Monday, 23 May 2011

The embattled Minister and his embittered ex-wife

Had Chris Huhne been better versed in the classics, he would have done well to remember that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.
As Essex police sit up and take notice of Huhne's Machiavellian efforts to offload his speeding points onto the licence of his former wife, it seems that they are not paying her any attention at all.
Was she not also complicit in trying to pervert the course of justice?
Either the police begin to show her some interest or they too could end up having to indulge in the taming of the shrew.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Let him who is without sin...

...Stoneham.

Three cheers for Lord Stoneham and a further three cheers for parliamentary privilege.
This week in the House of Lords, Lord Stoneham exposed Sir Fred Goodwin as a contemptible cad.
I think we are even allowed to refer to him again as a banker even although his track record would make that difficult to substantiate.
Rhyming slang excepted.
Amid revelations that the erstwhile head of RBS was having an extra-marital affair with a former colleague, there is a growing number of calls for an enquiry into the affair.
And why not?
At the risk of being accused of massively understating things, Sir Fred Goodwin enjoys a comfortable life at our expense.
It is now incumbent on us to make that life somewhat more uncomfortable.
Not because of jealousy but more because of the need to provide a better 'balance sheet' - something that Sir Fred failed to do at the RBS which resulted in a £45.5 billion pay-out from the taxpayer.
I now learn that the female in question (yes, female - Frederick Anderson Goodwin's initials had wrong-footed me) was promoted twice while under Sir Fred.
Maybe that was her reward for talent.
But let's get serious.
If Sir Fred's career was anything to go buy, the principle of 'talent and reward' had no place at the RBS.
The principle of 'shafting' others in order to get on, however, seemed to reign supreme.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Backs to the wall in the world of finance...and in Rikers Prison

There lurks a scintilla of irony that there is no more valuable a 'currency' in the world today than stories about the sexual exploits of the former head of the International Monetary Fund.
If we were to believe even half of them, at the very least he ought to be commended for his boundless energy.
He stands accused - yes it's amazing, he is still standing - of 'targeting young students', 'behaving like a gorilla' and 'indulging in flings with those too numerous to mention'.
And that's only a randy sample. Sorry, a random sample.
From now on, when we refer to the sexual mores of the French, I think we should consider precisely which definition and pronunciation of 'mores' we are referring to.
As Dominique Strauss-Kahn languishes in a New York prison cell awaiting his next court appearance, I am not suggesting for one moment that he should be categorised as a dangerous criminal.
What I would suggest, however, is that there might well be a stiff penalty for any Prison Guard who dares to turn his back on him.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

What price the Statute of Liberty?

I suspect that if you were to Google the phrase "how the mighty have fallen" an image of Dominique Strauss-Kahn might well appear.
He is the head of the International Monetary Fund who has also appeared this week in a Manhattan criminal court charged with a serious sexual assault on a chambermaid at the hotel where he was staying.
So instead of hobnobbing with the great and the good in Europe where I imagine he would have been consuming Ferrero Rocher rather than mere HobNobs, he is struggling to find a few crumbs of comfort in an isolated New York prison cell.
Before we can sit in judgement on his guilt or otherwise, what I find particularly gauling - well he is French - is that it won't have cost him one cent more to stay in the Sofitel New York's $3000-a-night suite near Times Square than he will need to pay to stay in the notorious Rikers Island prison.
For once, however, the mighty might yet - and I stress might - have an even bigger price to pay.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

True to form...but nothing else

As the football season draws to a close, it would be well-nigh impossible to exaggerate the difference that three points can make.
Just ask Chris Huhne, the Government's Energy Secretary.
Having been caught speeding, it is alleged that Huhne tried to offload his three points on to the licence of A.N. Other.
In a world of politics where freeloading has become almost de rigueur, I would have thought that a little offloading ought to be commended.
But patently not.
At least, not when you lie about it.
As befits his position, he has recently been expending endless energy in trying to persuade a witness not to blab.
Huhne warned the witness that the "last thing" he would want is a "half-baked" story in the Press.
I would translate that to: the first first thing that Chris Huhne would want is to avoid being skewered and roasted by the Press as he bloody well deserves to be.
Commenting on this latest story to besmirch one of our fine upstanding representatives, his former wife claims that he often "drove like a maniac". Had she accused him of "going like a train", then his stock might have risen.
Instead it has fallen.....or is about to.
Not to the sub's bench but to the back benches.
Like a previous MP who valiantly tried to claim expenses for his moat, here we have yet another who is about to be de-moated.
And a good thing too.

Friday, 13 May 2011

I went to the market to buy ceps

I ended up with mussels.

One law for the bitch, another for the whore

Okay, it's a dreadful pun, I admit, but the principle is just the same.
David Laws, the disgraced - and disgraceful - former Cabinet Minister illegally used £100,000 of taxpayers' money to pay his boyfriend rent.
Now I'm not suggesting for one moment that any of this makes either of them a rent boy, but there is certainly a descent into some sort of moral cesspit.
Surprisingly, in a move that is symbolic of standing on a dog turd while it is still steaming, David Cameron and Nick Clegg are both standing by David Laws and would like to welcome him back into the fold immediately.
One can't help thinking of how some poor wretch who might have fiddled his social security would have been treated.
I suspect, as I alluded to in the above headline, there is one law for the rich.....
However, when his career is eventually done and dusted, one question will remain.
Was David Laws more embarrassed by:
a) Cheating the taxpayer out of £100,000?
b) Being outed in such a public way?
c) Getting into bed with the Tories?
David Laws might well have been outed but the jury is still out.

I was educated at the School of Hard Knox

That's pre-Reformation.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Oh what a tangled web we weave.....

One needn't delve too deeply into any daily newspaper to learn just how easily people screw up their lives.
The first story that hit me today concerned a Tory councillor and sex - at times the two seem inextricable.
Maybe that's the reason why they are known as the 'blue' party.
Mark Sykes, a married man, a Conservative and true blue, turned up at midnight at the house of a fellow councillor with whom he was conducting an affair.
I'm already getting bored relating this story suffice to say that he was upset to discover that she was also cheating on him.
Why he was surprised, I don't know, but an argument ensued, a cup of tea was thrown and Councillor Sykes ended up in court charged with assault.
Nothing remarkable about any of that.
But that's not the point of my story. My issue relates to the fact that I paid good money to scale the new Daily Telegraph paywall on my iPad.
If the Telegraph wants to attract subscribers they had better subscribe to the following:
either they improve the standard of their journalism or next time they have a sex story to tell, it will need to be a lot more lurid than slap, tickle and a cup of tea.
Otherwise, its readers, however sagacious or salacious, will end up as confused as a dung beetle.
Caught between two stools.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The mother of all oxymorons?

Pakistani Intelligence.
It might well have been that Osama bin Laden was hiding behind a super-injunction, but it beggars belief that Pakistan were truly unaware of exactly where the world's most wanted terrorist was holed up.
In a neighbourhood that includes the country's top Military Academy, it would be reasonable to assume that they would at least use the excuse of borrowing a cup of sugar just to acquaint themselves with whoever might be living next door.
The fact that bin Laden's compound comprised the largest dwelling in the area with extraordinary levels of security should also have added to their curiosity.
Maybe it's time for Pakistan to consider scrapping their Intelligence Service and replacing it with a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.
Any old granny with her twitching net curtains would have sniffed bin Laden out years ago.
And another thing. Where are Wikileaks when you need them?
Or was this little nugget part of Julian Assange's plea bargain?
Now there's a conspiracy.