85 thoughts on “Spring”

  1. A time for reserve and quiet.

    We shall not be stirred by certain elements of the press.

    Time to enjoy the daffodils and cheery sunshine today:

    ~ makes you feel good

  2. I only read real newspapers, so i have no idea what the fuss is about anyway. I am assuming someone (who probably lives in a glass house) is throwing stones. This person will probably try and justify it by saying “the public has the right to know” and “i’m just doing my job”. To the former comment, i ask where this “right” comes from…i’ve checked the Human Rights Act, and all i’ve managed to find was a Right to Privacy.

    As to the second comment, well…i believe the same defence was used by the guards at the nazi concentration camps. Except that i can’t say that, apparently – it’s considered offensive by second-rate reporters.

    Boris-Bashing Balderdash By Boring Balding Brats.

    What REALLY bugs me is that we have a government that has done more harm to this country and its inhabitants than ANY government in British history…and yet the press hound one of the few honest MPs in the country. Who owns the paper in question, and what is their political affiliation, AND, most importantly, why are they so afraid of Boris they have to attack him?

    Ah, sunny spring!

    May the sweet smell and warming rays of a beautiful spring day fill the lives of all who see the truth…and may the guttersnipes of the second rate press be drenched and frozen.

    ;o)

  3. Michael, the lines which were brought to my mind were
    “A poet could not be but gay
    In such a jocund company”.
    Rather a radical counter to the current accusations, and not without its own potential for problems.

  4. “Who owns the paper in question, and what is their political affiliation, AND, most importantly, why are they so afraid of Boris they have to attack him?”

    Isn’t it a Murdoch-owned paper? Same guy who part-owns Sky News, and who Blair cosies up with. The owner of Fox News (and all that that implies).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch

    I’d post a pic of my daffs but I don’t know how to do it here.

  5. How many MPs have the guts to run a blog with a (pretty much) unmoderated comment facility?

  6. The jonquil or the daffodil
    Works better than a headache pill.
    All Winter long I’ve suffered SAD.
    But now Spring’s sprung; it’s half so bad.
    Let’s hope the jonquil hirsute chappy,
    Can keep his nearest; dearest, happy.

  7. So what if Boris is “good at his job” (as if this excuses him from poking his Johnson into any woman younger and/or more atrractive than his wife). The same nonsense was said about Robin Cook. Could not the same have been said of the serial killer Fred West. He may have murdered umpteen young women but he was a bloody good builder, always stuck to a quote and always cleared up afterwards. If a politician will lie to his wife, why would he think twice about lying to the rest of us?

  8. Wageslave

    I take your point but believe me when I say that I would pop off immediately and would not spend another minute working for my boss if he were all that you portray.

    I am not sure if it is all as bad as you imagine. There is a lot more depth if you scratch beneath the surface and you have no idea of his family’s devotion and close knit understanding.

    After all this is a gutter press story and there is a lot of conjecture. We cannot take this at face value – yes even with a couple of photos -and if you look beneath the surface you see that there are people like praying mantis in wait trying to topple and bring down the brightest and the best – it would not be right to succumb to their pressures. We have to be on the offensive and steer away from their level of reportage – and raise our sights.

    I believe that very strongly: there is more to life than the latest news flashes—- boo to them

    Time to go and smell the roses and count the daisies

  9. If Melissa says “there is a lot of conjecture” then that’s good enough for me. Anyway, we can all be impressed by other people, and even spend time with them, without having any agenda.

    Boris is in the position of having the press interpret his every smile. Imagine if we all had the same?

    ‘NET SURFERS OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE HELL. The MoS can today reveal the drug-like addiction created by the web site of an MP. (see also Suzanne Moores comment p40 and ‘Obsessive-Compulsive? We Have the Right Mac for You’ – You magazine)’

    So how about some really bad poetry Melissa? This is dire so I’ll leave it up to you to edit:

    Pleasant Company

    Have you ever sought to make someone laugh
    and only set their jaw?
    Have you ever wanted to impress
    then heard people guffaw?
    Have you bimbled onwards in your life
    then seen the brightest smile?
    And noticed that it shone on you,
    yes YOU, if only for a while?
    Have you seen the brightest talent, wit,
    you don’t expect to stay?
    And felt like ‘Oliver’ with food
    you don’t have every day?
    Are your meals all silver service?
    Do you dine on caviar?
    If someone offered you a beer and chips
    would you anwer ‘ok, yah!’
    Do we all have what we fancy?
    Or like the sun and sea and flowers,
    we do not need to touch, just look,
    to while away the hours.

    thankyou, I’ll be here till thursday, try the veal.

  10. Jaq, the veal was lovely; thank you.

    idlex rules! I got 18 on my best one. fiddlesticks, just try again later and I’m sure you’ll have better luck.

    Should Boris ever become the leader of the Tory party I suggest idlex as the power behind the throne (this is the James Carville/Karl Rove position, not the Hillary/Laura position) and Mac for Poet Laureate, with jaq as heir and areopagitican apparent.

  11. I sure hope not; I linked a month ago!

    Here’s another link. I fergit who I was getting it for, but the Candy Baron has Licorice Pipes available to order. Kind of expensive, if you ask me, but there’s no reasoning with addicts.

  12. Wageslave…

    Errrrr. The point about Fred West was that he went around KILLING people.

    To the best of my knowledge neither Robin Cook nor Boris have done such a thing. Or shown any intention of so doing.

  13. Great poetic talent? (God help the rest) You are so polite Melissa – my favourite is still that immortal poem: PH is like a bacon sandwich.

    raincoaster – “areopagitican apparent”? Ooh I like that, was dat den? Is that making war on something? (assume deep deep voice) I am the god of….wossname

    Ahh spring is sprung and the grass is grizz, I wonder where the lawnmower is?

  14. fiddlesticks, just try again later and I’m sure you’ll have better luck. (raincoaster)

    I only got one dart on my first try, clicking the mouse on them as they flew around, but after a while I got up to 10 or 12. The 28 was a one-off that astonished me, and which I will never improve on. And does Boris really grunt like that?

    I suggest idlex as the power behind the throne (this is the James Carville/Karl Rove position, not the Hillary/Laura position)

    I’m not sure that I would be at all suitable for such a role. I am interested in politics (and indeed in everything) in rather too abstract ways. I am one of life’s daydreamers, rather than one of life’s movers and shakers.

    Heck, I’ve never even been on a demonstration!

  15. Yes. Fred West went around killing people. But killing people (like eating people) is wrong. As is cheating on your wife. Or setting fire to hedgehogs. Or conspiring to beat up journalists – or whatever else it was that Boris admitted to once having done. My point was only “so what if he’s good at his job?” I just don’t get it.

    If a chap will cheat on (and presumably lie to) his wife do we want him in politics? There are other careers a chap can pursue after all.

  16. jaq.
    Areopagic: from Areopagus
    earliest aristocratic council of ancient Athens. Membership continued for life .
    Back to the House of Lords

    The name was taken from the Areopagus (“Ares’ Hill”), a low hill northwest of the Acropolis, which was its meeting place. Simple really , let your fingers do the walking

  17. wageslave

    Where does wrong become sufficiently small so that I am able to carry on being an MP, if I were one to start with? Unwarranted grumpiness towards one’s fellow human beings? Teasing the cat with an unopened tin of cattomeat thus upsetting both the cat and Joe? Giving the cat broccoli?

    Whilst cheating on your wife is rather worse than this murdering people is rather worse than cheating on your wife

  18. Julius Caesar did it all the time. Did that make him untrustworthy for high office? Or is that why Cassius and Brutus stabbed him to death?

    “Die, adulterer, die!”

    Stab, stab, stab.

  19. Good for Mr Cameron.

    Maybe one day we will have a proper leader in the country who doesn’t pander to every whim of an overgrown Soho shit-factory.

  20. idlex – my mum came up with that one; any adulterer is automatically a liar and therefore unfit for office, but I’m not so sure. I think a fanatic more dangerous, however faithful he/she is. I think Jack Ramsey has a point (see, patting dolls head now) Anyway, after his latest column my mum now thinks PH the best thing since sliced bread which historically forces me to avoid him like the plague. (I’m sure his blog will be pleased) Which is a shame as I rather liked him and suppose I’ll have to stop giving him a hard time now. Tuh, Mummy!!!

    Mac – thanks for enlightenment. Let my fingers do the walking? Mmn, I couldn’t possibly comment. But my dictionary hasn’t got it so had to ask. And yes, as y’all know, I’m all for the old House of Lords. Mek ’em work is what I say; whip tshhhh

  21. There’s also a little bit of confusion it seems about what Boris could be sacked from. He could be removed as a shadow minister, but not easily from being MP. That’s for the residents of Henley to decide, not Cameron or anyone else. And so the question comes down not to “is he suitable to hold public office” but to “is he a suitable Shadow Higher Education minister”. Cameron obviously thinks that adultery and higher education are relatively unrelated and so do I, and as such has decided not to sack him. Good thing too in my opinion!

  22. This resident of Henley fully supports Boris, who has personally demonstrated his worth as a MP.

    His private life (real, imagined, or just plain lied about) has absolutely nothing to do with his worth as a thoroughly remarkable constituency MP.

    Come the revolution, i’ll do my best to ensure he is the OTHER side of the wall!

    I can offer no more than this!

    ;o)

  23. idlex, I think that you’ve amply demonstrated, by way of this completely meaningless and unsymbolic game, your ability to control politicians. Don’t sell yourself short; it’s a marketable skill.

    jaq, I was referring to Milton’s Areopagitica. From the footnotes of the Norton Anthology of English Literature because why should I put it in my own words when nobody’s paying me, eh?

    The title means “things to be said before the Areopagus.” The Areopagus was an ancient, powerful, and much-respected tribunal in Athens…Milton’s title implies a comparison between the Areopagus and the English Parliament.

    So really, I was just making a cheap pun on “heir” and saying if Mac croaks, you’re next in line for Poet Laureatation.

  24. And there was me thinking Areopagus was a delicious vegetable in season shortly.

    You live and learn.

    Well, you live.

    For a bit.

    Areopagus makes it all bearable. Delicious with a bit of melted butter and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

    ;o)

    Psi

  25. Maybe Melissa can find us a picture of one?

    I hear it grows only on the upper surfaces of the clouds over the House of Commons. But of course, there are NEVER any clouds over the House of Commons, are there?

  26. raincoaster :
    je ne suis pas une grenouille,
    ergot je ne coasse pas.
    Cwerainement pas aujourdhui.

  27. Is that Welsh? Quite impressive whatever it is.

    Aristophanes is Greek. Author of The Clouds, and a wicked political satirist with all the subtlety of Spitting Image. Time for a revival, I’m thinking.

  28. raincoaster – fascinating, I’d forgotton that Milton was more than sterilising fluid. Can you cherry pick a bit of Aristophanes? Or is there a law against that?

  29. It did have certain undertones of Welsh in it , I’d be the first to admit: ( it’s the daffodils), but then I am suffering a hoefully temporary visual disturbance at present.

  30. You’re looking at streetwalkers?

    Aristophanes is long out of copyright, so I’ll see what I can do.

    A man may learn wisdom even from a foe.

    High thoughts must have high language.

    You have all the characteristics of a popular politician: a horrible voice, bad breeding, and a vulgar manner.

    Under every stone lurks a politician.

  31. Melissa you have a favourable comparison has been drawn between your press handling skills and those of….

    STOP PICKING ON BORIS

    What a jewel! Melissa Crawshay-Williams, Boris’s parliamentary
    secretary, has been fending off the press since the News of the World
    caught him going off the record with a higher education journalist.
    And what a magnificent job she has done! Some of the visitors to
    Boris’s blog were unimpressed by his attempts to give the press an
    insight into his briefs. Melissa put them right. “Believe me when I
    say that I would pop off immediately and would not spend another
    minute working for my boss if he were all that you portray,” she
    wrote. “I am not sure if it is all as bad as you imagine. There is a
    lot more depth if you scratch beneath the surface and you have no
    idea of his family’s devotion and close-knit understanding. After all
    this is a gutter press story and there is a lot of conjecture. We
    cannot take this at face value – yes even with a couple of photos –
    and if you look beneath the surface you see that there are people
    like praying mantis in wait trying to topple and bring down the
    brightest and the best – it would not be right to succumb to their
    pressures. We have to be on the offensive and steer away from their
    level of reportage – and raise our sights … Time to go and smell
    the roses and count the daisies.” Melissa, you put it so beautifully.
    All the bite and condescension of Alastair at his finest, but with
    the loving touch of a good woman.

    Guardian’s Backbencher. I’m not sure whether you should be flattered or not.

  32. Another photo with the Areopagus in the foreground.

    And I’ve heard that Spitting Image is going to be revived. And also Rick Mayall’s Alan B’Stard MP, only this time as a Labour rather than a Tory MP.

  33. Here’s a link to that Guardian Backbencher piece.

    We seem to be as much in the news here as Boris these days. So I suppose nobody’s going to be reporting how Boris singlehandedly rescued a couple of Chinese schoolkids from the Yangtze river a day or two back.

  34. Raincoaster, really! Milton? Aristophanes? This is the web journal of a politician. Eton/Oxbridge educated. Please keep your comments to references to the Beano and the literature of Jackie Collins.

  35. Golly Lucifer

    I feel totally humbled and touched – even if The Guardian isn’t really my cup of tea! All I’m trying to do is to be a good and loyal servant.

    What else can anyone do?!

  36. (Julius Caesar did far worse things than adultery. In Spain, he had both hands cut off each adult male member of a rebellious tribe.)

  37. < Andrew Craig said:<
    < (Julius Caesar did far worse things than adultery. In Spain, he had both hands cut off each adult male member of a rebellious tribe.)<
    For goodness sake don’t give Bliar any ideas!

    Psi

  38. Please don’t call yourself a ‘servant’, Melissa. It makes me think of you in ragged clothes, tugging your forelock, curtsying, and muttering “Yes, sir. Of course, sir,” while staring forlornly at the floor.

    You’re paid (I hope) to do a job of work, and you do it very well. Your loyalty to Boris is beyond the call of duty, which makes your support for him all the more both creditable and credible.

  39. Agreed. Melissa does a very challenging job very well. But she should totally read the Guardian daily, then perform ten Sun Salutations facing wherever Noam Chomsky is on the planet that moment, just like everyone else.

    Right?

    Vicus: good point, but I dunno Beano (is he related to Mr. Bean?) and going through the archives you can find that Boris prefers Joan Collins to Jackie, even as an author. I must say, cutivating an appreciation for that kind of literature is not at all in my league.

  40. raincoaster

    Chomsky- nooo! Google the Chomsky bot for a giggle. Then Google the Burchill bot and despair.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beano

    Please see ‘Trivia’ in wiki entry. Dennis the Menace = Boris in Private-Eye. You will be sorry you asked by the time you’ve looked it all up.

    In my humble opinion Joan is the more exciting of the two.

  41. Thank you, O Master of Darkness. Suggesting I do anything whatsoever with Burchill is truly evil of you. Ickypoo.

    There used to be a marvelous feature at Bigtable.com which would take any text you fed into it and splice it with text from The Naked Lunch. Very useful for getting a fresh perspective on dry grant proposals, etc.

  42. True Idlex!

    Am not really feeling weighed down in servitude as in sackcloth and ashes mode – am feeling buoyed by all you wonderful commentators – dealing with the warfare has been a ball with y’all and you make it stimulating and fun.

    You are magic and I treasure you all

  43. Melissa – enough with the ‘servant’ stuff, however civil. My son has ‘played’ with my PC so if this msge works I’ll be impressed but I saw on the PH blog today (I’m soon to be putting an ad in Eye need for therapy) that this government is starting the same agency as the FBI but with different rules – ie the State wins every time. Roll up roll up, it’s the Brown and Bliar show; now you see liberty, now you don’t.

    Viccus, I’ve been doing my best but this news isn’t funny – we’re all going to be servants of the State soon. Can’t you give Boris a nudge Melissa and bring it to his attention? Someone should stand against this in Westminster

  44. Never mind the soon qualification Jaq: we are all , to a greater or lesser extent , servants to the State ,( perhaps slaves is a better noun for us),excepting for that favoured few, the scroungers , and of course , not forgetting the Government itself.

  45. Yes Mac, depressingly true: Bliar has turned us into ‘The Nanny State’ alright – we might as well have puts ads across the world saying ‘Getting tired of civil war? Fancy a change? This season why not come to Great Britain? You don’t need to bring anything but yourselves and all your relatives as EVERYTHING will be provided for you for the rest of your lives. Why not have some children? We’ll provide for them too and once there’s enough of you, you can be your own ethnic minority. You don’t even have to learn our language and once you are an ethnic minority you can even get the laws of the country changed to suit yourself so come on over, hitch a ride today! Great Britain – the Great dumping ground of Europe.

  46. jaq

    What I find puzzling is that people pass through places like Italy, Germany and France to come here. As noted elsewhere wrt. Margate it’s a bit dull, the weather is awful and so is the food. We have the most racist police force in the world – no other has been found guilty of institutional racism – and the indigenous locals are not sociable. Our island culture is not a patch on the vibrancy of others. Yet people make a beeline across artistic, colourful, fun, cool Europe just to snuggle up with we antisocial lepers. Why?

  47. Wasn’t it Thatcher who turned you into the Nanny state? She played the strict nanny, Blair plays the softie, but they both tell you that they’ll be doing the thinking here, you just take orders. It’s Good Nanny, Bad Nanny.

    This is the posh version of what poor people have, which is called Good Cop, Bad Cop, and tends to have more immediate effects.

  48. If you think I’d fall into that one Idlex , think again: we all know who the scroungers are: nor those unfortunate enough to be really unable to work, for whatever reason: it is the few ,but still too many , who will NOT work and YET increasingly make more demands, and even have those demands met, by a State , to which this minority has not and will not contribute, but which is prepared and willing to squeeze the diligent until the pips squeak,( I quote a former Labour Chancellor here).

  49. I wasn’t trying to trap you, Mac. I was just trying to get you to spell out what you meant. Which you did!

  50. And it is not, Jaq, as if we are inviting people to come to live in cold, wet England. They are coming of their own accord.

    What we might ask is: why are they coming? And the answer would appear to be that they are fleeing from one or other grim cicrcumstance. The people who try to flee from North Africa to Spain seem to be fleeing from drought. The people who are coming from elsewhere are frequently fleeing from war. And the people who are coming from Eastern Europe are coming as a result of the chaos into which the old Soviet bloc has subsided since it all came apart 15 years or so ago.

  51. As Jack says, if they are fleeing then why flee past perfectly fine countries to get to ours? I’ll tell you why, because the door is open and so is the wallet.

    raincoaster – Thatcher was pro-Europe but quickly saw the error of her ways and won a rebate which Bliar gave away!!! Unbelievable. The borders have NEVER been so open because the Customs service has never been so hamstrung or inneffective because of…..BLAIR. (can you tell I’m not a fan of his??)

  52. I just don’t understand it – we have a perfectly useful police force and Customs service, we have perfectly good laws in this country, then when Blair comes to power he ignores everything and passes new laws replacing perfectly good ones and trashes the police force and customs service and brings in some petty FBI type State police. He’s a George Bush wannabe isn’t he? trying to change a country that isn’t as big as Texas into little America. He’s SUCH a jerk. He’s such a dangerous jerk.

  53. We had a group of people, originally from India, apply for refugee status. But they’d actually been living in Germany for some time, gotten jobs, etc etc. Canada has a law that you have to apply from the country you’ve last been living in, and that was, in this case, Germany. Say what you will about the Germans, it’s been some time since anyone could make a legitimate claim of being a refugee from Germany. I don’t know whether we sent them to Germany or India, but we did indeed deny the refugee claim.

    I just don’t get it. You think Leeds is bad, relative to Goa or Amman or Marseilles or wherever. Have you ever spent a winter in Winnipeg? At the Hong Kong handover, quite a number of forward-thinking people bought (sight unseen) houses in Canada, often in Vancouver, but equally often in far less expensive places like Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Regina. You may consult your atlas and imagine what happened once winter set in; I can tell you that the very next summer, housing prices in Vancouver went up again as the new Prairie pioneers sold up and moved to Vancouver’s warmer climate.

  54. Loath as I am to praise foreigners like Yorshiremen I must say that Leeds has a fine town hall – too good for the likes of them!

  55. Latest in the downhill career to perdition of that would be well intentioned, but woefully wrong thinking, thoughtless shower of PC worshippers, which is our Government.

    People, newly made citizens of a European country ,( not the UK ),have decided that is is better to live here , ( as I presume they originally thought it would be better to live in Holland than in whichever country in Africa they originated from ), neither of the two totally separate people concerned, both complete witb offspring,have no intention of working for a living ,( not self confessed , but loudly heralded ), are being given council houses, in preference to natives of the borough,(or town), of Barnet, who have been patiently waiting in a queue for council houses over 18,000 strong.

    Even the fat controller himself has raised his voice in protest, as I, hardly daring to believe it, read in my yesterday’s morning rag.

    Rules for EU citizens state quite clearly that free transition across borders in the EU is guaranteed, and no permission to stay is necessary” IF THEY ARE WORKING, OR ARE WEALTHY ENOUGH TO LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES”. There is not, as far as I understand, the choice of cherry-picking the easiest touch.

    Maybe there might even be a break in the clouds , through which that ray of sunshine , John Prescott ,can illuminate the darkest corners of our overcrowded and sometimes silly laws.

  56. But why don’t they stop at France or Spain? (Jack R)

    But they do! They do!

    In case you haven’t noticed, France has been recently rocked by violence in largely immigrant populations with very high unemployment levels. It’s a considerable crisis.

    Spain also has a big problem with illegal immigrants from North Africa. They come in boats of every description, and many of them drown.

    To the best of my knowledge, none of them are temporarily in France and Spain en route to Britain.

    As best I understand it, this is a general problem across the whole of Europe, not just Britain. I remember reading last year about a boatload of illegal immigrants who arrived in Italy.

  57. Idlex

    So what was all that fuss about people illegally trying to get across the Channel?

    I have no figures (nor indeed a figure to talk about) but I believe that the vast majority of those in the Parisian outer estates are there by dint of colonial connections such as Algeria and have been for some time.

  58. And some of them drown? Not the best answer to immigration control methinks. It would be far better if ‘Europe’ got together (isn’t that what all this was for?) And closed ALL the borders so that Africa et al sorted their own problems out like we all had to do.

    Mac: “Maybe there might even be a break in the clouds , through which that ray of sunshine ,John Prescott ,can illuminate the darkest corners of our overcrowded and sometimes silly laws” – you can always be relied on to tell a joke.

  59. < Jaq said:<
    < It would be far better if ‘Europe’ got together (isn’t that what all this was for?) And closed ALL the borders so that Africa et al sorted their own problems out like we all had to do.<
    If only Europe hadn’t got together to CAUSE the problems in the first place…

    ;o)

    Psi

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