LETTERS FROM LONDON
REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
14 December 2013
It Doesn't Add Up

Number one: “I’m number one”: The only leader of the world, Obama, arrived
an hour after the ceremony began, shook hands with the Cuban President Raul
Castro (assuming in the spirit of reconciliation rather than smug entitlement),
chomped on gum (as you do at any solemn occasion), shared a continuous
laugh with the attractive blond Danish PM Helle Thorning- Schmidt  and then
finished it off with a ‘Man, I’m the coolest dude on this planet’ selfie with PM
CallMeDave and the Danish PM (who insisted the ceremony was a
“celebration” of Mandela’s life – thus the three narcissists were celebrating –
themselves).

"Mandela and me. Mandela and me. Makin' h i s t o r y." "But you're mixed
race. Your mother was white and you were brought up by her parents in a
white environment. Your name was Barry." "Don't tell anyone." "So shouldn't
your focus be on integration and unity and equality?" "Huh?"

Putting a few moments of the event in perspective, Obama and Mugabe were
cheered. Really? Murderous Mugabe? One third of the seats were empty.
Curious.

Surprise, surprise: For her 100th show, vegan biscuits and cupcakes were
served. Fascinating. Shocking the world with the sudden release of her 5th
album she refers to as her ‘visual album’. That naturally includes feminist
images such as cage dancing, writhing, overt sexuality, semi-nudity – the
usual. 14 songs, 17 video clips.

Beyoncé informed those of us who live in an imageless world: “I see music. It’s
more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately
see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a
memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies.
And they’re all connected to the music.”

Brilliant. Who knew this was possible? Music elicits
memories/dreams/fantasies. What a revelation. Perhaps she should stop
‘seeing the music’ and try vocal rather than visual training. Get out the biscuit
tin.

Beyoncé in her own visual world: “My aspiration in life would be...to be happy.”
Let’s visualise this together: a life of endless bling, unlimited wealth, jet-set life
style, constant attention, fame, self-obsession, self-delusion... brings
happiness. Pity the reviews haven’t been so happy. She’ll never notice.

Gimme, gimme, gimme: in private, behind closed doors, behind the backs of
the people they are meant to serve and represent, MPs want a bigger raise
than they are publically rejecting. An increase from their current £66,000 to
£95,000. Public sector workers can look forward to a capped 1% pay rise. MPs
are also demanding to keep their highly-paid second jobs as well as all those
perks, extras, donations we so generously offer them for their second homes,
education of their children, biscuits...oh yes, biscuits. But not vegan. (See Mr
Plump Pickles below.)  

After ‘the Duck House’ revelation and debacle of 2009, MPs gave up giving
themselves annual raises (yes – they did do that) and handed over their
possible wage increase to Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority. This
authority has made the decision that the demanding MPs are worth it. Really?
How? IPSA or Idiots Payout Stupid Awards, has brought us all a bit of festive
Christmas cheer with a £7,600 increase, an 11% increase. Is this what we want
them to receive after the next election. No we don’t.

With that increase four times the rate of inflation, fearing backlash, Ed and
Nick have rejected the plan...Cameron first was “outraged” and called it
“unthinkable” and now is ‘rethinking’ – thinking? Really?  He has decided to
now ask IPSA to rethink for him. Baroness Boothroyd, clearly not short of a
pound or two, said taxpayers (those of us who actually pay taxes that is) should
“take it on the chin”. But can we then punch our MPs in the face after they take
our money?

We handed Tory MP Eric Pickles an extra £10,000 on a plate in the form of
biscuits in one year. Custard creams, ginger nuts and digestives, but not a
biscuit in sight for pre-schools, but plenty for the multi-chinned Pickles. We can
only assume he devoured them all himself by the look of it  - okay, look of him.

Figures released at the end of 2012 show Mr Pickles’ Department for
Communities and Local Government had forked out £40,000 from £30,000 in
2011. Mr Pickles said the noticeable increase was the result of an
“administrative error” and wanted us to know that the biscuit budget was still
lower than when Labour was in power. When don’t they blame it all on Labour?
Never is the answer. I don’t remember any biscuit scandal when Labour was in
power.

“It is still a 94 per cent reduction though compared to Labour’s spending in the
department. I’m not playing a jammie dodger here. I even bring in my own tea
bags to work. I wouldn’t accept anything from another person.” Hahahahaha.
It's not over ‘til the fat lady sings...if you know what I mean, Mr Plump...Portly...
Piggy Pickles. (Stop me...podgy...paunchy...roly-poly....).

Six and counting: Blackburn Rovers striker, DJ Campbell has been included
in a spot-fixing scandal. And we’re not talking the Italian leagues here. But that's
match-fixing isn’t it. He and 6 others have been involved. He has played for
Queen’s Park Rangers and Blackpool in the Premier League. Campbell,
Oldham striker Christian Montano, 21, Tranmere defender Ian Goodison, 41,
Sam Sodje, 34, and his brother Akpo, 33, who also plays for Tranmere have
been named – so far.

Former Portsmouth player, Sam Sodje revealed to an undercover reporter that
he could arrange for a player to be booked or sent off with a payment in hand
of tens of thousands of pounds. He claimed he was preparing to fix matches at
next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Now that makes betting a bit tricky. “Everyone
happy” he said, referencing Beyoncé. He claimed he could guarantee events
“100 per cent in return for cash”. “You just push someone, swear at the
referee, kick the ball away. A yellow card is a standard thing. No one would
even be suspicious.” Sodje said he controlled a network of players. It does all
add up.
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