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Friday, November 28, 2008


well now the truth can be told about kilroy.
you may remember i wrote about kilroy appearing on some dodgy celebrity programme. his fellow east midlands meps got a little hot under the collar about kilroy being there. he is not doing his job they said. i even got an anonymous message from one of the meps (or their representatives) about the piece. ah fame at last.
now kilroy is off the programme, no one liked him.
so back to work for kilroy.
yet his mep opponents are still not happy. so glenis, roger and others now have a petition to encourage kilroy to give up his role as a mep. not that he will and not that the european parliament will kick him out.
why? i am sure that they are concerned with the democratic process and see that kilroy’s lack of attendance at the european parliament as an insult to democracy and setting back the european cause in the uk. now i have to admit if i had done a little more research the last time (because i always fact check – right!) i would have learnt that roger helmer has form in this as back in 2005 he was part of a group of meps who wrote to the president of the european parliament to complain about kilroy’s lack of effort.
regardless of what you think of the european parliament i have to agree with helmer and colleagues, if you are not going to work as a mep don’t stand as one.
kilroy has argued that in his election manifesto he said he was anti-europe and would not attend the european parliament. so to that extent kilroy can claim to be one of the few politicians who is carrying out his manifesto pledges.
fair enough.
kilroy can claim that his victory was based on the fact that the people of east midlands had cast a protest vote. so kilroy not going to parliament is one on the nose of johnny foreigner. i have no problem with such a protest vote and protest action by an mep, the real problem is that kilroy, for all his problems with the european parliament, is not shy about taking their (well our) money. kilroy’s principled stand against europe might have been better if he wasn’t trousering the cash. it is a principled stand, isn’t it.
i would like to think that roger and glenis are trying to make a serious political point about kilroy’s abuse of the democratic process. i suspect it is more to do with the fact that the next round of european elections are due in 2009 and they are all worried that kilroy has had so much free publicity that he will win his seat again if he chooses to stand again.
i agree it would be a travesty if kilroy was to win again, yet sometimes that happens in a democracy.
politics and politicians have an image problem, we don’t trust them and sleaze plays a big part of it. someone like kilroy doesn’t help them.
the reason we vote is to have representation. it is fine that kilroy wants to be a mep to protest the european project, but that protest has to be more than not showing up for work. kilroy claims he asks more questions of the european parliament than his fellow meps. big deal. it is easy to draft variations of several questions and send them off to the commission and then get some written answers. hell i can do that from here (vote for me people of east midlands).
even worse is the fact that kilroy barely keeps his website up to date, so even those in his constituency who agree with his position and want to know what kilroy is doing to prevent the commission making changes to the british way of life are left in the dark.
contrast his site with the sites of glenis willmott and roger helmer and you can see that they are at least trying to make a difference.

the perma-tanned one is always going to have an advantage over the other prospective meps because even without a few weeks on a celebrity show the kilroy name is one that people recognise.
the meps would be better off ignoring kilroy and getting on with explaining to the electorate why they should vote and what they will get for the votes when they are cast. the more they make it about kilroy, the less important it becomes and more like a celebrity show spat.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


times are rough at there. woolworths and mfi, two staples of the uk retail scene, have gone into administration. banks take lots of money from the government, though seemingly not enough to actually lend cash to people. car manufacturers want government help. captains of industry turn their back on the principles of the free market and bend their knee in order to say: “please sir, can i have more?”
times are tough.

when things are tough, that is when the tough get going.
in the world of business the toughest of the tough are those crack troops: the consultants.
they parachute in, they survey the scene, they make tactical decisions, they give orders for strategic goals and then leave in the dead of night to go in order to solve the next crisis. they don’t stop for thanks; for consultants don’t need thanks it is all part of the sacred mission.
the only thing that consultants stop for is to cash the cheque and laugh at the money they are getting for old rope.

before i entered this period of post-employment i was lucky enough to benefit from the skills and knowledge of two highly paid consultants. one, rw, was employed on a short-term contract to set up a new division of the company in the uk market. the other, dl, has become a permanent “advisor” to the company.
both paid a hefty wedge of cash, neither providing value for money.
dl has been a part of the company for many years, a smiling affable figure who will happily attend many of the company’s social functions. dl is a financial type person who seems to sit on the fringes of big decisions taking notes (and i have to say i have never seen as expert a note taker as dl – they are lovely), and acting as a go-between for the management teams in the uk and the usa.
other than that i am not sure what else dl does.
one of my favourite dl stories was the last high profile set of redundancies at the company and dl had to pass the news on to one of my colleagues that he was being let go. dl huffed and puffed until in the end my colleague said, “i am being made redundant”. relief all around. (i have to add a caveat here – this story was told to me by my ex-colleague, so it may be false, but given all i know about dl it is a story i like).

the other consultant was rw, brought in to set up new systems, break new grounds and establish a brand new division for the company. initially rw was on a six-month contract. it all started well. rw keen to learn how our core business worked so it could be integrated into the new business.
rw demonstrated one of the key talents of being a consultant: look the part.
rw looked the part.
more importantly rw sounded the part as well – lots of consultancy type speak all in a cut class accent.
as the end of the contract came closer and closer it was apparent that not that much had been achieved, and then others had done most of the work. now this is where another key skill of the consultant comes to the fore: survival. trust me if there is ever a nuclear disaster stay clear of sas trained officers and latch on to a consultant they cannot be eradicated.
amazingly rw got a contract extension.
when rw finally left (demonstrating another skill: exit strategy. knowing when to leave is key) the new division had been established and it was successful but this was more to do with the hard work and dedication of other members of the company than it was to do with rw. yet in company despatches rw was praised to the heavens, this demonstrating another crucial skill: self-promotion. for consultants it is important to take the credit and as little of the blame as possible. when something works it is because of the consultant, when it fails it is because the company/staff are not implementing the consultant’s plans properly.

so what has all this to do with the price of coffee?
i am sure that there are times when consultants do prove their worth, i am sure there are times when all companies could benefit from having a fresh pair of eyes looking over their business practices and recommending areas of improvement. my limited experience is that it hasn’t worked.

but i know i know you are wondering what on earth has brought this on? no i haven’t been reading tom peters recently. it was a comment on the radio from a consultant that sparked this off. the retail consultant was asked what he would recommend that retailers do in the current climate. remember that climate includes woolworths and mfi in administration, retailers starting sales in november rather than january, more and more doom and gloom about the financial situation in the media (though for all that one recent report said that retail spending was down 1% from the previous period).
the show’s presenter waited with baited breath for the answer.
the show’s audience all stopped ready to catch the pearl of wisdom that the consultant was about to drop.
tick tock tick tock the short seconds before the answer were like an eternity and then it came, like a tsunami of truth: the answer.
the consultant said that retailers should be doing their best to do what they do right.
he shoots he scores.
slam dunk.

the presenter’s response? “surely they should be doing that anyway?” which is why they present and don’t consult.

consultants? they con and insult you while they take your money, bizarrely business keep going back for more.

(this advertorial is on behalf of the patcon group – cheap advice for a price).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


i love the review sections of the weekend papers they serve to alert me to new and exciting things i should read, watch or listen to. sometimes it may just be that a certain creator has something new coming out and i have to make a note that i want it. what i am i saying want for, i need it!
other times i am drawn to the subject of the review and find myself making a note of yet another item i may have to get (how i love those reviews that put me off).
on rare occasions i just want to find out what other people think before i make that commitment to get something. so it was with the collection of hugo young papers that have been released.

i was never a great fan of hugo young, but i did enjoy reading his columns. so the idea of getting to see some of the background notes and thoughts to his writing is a fascinating one.
the weekend papers had two contrasting reviews: the sunday times had rod liddle, the observer had andrew rawnsley.
both reviewers make the point that hugo young was the outstanding liberal centrist commentator of his generation. from rawnsley that is high praise, from liddle it is little more than a compliment. rawnsley’s work can be seen as part of a continuum with hugo young’s work, while liddle is somewhat more to the right.
so liddle’s review is full of little jabs at the left. he pulls out all the negative material he can find on gordon brown, he hints that hugo young leaked off-the-record comments. furthermore liddle believes that young only interviewed people who shared not only his worldview but were similar in background. in short that hugo young was a snob.
rod liddle not a fan of hugo young, not much of a surprise. a major selling point for the book.
andrew rawnsley is a fan. he sees hugo young as a great reporter who went in search of the answers, who dug beneath the surface to get the truth. for rawnsley hugo young is a man of integrity. the great and the good spoke with him because he would not betray them. not that this protected them from his “magisterial savagings”, because if young felt they deserved it then he would berate them in print.
so far so good. rawnsley is selling it to me.
he even mentions how hugo found gordon brown to be a genial chap.

a slight digression here; there is another book i am interested in malcolm gladwell’s “outliers”. pretty much all the reviews seem to say it is an interestingly written book, but it is not telling you anything startling. the digested version is that genius (of all types) is partly natural and mainly a lot of hard work, with a bit of luck.
fair enough it is a slim volume and i wasn’t expecting the secret of the universe.

however one of the selling point of the hugo young papers is that because of the unprecedented access and proximity to the great and the good that young had that we mere mortals would learn something about those in power.
rawnsley himself says that the notes are “peppered with revelatory and entertaining character sketches”, sounds like good stuff.
then it hits you like a wet kipper in the face, rawnsley writes “from a guardian lunch with princess diana he takes away a prophetic thought: 'although she laments the incessant publicity, i wonder how she would survive without it.’” how on earth was that prophetic? it is just a banal thought that any reader of “hello” magazine could have come up with.

now it might be a little churlish of me to decide to pass on a book because of one less than stunning insight into the people’s princess but there you go.
the book is 800 pages so it must be possible for them to have found something a bit more prophetic than a puff piece on diana. still if you are going to have a book that length sitting on the shelf you may as well have a diana story in it as you know that is likely to get you some copy and some sales.

so the “hugo young papers” might be the work of a titan, i am going to pass on it. who would have thought it would have been andrew rawnsley’s review that put me off?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


drinking coffee.
surfing the net.
weather is mild.
pleasantly happy.
all is well in the world.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


i am not a christmas person. each year it just seems to be more and more commercial and more and more cynical.
each year (and it seems earlier every time) the sounds of chintzy carols piped through buildings, there are tacky decorations around the place, there are stories of how retail is suffering or how some council is trying to ban christmas.
but the lights are up in london and the ones in regents street are quite nice.

but more importantly i see the lights in newark are up, and here they are.

(this one is for jay)


the royal college of art is having its annual “secret art” show. it is a clever fundraiser for the college to help fund students. the idea is that you buy a postcard-sized piece of original art, you can see the work at the college or you can see it online, you have no idea who the artist is. it could be someone famous, or it could be a student. you make your choice you take your chance.
i have been going along for several years.
so far i have yet to choose a card that is by a famous creator, but i have chosen a whole bunch of cards that i like. which is really the point.
back when i first went the selling of the cards went on from a friday evening until sunday afternoon. the first time i was there were a lot of available cards to choose from, the second year i went there were a lot fewer cards available. from that year on the cards were only available for sale on saturday and sunday and now there were queues.
each year there are more and more people turning up to try and get that special card, people have started queuing the night before in order to get that card from that artist.
i have yet to queue during the night preferring to rock up on the saturday and see what i can get, but after last year when i didn’t get any of the cards i really wanted i have decided to go queue. i shall be turning up outside the royal college somewhere are 4am in the morning.
it should be fun. yeah right.
to add to it all i have just heard on the radio there is to be a siberian cold front coming in.
oh joy.
(bet i don’t get any of the cards i want…)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


there are certain types of people who just annoy. they don’t mean to annoy, they just do. if you try to explain to them why they are annoying they will just look at you with a questioning look and with hurt in their eyes.
mostly it is people who spend time trying to justify their lifestyle choices. though there are others who are equally annoying and spend their time trying to pick holes in your lifestyle choices (parents are, of course, exempt from this as it is their job to pick holes in their children’s choices).

a sure sign of who is likely to annoy is if they are a “born again” something or another.
at school i used to play rugby. on the one hand there was a chap who was in the salvation army, and while he wasn’t keen on swearing or foul play, he was decent and never went on about being part of the sally army or his faith. on the other hand there was a bloke who became a born again christian and almost overnight he became an insufferable bore as he just went on and on about his faith.

most of the people i know who have quit smoking never shut up about it, especially around other smokers. they replace their addiction to the fags with a need to tell you that they have kicked the habit.

if i had to choose a category of people who are most likely to annoy it is going to be vegetarians.
now that is a large generalisation and i know it.
i am not saying all veggies are annoying, but there are a lot of them who are.
i have been vegetarian several times in my life. the first time i did it was back in school when one of my mates said we should give up meat because of the culling of seals (i suspect it was due to the fact that both of us were fans of the group yes and the members of it were veggie). within a couple of days of this pact i had to get a new pair of rugby boots and i was confronted with the contradiction of my position: leather. ooops. so i dropped the idea of being veggie for a moral reason and just to see if i could do it.
i stayed veggie for several years. my mate lasted a week.
i went back on meat after a year at college. then i became veggie again because of love (and peace) and that lasted for many years.
in my veggie years (a great title for a book) it never struck me that i needed to pick on meat eaters (pot noodle eaters are a different matter).
yet i knew veggies who couldn’t shut up about how much better they were for not eating meat, how they cared more because nothing that was once alive now passed their lips. if someone sat near them eating a meat pie they would complain about the smell and then launch into a long (dull) tirade about being a vegetarian: it is healthier and it is animal friendly being the two main points.
one veggie who often commented on meat eaters was constantly popping vitamin pills and taking time off work for being ill.
another veggie would go on about how terrible it was to eat dead animals, how it was an inhumane practice. yet he was always having to sidestep the question of weather leather.

which brings me to the quote of lauren laverne.
quite why i ended up reading an interview about food with a person i have no idea what they did is beyond me, but i did.

“i couldn't have an animal die just so i could eat it. the way i think about it is if i was to be killed i would rather be worn than eaten. i think eating something is such an impermanent way to express a life. to be minced up and put in a burger is a bit of an inglorious ending, but to wind up as a pair of louis vuitton shoes, well, then your death has meant something. that's how i see it.” (from the observer food magazine)

i can’t help wondering if a pair of clark’s shoes are as meaningful? or if that leather belt from primark is a much more permanent way to express the life of a dead animal.
not to mention that if all of the animal that is used is the skin then there is an awful lot of it that has gone to waste. still worry not those louis vuitton shoes will last a while, so it was probably worth it. perhaps the animals used to make expensive clothes carry special donor cards: “when i die a nice peaceful death of old age please turn me into a luxury pair of shoes or a bag”.
perhaps not.

to be fair ms laverne did not say she wore louis vuitton shoes and so my criticism is unjust.

but it isn’t the wearing of the shoes that annoys; it is just the self-seeking justification of it that gets my (dead) goat. if you want to be a vegetarian fine, be one and enjoy the grub. if you want to wear fine elegant leather shoes, wear them with pride and show them off. live with that contradiction. just don’t try to justify it.

Friday, November 14, 2008


kilroy is off to the australian jungle to compete in one of the many reality game shows that populate the tv channels. when kilroy isn’t appearing in reality tv shows he is a member of the european parliament.
i know what you are thinking: he is what?
oh yes the people of the east midlands voted for the perma tanned one to represent them in the european parliament. kilroy is there as an independent, he left his political party, veritas, in order to devote his attentions to the european parliament.
(for those that care veritas still exists. who would have thought it?)
while kilroy is off in the jungle trying to prove he is a celebrity the european parliament will still be sitting. oh no, what will they do without him?
to give credit to liberal party they have not pronounced on this, though it could be that they don’t have a member of the european parliament who can speak on the subject. never fear the conservatives and new labour have combined to point out that kilroy is being paid by the taxpayer while he is also gallivanting off in australia, where he will also be paid by the tv company. both glenis willmott (new labour mep) and roger helmer (conservative mep) have piped up over kilroy’s actions.
now if i was those meps i would have remained quiet and just got on with the job at hand, whatever that is for a mep. also if i were those meps i would be thankful that kilroy was away for a bit, however short that time was.
glenis and roger are busy bees in europe making and issuing statements, they both have decent, albeit functional, websites that allows the concerned and interested elector to see exactly what their mep has been up to and in the case of glenis and roger you can imagine that said elector would be satisfied to see that their vote is counting for something.
the elector looking at kilroy’s site might be a little bit disappointed. a tired dull site. still it does list his press releases, let us go check them out. oh dear nothing since august 2007 (though you have to go back to february of that year for my favourite one “where have all the muslim girls gone?” and no he wasn’t asking on behalf of dating agencies).
on his campaign page he lists the campaigns that to quote him “are the issues which i concentrate on”. they include asylum seekers, child poverty, free speech and human rights among others. pretty heady stuff. click on the links and you get a blank page. ok so kilroy is not concentrating too much on those issues.
let us have a look at immigration. click that link and you are informed it is a very important issue for kilroy, just not important enough to have anything on the page.
still you have to admire his desire for interaction with the electors because when you go to the “uk and eu” campaign page you get “the uk should leave the eu because... the uk should leave the eu because...” unfortunately kilroy doesn’t say how many words you can use or what the prize will be when you enter this competition.
still there is the section devoted to his articles, look there are several of them, such a shame that they all start with: “lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur sadipscing elit.”
so far kilroy isn’t covering himself with glory when it comes to what he does as a mep.
last chance is a look at his parliamentary questions section. can the boy save the day? and yes he can. when it comes to questions kilroy is a veritable industry of questions, often several a day. true not all the questions he has asked have been answered by the commission but you have to admire him for trying.

willmott and helmer’s attack on kilroy just smacks of them wanting to get their names in the media, to remind the electorate that they exist. they would have been better off asking what it is that kilroy is doing there in the first place. he is not interested in the eu; he wants the united kingdom out of europe. his one purpose there seems to send off endless questions about anything that takes his fancy to the commission.

if i were willmott and helmer i would be thankful that kilroy was not about the place and i would concentrate on doing what the electors had put me there to do.

kilroy’s trip to the jungle is nothing new. he is following in the noble footsteps of gorgeous george galloway. let us all hope that he doesn’t offer to be a cat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


times are tough for those of us in post employment. it is all about notching the belt a little tighter. it is not about going into book shops and record shops and looking at what they have and going "i want, i want, i want, i want". yet that is what i do. i know it is sad. so today i saw several books i want, many, cds that i want and a few dvds that i want.
it is true that i don't need them, i just want them.
i didn't buy any of them.
i am a good boy.
i rewarded myself with a lovely fresh cream apple turnover from sainsbury's (where i looked at the books, cds and dvds that that carry).

Sunday, November 09, 2008


tesco's banana flavoured milk. delightful. delicious. yummy.
true the sugar rush will give me a headache in the morning, but some prices are worth paying.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


the skinny kid is going to be the president. i am going to get to see a lot of michelle obama, and that is no bad thing (hey if you can’t have a bit of leching in politics what is the point).
biden gets to have his time on the stage.
the families come onto the stage.
there are shots of jesse jackson in the audience with tears, as someone said it must be a bittersweet moment for him as he wanted to be the first black president.

america has a new day. americans are bashful enough to say that this is also a new day for the rest of the world. the rest of the world will go about its business as normal (well except kenya who are going to declare a day of national holiday).
no denying it is an exciting day and somehow the future appears to be a little brighter.

and now i need to get a coffee.


obama’s acceptance speech is powerful and schmaltzy in equal measure. he is a great speaker.
bush has gone on record as saying that history will judge him well, but that judgement will come long after he has gone. a commentator on bush recently said that if bush had been a better speaker then perhaps he would have been a better-regarded president, but surely there has to be more to it than fancy speeches.
the time for obama is to come, but his speechifying is first class. let us hope that his leadership is as good.


mccain’s concession speech was very good, you wonder if he had been more like that in the campaign then he might have had a chance.

a couple of vox pops with obama supporters highlight just how much expectation there is going to be heaped on obama’s shoulders. inevitably that means a lot of people are going to be disappointed, the question is just how badly they are going to feel let down.

gore vidal talks about he was surprised that obama got in so easily, and that there were no eruptions. as the conversation went on it quickly become obvious that vidal was talking bollocks.

jeremy vine back in the london office does another of the computer things and then has to look thrilled at the, tacky, cgi ticker tape that looks to be falling down from the sky.

just waiting on obama’s acceptance speech.

a couple of times through the night the point has been that the victory is in part down to the fact that the electorate wanted to get rid of bush and the republicans, on that level it seems that any democratic candidate could have won.


one of the constant themes of the night is that this is an historic occasion: the election of the first black president.
the cynic in me says that he probably isn’t going to make that much of a difference, that big business and vested interests are going to stand in the way of any significant change.
i hope i am wrong.

the magic 270 has been broken. obama is the president elect.
dimbleby declares it as a sensational result – but it is not a surprise to anyone.

ted koppel is now pissing on the obama parade by pointing out that there will only be a short period of a honeymoon. very soon obama will face all the problems that the bush administration and that as soon as he fails to resolve them he will be blamed for them, rather than bush.

oh dear gibbs leger has gone on about how america is the best country in the world. bless.

but everyone agrees this is a time to sit back and bask in the glow of getting rid of the republicans.

just waiting on the speeches now. may pass on that and go to sleep.


mccain is seen as having lost because he ran on his biography rather than on policies. that although he has a reputation of being a maverick mccain is seen as being very much part of the bush administration. so when the economy went into the toilet that was mccain down and out.
the obama victory seems to be down to the fact that he is charismatic and people wanted to get rid of the conservatives. in addition he managed to run a very well organised campaign.
it seems in both cases policy seems to be a distant third concern.

daniella gibbs leger is one of the bbc guests, very hubba. sadly she hasn’t had much of a chance to speak because a number of other guests have been beamed in via satellite.

nancy pelosi is speaking to the crowds. she is a terrible speaker and she seems very patronising. she also looks like her face is very fixed and has false smile. she is not being shy about saying obama has won. even though it is still not certain (but we all know who is going to be the next president).

there is now a 3% difference in the popular votes.
mccain is 141
obama is 207

they reckon the magic 270 number will be reached in the next 10 minutes.


schama and dimbleby are warming up. i am thinking i might have to buy some of schama’s books.
eddie izzard has been on talking about the third millennium starting now and it being the end of slavery. after the less than insightful interview with ricky gervais you have to wonder why they get celebs on.

schama and bolton are going to get into a fight. bolton has the size but i think schama is a street-fighter and bolton will go down.

currently standing at
mccain 135
obama 207


didn’t buy enough chocolate. could do with some right now.
also need to go have a pee, but can’t drag myself from the tv.

i keep getting updates from the “washington post” letting me know what is going on in the election.
the bbc coverage is tops.

the difference in the popular vote is still standing at 1%

currently standing at
mccain 130
obama 207


john bolton, ex american ambassador, is on the bbc. he has a fantastic moustache.
simon schama, historian and broadcaster, has a bit of the ian mckellen about him, he bobs and weaves in his chair as he drops words of wisdom into the studio.

palin is being cited as one of the reasons why mccain didn’t pick up the independent votes. john bolton is missing the point that the bbc correspondent is making and says that palin was important in uniting the republicans.
dimbleby had to step in to break up the verbal brawl.

oprah has been interviewed. talked about pulsating. got me excited.
the dirty digger, rupert murdoch, tells everyone he likes obama but thinks he will be protectionist, or more accurately obama might tax him more.

dimbleby has had a little pop about the american electoral process. can’t fault him. the more i learn about it the more arse about front it is.

cycles and fickle factors are being spoken about.

now stands at
mccain 90
obama 195

(i should be watching basketball, but the bbc coverage is too good)


couple of things that have struck me about the election as it has progressed we have been swamped with coverage there has been a lot of stuff about sarah palin; she has been ubiquitous in terms of the election. it has created a sense that mccain and palin are a team. joe biden? who he? totally out of the picture. this is about obama and biden is just there as the token white politician and no one cares about him and he will have an easy job for the next 4 years of doing nothing.
the other thing about the campaign is how important that the candidate’s families are to the whole thing. it is almost as if the voters are not just voting on the policies of the candidates but they are also involved in a popularity contest and judging the families. one of the ways this is shown is in the photo ops with the candidate and their family. today is an important one where the candidate votes – so the media can cover them voting (hmmm i wonder who they voted for), the family rocks up in support, but they are not seen as voting. the question is: do they vote?

jesse jackson is being interviewed asked what the difference between when jackson ran and now. jackson’s answer 20 years and a lot more money. ted koppel has pointed out that while obama and jackson are cut from different cloth, jackson is one of the reasons that obama can become the president.

money has been cited a couple of times as the night has progressed as a reason for why obama has done so well. considering the amount of cash that has been splashed to contest the election you have to wonder is it worth it.

someone has commented that the bradley effect has not happened (basically white votes lying that they would vote for a black candidate).

one of the bbc commentators has mentioned that a lot of black americans he has spoken to offer up the comment that they are worried that once obama is in that they are worried that something bad will happen to him. he went on to say that all the chances are slim that anything would occur it is not like there hasn’t been form.

currently standing at:
mccain 76
obama 175
(but they are only separated by 1% in the popular vote).


jeremy vine is doing some computer graphic thing for the bbc, not as sexy as the old swingometer that used to be a feature of the election night. he looks like he has a session on the sunbed, and has a little squinty-eyed look to him. he is playing with some touch screen computer graphics. while it is quite nice it does look a little bit like the matrix movie done by the special effects department who worked on blake’s 7.

even in the senate the republicans are losing.

as christopher hitchens says it is a change in the zeitgeist.

mccain 34
obama 103


pennsylvania has gone to obama.
new hampshire has gone to obama.
now they are rushing in.

obama now on 84
maccain in 34

pretty much everyone in the bbc studio seem to think it is obama for sure.


south carolina has called for mccain - now 16 to mccain and 3 to obama.
three states down.


they are talking about how obama is getting the vast majority of the black vote (no surprise there) but he is also getting something like 40% of the white vote. not good for mccain.
they are saying that mccain is doing slightly better with the male voter, but obama is doing very well with the female vote. again not good for mccain.

results are coming in slowly. the pundits are saying that this is because the networks are being cautious in their announcing of the results, because of the mess they made with kerry in 2004.
it seems very odd as you would have thought that no results would be announced until the official count had been done, dusted and confirmed.

so just two have been called/ projected. and it is still mccain 8 and obama 3.

the bbc have a neat little clock counting down when the polls in certain states are closing.


so here it is - at last - election night. watching the bbc tv coverage at the moment.
currently they are saying how race is has not been an issue in the campaign.

two states have results (or are projected to have results) and so far it is
mccain 8
obama 3

but the tone of the show is that obama is in.

more to come.

Monday, November 03, 2008


there is a hole in my trainer. i discovered it today. how did i discover it? it rained, it rained quite a bit. the hole seemed to let most of the rain into the trainer. soggy sock. squelchy steps. so nice.
ah winter is here and i am so prepared.


been an odd day.
looked for one thing and found another. the thing i was looking for doesn't seem to be anywhere and it is annoying because i was planning on flogging it, either i have lost it, given it away or i never really had it in the first place. all three are possible.
the thing i found was my passport. it wasn't in a safe place (i take after my mum that way, she used to have a number of "safe places" to stash stuff, and then she forgot what was stashed and where it was stashed) no my passport was just in a large pile of books and magazines.
it has now been found. i can now travel. where will i go?

the other thing that is odd about today is that i am still awake at some rather late hour (or early, depending on your view).
i should be asleep. so i am going to give it ago and see if i can nod off.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


there was a lot of it today.
i got soaked.
i felt chilled.
i am old.