Monday, December 31, 2007

Saps

Condolences to the Belgians, who shame us all by winning the annual Softie Award for cancelling new year.

My Mum begged me not to go to Edinburgh's new year celebrations in 2003, because the police thought terrorists would attack us. As it turned out, the entire plot was utter bullshit and I was attacked instead by a six-foot-four-tall Glaswegian whose deranged girlfriend mistakenly believed I was selling drugs.

So my message this new year must be, don't worry about crazy Islamists - they're highly unlikely to attack us on any given day.

Mental Glaswegians, however, will try to smash your face in on the slightest pretext, and should be shot on sight.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

My New Year's Resolution

This year, I've decided to embrace the concerns of the country's vengeful minority and come out in support of the homeowner's right to execute anyone they find on their property without having to answer a lot of impertinent questions from the police.

I think it's time I stopped mocking Britain's mad reactionaries, and tried to empathise with their concerns. To this end, I've done a little bit of Christmas shopping and I'd like to talk you through my purchases so that you can benefit from my experience.

For convenience, versatility and stopping-power, I can heartily recommend the AK47u, which is compact enough to keep in your bed but ferocious enough to kill an entire crew of crack-addled gangsters through up to two walls. This protects the homeowner from the potential dangers of investigating suspicious noises in the night - why trust in the mercy of junked-up thugs?

Simply take aim and hose the entire room down without even getting out of bed.

You might also like to invest in a combat shotgun, some of which can cut a man in half through a door... very handy for OAPs, who can fall prey to bogus callers whose only desire is to rifle your house for the biscuit tin you keep your life savings in. When you hear that knock at the door, simply aim and fire.

Of course, these weapons are only effective at close range. For those with extensive grounds around their property, a Barrett M82 50.cal sniper rifle is deadly at a range of up to a mile and is easy for amateurs to use.

Should you find that your burglars arrive by armoured car, there really is no substitute for the Javelin missile, a fire-and-forget system with lock-on capacity and top-attack capability. My neighbour swears by the RPG-29, which has taken out the heaviest tanks in the world, but this is one occasion where it's worth spending that little bit extra for quality - the Javelin may be steep at £40,000 per missile, but nothing's too expensive when it comes to protecting your family.

Finally, those of you who live in top-floor flats have no reason for complacency. It's perfectly conceivable that burglars may descend onto your roof from helicopters, rabid with desire for your daughter or your DVD player.

It's always worthwhile investing in a decent surface-to-air rocket launcher, but a good budget option is a high-powered assault rifle. Simply take aim at the tail rotor, and that chopper will be toast in no time.

So a happy and safe new year to one and all, and remember - if in doubt, open fire.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

For Me But Not For Thee

Jeff Jarvis makes a good point here about "libel tourism" - the habit of suing people for defamation in British courts, regardless of where the libel was actually published.

"What’s profoundly frightening about this is that we in America could find ourselves subject to the UK’s libel and privacy laws, which throw free speech to the wolves in defense of privacy."

The UK's libel laws are absurdly unbalanced, and Jeff is correct to decry the effect such suits will have on freedom of speech in other countries. The story gets a heh-indeeding link from influential dipshit the Instapundit, provoking a perfect storm of outraged wingnuttery in comments, to the effect that foreigners can't be trusted to protect fundamental freedoms.

But wait...

While we're on the subject, I seem to recall a lawyer acting for the U.S. Government asserting that the Americans had the right to "kidnap" any person in Britain suspected of criminality, on the authority of the U.S. Supreme Court.

All of which is fine, if you trust the American government to act impartially, without abusing its powers to pursue its own agenda.

And then I recall - didn't the Americans refuse to sign up to the International Criminal Court because it would infringe on their sovereignty?

After all, it's the ICC that's kept Dr. Kissinger perched atop his pile of skulls in Connecticut these past few years, rather than picking up fat cheques for delivering dull policy speeches in Europe.

If there's a point to this extended bit of whataboutery, it's that what's sauce for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander. The Americans (i.e. the Bush Admin) look to have been entirely consistent in promoting the idea that they can do whatever they like, and everyone else can whistle.

To which I can only say, nuts.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It's Only Just Occurred To Me That...

...I've met lots of politicians in my life, and I've had some fairly in-depth conversations with quite a few.

Some were idiots, but I was struck by how confident and competent others were. To someone who gets much of their information from politician-hating internet loons, I was surprised by their intelligence, their wit and their candour.

And tonight it's occurred to me - of the impressive politicians I've met, I've never voted for any of them, and as good as never voted for their parties... and I like to think I'm a reasonably intelligent person.

This should bang a nail through the myth of the rational voter, and not before time.

And, Merry Christmas and that.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

If It's Good Enough For The Hacks, It's Good Enough For Me

A Lazy-Arsed Retrospective

And an eventful year it's been, with terrorist attacks in Glasgow, a new Prime Minister and about five million excuses for outbreaks of brown-trousered panic.

It's the last of these that's gradually become the theme round these parts, as I've followed the British belief that no problem is too trivial to cause an outbreak of national hysteria.

Causing a stink this year - relations with Iran, gay adoption, capital punishment, stupid terrorists, MI5, "Islamic fascism", resurgent European fascism, smokers, Cuddly fun with Hamas, Iraq, Melanie Philips, President Bush, and asylum seekers.

Common sense prevailed, thankfully, with the lowering of the national pants.

In sport, I ran a quiz on Shakespearean refereeing and presented Scottish football fans with a gallery of nostalgia, before introducing Winnie Tha Pimp.

On religious affairs, I mused upon the fate of Libertarian Jesus, and in the world of work I offered tips on getting the most out of civil servants. I also reflected thoughtfully on the creation of a computer that thinks it's a mouse.

This year also saw my first attempt to attempt at liveblogging on the night of the Scottish Parliament elections, my first stab at the advertising business and some thoughts on BBC bias.

And finally, some thoughts on reclassifying the political pantheon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Up Against The Wall, Motherfuckers

Major ructions ensue following the BBC's decision to edit the word faggot out of The Pogues' Fairytale of New York...

"...This would be like cutting the word 'Christmas' out of Wham's 'Last Christmas..."

"baa baa black sheep have you any wool has been banned but I doubt we'll have that printed or played on radio one..."

Etcetera, etcetera.

Hopefully, those outraged by this trivial non-story will be just as broadminded when they find their teenage daughters sexy-dancing to my upcoming Christmas single Ho Ho Ho, Bitchez (Y'All Muthafuckin' Reindeer Betta Step Tha Fuck Off).

Still, this seems to be a recurring problem - group x take whining, mewling offence at toss all, prompting group y to jerk themselves into a furious, priapic rage like an engorged orchestra. Meanwhile, newspaper conglomerate z laughs all the way to the bank, cackling with maniacal glee, twiddling its moustache and stroking its inflated profit as if it were a purring white cat.

So, what to do next time this sorry spectacle rears up? Should we all undertake sensitivity training, to better understand each others' viewpoints? Or should we perhaps take anger management courses, and learn to let such inane fads slide?

Or, and this is my personal preferance, should we just beat them all with spiked baseball bats?

Well, what do you think? Should we...

a) Beat group x with spiked bats?

b) Beat group y with spiked bats?

c) Beat newspaper conglomerate z with spiked bats?

or

d) Beat everyone involved with spiked bats?

It's over to you...

Monday, December 17, 2007

In Which The Author Finds Reality Too Hideous To Satirise

So British forces in Basra have officially handed over the city to those rightfully entitled to rule it - the Iranians.

One would imagine that the Iraqis would be grateful that we have freed them from the tyrannical, arbitrary rule of Saddam and handed them over to the tyrannical, arbitrary rule of the mullahs, but no dice. I've just read a poll that says just 2% of Basrawis believe the British forces had a positive effect since the overthrow of Saddam.

I guess there's just no pleasing some people.

Now, I know my readers - I'm aware that a good percentage of you might've thought that the whole Iraq war was a bullshit enterprise from the get-go, argued for in blatant bad faith by a shower of crooks.

Some of you might also believe that those Vietnam analogies have turned out pretty accurate, and that the crustiest hippy banging a tambourine in 2003 had a better grasp of international politics than the cream of our political punditry.

In fact, you could be forgiven for believing that the last few years have seen a blizzard of mendacious, duplicitous horseshit about Basra.

But I implore you to consider this - had our army pulled out of Basra within months of the invasion, we would've been abandoning the Iraqis to fascists. Such a move would have meant a disgraceful dereliction of our duty to the people of Basra.

Now, not so much. The families of all those dead soldiers can be glad we've really accomplished something there, although we'll have to wait to see exactly what it is.

(P.S. If anyone can tell me how those last two paragraphs differ from the official position of the British government, I'd be very, very grateful).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Royal Rumble

Splendid news in today's Telegraph - apparently, the BBC is looking for republicans to attack the Queen on television.

For some reason, the paper seems to think this is a bad thing, but I beg to differ. In fact, I've sent the Beeb an email begging for a crack at the old bitch.

Obviously, I've planned this out. I'd aim to get the drop on her and knock her flat out with the first punch, but I have a contingency plan if I miss the chin and she's only stunned.

I'm aiming to dominate her from the outset. I reckon if I work the ribs on her left side, she might drop her elbow enough for me to come over the top with a right cross and knock her fucking block off.

Still, forewarned is forearmed, so if any of you have ever seen any of Her Majesty's previous fights I'd appreciate a bit of tactical knowledge. Just because she's royalty doesn't mean she's above fighting dirty, and I, for one, don't want my first televised bout to end with me shrieking for mercy with the Queen hanging off my testicles.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Courage Under Fire

Since becoming Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has made a series of appalling misjudgements that have damaged his standing. Many have doubted that he has the political stones required to secure a fourth term for Labour, and his enemies have been queuing up to piss in his kettle.

Since I've always liked the cut of his jib, I'm glad that Brown has shown his inner bravery and come out in support of British troops in Afghanistan. This shows great political nous, and I, for one, see a bright future for the Brown administration.

I've spoken with a friend who has recently returned from Basra, and he reckons that our boys out there would've been a bit narked if he'd decided to throw his weight behind the Taleban. Perhaps he was tempted, but his tacticians have obviously advised him that such a risky gambit might do more harm than good.

So good on Gordon Brown, I say. It's good to see a Prime Minister who's prepared to bite the bullet and take a stand.

Everybody Knows That You're Insane












Don't ask how I managed to stumble across the personal website of Colonel Gaddafi, north African fashion icon, spiritual leader and full-time hooting mentalist.

The Brother Leader (for it is he) is keen to share his thoughts on war, peace and religion, and turns his remarkable intellect to the great challenges facing the modern world.

In his deranged life, he has fought a great many battles, losing the vast majority. I fear that he has once more bitten off more than he can chew by launching a devastating two-footed tackle on FIFA, the world football federation...

"Why not make the champion host the following World Cup finals? This way, the competition in the World Cup will have some meaning namely; that the champions will have an undisputed right to host the following World Cup...

...Otherwise, the World Cup should be abolished in view of the mortal danger it poses to the world physically and morally. It leads to problems, difficulties, disorders, hatred and enmity. It causes the spread of degenerate behavior and collective recklessness and irresponsibility. Socio-psychological studies have proven that the manic, fanatical addicts of the World Cup are below normal in intellectual capacity and psychological development."

Surely it is but a matter of time before the Colonel awakes in the night to find three Adidas-clad FIFA hitmen preparing to show him the red card for his persistent foul play, before sending him for an early bath.

Protest as he might, the referee's decision is final, and no higher authority is going to rescind FIFA's judgement on video evidence alone.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hands Across The Ocean, Part 11,607


Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has kicked up a shit-storm by branding the Americans the worst imperialists in the world, an allegation that doesn't amuse the Yanks themselves.

He's taken a lot of abuse for this, but I reckon he has a point - if there's one thing the last five years have shown us, it's that the Americans totally suck at imperialism.

Case in point - look at America in 1999. The U.S. was an invincible world titan, bending the other nations of the world to its will through economic power and incentives, while its President was greeted with adoration on state visits. Almost without realising it, the entire planet danced to the tune played by the Americans, and would crawl through sewers to kiss their backsides for the privilege.

Look at it now - they can't even get the Iraqis to do what they want, and every time Bush steps off a plane he's confronted by thousands of enraged protesters waving signs reading Stupid Nazi Bush Fuck Off. Every time the administration tries to crank up a tune, they're instantly bottled off like they're the Spice Girls opening a gig for Slipknot.

So let's lay off the Archbishop - he may be in possession of a near-criminal beard, but he obviously knows what he's talking about.