The Power of Pinot Grigio 58


After five years of heated blogging, I take a couple of days off to watch golf and down many a litre of pinot grigio, while sticking up some wind-up posts about abolishing the BBC and Jane Goody accents. The result? Rebekah Brooks falls, Murdoch teeters and the horrid nest of corrupt cop liars are in trouble.

This was a two bottle day. For tomorrow’s third round I shall drink three bottles of pinot grigio (or probably a nice burgundy, given the weather forecast). That should bring down Cameron.

Who said alcohol isn’t good for you? It has wonderful results.


58 thoughts on “The Power of Pinot Grigio

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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Mary, perhaps, when and if they are ever arrested, like Antonio La Torre, alleged Camorra capo and for many years respected pillar of the Aberdeen business community, these corrupt police officers will shrug in that peculiar manner and exclaim: “I’m just a businessman.” Of course, the corruption, clearly, appears to have been systemic at the very highest levels.

  • Azra

    Craig, I will open half dozen bottles of Pinot Grigio and will drink every drop tonight… do you think I can bring the whole government down?? honest, I will welcome the hangover whole heartedly..

  • Jon

    @Azra – :). I am sinking a Grenache, every little helps!
    .
    Regular visitors will incidentally be interested to hear that this post was Craig’s 2,500th article on his blog. Round of applause please, for a real commitment to blogging, and making this one of the most interesting sources of political discussion on the web.

  • dreoilin

    Woohoo!! Go Craig!!
    .
    By the way, while we’re all watching Murdoch, and Craig’s watching golf, I thought I’d throw in this:
    .
    “CAIRO: Thousands of protesters rallied in Tahrir Square Friday dubbed “The Friday of Final Warning,” to reiterate the demands of the revolution, ahead of an immanent cabinet reshuffle.
    .
    “After Friday prayers, protesters collectively chanted “Allah is great,” “the Military Council is illegitimate,” and “Down with Tantawi,” referring to the head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi.
    .
    “The protesters, whose numbers dramatically increased to tens of thousands in the evening, expressed their demands through poetry, song, caricatures and graffiti reminiscent of the 18-day uprising that toppled ex-president Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11 …”
    http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/egypt/thousands-in-tahrir-on-final-warning-friday.html
    .
    It’s all happening out there …

  • mary

    Actually it is hard to tell from that article who paid for the five weeks at Champneys except that Stephenson didn’t. Former Met officer O’Connor is saying on Sky that the stay was worth £12,000. Why do so many of these ex coppers like Stalker come on TV so regularly anyway?
    .
    The sleaze is absolutely revolting.
    .
    Dreoilin Make that: “LONDON: Thousands of protesters rallied in Trafalgar Square Friday dubbed “The Friday of Final Warning,” to reiterate the demands of the revolution, ahead of an imminent coalition government resignation.

  • dreoilin

    Flotilla:
    .
    “SOMEWHERE IN THE EAST MEDITERRANEAN – On Saturday evening a Gaza-bound boat left Greek territorial waters. Its 10 participants regard themselves as representatives of the entire abortive flotilla to Gaza, and are determined to exhaust all possibilities in order to reach their destination, or at least carry out the symbolic act of protesting the blockade. They are well aware of the Lilliputian dimensions of their venture, compared with the massive impact organizers had initially planned to have with the 10-odd vessel flotilla …”
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/gaza-bound-ship-carrying-pro-palestinian-activists-sets-sail-from-greece-1.373601
    .
    Also on board are three crew members and three journalists from Al Jazeera and Haaretz.

  • dreoilin

    Agreed, Mary. I’d love to see thousands in Trafalgar Square.
    And I’d love to see a massive anti-IMF protest in Dublin too. 🙁

  • mary

    Dreoilin A friend has just written to a minister in the Foreign Office, and who is also his MP, about this outrage happening to the protesting passengers on the US boat in Athens, including one British woman, Jenny Linnell from Devon. All supplies have been cut off including electricity.
    .
    Are your colleagues in the Foreigh Office aware of this….? If true, what is the excuse for this shameful betrayal, please?
    .

    http://milfuegos.blogspot.com/2011/07/action-alert-july-16th-call-state-dept.html
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    Saturday, July 16, 2011
    Action Alert, July 16th- Call State Dept Emergency Operations Center about Conditions on The Audacity of Hope!
    .
    Contact:
    Ann Wright 011 30 694 165 7310
    Regina Carey 011 30 694 203 6296
    Jenny Linnell 011 30 694 224 6648
    .
    Athens, July 16, 2011 – Day 16 of the imprisonment of the U.S. Boat to Gaza, The Audacity of Hope, at a U.S. Embassy shared pier near Piraeus, Greece, just outside of Athens.
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    The U.S. Embassy has done absolutely nothing to help us in 100 + degree heat at a U.S. Government shared pier! No shore power, no alternatives provided (like another pier). No consular visits to see the conditions for themselves. NOTHING, ABSOULTELY NOTHING!!!
    .
    This weekend, please call the State Department 202-647-4000 and ask for the 24 hour Emergency Operations Center. Tell them that 3 people are still enduring the inhumane, dangerous conditions on the boat.
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    All are women–2 Americans and 1 UK citizen. They are:
    .
    Regina Carey {http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/07/06/18683952.php} from San Rafael, California, is a consultant specializing in strategic planning and planned giving. In her lifetime commitment to human rights she has focused her time and energy to the Rights of the Indigenous (original people), Water Rights and Peace. She is a co-founder of the Black/Jewish Dialogue Group in Marin County, California. She has been an active participant in the World Social Forum and the UN Conference Against Racism (Durban, South Africa).
    .
    Crew member Jenny Linnell, is a British citizen from Devon, England, and was a Free Gaza crew member in 2008 on the first boat that broke the naval blockade of Gaza. She stayed in Gaza for a year and worked with the International Solidarity Movement. Her exit from Gaza into Egypt a year later took over 6 weeks because she had arrived by boat. She holds a “Day Skipper” license from the Royal Yachting Association and founded a sailing collective called “Learning the Ropes”.
    .
    Ann Wright is a former U.S. diplomat with 16 years in the State Department and Deputy Chief of Mission (Deputy Ambassador) at 4 U..S Embassies (Sierra Leone, Micronesia, Afghanistan and Mongolia) and who got the State Department’s award for Heroism for her actions protecting civilians during the civil war in Sierra Leone. She resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq.
    Posted by Macu at 7/16/2011 01:47:00 PM
    Labels: USTOGAZA

  • dreoilin

    Mary,
    I’ll send that link out on Twitter straight away. I have hundreds of followers (internationally) and many of them will pass it on.

  • dreoilin

    Oops …
    .
    “The MP who will lead the attack on Rebekah Brooks and Rupert and James Murdoch this week over their roles in the phone-hacking scandal has close links with the media empire, it is revealed today.

    “John Whittingdale, the Conservative chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, admitted he was an old friend of Mr Murdoch’s close aide, Les Hinton, and had been for dinner with Ms Brooks.

    “The Independent on Sunday has also learnt that Mr Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, seen as the future saviour of the company, has also met Mr Whittingdale a number of times. Among her 386 “friends” on Facebook, the only MP she lists is Mr Whittingdale. He is also the only MP among 93 Facebook “friends” of Mr Hinton …”
    .
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/revealed-senior-mps-secret-links-to-murdoch-2315111.html

  • Methuselah Now

    Hi,

    If ever their was a symbol of the bereftness of the intelligence within the Murdoch-clan, that would be it.

    They actually put themselves on Facebook, not linkedin, people rich enough to use/create their own social networks, and they go onto Facebook!

    http://gigaom.com/2011/07/07/facebook-its-double-standard-on-sharing/

    Embarrassing and incompetent.  Even Liz, with some talent, only made her recent fortune by having a sweetheart deal with her former company, daddy’s company, and rolling-up producers with their own legacy productions/content.

    Not her fathers value-creation and vision: creating satellite tv from scratch in the uk, launching a u.s. TV network from scratch that was laughed at for so long and became no.1, a news channel that’s profitable and started with virtuous intent against vested interests, a new business channel from scratch against the specialists of bloomberg and cnbc, the kids aren’t a chip off the old block, but James Murdoch is probably the best.

    Kind regards,

    MN

  • mary

    Dreoilin – Marr, supporter of Bliar’s war has just asked Whittingdale about this. ‘Oh as I have over 500 friends on Facebook, I wouldn’t know whether or not Rebekah Brooks is one of them’ replies the shifty looking Chairman of the DCMS Committee.
    .
    Reviewing the Sunday rags are Max Hastings, supporter of our military excursions over the years and now with the Mail, Polly Toynbee of the Guardian and Geoff Randall, ex BBC and now Sky News business commentator. YCNMIU.
    .
    Marr will have Cleggover on later. All little planets revolving around each other and looking at their own reflections.

  • mary

    Susanna Reid, newsreader, is now presenting ‘Sunday Morning Live’ which follows Marr and which has replaced the racist Nicky Campbell’s ‘Sunday’.
    .
    ‘Susanna Reid hosts a series of moral, ethical and religious debates that invites the audience to get involved’.
    .
    One of her questions today is whether we are too afraid of offending Muslims!!
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    Guess who one of her guests is. Aaronovitch!!! He appears more times in a week on the BBC than I have hot dinners. I will now switch the rubbish off, walk my dog and breathe some clean fresh air.

  • Scouse Billy

    Ha ha ha – I switched off as sson as they had the ex-liverpool copper telling us the cops are now “straight”!!

    Really?

    “The police force investigating the alleged £1 billion fraud at the former Reading operation of HBOS has no plans to probe the possible role of former senior executives and board directors in the scandal.

    Thames Valley Police, working in conjunction with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, has confirmed in a series of emails seen by the Sunday Herald that the Operation Hornet investigation will not cast the net all the way up to the top of the bank. This is despite allegations as to the extreme irregularities concerning the lending of large sums of money.

    The allegations concern money-laundering, corruption and fraud activities between 2002 and 2007 involving Reading-based bank executives and consultants from a corporate turnaround specialist called Quayside Corporate Services. There have been seven arrests over the past year, including Lynden Scourfield, a Bank of Scotland Corporate director who was responsible for a circa £1 billion loan book. Scourfield is understood to have been fired by the bank in April 2007 after a period on sick leave.

    Whistleblower Paul Moore, who was ousted as group head of regulatory risk at HBOS in 2005 after he sought to alert its board to self-destructive behaviour in its retail sales arm — plus many of the owners of the 50-plus companies that got sucked into the fraud and were put into administration as part of an alleged cover-up — believe that board-level directors at HBOS including former chairman Lord Stevenson, former chief executive Andy Hornby and former head of corporate Peter Cummings ought to be investigated.

    They claim that senior executives at the firm failed to notify the whole HBOS board and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) about the criminal nature of the activities. Senior sources from the impaired assets divisions of other leading banks claim that at their organisations, it would be inconceivable for large numbers of loans worth many millions of pounds to be extended to companies with debt problems without board-level executives being aware.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/07/board%E2%80%99s-role-%E2%80%98off-limits%E2%80%99-in-police-probe-of-alleged-1bn-hbos-fraud.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

  • ingo

    The same old same same then isn’t it, our hasbarras keep in their respective positions, they will carry on covering up the flotilla, and whence the frustration boils over and some grad rockets start flying, it is NOT the iron dome that secures Israel, that does not seem to work.
    You see if it would work as designed, taking out these crude rockets, there would be no need to bomb in retaliation, so if it does not work, there is no argument over ‘retaliation’.

    There come a point in time when the misinformation and trust is so eroded that Israel and its so called friends abroad will feel icy receptions with every door opening, people will start engaging in different ways.

    The prevalence of nefarious Israeli influences over foreign Governments, as well as its connective tissues joining up to the existing newsmanagements globally, should be an excellente next global target to open up.

    If there is such a thing as connective tissue out there, Wikileaks, Anonymous, et al, can you hear us? Unite your efforts and go eat your heart out, laying bare the nodes of division, the power plays that are conducted beyond even the news horizon, the money trails and favours, a laudable task and the hardest nut to crack, ever, but also a most valuable service to mankind at this present time, an extension of the Arab summer might just throw Netanyahu’s clique out, reform the rabid judiciary supporting his menace and bring in a new Government that accepts as its first task to sit down and talk turkey.

  • Scouse Billy

    Double snap – I also switched off “Sunday Morning Live” when they went to the ex-copper from Liverpool asserting that the police are “straight” these days!!!

    Sure they are…

    “The police force investigating the alleged £1 billion fraud at the former Reading operation of HBOS has no plans to probe the possible role of former senior executives and board directors in the scandal.

    Thames Valley Police, working in conjunction with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, has confirmed in a series of emails seen by the Sunday Herald that the Operation Hornet investigation will not cast the net all the way up to the top of the bank. This is despite allegations as to the extreme irregularities concerning the lending of large sums of money.

    The allegations concern money-laundering, corruption and fraud activities between 2002 and 2007 involving Reading-based bank executives and consultants from a corporate turnaround specialist called Quayside Corporate Services. There have been seven arrests over the past year, including Lynden Scourfield, a Bank of Scotland Corporate director who was responsible for a circa £1 billion loan book. Scourfield is understood to have been fired by the bank in April 2007 after a period on sick leave.

    Whistleblower Paul Moore, who was ousted as group head of regulatory risk at HBOS in 2005 after he sought to alert its board to self-destructive behaviour in its retail sales arm — plus many of the owners of the 50-plus companies that got sucked into the fraud and were put into administration as part of an alleged cover-up — believe that board-level directors at HBOS including former chairman Lord Stevenson, former chief executive Andy Hornby and former head of corporate Peter Cummings ought to be investigated.

    They claim that senior executives at the firm failed to notify the whole HBOS board and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) about the criminal nature of the activities. Senior sources from the impaired assets divisions of other leading banks claim that at their organisations, it would be inconceivable for large numbers of loans worth many millions of pounds to be extended to companies with debt problems without board-level executives being aware.”

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/07/board%E2%80%99s-role-%E2%80%98off-limits%E2%80%99-in-police-probe-of-alleged-1bn-hbos-fraud.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

  • John K

    @Mary

    Aaronovich is of course an areshole, but the question “Are we too afraid of offending Muslims?” is a perfectly fair one.

  • Jon

    @John_K: it’s a fair question, I think, if it is asked in good faith. If, for example, Jack Straw were to pen a newspaper article of that title, I would imagine he was appealing to shallow populism. If Nick Griffin were to pen the same article, I would imagine he was appealing for his racism to be counted as morally acceptable. Neither case would count as “fair questioning”, to my mind.
    .
    However if someone with a history of anti-racism, or at least no history of using reactionary populism for political gain, were to ask the question, then fair enough. I think it matters how such a debate is constructed as well – it can be trite or propagandist on the one hand (even if the questioner means well), or on the other it can be genuinely shed some light on a difficult subject.

  • John K

    Jon
    .
    No, it’s a fair question whoever asks it.
    .
    The rest is matter for the debate and refutation.
    .
    Politically correct attempts by us on the left to choke off debating and facing up to uncomfortable issues are part of the reason we’re in the mess we’re in.
    .
    And race has nothing to do with it.

  • Jon

    Hi John
    .
    Well, I cheerfully and respectfully disagree. I think motive and approach is important on questions such as these. The question in itself could count as propagandist – if the public constantly hears “fair questions” that separate Muslims out as “the other”, such messages sadly become embedded in the national psyche as non-specific negative associations. It’s happened before with the Irish, and the gypsies, and… well, plenty of blanks to be filled in there, depending on where one is in the world. For the French, it’s the Algerians as well as the Muslims. For Americans it’s the Mexicans as well as the Muslims.
    .
    I am interested in your suggestion that race has nothing to do with it at all. Do you not accept the proposition that, since demonising the “Muslim other” is very helpful in the overall propaganda effort to get the majority of Britons to accept the war on terror and its associated “humanitarian” wars, the likelihood that race is a significant component of Establishment perspective on Muslims is relatively high? I don’t know how conscious that perspective has to be, but my view is that it is there nonetheless.
    .
    I’m not sure what you meant by “the mess we’re in” – do you mean the mess the Left is in, or the country generally? I think if you meant the former, well, the biggest crisis facing the left is how to expose its ideas in a right-wing environment that often successfully muzzles those ideas. If you meant the latter, well, the economic system explains why we’re in this mess – and I don’t mean that necessarily as an anti-capitalist statement. Even well-regulated capitalism would counter much of our current problems, in my view.

  • John K

    @Jon
    .
    The question was “Are we too afraid of offending muslims?”, not something on the lines of “Are muslims and people with different ethnicities demonised by other more powerful groups”, to which the answer is clearly yes.
    .
    By all means critique the question; there are a lot of issues with it, not least of which are: “who are ‘we'”? and “compared to what?”
    .
    But don’t avoid the question by going off at a tangent and attacking something else; address it honestly. Criticising a different question from the one asked is a classic diversion tactic.
    .
    You introduced racism into the discussion by putting forward the frankly astonishing view that only those with a track record of anti-racism or proven right-on credentials should be allowed to even ask the question. Anyone has a right to ask any question they like, even if others find that uncomfortable. Challenge their reasoning by all means, but don’t shout them down or make assumtions as to their motives.
    .
    Islam is not a race, or even ethnically based these days; it is one of the world’s great religions and has adherents across all the world. However, both the faith and its members should be no more protected from uncomfortable questions than Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or any other. By introducing the r-word you are implying that anyone who questions it must be racist unless they can demonstrate they are not. Low blow.
    .
    Personally I do not believe in God in any of the forms God is framed. But I’m perfectly comfortable that millions of people do. I just bridle at the idea that any religion or its adherents should be given such favourable treatment that people in positions of public scrutiny are afraid of criticising or offending them for fear of being called racist or intolerant.
    .
    I think the answer to the original question is probably “yes”, if the “we” is the British public discourse, and you have provided some evidence as to why.

  • Jon

    Cheers, John.
    .
    I don’t feel I was avoiding the question “are we too afraid of offending Muslims” – the question wasn’t asked of me. We were discussing whether it was a *fair* question. So I was addressing the topic honestly – though I am happy to provide a discursive answer to the question itself if you like! I think it should be recognised though that there really is such as a thing as an unfair question; the classic example is a lawyer cross-examining a man in court with: “When did you stop beating your wife?”. Sometimes it is a reasonable answer, then, to object to the question itself (and in our particular case, I am sitting on the fence, as you can tell!).
    .
    Yes, I introduced racism into the discussion, and with good reason. Questions rarely exist in a vacuum, and I think it veers towards gross oversimplification to ignore such dynamics. They are important, and in my view add as much tone and meaning as the actual words in the question. But I certainly don’t intend not to “[allow people] to even ask the question” – certainly not. People have the right to ask what they like, and subsequently people who hear them speak have a right to decide whether they think the question is fair or not. I have no intention of denying anyone the right to say something.
    .
    Likewise I don’t intend to “shout anyone down” by accusing them of racism reflexively. But I do think it is important for someone asking this question to demonstrate they are acting in good faith. I don’t think it is reasonable to take such a question from Nick Griffin (nearly invoking Godwin’s Law here) and to expect a discussion that genuinely has the interests of Muslims at its heart. Of course, I have the right to take that view, just as another left/liberal is quite within their rights to expect good faith of racist X if he or she chooses.
    .
    There is an interesting parallel, I think, with your absolutist view that questions may exist in a vacuum, and various purist ideologies that in actuality are not supportable in practice. For example, everyone likes Voltaire, but no practical liberal will ever support absolute freedom of speech (“crying fire in a crowded theatre”). Free-market theorists similarly don’t ever seem to support the pure version of the free-market in its application. In both cases, I think, and in our subject as well, real life is more complex than it is on paper, and needs to be take into account.
    .
    The peculiarity about my position is I entirely agree with you that religion of all kinds should not be subject to special protection. I take an extremely dim view of religion in general, even though as a left/liberal I am strongly in favour of religious freedom. I am proud therefore to speak out against Islamophobia, and I take the view that if it is harder to ask “reasonable questions” such as this, the right wing has reaped what it has sowed. But, as I hope my answer demonstrates, it is not impossible to ask this question at all.

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