Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Business news: catching a cold

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The arbiters of the world's fortunes appear to be having a medical crisis - how serious it is, only time will tell.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Celebrity News - Britney Spears

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This is what being the most lusted after woman on the planet gets you.

News of Ms Spears

Thursday, February 22, 2007

How big should Tony's bust be?

My colleague Morten is much taken with the unveiling of a statue of former PM Mrs Thatcher this week. He wondered on his blog, how big Mr Blair's piece of art would have to be to compete ... and it's an intriguing question.

He started with a bust - shown here - and then enlarged to a statue...

He then threw the challenge back to me - and anyone else who'd like a go.

And below is my response. Hat tip to The Sun.

Yeah - it's obvious, Tony would have at least two busts in the first place.

The day we started to leave Iraq

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The Prime Minister has announced we will be leaving Iraq as soon as possible. How?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Britain - on the day we invaded Iraq

A marvellous piece of news (or lack of it) photography from Nick Danziger. The article published by The Guardian.


You may see some interpretations of the consequences of our actions at

Birds of War

Thursday, February 15, 2007

How are we doing in Iraq?

Kudos to Matthew Parris of The Times who spots a gem of a little story tucked away inside his own paper. I quote selectively from it here.

> “A British Hercules aircraft had to be destroyed on the ground after being crippled soon after landing in the lawless Iraqi province of Maysan, the Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday.” The report said this was to stop equipment falling into hostile hands on a runway near the provincial capital of al-Amarah.<

This is a province our government says was "under control" and ready to be handed back to the Iraqi government in January. Things have been delayed.

Parris again:

>I rang the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: had I missed an update on Mrs Beckett’s November statement? No, a spokesman told me: “We did hope to hand over the province.” However, more time was needed. Britain is now (apparently) “hopeful of handing over in the spring”.

Hopeful? How hopeful, when we blew up one of our own aircraft there this week, unable to guard it? Yet the Defence Secretary promises we will not leave until the job is done. If you seek the real source of public cynicism in politics, look no farther. We’ve lost. Why not just say so?


Can't resist this link from the BBC. It describes an official US goverment pre-invasion plan as expecting only 5,000 US troops to remain in Iraq by December 2006 as 'delusional." Rarely a truer word spoken.


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Friday, February 09, 2007

Confused by web 2.0?

A very interesting animation from You Tube about the amazing pace of development in the online world. It's probably best to let you make your own minds up about what it means, rather than pontificating about what I think it means ...

It was made by a professor of anthropology in Kansas, USA - somebody who is obviously very interested in how human beings communicate.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Fantastic new exhibition - Birds of war

Here is an unashamed puff piece for a great exhibition which will soon be on in London.

It's a collaboration between five female artists about the war in the middle east. The twist is that all of them have distinct experiences of living through war - and it all makes for some fantastically powerful art.

I recommend a visit to the site, which is linked here - and do try, if you are going to be anywhere near London between April 11th and the 17th, to go along. The venue is going to be next to The Angel tube station, at the bottom of Upper Street.

Birds of War

Astronauts in love

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Who could resist a story like astronauts in a love triangle? The joke possibilities are infinite.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Two entirely unrelated incidents

Wonder of wonders, The Sun has a magnificent scoop today with the voice recording from two US planes involved in a friendly fire incident against British troops in Iraq.


Also, it has emerged that Jonathan Powell, the PM's most senior aide, is about to be interviewed again by the Met in respect of the loans for peerages allegations.

Another story

Now, who might have an interest in making sure there was a good, big, dramatic story in the public eye today? Coroners don't talk to the media, the US certainly are not happy about the leak - who does that leave?

Copyright + pinching imagery

An old problem has raised it's head again - people stealing your images and then passing them off as their own work.

One of my colleagues, Andy Davey, has found people 'borrowing' or stealing parts of his drawings for use in their photoshopped internet mash-ups. And they've been appearing on popular internet blog sites, such as Guido Fawkes and Ian Dale's Diary. The latest one turned up on Iain's diary over the weekend.

To be fair to Iain and Guido, both have sort-of apologised for using unattributed images, but there is a serious responsibility to check where artwork is coming from if you are going to publish it on the web.

Old media had to develop a system of employing artists and creators to help decorate their products, it would be nice to think that successful web sites could start to think about doing that too. After all, the visitor benefits are obvious - everybody likes drawings which are rude about politicians.

Perhaps one simple solution would be for all artwork posted to political blog sites like these to be signed - and noted with a URL - that way, we get to know who thinks what. And also, Andy would have some chance to track down the person who 'borrowed' his work.

There is an interesting exchange between my colleague Morten Morland and Iain Dale about this issue at the link below.


Some of Andy Davey's borrowed belongings

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lord Blair of Sleazedom

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The PM has been interviewed for the second time about the loans for lordships affair. His own personal fundraiser, Lord Michael Levy, has been re-arrested about the matter. It's all very, very smelly.

Incidentally, the nation's prisons are full and overflowing again.

I wonder if anyone will be able to bring themselves to offer the former prime Minister Blair the traditional lordship after he has resigned?