Yes, Prime Minister – one leg of the holy tripod of British political comedy, the others being The New Statesman and The Thick Of It – is back. And I am pleased to present a CrashBangWallace exclusive preview of the new series:
The new series starts tomorrow at 9pm on Gold. Will it live up to its legendary status? We’ll have to wait and see…
When the ludicrous news that the EU had won the Nobel Peace Prize was first announced back in October, I compiled a “Nomination in Pictures” exploring the supposed peace that Brussels has brought to the streets of Portugal, Spain and Greece.
Herman van Rompuy, Martin Schulz and José Manuel Barroso collected the award yesterday in Norway – a country which is outside the EU, and therefore presumably riven with civil war and cross-border aggression. A reader has produced the following video tribute to the most absurd Nobel award to date:
Six months ago, the EU was forced to withdraw a racist video using stereotyped foreigners to portray international trading partners as a violent threat to Europe’s safety. Today, in a video highlighted by the Telegraph’s Bruno Waterfield, they’ve repeated their mistake in a clear sign that Brussels hasn’t learned a thing.
This time the topic is the energy markets, and your friends in the European Union are claiming credit for the, ahem, innovation that you can change supplier. Having had to apologise for protecting you from kung-fu fighting Chinese people and sword wielding Indians back in March, now they are the only thing that stands betwen you and greedy, fez-wearing Arabs.
How long will it be before Brussels apologises for this new racist piece of propaganda?
It’s a depressing reflection on our nation’s politics that one of the reasons Ed Miliband’s well-delivered speech at Labour Conference is being feted by apparently stunned journalists is that he was able to make a speech without having it written down in front of him.
Across the pond, on the other hand, Gov Gary Johnson – the Libertarian Party Presidential candidate – has shown how to really break the mould when making a speech: Crowd-surfing…
As I’ve written before, the lifetime of any scandal – no matter how serious – is largely dependent on the absurd props that have cameos in the story. Rebekah’s Horse is a case in point.
And lo, almost immediately after the G4S Olympic scandal was revealed, the G4S corporate song was discovered. It’s a cross between a low-rent Bon Jovi cover and the kind of lyrics you might hear in the background in a gig scene from American History X, offering up such gems as:
Because the enemy prowls, wanting to attack
But we’re on the wall, we’ve got your back
24/7 every night and day
A warrior stands ready so don’t be afraid
It’s truly special, so in celebration of the long history of awful corporate songs, I’ve put together a Top Ten Worst Corporate Music Videos Ever.
5) Ernst and Young: “Oh Happy Day” – a particularly happy day for the bearded man at 12 seconds in, and for the lyricist, whose workload was evidently limited.
4) Starbuck’s: “We Built this Starbucks…On Heart and Soul” – and on the absurd insistence of replacing “small”, “medium” and “large” with our own terms. Full-fat venti awfulness to go.
3) KPMG: “A firm you can’t touch” – yes, auditors doing MC Hammer, with attempted rapping. About KPMG.
2) Bank of America: “One” – what U2 would be like if they were middle managers in an American bank.
1) The Gazprom Song – undoubtedly best purely on the beautiful scenes of hydrocarbon extraction, and the winning lyrics:
Let’s drink to all the Russian gas
That it never comes to an end,
Though it’s so hard to obtain
Feel free to sing along:
The new campaign from my former colleagues at the TaxPayers’ Alliance looks good:
As someone once said, there’s no money left – so personally I struggle to see why we are lending billions to a serial-defaulting country that seems intent on undermining our sovereign territory and trade?
I’ve signed the TPA’s Argentina petition, and I hope you will do the same here.
For 312 years, Singh has been the surname almost universally adopted by baptised male Sikhs. It means “lion” and judging by last night’s events it’s no exaggeration.
Like many others following the riots last night I discovered Sangat TV, a Birmingham-based, rather obscure Sky channel which apparently normally broadcasts recitals of religious texts. When rioting began in Birmingham, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton, though, they changed their content.
A presenter and several of his friends and colleagues piled into a car with a microphone and a camera to travel around the West Midlands reporting on the riots and the actions of many Sikh communities to defend temples, shops and houses from the rampaging thugs.
If it sounds a bit haphazard, it was – jumpy footage, live interviews out of the car window and the driver intermittently wandering across the shot during set-piece broadcasts – but it was quite remarkable for two reasons.
First, that it is now technologically and financially feasible for a couple of guys with a car and a camera to become frontline TV reporters apparently funded by advertising from a sofa shop and a ghee (butter) company. Thanks to the low costs of entry into the media market and the viral nature of Twitter, the channel, its presenter and his message were soon becoming famous in a way that would previously have become impossible.
Secondly it was remarkable for the scenes and messages Sangat TV was broadcasting. Time and again the car would pull up to hear from Sikhs who had left the safety of their homes to protect the religious sites, property and homes whole community, regardless of religion. These were people who felt a strong and deep responsibility to the communities they live in and a strong revulsion for crime, looting and carnage and were willing to risk their own safety to put those principles into action. They weren’t vigilantes – they message was overwhelmingly that their religion forbids striking the first blow, and the channel repeatedly broadcast safety messages and warnings not to carry weapons or provoke trouble. They were just brave, decent people.
Of course sadly we’ve seen the deaths of three men reportedly killed while trying to protect a mosque last night.The full facts will come out in due time but before anyone rushes to condemn them putting themselves in harm’s way, consider whether you would prefer people stood aside and did nothing to stop attacks on their community.
Where the police weren’t able to step in, I for one am glad and proud that others were willing to do so. The alternative of shrugging and doing nothing to help is the philosophy of the rioters, not the British public who are under attack.
In between these interview stops the presenter’s commentary was utterly opinionated and utterly inspiring, the highlight of the night for me being:
Whether you support Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, there is only one team to support-the Three Lions, Great Britain.
He also made the point that this crisis is the latest in a series of occasions when Sikhs have shown their self-sacrificing nature for the national good – not least during their long and loyal service in our Armed Forces.
Having set out to commentate on the night’s events, the Sangat team even put their money where their mouth was, helping police officers catch up with and arrest some looters:
You couldn’t imagine a better way to refute the racist bile that’s been flowing from Nick Griffin and chums over the last few days. It’s inspiring to see true British heroes do the right thing in a just cause for their country. Lions indeed.