Author Archives: Backword

I didn’t get to hear the John Humphreys interview with the Prime Minister when it was broadcast on Friday. Happily, it’s archived on the Today site. The interview itself is available in Real Media format. BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson analyses in Real Media. Most newspapers commented on Saturday; the BBC summarised the interview as Defiant Blair rejects quit calls.

What do I think? Well, if you have a dog, lock it up before you play the interview. It might want to join in otherwise.

Have at it.

When I’m feeling cheap, which has happened a lot lately, I shop at Asda. (I know, I know, but they’re all bad in their own ways.) The most pleasant way there, not that there is a great deal of choice in routes, is down Clive Lane, which is marked on maps, though it’s really a back alley between Clive Street and the railway, and its few doors open to pocket gardens and garages. Maybe it justifies having a name because a handful of these appear to be commercial, not that they stretch to anything as dignified as name signs. A few weeks ago, I was walking down there and the way was blocked with vehicles. This doesn’t usually happen as it’s not neighbourly to bar egress to someone’s house. As I approached I realised that the main culprit was an ancient, almost antique car, which four people started to push out of the way. Once I got through, I found I’d strayed onto a film set centred round a lock up which could give a bad name to dilapidation. The car was heaved into a side street (not for my benefit; they’d clearly done with it), people stood behind cameras and lights, and others sat in folding chairs. The nearest one said something – he had an American accent and I recognised him. The last time I’d seen him was on a YouTube video where he sang Springtime for Hitler. I thought about mentioning this, but I realised that it was probably a lot more recent for me than for him. So I said nothing, looked about a bit and went on.
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The more I think about the John Reid story yesterday, the more angry I get. Yesterday, John Reid address an audience of specially-invited Muslims in Leytonstone. I wasn’t happy with this yesterday. After all, Charles Clarke had problems with Rachel North’s dad – though as the latter is an honorary Canon, which makes him a) what New Labour would call “a community leader” and b) very unlikely to be a murderous extremist. He was also c) a constituent, which made Clarke’s attempts to ignore unforgivable.

Now Reid had this to say:

Mr Reid was at the meeting to ask parents to search for signs that their children are being recruited by fanatics who will brainwash them and convince them to serve as suicide bombers.
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Late Friday trivial post. Good stuff on Chris Muir from the redoubtable Hilzoy of Obsidian Wings. You may not think much of cartoon pages of US newspapers, but however desperate they are for material, not one so far runs Day by Day (tagline: as funny as the title is original, a take-off of Doonesbury with far fewer characters, no intelligence to speak of, poor repetitive draughtsmanship, and homeless puppy’s eagerness to please aimed unashamedly at wingnut bloggers).
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Everyone is talking about this. Mike Power: “Paxman should have wiped the floor with her” [my emphasis], Andrew Ian Dodge “man did she stuff Jeremy Paxman”, Guido (curiously silent), Blairwatch.

Like Mike, I think Paxman “should have wiped the floor with” Coulter. But he didn’t. I admire Paxman; he adds to the gaiety of the nation. I’m still disappointed. I can think of reasons why he lost. (Is it a contest? The way Paxman plays, yes it is.) Here they are. Read More