Daily Archives: September 23, 2008


John Le Carre for Prime Minister

Seriously.

“Partly, I’m angry that there is so little anger around me at what is being done to our society, supposedly in order to protect it,” said the 76-year-old in an interview in Waterstone’s magazine.

“We have been taken to war under false pretences, and stripped of our civil rights in an atmosphere of panic. Our lawyers don’t take to the streets as they have done in Pakistan.

“Our MPs allow themselves to be deluded by their own spin doctors, and end up believing their own propaganda.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/lawandorder/3053367/John-le-Carre-Britons-have-been-stripped-of-civil-liberties.html

Meantime two items from our too good to be true department:

In his dangerous job the MI6 spy’s identity needs to remain a closely guarded secret.

So you can imagine his surprise when, during an interview with the national broadcaster, his carefully chosen disguise of a fake moustache failed him spectacularly.

The hapless spy, known only as ‘John’, had been trying to discuss the role that MI6 played during inteligence operations.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/3042969/MI6-agents-cover-slips-during-BBC-interview.html

A delegate to the Republican National Convention gave a TV interview enthusing for a war with Iran. Mr Eugenides takes up the story:

A few hours after that clip was filmed, our galactically smug hero took a girl back to his hotel room and slipped off his clothes in anticipation while she mixed them a couple of drinks…

…and when he woke up, his catch had made off with $120,000 of swag, including his $30,000 watch – yes, I’ve typed that correctly – a $20,000 ring, and jewellery and accessories worth tens of thousands of bucks.

http://mreugenides.blogspot.com/

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Attacked By The Sunday Times Again!

I may be just one man and his battered keyboard, but something I have brought to light about Buckingham, Spicer, Usmanov or some other creep has evidently struck home because the Sunday Times has run a character assassination piece on me yet again!

This time I merit a page and a bit in one of their pullouts, and a big picture from which they have very kindly airbrushed the wrinkles, presumably to make me more plausible as the dangerous Lothario they are portraying. To be attacked for antiquated attitudes to women by Murdoch, with his page 3 girls and Jordan/Katie Price industry, is vaguely amusing.

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4794188.ece

Ms Bowditch, the journalist, was quite pleasant, but kept asking me questions about my love life. For her to write that sex is never far from my mind is a bit rich. Actually it is quite often far from my mind, but not when people ask me repeated questions about it. It is difficult for anything to be far from your mind in those circumstances.

Ms Bowditch came determined to quiz me on and write about my love life. It is ludicrous hypocrisy to do that and then shed crocodile tears that my love life detracts from more important issues in Uzbekistan. I think that there is a simple test of how genuine the Sunday Times is on this:

Question: How many times this century has the Sunday Times sent a correspondent to Uzbekistan?

Answer: Nil

Question: How many serious articles has the Sunday Times written on Uzbekistan other than attacks on me?

Answer: Nil

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I am cleverer than I realise

Apparently I have done something very clever in my respose to Weill and Buckingham.

What’s most interesting is that in response Murray has written a search-engine optimized blog post. Read his last paragraph, beginning “It would be a great pity… .” It’s been lexically massaged until it’s like something off about.com, which is a sure sign that it’s aimed at the search engines as much as at human beings.

http://www.biggrandejatte.co.uk/smallbeds/

I have to admit that was totally accidental. Tim Ireland advises me on that stuff sometimes, and I try to nod and look intelligent, but I have no idea what he is saying most of the time. However if it worked by chance I am very happy.

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Nick Faldo

The hatred of large sections of the British media for Nick Faldo is a puzzle. Faldo has an awkward manner, is uneasy with the press, and has always been inclined to be a bit…well, naff. His attempts to explain off the photo of his pairings as a sandwich list this week was emblematic of his lack of easy grace.

But for a substantial period Faldo was the best golfer in the world. To be the very best in a sport that has two hundred million players is tremendous. Yet compare Faldo’s treatment with that of Steve Redgrave, who was the best in a sport with approximately 200 million less players, or Johnny Wilkinson whose sport has approximately 199.5 million less players. Andy Murray will equal Faldo in stature when he has won six Grand Slam titles, compared to his current total of, umm, nil. All the signs are that Murray has less natural grace than Faldo. Yet in Murray the press portray it is a tigerish will to win.

A narrow loss to the United States in the Ryder Cup is no disgrace, The rubbish performance of seasoned pros like Garcia, Harrington, Jimenez, Westwood and Casey cannot be blamed on Faldo. Golf writers almost unanimously hailed one of the captain’s picks, Casey, as good and condemned the other, Poulter. Yet Casey was rubbish in the match. His decison to take a driver off the tee when Hunter Mahan was in the woods was for me the moment that lost the Ryder Cup. Poulter turned out to be the best player on either side in the entire match. Yet those same golf writers who got that completely wrong are now laying into Faldo big time.

Faldo is a sporting hero. There is not a golf writer in the country who deserves to shine his shoes.

This blog has moved into sport and films because, having seen David Milliband’s speech on TV, the very thought of politics makes me feel sick. Normal service will be resumed shortly.

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