Down with this sort of thing …

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    4th December 2010

    ADDENDUM: What’s the world coming to?  We Brits know how to get our priorities right. Don’t we just? Down with this sort of thing too … (see here )

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    For a little light relief I have something amusing for you. Cos you’re worth it and it’s Saturday night and why aren’t you out on the town anyway?  I spotted this picture earlier over at John Rentoul’s.  It tickled me. I might suggest it as a banner header for a few million blogs out there in the great beyond.

    A terribly polite placard hoisted aloft in Edinburgh, during the Pope's recent visit. Image by Andy Caitlin.






    Or if you really want to get your point across …

    NOT NOW!


    Rentoul’s article, WHICH is also having some pedantic fun, as it happens, with what we want or don’t want

    “What do we (not) want?”

    John Rentoul

    Also in pedantry, I am engaged in a debate about whether the Oldham East and Saddleworth election is a by-election or not (we’re currently leaning to yes, but someone has contacted the Electoral Commission for a definitive ruling).

    Meanwhile, thanks to Paddy Briggs, number 54 on The Banned List is “storyline” as a verb. Not that this offence, by Miranda Hart in The Observer, is likely to be repeated. But we’ll take it to include any noun-as-verb transgression (by which I mean any coinage that isn’t clever, witty or by me).

    Which is an excuse to use this photograph, allegedly taken by Andy Caitlin when the Pope was in Edinburgh in September.


    There’s also another interesting article by Rentoul, from 11th November when Phil Woolas lost his case and his seat over “lying” about his opponent –  Lies, damned lies, and Phil Woolas

    And just yesterday the now former MP and former Labour minister Phil Woolas, in the High court, lost his appeal against this decision. He is now definitely banned for three years from standing as an MP. There is no right of further appeal.

    There’s something not quite right in that decision, even if it is technically, legalistically correct.

    Human Rights Court, Phil?

    Quite a few lying so-and-sos seem to get fairly good results there.

    I notice John used one of my favourite phrases in his November article. One which I tend to throw around at his site  like shoes at a Tony Blair appearance.  It’s my way of showing my appreciation of the We All Knowers on Blair. You remember them? That crowd who know and knew zilch. And even less before Wikileaks started leaking.  Something tells me they now wish it was called Wikiplug.

    John had some interesting thoughts on Phil Woolas’s disqualification as the winner of the election in his then constituency in May,  and the decision banning him from standing as an MP for three years. The High Court upheld that decision yesterday.

    In short, Rentoul asks – do courts decide or do the voters?

    I know what I think.

    John said, “We all know,” do we not, that he [Woolas] is a politician.

    Thus he is not to be trusted. Unlike our courts which hardly ever make any mistakes or bad judgements, as We All Know, don’t we?

    Rentoul continued: “I was, therefore, eager to agree with my colleagues who thought that the judges’ verdict in the Woolas case was an impertinent usurpation of democracy. It seemed to be a lawyerisation, complication and bureaucratisation of the back-and-forth of vigorous, even Hogarthian, political debate. […] But it is not wrong in principle that an MP’s election should be ruled void by the courts in these limited circumstances – it is, after all, the first case under this law and its similar precursor since 1911. The only question is whether it should then be for the people of Oldham East and Saddleworth to have the final say, by allowing Woolas to contest the re-run election. I think that the three-year disqualification is wrong, and that he should be allowed a final appeal to the court of his constituents.”

    But he’s right anyway. As we all know.

    I say –








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