Dancing Early

The first editions of the morning papers are out and they are salivating over the prospect of an Obama victory. Headlines like “The family 24 hours away from changing the world”, “Obama in Poll Position” (showing him side-by-side with Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton, another young black man), “The last lap” (showing Obama in a victorious pose).

The press over here is biased at the best of times. This is not the best of times.

Television news presenters here are even more gleeful than Katie Couric. I am waiting for one of them to jump up and do the dance of joy. Perhaps I will have to wait until tomorrow night to see that. Perhaps there will be a miracle instead.

Hoisted

Thanks to Mr Malvern for his comments on my posting about Susan Pope, the nurse at Malvern St James school who was sacked for smacking her foul-mouthed son on the bum. He noted that the school bursar who sent the letter sacking Mrs Pope has himself been sacked.

Mr Malvern was quite generous in his description of the Denis Smith’s offences. He didn’t mention that Mr Smith rammed a police car in his drunken attempt to evade police driving through Malvern streets at 80 mph. Having worked in Malvern, I have to commend Mr Smith on his driving skills. I would not be able to drive anywhere near that fast if I wanted to, even fully sober.

Being a keen letter-writer, Mr Smith did not wait to receive his P45. He resigned. I’m guessing he figured that if the school was willing to sack someone even though they did not commit an offence, he probably didn’t stand much of a chance.

Anyhow a couple links for those interested: Malvern Gazette and Worcester News.

To modify something I heard during the Eliot Spitzer fiasco, let me make the introductions: Denis, petard. Petard, Denis.

Crazy

I’m not usual one to report “celebrity” sort of news, but in case anyone outside of Britain has missed it, Mohamed al Fayed testified before the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. Yes, I know it has been over ten years since her death, but her cause of death is only now being officially determined by a jury. This is mostly because of Mohamed al Fayed.

He is the father of Diana’s lover du jour, Dodi Fayed.  He has always told the press (over and over) that he is convinced that Diana’s and Dodi’s deaths were the result of a complex plot. Now he has told the inquest jury. The full details are worth reading in a reputable source like The Times. Why do you want to read this? Because it is truly bizarre. Let me just set the stage:

The alleged plot involved Prince Philip, Prince Charles, British, French and American security services, the French judiciary, ambulance staff, pathologists, newspaper editors, two former Metropolitan police commissioners, the Princess’s sister and brother-in-law, the former British ambassador to France, and the Princess’s lawyer, among others, and it was sanctioned by Tony Blair.

It gets more weird. Really.

Staying Active in Old Age

Sure, most crime is perpetrated by the young. It’s good to see they don’t have a total monopoly. Seniors need something to keep them active. From The Daily Telegraph:

Police are hunting an elderly lady who tried to hold up a Post Office in an attempted armed robbery.

The pensioner, described as a “little old lady” aged between 65 and 70 years old, pulled out a knife, threatened the cashier and demanded money in the shop in Northenden, Manchester.

But she shuffled off empty handed when staff activated the store’s alarm.

The suspect is described as being white and about 5ft 2inches tall.

She was of medium build, had dark hair and was wearing a purple jacket.

BBC Says Huckabee Won By Bribery

I’m watching the BBC News coverage of Super Tuesday. As usual, it is all reported with an air of British superiority – or more exactly that of American inferiority.

Washington correspondent Matt Frei is anchoring the coverage of what he calls “an absurdly byzantine electoral system”.

Occupying a spot on his commentating panel, there is no surprise seeing British-born naturalised American Christopher Hitchens. His view of the Iowa caucues: “It’s not illegal to offer bribes and inducements to elect and that’s what made Mike Huckabee a front-runner.”

Yeah, that’s it. Mike Huckabee threw his millions and millions (that he doesn’t have) into bribes for Iowa GOP caucus voters.

But it’s not just Huckabee that’s the recipient of Hitchen’s ire. He was also happy into inform us that if John McCain gets the nomination, he will campaign for any Democrat.

That’s the sort of unbiased coverage we get here.

Watching Iowa Everywhere

In the run up to, or even on the night off, a British general election, the American press couldn’t care less. I am watching BBC News 24 and the Iowa Caucuses have taken the first 10 minutes of a 30-minute programme. Even in the days leading up to tonight, it has been a major news story.  The level of coverage on Sky News has been similar.

With these two we also get the CBS Evening News and ABC’s World News Tonight. I have seen Iowa from every angle. Because the Republican procedure is a bit different from Democrats, it is a matter of minutes before the GOP results should be known.

It seems so strange that everyone in the world is putting so much stock in what a few hardy Midwesterners do on a cold, snow blanketed night. Though it seems like it shouldn’t make that much difference, I’m still hoping Huckabee shows well. Other the other hand, I’m of two minds about Hillary. I hate to see her win anything, but I like the idea of a Democratic nominee with such a high negative ratings.

So we await the results.