24 November 2007

Rock on Rudd

Initial exit polls suggest that little Johnnie Howard is goin' down in the Australian election.

Please god, make it so (said by a good atheist who nonetheless loves Patrick Stewart). Howard is, more than any other world leader apart from Bush, a cheap punk... a nasty little populist fascist who has introduced the most draconian labour laws you will find anywhere outside China and the United Arab Emirates, and backed the US's loony foreign policies to the hilt.

Also, at the 2003 World Cup final, when Australia gave one of the most gutsy performances I have ever seen in an international rugby match, and very nearly overturned the hot favourites, England, Howard was handing out the losers' medals to them and he was very nearly spitting on those poor bastards. It was a display of misanthropy and contempt on a grand scale... which made it obvious he was a cheap little wanker.

I know very little about Labor [sic]'s Kevin Rudd, but he can't be any worse than Howard. Also, there is a faint chance he might be related to AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, and that would be worth voting for in itself. Rock on Rudd.

If anyone else has the misfortune to be awake at 7am on Saturday morning...

...I recommend that for a laugh, you tune into the Mo Dutta show on Radio 2. This guy basically is the real Alan Partridge. He's bringing the cack-handedness of local radio to the UK's most listened to radio station. It's amusingly crap, unlike, say, the Sarah Kennedy slot early mornings on weekdays, which is just a senile moron telling stories about her cats and slagging off various members of the community for no good reason. And she had the nerve to call mid-morning DJ Ken Bruce an "old fool"...

Terry Wogan is, by now, Radio 2's answer to Leonid Brezhnev (he's kept alive for public appearances but there's nobody home) and surely will be pensioned off soon. When that breakfast show slot becomes vacant I hope they give it to Mo Dutta. (A few years ago I'd have said "please give it to Noel Edmonds" but that was before Deal or No Deal took off.) Radi0 2 is worth very little unless it is utterly ludicrous. Jonathan Ross understands this very well (and walks off with a large slice of my licence fee money in the process. I should decide the allocation of resources... more programmes for Tony Benn and Leo Sayer, please.)

love-on ya.


21 November 2007

"You're dead you're f***ing dead"...

...as the guy with the balaclava on said in Nathan Barley.

In this case, it's directed at Steve McClaren.

Hal Berstram here, back on the sports desk for 1 night only. I've just watched probably the lamest England performance since the failure to qualify for 3 consecutive international tournaments in the mid-1970s.

These guys are paid huge amounts and they can't perform for shit. In that sense they are very, very similar to the directors of firms like Northern Rock and Paragon.

Welcome to 21st century UK market capitalism... a system where you get paid huge amounts for being rubbish.

The good thing about this is that McClaren will be history. Probably ex-Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McClaren could put out a better side. Maybe it's time to make the job into a big reality TV experiment. Just get a randomly picked punter to have a go... could they be any more duff?

It's lame, for sure. I'm going to Layer Road to watch Colchester on Saturday and I'm sure I'll find a better standard there. Onward and downward...

I've got a good idea - let's burn the Child Benefit database onto a CD and send it through the post.

Not a lot of time to post over the last few weeks but the extraordinary story of the missing Child Benefit data has jolted me into action.

For once, headlines from duff papers such as the Daily Mail make perfect sense - "mind-blowing incompetence".

The data include bank account details and various other sensitive info. They ere apparently put on CD by a junior HMRC operative in Newcastle, posted to London using a courier - not unrecorded Royal Mail delivery as some sources initially reported - and failed to arrive about 3 weeks ago.

AFAIK the data were not encrypted or even password protected in any way.

What the f***? Haven't these people even heard of secure FTP? Why the hell were the data being put in the post in the first place?

If it was just one person whose details had been compromised in this way it would be scandalous. But it's 25 million people - half the bloody country.

Brace yourselves for the paralysis of the banking system as justifiably concerned customers ring up to request changes of account details and query any anomalies - or perceived anomalies which appear on their statements. Which is just what we need in the current financial climate. Meanwhile the whole thing rather undermines the Government's campaign for greater vigilance to prevent ID fraud. Are people gonna bother to take precautions if government departments are this sloppy?

If this kind of story appeared in a political drama it would be criticised for being too unrealistic. Good luck getting out of this one, guys - the Tories will be having a field day.

08 November 2007

OK... Plan B

On second thoughts, I've decided the music scene is not interesting enough - in itself - to carry giroscope forward. I'd like to be able to say that it's this decision that explains why no post since 24 Oct, but actually it's because I'm damn lazy. That's right, I'm bone idle. Sorry about that.

But a compromise has been reached. giroscope - that which you all know and love - will continue as that unique blend of politics, comedy and Herb Alpert's mariachi trumpet sound that has captivated audiences since 1962 or thereabouts. I'm pleased to announce the imminent return of Seth B Ramal as political correspondent. Barney Ruddle is still out there on the farm cider, but on the off chance that he is sober enough to type, expect further occasional contributions. Hal Berstram has been downgraded to the status of 'typesetting automaton' after failing to come up with anything vaguely coherent during his sole tenure. As they said in both Aliens and Billericay, 'you had your chance, Gorman'.

Extra writers always welcome. I've been trying to entice 'Van Patten' to have a go in a PJ O'Rourke / Pat Buchanan 'alternative viewpoint' style but Van is having problems getting an internet connection that'll actually let him log on. The free market, eh?

Meanwhile a brand new 'brother blog' will detail the musical adventures, opinions and idiocies of a good musician friend of ours known to the masses as 'Brother Typewriter', currently residing in the where-is-the-next-song coming from file at the Burning Lodge. That will be set up late November/early December (even sooner if I pull my finger out). Watch these spaces.

S. B. R.