Monthly Archives: March 2007

Postapoo: it’s not racist to preach hatred

Sorry to keep returning to the subject of poo this week, but I thought this one needed a slight follow up.

Postapoo issued a press statement on their website yesterday for a couple of hours, but it quite quickly disappered. But their defence, which you can glean from news stories, is that a) they’ve never had any complaints and b) they use all the saints days to promote themselves.

If I recall correctly, their press statement said something about people having a sense of humour failure. This is a little rich from a company that specialises in the practical ‘joke’ of sending plastic poo in the post. It isn’t exactly Noel Coward, is it? You only have to surf down their list of ‘success stories‘ to see the sort of person who chooses to take up their service.

“Was thrilled at work to find a package had arrived for Claire (office cow). Claire proceeded to tell everyone in the office about her mystery package. She wasn’t so chirpy when she opened it though.”

See? What’s nothing untoward going on there.

This is, of course, assuming that these stories are even true. London Rob‘s tale about his ‘pain’ ex-girlfriend is remarkably similar to Newport Wez‘s ex-wife.

Ultimately, Postapoo’s defence that they are not anti-English rests in the fact that they actively encourage people to indulge in all forms of hate. In that, they may have a point, but it’s pretty tawdry.

I have a horrible feeling that someone is making a shitload of cash out of this. Literally.

Postscript: Fox News has a bizarre sub-heading to their item on this topic:

Klingons said revenge is a dish best served cold, but for Scots, it’s best served in plastic.

The Klingon reference is, from memory, a nod to a line uttered by Christopher Plummer’s character in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (UPDATE: schoolboy error – it was of course a continuity blip uttered by Khan in the far superior Star Trek II! Oh, the shame!), but its true origin appears to be les Liasons dangereuses (although wikipedia qualifies this). Could it be that Fox couldn’t bring itself to mention it’s apparently French origins?

Turning to the Dark Side

What a bizarre article by Iain Dale!

First, he makes a big deal out of the fact that Mark Oaten, apparently, came “very close” to defecting to the Tories in Autumn 2005. Work that date out in your head for a minute. Posterity records that Mark Oaten wasn’t exactly of sound mind at the time, and was apparently rather more interested in something else that is spelled very similarly to defection, but has an extra ‘a’.

Defecting to the Conservatives may well be a degrading form of self abuse, but I’m not sure it was Iain’s intention to make the link quite so explicit.

Oaten was apparently disappointed by the Lib Dems’ opposition to his ‘tough’ stance on crime. Yet Nick Clegg, also considered a prime candidate for defection, has done more than anyone else to bury Oaten’s ‘tough liberalism’ stance. So which type of Lib Dem do you want?

He goes on to talk about the need for secrecy when it comes to defections, and that careless talk costs them, only to reveal that Ed Vaizey has been given the job by Cameron to co-ordinate it all. Good job that’s still a secret, then.

And then there’s all those strange innuendos, that make it all sound rather like “Confessions of a Career Politician”. “[Vaizey's] recent trip to the Arctic Circle with Nick Clegg may not have resulted in a defection, but eight hours a night in an igloo can hardly have failed to bring them closer.” F’narr f’narr! “[Shaun Woodward] was promised all manner of rewards (none of which has materialised) and made to feel wanted. But, at the last minute, he wobbled and the seduction turned into a brutal rape.” Err, we are still talking about defections, right?

This article can hardly have helped the Tory plan to get us all to sign up, and indeed makes it sound like the Tory frontbench spend rather too much time obsessing about it. It’s very flattering, but it does rather suggest that they aren’t feeling too confident about how they are likely to fare in the run up to the General Election, and need us to bail them out.

Liberal Review has more.

New Conservatives, Same Old Tories

It would emerge that the aforementioned Cllr Brian Gordon has got into trouble before for comparing immigrants to garbage.

Meanwhile, Davey Cameron himself is in hot water for breaching Parliamentary Standards. Presumably heads will roll in his office? Don’t hold your breath.

That non-partisan Guido Fawkes, who fearlessly attacks all political sleaze and flummery, has more on the Cameron story. Oh no, hang on, he doesn’t.

UPDATE: Guido has now grudgingly acknowledged Cameron’s misconduct, but only in the contest of having another (yawn!) go at Lord Levy. To be fair though, he’s been busy finding out scoops like ex-Progress Director Robert Philpot becoming Peter Hain’s SpAd, a mere four months after the event. The New Media is so damned cutting edge, isn’t it?

Guido takes on the establishment

Guido Fawkes has been given a spot on Newsnight. He asks some perfectly legitimate questions, and gets some perfectly legitimate answers, but both sides appear to be missing the point.

Ultimately, it is healthy in a democracy to have people like Guido sticking their fingers in the air at the establishment. They often go off down a cul de sac, they often find themselves doing the establishment’s job for them (cf. his work with Ed Balls to screw over Colin Challen), but they allow us a valuable corrective.

Equally, we need political correspondents like Nick Robinson, who take it upon themselves to explain rather than expose. They often pull their punches when they shouldn’t, and in the interests of ‘balance’ often go too far in terms of presenting nonsense as legitimate points of view, but they nonetheless perform a valuable service. To be fair, I get the impression that Robinson understands this, but I don’t think Guido does.

Thirdly, and a point that neither side seems interested in, we need parties and politicians an unedited platform from which to communicate directly with the people. That probably does not mean £10,000 incumbancy allowances of the sort MPs voted for themselves today (makes Hayden Phillips’ money-per-vote look fantastic in comparison, despite its deep flaws), but if we don’t have it, we’re left with Guido’s bile and Robinson’s sang-froid.

Poo to nationalism

A couple of weeks ago, I was castigated for saying that nationalism was an ugly thing, citing the example of “Scottish Nationalists chucking faeces through English people’s letterboxes“. I later apologised for capitalising the en in Nationalist (I never meant to imply I thought it was SNP policy), but insisted (and insist) that it is the sort of nasty thing that nationalism leads people to conclude it is acceptable to do.

Via the English Democrats, I now learn of a Scottish website encouraging Scots to do exactly this to their English neighbours as the ‘ultimate revenge’. Only it is plastic. And meant as a ‘practical joke’. Ho ho ho.

Of course, the English Democrats have gone off on one, suggesting it is possibly an offence. I’m in the very uncomfortable position of actually agreeing with them for once.

So, all my SNP friends who have declined to condemn their party for accepting half-a-million poonds from Scotland’s most famous homophobe and then failing to vote for legislation designed to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, will you condemn this?

Just add your denunciation in the comments box below.

UPDATE: postapoo has gone down, but their jape has resulted in the first bit of publicity for the English Democrats in years. Sky News. Metro.

Doctorin’ the Companions

Daniel Martin has listed his five favourite – and five worst – Doctor Who companions. In doing so he exposes himself as a member of that odd bunch of people: Doctor Who fans who liked Ace.

There’s a lot of them, but I’d love to know why. As an attempt to make the companion a central part of the series, prefiguring Rose Tyler, I suppose it was a noble effort. But, seriously. The bomber jacket. The ‘attitude’. The bombs. At least K9 was knowingly stupid.

And Brian Cant was better on Playbus as well.

Polls, the SNP and the Tories

Two interesting polls today. Times/Populus suggests that the SNP is well ahead in Scotland, but that support for independence has plummeted.

I don’t doubt either trend, but combined they do suggest that the Scots still aren’t actively engaging with the election to the extent that this accurately predicts how they are likely to vote. I suspect that increasing anxiety and confusion about independence can only drag the SNP share down. The incredibly low ‘other’ score also suggests that the small parties will get a boost once the RPA forces the media to start reminding people they actually exist. I suspect this too will drag down the SNP vote as people start to realise they can vote against Labour AND not support the SNP.

The Independent/CommunicateResearch poll meanwhile shows a significant dip in Tory support following the budget. Once again, you can’t take this as any great prediction. What it does suggest however is that the vote is incredibly soft, and volatile, at the moment. These massive boosts the Tories have been enjoying in recent polls say a lot more about the power vacuum at the top of the Labour party than anything that Cameron is doing.

Both polls are bad news for the Tories. The former suggests they are likely to end up in fourth place in Holyrood, while the latter suggests that once Labour sorts itself out, and the Tory policy reports start being published, the Tory vote can only fall. Not only can Labour not afford a snap General Election, but the longer they can put it off, the longer the wheels will start to come off the Tory bandwagon.

Funny terrorist

Is it just me and my prejudices, or is Gerry Adams writing a funny article about the trials and tribulations of being a candidate, without mentioning the Ireland question at all, utterly bizarre? This from a man who is still regarded by many as nothing more than a terrorist.

I’m not having at go at him, indeed I would encourage more of the same. For me it is significantly more symbolic than that stilted photo of him and Ian Paisley sitting together at Stormont for the first time. But the idea of Northern Irish politicians being ‘normal’ is going to take quite some getting used to. Reading it was like peering through into a parallel dimension. It’s good, but it does feel odd.