Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brown Stuff on Ice

It will be little surprise that Iceland's voters overwhelmingly rejected a plan that would have made each of them liable to repay thousands of dollars to the British and Dutch governments for compensation they paid out to investors who lost money when Iceland's banks collapsed in 2008 following the global financial crisis.

Quite apart from not seeing why they should bear the consequences of the actions of a few greedy people, Icelanders are naturally pissed off that Britain invoked anti-terrorist legislation following the collapse to freeze Icelandic funds held in London. Since Iceland is Britain's NATO ally and one of the most peaceful countries on Earth, how could such a thing happen?

My own theory is that it was all a misunderstanding. A report from Britain's Environment Ministry landed on Gordon Brown's desk saying that Iceland was a threat to whales (which it is one of the few nations still hunting). Owing to an unfortunate typo, Brown glanced at it and took it to be an intelligence report saying that Iceland was a threat to Wales. Naturally he had to take action.

Of course, another possible explanation could be that Gordon Brown is an unprincipled opportunist willing to bend the law to get what he wants. But no one would believe that of a British Prime Minister, would they?

Lessons in Democracy

The Morning Post today highlights America's criticism of the lack of democracy in Hong Kong, saying "The US government has criticised the Hong Kong government for limiting the ability of its people to change their government". While agreeing with the criticism, I wonder if they should first turn their attention to their own system. The US is, after all, the country where a clear majority of electors voted for Al Gore in 2000 and got ... George W. Bush. What was that saying about pots and kettles?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

On the Other Foot

Every so often one hears of the death of someone who has been so long out of the public eye that one has assumed them to be dead already. So it is with the passing at age 96 of Michael Foot, former leader of the British (Old) Labour Party, and best remembered for his unfortunate loss of the 1983 election to the execrable Margaret Thatcher.
"He was as far removed from the techniques of modern politics as you could possibly imagine."
--Tony Blair

Could there possibly be higher praise than that?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Are you keeping up?

A few weeks ago, needing a new battery for my little Samsung digital camera, I went to the service centre address in Russell Street listed on their website, only to find they had recently moved a few blocks away to Causeway Centre.

Needing to take another Samsung product for service, I rechecked their website this morning, only to find that the service centre address has still not been updated.

"In everything we do, we strive to help people live better lives"
says Samsung's website. Everything except keeping their website up to date, that is.