Sunday Splash

The Independent on Sunday probably has the best lead of the day, running a piece about the infinite hypocrisy of Jack Mano Straw. His multiple-visage sanctimony on the Hillsborough question is clinically dissected, confirming what most of us have suspected about Black Jack for years: he is a man bereft of those personality features that separate the rest of us from sociopaths.

Newscorp’s daily Times having laboured all week to tell us that Monaco is full of tax-dodging low-life, The Sunday Times headlines that Vince Cable is going to wage war on ‘shady tax havens’. He’s going to have his work cut out on that one, but I suspect this is what Murdoch wants: Vinny fully distracted elsewhere while he gets on with waiting for the dust to settle on Hackgate.

The Telegraph insists that foreign aid is a farcical gravy train, a sure sign that it didn’t really have a  proper story to go with. It’s actually not a gravy train so much as, quite often, an obscene form of lubricant to oil the wheels of trade. And tons of the money goes full circle back to Switzerland. But let’s not expand on that one, or we’ll be here all day.

A Clegg aide thinks the Coalition’s cuts have been too deep, according to The Observer’s main headline. I’m attracted to the idea of a restorative drink called Cleggade, for when you’ve been particularly unpopular: but this too isn’t really much of a story. At best, Osborne’s cuts were too little far too late, and at worst an irrelevance in the light of (1) our bloated bureaucracy and (2) the pampered elephant in the room called QE.

In fact, the big story hidden later in this lead is that the LibDems are now in fourth place behind Ukip – not something the Observateur wants to broadcast that much. The big difference between the two Parties is that, whereas the LibDems know how to target a constituency and milk the vote (rather like George Galloway) The Farage Barrage are relatively clueless about such matters.

The Mail on Sunday goes with a tax-hike shock horror involving people with £1m homes, aka the entire population of London. ‘Owners of homes worth £1m or more will face a beefed-up squad of computer and legal experts poring over their property, savings and income as part of a new ‘anti-affluence’ crackdown by the Coalition. The move is part of a tax-dodging purge on the rich forced through by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg,’ claims the MoS.

Right then, that’s Vince purging the world’s tax havens, and safe-cracker Nick breaking into the homes of Middle England. I think we get the drift of it now: the LibDems are rotten smelly spoilsports who don’t want anyone to have any fun. Probably true, actually.

The Sunday Cu****t Bun calls its piece on cop-basher Andrew Mitchell ‘Exclusive’, but the piece seems to consist largely of the lame-gag headline ‘On yer bike’, and some pretty obvious speculation about this deeply nasty little man losing his job. The Star on Sunday reveals that Tulisa* smoked drugs at the age of 12, a revelation that will be seen by many contemporary parents as drama lite. She was also booted in the face: but this wasn’t enough for her, and thus the young lady launched into a Self-Harm Hell. This would be news, had not the BBC already revealed her proclivities in a documentary over a month ago.

“Whatever happened to Norman Baker?” I hear you think during those moments when the wallpaper has lost its appeal, to which the answer is the eccentric and at times factually confused LibDem conspiracy theorist became Minister of Transport. I know, I know – who allows this sort of blunder to happen? Search me, but Mr Baker is the subject of the Sunday Express’s front page headline, ‘Road tax to be scrapped’.

The problem with the story is that the once-great Beaverbook’s story below the line says merely that Norm thinks the tax should be scrapped, among many other things. It’s not that the hacks can’t stand the story up, so much as Norman Baker needs to go and lie down somewhere quiet for a while. “You could have a charge per mile for roads like motorways,” he began, “You could then offset that by abolishing road tax and by reducing fuel duty so that they would even out. That seems to me to be entirely equitable and sensible environmentally. People shouldn’t take fright. This isn’t about charging motorists a whole lot more money.”

Seems to me it isn’t about anything, really. Most Sunday newspapers follow that rule these days, so it’s good to see the Express catching up at last.

* Tulisa Contostavlos is in a band called N-Dubz, which I’d be willing to bet is something you didn’t know. I certainly didn’t.

31 thoughts on “Sunday Splash

  1. The lib dems are really trying to look “different” aren’t they? That notorious red-herring “wealth tax” (or rather just banging on about it in the knowledge that its never going to happen) won’t do it.

    And even if it does it’ll backfire rather quickly. By my calculations, once the central bankers of the world are finished with their print-a-thon we’re all going to be millionaires* and liabm for said tax. Nice move cleggy.

    *of course it won’t feel like it, given that a loaf of bread will probably cost half a million quid.


  2. Thanks for the summary it saves a trip down to Sainsburys to see if one of the papers is worth buying. Don’t know why i bother, i hardly ever buy a Sunday paper these days. A quick browse on the internet and finishing Saturday’s FT and Friday’s Economist is usually sufficient.


  3. Eh? Is that the same Tulisa C. who makes porn videos? So when did she start singing then? I hope folk come to her concerts, ‘cos they don’t with her blow jobs!


  4. And so to Norman Baker. I had a look at the Express, and yes, it is more speculation. However, there is an issue here, namely electric cars. Nobody should imagine that they will use fuel taxed at 5% for ever. That would erode the transport tax base to the point where a substitute tax would be needed. I imagine we are in for a tax per mile of some kind (on top of or combined with fuel taxes), and having seen the London Congestion Charge, whoever gets the job will get a good percentage of the enormous take. But nobody will be fooled by ‘revenue neutrality’, the temptation to take more and more in all manner of devious ways will be enormous. Plus a charge that varies with mileage will reduce the propensity to drive, further increasing the need for change. And there’s the temptation of all those hackers out there to build a box that gives free mileage to the naughty. Electric cars may or may not be the way forward, but the change to electricity as a means of transmitting and storing road energy will force quite a lot of other changes that, by sheer coincidence, seem in line with the thinking of government ‘experts’. Maybe in the parliament after next? Is this the start of ‘softening up’?


  5. The Strange Death of David Kelly by Norman Baker MP

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    92 of 96 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A prime facie case. 23 Jan 2008
    By A. S. G. Blackmore
    Format:PaperbackThis book by Norman Baker is absolutely first-class. From the outset I had the gravest suspicions about the whole matter, and perhaps naively, I believed that the Hutton Enquiry would reveal all. Never was I more mistaken. For an eminent Judge to have produced such a conclusion as contained in his Report- absolutely beggars belief. If I had not heard it – I would never have believed it possible for such an incredibly narrow-minded view, with so many questions left unanswered – nor even examined.
    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this whole matter should be properly investigated, and an Inquest held, where witnesses would give evidence on oath and open to cross-examination. As it has been left, the whole scandalous affair is a complete travesty, – and I speak with thirty years experience on the Bench.

    67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading for all U.K/U.S citizens. 11 Dec 2007
    By Amanda Talent
    Format:PaperbackThis is a fantastically brave and well researched book. Norman Baker lays out the evidence in a captivating and honest manner,leaving the reader flabbergasted by the inner workings of our government and how they manipulated the country into going into an ilegal war in Irag and poor David Kelly lost his life somewhere in the mix.
    Its a `who dunnit`,only very real on a grand and horrifying scale.For all the people who were on the anti war march which was so ignored by our democratically elected government ,this is confirmation of the betrayal we all feel. This should be compulsory reading for all U.K citizens….

    58 of 61 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read 23 Nov 2007
    By MacAvity
    I’ve just finished this book and it’s one of the best I’ve read in recent years. While Norman Baker has his personal opinion about the Kelly affair he presents all the facts in a way that allows readers to make up their own minds. I cannnot recommend this title strongly enough and am now eagerly looking forward to Mr Baker’s next foray into the world of factual literature.


  6. You don’t know who Tulisa is? So you’re not an X-Factor fan then.

    By way of light amusement, here’s Tulisa’s bandmate and cousin, Dappy, insulting corpulent folks on Never Mind The Buzzcocks:


  7. What we know is that any ‘inquiry’ issued by the government will reach the conculsion required. It is a long grass mathod of defusing a situation whereby after the completion it can be left until ‘a new government’ reopens the case under ‘public pressure’ which makes him look good. It is all about PR.
    As to David Kelly, we all suspect that the dirty was done to this poor man. But ‘national security’ is a catch all excuse which is in the end used by Gubberments to protect themselves from Justice.
    We all know by now that ‘truth and justice’ are just playthings to be sniggered at in the UK by the ‘elite’. The degree of sniggering is all that separates us :)


  8. The instructive point about the Baker dream of road tolls is that the civil servants and quangocrats have their agenda and will never let go of it, no matter who is temporarily seconded to occupy the Ministerial chair.

    The same suggestions are wheeled out continuously for years and years, irrespective of the government of the day or the minister.

    I wonder if Justine Greening kicked this suggestion into the long grass on day one and never recovered from it after that …..


  9. Completely OT but since it was written by a certain John Ward, not ours but same name, it is well worth a read to lighten a rainy Sunday and act as distraction from a piece I have to complete to meet a looming deadline..

    Why I will Never Fly Through the US Again
    TSA = Taze Suspect Air-travelers
    By: John Ward, Ajijic, Mexico

    It was a flight to Amsterdam in the winter of 2010. I checked in early and left my hold baggage with the airline. Soon I was heading for the security check point and found a line of people waiting for a preliminary interview before the electronic security gauntlet. The single line was intelligently created so that as soon as an agent came free, the next person in line would go to that agent and be served in order of arriving. Unfortunately an extremely well fed woman, who was fluent in Ebonics and packed into a uniform like a sausage into casing, decided that she had an even better system. She started taking people from the source line and telling them to go and stand behind people who were being interviewed, effectively negating the first-come-first-served effect of the one line system.

    As I got to the end of the source line she motioned for me to stand in the line for interview booth number five. I said “If you don’t mind, I would rather wait for the first booth that comes open.” She looked at me as if I was a simpleton, shook her massive head in pity at my obvious inability to grasp her genius and told the person behind me to “go to five” and then the next person was sent to another booth line and so on. Realizing that no booth would come open if she continued, I allowed myself to be sent to a booth line with two people already in it.

    As luck would have it, people who were sent to booth lines after me got to their interview before me, because I was now in a line with a white-haired, octogenarian lady who was obviously a mad terrorist bomber and who was now suffering through a very comprehensive and aggressive interrogation at the hands of an irritated security man with one frozen glass eye and one very animated sighted eye. He was extremely agitated that her responses were at human speed, whereas his questions were fired at her as if he had already determined she was a major threat to the country and his career was about to leap into the stratosphere with this astounding revelation.

    After reducing the lady to tears and placating whatever personal animosity he had towards his own grandmother, he motioned the next person over. I stayed back, not because there was a yellow line or anything of that nature, but because I wanted to avoid the shower of saliva his enthusiastic interrogation produced.

    When my turn finally came he asked me first: “Do you hate the USofA?” “A trick question” I thought. “Not at all!” I said. I wanted to add, ‘just the goose-stepping neo-Nazi martinets in immigration that purport to protect the country…,’ but – I held my tongue.

    “What do you think of Jane Fonda?” A red flag went up in my mind… I knew this was in reference to her opposition to the Viet Nam “Police Action” but I just said: “Well, I think she’s a fairly good actress.” He glared at me. I wanted to say, ‘do you realize that it is now common knowledge that the claimed “attack” on the destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin was a lie, that in fact Captain Herrick of the USS Maddox fired first at what he later claimed were “radar ghosts” to provide an excuse to enter the conflict? Do you know that this action and misinformation resulted in an unwinnable war that caused 58,000 American deaths and unfathomable numbers of veterans with horrific psychological problems to say nothing of the Vietnamese? Do you realize that after the “carpet bombing” by B-52s of Cambodia, a country not in the war, a small, insignificant, rag-tag band of political nut-jobs called the Khmer Rouge got enough support from that bombing to swell into a major political force which, in turn, resulted in the grotesque, wholesale genocide of one and a half million innocent Cambodians, who were killed for as little as wearing glasses and appearing intelligent?’ But – I held my tongue.

    “Are you Australian? You talk funny?” he continued. “No” I said “It’s just a speech impediment” hoping that the ADA might provide some protection. “Do you believe Iraq attacked the US on 9/11?” Red Flag! “Well that’s what I heard…” seeing his good eye start to jitterbug I continued “and yes I think those Iraqis were behind the suicide bombers Alcaida sent to destroy the US. In fact I believe, although he’s a Saudi who hides in Afghanistan, Bin Laden keeps a summer condominium in Bagdad from which he issues all his anti-American orders.” His jaw relaxed slightly… “How do I know you ain’t a terrist?” he continued. I wanted to say ‘a terrist sounds like someone from planet earth and in that sense I am terrist,’ but instead I answered: “I guess you can tell by the fact that I haven’t yelled Allah au Akbar yet. Isn’t that an hourly requirement for terrorists?” I could see this question actually got him thinking. Without dismissing me he shouted “Next.” The fact that asking the question allowed me to utter the phrase didn’t seem to occur to him. I was relieved, but the best was yet to come.

    My mouth felt dry after the “preliminary interview” so I popped two pieces of chewing gum onto my tongue to generate a little saliva as I prepared for my journey through the TSA gauntlet. As the line progressed I placed my carry-on onto the conveyor belt and passed through the metal detector. Despite the fact that nothing beeped I was approached by an agent with a wand. He told me to stand to the side in the “Christ on a Cross” position and ran the wand all over my body. The fact that I still didn’t beep seemed to raise further suspicion and I was told to “stand over there” where another agent instructed me to remove my shoes. As I did so I said “I suppose this is because of Richard Reid’s brilliant idea?” This solicited a blank stare. I continued: “I suppose because of Omar the Nigerian you’ll want my underpants too?” With that I reached in and extricated a spare pair of underwear I had hidden in my trousers as if it was the pair I was wearing.

    I assumed there would be gales of laughter as I whipped out the underpants, but the silence was deafening! Oh God, I had forgotten the cardinal rule about airport officials and their sense of humor – they’ve all had it surgically removed. The agent quickly placed his hand around my throat and called for back-up. The man he was calling looked like a trousered ape, in fact, he was examining a knuckle he had scraped on a floor tile and seemed not to hear the call. To ingratiate myself with the man who had my jugular in his fist I attempted a whistle to help draw the ape’s attention. Unfortunately my still soft and sticky chewing gum flew from my lips and onto the shirt of my captor. I tried to explain my intentions but it became increasingly difficult as he began to braid my esophagus into a reef knot.

    All at once two other TSA agents grabbed me and dragged me into a room by my kidneys. One stuck his tazer between my buttocks and fired. To this point I had no idea that I was fluent in Klingon. My screams in Klingon were a source of endless amusement to the agents who evidently were Star Trek Fans. At this point I felt all was lost and I determined, when able to use my limbs again, to force my hands into the position of an abject supplicant, begging for his life. All I could think of was the Polish immigrant killed in a Canadian airport by tazing enthusiasts.

    Although I was fairly dazed and confused by my complimentary electrical cell restructuring, I was able to note a degree of unbridled glee etched into the TSA agents’ faces while they searched my rectum with a convenient office hat-rack. I was tempted to say: ‘Normally I insist on dinner before that orifice is broached…’ but – I held my tongue.

    After determining that I was, in fact, not a threat to the United States, the airport, the airline, the air industry, the TSA, the runway, the baggage handlers, the drug sniffing dogs and the janitorial staff, I was allowed to pass into an x-ray machine where I was irradiated for a very long time, because the tazing caused me to dance an involuntary Mambo blurring the X-Rays.

    Seeing me trying to look normal while twitching, drooling and convulsing in the passenger lounge would have made any self respecting terrorist balk at boarding my airplane.

    By the time I reached Amsterdam the convulsions had abated and were now limited to involuntary winking and an arm tick that made me give the fascist salute every twelve minutes. On the positive side I was able to use my laptop without recharging it for 27 hours and I did meet some interesting Dutch Nazi Party members.


  10. The Treasury has already flagged the revenue problem posed by increased fuel efficiency of petrol fired cars saying ways will need to be found to meet the shortfall. The consumer can’t, the all powerful monster of government must have its full, undiluted pound of flesh – no efficiency there – ever.


  11. “The consumer can’t, the all powerful monster of government must have its full, undiluted pound of flesh – no efficiency there – ever.”

    Absolutely, and why would the government need to create a new tax and all the extra civil servants, consultation fees and increased inefficiency that will take? It could just up the tax on petrol / diesel which will increase the price of everything and anything, which is its’ objective anyway.


  12. Maybe a tad OT – or maybe not, being as it is also a round-up of news from other sources:

    “Did Obama send a ‘gay’ ambassador to Libya?

    Homosexual behavior punishable by imprisonment in Muslim nation

    The question comes amid claims in the diplomatic community that J. Christopher Stevens — the U.S. ambassador to Libya brutally murdered on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks — was homosexual.

    So, perhaps he did get raped before they killed him.

    And in other news concerning those that wear flowing garments:

    “Pakistan minister wants to see heads roll

    Islamabad (dpa) – A member of the Pakistani government has promulgated a $100,000 bounty on the head of the maker of an anti-Islamic video. A Pakistani newspaper reported that Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, the Minister for Railways, had promised the money to whoever kills those responsible for this “blasphemy”. He called on Taliban and al Qaeda to support him. It is clear to him that it is a crime to call for murder, said the Minister correspondingly. But, there is no other way to instill fear into “blasphemers”.”

    Firstly, ain’t that headline a bit of a giggle? Though it doesn’t say much for the Paki understanding of colloquial English –our usage doesn’t allow for blood. Secondly, where’s the money going to come from to pay for this – from our overseas aid budget? Or have they perhaps secured a short-term loan from Sowdy Barbaria?


  13. “* Tulisa Contostavlos is in a band called N-Dubz, which I’d be willing to bet is something you didn’t know. I certainly didn’t.”

    You’re right; I didn’t.

    Would it be awfully ungallant to quote Me Rhett Butler, too?


  14. Just a thought, will this $100,000 bounty come out of foreign aid?
    How about if some one offers $100,000,000 for the execution of the person who executes the person who made the film.
    Will someone then offer $100,000,000,000 to kill that person, we might even get the national debt paid off?


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