Sunday, November 02, 2008

This week

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The Independent's Terence Blacker. On Friday he wrote about our modern day version of hell: the call centre. Anyone who's ever worked there will know this is true: "Humans are units of profit. The call centre is the face which modern capitalism shows the world: smiling, sinister, empty. It has no physical presence, no postal address, or nationality. It is specifically designed to disempower and confuse the customer".

Patricia Williams in The Observer about Barack Obama and next week's US elections: "When I think of the long slow progress of the modern Civil Rights movement, with its innumerable marches, murders, and martyrs, I can think of few victories that simultaneously had the potential for such genuine, uncompromised rejoicing as the vision of - dare I really say it? - President Barack Obama".

Diego Maradona is back. With a life punctuated by more resurrections than good old Lazarus, the former Hand of God is returning as the new Argentina national football team manager.


Since joining the public speaking circuit last year, former PM Tony Blair has made £12m. But no-one is saying a thing about how favourably the companies he's 'working for' were treated while he was in power. JP Morgan, the Carlyle Group, Zurich Financial Services. Not to mention the conflict of interest with his role as 'Middle East Peace envoy'. Not that anyone ever took that seriously but, with too many fingers in the geo-political pies of military contractors and investment banks, brokering an honest deal may turn a little iffy. In 1997 Blair came to power to the tune that "things can only get better". Sure they did. For him.

The Daily Mail. Last week we gave them credit for being honest about immigration, for once. This week, overexcited about the Ross & Brand saga, they've gone back to their worst, oozing hypocrisy and acting like a coke-sniffing MP voting in favour of draconian anti-drug laws.

Queen Sofia of Spain. She wondered out loud if "people of other sexual tendencies [...] should be proud to be gay". "Should they ride on a parade float and come out in protests?", she said, adding that "if all of those of us who aren't gay came out to protest we would halt traffic". Keep your mouth shut and stick to cutting ribbons. When you haven't been elected and you never did an hour's work, the word pride should be left to rest.

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