Stephen Fry for Dr Who Thursday, Oct 30 2008 

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Now Tennant has signalled he wishes to move on, who would be better than the sublime Mr Fry.

Ross, Brand and Sachs- JUST MOVE ON. Thursday, Oct 30 2008 

What is the fuss?  The worldwide economy is in meltdown, and the news concentrates on the prank phone call by two overgrown schoolkids. Yes Ross is probably overpaid (though I bet he gets nowhere near the £18m reported- thios was denied when this was first claimed, but – surprise surprise- the rags never corrected). Yes it was a stupid thing to do.  But really, lets get some perspective.

There were virtually no complaints until that nasty right wing rag the Mail broke the story.  So if they hadn’t said anything, no one would have been offended.

The person they phoned is famous for portraying the Spanish as being stupid, while being hit by a Manic-Depressive. As wonderful as ‘Fawlty Towers’ is, it is hardly the most sympathetic of comedies.

And the ‘poor sweet grand-daughter’ who has suffered this (?) is in a not very good ‘neo-goth burlesque dance troop’-  I’m sorry, completely crap dance troop- called “Satanic Sluts”, who appeared on stage at Glastonbury simulating brutal lesbian sex while dressed in stockings, susspenders and basque.

Can we have some proper news now.

Will Americans be asking “Were you still up for…?” Monday, Oct 20 2008 

Current affairs and politics geeks in the UK will remember the question that was on all their lips on the 2nd of May 1997. “Were you still up for Portillo?”. I am beginning to wonder if the same sort of thing may happen on 6th November 2008 in the USA. For those too young, too foreign (in a nice way- I don’t expect you to follow every nuance of British politics), or just too disinterested at the time, allow me explain. The Conservative (aka ‘Tory’) Government of the mid/late 90’s was deeply unpopular, and deeply divided with the Europhobes threatening rebellion, and Tony Blair’s successful rebranding the Labour Party into ‘New Labour’, basically standing, in an ideological sense, as close as they could to the Tories to pick up their voters promised a landslide. What no one forsaw was the complete massacre of Tory Top Brass that happened.

Through out the night (Counting starts shortly after the polls shut at 10pm, with the first constituencies declaring at about 11pm) more and more Tory ‘heavyweights’ lost their seats. Political parties in the UK tend to try and get their most important MPs to stand in ‘safe seats’, ones they would never lose. But in ’97 deep unpopularity morphed into tactical voting, with voters for a party that would normally finish distant third throwing their votes behind the best placed non-Tory.

Then at 4am (and I stayed up to watch it) came the shock news. Micheal Portillo, a man touted as a future Tory Leader, had lost his ‘safe’ Enfield seat to the unknown Stephen Twigg (Labour).  Portillo had been expected to be a leading player, possibly even a leader, in the wake of the defeat every one predicted.  Could this happen to the Republicans, facing not only defeat for President, but both Congress and Senate.

(continued) (more…)

SubPrime Explained Thursday, Oct 9 2008 

That well know expert George Parr explains all.

New series Bremner Bird and Fortune, Sundays, November 08

The inerrant word of God? Monday, Oct 6 2008 

It turns out the Bible that many people wave at Athiests as proof is just plain… well… Wrong.

The BBC has a story that there is a version of the Bible 1,500 years old, which contradicts newer versions.

What is probably the oldest known Bible is being digitised, reuniting its scattered parts for the first time since its discovery 160 years ago. It is markedly different from its modern equivalent. What’s left out?

 The world’s oldest surviving Bible is in bits.

For 1,500 years, the Codex Sinaiticus lay undisturbed in a Sinai monastery, until it was found – or stolen, as the monks say – in 1844 and split between Egypt, Russia, Germany and Britain.

Now these different parts are to be united online and, from next July, anyone, anywhere in the world with internet access will be able to view the complete text and read a translation.

For those who believe the Bible is the inerrant, unaltered word of God, there will be some very uncomfortable questions to answer. It shows there have been thousands of alterations to today’s bible.

In places it just plain contradicts the versions used now (continued below the break)


Official- Catholic Church still rooted in Medieval Nonsense Friday, Oct 3 2008 

The Pope (Benedict XVI) today re-affirmed the Vatican’s opposition to artificial birth control.

Contraception “means negating the intimate truth of conjugal love, with which the divine gift (of life) is communicated”.  He went on to say he had no opposition to ‘natural” birth control- which either means abstenance, or hoping the woman’s period is regular enough that you can work out when she’s ‘safe’ (though this isn’t a given).  I’m not sure about the “John Wayne Method”- a fast draw before shooting (though how many men really have that much self control at orgasm?)

I’m not sure what he hopes to achieve.  It won’t stop casual sex – “Do me big boy, but no jonnies- his Holiness doesn’t like them used while I’m fornicating” – if you are shagging around the ‘no jonnies rule’ is really not a major worry.  The poor will have two choices- no sex in a marriage or risk another mouth to feed. All that he can hope is to drive more people in the developed world away from the Church.

Religeous leaders bemoan the fact that liberal countries are opposed to religeon.  Could it be that liberal countries also tend to be somewhat educated as well?