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rotten boroughs - The Villages

hutch0
Date: 2008-12-03 23:38
Subject: rotten boroughs
Security: Public
Location:home
Mood:calmcalm
Music:porcupine tree
I sometimes wonder what goes through the Queen's mind as she reads the speech at the State Opening of Parliament. The speech is always written by government speechwriters, not by her, so the language is that of the government of the time. I can't remember the Blair-era speeches, but hearing the Queen today using Brown phrases like `global economic downturn' sounded very odd. Incidentally, is it just me or was the State Opening very late this year? They'll only get a week or so's work done before they all go off on their Christmas holidays. Unlike myself, who as usual will only get Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day off.

After the State Opening, everyone went back to their jobs, and the Speaker of the House of Commons read out a statement about the circumstances behind the arrest of Damian Green and the search of his offices at Westminster. Basically, the Speaker knew nuffink - it was all the fault of the Serjeant-at-Arms (the official in charge of security at the House of Commons) who let them in without a search warrant.
There was something of a sharp intake of breath at this point, when MPs heard that Special Branch had turned over Green's office without a warrant, but apparently under the Police And Criminal Evidence Act they're allowed to do this if the person in charge lets them in by filling in some kind of form. The Serjeant-at-Arms was entirely within her rights to send them away with a flea in their ears, but she, in common with 99.9999% of the British populace, seems to be ignorant of the small print in PACE. Whether the police officers neglected to say to her, `Oh, by the way, you could just tell us to sod off' or not, may come out in the `urgent' inquiry into the police handling of the affair which was announced yesterday. Anyway, it looks as if the Serjeant-at-Arms - the first woman to hold the post in four hundred-odd years - is being lined up to take the fall. This one will run, but I suspect it will run in more and more constitutionally-arcane circles, until nobody but the most nitpicking Parliamentarian cares any more.

I spent this afternoon plastering around the doorway of the Little Room With All The Boxes and sort of half-listening to the debates and the news commentators, and at one point I swear I heard one commentator say that one of the proposals listed in the Queen's Speech was a new Bill making it against the law `to cause a nuclear explosion.' I've been looking for this and I can't find it, so maybe he was making a joke. Surely it's already against the law to cause a nuclear explosion. Isn't it...?
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-12-04 00:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Paleolithic elk
I guess we'll find out, eh?

This world really is a Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-04 01:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It certainly is. And I'm rather hurt not to have been invited...
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-12-04 02:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:friends
What? I thought you were catering the whole affair!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-06 00:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Now that'd be a Mad Hatter's Tea Party to remember, wouldn't it?
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-12-06 01:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Especially with your tarsier expressive face. I can picture you clinging to a table leg, under the table cloth. Then again, I suppose that might get you into less trouble if it's a table leg and not a woman's leg. Then again . . .
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-06 01:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You've never seen me at a formal dinner...
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-12-06 01:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Are you one of those guys who drops his napkin and bends down to fetch it, pausing to tie his shoe laces before surfacing with the napkin?
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-06 01:37 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm one of those guys who drops his napkin and you don't see him again until it's time to go home.
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User: sarcobatus
Date: 2008-12-06 01:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Looking for the short skirts, are you? Explains the tarsier bug-eyes.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-06 02:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm usually looking for the exit, but if a short skirt hoves into view I probably won't raise an alarm...
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Kat: Eye
User: artykat
Date: 2008-12-04 01:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Eye
One would hope!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-06 00:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
As I said, I was busy trying to get plaster to stay on the wall and I was only half-listening, but the phrase `making it an offence to to cause a nuclear explosion' in the background made me stop and look at the telly and go, "Hm.' I think it was probably the punchline to a political commentator's joke, because I haven't been able to find any mention of it anywhere else, but I was much taken with the idea that someone, somewhere, might have just neglected to legislate for nuclear weapons.
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Kat
User: artykat
Date: 2008-12-06 20:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, terrorist attacks are illegal, too, but that doesn't stop them, it seems

You were getting plastered, then? Oh, no, not you, the wall... my bad
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-07 01:32 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Both the wall and I got plastered. I may never get the damn stuff out of my clothes.
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calcinations
User: calcinations
Date: 2008-12-04 21:23 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Why would it be against the law to cause a nuclear explosion given we have lots of nukes?

I am also reminded of Steve Bells cartoons from the '80's.
Specicially the one from "The vengeance of IF..."
The Queen speaks,
"My government recognises the vital contribution made by the water industry to the life of this nation for where, indeed, would we all be without a fluid medium on which to float our shittr? (I didn't write this, y'know) Which is why my government has decided to float the whole bang shoot, like some cosmic turd, and head it in the direction of Niagara falls (I like that, most evocative)
Thatcher- "Sabotage!! Our speech has been sabotaged!!"

As for Damien Green, given this governments obsession with secrecy, if they';d just shut the fuck up and tell us everything that our taxes have been used to pay for, or paid someone to pay someone to find out, there wouldn't be any trouble. But oh no, this gvt has to try and control everything, to the extent that they don't want you to know when they have cocked things up.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-05 23:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I just keep thinking, `dammit, now I can't cause a nuclear explosion and expect to get off with a caution.'
I think the most interesting thing about the Damian Green affair is how little the Government knows. The Speaker didn't know anything, the Home Secretary didn't know anything, the Prime Minister didn't know anything. Nobody seems to have known anything about it apart from the police and Boris Johnson.
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Kat
User: artykat
Date: 2008-12-06 20:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My thoughts exactly. I had planned on making that a New Year's resolution: 1. Cause Nuclear Explosion and Escape Consequences. Dang.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-12-07 01:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, precisely. If I'd known it was legal...
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