web analytics

HEARTS AND MINDS ….

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 4:34 pm

You can read my script for Hearts and Minds here, with the cartoons that accompanied it, and if you are VERY BRAVE, if you click the Watch Hearts and Minds button, I’m on after about 12 minutes…..naturally I use a body stunt double! And did you spot the Costello reference buried in the labyrinthine words….?

ATW FRIDAY JUKEBOX…

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 2:58 pm

Here’s a lovely song from a Scottish band with a Spanish air, and one more redhead that I admire in the form of Eddi Reader…check out the vocal inflection about three minutes in, boy she can sing like a bird, and it’s quite a jolly tune by my standards. The guy that actually wrote this song,  Mark Nevin, later co-wrote with Kirsty MacColl, including one of her best songs, and my personal favourite, Soho Square….

politician speaks mind—–sky does not fall!

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 12:32 pm

795151-592602-thumbnail.jpgI see that a rare event has occurred within the Bush administration, with Condi Rice flatly counting out any overture to either Iran or Syria as demanded by the ‘Baker Boys’. First time in a while I’ve heard a politician say the things which were supposed to recommend her for the job in the first place, especially in an administration which was so badly wounded in the Mid-Terms.

To talk to a bunch of cut-throats such as the regimes of Syria and Iran, clutching as they do their AK-47’s in one hand and their korans in the other, is to gainsay everything the Bush guys have fought against for the past six years.

They might have shot themselves point-blank in the foot on Iraq, but the one thing you don’t do in their position is invite the bloody fox inside the hen-house, and then politely ask him where he wants to start, breakfast or dinner!

“congratulations; you’ve got the job!”

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 10:37 am

The five words of this Post header symbolise the moment when you have done several things, all at the same instant! You have impressed a selection panel of your abilities to perform the tasks implicit in the job description. You have succeeded in removing any financial worries you may have held before winning the position, and you are now able to provide for your family in a sufficient manner. Your personable manner and knowledge of the job requirements have swayed and won over your future employer, and removed any doubts which may have existed on your suitability for the job!

But just ask yourself what the result would be if, during the job interview, you decide to interject and to demand that certain of your own requirements be added before you would accept the position? Suppose you demand that your salary, which is already extremely generous, be raised by a factor of 66%! Suppose you state that you wish to have your already long holiday entitlement increased so that you may end your working week a full day early throughout the year! Suppose you shock the panel by demanding that your pension fund, which is already amongst the most generous in the land, is increased by a £1.2 million payment each year to fund a deficit in the main pension fund from which you would receive your payment! Suppose you then state that you will only carry out the tasks which are held in esteem by a minority of those who are entrusted with actually giving you your job! Announce, in advance of any decision to employ you, that you believe that a majority of those who have the power to employ you believe in the wrong things, and that any decisions which have been taken in the past in support of those ideals shall be reversed as quickly as possible! State categorically that a vast majority of decisions made by your colleagues within the larger organisation shall not be scrutinised by your employers for a period of thirty years, and that any requests for such scrutiny shall be both carefully sifted and routinely denied!

You are indeed the winner, in every respect!

Why, because you are, my friend, A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT 

  

WHEELS OFF THE EURO……

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 8:38 am

euro.jpgVery interesting to read that the French political elite have reacted badly to the news that French exports have slumped in October and the country’s car industry slid deeper into crisis, heightening fears that France is buckling under the strain of the super-strong euro.

The monthly trade deficit ballooned to $2.7bn, following two months of sliding industrial orders and a shock halt to economic growth in the third quarter. Car output is down 14pc so far this year.

So, who to blame? Well, how abou the European Central Bank, enthusiastically created and supported by ..erm…the French!

French trade minister Christine Lagarde blamed the grim trade figures on the tight policies of the European Central Bank, which has raised interest rates six times in a year to 3.5pc. The rate rises are the key factor pushing up the euro.

French premier Dominique de Villepin called on EU states this week to reassert national control over their economies and set proper limits on the powers of the ECB. "We must clarify matters in exchange rate policy, which means taking back our sovereignty."

Ségolène Royal, socialist candidate for the presidential elections in May, went even further, accusing the ECB’s president Jean-Claude Trichet of usurping democratic authority. "It’s not for Mr Trichet to dictate the future of our economies: it’s a matter for our leaders chosen by the people. We must completely change the charter of the central bank," she said.

Fascinating to read these comments.

Thank goodness the UK has stayed out of the fatally flawed Euro project.

EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL….

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 8:21 am

RMcsmlshdw.jpgI commend this article from my former political associate, Robert McCartney, in last evening’s Belfast Telegraph…

Jeffrey Donaldson, who as an Ulster Unionist opposed David Trimble’s policies, is now adapting one of Trimble’s reasons for power-sharing with Sinn Fein, by trotting out the old bogeyman that if Unionists don’t do the deal something worse like joint authority is lurking in the woodshed.

Faced with the prospect of dissent within their own grass roots and the loss of the votes of anti-Agreement Ulster Unionists who switched to the DUP in the last two elections, the DUP ‘pragmatists’ had already devised a big stick with which to herd a fearful Unionist electorate into the polling booths on the party’s behalf.

They recognised that as the DUP and the Ulster Unionists were now both willing to enter an enforced coalition with Sinn Fein their policies were indistinguishable.

As a result, anti-Agreement Unionists would have no place to go to on election day and might stay at home or spoil their ballot papers. A scheme of electoral emotional blackmail had therefore to be devised to drive them to the polling stations and give Ian Paisley their vote.

But the electorate would do well to simply remember the pledge which that party gave in its general election manifesto last year: ‘Inclusive mandatory coalition government which includes Sinn Fein under D’Hondt or any other system is out of the question.’

Read the rest. Bob and I agreed more often than not on many local constitutional issues, and I am very pleased with his take on this. 

JAMES BAKER MUGGED…..

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 8:12 am

795151-592140-thumbnail.jpgOh no – James "F*** the Jews" Baker has been mugged, or so Guns’n’butter claims…..

WASHINGTON — Held up by two armed muggers yesterday, former Secretary of State James Baker III attempted, but failed, to talk them out of robbing him.

"There I was walking down the street when these two men, one very tall and one very short, popped out of nowhere, pointed handguns at me, and demanded my money," Baker said. "Now, I knew that it was not in the long-term interests of either of these men to rob anyone. The research clearly shows that men in these situations would benefit from job training, counseling, and perhaps even some rehab. I knew I just had to show them what was in their best interests.

Make sure you read the full story……

BROWN TURNS TO RUST…..

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 7:51 am

brown.jpgHere’s the awful truth that the gutless MSM won’t speak about the Iron Chancellor…..

 After almost a decade in 11 Downing Street, the bloom is, at last, well and truly off Gordon Brown. The British Chancellor’s final Pre-Budget Report (PBR) before he becomes prime minister was the least well-received financial statement he has made since becoming Chancellor. The awe in which he was once held by a naïve City and supine commentators has been replaced by scepticism and an increasing realisation that the Iron Chancellor went rusty long ago.

For those of us who have been arguing as much for six years, albeit as lone voices, this new, more realistic mood does not come a moment too soon. Perhaps the Chancellor’s vainglorious boasts will now be subjected to a harsher scrutiny; there is certainly much to scrutinise with a more sceptical eye.

Even though his massive tax-and-spend agenda has made it much harder for Britain to prepare for the challenges of the 21st century, the Chancellor clung to all of his failed nostrums last Wednesday.

TOO DRUNK FOR RAPE….

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 7:38 am

I wonder what you make of the research which has showed that juries rarely convict men of rape if their accuser was drunk. The study found jurors believe that when a woman is intoxicated, it is reasonable for a man to take her silence as consent to sex. Barely five per cent of allegations end in conviction.

I don’t agree that being drunk can be taken in any way as "consent" to sex, and I also think that taking advantage of a drunk person is profoundly immoral.  Just because someone has too much alcohol, they must still have the same rights as a person who is sober. If you click the link you can read the experiences of four women who were raped when drunk and it is indeed sobering…. 

I kept twisting my head to one side so he couldn’t kiss me, and at one point he was biting my neck. I forced myself to try to pretend this wasn’t happening to me, that I was having an out-of-body experience, looking down at myself and wishing it was over.

 

His breath smelled foul from the beer he’d drunk, and he was sweating and swearing. Over the years, I’ve asked myself over and over again: why didn’t I report the rape? Why didn’t I go to the police when I got home and press charges against him?

 

The main reason is that I was drunk at the time. I’d had eight vodka-based cocktails quite quickly, and I was unsteady on my feet – everything was hazy. After the rape, I passed out. I didn’t report him because who would have believed me?

So sad.

BUPA LEAVING….

By ATWadmin On December 15th, 2006 at 7:00 am

795151-592129-thumbnail.jpgI was interested to read that health-insurance firm BUPA has announced that it is pulling out of the Irish market.

In a statement on its website, the company says it has no choice but to make the decision and is doing so with great regret. The move is expected to result in the loss of around 300 jobs, most of them in Fermoy, Co Cork. BUPA’s 500,000 customers have been told they will be covered for the duration of their existing contracts, but these contracts will not be renewed once they expire. The company had warned that it would leave the Ireland market after the High Court’s recent decision to uphold the risk-equalisation scheme.

In essence, the Irish High Court ruling meant BUPA would have had to pay compensation to the State-owned VHI because of its younger client base. The company claimed the move would force it to hand over €161m to its rival over three years, even though its profits for the period would be just €64m.

I can understand BUPA’s refusal to fund the State but it is all a very sorry affair. Wonder what ATW’s southern readers reckon????