Another domino in the chain has fallen, provided you think of the dominoes as countries, and them falling as high levels of protesters gathering in public areas to voice political dissidence against their leader. The latest domino has 4 spots on the one side of oil production (A relatively low score in terms of those tricksy middle-eastern dominoes) but has a mere 2 spots on the side of public approval of the political system. Their current leader, Bashar Al-Assad, looks a bit like a de-moustached Basil Fawlty* from Fawlty Towers. But what has our Basil look-a-like done politically? Has he [a] listened to protesters demands and gone peacefully? [b] implemented some sort of political reform under the pressure of public disapproval? Or [c] Fired shots into the crowd? I'll let you ponder that one. Yes, it WAS [c], well done, have a biscuit, I've put one magically in your biscuit tin. Anyone who said [b] expecting me to include the very VERY modest concession of "Declaring the half century of emergency officially over on Saturday" was very optimistic in what I consider political reform. Ironically, he hoped stopping the state of emergency when there was ACTUALLY a growing emergency on his hands would make the emergency go away. He was very much mistaken. Still, we'll see how it pans out. These things generally end up tickety-boo.
Local UK news, now! I bet you're thinking "I know David Cameron is a dick, but he wouldn't deliberately scupper the chances of former prime minister Gordon Brown to get a new job" right? Well, I'm afraid to tell you, you're wrong. That is precisely what he's doing. He's like Britain's new boyfriend, badmouthing our old boyfriend and telling everyone he beat us, when in fact he was just emotionally distant and unelectable. Only we and he know what really happened between us, and it's not fair for David to go around telling all his new mates at the IMF that he had a gambling problem, drank a lot and that we only went out with him because he was a friend of our ex, Tony. At least Gordon didn't cut our housekeeping and force us to sell our cooker, instead relying on volunteers to heat the food with their communal breath.
Muslims Against Crusades, the weird, far right semi-extremist Muslim group (Shattering any good work done by anyone to suggest that Muslims are alright by pointlessly stealing their name and stapling it to an incendiary, provoking group) want to protest around Buckingham palace on the day of the Royal wedding. Normally, of course, I'd be against this, but the EDL (equally alarming neo-fascist group) has said they will have a counter march if permission is granted. It is, of course, tradition dating back to the wedding of Ethelred the Unready, that there shall be an almighty racist or sectarianist bust up on the day of the royal wedding (Having found no convenient foreigners to hate, Henry decided to fight the Catholic church instead, a modern twist on the old classic). The last major royal wedding between Charles and Camilla merely had a commemorative slap on the face for Frank Bruno after a cheeky remark to the Duchess. However, this could be one of the best racist fights on a royal wedding since the 1840 fracas with the Qing dynasty in the Opium Wars over Victoria's marriage to Albert (In which we won Hong Kong, incidentally). I for one hope it all kicks off, especially as it will be televised. The British equivalent of the WWF is some drunk middle-aged men from Hull fighting some bearded Muslim extremists, and it'll all come to you live from the BBC. Obviously, this is all made up, the police have banned the march, and I fully expect all bearded men will be kept at least 400 yards from anything of any importance for the entire day, meaning I, once again, am going to have to not attend another royal wedding.
More local news now! RBS chief gets paid £7.7 million to be crap at his job. Despite us owning 83% of the company, the government allowed it to go through. To quote the BBC site
"RBS, which made a loss of more than £1bn last year, insisted it had to pay staff "fairly" to retain talented and motivated workers.". Christ. Imagine what it would be like if they had lazy, untalented workers if they managed to lose a billion pounds with the cream of the crop. That's like your football team losing 48-0 and paying the players millions to stop them utilising their skills elsewhere. Can you imagine what their interviews would be like?:
The setting is a drab office block, with rain streaking down the windows as the interviewers sit at a desk clearly designed for one, but curiously shared between both of them, leading to an awkward closeness between the two. The office is windowed out onto the main floor, but curtains are drawn, and a small sign saying "Interviews in progress" is hung on the door. The applicant enters, formalities are shared, in the case of the interviewers, hands accidentally, but nevertheless, inappropriately, graze in passing for handshakes, causing a frisson of excitement between both of them.
"How did your financial year go last year?" say the interviewers, armed with pens, paper and a nervous sexual awkwardness from their close confines.
"Well, I suppose we did lose more than a billion pounds." says the applicant, armed with boundless optimism and general naivety.
"...don't call us, we'll call you." say the interviewers, possibly ripping up his application form in front of his face, and calling it time for lunch, with Kevin awkwardly asking Sandra "if, y'know, if she wanted to, you know, go get coffee. Just as friends though! Nothing like...No, it's not like a DATE! Silly!".
Honestly, if you want someone to come and lose you a billion pounds, I will GLADLY come and do it for a mere £1 million a year, a saving of over 87%! You can't argue with that sort of improvement! Come on David, it'd cheer up the taxpayers if you could say RBS made an 87% reduction in CEO costs! Eh? Eh? I'll wait by the phone.
Made Up News
Archduke Ferdinand recently came out of hiding, claiming that being shot was merely a “Student prank gone wrong”. The moustachioed Austrian, aged 147, said to press “I was aware I’d accidentally precipitated a global conflict on an unprecedented scale” whilst twiddling his impressive handlebar. “It was never meant to go down like that. The collapse of the ruling classes in several countries, and the economic destruction of Germany, all for a bet between me and Wilhelm as to who could fake their own death most convincingly!”. Wilhelm, for his part, has convincingly remained dead since 1941, leading critics to claim he won the competition. A close aide to the former emperor said “Typical Wilhelm. Did anyone ever tell you about the time he got into an all night poker contest with King George and lost Namibia to him? Course, in those days, it was called German South-West Africa.” (I like the German method of naming countries. “What continent are we on? Right, and where are we on that continent? Right, this is South-West Africa. And it belongs to us, so it’s German South-West Africa. Perfect.”). There is no word from Wilhelm with regards to the events of the previous 70 years.
*This has led me to invent a new game, whereupon, you compare world leaders who are under pressure from protestors to characters from British sitcoms. President Mubarak looks a bit like Norman "Fletch" Fletcher from Porridge. Colonel Gaddafi looks like Mrs Slocombe (If you squint. Admittedly, you have to squint very hard, but it's like a magic eye puzzle. You squinting? Hard? Uncanny, isn't it?). Feel free to play this at home with your family. If you can't compare Massoud Barzani (Leader of the Kurdish Democratic Party, as if I have to tell you) to Del Boy Trotter (From Only Fools and Horses) by the third go round, I can't tell you how disappointed I'd be. Bonus points for using any characters from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (Other than the obvious Bomber for Khaled Mashaal). Ali Khamenei for Uncle Albert is a little too obvious, beard wise, so that only gives you half points. That's the game: Have fun and PLAY SAFE.