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2018 Feb 18 - Russia Update

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Normally when there's a "Russia update" it's means bad news, just ask Napoleon. It's often the one of worst kind of updates you can get, just short of that update that pops up on your computer constantly demanding that you upgrade Adobe Flash.

So to this week's Russia update when Robert Mueller put out a report naming 13 Russians who supposedly set up a troll farm in order to sway the result of the 2016 election. My favourite part of the report was when it talks about the Russians financing the construction of a cage large enough to hold an actress portraying Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform. It makes it sound like an amateur theatre group but they actually had a budget of a million dollars a month and that's more than Trump was spending on hair products at the time. You'd think with that kind of money the Russians could just drive down to Wallmart if they needed to stock up on cages, presumably along with some computers, snacks from the food aisle, energy drinks and of course some humorous political bumper stickers to put on their truck before the drive back to their HQ.

On the other hand, this conspiracy ultimately boils down to a dozen blokes posting bad things on facebook about Hilary Clinton. And it's worth noting that they started in 2014, two years before the election and for a long time they were mostly posting things in favour of Bernie Sanders who at the time was the more obvious "anti-Hilary" candidate in the race. Actually, forget what I said earlier, my favourite part of this whole thing is that the troll farm called itself the Internet Research Agency and they abbreviated that to the "IRA" implying that they were so incompetent that they couldn't use their internet superpowers to figure out that the name was already taken. Or perhaps the conspiracy is just a lot more far-reaching than I've imagined and that the Russians were also responsible for forcing Gerry Adams out of a job and installing Mary Lou McDonald in his place in order to make trouble for the British.
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2018 Feb 11 - Market Crash

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The big story of the past week was the stock market which has been dropping faster than pro-democracy candidates in a Russian election.

The FTSE 100 finished the week down nearly 400 points and the Dow Jones put in 2 historic record-breaking falls before recovering to “only” finish the week 1100 points down and if things get much worse, ExxonMobile will have to start laying off congressmen.

Of course, those people who’ve been holding onto their Carillion shares or their Bitcoins probably ......

2018 Feb 03 - FBI Memo Released

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This week Washington DC was looking forward to the release of an FBI memo with the sort of anticipation you'd more readily associate with an launch of a new iPhone or a perhaps the release of a video in which Piers Morgan conveys empathy or genuine selflessness.

In the end, there was a story and it is a scandal but in the past few weeks we'd all been promised something so shocking that the public would see the 'deep state' for what it is and demand that the FBI be disbanded. But so far really t ......

2018 Jan 27 - Davos

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It was the Davos summit this week. That means the great and good of the world... stayed at home and watched the scumbags of the world turn up in Switzerland to talk to one another. There were the usual elected officials like Theresa May President Trump, or Emmanuel Macron. There were also lots of unelected folk there too like Jean-Claude Juncker and George Soros not to mention John McDonnell who stayed at a hotel so expensive that he made Emily Thornberry look like a Cava Socialist.

At the conf ......

2018 Jan 21 - Carillion & US Government Shutdown

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Two big money-related stories this week, the collapse of the company Carillion in the UK and the shutdown of the US government.

Let's talk about Carillion first. The construction giant was one of the big contractors, along with the likes of Serco that the government went to when it decided to regularly capitulate to the demands of pesky voters to build roads or hospitals or the like. If you've ever seen a politician doing a photo op on a construction site in a neon vest and a hardhat then there ......

2018 Jan 13 - Trump and S***hole Countries

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This week I'd initially planned to talk about Theresa May's cabinet reshuffle except that frankly the most visible change was that the various cabinet ministers changed their shirts and ties between day one and day two. The main news this week (of course) was from Washington DC where the president decided to draw attention to himself. Sure presidents love to steal the show, Bill Clinton famously carried a saxophone with him in order to outshine George Bush or Ross Perot should the situation aris ......

2018 Jan 06 - Fire & Fury

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If you're normal then you're probably looking for an excuse to stay inside and delay having to start that big New Year excessive regime you'd planned in detail when you'd had a sherry too many. Well you're in luck because sit down in a big comfy armchair and pour yourself a large glass of something because there's a new 'must read' book out called Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

The name "Fire and Fury" of course makes it of course sound a bit like a new Game Of Thrones novel but t ......

2017 Dec 31 - End of the Year

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It's the end of December and the end of 2017 and it's possibly the end of the line if you're the sort of person who originally became a politician or a tv celebrity to get close to the young female interns. Of course I'm joking, Kevin Spacey got into show business for the young male interns, he's probably looking forward to 2018 because he thinks there's 2000 of them.

Talking about "end of the line" though, one of the stories I'm sure we'll see a lot more about in the future was this week's ann ......

2017 Dec 23 - Christmas

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It's nearly Christmas so I thought this week I'd retell a classic Christmas joke. One day in the run up to Christmas, a newspaper posts a question to Downing Street asking what Theresa May has asked Father Christmas for. There's a long a protracted debate in number 10 about the ethics of the question - it can't be anything too fancy after all - and in the end Theresa May lets the journalist know that she's wanting some chocolates and a nice bottle of English sparkling wine, to sit down with whil ......

2017 Dec 16 - Brexit & Alabama

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Big political moves in Westminster and Alabama this week; two places that don’t often have much in common although if you’re a politician from the West Midlands and fancy a holiday to America, why not spend a week at the Hilton in Birmingham - Birmingham Alabama that is - and try submitting the 1st class airline ticket as an “honest mistake” ?

But first let’s discuss the Brexit vote in Westminster. Essentially the parliament will now get to vote on whether they like Theresa May’s de ......

2017 Dec 10 - Brexit + Trump Names Jerusalem Israeli Capital

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Brexit news: don't look now but apparently it's going pretty well, for now at least, supposedly. People talk about politicians being out of touch but I always think that for those ministers involved in the Brexit process, getting stuff to happen must be a good analogy for us regular folks trying to get an old car to scrape through an MOT for one last time.

This past week actually started out looking quite bleak on the Brexit front, I'm sure Theresa May was imagining the upcoming news headlines ......

2017 Dec 02 - Markles & Spencer & Flynn

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One of the UK's most popular highstreet stores is Marks & Spencers and if you're a shareholder then you're probably hoping to benefit from the free advertising now offered by the new Royal couple-to-be: Markles and Spencer, also known as Harry and Meghan. I imagine that with those initials, the marketing team at highstreet rival, "H&M" will also be rubbing their hands. The wedding is set for next spring and hopefully won't coincide with the Grand National like when Prince Charles got married. So ......

2017 Nov 24 - Black Friday Brexit

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If you’ve been near the high street recently you’ll have seen all the commercial Christmas tat back up. It’s still only November but it’s returned like a bad rash, and you’ll possibly be counting down the days until you can finally open that SmartTV you bought yourself, I mean that you bought for the family. Children are maybe drafting letters to Santa this weekend but in Downing Street, Theresa May’s hoping she’s been a good girl this year as she writes down what she wants and fli ......

2017 Nov 18 - Coup against Robert Mugabe

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Robert Mugabe's leadership is something that the news organisations seem to refer to as "controversial" which is of course a polite way of saying you'd trust him to manage your economy the way you'd trust Harold Shipman to manage your end of life care. It's like if the newspapers had described the Kray twins as "cheeky chappies" or the BBC were moaning that the ISIS leadership seemed "set in their ways"

Anyway, Mugabe has been in charge of Zimbabwe for decades now, pushing forward with his own ......

2017 Nov 11 - Trump, Asia & Saudi Arabia

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This week President Trump has been off on a long trip to the Far East in order to bolster trade relationships, come up with a plan about how to deal with North Korea and of course to make a number of barnstorming speeches about how "crooked Hilary Clinton" failed to win any electoral college votes in that part of the world. The last big trip the president made was to Saudi Arabia in order to, amongst other things, finalise a multi-billion dollar weapons contracts and that part of the world has b ......

2017 Nov 04 - Kevin Spacey and Dodgy Politicians

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There’s that old saying in show business: never work with children or animals, especially if it’s pornography. Kevin Spacey though - he’s one of those “do as I say, not as I do” kind of celebrities though. In the 1995 film The Usual Suspects, he played a ruthless criminal who brutally murdered people and did a lot of bad stuff but even Keyser Soze had lines he didn’t think appropriate to cross. Now the latest series of House Of Cards is on hiatus because HBO would rather keep the sho ......

2017 Oct 27 - Catalonia & JFK

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Another week and it’s pretty much still the same shouting match from Spain. The central government in Madrid has said that it’s going to take back direct control over Catalonia, while the seperatists have declared that they’re going to prepare an imminent motion for independence. But nobody’s actually done anything, it’s like a nightclub bar at 9 o’clock and everyone’s waiting for someone else to go onto the dance floor first. I guess Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood would be the gi ......

2017 Oct 20 - Catalonia

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Catalonia was back in the news this week, the Madrid government has triggered Article 155 to remove autonomy from he region and just like when the UK triggered Article 50, the EU doesn’t like this one much either. It would be true to say that Brussels has the same regard for these articles as Polly Toynbee does for Quentin Letts’ articles. Nonetheless, the powers that be are trying their hardest to make sure if there was any chance of reconciling with the Catalan separatists then it’s up t ......

2017 Oct 13 - Brexit Bill (again)

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A lot of page filler about Brexit in the papers this week. Essentially nothing of substance has happened for a few days and there’s no proper developments as such. Yet at the same time, there’s no debacles from the White House this week and from a legal perspective, the newspaper lawyers would certainly prefer that their columnists discuss rumours about Phillip Hammond than those surrounding Harvey Weinstein’s ongoing ‘legal difficulties’

The supposed ‘Brexit Battle’ is that Phil ......

2017 Oct 05 - Theresa May's Speech & Catalonia

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The big story of the week was supposed to be Theresa May’s Conservative Party Conference speech which, let’s say “didn’t go according to plan” unless that plan was “let’s make a pilot for a political comedy show in the style of Frank Spencer” There was a coughing fit, a prankster, the sign behind her literally fell apart and by the end I was looking around the stage to see if anyone had put a bucket of wallpaper paste at the top of a strategically placed ladder.

On the other ha ......
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