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Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Happy New Year, Ba'ath Broadcasting Corporation Style

So there I was, minding my own business, and doing what I prefer to do on New Years' Eve, which is to say, nothing very much, and someone turned on the BBC's 'Ere, It's Noo Year, Innit? programme.

There was the usual licence-payer fodder: socially dysfunctional squawking-heads bleating on about oh wow! It's NEW YEAR! I mean, Kirsty! Isn't it FANTASTIC! I mean, it's like A WHOLE FREAKING YEAR later than it was a YEAR ago! And what makes it even more special is that it's actually THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE DAYS later than that as well! Golly Moses! (Fuck knows what these people do when it's a leap year: I dare say it'd be like the scene in Scanners when that chode's head explodes...) Plus, of course, there was a drunk Scotsman wearing the kilt: you know, there to demonstrate the BBC's commitment to Overcoming Racial Stereotypes.

(Not that there's anything wrong with that; I'd wear the kilt myself. But only if she'd wear the boots.)

At any rate, about ten minutes before a large clock in central London made exactly the same bing-bong-bing-bong noise it had made twenty-four hours previously, the BBC decided to favour the Poor Bloody Licence-payers with the Good News of the Year. Yes, humble peons! There were hurricanes! There were earthquakes! Your capital city was bombed by terrorists... militants... freedom fighters... enlightened social reformers... martyrs for the Glorious Truth! And, most horrific of all, the Wicked Dubya is STILL the Chimperor of the United SStateSS of AmeriKKKa! But still, there was some GOOD news!

And the Poor Bloody Licence-payers were then treated to the Ba'ath Broadcasting Corporation's idea of the Good News of 2005, which boiled down to this:

-England won the Ashes, which was indeed Good News (except for the ~1 billion Australians that live in London);
-London got to host the Olympic Games, which was a matter of total indifference to the rest of the country but was extremely Bad News for us London taxpayers who will now have to foot the bill for this meretricious junket, in addition to paying the Mayor eight pounds to drive across our own city;
-Our beloved Leader, our Great Helmsman, the Lord God's Annointed Tony Blair, won re-election.

I want to focus on this last item, because I honestly believe it is the most shameless and disgraceful thing I have ever seen on British television. (True, they did show "Fahren-hate 911" a year or so ago, but I didn't watch it).

A second-rate leader of a fifth-rate political party secures a sharply-reduced majority in a gerrymandered legislature by dint of being marginally less despised than the universally hated "leader" of the walking corpse formerly known as the British Conservative Party... and this is grounds for national rejoicing?

Wikipedia tells us that in this particular election the ZaNuLabour Party won all of thirty-five percent of the popular vote (less than George W Bush in 2000; less than Bill Clinton in 1992; less than Salvador Allende in 1970) in an election where less than 62% of those eligible to vote actually did so* (substantially fewer than voted in last month's election in Iraq) and therefore the total number of UK citizens who actively supported Tony Blair, however grudgingly, is approximately 22%.

(Whereas the total number of UK citizens who are forced to pay the BBC to defaecate its acephalous Chomskyite pro-terrorist propaganda over the airwaves of the world is considerably in excess of 22%, since by law every household on this Island of Lost Souls that choses to watch any kind of television broadcast from any source whatsoever is forced to pay the BBC over one hundred pounds per annum for the privilege even if they never watch one moment of the BBC's yay-jihad-boo-nasty-Yanks rantings.)

Consequently therefore, the results of the 2005 general election were a cause for celebration to, at the very most, roughly 1/5th of the population of these islands (the remaining 4/5ths expressed no support whatsoever for the simpering simpleton who was reconfirmed as sole effective political decision-maker under what passes for the British constitution nowadays) and the BBC's inclusion of this event in their Celebration of Good News seems to me about as tasteful and appropriate as Eamonn de Valera's notorious communication to the German ambassador expressing his condolences for the death of Adolf Hitler.

(Yes, I'm bitter. My plan of Getting Out via the associate program of some investment bank developed not necessarily to my advantage: it turns out they recruit almost exclusively from their former interns, whereas suckers like me who tried to go to graduate school while holding down a day job weren't really placed to get onto the summer intern programs. (xj: he screws up, so you don't have to). I'll keep trying. Meanwhile, I'll have to pay another year's worth of televisual poll tax.

(Well-meaning non-native commentators on places like Biased-BBC sometimes ask why UK residents don't kick up more of a fuss about the Ba'ath Broadcasting Corporation, but really, what would we do? Write to our MPs? Please. MPs under the British system have just enough power to sneeze; if they have written permission from the Leader of the House, countersigned by the Cabinet Secretary, they may wipe their noses afterwards. (Besides, why would an MP bother? Only ten percent of the seats in the British House of Commons are marginal enough that a sitting Member risks being unseated in an election.) Or I suppose I could gather together some like-minded friends and we could petition the Government for redress of our grievances, except, whoops, that's now illegal. (American liberals who wish their country was more like Europe should be careful what they wish for.)

(To coin a phrase: I want my Green Card...)

*I voted. They may not have counted me, however, since I voted my conscience, IOW I wrote "None of the above are acceptable" on the ballot paper. (Kilroy and his flat-tax party didn't put forward a candidate here in my part of London, alas).

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