Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm the Trouble Starter, Pumpkin Instigator

This, from Guido Fawkes' blog, made me giggle...

Of course Little Ed couldn't have known the violence would kick off at the same time as his speech (although he must have known violence was inevitable that day). And of course, given his lack of oratory skills, he is as likely to rouse such passion in people as he is to win brother of the year. But that's what makes Guido's video even funnier.

On another note. I've never quite been able to make out one of the words in the first line.

I'm the trouble starter, ?punkin? instigator.
I'm the fear addicted, danger illustrated.

Sounds like punking to me. I looked up the lyrics using the InterSuperWeb but it has not been much help. Most sites seem to think it's "Fuckin" instead of punkin. I find that hard to believe as the single only came out in one version with no bad language warning and the album version sounds exactly the same as the single.

However, my favourite suggestion came from this site...

I'm the trouble starter, pumpkin instigator.
I'm the fear addicted, danger illustrated.

I can envisage Ed Miliband singing this version into his under utilised hair brush as he watched the footage of the trouble unfolding on his television in his bedroom that night.

If he had any honesty in him, which seems unlikely, he'd adjust one of the other verses a tad...

I'm Balls bitch you hated, tax infatuated - yeeeaaaah
I'm the cash we wasted, felt intoxicated

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Japanese People's Inspirational Response To Disaster

One of the most moving sights I've seen in all the coverage of the disaster unfolding in Japan has been the stoical way its people cope with unimaginable adversity. Of course you can't generalise about the people of a whole nation but it is telling that western journalists are struggling to get the "human angle" they so covert during such disasters - weeping crowds, chaotic scenes of looting and violence, angry demos of people blaming the government or big business for the situation etc.

Tonight I saw a man being interviewed who was looking for his missing young daughter. Despite what raging internal emotion he must have been feeling, the gut wrenching terror of potentially discovering the worst possible fate of his missing girl, the man spoke with dignity about his situation. He even (politely) admonished the reporter, saying that he didn't like to see foreigners reporting Japan's plight and proudly predicted that his country would rise again.

A woman looks for her 99 year old mother. There's no sign of her in the camps of displaced people. A camera follows her to look for her mother's house, but its gone, along with half her town. The woman weeps quietly but covers her face to hide her emotions from the prying camera. There's no anger, no blame, she feels no need to highlight what a personal tragedy this clearly is.

If you didn't respect the Japanese before, you can't help but do so now.

The British used to be known for their stoical stiff upper lip and ability to cope with adversity. I do wonder how we would cope with disaster on the scale of Japan's. I hope we'd rediscover the strength of the war time generation, but I fear that British quality is lost forever.

Perhaps we can relearn it from our war time opponents.

On The Hour - Council to Evict The Old To Teach Government A Lesson

On The Hour, Chris Morris' spoof radio news series and forerunner to the excellent The Day Today included a story about how a fictitious Labour council was evicting old people from their homes and making them sleep on the streets in boxes to prove a point to central government...


That was back in 1992. Now the Conservatives are back in government, we see Labour councils living up to their old reputations. This time it's about the governments attempts balance the nations books and asking councils to do their part by reducing what has been burgeoning spending on their part over many years.

We've seen the stories put out by (mostly) Labour councils - child protection services to be cut, sure start centres to close, all library services to be disbanded, even worse treatment of the elderly in council run homes etc. It seems Labour (and indeed some LD and even Tory) councillors would rather this than make long overdue efficiencies in the way they run their services and better prioritising those services most needed by the communities they serve.

They would rather cut front line services in the hope voters will blame central government than their historic profligacy, inefficiency and waste.

You've got to laugh.