Political Rants - wibbler.com
Just had to write this down somewhere:
“Just his being there for five hours makes a statement. It told the Iraqi people: ‘I’m with you.
I stand behind you. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m getting the fuck out of here.'”
— Rob Corddry, on George Bush’s surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday.
Now, I’m not usually one to dabble in American politics on here. Bloggerheads is the place to go for that stuff. However, that’s not to say I don’t follow the yanks with their political planks. I don’t know how many of you have stumbled on The Daily Show, broadcast in America and syndicated over here – it’s meant to be a humourous view of American politics, but manages to be almost the only truthful show out there. The video archive site YouTube has loads of show clips – have a look at all of these. The show came to reach epic proportions when its presenter Jon Stewart went on a “serious” political discussion show Crossfire, and instead of being funny managed to rip them to shreds – so much so that Crossfire was taken off the air a couple of months later. Jon Stewart gave his reaction to the appearance, too.
The reason I’m telling you this? Well, tonight I found this gem of a clip from The Daily Show that manages to ridicule President Bush so brilliantly simply. I’m in awe of the show and its presenter, can you tell?
It’s all over. Labour, inevitably, has managed to hold on to its lead. Give it credit though – they tried hard. For instance, the overseas army and navy soldiers – the great majority of whom do not know why the hell they’re out there and wouldn’t be supporting Labour – *accidently* didn’t receive their postal voting slips until it was too late. And when John Humphries, editor of the BBC today programme, went to vote he found that his vote had already been cast. By someone else. Mariella Frostrup phoned the show and said the same had happened to her. Presumably this didn’t just happen to them in particular. And in a final insult to all who may think this election is fair to all, a tally of the votes so far cast shows that in fact Labour came second polling 35,906 votes fewer than the Tories. but the way the system is balanced, Labour still win with a large majority. As Richard from Manchester said on the BBC page ‘Labour victory: Your reaction‘, “Scotland has its parliament, Wales its Assembly yet they are in effect deciding who governs England. Time for an English parliament on the same basis as the Scots.”
As ever, Boris Johnson’s columns hit the nail on the head. “If Labour is re-elected,” he warned three weeks ago, “it will be with the help of one of the most gerrymandered systems in the western world.”
But still, there’s no need to be overly bitter. The reduced majority means that at least the government can’t railroad their proposals through, and at least another term of Labour will mean we’ll definitely want to see the back of them next time…
I think wibbler.com has been steering very clear of politics so far, and many will thank the heavens for that. However, I thought I’d just put a marker in tonight, after watching Tony Blair on The Paxman Interviews. Jeremy Paxman, who is a firm third on my list of televisual greats, is always good value at these things, and tonight’s questions were no exception. However the most telling section was the Paxman onslaught on Blair’s intentions after the election. There’s long been a debate as to when Blair will step down – he’s said himself that this will be his last election. Paxman charged into the fray. “Assuming you win the election, Prime Minister, can you guarantee in say 12 months time that we will still have you as Prime Minister?” Tony came back with his usual response. “Well, I’ve said I’ll service a full term, and you know …” Jeremy continued to ask the same question again and again and Tony finally stumbled. “You will get New Labour.” Tony replied.
Steam rose from my ears. Cogs turned inside my well-feathered head. Hold on! Full term? That could be 5 years, 3 years – even 1 year! And so, in an instant, I have worked out their plan. Tony wins the election in two weeks, calls a snap election again in say a year’s time, when he’s sure Labour will still win, and allows Gordon Brown to take over, thereby hoodwinking everyone, taking the opposition by surprise and leaving them all for dust. Tony’s done what he said – “a full term” – and Gordon Brown has taken over, leveraging in an extra couple of years of a Labour Government into the bargain.
Vote Blair, Get Brown (in a years time). I am a genius. Unless, of course, everyone’s already thought of this already. In which case I am merely average…
UPDATE: Full transcript here…
Who should I vote for?
Your expected outcome:
Your actual outcome:
|Liberal Democrat -3|
|UK Independence Party 24|
You should vote: Conservative
The Conservative Party is strongly against joining the Euro and against greater use of taxation to fund public services. The party broadly supported the Iraq war and backs greater policing and ID cards. The Tories are against increasing the minimum wage above the rate of inflation, and have committed to abolishing university tuition fees. They support ‘virtual vouchers’ for private education.
Take the test at Who Should You Vote For
If you ever feel happy about the state of politics in the UK today, take a daily gander at my erstwhile friend Tim’s site bloggerheads.com. It’s through Bloggerheads that most of the UK’s internet-based political opinion, analysis and linky goodness comes from. A daily dose of cynicism does you good, and in Tim’s case the points he makes are often inspired and completely true.
So, what’s made me cynical today, entirely because of Tim? This:
– The Sun hides bad news for the Government behind fluffy headlines. Every. Single. Time.
– Taking away your right to protest.
Also, old Labour figures are leaving with a nasty taste in their mouths. This storming leaving speech (full speech here) by Labour MP Brian Sedgemore is simply wonderful.
But sometimes, all I get from his site is hope. Hope that one day the stuff he puts on there will be taken up by the masses and get noticed, that Blair and his cronies will be shown up for what they are and chastised for what they are doing. Hope springs eternal from these links:
– The Disappearing Labour Party.
– It would take just one person to bring down Blair.
And then Tim, Clive and I go and tell everyone to Back Blair. What are we thinking?
Political apathy is evident everywhere nowadays. There’s discussion on the cause, but most agree that the media are guilty of marginalising the power of the vote. I just thought it was this country – but The Daily Show, hosted by the razor-witted, sharp-tongued, Emmy award winning Jon Stewart, shows that it’s alive and kicking in America too.
The Daily Show started as a comedic look at the days’ political events in America. Now, it’s the only show which gives it to you straight, in a humourous way that really sticks in your mind. Jon Stewart, in my opinion, is the funniest political comedian I have ever seen, and his show appears to outclass all other “news” shows in America.
So, why am I telling you this now? Well, Jon was invited yesterday onto “Crossfire”, a popular political show on CNN, to discuss his new book. But, instead of promoting, he accused the mainstream media – and his hosts in particular – of being soft and failing to do their duty as journalists to keep politicians and the political process honest.
It was one of the most powerful televised exchanges in recent history. Instead of pushing the tome, Stewart used his time to verbally slap the network and the media for being “dishonest” and “doing a disservice” to the American public. After co-host Tucker Carlson suggested that Stewart went easy on Senator John Kerry when the candidate was a guest on “The Daily Show,” Stewart unloaded on “Crossfire,” calling hosts Carlson and Paul Begala “partisan hacks” and chiding them for not raising the level of discourse on their show beyond sloganeering.
“What you do is not honest. What you do is partisan hackery,” Stewart said. “You have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably. I watch your show every day, and it kills me. It’s so painful to watch.”
It takes balls of steel to do something this large. As one of the commenters on Metafilter put it, “Not only is our most honest news program not really a news program, but the only guy on TV who wants to be serious about living up to journalistic responsibility isn’t even a journalist.”
Good luck in the elections, America…
LINKS (because you really have to watch this):
More on the event: Jon Stewart Bitchslaps CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ Show – MTV
Clips from Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show: here – here
The Crossfire showdown: BitTorrent – Quicktime video – Another Quicktime video – Windows Media Player (WMP) video – Another WMP video – Transcript and videos
Comments/articles on the broadcast: Metafilter – MTV – Salon.com