Monday, August 04, 2008

The week's news round-up

By Johnny Taronja

Modern-day celebrity Jordan was turned down from the Cartier International polo bash on the grounds that she is too "chavvy". Most will agree that she's hardly the epitomy of a classy lady, but to bar somebody because of their class seems a bit disgusting to me. Simply substitute the word "chavvy" with "black", "Jew" or "Muslim" and picture the mayhem that would have ensued. Not to mention the names of some of the guests at the event. Kelly Brooke, Dita Von Teese and Richard Hammond, amongst others. Britain's one of the most tolerant countries in the world, but when it comes to class then there's no hope.

Give us Obama over McCain (the politician, not the chips) anytime, but the adoring crowds that saluted the Democratic hopeful in Berlin, Paris and London smelt a bit goaty. His charisma isn't disputed by anybody, but what worries is the way human nature reveals itself in such situations. In each one of his speeches, Obama said absolutely nothing aside from the usual watered-down soundbites: "yes, we can", "change", "we should be together", "take responsibility", "no more walls"... and the cheering crowds growing hoarse. Desperate for someone to adulate.

The Mirror's Paul Routledge on Friday was one of the few voices of wisdom that could be heard. He argued that the latest squabbles within the Labour Party are an insult to what sits at the top of people's worry list. Brown vs Milliband sounds like a tired re-run of the annoying Blair vs Brown tirade. But the difference will always remains one of style and presentation rather than beef and cereal. Again, no-one there that gets the bull by the horns and shows some real cojones, for example, by proposing caps on soaring utility bills. They do it in other European countries (in Spain, for instance, the government keeps utility price hikes at bay through active intervention). Politicians have been urging wage restraint as a desperate measure to tackle the rising inflation but will they say owt about skyrocketing bills?

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