And some French blokes – Edouard Balladur and Valery Giscard D’Estaing (who seems not to have noticed he’s got a girl’s name) have dared to suggest Tony Blair might not make the best EU president. They point out that he opposed the Euro, the European Constitution and then led his country into a needless and bloody war that almost all of his European colleagues had the good sense to avoid. Put that way I guess putting Mr Blair in charge of the EU would be a bit like letting Paris Hilton take over Northern Rock.
The Tories have announced they have chosen a successor to Ann Widdecombe. Her replacement Helen Grant is apparently very experienced for the role – having played the wicked witch of the west two seasons on Broadway.
Also in politics Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has been for a kebab. Basically this was a publicity stunt to try and prove that the streets of Peckham are safe to walk at night, in spite of her policies on crime. The thing is she was so confident about her safety, she took a minder with her. He had been instructed to do whatever was necessary to save her life, so presumably as they left the shop he ripped the kebab from her hand and threw it away.
One of the last two surviving French veterans of world war one has died. This is great news for the other one, Lazare Ponticelli who issued the following statement “It was all me, I did it all on my own, I killed all the Germans myself one by one with a pen knife. The other soldiers were rubbish.”
Plans have been unveiled to introduce metal detectors into schools in Britain to prevent youths from bringing knives and guns to school. If the scheme is successful it could be spread to community centre, buses, trains and even prisons. Or to save time they could just install the detectors straight into hooded tops.
The Canadian Foreign Minister has apologised after accidentally releasing a list of countries where prisoners are at risk of torture. Apparently the US and Israel were mistakenly on the on the list, when everyone knows they don’t torture. Ha ha ha. What a silly suggestion. In a related incident the Canadian Sports Minister issued a list of sports popular with young people and forgot to include water-boarding.
The first official portrait of Tony Blair has been unveiled. The artist Jonathan Yeo has previously painted Rupert Murdock, The Duke Of Edinburgh and Beelzebub. He said Mr Blair had a “tigger-like” energy and said he thought he was happy that Gordon Brown’s prime ministership wasn’t going very well. Isn’t that just a touch childish? I mean it’s ok to be six and be happy that your playmates aren’t any better at finger-paining than you but this is running the country we’re talking about... Just as well the seats in the House of Commons are fixed in place or presumably they’d all be pulling them out just as their colleagues were about to sit down. Prime Ministers question time will soon start with David Cameron going “pull my finger”.
It’s usually the tabloids that pose the most ridiculous questions for their readers. The customary phone-ins on “Should we give all the good stuff in Britain to the French?”, etc. Today the Independent have run their own front pager, fortunately without the premium rate line. They ask: Should Richard Branson be allowed to make a fortune at our expense with Northern Rock?
And if there was ever a tabloid-style story well suited to the Independent, this is it: Jeremy Paxman has complained that Marks and Spencers underwear doesn’t give enough support. Cue innumerable photo-shopped pictures of Paxo’s head glued on to the body of a male underwear model. And quote allegedly the most terrifying political interviewer in the country “This is not just about the weak gusset issue”.
Paxo has quite a good point here though. Essentially the number of shops which can be actually relied upon to offer decent quality goods is falling like a stone. I mean no-one goes to Matalan or Primark and expects a garment tough enough to weather a spot of drizzle but it seems now that every store cuts every corner it possibly can and then acts innocent, hoping Jamie Oliver isn’t looking.
Now I normally flick through the Daily Mail just to get a bit of a mixture of stories for the podcast. However one story sort of leapt out over the weekend. Fascist columnist Richard Littlejohn had a piece about the Ipswich murders. Now I quote, about the women who were killed , firstly “in their chosen field of "work", death by strangulation is an occupational hazard.” Which seems odd partly because he’s used the word “chosen”. I’m not entirely convinced that they ended up working as street prostitutes because hairdressing didn’t seem challenging enough. Mummy when I grow up I want to be addicted to heroin. And secondly, another direct quote “in the scheme of things the deaths of these five women is no great loss.”
If any listeners happen to know where Mr Littlejohn lives do please share that info, because I’m sure he understands that in the business of writing noxious offensive bullshit, getting punched in the face every morning as you leave the house is an occupational hazard. And in the scheme of things Richard, your death would be a great loss. A really REALLY GREAT loss.