keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
Nothing quite like this time of year to bring the vermin out is there, be it the drunken scum littering the streets from the early afternoon or the filthy politicians rewarding their cronies with their plastic "honours". Pah, they can stuff this particular arbitrary date in the calendar where the sun doesn't shine as far as I'm concerned. But I've established my own tradition for this specific date and I must keep it going regardless so:

Keresaspa's top 100 artists of the year )
keresaspa: (Cynthia of Witching Hour fame)
A rare word of congratulation must go to the over-gorged rabble of collaborationism that is the Parliamentary Labour Party on their shock decision to nominate Jeremy Corbyn as a candidate for leader. It says it all for how far the party has fallen that the only genuinely left-wing candidate is also the only one with no chance of winning but kudos to old Beardy-Buck nonetheless. Let's face it, Yvette Cooper is a Blairite failure, Liz Kendall is a Tory in the wrong party and Andy Burnham is a faceless wishy-washy and all three of them are wedded to watered down versions of austerity and thus will offer no alternative to (presumably) Boris Johnson come 2020 (Jesus, do we really have that much longer of this pile of bastards?!).

Under Corbyn Labour might well end up getting hammered in an election but who knows, the British electorate might finally discover a spine and decide a left-wing alternative is precisely what they want and do a Greece. Unlikely, but you never know and besides, they're equally likely to get a hammering under any of the other three. That and Corbyn's individual personality might actually be a rare antidote to Johnson's schtick, something that the other three faceless middle managers will never do.

It's all a pipe dream of course as we all know what will happen, with Jezza finishing bottom of the polls and Liz Coopham leading a bland, bourgeois-orientated party to its inevitable defeat before being replaced with somebody equally uninspiring and the whole grotesque farce playing itself out again ad nauseam. But hey, for five seconds let's just dream that it might be possible and the bearded one might actually let us all experience a Trotskyite paradise for a while. Now, wasn't that nice?

Saorsa

Sep. 17th, 2014 08:20 pm
keresaspa: (James Connolly)
Rare are the times that I turn this load of old rubbish over to polemic but given that the Scottish independence referendum is tomorrow you'll forgive me if I go a little old school. I have long nursed a desire to see my cousins across the water make their own way in the world and finally the time has arrived. As once again Scotland suffers under a brutal government that it had no part in electing the opportunity is finally available for them to break that destructive old pattern and determine their own destiny.

No more living in thrall to the whims of England, no more sending off your youth to fight in foreign lands because America says so, no more having to endure grim years of Tory terror that you haven't voted for, no more being branded a Nazi for the simple demand of self-determination and resisting imperialism, no more being patronised within an inch of your life by smug imperialist tossers like Eddie Izzard telling you how much they don't want you to go. Successive Westminster governments have vilipended Scotland and dismissed it as an afterthought. Now the time has finally come to leave behind those dark days of servitude and plough your own way.

Ignore all the unionist negativity about failure and make it a success. Sure, there might be hard times but it's hardly a picnic under the cuts-happy Tories and what would it profit anybody to accept a broken status quo out of fear? Sandy Salmond's Dominion of Scotland might not be true independence but it could be the start of a journey, rather than the end. There was a time when the twenty six counties was a Free State with the treaty ports after all. That the Declaration of Calton Hill might some day be realised it's time to vote yes and let Scotland, long a province, be a nation once again. Today a Dominion, tomorrow the People's Republic.

ACAB

Jan. 8th, 2014 08:11 pm
keresaspa: (James Connolly)
Shock horror! The same old story all over again - the "security" forces murder one of the lumpen and the powers that be tell them that's no problem. There was a time I would have got up in arms about something like this but frankly it's all too predictable as the cops and the army have had a free hand to kill to their heart's desire for years now. Not content with expecting people to live on air and forced labour they now want to murder at will too. Can Britain get any more dystopian? Frankly were they pass a law making unemployment a crime tomorrow I wouldn't be surprised. I've no insights to offer on this unfortunately, just "what a stinking world" really.
keresaspa: (Piggy Banks)
Yeah, still alive, just not very much to tell you. Operation back garden continues apace but is nowhere near reaching its climax for a number of reasons. For one I didn't realise just how much of a forest the place had become, meaning that the clear-up operation is proving a massive task for a lone chap without any mechanical tools. Suffice it to when you start discovering unexplained tree roots you know you have a bloody big job on your hands. There's also the issue that seemingly as much as one third of the garden is composed of unwanted bricks, paving slabs and stones, all of which have to be cleared without a skip as well as my generally low energy levels (a combination of haemochromatosis giving me its usual kicking and all that extra weight I insist on sporting) and a sudden turn for the worse in the weather to be taken into consideration. That and recent jaunts to Bangor, Ballymena and Dublin eating away at my time, as well as a general weariness of gardening as a whole. I'll get there in the end of course but for the minute I do believe I've had enough for a little and will, at least temporarily, put the bent spade, the 89p hand trowel and the child's rake into cold storage.

Meanwhile outside my door we have the G8 turning back the clock to the days of the Troubles by placing Northern Ireland under virtual martial law. It's in Fermanagh, which is nowhere near me, but on Saturday there was all manner of sundry protests against their presence, notably in Belfast city centre where a big rally was held at City Hall alongside the standard fleg mobs (yup, they're still going on). There was a time I might have gone along but I gave it a miss this time. It's not that I don't detest the G8 simply that the days of demos making any difference are long gone, if they even existed in the first place. Governments are corrupt and always will be and people power won't change that as Egypt has so starkly shown. People power may have gotten rid of Mubarak but his replacements are just as sleazy and repressive and if they go too whoever replaces them will be as well. It's true communism or nothing for me, folks - ethical capitalism is an oxymoron and social democratic governments still involve a small elite group having their fingers in the till. That and the fact that the protests were organised under the aegis of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, an organisation that is frankly about as radical as the Women's Institute and was until very recently in the pockets of successive conservative governments down south. And it was pishing rain, but we'll not mention that reason.

Still, I suppose we should enjoy it whilst we can. With an EU withdrawal probably looming large, China already well in front of them and India and Brazil not far behind the nonsense of calling Britain one of the eight richest countries in the world will be over and done with soon enough and all this sort of old rubbish will be a distant memory. The sooner the better.
keresaspa: (Karl Marx laughing)
I once used this little forum of mine to suggest that Jim Allister's baby, the Traditional Unionist Voice, could be considered a fascist party. I was being flippant of course as it is at best a High Tory throwback and at worst an extreme right vanity project but either way it falls some distance short of fascism. Recently however I have got to thinking about how the current flag protest movement and its Ulster People's Forum directors relate to fascism and that proves to be a little less cut and dried.

As the establishment unionism and loyalism have always tended towards the right but whether they have ever produced true fascism (and I'm ignoring any nonsensical attempt to use the term fascism as a synonym for racism, dictatorship or "I don't like it") is highly debatable. If we assume fascism should be ultra-nationalist, radically populist, seek to build a mass movement and be desirous of palingenesis or a complete rebirth of society, then the closest fit seems to be the Ulster Vanguard. Of course when they were formed they were simply conservatives adopting the trappings of militarism and when William Craig had his brain fart and decided that his preferred solution was power-sharing with the SDLP they suddenly became the most moderate of the radical unionist parties (and forget the United Ulster Unionist Party splinter group, who were little more than a TUV forerunner) but during the period when they advocated the establishment of a hard-line independent "Ulster" and were seemingly prepared to advocate violence against any opposition they came as close to fascism as this place ever has seen.

But if we turn to the current movement it is clear that some, if not all, elements of fascism can be identified. The flag protest movement are possibly the most populist movement to emerge since partition and their rhetoric is increasingly been couched in a highly populist rejection of the existing politicians. Equally a rejection of liberal democracy, seen by the likes of Gentile and Payne (although less so myself, I must admit) as central to fascism, can be detected from the very basis of the initial protests given that the flag was removed from the City Hall due to a democratic vote and the rejection of that decision clearly represents a rejection of that process. Nationalism goes without saying. The assertion of group rights, the prominence of the flag, the insistence that some are members of the "group" (Ulster Protestants) and that there are "the other" who are without the group and therefore enemies are pretty much textbook examples of ultra-nationalism and really need no more discussion. Similarly the mass movement idea is self evident as the flag protests have been the ultimate social movement, seeking to get as many numbers as possible onto the streets and relying on the sheer force of human bodies for intimidation. Indeed involvement has been as important, if not more so, than ideology at levels not seen since the formation of the UDA or the Ulster Workers' Council strike.

Palingenesis is so far largely absent from official policy, such as it is, although at lower levels the virulent strains of anti-Catholicism that run through the membership hint at a desire for a Protestant state. In typical post-modern fashion, this has manifested itself in social network groups attached to the protests advocating the eradication of Catholics. Their apparently preferred constitutional arragnement of direct rule is a fairly non-radical solution although it remains to be seen whether or not this is Willie Frazer's personal opinion or that of the wider movement whilst a desire for a return to a mythical golden age can in itself be seen as palingenetic. The Italian Social Movement, one of the few post-war groups to ever self-identify as fascist and achieve mainstream levels of support, talked of nostalgia dell'avvenire in this context, a backwards look to the future.

Willie Frazer's former involvement in the Ulster Independence Movement, a group whose Ulster Patriot journal frequently featured the thoughts of Romanian fascist leader Codreanu (a favourite of former National Front organiser and UIM big cheese David Kerr), hints at past associations with a group that was at least tolerant of fascism and, whilst it is rather guilt by association, Frazer's prominent role in proceedings suggests that at least the Ulster People's Forum would not immediately recoil at the ideology. A case can be made for the UIM as a fascist movement in the manner of the Nick Griffin wing of the National Front and the International Third Position but I'll not go down that avenue here and now as it is not strictly relevant.

So far the protests have gone through two stages. The first was as a response to a leafleting campaign by the DUP aimed at whipping up opposition to the Alliance as part of their wider attempts to regain control of their bulwark East Belfast seat from that party for Peter Robinson. In this stage it was an old case of an arch conservative establishment figure trying to use latent extreme right sentiments to further their own ends. From Franz von Papen's disastrous attempts to use the Nazi Party to further his own career all the way down to David Cameron mobilising anti-European xenophobia in an attempt to extricate himself from an uncomfortable coalition that is as old as the hills. Somewhere along the line however the DUP lost control of the protests and they entered a new phase, one of bitter resentment, ethnic nationalism and populist right wing politics in which the initial stated aim of returning a piece of cloth to a building has been confused with the introduction of vague demands for social reform and explicit attacks on the minority community, effectively giving birth to an extreme right, but ideologically weak, protest movement whose demands seem increasingly diffuse and uncertain. Conspiracy theories abound with "big lie" propaganda helping to fuel bigotry by arguing that Catholics get all the good things despite the figures still showing unemployment as higher among the Catholic community than the Protestant community. When proletarian resentment, driven by the decline of the heavy industries that the Protestant working classes traditionally dominated, gets turned on an internal out group rather than the system itself we are clearly in right-wing extremism territory.

Politically they have been so far characterised by an immaturity that is perhaps inevitable given that of the leaders only Frazer has any political background and even that has been very much on the fringes. One need only look at the bizarre events of last week when Jamie Bryson announced that the Ulster People's Forum had severed their ties with Frazer only for them to announce a united front later that same day. Had there been the slightest bit of political maturity Fraser and Bryson would surely have conducted their tiff in private. On a wider level however the absence of this maturity has left them without any real ideology. In some ways many of their followers are comparable to the impoverished people who followed the Chartists in the nineteenth century, feeling that in their own mind there was an agenda for social reform even when the stated aims were clearly solely related to the organisation of government. The flag protest and Ulster People's Forum are as yet not a fascist movement as they haven't reached that stage yet and are still stuck in the wider extreme right mode of resentment and bitterness. It's highly possible that they might never exit that mode and indeed their overall basis is weak and conditional for, were there to be a capitulation and the flag was returned tomorrow, it seems likely that Fraser and Bryson would disappear into the background and the general loyalist population would return to their default position of blindly following the major unionist parties. Equally attempts by the Progressive Unionist Party to cash in on the protests by publicly taking a much more hard-line stance than usual seem unlikely to work as Bryson has shown no desire to become a member and Fraser has old associations with the UVF's bitter enemies in the LVF.

If Bryson and Fraser decide to go the whole hog and build a new mass loyalist party from what they have now Northern Ireland might well find itself with its first indigenous truly fascist movement a good 90 or so years after everywhere else but we aren't there yet (and even if we end up there, there are no guarantees it would excite any interest). Instead we have an extreme right protest movement full of people who are very angry about a lot of things, aren't sure just who to blame and so turn their anger on the people in their midst whom they define as being different to them. Not so much a local version of the Fasci Italiani di Combattimento as a local version of the English Defence League then.
keresaspa: (Cartman)
Well I don't often write on here at any length any more but thanks to the timely intervention of [livejournal.com profile] bombardiette I am about to. Finally a meme that has allowed, nay forced, me to think deeply and even allowed me the opportunity to get all ideological on your arses. Corking stuff. So anyway -

The rules: "Comment to this post and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself."

The seven topics I have been given are as follows:

1. The Irish Diaspora
2. America
3. The Catholic Church
4. The EU
5. Literature
6. War
7. Look at the city from an outsider's perspective. What do you see?

Very long-winded and pretentious waffle herein )

That's one from the golden days of livejournal when people used this as a forum for extended free form essays before Twitter and Facebook killed off brain cells and reduced communication to a couple of half-formed sentences. Well, I certainly enjoyed doing it even if you didn't enjoy reading a little of it before thinking "sod this" and playing Angry Birds instead. O tempora o mores!
keresaspa: (Communism)
I never do the writer's block things that livejournal has as I prefer to approach this old rubbish with a free hand rather than being driven by some general question to which you are expected to provide an answer. Today is to be no exception although the question they are asking ("Who do you think would make a great U.S. president?") is one I intend to examine in passing anyway. And yes, I'm aware that it would have been easier to just use the bloody writer's block button but I'm anal that way :D

If the 1948 election had been won by Norman Thomas instead of Harry S. Truman the Cold War would have ended before it began, peace and prosperity would have ruled the planet and we would now by holding hands and singing all day in the blissful joy of one world built on fraternity and the end of all need, rather than collapsing under the crippling poison of a wholly amoral society that places the worthless concept of credit many rungs above humanity. As a result nobody would make a great US President now as the system is far too flawed for anybody to do anything other than muddle through. The roots of America's, and by extension the world's, problems show no sign of being tackled as whoever wins they will still be wedded to maintaining the iniquitous capitalist system and in following a foreign policy based on the concept of being a self-appointed world police force who can butt in were they like and force sanctions on already impoverished countries for doing a lot less than America does. In circumstances like those greatness is impossible.

As to the question of whether or not any of the current rabble getting primed for next year will make a great President the answer is obviously no given what I have just said. Given that it is a two party system and he at least made some very minor concessions to the rampant poverty in his country with little bits of welfare (or communism according to the repulsive Tea Party movement) and finally delivered one of his promises in withdrawing from Iraq and leaving it safe for demawkracy and daily suicide bombings I have to hope that Barack Obama retains his seat in 2012. In the unlikely event that he loses my levels of endurance amongst the Republicans would be Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and, God forbid, Newt Gingrich, a man whom I firmly believe would make George W. Bush seem like Julius Nyerere. Indeed were Gingrich to be elected I might have to revise my opinion of the allegorical nature of the Book of Revelation and assume that the 1000 year reign of the Antichrist had actually arrived. Ideally it wouldn't matter to me who wins but I live in the occupied six counties so I am a subject of the British Empire and as such whoever wins will effectively be my President too given that the British government has effectively been an arm of the Presidency since the Suez crisis.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to daydream about loping through the crocus fields in the sense of pure bliss that only comes from knowing all the world's problems are over thanks to dear Uncle Norman.
keresaspa: (Nana Mouskouri)
There seems to be a lot of hoo-ha about some billionaire dying today. Stan Works or something like that. Given that my use of Apple product extends no further than polishing off the odd pink lady I can't claim to have been hit particularly hard by his passing but to hear the reactions of some people you would think it was their dad that had just carked it rather than some geezer whose overpriced and frequently unnecessary bits of kit they shelled out on every few months. I have no specific beef with the guy so my sympathies to his family (in the unlikely event that they'll be seeking to console themselves in their grief by reading my nonsense) but really all the wailing, gnashing of teeth and depositing of nosegays of flowers and half-eaten Golden Deliciouses (or should that be Golden Delicioi) outside chain stores is a bit much.

And speaking of public displays of idiocy can there be anything more asinine to have come out of the already deplorable party conference season than the cat-based row between Theresa May and Kenneth Clarke? Anybody with half a brain knew from the word go that the story of a man being allowed to stay in Britain because of his cat was made-up Daily Mail claptrap and that a senior member of government repeated it just goes to show what a rabble of idiots the current ConDem junta really are. Mind you what Clarke gained from making a big deal out of it is an equal mystery, other than perhaps reminding people that he still exists. Far be it from me to tell our leaders and betters how to do their jobs but is this not the sort of thing that the leader of the opposition should be all over rather than a member of the government? Still I suppose that would assume that Ed Miliband was of any more use than the cretins making up the government and so far he has demonstrated precisely nothing to make me believe that. As for Theresa May, well let's be honest hotties are usually a bit on the thick side!

And speaking of malevolent right-wing women to whom you probably wouldn't say no I see we finally have some good news coming from across the pond after Sarah Palin declared herself out of the next election. The thought of Palin as President is too just too scary to contemplate, especially seeing as Barack Obama would surely have lost against her, given that he is clearly a communist, a Muslim and the sort of man who would happily crap on an eagle before cleaning his tush with Old Glory. Although the precise amount could never be determined conclusively I'm sure there is a limit to the number of nuclear bombs the earth could take before crumbling into so much space dust. I am also sure that the fragrant Ms Palin would have thrown that amount and more at North Korea, Syria and France within days of being sworn in so I'm glad to say the least that it's a no-no from her. Mind you she might just be preparing for a return to her original home in the Alaskan Independence Party in which case we can anticipate UDI from the frozen north and the emergence of a new rogue state. I'll stop now in case she's reading (well, you never know) and gets ideas.

Feel wiki

Sep. 9th, 2011 07:12 pm
keresaspa: (Signor Rossi)
For all its faults I do love Wikipedia and believe that the idea of people collaborating on a grand resource of knowledge available for all is a fine one. However every once in a while something happens on that august website that makes you put your head in your hands and say "this is why so many people consider Wikipedia a complete joke". The latest instalment - credence being given to somebody trying to say that the article about Paula Wilcox should be deleted. Yes the same Paula Wilcox who from The Lovers to Man About the House to The Smoking Room and beyond has been a fixture of British television for nigh on forty years. That such a ridiculous proposal is even being considered rather than rejected immediately with the offending nominator severely kicked up the backside is simply playing into the hands of those who mock Wikipedia. Shameful scenes!

And finally a tip in the hat of the direction of Ms Caroline Lucas for her recent speech against the God-awful response of this horrendous government to the recent naughtiness. As long term readers will be aware I generally have no truck with environmentalists and their woolly ideas but the Honourable Member for Brighton Pavilion deserves credit for taking a stand against these scum and it is to the shame of that gormless twerp Ed Miliband in particular and the Labour Party in general that it is left to one person to be the only opposition to these filth. I see Cameron's latest wheeze in the junta's war on the poor is to take benefits from the parents of truant children. The mind boggles. I'll never understand monetarists - how can somebody who is apparently a human being be that much on the side of evil and so wholly and completely devoid of compassion? How long before Cameron and his Secret Society of Super Villains otherwise known as the Cabinet declare that poverty will carry a minimum six month sentence? Get these bastards out!
keresaspa: (Are you buying me drink?)
I'm finding it difficult to care about this whole enquiry that's going on today. On the one hand you have Rupert Murdoch and his smug git of a son, a pair so odious and so steeped in nepotism that they make Shane McMahon's European title reign seem deserved, whilst on the other you have the self-same elected drones that have plunged Britain into the mire and who a short while ago were dipping their sticky fingers into the till to swipe money for gold taps and duck islands. At the risk of overdoing the wrestling metaphors it is difficult to care when it is heel against heel as we have here. Equally it is all made even harder by the fact that many of those whose phones were tapped were the very z-list celebrities who happily tipped off Murdoch's mob when they were getting their baps out in the Caribbean and wanted in the papers or the politicians who kissed the backsides of the rags in a desperate attempt to get their approval before elections. Let's face it, we've had three Prime Ministers in a row who kowtowed before the altar of The Sun so to see them trying to take the moral high ground is laughable. Murdoch owns the political establishment in Britain to such an extent that a pie in the mush is the worst he's ever going to get and it also captures the farcical nature of the whole exercise neatly. In good old Blighty there is no comeuppance for the rich and a supposed grilling by a buch of stuttering time-servers, all of whom seemed enthralled to be in the presence of this real-life Mr. Burns, will not change that one iota.
keresaspa: (Default)
Storm in a teacup time again it seems after a slightly goofy woman who happens to be married to the Speaker of the House of Commons decided to try to come across all Jackie Collins in the Evening Standard. The great, the good and Ann Widdecombe have been lining up to get frightfully cross about the whole thing but really it all does seem like a lot of fluffy-headed nonsense designed to distract from the real mess that is being made of things. After all, if posing in a bedsheet is the worst thing a politician's wife does this year then we'll all be in for a good one as it makes a change from the Queen's coin claiming for work you don't do. Interesting to note that a "senior Conservative backbencher" (who apparently doesn't have the cojones to reveal themselves) has compared the gruesome twosome to the Marcos family. Now I must admit I don't know either of their MOs very well but I'm pretty sure Sally Bercow has yet to blow hundreds of millions of public money on buildings in Manhattan and paintings by Botticelli whilst I don't believe our noble speaker has as yet ruled as a dictator, assassinated political opponents and presided over a team of savages named after watches. I'm certainly no fan of this overpaid moron and his feckless wife but flashing a bit of leg cannot be compared to trying to impose a Suharto-style regime through the use of a decade of martial law! Anybody would think it was the middle of summer with nonsense like this going on.
keresaspa: (Idi Amin)
Imagine a day without once having to hear that bloody meaningless word "progressive" being bandied about by slap-headed sell-out Vince Cable or some other oily LibDumb trying to justify this horrendous government that they're propping up. Wouldn't it just be heaven? I wonder is that progressive as in "progressive illness" or as in "similar to the Danish or Norwegian Progress Party"? To think these rabbles that make up this Frankenstein junta used to have a go at Blair for soundbite politics and they are now doing the exact same thing. Still I suppose it makes sense as all comedians need a catch phrase and there are fewer bigger clowns around than Cable.

O Gymru

Nov. 19th, 2010 07:27 pm
keresaspa: (Fidel Castro)
So Dafydd Wigley is to sit in the House of Lords. Disgrace! What became of the glory days of Iolo Morganwg, the Merthyr Rising, Y Gweriniaethwyr, Mudiad Amddiffyn Cymru, Meibion Glyndŵr and the protest sounds of Meic Stevens and Eleri Llwyd? Is this how far Plaid Cymru have been domesticated, to furnish the occupier with their own version of Gerry Fitt? A black day for Wales.

Still, all in all what a shower of shite they have admitted to the sainted home of cobwebs and coffin dodgers. Reg Empey, whose twin achievements were his membership of Northern Ireland's very own version of the Iron Guard the Ulster Vanguard and his abject failure to justify the continuing existence of the Ulster Unionist Party, that pompous twerp Julian Fellowes, the so-called saviour of ITV Michael Grade (I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here still going strong, thanks Mick), pointless little shit TV's Oona King and Israel apologist Monroe Palmer. I'm assuming that the David Gold is not the West Ham-owning cockerney porn baron of the same name but, to be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if it was him. Given that his equally hateful lookalike Alan Sugar is already there I'm sure he would more than fit in. More jobs for the boys (and girls) and more rewards for the privileged.

Now if you'll excuse me I must run as a crippling stomach bug has felled me these last 48 hours and it shows no signs of letting up despite three different kinds of medicine having been imbibed. Ouch and pongo.
keresaspa: (Communism)


Nick Clegg hang your head in shame for putting this shower of monetarist bastards in.
keresaspa: (Rubberduckzilla)
My first thought upon seeing the Portuguese take the field for their game against North Korea was "they can't be that great if a loser like Pedro Mendes gets to start". I stand by that observation despite what unfolded. The fact that the Koreans had two Pak Nam-Chols seemed to amuse the commentator immeasurably, a strange state of affairs from an Englishman given that they had two men named Gary Stevens in their 1986 squad. Talk about pot, kettle and black. The Portuguese goal was inevitable, even though North Korea had more or less matched them to that point, whilst it's fair to say that Portugal are the most vain team as they are the only ones so far to cover their faces rather than their nuts in a defensive wall. However their second goal was a well constructed effort taken well by Simao and then after that the poor old Koreans fell apart. The gulf in class was huge here, which is hardly surprising when you have one team featuring guys from Chelsea and Real Madrid and the other featuring guys from Amrokgang and April 25th. I soon got pig sick of that love heart celebration that the Portuguese kept using but in truth there was little love on show here as this was cruel to watch at times. My earlier suggestion that a 32 team World Cup was a bit into overkill territory was borne out here as, plucky as they were in their first game, North Korea really didn't belong amongst supposedly the best teams in the world. As for Portugal it is really hard to judge how good they might be as this was little more than a training match in the second half.

Better to come, I had to hope, from Chile-Switzerland and in the end I was not disappointed. One of my favourite memories of the 1998 World Cup was the legendary Ivan Zamorano belting out the Chilean national anthem and I was hoping for a repeat here. What a shame then that when it came to the best bit at the end the daft organisers had already started playing the turgid Swiss anthem over it. Still, nice to Gonzalo Jara getting an appearance and this must surely be the first World Cup ever to see Albion players appearing two days in a row. From the start this match had a goodies vs. baddies vibe as the attacking, expansive Chileans came up against bloody-minded, defensive Swiss and it all proved a bit much for Guy Mowbray and Mark Bright who ended up talking over each other as much as the Spice Girls did at their peak. Behrami's red card was one of the few correct decisions that the mentalist referee made all day as, whilst admittedly the guy who got whacked made a lot of it, the Hammer was dropping them 'bows like Dusty Rhodes. The offside decision for Chile's "opener" was a pity but I suppose three guys can't be inactive. Ultimately when the goal came it was a blessed relief as the negativity of Switzerland deserved punishment but, were it not for the selfishness of Gonzalez and Paredes, it could have been a lot more comfortable. Another of my great football memories was the goal substitute Lars Ricken scored for Borussia Dortmund against Juventus in the 1997 European Cup final and it is just a shame that a great Ottmar Hitzfeld side like that must now be mentioned in the same breath is this horrible Switzerland team. They are certainly organised and have two grand players in Diego Benaglio (possibly keeper of the tournament so far) and Stéphane Grichting (a colossus in defence) but their two lines of four defending constantly make them as dull and at times downright repugnant as Swiss politics. You get one every tournament unfortunately now but I really hope that this Swiss side are not the ones to go far by playing like total gits. Still, despite all that and the total insanity of referee Mr. Khalil Al Ghamdi I absolutely loved this game as I really got behind Chile in their good against evil battle. Blood and thunder all the way and the right team won - more of the same please!

The Spain-Honduras game that wrapped things up was a queer one and no mistake. Like Portugal-North Korea this was clearly a great team taking on one that by rights had no business being in a World Cup but, unlike that earlier game, the great team seemed decidedly hesitant in front of goal. We all know what Fernando Torres is capable of so why has he looked so pedestrian here? Perhaps he is still injured, in which case the wisdom of the decision to pick him is questionable. There again, maybe he is just a reincarnation of Samson and that haircut has finished him off. I would also question del Bosque's decision not to call up Senna, who did an absolutely brilliant job in the Didier Deschamps role at Euro 2008 as the Spanish midfield is full of prettiness but seriously lacking in somebody who can do the ugly as well. Still, in del Bosque's defence you certainly can't fault his decision to make the awesome David Villa the focus of his attack nor to grow that mighty moustache. It seems to be received wisdom that Spain will definitely go through but I am not so sure as I fancy Chile might nick a draw off them and I really can't see any result other than 1-0 to Switzerland in the other game. It would be a shame as there is clearly a lot more to come from this Spain side but they could yet be one the big beast shocks.

Finally a fond farewell to Frank Sidebottom. There were certainly few sights more compelling than watching a man with a papier mache head flying through a wall whilst on roller-skates of a Saturday morning.



Ta-ta Frank - like Christmas you were really fantastic.
keresaspa: (Draupadi pointing and laughing)
So it seems we have the last of those leaders' debates tonight. Thank God for that as they have been a horrendous innovation. On the one hand they have been the final death knell for the already terminal notion of primus inter pares and a final acceptance that Americanisation has triumphed again with the office of Prime Minister now afforded the status of President. On the other hand I fail to see exactly what they prove about the ability to govern or otherwise of the participants. The fact that one smug, upper-class tossbag is slightly better at arguing than two other smug, upper-class tossbags is no proof that he will be a roaring success as there has never been any doubt about the ability of politicians to produce hot air. Added to that is the fact that they have legitimised the artificial construct that is the three party system by suggesting that these are the only possible choices and everything else is irrelevant. The media has long been complicit in keeping other parties away from the trough or even in helping to ensure admittance for their favourites (look at all that expenses guff from the Daily Telegraph to ensure the UK Independence Party won votes) but this has been the ultimate stamp of approval for the bland, middle-class rabble and the SNP are more than right to be aggrieved at this conspiracy. Still, one more to go and one last opportunity for some lone maniac to do us all a favour and wipe the three wise men of Gotham from the face of the earth. Some hope!

I want YOU

Oct. 14th, 2009 06:21 pm
keresaspa: (Nina looking a tad pertubed)
I notice that the World Cup has thrown up a bit of fun with North Korea qualifying for the next instalment for the first time since they were quarter finalists in 1966. And If ever there was anybody who I would have put money on getting involved in this sudden change it would have to be Sven. After all this is the man who happily works for a board at Notts County that he has never even met and who once took his shilling from a bloodthirsty dictator. And lest we forget he also worked for Thaksin Shinawatra as well as David Davies! Of course in the long run it probably wont happen and some serial World Cup botherer like Bora Milutinovic or Carlos Alberto Parreira will instead oversee the inevitable first round maulings at the hands of Germany and the Ivory Coast as well as the shock draw with Mexico but it would be interesting to see old Sven do it, if only to get his take on the obligatory bouffant. Cripes first those traffic wardens of entries passim (a timely reminder for those who missed it/my own amusement) drew Bill Clinton there now they're working their magic on Sven! If David Letterman, Michael Aspel or any other unlikely and somewhat wrinkled lothario disappears any time soon I think we will all know where to look for them.

And speaking of oddball combinations of dodgy characters with unsuitable jobs I really hope that this is a joke. Poor old New Orleans has suffered more than enough recently so does it really deserve to be lumbered with Apollo Creed as mayor?! He may have gained himself some credit for his nice line in self-deprecation in Arrested Development but that doesn't suddenly make him mayoral material. What next, Dolph Lundgren and Mr. T to enter the race and make it a true grudge match? The mind boggles.
keresaspa: (Only Me!)
That nice Nigel Farage really seems determined to force his misshapen head into the news right now, doesn't he? Yesterday's news really captures the measure of the man - he is to run against the speaker, ostensibly because Bercow "represents the worst". Now, God knows I'm no fan of the good Mr Bercow but let's not try to dress something up as public service when it is motivated purely by self-interest, Nigel. You have tried proper general elections before and on each occasion you have taken a bath so you are targeting Bercow's seat purely because you'll be the only other candidate that anybody has heard of and you might finally have a chance. Bullshitting about your reasons will fool no one. Still he's in good company I suppose as in 1970 Horace King had to face the National Democratic Party in Southampton Itchen in the same circumstances. Given that the National Democratic Party were an off-shoot of those lovely people in the Racial Preservation Society and differed only from the National Front in that individual members did not like each other it seems fit that Farage is following in their footsteps. That and the fact that Piers Merchant was a member - don't let anybody tell you UKIP have no racist problem. Funnily enough Betty "she was a Tiller girl, you know" Boothroyd also faced the National Democrats in the same circumstances in 1992, although that was Ian "not the one in Jethro Tull" Anderson's mob, in fact Steve Edwards, later of the BNP and more recently the unlamented Freedom Party. Nice to see those grand schemes of a British Front National turned out so well, Stevie lad. All in all as much Nigel's kind of people as old women who spent their time roasting crisp packets were Michael Barrymore's. Still it seems he didn't get enough attention from all of this and so he is now taking his toys and going home. Does diddums need a hug? Busy little boy all round is Nige but they do say these things always come in threes. So I wait with baited breath for the third story to break tomorrow - I wonder what the odds are on it being him coming out of the closet?! Well if that tank driving stunt wasn't a massive clue then I don't know what is!

Meanwhile, and speaking of posturing right-wing barmpots who you suspect are a bit that way, it seems Nick Griffin is on his non-whites in the BNP hobby horse again. We had this suggestion before, of course, when the Vlaams Blok were effectively banned only to return a few days later as the Vlaams Belang with the exact same membership and policies. It annoyed the hell out of John Tyndall (always a good thing) and sent a number of his followers scurrying to the hugely successful Nationalist Alliance and British Peoples Party where they had the much more sensible leadership of Eddy Morrison. In the long term it probably will happen but I doubt that any self-respecting non-white would want to join and any that did would no doubt be met with a slew of racial abuse and violence from the knuckle draggers that make up the BNP membership, the like of which Lawrence Rustem has long since gotten used to. Besides they've already had their first black member and the fragrant Ms. Ebanks was kicked out on the slightly odd charge of anti-Semitism, which is rather like being excluded from New Labour for being self-satisfied. So all in all happen it probably will but, apart from a few die-hards nicking off to form three men and a dog parties that sink without trace, it will have no effect and the BNP will continue as ever.

Still, just to show that there are still a few people of principle in politics, a tip of the hat to Domhnall O Cobhthaigh for putting ideology ahead of position by ditching Sinn Fein for the Socialist Party. The Sinners might nominally continue to pay lip-service to socialism but they have long since abandoned anything practical that way and have instead happily bought into the spending cuts, rates rises and water charges guff that has defined the slap-dash economic policy of this arch-conservative Assembly. A pity O Cobhthaigh's gesture will have no impact and republican idiots will continue to slavishly vote Sinn Fein despite their Janus-faced failure but credit to the man for putting his arse on the line. A pity there weren't more who realised that James Connolly was more than somebody to name buildings after.

But anyway, that's about all I have to say for now (more than enough, you windbag) so I'll get out of your collective hair for a while. Cheery-bye!
keresaspa: (Salma Hayek)
Isn't it heartening to see that our future cabinet ministers are as divorced from reality as our current ones? At a time when we are constantly being fed a daily dose of economic gloom and misery there can be few things worse than hearing TV's Alan Duncan moaning about being underpaid. It need hardly impact upon you, Alan dear, as, after all, you get all that money from your oil trading, TV appearances and mortgage switcheroos. If Alan really considers that he is being treated like "shit" and living on "rations" then I despair of this cosseted little turd. Duncan is on record as wanting to murder Miss California, although in fairness she deserves little sympathy. Whilst I would not wish Duncan murdered for his comments he at least deserves the multitude of wounds from flesh devouring birds that the Apocalypse of Peter promises. Overall the whole thing demonstrates just how six of one and half a dozen of the other British politics is and how little things will change next year when this shower of merchant bankers and hedge fund speculators gets elected. Apologise all you want Al but your true colours, and those of your party, are exposed once again. What a country!

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