20 April 2005

You can't get more unilateralist than that

[source, source]

Only George Galloway could upstage his own manifesto launch. […]

Or he would have been if it had not been for Salam Pax.

The “Baghdad blogger” was at the event to make a film for Newsnight, and he managed to snatch a brief interview with Mr Galloway before the Respect candidate dashed off to his meeting with the lawyers.

“I know who you are,” said Mr Galloway, warily eyeing Mr Pax, whose weblog gave the world an insight into the lives of ordinary Iraqis in the run-up to the US-led invasion.

Mr Pax wanted to know why Mr Galloway wanted the immediate withdrawal of occupying troops from Iraq.

“I really don’t think we are going to agree on this. You supported the war and I opposed it,” said Mr Galloway.

“You welcomed the invasion of foreign armies into your country. I opposed it. So we are not going to agree on this, which is why I didn’t think it would be productive to have a discussion with you and I do have to go now.”

But Mr Pax - whose real name has never been revealed - pressed the point.

Galloway: “I just want to be honest with you. You can not demand that our armed forces occupy your country - that’s a matter for us.

“It’s not a matter for you - it’s a matter for us. Now I think there are millions of people in this country who think the war was illegal, was wrong shouldn’t have happened and should be immediately withdrawn from. We are entitled to that point of view and we are.”

Mr Pax “shouldn’t have supported” the war in the first place, added Mr Galloway.

But Mr Pax countered that would be tantamount to supporting the continuation of a regime like Saddam’s.

Galloway: “We are not going to agree on this. You are a supporter of the war. You are a supporter of the occupation and I am an opponent. Your family joined the puppet government.”

Now, some might attack Galloway for being so parochial and indifferent (if not hostile) to the Iraqis. But that’s been his position and that of his supporters and party from the beginning. They’ve never cared a particle about Iraq or Iraqis, except ones that cut big checks for their bank accounts. But still, it’s hilarious to hear the statement that “You can not demand that our armed forces occupy your country” — isn’t the occupation vastly unpopular according to Galloway?

Posted by orbital at 6:50 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

At least it's a voluntary tax


Now what word would describe a private company providing a service in an area where the service has not been provided before?

If you said “Tax” then you too can be a British MP:

Independent ATMs do not get the interchange fee for cash withdrawals, but are paid for balance checks and rejected transactions. Because of this, big banks actually profit from letting charging ATMs into the market, as they don’t have to provide as many machines themselves or pay as much in interchange fees… Good for business, but what about customer service? While some people use charging machines for convenience—preferring to use one in the pub at a cost, rather than walk down the street—some citizens don’t have any close access to free machines.

The Treasury Select Committee is concerned this is a “tax on the poor.”

To quote the narrator of Spongebob Squarepants, “Yes, they are all idiots.”

Does this mean that Old Media websites that charge for content are taxing readers because there is equivalent content available for free?

Posted by orbital at 6:42 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

We know what's news


The L.A. Times ran a front-page article this week about nepotism in Congress. The article contains new information about large payments to family members by several prominent Democrats, including Barbara Boxer […]

But guess what? This new information was buried on page A18. And who was the only politician named on Page A1? Why, that would be Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, whose payments to family members are old news


That pretty much fits normal news practice, right? New information on A18, old news on A1.

Well, isn’t bad news about Donkeys by definition old news, while similar tales of Elephants is always new news?

Posted by orbital at 5:48 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL