Gordon Brown – kindly **** off

U.K.
Useless ****

Thanks to the government for getting all techie and allowing us to set up petitions on their own website. Thankfully, someone’s made good use of this and added a petition which covers a lot of bases. I urge any registered UK voter to “sign” it:

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to resign.

I don’t expect the stupid, one-eyed, Scots bastard (I’m going to cop it from the RNIB for that one) to pay the slightest bit of attention. Politicians never do, unless public opinion goes the direction they’re already looking anyway, but it would be nice to let him know how much he’s reviled. I don’t think they’re hiding our PM from the real world in much the way that George W.‘s rose-tinted glasses portrayed him as not universally despised. How that guy didn’t top himself I’ll never know.

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Role reversal

WASHINGTON - APRIL 17:  British Prime Minister...
One of these men is a ******* idiot, the other I have hope in

For the first time since I was about 12, I think I’d rather be living in the US than the UK.

I’ve spent all day with BBC News in the background and it’s depressing. So many jobs going, hard-working people being forced onto the dole pile and the pound diving lower almost every minute. My upcoming trip is going to be a lot more expensive than it would have been only 6 months ago.

However, one pair of statements really made my ears prick up.

First up was the Labour plan to exempt MPs from having to disclose their expenses. After all the fuss in recent months regarding those very people screwing us over because they knew they could hide it, what on earth made them think it would be a popular move with the voting public to legalise hiding such details?

Amazingly, though, their own MPs and Conservative opposition actually made loud rumblings against it and it seems it won’t get through – assuming they don’t find another way to bury it. Given the whole Freedom of Information thing, any fiddling would all come to light anyway. Just too late for us to to anything other than point fingers But to try and hide it all in the first place… pathetic.

Completely the opposite was Obama‘s first statement as President. All wages of high-earning White House staff have been capped. The giving and receiving of gifts (*cough*bribes*cough*) banned from lobbyists to members of the Administration. Outright. No more can lobbyists walk into an administrative position and work on anything to do with what they used to lobby for. Likewise, no member of staff can walk out and into a lobbying position against the Administration.

Sheer common sense, but unfortunately simple guidelines that have been ignored in the past. Now they’ve been put into place formally so that hopefully a reduction in corruption will follow.

Essentially, while our government throws a hissy fit about not being able to be secretive, the US government has announced a plan to be more transparent than it has been for decades. As the title says – this is a bit backwards to the last few years, isn’t it?

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A new beginning?

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 10:   U.S. President Geo...
One out, one in

Today is – I hope – a great day. After eight years of utter madness, a lunatic will hand over the reigns of power to someone who seems to actually be intelligent. Finally, finally, George Bush will leave the office of President of the United States. This day could not have come soon enough.

My impressions of Obama are good, but I’m always wary. One thing he’s certainly doing is living up to his promises of “change”. Guantanamo Bay will begin the shutdown procedure during his first week in office. This alone is a huge step in international relations as it was a clever loophole that avoided the Gevena Convention.

I only hope such things aren’t a little gloss on his first few weeks and that he doesn’t sink into the usual nonsense we’re used to from politicians.

Bush’s final speeches have been full of hyperbole and nonsense, either ignoring or twisting virtually everything he’s done over the last eight years. According to them, he’s overcome problems and managed a surprising number of achievements. No mention of the fact that he’d not have had to overcome so many of these issues if he’s not caused them in the first place.

But let’s not dwell on the past. Let’s hope for the future. I’m very happy to see a new face in the White House, especially one that’s come pretty much from left field. Obama seems genuinely intelligent and pretty honest – and also very keen to stamp his mark in a good way.

I wish him the best. Both out of relief and out of hope and partly out of belief. And I thank America for voting him in. It’s making me genuinely happy to see someone who’s at least not an obvious idiot in the most powerful office in the world.

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When I rule the world

User:J.J.

Well, the UK at least. Come on, I can’t do a worse job that that fuckit who’s in charge at the moment that nobody voted for.

I’ve got a ton of ideas and I’ve listed them before but I’ve come up with another to add to the list. It’s a nice simple one. You know how the scrotes from the council estates who live off your tax money always go on about how everyone has to be polite to them? Shop workers, benefit officers, council staff and so on? And if they’re not then they complain and get recompense and apologies and waste more money and time?

Well, fight back time. All council staff will have a simple class in how to be insulting. Only those with a sharp with will be hired. People who can cut someone down verbally with barely a bat of the eyelid and who don’t mind putting someone in their place. Staff will be actively encouraged to tell someone they’re a “******* workshy waste of space” and that until they tidy up their pit of a garden and repaint the doorframes of the house they’ve been given they can “whistle for your ******* dole money, you ****“.

Make them learn that respect is earned and that being a dole-scrounging chav wanktard puts you right down the bottom of the list of people who deserve it. Somehow connecting money and respect may give these shitstains a ******* clue. It’s the only thing they seem to understand. Take away the stuff they get for nothing and watch their entire crappy lifestyle fall apart to the point where they might actually get off their bastard arses and ******* wash.

Or top themselves.

I’m happy to accept either.

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The situation in Thailand

Suvarnabhumi International Airport near Bangko...

I’ve spent some time in Thailand over the last couple of years and really like the country. I like the people, the food, the culture, the hustle, the bustle, the films… but their politics is something else. The current situation as I write exemplifies this.

A couple of years ago, as a result of protests and threatened legal action, the then-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra stepped down and ran out of the country. Despite a huge pile of allegations of fraud and other financial misdealings, he was deemed suitable by the English FA to own and run a football club so he bought Manchester City and settled down in the UK.

That situation has now changed and some new reports say that he’s now no longer allowed back into the UK as he was found guilty in absentia in the Thai courts. Regardless, the government that took over in Thailand was voted in and is currently headed by Thaksin’s brother-in-law. Not ideal, given that Thaksin’s wife was also found guilty of corruption.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has caused more civil unrest. The party say they were voted in legally. The challengers say that they bought that vote by bribing many of the poorer people up and down the country – of which there are many tens of thousands. Either way, the solution to the problem appears to be the same as it was only a couple of years ago – storm the capital and bring the country to a grinding halt.

Not long after I left Thailand the first time I received a couple of emails from a guy I met while I was travelling. He’d been watching TV when all the channels went dead, to be replaced by something written in Thai that he couldn’t read. Tanks rolled through the streets of Bangkok and a fairly peaceful coup took place. An interim government was set up and barely 18 months later, we’re back where we were only with more protests.

While I was in Malaysia recently, I wanted to get the train up into Thailand but that was scuppered as most train stations in souther Thailand (along with three provincial airports) had been hit and closed by protesters. Nothing particularly violent, but enough to collapse a huge proportion of the infrastructure. Everything was uncertain as regards when transport would start running again to the point where the otherwise excellent Malaysian train system would happily sell you a ticket north… and then ask you to hop off the train at Butterworth and offer a refund for the remainder of the trip.

But now it seems things have reached a head with the taking of Bangkok’s major Suvarnabhumi Airport. Tourists and other travellers are stranded, food and water supplies are running out, air conditioning has been shut off and all the TVs in the lounges have been retuned to a gardening channel so that nobody knows what’s going on.

One thing makes me wonder – was Thailand ever really going to be better off as a democracy? Their king is still widely revered as a near god-like figure, not just an inherited position and the people do listen to him. Perhaps the people of Bhutan have something to learn from this given that they are a brand new democracy also.

Sometimes you wonder if it would be better to leave things as they once were. I’m not saying democracy is a bad thing – nor any other form of government rule – more that trying to change a whole country’s philosophy and structure. It’s too late now, though.

Hopefully, one day, Thailand will settle down into something resembling stability. It’s a wonderful country, but there’s always someone who’ll try and take advantage of any system. For Thailand’s sake, I hope they get it all resolved sooner rather than later – and not just because I can’t wait for my next visit.

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