Thursday, 31 December 2009

Politics gets the X factor

IT’S finally been agreed! Next year, in the run up to the General Election, there’ll be televised debates with the party leaders. Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg will go for it on air. It’s the first time a leader’s TV debate has happened in a British election. They’re common in America but the trend never caught on over here, until now. I think it’s going to be good.The public can really put the leaders on the spot.And the leaders can do the same to each other for a full 90 minutes, not the half-hour at Prime Minister’s Questions. It’s like The X Factor but better because it won’t take 14 flipping weeks to vote for the winner. But some folk aren’t happy. The Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties are complaining because they haven’t been invited to the party. I see their point, but if we invited them we’d really have to invite every minor political party in Britain with representatives! And then there’s everyone from the Monster Raving Loonies through to the Legalise Cannabis Party. If THEY all turned up, it would make The X Factor look positively respectable.
REMEMBER I told you about the big Iraq inquiry that is taking place at the moment? It’s investigating why we went to war and what went wrong, looking at everything from Tony Blair’s gung-ho decision to follow George Bush off to the Middle East, through to the torture of Iraqi prisoners years later. When the inquiry was first announced there was a big argument about whether to hold it in public. Government spooks wanted to keep things hush-hush and hold the investigation behind closed doors. Campaigners for truth and democracy wanted it in the open. In the end the government went with the public option, broadcasting the goings-on and publishing what was said. Unfortunately things went bad last Friday when the lead investigator decided to black-out a whole section of the proceedings. Around midday, an ex-diplomat was giving evidence. Suddenly chairman John Chilcot hit a button and cut the live feed for over a minute. When the transcript turned up later the words said during this time were blocked out with black ink. What on earth happened? Was there swearing? Did somebody fart? Methinks that there is a more sinister explanation. What we’ve got is a public inquiry with the juicy bits cut out. That’s no good. Soldiers died, thousands of Iraqi civilians were killed and billions were spent. Blacking out some embarrassing words won’t fool anyone. The war was wrong and most of us know we should NEVER have invaded. It’s a shame the government still tries to shield itself, and us, from this inescapable and dreadful truth.
SO, the Russians have announced that they’re planning to send a monkey to Mars. That’s right, in a new 21st Century space race, our Moscow based mates are going to put a chimp in a capsule and try to send the little fella all the way to the Red Planet. The experiment will include a robot to look after the monkey on its trip and will hopefully pave the way for plans to send a human to Mars in the next couple of decades. It’s exciting stuff! Putting a man on the moon was one of the biggest achievements in history. That also started with monkeys. Putting someone on Mars will be even more thrilling, because as well as Russia and the US, it will probably include China as well. It’s a shame the European Space Agency seems unwilling to seriously enter such an exciting mission. But one question. Why does it have to be a monkey, or even a man? What’s wrong with sending a woman,like Daily Sport babe Monica Harris? It’d be a real win for equality. And besides, she’s the perfect heavenly body for the trip.
LOOKING at the snow outside you wouldn’t think it – but global warming is getting worse by the day. And although top politicians from around the world gathered in Copenhagen last week to try and thrash out a deal to stop climate change, we’re still a long way off fixing the damage. The Copenhagen summit was a historic chance to try and prevent a global climate catastrophe. But where did it all go wrong? All the countries argued and spent time trying to protect their own interests. In the end US big boss Barack Obama helped broker a bit of a sort of treaty, but it wasn’t binding. That means countries have signed up for it but don’t have to actually do anything! Useless? You bet! Having a non-binding treaty is like saying: “Here’s a load of money and beer — please don’t take it… but no one’s going to try to stop you.” So in a way we’re back to square one. Something big has to be done soon – otherwise this could well be the last white Christmas we ever see.

1 comment:

  1. "LOOKING at the snow outside you wouldn’t think it – but global warming is getting worse by the day."

    Ho Ho!

    You are joking?