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beowulf or onomatopeia?

By ATWadmin On October 6th, 2007 at 8:14 am

I think that I can state that the ‘Today’ is the pre-eminent political and current affairs programme in any spectrum of British broadcasting. Everyone who is, or wants to be anybody wants either to appear, or to be referred to on this programme. It’s presenters have gained an audience which is unprecedented for any programme, and because of this, regularly provide moments which generate paroxysms of annoyance or bliss amongst it’s listeners. "Why didn’t he ask that question?" or "Why did the interviewer let him/her/it off the hook so easily?" are just two of the infinite combinations which are generated regularily amongst it’s listeners! In amongs it’s many imitators, perhaps ‘Newsnight’ with Jeramy Paxman comes close in appeal, but ‘Today’ has very few competitors in either radio or television.

Which brings me to the point of this post. We listen to ‘Today’ because it is one of the very few programmes which even attempt to elicit answers from the political elite and the chattering classes, and it is certainly the only one which was given  access to Margaret Thatcher, a person whose dislike of the BBC was legendary. So why in heaven’s name are they splattering bloody poetry all over the airwaves? All this week, lettered lunacy has reigned, culminating with six minutes on the bleedin’ Duke of York’s alleged ten thousand men? We want to hear about things which matter, and what do they give us? Strophe, antistrophe and epode of the ode form! Alliteration ad infinitum! I despair!



By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 2:52 pm

History should record that George W. Bush made me register this year as a Democrat (I’ve been an Independent since 1982).  For better and, I suspect, sometimes for worse, I will be a registered Democrat.  As such I’ll have the opportunity to vote in the New York State Primary, in addition to the subsequent general election.  At each time I will likely have the opportunity to vote for a credible female candidate for President (the candidacy is credible, the candidate herself has not always been).  The Democratic nominee from my party will most likely be a woman.  Another historic moment. 

It got me to thinking, is the United States ready for a woman President (an issue I suggest that has been oddly downplayed).  Israel, the UK, and India have all had female heads of government.  We Yanks here in the U.S. have never had a major party come close to nominating a woman (no Carter jokes please).  So the question is, does Hillary Clinton face an obstacle that can not be overcome, or one that will be overcome.   We’ve come a long way on women’s rights, perhaps too far already for some and not far enough for others.   Do you believe a woman can be elected President of the United States?     


By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Talk amongst yourselves when I am away – just make sure you sort out all the world’s problems before I get back!


By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 12:56 pm

So, before I depart for the Airport, here’s my selection to get your foot a tapping this afternoon. It’s a great song and a fun cover!


By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

rug07.jpgWell folks – another weekend is on the horizon and I’m off to watch New Zealand play France in the Quarter Final of the Rugby World Cup in Cardiff! The All-Blacks versus Les Bleus. Should be a good game with my money on New Zealand to dash the hopes of the French, but a lot of pride is at stake here so may the best team win! I’ll be taking a complete break from blogging until my return on Sunday evening so you’ll have to argue amongst yourselves whilst I am gone!



By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 12:28 pm

giants_causeway.jpgI am greatly entertained by the way the DUP are squirming over the issue of the Visitor Centre for the Giant’s Causeway. It now appears that Dr Ian Paisley – our glorious leader and the man who has virtually single-handedly saved Unionism – had written a letter to the UK Heritage Lottery Fund in 2003 claiming Unesco backed the developer’s bid.

But here’s the problem. Mechtild Rossler, a senior Unesco official, clarified the situation. "We don’t deal with private developers and I expressed that very clearly to Mr Sweeney," she said. Speaking on BBC’s Good Morning Ulster, Ms Rossler added: "Under the World Heritage Convention, we deal with governments and it’s up to the governments to implement the decisions of the World Heritage Committee."

So, when Dr Paisley claimed in writing that UNESCO backed Sweeney’s bid – was he confused, or was he telling porky pies? And him a Minister of religion? I’m sure there must be a simple reason, don’t you? What is it?

donkeys led by donkeys!

By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 9:00 am

With the dismal prospect of a week without any postal delivery service now in effect, has anyone had a cold look at the future for the postal workers as they docilely march out of the sorting offices and stand shouting on the picket lines.

With Leighton and Crozier of Royal Mail attempting to run a profitable business, and offering a pay deal which they reckon they can afford, together with a negotiated removal of some 117 ‘Spanish’ or restrictive practices, they should be used to the intransigence and stupidity of the union representatives in their replies.

 The union leaders haven’t reminded their people that there is a new word in town, and that word is ‘Competition’. Foreign and domestic competitors are queuing up to grab and scrabble over the decaying corpse before it has even has a chance to have a decent burial, and the postmen don’t even know they exist!

I wonder if the union people have ever had a quick look at recent history, especially when it comes to strikes and their outcomes? Remember the print unions striking against Murdoch and his automated plant out in Wapping? The result. lots of strikers lost their jobs, but the industry survives and today is vibrant and alive!

cranes%203.jpgRemember the London dockworkers and their interminable disputes? The result is plain to see; acres of abandoned docks now full of flats, businesses and warehouses, and down the road, automated Tilbury is so busy you can’t get in!

Rember Scargill and his doomed Miners’ Strike? Not many coal mines left in Britain, when, with a reasonable attitude, some could have been rescued! 

Postal Union Leaders? More like ‘Last Stand’ suicide defenders!



By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 8:36 am

niqab.jpgAnyone surprised to discover that Islamic veils will not be banned in schools, after all? Guidelines issued by the Government yesterday state that heads ‘may be justified’ in outlawing religious dress that covers pupils’ faces. But ministers stopped short of issuing an outright ban on full-face Islamic veils, saying it was up to schools to decide uniform policy for themselves. In other words Government prefers to place the responsibility for dealing with Islam uber alles with Teachers. It means that schools could still face legal challenges if they attempt to outlaw garments such as the niqab, which covers the entire face apart from a slit for the eyes. It shows that our Government are a pack of gutless lying dhimmis – afraid to assert that the mask of Islam is unwanted in our public schools. Pathetic!


By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 8:18 am

lion.gifSorry, but I really couldn’t let the outrageous claims by young DUP MLA Simon Hamilton that "Unionism is in the strongest position many have ever seen in their lifetime" pass unchallenged.

Now I know Simon and he is a decent guy BUT if this really is his political conclusion then I’m afraid he is seriously deluded and we mustn’t let him spread such delusions! The fact of the matter is that Unionism which shares power with terrorists is a monstrous failure. Simon, like so many others, conflates winning power with winning the argument! But that is not the case. We have rehearsed many times why it is morally and politically disastrous for Unionism to accommodate Adams, McGuinness and the rest of the IRA/Sinn Fein crew, and my major point here is that the Unionism which embraces these monsters is itself morally bankrupt. Simon thinks he can lecture all around him but he is mistaken. The Unionism he espouses wants power SO MUCH that it debased itself and prostituted its principles. For that, he should be on his knees apologising to the people.


By ATWadmin On October 5th, 2007 at 8:08 am

undgr.gifOK – so who out here who regularly uses the London Underground thinks it is “the best in the world?”

Better than that in Paris? Better than New York? Really??

I have to say that I am surprised to read that a poll of world travellers by TripAdvisor reveals that people outside the UK believe that the capital’s transport system is one of the safest and most efficient public transport networks in the world. The Underground and the ever-cheerful London cabbie come in for particularly high praise. The findings may come as something of a shock to the city’s commuters, who among other things have had to deal with two days of Tube strikes earlier this summer and regular delays.

Whilst I quite like London’s cabbies – I find that the Underground is far too crowded, unreliable and ever since 7/7, a tad on the dangerous side. I know it is an engineering marvel, I know it was way ahead of its time. I still use it – but have to say that I prefer others such as that in Washington or Paris. 

Your view?