Saturday, 31 March 2012

Steve Carell and Keira Knightley movie can't be as bad as its trailer

I'm used to seeing movie trailers which prove a lot more entertaining than the films they tout.
It's infuriating to be stuck in a cinema for two hours to discover  the best dialogue and action had been packed into a couple of minutes of the trailer, which had prompted you to see the film.
This is a good reason, for example, to miss James Bond trailers in the Daniel Craig era if you're a 007 fan.
But it's rare to find a trailer which is so leaden and yawn-inducing that the film proper has just got to be a whole lot better. Yet such is the internet taster for Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. Judge for yourself here; the movie is due for release in the summer.

Friday, 30 March 2012

George Galloway 1 Westminster Village lost

The Westminster village - both politicians and political hacks - is so out of touch with the concerns of the electorate that no one spotted the threat posed by George Galloway to Labour's supposedly safe seat in Bradford West.
Although the people of Tower Hamlets had little to show from Galloway's term as their MP, he was declared winner by a landslide in Bradford early this morning.
Galloway is a one-off; a powerful orator, anti-establishment and particularly anti-war. I find his addiction to the spotlight - whether cosing up to dictators or imitating a purring cat on Celebrity Big Brother - beyond the pale.
But if he has given a voice to disaffected Asian youth in Bradford through the ballot box, it is only good their protest finds a democratic outlet.
Meanwhile, Ed Miliband must be spitting blood his team at Labour HQ congratulated itself on getting him pictured eating a sausage roll in a Greggs while taking its eye off the Bradford ball.
Ken Livingstone must hope he can tap into much the same disillusionment that benefited Galloway especially among London's Muslim population in the forthcoming mayoral election for the capital.

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Tories will face voters' wrath if recession returns

The bruising the Government is taking from its current flood of gaffes - the 'granny tax', cash for access, 'pastygate', mixed messages over the threatened tanker drivers' strike and more - will be a mere tickle compared to the damage from the public's explosion of rage if Britain sinks back into recession.
First quarter growth figures are due on April 25. If the economy has shrunk for a second consecutive three month period, it will meet the official definition of recession.
In our case the double-dip recession that David Cameron and George Osborne had pledged to avoid.
But that's where we're headed according to a new OECD forecast today.
The pain of the austerity plan that was intended to temper cuts in the public sector by growth in the private just hasn't worked.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Twitter virgins start here

Usually I'm a big fan of the for Dummies self-help manuals but Twitter for Dummies looked so formidable that I delayed joining for a  year. It was only by lending out the tome that I was able to launch @gcLDN (grapefruitcrazyLondon, geddit?) yesterday by jumping in what proved to be a very welcoming deep-end. Now I want the book back to learn the whistles and bells.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Liam Stacey

Let's be clear Swansea University student Liam Stacey hasn't been jailed for 56 days for mocking the heart attack of Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter but for the racist abuse he aimed at those outraged by his initial tweet.
He will probaby serve less than a month but suffer his guilt for years to come.
Always allowing that freedom of speech is central to separating British society from dictatorships, the wider issue  for the rest of us is how far a***holes are allowed to spout their bile before expecting the full weight of the law to descend on the collar of a drunken student.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Smooching couples

The sun warmed lovers' hearts yesterday if the number of couples smooching in public was any sign.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Cash for access sting

The Sunday Times's brilliant cash for Tory access sting is a sharp reminder to Lord Leveson that his inquiry must not snuff out the ability of the Press to hold the powerful to account.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

London shapes up

Much of the capital has been a building site for years. So it's good to see the hoardings coming down as central London projects are completed ahead of the Olympics.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Alcohol pricing

Theresa May's plan to impose minimum alcohol pricing in supermarkets will challenge the resourcefulness of our youngsters as they pursue their generation's age-old desire to get hammered regularly with their mates. So they'll fetch up in town centres stoned rather than pissed - another reason to legalise drugs.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Pippa passes

The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearl'd;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven—
All's right with the world!

Pippa Passes: Robert Browning

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Granny taxed

About the only surprise in George Osborne's much-leaked Budget today is his plan to scrap extra income tax breaks for pensioners. In true Tory tradition, meanwhile, the taxman will go easier on the rich.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Beach bar Games

For those Londoners disgusted at failing to get any Olympics tickets, the best way to watch our Games is from a beach bar in Spain.

Monday, 19 March 2012

God and the British

A & E - God's wheeze to give the pagan British a sense of eternity.