Tag Archives: The Independent

cunts fashionable with newsmen but fuck more popular

So we’re off again. This time it’s Jeremy Paxman falling into the dreaded cunt trap when saying cuts, cuts, cuts on Newsnight.

While watching one of these stand up comedy programs a week or so ago it seemed to me that the comedians seemed desperate to prove their foul mouth credentials. In fact, they were not even that foul mouthed, but merely sprinkled their rhetoric with the word “fucking”. Don’t get me wrong I have no aversion to fucking swearing but I was reminded of a friend from my youth who used to use the word “fucking” prior to every noun. In his eyes many people were “fucking cunts” but one day he became so excited that he referred to someone as a FUCKING fucking cunt. I still find this amusing today because he’d merged the term fucking cunt into a single “ngram” so that the term still needed an additional adjective to kick it off.

Flicking through the Independent web site the other day I stumbled upon a Julie Burchill article entitled Say goodbye to the Enlightenment. We are living in the age of goatsuckers

I admit that I found the article virtually unreadably. It could have been that I was tired but I really could not be bothered to go back and reread it. I do recall the following phrase “….from teenage girls who are free to fuck when and who they want for the first time in history….”.

The word fuck drew my attention. I don’t think that it was because of any obscene connotations but because of the causal use of slang in a main stream newspaper. Not that I have anything to boast about in this regard.

Interestingly Google Ngram viewer shows that, as far as literature is concerned, the term cunt has been growing in popularity since the 1960s roughly following the popularity curve of tits and wanker. Bastard has long been popular and bum has been growing in popularity but the real star performer here is the word fuck. Fuck has shot up in popularity and is now more used even than bastard. This is comforting as it is in accord with my own experience of TV stand up comedy shows. Odd then that serious news presenters seemed to have become obsessed with cunts.

fuck cunt arse bastaard wanker tits bum
fuck cunt arse bastaard wanker tits bum

Bankers, Regulators and law makers “stumble” on a bargain

Lord Levene - Gets his hands on the branches
Levene - Can't wait to get his hands on the branches

It seems that the Bankers are still lining their pockets and this time they have rowed in regulators and law makers from the House of Lords.

Lord Levene, the chairman of the Lloyds insurance market, is to create a new high street bank to be floated on AIM and initially funded by £50m from City institutions including Invesco and F&C. The bank will then issue shares to gain more funds and expand rapidly to acquire other businesses including Northern Rock’s state-owned “good bank”. Not the bad one, mind you, that is to be left for the tax payer.

I heard Lord Levene on the radio a week or so ago  who said that he considered that the High Street banking business could do very well but an article in The Independent newspaper quotes Neil Saunders, of the DataMonitor consultancy, as saying “All banks face apathy in terms of switching behaviour….It takes an awful lot to get people to change bank.”

No problem, Lord Levene has thought of that and plans to simply buy up the 600 branches that Lloyds Banking Group had been ordered to sell following its state rescue.

Lord Levin obviously spotted the chance to make some money as did half the regulators and House of Lords.

One has to wonder who it was who decided that Lloyds should be ordered to sell the 600 branches and whether any of those involved in Lord Levine’s new bank had any involvement such as the “non-executive directors” of the new bank Sir David Walker (former official of the Treasury and Bank of England and deputy chairman of Lloyds bank), Lord McFall (chaired the House of Commons’ inquiry into the banking crisis) or Charlie McCreevy (former EU commissioner). Presumably these honourable men merely spotted a chance which came about coincientally following thier decision to force Lloyds to sell its branches. One can imagine them around the board room able: “Buy up the 600 branches? By Jove, never thought of that!”

The article in The Independent says that “executives will be appointed after the flotation”. It seems odd to wait until after the flotation to appoint executives but perhaps the new bank will be such a money spinner that they could employ any old fool to run it. If past performance is any indicator of future results then they probably will though it is not known if Sir Fred is still available.

Lovely Jubbly as del boy would say.

China loses face by sabotaging climate change talks

wen jinbao loses face
wen jinbao loses face

Following the article in The Independent, a report in today’s Guardian reinforces the argument that it was China that torpedoed the Copenhagen summit. Not only would they not agree to anything but the Chinese premier, Wen Jinbao, brought shame to the Chinese people by not bothering to turn up for the final negotiations with around 50 other world leaders including Gordon Brown, secretary-general of the UN Ban Ki-moon and Barak Obama. Negotiations had to be carried out with some Chinese minion who continually had to telephone Wen Jinbao who was presumably “saving face” by hiding in his room.

Wen Jinbao had thought he’d lost face earlier when Obama mentioned targets in public but one really has to question the seriousness, not to say sanity, of a man who would put the whole climate negotiations at risk because he felt put out.

As I have said already, in a previous article, Chinese watchers tell us that China is culturally very prickly and this may be so but I believe this prickliness is not entirely cultural. Rather I suspect it has more in common with other authoritarian leaders who are used to getting their own way and refuse to tolerate opposition. Recall Hitler’s tantrums and Kruschev banging his shoe on the desk at the UN? This is not cultural difference but arrogant and dangerous narcism.

Wen Jinbao may have thought he got one over on Barak Obama and Gordon Brown by this idiocy but to my mind Obama and Brown came out well. They did what they had to. They swallowed their pride and continued negotiating in difficult circumstances.

Wen Jinbao, on the other hand, behaved like a spoilt child. China has had a one child policy for decades now and I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that this has led to a nation of spoilt brats. However, if they’re interested in face then they should not think about facing down Obama and Brown but in providing a safe future for the world’s children.. Put in that context Wen Jimbao lost face big time.

Grow up Wen Jimbao!

Related posts:

china in who’s hands?

China in Who’s hands?

Where is his mandate?
President Hu - Who made him leader?

There is an interesting article in todays’s Independent blaming China for the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit. The article quotes a source who was supposedly in the room when the heads of state were drafting the document who says:

“If China had not been in that room you would have had a deal which would have had everyone popping champagne corks…..”

“The Chinese were happy as they’d win either way. If the process collapsed they’d win because they don’t have to do anything and they know the rich countries will get the blame.

“If the deal doesn’t collapse because everyone is so desperate to accommodate them that they water it down to something completely meaningless, they get their way again. Either way they win. I think all the other world leaders knew that by that stage and were just furious that they couldn’t do anything about it.”

Why am I not surprised?

Climate Change pah!
Protestors? - pah!

China was admitted to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in December 2001 after the United States dropped it’s veto. Since that time trade with China has grown very quickly and the Chinese economy has grown massively. The generally accepted view is that China is now OK as it has accepted capitalism. This is wrong. The regime in power in China today is not substantially different from the regime which drove tanks over unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square just two years before being admitted to the WTO.

The West too often confuses democracy with capitalism, they are not the same. It is possible to have a democratic government that is socialist. It is certainly possible to have a capitalist government which is non-democratic and China is the proof of this.

Both China and the West have gained from the flow of trade but we should consider that, having now allowed so much industry to move to China, we have become reliant on an authoritarian regime which cares for nothing but perpetuating it’s own existence. We should also keep this in mind when businessmen and political leaders talk of the necessity of allowing the free flow of trade to countries where there is “competitive advantage”. This competitive advantage is, very often, the absence of political rights,  civil rights and the rule of law.

China may have legitimate reasons for not being able to commit to the climate change targets discussed in Copenhagen but it’s impossible to tell. The Chinese regime is not elected and therefore illegitimate and cannot be said to represent the views of the Chinese people. When one deals with regimes such as China one must accept that their word is worth nothing.

During the negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union to limit Nuclear Forces Ronald Regan frequently used the phrase “Trust, but verify”. United States president, Barack Obama, seemed to understand this when, during a speech at Copenhagen he appeared to upset the Chinese by implying that verification was key to any agreement. The fact that this was mentioned caused the Chinese representatives to throw a hissy fit and refuse to attend various meetings.

Send in the tanks!
Send in the tanks!

And that’s another thing, China too often uses tantrums as a negotiating tactic. We are told by Chinese watchers that this anger is related to the difference in culture. Perhaps it is. Perhaps the Chinese fly off the handle so often because they are not used to having to justify themselves.

I wonder how the Chinese regime would have responded to the demonstrators in Copenhagen? Rather than  explaining their position perhaps they would simply have sent in the tanks.

This should give us pause for thought.

If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear – 2

I wrote a blog article in November 2008. This argued that New Labour are introducing too many laws to increases state control and erode personal freedom and listed a few such as identity cards and mass interception of Emails.

The argument in favour of these laws is usually “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear” but the people who use this argument are Talking Bollocks! The British establishment has a long history of abusing laws and another example of this was reported in The Independent today. It seems that police are using laws designed to prevent terrorism to harass photographers.

This seems a little hypocritical since, these days, the police seem to be pretty avid photographers themselves! I myself have witnessed them obtrusively abusing their policy on filming demonstrations to film a discussion between a bunch of pro Israeli oldies and a bunch of pro Palestinian hippies.

police camera action

British government duck responsibility for release of Lockerbie bomber

Isn’t it strange how quiet the British government have gone now that they have released the Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber. Isn’t it odd that the decision was made and recounted to the press by an unknown Scottish bureaucrat. New Labour were born in spin and thanks to Mandelson they will die in spin.

There was a good cartoon in The Independent today.

Independnet Daily Cartoon
Independnet Daily Cartoon