Stephen's Feed
May 27, 2009
via UK News

Is Susan Boyle a dead cert for Saturday?

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She’s odds-on favourite to win Saturday’s final of “Britain’s Got Talent,” she’s become an overnight international star and now she’s started out on the trail to tabloid sainthood by acquiring her own headline moniker “SuBo.”

But not everyone thinks Susan Boyle is a dead cert for the title. Singer Lily Allen for one thinks she’s over-rated. “I thought her timing was off, no control, and I don’t think she has an amazing voice,” Allen said of Boyle’s rendition on Sunday of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Memory” from the Cats musical.

May 22, 2009
via UK News

Duck soup

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Last week it was pigs who saw their image dragged into the mire as they became symbols of the MPs’ expenses scandal. Now it’s the turn of the ducks.

Ducks are waddling all over the newspapers today after the revelation that Tory MP Sir Peter Viggers claimed 1,645 pounds for a so-called “Stockholm” pond house to give his ducks shelter from foxes and the cold.  

May 21, 2009
via UK News

The BNP at Buckingham Palace

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The British National Party (BNP) says its leader Nick Griffin is planning to attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace next month, hosted by the Queen.

All members of the London Assembly have been invited, and since last year they include the BNP’s Richard Barnbrook. He wants to bring Griffin as his guest.

May 19, 2009
via UK News

Speaker Martin: scapegoat or villain?

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Michael Martin, Speaker of the House of Commons, is under pressure like never before and news reports say he might even announce his departure on Tuesday afternoon.

The chief officer and highest authority of the House has become a lightning rod for the strong current of anger swirling around Westminster as the row over MPs’ expenses rumbles on.

May 18, 2009
via UK News

Echoes of Italy’s Clean Hands revolution

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The shockwaves reverberating through Westminster as the MPs’ expenses scandal unfolds have been compared with the “Clean Hands” bribery scandal that effectively demolished Italy’s post-war political establishment in the space of a couple of years in the early 1990s.

If things are going to get that bad, the guilty politicians are going to have an uncomfortable time.

May 15, 2009
via UK News

Let’s hear it for the pigs

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It’s been a grim time for pigs.

First they were blamed for the swine flu that caused a worldwide stir after it was discovered in Mexico — and now everyone’s likening them to Members of Parliament with their snouts in the trough.

But look at the facts. The genetic make-up of the virus may have been predominantly porcine but the pigs themselves didn’t have it. Even at the supposed epicentre of the outbreak in Mexico they showed no symptoms — things reached such a state that owners of some pig farms in the US were stopping humans coming near them in case they infected their animals. The pigs were innocent OK?

May 14, 2009
via UK News

Nostalgia makes a comeback in TV ad-land

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The recession is bringing back the strangest characters.  Rising from their graves like the zombies in Night of the Living Dead are people we thought had been buried decades ago.

The Milky Bar Kid is one, Persil mum is another and, inevitably, the Hovis bread delivery boy struggling up his cobbled hill while the brass band plays on.

May 12, 2009
via UK News

MPs’ expenses — worse than cash for questions?

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Britain’s anti-sleaze chief Sir Christopher Kelly, Chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, has said the MPs’ expenses scandal is worse than the infamous cash for questions affair that did so much damage to the John Major adminstration in the 1990s.

In that celebrated scandal, which fatally undermined Tory MP Neil Hamilton’s political career, Harrods owner Mohamed Al-Fayed alleged he had paid two MPs to table parliamentary questions on his behalf.

May 11, 2009
via UK News

What would be YOUR best job in the world?

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British charity fundraiser Ben Southall is preparing to begin the “best job in the world” – caretaker of an Australian tropical island — after winning a highly publicised contest this month.

The job involves exploring the islands of the Great Barrier Reef for six months and reporting back to Tourism Queensland and the world via blogs, a photo diary, video updates and interviews. If he feels like it, he can feed the fish, collect the mail and clean the pool, all at a salary of about 74,000 pounds.

May 8, 2009
via UK News

Should Joanna Lumley be allowed to dictate Gurkha policy?

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While Gordon Brown increasingly draws comparisons to the mortally wounded bull gasping his last at a Spanish corrida, one personality at Westminster  has been putting on a show of decisive policy-making that has brought the bloodthirsty crowd to its feet.

Totally at ease with publicity, absurdly photogenic and much loved amongst the electorate at large, actress Joanna Lumley — AbFab’s Patsy to the younger ones, The Avengers’ Purdy to more seasoned TV viewers — has provided Westminster watchers with an object lesson in how to get things done.