Saturday, 8 December 2012

US flags to be taken down on federal buildings in Texas and California - objectors branded violent extremists by Hillary Clinton?

There's a little more climate change coverage in the Guardian as John Vidal titillates the self-loathing with tales of pink badges and lax border controls.

Lord Monckton has been officially "de-badged" and chucked out of the meeting [see 1.25pm), but what about “nasty" Nick Griffin who is stalking the halls, sporting a pink badge showing he is part of the official EU delegation. The BNP leader and MEP for the north west says he will be “trying to block a tranche of amendments put forward by the European Parliament’s Development Committee”. But how did a man who said in 2009 that Islam is a “cancer” and that “we urgently need global chemotherapy against Islam to save civilisation” get on to the EU delegation, and how come he was let in to Doha at all? The liberality of the Qataris and the UN knows no bounds. An EU press officer tells me that he is not the only far right member in Doha: “All the groups in the EU parliament are represented.”

Meanwhile, in the New Statesman, a publication that would benefit from prolonged radiotherapy, it looks like the BNP bogeymen are gatecrashing the folk scene as well the Qatar Festival of Carbophobia.

They will moan about a perceived loss of Britishness, but they are the last people you will find actually getting involved. There'’s no hope for a wider cultural acceptance of our musical roots if these people can’t be convinced to enjoy some British culture, rather than just moaning about the lack of it. I admit that the prospect of having my local folk night invaded by a cohort of tedious bores isn'’t an exciting one, but I’'m willing to put up with it for a bit. A diet of good ale and decent company should soon sort them out. Give them a few hours and I’'m sure they’'d be singing along with the same enthusiasm as everybody else.

I am aware that this call for greater links to our cultural past is something that the BNP would probably endorse, a fact that I find aggravating. Those on the far right are the antithesis of everything the British folk scene represents.

Watching Hitlery Clinton in Belfast yesterday denouncing the Loyalist community for protesting about the removal of their and our flag I couldn't help but think of a suitable Americanism. How about Mrs Clinton advocating the removal of the stars and stripes from US government and federal buildings in say Texas and California so as not to upset the large Hispanic population in either state?

As Nick flies back from the region tonight it seems that things may be hotting up in Syria as the Russians tell us of a major build up off the coast that could make for interesting Christmas TV:

The multipurpose nuclear attack carrier the U.S.S. Dwight D Eisenhower is leading the naval assault group which has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean.
It is in close proximity to the coast of Syria. On board the ship are 70 fighter-bombers and a total 8,000 US servicemen.
The Dwight D Eisenhower joined the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Iwo Jima, which has been in the area for almost two weeks.
In all there are now 17 Amercing warships off the Syrian coast.

As for my Christmas I refuse to have it spoilt by infringements of either a fiscal or politically-correct nature. Being British, as part of my culture I have a fundamental right at Yuletide to high quality alcohol at a reasonable price. Consequently, once again, with almost surgical skill, I have managed to snag several excellent bottles of red for approximately £3.50 a piece delivered to my door.

Less fortunate beings will be plucking the very same bottles from the supermarket shelves at £9.99 and upwards as my venture into the world of mystery wine by the case pays tremendous dividends. I'm almost tempted to set up a deckchair with a flask and sandwiches in the drinks ailse watching them do so I feel so choughed. Even the bottle of white, sent by mistake, was a high-end Chablis destined to become a source of Christmas Day spritzer whilst watching either Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator or Goodfellas in 1080p for the first time.