Thursday, July 03, 2008

Virtue & Venality

I've felt pretty low this week. My normal cheery cynicism has been replaced by a mood of mournful reflection. Terry Fields' funeral takes place tomorrow morning & I'll doubtless be one of many who attend to pay their respects to the man.
With his dry wit, Terry would've had a sage response to tonight's news that MPs have decided to largely retain their corrupt expenses system ( ). They decided to accept a lower pay rise than would otherwise have been the case (how noble of them!), but voted to hold on to their "John Lewis" expenses (£750 for a flat-screen TV, £4,000 for a fitted kitchen). Voting figures aren't yet available, but it'll be interesting to see how my own MP, Joe Benton, voted.
A boss' MP on a boss' wage. Kinda catchy, isn't it?

The C-Span website is a godsend to those of us who like our coverage of US politics to be unmediated by self-important anchors, spindoctors & uninformed hacks gullible enough to be duped by a candidate's team. Earlier I saw an interview Ralph Nader gave on the site yesterday ( ). Nader had some refreshing points to make, & even though he's got as much chance of winning the Presidency as Boris Johnson has of receiving the freedom of the city of Liverpool, it was cheering to hear things which the US networks (&, unfortunately, the BBC) simply wouldn't broadcast. Those who think Barack Obama really is an unsullied left-of-centre figure, at least by US standards, should watch Nader skewer him for his ties to corporate interests.
Nader's official campaign website ( ) is worth visiting, too.

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