Friday, April 11, 2008

This week's news round-up

Johnny Taronja reassesses this week's news

Italy, a country long-known for its fragmented political system, is
hours away from yet another set of general elections. Drawing an interesting comparison with England's own buffoon, Boris Johnson, Today's Independent, with an article by Peter Popham, analyses the phenomenon Berlusconi, a regular feature of the Italian landscape since 1993. But if you're trying to spot any coherent set of policies in his coalition, populism is the only one that spring to mind. And an appetite for power.

We don't quite know how to salute the news that Gordon Brown will not attend the Olympics opening ceremony this summer. As soon as I sat down to praise his balls as an admirable stand against China's dubious human rights record, his office decided to clarify that in no way is that to be seen as "politically" motivated, that "he never really intended to go in the first place" and that he will attend the closing ceremony in Beijing. Lib-Dems' Nick Clegg summed it up alright: "an odd way to go about things". But the most effective was from David Cameron: when he said: "If dithering was an Olympic sport [Brown] would have a gold medal". Doesn't it get worrying when you have to positively quote a Tory? Those who were looking for a firm vision to follow from Tony Blair's footsteps are advised a quick trip to Specsavers.

Our British readers will already be aware of the arrest of Shannon Matthews' mother. Shannon went missing in Dewsbury on February 19. She was found in the base of a bed at an address one mile from her home after a police search that lasted 24 days. Shannon's uncle was arrested. Then it was her stepdad and now, her mum. Understandably, the police are keeping quiet about their findings. But amonst the allegations, there are fears that a tragedy like that of a young girl going missing may have been staged for rather sordid ends.

Though I admit I've been sensitive to rumours of a 9/11 conspiracy, the videos of the Walthamstow suspects confirmed that you don't need shady CIA-run plots to cause mayhem and destruction. Some nutters out there really think that blowing up a plane is gonna do some good. But before I say anything, take a look at the transcript of those "martyrdom" videos as they were played in court. One thing for sure, their constant, vile, reference to "non-believers" is an extra string to the bow of Bush, Blair, Betrayeus and the likes.

Will you leave Ken Livingstone alone??? Five children from three different women seems to have become the most important concern for Londoners. The Pro-Tory press are playing dirty. As low as they can. However, right when opinion polls were starting to look a bit worrying, the best gift to Ken came from the far-right. The British National party called on its supporters to give their second-preference votes in the London mayoral election to the Conservative candidate, Boris Johnson. If that isn't enough to put you off the Tory toff, then please look at the picture above. Hopefully that'll do the trick.

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