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2020 Mar 07 - Coronavirus & Biden/Bernie

20200307
Two stories to cover this week, first an update on Coronavirus, or "Covid19" as it's officially called. Don't worry if you missed the first 18th episodes though, they're probably on Netflix. Right now though things are continuing to ratchet up in terms of seriousness and do remember that when you read the official government numbers, you should double them, just as you would if you were quoted the cost of a large government project, or the number of times Prince Andrew claims to have met someone. All in all it's shaping up to be the most viral thing to come out of Asia since that Gangnam Style video a few years ago, although I'm not sure how things compare between those locked down cities in china, versus the virus infection rate of the suspiciously cheap Huawei phones that are manufactured in those cities. One bright side for travellers though may well be that if you're looking to book summer flights prices are pretty low now. Also, if you're one of the thousands of people quarantined on various cruise ships around the world, it must undoubtedly be annoying, possibly scary, but if you signed up for the open unlimited bar option, you'll be reaping the benefits. Unless it runs dry in which case that would of course be the time to panic.

The other main story of the week has been in the US where a number of candidates have finally dropped out, leaving it for the most part a 2 horse race between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to take on President Trump. A bunch of egotistic old white men in their 70s, very much like going to a Rolling Stones gig, except that at least the Stones can guarantee a sell out crowd and you're less likely to be assaulted for wearing the t-shirts after you've left the venue. There's a lot of animosity on both sides of this debate and whoever comes out on top, we're set for a campaign in the autumn that'll be tougher than a $3 steak.

I say 'whoever' but the truth is that the Democrats, as like last time, will rig the rest of the campaign to guarantee Sanders looses, thus handing the nomination to Joe Biden. And for all the expression says "if you’re cheating then all you’re cheating is yourself" then how a friend of mine is banned from the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas?
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2020 Feb 22 - Democratic Primary

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This weekend in America it's the next round of the Democratic selection process and at the time of recording, I can't tell who's going to win because predicting the future is not a superpower that I possess. And if I could have any superpower? That would probably be the Roman Empire in the 2rd century. Let's take a quick look at the 5 main candidates though

1) Joe Biden - He's the candidate that the establishment are hoping gets the nomination. He's Obama's old VP, has decades of experience, he ......

2020 Feb 08 - Great Week for Trump

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Two major news stories to come out of America this week leaving president Trump happier than that time that he found a loophole saying he didn't have to hire any of the idiots on that tv show of his.

The first main story was the acquittal in the senate impeachment trial, much as that result was never in any doubt, I've seen romantic comedies with more twists and suspense, joking of course because I don't want those sorts of films. At no point did anyone expect Adam Schiff to turn around like ......

2019 Dec 14 - Election Aftermath and the Labour Party

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Boris Johnson has been re-elected and Jeremy Corbyn has resigned after being shown to be as popular on the doorstep as that childhood joke where you set fire to a paper bag with a dog poop in it. I thought this week I'd look at the online Labour reaction, using the 7 stages of grief framework.

1) Shock
When the BBC Exit poll first came out, people were astonished, to see something on the BBC saying something positive about the Conservative Party. It was surreal, like watching an episode of Th ......

2019 Dec 08 - UK Election a Few Days Away

20191208
It's been a very busy time of year for letterboxes, between the Christmas Cards, the election pamphlets as well as the usual assortment of local takeaway menus. Those places are presumably hoping to cash in on people burning their Christmas dinner and order in pizza, chicken wings and lamb kofta.

Those pamphlets though, there's only a couple more of them to come as it's just the last final couple of days before the election and I imagine for MPs it must feel a bit like being back at school a ......

2019 Nov 16 - Bad Election Week for Labour

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I always have a bit of a laugh looking up the latest headlines and seeing what nonsense the BBCs website considers news. Example, "Could invisible barcode revolutionise recycling?" to which of course the answer is "could I care less?" Well the apparently the answer is yes I could care less about certain things, namely the ins and outs of the Labour Party manifesto because thanks to an week of political ineptitude, it has about as much chance of becoming reality as that dream I had where a Zebra ......

2019 Nov 02 - Election 2019 Announced

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Hello again everyone and apologies about being on hiatus the last 2 week, I was on holiday without access to a laptop, which is presumably the same sort of expression that I imagine the Americans will use to describe Julian Assange's extradition to the US ("on holiday without a laptop") before he mysteriously disappears. On the other hand, it's not as if we missed much, it was mostly another two weeks of procrastination as Westminster sat around doing nothing before I arrived home and they decid ......

2019 Jul 06 - 4th of July Parade

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While the UK awaits the election results in the Prime Ministerial ballot, the Democrat party in America is also in the process of choosing a leader and the US, as always, is very keen to show that it does things differently, just as it spells things differently, uses different plug sockets and turns up to world wars towards the end of them rather than at the beginning.

This week saw a bombastic 4th of July celebration in Washington DC with stealth bombers, fighter jets, fireworks and a series ......

2019 Jun 22 - Boris and Jeremy Hunt

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What’s been going on in the world this week? Well I could tell you all about my addiction to reading books. But that's another story. What has been going on is a round of votes to decide who will be the next leader of the Conservative Party and therefore the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The post is actually still held by Theresa May who is being about as pro-active in the legislative process as she’s been for the past 2 years: in the past week she managed to pass three times as ......

2019 May 04 - Local Election Results

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A wipeout for Theresa May this week in a set of local election results worse somehow than the quality of the services being provided by the councils in question. I think it was best summed up by two Conservative spokesmen, one of whom said the night had "gone downhill" and the other of whom described it as an "uphill battle". That wordplay is precisely the sort of disconnect you'd expect though, the Prime Minister believing that the public are annoyed her repeated failure to get a Brexit deal wh ......

2018 Nov 11 - US Election Aftermath

20181111
This weekend marked 100 years since the end of the 1st world war and therefore it's also the end of 4 years of seeing the Sunday papers lazily padding out their pages with archive articles. Don’t worry though folks, it’s just one year until we start seeing 80 year commemorative articles about WW2. It's interesting, don't get me wrong, but it's not new. I guess a lifestyle and opinion journal calling itself a newspaper is a legacy thing, like the Carphone Warehouse, or SNP member swearing all ......

2018 Nov 03 - US Midterm Election

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It's a very exciting couple of days coming up in America. Asides from a National Sandwich Day and National Donut Day fast approaching it's also a massive mid-term election on Tuesday. I looked on Google and apparently Sunday 4th is actually "National Common Sense Day" but rest assured, that will all be forgotten when people on both the right and the left go to the polls to vote in a 2 party system where a brutal combination of districting, voter suppression and an electoral system about as hones ......

2018 Aug 04 - Zimbabwe Election

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Whenever you have a vote to decide something, the losers generally try to undermine and question the result, whether it be something like the EU Referendum result, or a more contentious issue like when work colleagues go for lunch and the one person who doesn't drink decides that they'd sooner admit to selling company property on eBay then have to split the bill evenly.

This takes us onto the topic of the recent election result in Zimbabwe which is being contested by the opposition, who in this ......

2018 May 06 - Trump Update + UK Local Elections

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The US has spent the week watching the President Trump/James Comey/Stormy Daniels stories continuing to move along with the sort of pace normally more associated with a snail, or a car in London ever since they closed half the roads for bicycle use only. I think the plan is that if Robert Mueller's evidence doesn't turn out to be conclusive enough, Trump will have already been in office for 8 years so he'll have to legally vacate the White House anyway.

So let's talk about London though. There ......

2018 Mar 24 - Cambridge Analytica

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When it comes to news, this week has been more packed than Boris Johnson's vocabulary or Dianne Abbott's lunchbox. We finally got some headway on Brexit, HR McMaster was sacked and France had another terror attack: woowzers and I thought my local supermarket was bad on a Friday

But in the background has been the slow burning social media data story involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica. At first I thought Cambridge Analytica was the stage name of one of President Trump's former girlfriends ......

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 ......

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 Jun 09 - Shock Election Result!

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So it's the morning after the night before and we got a shock result. Theresa May thought it would be a rubber stamping exercise, like getting your passport renewed except it was more like one of those awful bank applications where you have to supply 2 utility bills and then you're declined because due to a typo

Hats off to Jeremy Corbyn though, he didn't actually win a majority but he sure as heck managed to defeat the Blairites in the Labour party and that might mean we've finally seen the l ......

2017 May 30 - Election: 1 week to go

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If you live in the UK, then there’s just one week to go until the election. That means 7 more sleepless nights until we find out whether Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott will be in charge of the UK’s anti-terrorism policy. It’s a scary thought and in all honesty, I’d place more trust in that tiger that ate a zookeeper over the weekend in Cambridgeshire. In an odd twist of events this weekend also saw police in Florida arrested Tiger Woods for drink-driving and for a while I briefly misun ......

2017 May 19 - Election Catchup

20170519
We’re halfway through the election campaign so I thought we’d take a look at what the various parties stand for, seeing as how we’ve not had have Ed Milliband chiseling anything onto a demented novelty gravestone this year.

The Conservatives are frankly miles in the lead following Theresa May’s media strategy of keeping Boris and all other the Gaffe prone MPs away from a microphone. She’s also promising to deliver on Brexit in order to finally put and end to Nick Clegg who increasingl ......

2017 Apr 27 - French Election 2017

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This week I thought we’d take a look at France: they take a more laid back approach to life there and are sometimes slow to copy things that the UK did years ago, like modernising employment law or discouraging children from smoking but this week they were quick to crank up the election fever just like us and soon we’re going to have a new French President sworn in – before the UK’s even had a chance to vote. And unlike the UK election, nobody knows who’s going to win the French one. S ......

2017 Apr 19 - Election 2017 Announced

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So it’s 5 week to go until the next general election after Theresa May decided take everyone by surprise, very much like a school teacher posting a surprise test on the first day back. If it was a surprise maths test, it really wouldn’t be looking good for a lot of people in the Labour Party although the they do know a lot about “Division” and Dianne Abbott knows about “pi” and, oh dear, Ken Livingston just read the word “Axis” and he’s off on another rant about the war…

Bac ......

2017 Jan 21 - Trump's Inauguration

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Last week I finished watching the HBO show “Westworld” and this weekend I started watching the final season of America.

Yes, this weekend, Mr Trump finally became President Trump, and that was really about the end of it. No major crowd trouble, no gunmen, no Miss World flash mob for the new emperor. After signing some papers with a gold felt tip pen and checking that Obama had remembered to redirect his mail, they all had a meal and went home for the most part. I was hoping that maybe Trump ......