses did not part the Red Sea, Jesus’ Mum was not a virgin. To believe that stuff is delusional. Once we allow the whining of clergy and lay people to place an irrational and delusional belief system beyond criticism then we have lost civilisation.
Religionists forget there are many other ways of having faith, mostly equally misplaced; the guy who bets his wage of a fifty to one outsider in the two-thirty at Cheltenham has an insane faith, a pilot has faith in the technology that will fly him and his passengers safely to their destination – flight technology is well proven but the more you know about how a plane stays in the air the bigger act of faith it takes to get on board, the soldier has faith in his comrades that by working as a team they will maximise their chance of survival, I have faith that the sun will rise and life will go on tomorrow, otherwise I would not bother writing this blog.
By now there can be few people who have not heard of the great petition posted on the Downing Street e-petitions website to protest at the governments proposals for road pricing. After all it has gathered one point five million signatures so far and featured on the main news on TV.
As a result of the petition New Labour has proclaimed the website an extension of democracy (no mention of the other great petition to begin imprisoning cats for their cruelty to mice then? Oh well, that one only got three signatures.) but is the e-petitions site really an exercise in open government or something more sinister? Number 10 now has a database of 1.5 million web addresses of people who might be interested in buying sat nav systems, DIY Breathalysers, Radar Trap early warning devices, furry dice and Wayne and Tracey sunscreens (Im told 80s retro is very big this year.)
So how much is that information going to be worth to organisations that sell such stuff?
I would estimate it could raise a tidy sum for the Blair legacy project fund.
The first good thing that might possibly come out of yesterdays UNICEF report on the health and wellbeing of children in industrialised countries is that the embarrassment of being rated second from the bottom might help rid our government of its obsession with league tables. The other thing we should hope for, a return to common sense, will at best be a long time coming.
The two nations that have championed globalisation, free market economics and the selfish society, Britain and the U.S.A. are respectively second from bottom and bottom of the list. Thus we are shown once more that the economic policies of the Reagan – Thatcher era have not only failed, been proven to fail and destroyed lives and cultures in the third world, the continuation down this road to lunacy is destroying the souls and communities of nations that claim to have been successful exponents of the global market.
Forget democratic values, family values, Victorian values, middle class values, Christian values, Liberal values and all the other platitudes politicians have embraced, the two leading members of the English Speaking Axis have become nations whose children know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
It is not just toxic twizzlers and too much TV that are destroying the quality of life for our children, the whole structure of our money obsessed society is at fault. Many moons ago when this blog was young, optimistic and positive and squadrons of flying pigs passed overhead every day I commented on The New Apartheid which was increasingly segregating young from old.
Sectors of the media whose job it is to sell young stuff to young people and old stuff to old people must take a large share of the blame but politicians have been quick to jump on band wagons too. Remember Cool Britannia?
The world is changing very quickly and we have not understood the changes let alone begun to adapt to them. Technological advance has meant that the system no longer requires masses of people be born into lives of poverty, ignorance and drudgery just to service the needs of the elite. Everybody can have a decent crack at making a fulfilling life for themselves. Yet at the same time society in engineered to deny most people that.
Education systems have lost sight of the life enhancing aspects of education. Schools now merely provide conditioning for a lifetime of mortgage slavery while promoting an intense competitiveness that will result in many pupils being written off as losers by the time they are ten, abandoned to dead end jobs where their resentment will fester.
We abandoned the unfairness of selective education only to replace it with uniform mediocrity. The best pupils with the most supportive parents will rise to the top of the heap of course, but without help from the system.
The majority of children are turned into greedy little consumers, believing their status and worth among their peers can only be measured by what they possess. So the ones whose parents, both working long hours to simply to service their debts, provide neither a loving and supportive home nor the material compensations that modern society accepts as substitutes really have little chance to develop emotional survival skills.
The issue the UNICEF report raises is one of human rights. Do children have a right to be equipped for adulthood in a complex and dangerous world? Do parents have a right to choose a non materialistic lifestyle, safe in the knowledge that schools will protect their children from the bullying and peer pressure that being different attracts?
Last week Government legal expert Charles Falconer said human rights is simply a matter of common sense: But common sense involves thinking for oneself and that is just what the neo – con governments of the free-market global economies do not want us to do.
The Boy-Boobs David (Cameron) almost came out (of his starter bra) at weekend when he refused to deny having a toke while at Eton. I doubt it will persuade me to vote conservative but I was glad to hear it all the same.
The prurient interest the media has taken in recent decades in the youthful follies of our politicians has served nobody in fact it has probably lowered the standard of recruits to parliament by scaring off those who have gathered enough life experience to actually understand the realities of the modern world.
All of us who reach the age of forty without having joined the undead of suburbia will have done things we would rather were not public knowledge even though privately we might be quite proud of them (yes Liz, Ill bet your hubby has still never seen that birthmark in your groin.) Why should we require politicians to be different. One of the great political truths is that it is difficult to keep your fingers in the till while dipping your wick (why do I suspect Tony Blair has never been unfaithful?) so a little bad behaviour in the past could work in our favour.
I propose that in future all prospective Prime Ministers she be required to have on their CV:
At least one inappropriate love affair
A minor criminal offence
Several embarrassing incidents involving drink / drugs / trousers
Ms (not Doctor) Gillian McKeith, the poo lady will not be marketing herself as a consultant nutritionist with a PhD in the science of poo-ology anymore. Most of you probably thought the cabbage and radish smoothies were a had about them the farty whiff of quackery and the Advertising Standards Authority agreed. They ruled that McKeiths pills and potions have little value to health and great potential for damaging the environment (fartogen is a greenhouse gas) and should only be sold as supplements and not remedies.
But Gillian is fighting back. If her hectoring will not endear her beetroot and pumpkin concoctions to us she reasons, perhaps her naked body will. This line of reasoning is as irrational as her claim that chlorophyll oxidises the blood because for those who have not seen her Gillian is not Shilpa Shetty, in fact shes a bit minging. But that did not prevent her allowing newspapers and mags to publish a photo of her naked body adorned with fruit and veg.
I tell you, it was enough to put anyone off healthy eating for life.
Billionaire self – publicist Richard Branson has offered a $25million prize for the first scientist to come up with a machine that will suck carbon dioxide out of air.
Sorry to be the one to break the bad news folks but such a machine already exists, it called a tree and a lady named Mother Nature has been growing them for millions of years.
Ma. N. is unlikely to claim Dicks money however, she is an old hippy and has never had any interest in money. On the up side she will be happy to keep providing us with as many tress as we need free of charge so long as we promise to stop cutting them down to make room for more houses, offices, factories, roads and shopping malls.
So the answer is simple and the Branson prize for reinventing the wheel is just another publicity stunt.
But Mother Nature is no meanie, she tells me if we all start being nicer to her she will ask her trees to provide each of us with a stick with which to beat Branson for being a Dick.
It has emerged that two of the suspected terrorists arrested last week on suspicion of conspiring to kidnap and behead British Soldiers have been released without charge. The men say that in the week they were held in custody they were only interrogated for a total of around four hours each and neither was asked anything about kidnapping or plots involving British military personnel. Lawyers will apply to the court today for the release of all the other suspects, none of whom have been charged with anything.
What the case has done is pump up hysteria about terrorism. We now hove Government a security services “sources” each blaming the other for supplying dodgy intelligence while the Home Office and West Midlands police point fingers at each other regarding the leaking of the story to the press.
Now it is well known that the Government’s policy on law and order relies heavily on spreading fear and panic and promoting pognophobia.
Swarthy looking blokes with beards are terrorist suspects. You must sacrifice your civil liberties if you want us to make you safe in your beds,” goes the official line. And of course it strikes a chord because all the baddest bastards in history had beards. Atilla the Hun, Thorfinn Skullsplitter, Ivan the Terrible, Lenin, Fidel Castro, Yasser Arafat, Bluto; they all had beards. So its no surprise that the worst any of his neighbours could say of one of the suspects, a quiet, hard working family man, was “he had a long beard and visited a Muslim bookshop frequently.
Well in the current atmosphere of Government sponsored pognophobia what more evidence does anybody need?
(I didn’t mention that Jesus had a beard and Hitler didn’t because it would spoil the post. I’m just acknowledging that to save anyone the trouble of pointing it out.)
Paul Bremer, former head of American operations in Iraq told members of Congress today that he was aware that nonexistent “ghost employees” were on America’s payroll when he was administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq in 2003 and 2004.
Well I always thought Arabs were superstitious people but Bremner’s ghosts didn’t scare the Mahdi Army.
After a week of rumours, allegations and embarrassing headlines all of which have undermined what was left of his credibility, Tony Blair has said he wishes the whole cash for honours / perverting the course of justice scandal would blow away so that he could get on with his real job.
Which as everybody knows, is soliciting bungs for his retirement fund.
The prescience of the boggart blog / machiavelli editorial team was demonstrated again earlier this week when Boggart Blog reported on an alleged phone call made by alleged organised crime boss Lord Mafiosi to Downing Street shortly before the Supercasino project was awarded to Manchester, in which the Crime Lord made it clear he expected a return of more than just some faggoty title and a bit of bling for his investment.
A Sunday paper has now revealed that one of the people involved in the Manchester bid has in fact been involved in making “loans” to the Labour Party.
Remember, if you want to read the news that hasn’t happened yet stick with Little Nicky Machiavelli and Boggart Blog. Even when we are joiking we are more truthful than the government ever will be.
Investigative journalists and Blair watchers have reported that Tony and Cherie have just bought their fifth property.
The reason given for this latest purchase is that they wanted somewhere close to where Tony will be based after he leaves office.
So we guess the house is handy for Wormwood Scrubs then.