Monthly Archives: October 2006

Rice launches China Crisis tour

Condoleeza Rice  today launched her China Crisis tour.  The tribute to the 1980s band sees Rice visiting North and South Korea in an attempt to persuade Kim Jong-il to replace the late Kevin Wilkinson on drums, and to join with  Roh Moo … Continue reading

Posted in china crisis, condoleeza rice, dealing with the korean problem, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I am the Master and you will obey me

The mad bearded uber-villain denies everything here.  The former prisons chief gives his version here.  A quandary: who to believe? I’m looking forward to Blunkett being Paxo-ed.  Not so much “Did you threaten to overrule him?” as “Did you threaten … Continue reading

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Deranged and sex-starved Blunkett calls for nuclear attack on Stangmoor Prison

David Blunkett is reported to have called for an all out nuclear strike on Stangmoor prison.  Mr Blunkett – once described as a “future prime minister” (by David Blunkett and biographer Stephen Pollard) – claimed that he merely wanted to … Continue reading

Posted in blunkett, doctor who, politics, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

What is a classic? –

For my commonplace blog Some extracts from Calvino’s essay, Why read the classics (trs McLaughlin, 1999) 1.  The classics are those books about which you usually hear people saying: “I’m rereading…”, never “I’m reading…” 2.  The classics are those boooks … Continue reading

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PC gone bad

Bugger. My PC died.  I’d had the laptop for four years and after a Windows security update during the week a system file has become corrupted and won’t let me boot it.  I took it to PC World (or ABC … Continue reading

Posted in pc, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Commonplace notes: Lord Pooter writes

From the Diary of a Why the hell is he a Somebody “I began the day with an interview on This Morning, with Phillip Scholfield and Ruth Langsford. They were fascinated by the wonderful pictures by Ronald Searle, and asked … Continue reading

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Max Brod – a plea

I’ve been reading some Kafka and Kafka related material and in doing so it is inevitable that you come across the name Max Brod.  I was intrigued by the line that “Brod saved Kafka’s manuscripts from destruction not once but twice: … Continue reading

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Fake gameshow

Whose baby? (version 1) – unbroadcast pilot – Five Life A celebrity who has recently adopted a child from a less developed nation is invited onto the Derek Batey hosted show.  Batey is a late replacement for Michael Barrymore.  Batey quizzes the … Continue reading

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Orhan Pamuk wins Nobel Prize for literature

So having successfully negotiated the Turkish judicial system Pamuk is the Nobel laureate.

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Justice is blind, but not deaf, in camera

One of the delights of the “War against [insert appropriate abstract concept]” is the diminution of general civil liberties that the naive among us used to take for granted – because to fight for liberty against terror and all it stands … Continue reading

Posted in civil liberties, contradictory evidence in secret trials, spooks, Uncategorized, war on terror | 2 Comments

Book stuff

The other day I posted about the Observer article on the best of British, Irish and Commonwealth fiction.  The Observer has been running a comments section on this with various contributions from readers. To note: (a) how many Observer … Continue reading

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Tommy Sheridan update

A story slipped out this morning is that Grampian police (north-east of Scotland) are investigating death threats against Fiona McGuire – who was the focus of the original News of the World story.  This is the second story of alleged … Continue reading

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He’s not the messiah he’s Chris de Burgh

Some things are beyond parody.  Occasionally we must simply turn to a heartwarming tale and smile – one of those weak half smiles that indicates indulgence, yet concern.   Over the years I have studiously ignored Chris de Burgh.  However, I was intrigued … Continue reading

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Iain Dale’s diary reports the resignation from YOUKIP of one of the leadership candidates.  Dale publishes the letter of resignation, the terms of which are self-explanatory and leave a particularly nasty taste in the mouth. 

Posted in politics, Uncategorized, youkip | 2 Comments

Best British or Irish or Commonwealth fiction since 1980

IN today’s Observer there is a fascinating article by Robert McCrum on the above topic.  Apparently in the US they recently had a poll ( for the best American novel of the past twenty five years) and Beloved by Toni … Continue reading

Posted in books, Uncategorized | 12 Comments

For you Tommy &c – part II

So, as promised by the News of the World, part II of the battle for Sheridan’s soul has been initiated with part II of the McNeilage tape released by the News of the Screws.   The story so far (with video … Continue reading

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Compare Terence Blacker’s article from today’s Independent with this interview on the Beeb website from News 24. Is it acceptable to be offensive ironically because the intelligent viewer knows where the attitude is coming from?  And is that what Gervais … Continue reading

Posted in or liberal icon, racist and sexist buffoon, ricky gervais, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The straw that broke

After the lack of success of Mica Paris and  Lisa Butcher  the BBC today announced that Jack Straw and Fiona Bruce will present the next series of What not to Wear.

Posted in fake news, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Another poem

From The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy (1999): Mrs Darwin 7 April 1852 Went to the Zoo. I said to Him – Something about that Chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

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Torchwood – 22nd October

I guess that the fact a bus went up SOuth Bridge ten minutes ago with a big pic of Captain Jack, the word “Torchwood” in enormous writing and “22nd October” in slightly smaller writing suggests that that’s official then.

Posted in captain jack space detective - not capta, torchwood, Uncategorized | 1 Comment