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Saturday, September 20, 2008
The poll will be seen as bad news for Brown, who narrowly pipped Heather Mills and comfortably beat Tom Cruise, James Blunt and George W Bush to the title of Person You Would Least Like To Go For A Pint With.
The poll, carried out by a Labour blogger in a pub, will be seen as bad news for Brown. But potential challengers to Brown will find little to write home about - voters said they were no more likely to go for a pint with David Miliband, Jack Straw, Alan Johnson, David Cameron or Nick Clegg. 100% of respondents would prefer to go for a pint with their mates, or with attractive celebrities.
Cameron claimed that whereas in a previous generation it had been tvs that broke down, now the problem was MP3 players.
But according to the old Etonian, the problem highlighted the difference between Labour's approach and his own. Labour would waste money on one-to-one personal time with a trained professional in an aim to reintegrate the i-pod into society. Cameron would "heal" the i-pod by ending its dependence on crutches like rechargers. If the device didn't fix itself, he would rely on the good nature of well-meaning individuals to play with the settings. And if they couldn't fix it, he would punish the ipod by hitting it on the side of the table until it came to its senses.
A spokesperson from Apple said they had examined the offending item and found no fault with it, other than Cameron's faux-trendy music collection.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Under the scheme, identity cards would be replaced by a "local leisure card" similar to supermarket loyalty cards, except less useful for working class people. Middle-class people would earn points for doing middle-class things - visiting the gym, shopping at Waitrose or going to the theatre. Parents living in postcodes with good schools could be eligible for "multipliers" which would see their score rise exponentially and taxes decrease similarly.
"It's time to end working-class culture in the UK," said Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg. "We will use the tax system as an incentive to replace football with yoga, Big Brother with Newsnight Review and fish and chips with taramasalta. If only we can turn Britain middle-class then maybe, just maybe we'll have a shot at government one day."
Health spokesperson Norman Lamb denied the move would incentivise paranoid pensioners to visit their yoga teachers every day in order to score more points. "Lalalalalalala, I can't hear you, I can't hear you," he argued.
Tories welcomed the scheme as, although beauracratic and totally unmanageable, it would "undermine the principle of socialised leisure and move Britain closer to an insurance model where we pay according to our own personal level of risk", according to Tory Spokesperson for Humiliating Fat People Andrew Lansley.
But libertarians said the move was yet further proof that the Lib Dems were not quite as batshit crazy as them. "This is just another extension of the big brother state," said a prominent blogger, who refused to be named in case ZaNuLabSSPolPotour came for him in the night. "First it was Oystercards, now this. I'm never going to a gym again."
Sunday, September 07, 2008
The controversial report suggests some MPs do more casework than others, some knock on more doors and some have more influence over government policy.
In extreme cases, people on one street might be represented by one MP, and people on the next street could be represented by another. But sensible people claimed that this was an inevitable part of having a geographical system - you have to draw the line somewhere.
"This is what happens when you let the common people choose their own MP" said Shadow Chancellor George Osbourne, who backed tough national standards for new MPs to be reinforced by a lack of hard-hitting targets.
Thursday, September 04, 2008
The terms of former Home Secretary Charles Clarke's ASBO prevent him from going within 100 yards of a journalist for the duration of Gordon Brown's premiership. He has also had his mobile phone confiscated and internet connection deactivated.
Breach of the order could lead to a fine or six months locked in a jail guarded by another former Home Secretary wielding a machine-gun.
Political ally Alan Milburn tried to excuse his friend's behaviour, arguing "It's not Charles' fault; it's because there's nothing for him to do." But officials pointed out that not all former ministers were badly behaved, and said he had been offered a list of doors to knock on to "keep him out of trouble".
Other Labour MPs were adamant the measures did not go far enough. "Charles Clarke has made our life a misery," said one anonymous back-bencher who believes Clarke could lose him his seat. "When Trade Unionists tried to bring down the government, Thatcher ordered ritual violence to beat them into submission. It's the only way he'll learn."
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