Not Saussure

May 15, 2007

Nul points

Filed under: Uncategorized — notsaussure @ 8:17 pm

There was once a publicity-mad back-bench MP called Snooks (not his real name) who used to bombard bemused editors of the local papers for his constituency with press releases about things like ‘Local MP catches bus,’ containing accounts of how Mr Snooks had taken a Number 15 Bus round his constituency and it had prompted the following thoughts on public transport, or how well the local school, which he’d been able to see from his seat, was doing, or something. There was also a luckless MP from a different party who took years to live down, because the Observer unearthed it when he was made a cabinet minister by Mrs Thatcher, an early day motion he’d been persuaded to table by unkind drinking companions, rather late one night and of which he had no recollection whatsoever when he woke up the the following morning, calling for the public hanging, drawing and quartering of football hooligans.

However, I wonder what the excuse for this is:

The Eurovision Song Contest voting system needs to be changed because it is “harmful to the relationship between the peoples of Europe”, an MP has said.

Countries voted for their neighbours rather than the best songs, Liberal Democrat MP Richard Younger-Ross said.

And the BBC should insist on voting changes or withdraw from the contest altogether, he added.

I’m not sure which astonishes me more; that several other MPs, both Lib Dem and Labour, have put their names to this call to do something about this clear threat to the peace of Europe or that the BBC were able to find someone to comment

who has spent years studying Eurovision voting patterns,

That’s got be worse than train spotting, surely?



  1. Actually, he’s got a point; I’m getting more than a little weary of historical grudges and alliances and the Iraq war taking precedence over the quality of the performances, and the fewer excuses we hand our nation’s disaffected youth to kick the shit out of the nearest foreigner the better, especially given the amount one has to drink before the likes of Scooch sound like a winner.

    Comment by James — May 16, 2007 @ 12:32 pm

  2. ‘Quality of performances’ and ‘British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest’ aren’t historically two concepts one often finds together without a word like ‘lamentable’ or ‘risible’ knocking around somewhere, of course. Do people really get upset about that of thing?
    Of course, the real wind-up was when everyone kept on voting for Ireland. The problem is that the country that wins it has to stage the show the following year, and it ain’t cheap, particularly if you’re a small outfit like RTE. Apparently by the end of it — because they had to stage the thing 5 times in 6 years back in the 1990s — the RTE money people were tearing their hair out.

    Comment by notsaussure — May 16, 2007 @ 1:07 pm

  3. We pay this MP for this kind of drivel! It wastes our taxes, our time and our attention. However, I suppose there’s a point in that with Parliament becoming less and less involved in having any say in running the country what else are they supposed to do? My point still stands though…

    Comment by Richard Havers — May 16, 2007 @ 1:26 pm

  4. It makes one despair! Still, it’s no worse than TB calling for Deirdre Rachid to be freed. You can tell she was a fictional character, under the Blairites Labour politicians normally spend their time calling for real people to be locked up.

    Comment by Unpremeditated — May 16, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  5. But, but, TB doesn’t do that sort of thing, Unpremeditated. Why here he is, back in January 1994 (right at the end of the page), lambasting Michael Howard, the then Home Secretary:

    There has been a trebling in 10 years of the prison population in the United States and violent crime has continued to rise. Alternatively, we can understand that it is important to combine programmes of reform and prevention with the strengthening of the criminal justice system. The Home Secretary’s policy of prison works will not succeed.
    I must say that there is one exception, which the Home Secretary has introduced to the prison works programme. The headline in the Daily Express today is “Howard Joins Battle to Free Ambridge One”. The article says :
    “Such is the national outrage at the jailing of the Archer, Susan Carter, that Home Secretary, Michael Howard, has joined the campaign to free her. Mr. Howard is upset, like many others, because Susan received six months jail for helping her robber brother to elude the law.”
    It continues :
    “Home Office officials seemed stunned at Mr. Howard’s sudden involvement. After all, the Archers is fiction, isn’t it, asked a spokesman? Speculation there now is that he might follow Princess Margaret, Terry Wogan, Dame Edna Everidge and Britt Ekland in a guest appearance on the show.”
    The Home Secretary would certainly do less damage in Ambridge than he does in Whitehall.

    The numerous ironies in that exchange are just too delicious to contemplate for long.

    Comment by notsaussure — May 16, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

  6. Actually, this year’s entry from the UK seemed sort of alright, thought my judgement might have been clouded by drinking an entire bottle of Hardy’s Semillon Sauvignon Blanc in the space of half an hour just before they came on.
    But frankly, the public mood in Britain has reached the stage where there are plenty of people who need no more pretext than not being voted for by some new EU member to go out and cause one of its citizens serious and lasting harm with the first available weapon; indeed, some of them don’t need any pretext at all.

    Comment by James — May 17, 2007 @ 2:38 am

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