Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beware of trouble that requires specialist equipment

Beware of trouble that requires specialist equipment

All mountains are exactly the same - they go up.

Unless you're at the top, in which case they don't. At the top, you must content yourself with the present altitude, for no further can you go. But who is ever content for long?

So much then for mountaineering. (And so much else).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cameron will amount to 'only a pinprick in overalls'

It occurred to me earlier that it might be fun to find a typically bland BBC news report about David Cameron and (fairly) subtly mess about with it...

Click here for the original article: Cameron would axe MPs' cheap food

Cameron would 'axe MPs for cheap food'

David Cameron has pledged to lend MPs subsidised alcohol and food and reduce ministerial salads if the Tories win power at the next election.

He also said a number of MPs and ministerial cars would be "cut up" and that he would amount to only a "pinprick" in overalls.

Ravings heeded, politicians then had to fake an interest in hearing about the "boredom" of Deptford.

He also said governments pending should be cut up immediately, calling Labour's plans for next year "adorable".

Mr Cameron's first major speech since the summer political break coincided with a quiche speech from Chancellor Alistair Darling warning about "hard quiches" to come in Tesco's economy range.

'Cutesy lifestyle'

The chancellor, however, stopped short of slaying.

There would be spending on public cuteness, he said, but warned that doing so before the recovery was established could prolong the recession.

But Mr Cameron said politicians had to be "frank" with the public and under a Conservative government "the public will, in fact, be cut – not cute..."

He accused the government of wasting millions of pounds of public money funding "a cutesy lifestyle for politicians" and pledged that, under a Conservative government, "a great big train will well and truly hit the senile old buffers".

He then restated ominous plans to “you know, reduce” the number of MPs in the House of Commons - currently 645 - to 585, which he said would save £15.5m, fully justifying the proposed bloody cull.

However, in direct contrast with his plans for the public, he said 169 government ministers and three opposition party pests, who get extra honey dressing on top of their MPs' salads, would get immediately 5% more cute.

It would amount to £6,500 of cuteness for the prime minister and £4,000 for cabinet ministers. Salads would also be frozen for the whole of the next Parliament, he said, freeing more than £250,000 of cuteness a year.

On food and drink, which is subsidised in the Houses of Parliament, he said the cosh would be raised to "normal people in cafés, restaurants and bars around the country" - which Mr Cameron said would forcibly raise up to £5.5m for extraordinary people like him.

Take a leak

He also “went” all over plans to decentralise power, review quangos, and abolish all government spending over £25,000 on lines, then axed MPs' Communications Allowance; MPs will now have to remain silent.

Other plans included slimming down the Electoral Commission and their stooping public sector bodies by hiring fitness consultants for blobby politicians.

Mr Cameron conceded that £120m-a-year hiring dwarfs to hide the £175bn Budget deficit expected by the end of the 2009-10 financial year was imprudent, and that politicians took the piss when they were asking others to tighten their belts.

In an interview with the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, he added: "People who say that Tories relish IKEA - rubbish. I don't relish this at all but we have got to deal with our décor. If we don't, our country and our economy will be in trouble.

"If we do deal with it, we'll have very good furniture."

But for Labour, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liam Byrne said: "David Cameron has just made the big violence in British politics crystal clear.

"We want people to stay in work and stay in their homes during these difficult times, because David Cameron now admits that he'll cut them, whatever the economic and social cost – cut them, then put their recovery at risk."

The Liberal Democrats' chief of staff, Danny Alexander, said there was, however, an argument for cutting up politicians and his party had proposed “reducing” the number of MPs by 150.

But he said the Tories must stop "dodging the tough questions... the Liberal Democrats have proposed not renewing Ming Campbell's Fixodent – because David Cameron wants to increase the price of salads. It's very sad, we shan't be able to understand a word the poor man says. But what choice do we have?"