Sunday, October 26, 2008

This week

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The excellent Polly Toynbee in The Guardian. No wonder the right-wing press hate her guts. Heffer, Littlejohn, Letts or any of those self-appointed tell-it-like-it-is spokespeople-for-the-ordinary-Brit could only dream of articulating anything as poignant as this ('Don't expect to find a banker down at bankruptcy court'). Out of all the arsy 'analyses' of the credit crisis and the dissection of 'what's-going-to happen-to-the-City', it's the first time anyone dignified with a newspaper report the massive, forgotten army of bankruptcy and repossession victims. More, Toynbee also achieved the rare feat of not patronising them either.

The Daily Mail. We regularly slate them for being maniacal about immigration. This week, however, Victoria Moore was honest enough to pen a report about the mass exodus of Poles from Britain. When the usual suspects quote apocalyptic figures about Britain bursting at the seams with 'invaders', they often forget that most Poles and Czechs are already heading home. 400,000 are expected to return to their homeland by next year.

Hugo Rifkind in the Times and his spot-on portrayal of naughty far-right leaders ('The dark secret in the far Right's closet'). They no longer make those fascists like they used to, do they? Look at Jorg Haider the much feared neo-fascist, family man model of integrity, the teetotal champion of traditional values, law and order. He shattered hiw own myth in one go. First, we found out he was driving at twice the speed limit totally ratarsed. Now, his gay lover is spilling the beans on their passionate relationship. Apparently, Haider would often leave his wife to sleep alone in the bedroom in order to enjoy his sex romps with his lover Stefan in the study room.


Jon Gaunt
writing the mother of all strawman arguments in Friday's Sun. Chastising Danny James' parents for helping him commit suicide at a clinic in Switzerland, he dubbed it a crime and called for their prosecution. "Why don't we abort all handicapped children [and] exterminate anyone who isn't able-bodied?", he wrote. Textbook red herring there. But aside from his poisoned analogy, how can someone, in all seriousness, preach zealousness and morality from the altar of the Tits, Gossip & Slander Gazette?

Sarah Palin, our beloved 'hockey mum' of firm working class roots, turned out to have spent $150,000 on clothes aimed at boosting her VP credentials. Remember all the stick John Edwards got over his $400 haircut? Now let the Republicans enjoy a taste of their own medicine. John McCain's campaign, meanwhile, appears in total disarray.

British politicians. The last UK general elections recorded the lowest turnout in Europe. Apathy is at an all-time high. And this week's sordid spectacle of self-righteous George Osborne (the Tory Shadow chancellor) and smarmy Lord Mandelson of New Labourshire crossing swords in a lick-the-arse-of-a-dodgy-Russian-billionaire contest is unlikely to make us rush to the polls next time.

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