Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hain in the Past


Duh-duh dum, dum, dum,
Duh-dum dum doodle doo...

He's resigned "to clear [his] name". Nothing like leaving it late.

Hain's Resignatometer:

Resigning when it's first discovered that you failed to declare a £100,000 donation? - Way too early.
Resigning when this is blamed - by the Prime Minister, no less - on an "incompetence" over which you presided as a minister? - Still too early.
Resigning when it emerges that a transparently fraudulent "think tank" was used to obscure the money? - Er, nope; still a bit previous, that.
Resigning when the police finally get involved? - Yes! The perfect moment to create an impression of transparency and integrity! The man's a genius!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Clip-Winged Messenger

That there is the far side of the planet Mercury - the one always pointed at the sun, that we don't get to see. Things like this don't make the front pages any more, of course, but in fact this is a pretty rare event these days - a genuine, honest-to-goodness piece of New Frontier. A place seen by human eyes for the first time. Those less disposed to be impressed will point out, understandably, that it's just another load of craters and dust. They have a point, but they're missing THE point. This is sense-of-wonder stuff. It's why kids want to become scientists. This picture should be posted on every school noticeboard in the civilized world, dammit!

I'm reminded of a conversation I once heard at a job club, when a quarry miner was asked what made his work special. After a short pause he said something like "when I chip away a piece of rock, I'm the first human being to ever see what's behind it." It was an image I've never forgotten, and it made me wish that there were more quarry miners in government. Here we are worrying about financial irregularities and the definition of "incompetence", while at the front of the class, weary teacher is desperately trying to grab our attention; "Look, children! Look! It's another planet, for Pete's sake!"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hot Dog, Jumping Frog...

BBC NEWS | Politics | Hain under fire over think tank

You've gotta give credit for that headline; great meter. Hain under, fire over, think tank. A dancefloor hit beckons, methinx. To be played straight after "Another On Bites The Dust", with any luck.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Half A Miracle (But Hey, Who's Counting?)

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | US worker survives 47-storey fall

"If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one," Dr Philip Barie, a surgeon
at New York's Presbyterian Hospital.

Dr Barie seems strangely unwilling to add that believers in miracles should still plan on having at least two sons, just to be on the safe side.

Meanwhile, one hopes that the younger brother is lawyered-up in the celestial courtroom. After all - where there's blame, there's a claim, right?