Sunday, 18 April 2010


Three issues dominated the headlines this week, all of them fairly big stories and each significant for different reasons.  The largest of the stories was of course the ongoing war between the UK and Iceland, not content with emptying what was left in our children’s piggy banks they decide to perform the single largest act of Eco-terrorism the world has ever seen.  The grounding of the entire UK airspace for over 3 days (so far) has only ever happened twice before, once during 9/11 and during the second world war – when let’s face it the only planes flying then were painted green and had Browning machine guns bolted to their sides.  The unpronounceable volcano (Eyjafjallaj√∂kull) which translates as “up yours international airlines” has decided to retaliate for the millions of tons of CO2 spewed put by airlines each year and the melting the glaziers that entomb the country. 

The second big story was the inaugural Televised political debate between the three main parties contesting this year’s election in the UK.  At this point I have to admit that I have never voted before, which I know is deplorable and would cause all of those that died for democracy and fended off the Nazi’s all those years ago to be spinning in their graves, but since Margaret Thatcher’s era – what is the point? Not since the ‘Iron’ ladies days have we had any variation on a theme.  Political parties have merged, policies have become mirrored and the leaders have morphed into clones.

Gone are the days when one party stood for the Gentry, One stood for the workers and one stood for the trees.  Their policies were divided into more money for the rich and keep the dirty rotten foreigners out; higher salaries for clip board holding union officials and keep the dirty foreigners out, and more land for the trees and vegetables rights.  These days it is hard to identify differences between the parties, the old face of socialism, communism,  conservativeness, fascism, liberalism and capitalism have all morphed into parties politics that bend with public opinion, relying more on Big Brother style polls, public relation campaigns and hair gel. 
This week’s televised debate has done nothing but dilute the differences between the parties even further. The fact that viewing figures were comparable with ‘X-Factor’ or ‘Big Brother’, could be seen as a positive move in engaging more peoples interest in politics, however we all know that the reasons for watching were more to do with seeing if Gordon Brown ‘s facial twitch was still as pronounced , or would the Botox under David Camerons eyes droop at the last minute.  The potential for one of the 3 contenders to swear on national TV, drop a bullock, or be belittled by their opponent was too much of a temptation to be missed.

In reality what we found was 2 and a half men professionally groomed, rehearsed and surprisingly respectful of each other – but then why wouldn’t they be?  To be respectful is to walk down the middle line; to criticise or disagree strongly would be to object to at least one potential voters view.  To be a contender you need to support everyone’s football teams with a passion, like all kinds of food, have no allegiance over Coronation Street or Eastenders, and see the virtues in Lady Gaga’s lyrics.  Oh and also support constraint whilst seeing the need to invest, making harsh decisions albeit protecting jobs, reducing emissions, but not stopping progress and supporting basic values whilst recognising independence – basically you need to have more faces than a Deltoidal Hexecontahedron (look it up!).

Which is why the only differences we now have is how they look, and what this debate has done has refined politics into facial features rather than policy, just imagine if it was Tony Blair instead of Gordon Brown! We would have been introduced by three individuals from the Satchi and Satchi school of politics, each groomed within an inch of their lives, hair gelled millimeter perfect, teeth shiny enough to advertise tooth paste and ties so straight they must have been painted onto their crisp white shirts. This isn’t so much of a debate, more of a beauty pageant.  Not surprising then that Dicky Clegg won hands down over corny Cameron and Bland Brown, forget politics show us those dimples. 
The final piece of news had a traumatic effect on me and millions like me, news that caused suicidal tendencies to surface and moments of extreme depression.   For over a year reports emerged that would change our lives, at first it started with rumors on the internet, these developed into accusations and counter claims, sneak peeks and spy shots.  After all of this the messiah of modern day technology finally announced the second coming on January 27th 2010.

Steve Jobs put is all out of our misery and announced that Apple would launch the iPad in April.  Ever since the birth of my iPhone, I had longed for her to have a brother or sister, the announced pregnancy in January meant a birth in April; this led to sleepless nights, anguished days and untold accessory preparation.  Then as the delivery came closer we heard that they had got the conception date wrong, and we wouldn’t be receiving our little packages of technological joy until the end of May.

Too much to bear I hurried to find an importer and scoured eBay.  Sure there were plenty of them for sale, it wasn’t the Jack Sparrow sellers that but me off, nor the over inflated prices, but the thought of leaving the handling of something so precious to Fedex or Parcel Force caused the most concern.  This led to only one alternative, I would have to travel to the states to collect and hand deliver back to the UK, of course the price would be extreme, but the use of all of those airmiles collected would mean it was only time that would be given – and after all what price can be put against delivering a new life?  So decision made, time booked off, cash prepared ...... yes you guessed it those bloody Icelandic's!

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