Friday, 1 May 2009

Bacon butty still on menu

SWINE flu has been sweeping the globe — leaving some folk dead, a lot more sick and even more panicked. The problem is no-one’s really sure of how bad things are going to get. The World Health Organisation has raised its alert, the government is posting leaflets to every house and tetchy tourists are cancelling their holidays to Mexico. The bad news is that it is spreading human-to-human, so you don’t need to go near a pig to get it. Also, it’s gone global and it’s landed in the UK. The chances of a lot of people catching it are now pretty high. The good news is, outside Mexico, it’s been pretty mild. On top of this the UK is the best-prepared country in Europe. So there you have it. We’re rubbish at football, rugby and Eurovision but when it comes to dealing with flu we’re a world-leader! The government spent the last few years getting ready for an outbreak like this so we should have enough drugs to sort out anyone who gets sick. But remember, you can’t catch pig flu from eating pig meat. However bad things get, we’ll
still have bacon sandwiches.
EVER thought about appearing on Big Brother? Well, it looks like you will be, whether you want to or not. George Orwell, who wrote a famous book called Nineteen Eighty-Four, first came up with the term “Big Brother.” But he didn’t mean a TV reality show — it’s reality itself. And it’s arriving. When you go to look at a stunna like Gemma Hiles on www., whenever you go online to read e-mail, sell stuff on eBay or check your mates on Facebook, it’ll be logged for the authorities to see. They’ve decided to blow two billion quid on monitoring our internet use so the police and MI5 can watch what we’re up to. Chatrooms, Twitter and Facebook will all be monitored, plus a host of other sites and mobile phone networks. Ministers backed down from plans to keep the info on a central database. But they want companies to keep it so cops and spooks can check who we know and what we say. Crime and terrorism have to be tackled — but not by turning the UK into a police state. Let’s stand up against the Establishment sneaking into to our lives whenever we log on. Far from protecting us from enemies of the State, the State is becoming the enemy of the people.
MONDAY was the 100th anniversary of the day when Suffragettes demanding votes for women burst into Parliament and chained themselves up. One feisty lass managed to chain herself to a statue of Viscount Falkland. A century has passed, so when a note came into my office on Monday saying there was a “protest” going on by the Viscount’s statue I thought the note must have got stuck in the internal mail for 100 years. But it soon turned out that a group of climate change protestors had marked the anniversary by superglueing themselves to the statue. Pretty quickly, the fuzz managed to remove them. Hopefully we can sort out climate change the same way we sorted voting rights for women. But given how antiprotesting our government has become, I won’t be surprised if, in the meantime, the next thing
they ban is superglue.
LABOUR’s Communities Secretary Hazel Blears must be having a laugh! She came out with the bizarre statement that the recession could be GOOD for society. She thinks that every cloud has a silver lining and the catastrophic economic mess we’re in could be a “catalyst for communities to come together”. I don’t want to sound negative but that sounds like the government covering their botties! They’re basically saying “Sorry the economy has gone down the pan—but don’t worry because it might help you get on better with your neighbours!” I’ve got my doubts that unemployment and poverty will help communities. It’s well known that in situations like this crime, alcohol and drug abuse all go up, while families often break down. The best way to bring communities together is to sort out some jobs and decent

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