Basement Cat

"teh basement cat iz in ur screen, stealin' ur blogz..."

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

We have moved.

Yaaaas... you can now find me at, wittering on about cocktails and the Edinburgh drinks scene. Please enjoy reading about my Misadventures in a Cocktail Glass!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Political Bias rears its head again at the Beeb...

I shall be brief, as I have to go be all bartendery shortly.

The BBC repeatedly refers to the BNP as Right Wing. It equates fascism with the political Right. This is a fallacy. The Nazis, similarly are confused with the Right. This is incorrect. The Nazis were (wait for it) The National Socialist party. Socialist. Anyone get that last word there?



So. The BNP have very similar economic, political, and dare I say it, social policies to those of the now defunct National Socialist Party of Germany circa 1933-1945. The Nazis were actually not that far from the Communists in economic terms - really, Stalin and Hitler would have agreed on quite a lot were it not for their racial loathing of each other - particularly from old Adolf's point of view.

Both were left wing. The BNP, who espouse the same nationalist, protectionist and exclusionist policies of the fascist Nazi party (as well as other loathesome policies formed around a general dislike for anything other than Caucasian Heterosexual Men and their doting stay-at-home Women) are also left-wing. They are Left-Wing Authoritarians.

Will someone in the BBCs political editorial department PLEASE take note of this?

That is all.

Monday, 5 October 2009

CPC '09 - 05/10

All in all it looked like a good day for the Conservatives at the Manchester party conference. Tomorrow bears watching, though, after Alastair Darling pulled a fast one announcing a Government demand for public sector pay cuts (top earners only, of course) the very night before George Osborne was expected to speak on *exactly* that topic. Funny that.

What undermines this move is that this conflicts with the pay deal that Labour had agreed with the Civil Service pay review boards (such as the First Division Association). Best move George could make tomorrow is to make that very point. Labour are so desperate for ideas that they steal from the Conservatives at every opportunity, even when it means reneging on the deals they had already struck. They are a Government which cannot be trusted to uphold their agreements (Lisbon referendum, anyone?) and resort to cheap tricks to attempt to undercut their opponents. They fight without honour.

Let's see how George fights back against this breach of political trust.


If Labour's charge is against youth, energy and enthusiasm, then do you know what? I plead Guilty."
-David Cameron, 5 Oct, CPC 2009 Manchester
Cameron gave one of his rallying cries today, one of the few things I was able to catch given Sky News is about the only channel I can get from out here in Lagos that is actually covering anything. Worse yet the t'interweb keeps dropping out, which is less than ideal! Sounds like Boris had a few words of direction for Osborne and Cameron as well, hopefully a sign of the things to come.

Anyway, I'm out visiting my Dad in Lagos for the week, flew out on the 1st so that I could take part in the Badagary Creek boat race on the 3rd and 4th - a two day sail up from Lagos to Badagary and back. It was until a few years ago in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest inland race - now surpassed by something in the UK, I believe - and I will post some of the highlights from the Log I kept once I've typed them all up. OR I'll get lazy and post the whole thing. Undecided yet.

Hoping that the internet connection in the compound will keep steady for the next few days - I have to take a numerical reasoning test for a graduate application I'm working on and it would suck sucky things if it dropped while halfway through...

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

When games blur with reality...

I may have mentioned on here before, but I play Warcraft. I used to be a little bit shy of mentioning this, since it is essentially an RPG, and RPGs, classically, are for the geeks in the basement with some dice, a compendium or two, square glasses two inches thick and hair that would fit right on to one of the orcs or elves that they dream about.

Of course, that's the stereotype that the mainstream media has always portrayed and, scarily enough, as someone who in his younger years collected and played a lot of Warhammer, I can vouch for some of that stereotype. Fortunately, not everyone is like that. These pocketbook geeks come in many shapes and sizes, and tend to be very creative, intelligent people who really enjoy the chance to exercise their imaginations together. Added to that, these are the sorts of people who have a mind for strategy. The modern computer game counterparts are much the same.

I hear that parents often berate their children for sitting indoors at their computer screens playing these MMOs, or Massively Multiplayer Online games (some of them have the MMORPG moniker, such as Everquest, Warcraft, Age of Conan and so on and so forth). Why don't you go and make some real friends, they complain. They have failed, I fear, to grasp and understand how the internet has revolutionised social interaction. Some of these people they play with, whom they have never met, are as real friends as those at school or at work. Through all their online trials and tribulations together, they can come to trust one another enough to confide in and to seek advice for 'real life' troubles and share 'real life' successes.

It can't, of course, replace real world social interaction, but it is not without merit. In Warcraft, I play on Draenor (EU) and am a member of a guild known as Elite Addicts. We haven't made the most progression overall in terms of content, nor do we have the most members. We're not looking to achieve either, either. (On a tangential note, I love that the English language allows you to do that!) Elite Addicts are a Social Raiding guild, which means we raid the high-end content, but we're don't have strict attendance rules like some of the full-on raiding guilds. That may not mean much to anyone who doesn't play WoW, but I say this to paint a little picture of what this group of individuals are all about.

The Social and Raiding aspects extend to the Ventrillo server (an online chat server) that we use to communicate during raids, and also just for a chat when we're in the mood. As such we've had a lot more than typed conversations, and some of us have got to know each other pretty well.

As it happens, we have something pretty unique about us, which is that some of the core raiders actually know each other in the real world. In fact, they live in York. This led to someone suggesting offhand that it might be a nice idea for us to get together one weekend and meet up - a real world Guild Meet.

So we are.

About 15 computer game playing self confessed geeks shall be descending on York this weekend coming to put faces to names, have a bit of a party and *not* play the game for the entire time we're there. Which is kind of the point. Booze may be involved, but not for Shezelle, he's only 16. Some are driving up from the South East and are co-ordinating a lift so they can travel up together. We've got people coming not just from the UK, but from the Continent as well. They're literally flying/eurotunnelling in just for it. It's going to be quite the get-together.

You might be wondering why I'm blogging about this. In part, it's because I know my parents read this blog from time to time and I know they still have their preconceptions of computer games, so I want to illustrate something to them. In part it's because I'm really bloody excited about it.

The only weird part is that we tend to refer to each other by the names of our main character in the game, so we may need name badges, otherwise they're going to be calling me 'Kael' all the time...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

"...I swear those girls are gonna kill me."

Reasons that Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is a good film adaptation:
  • Good character development. You get a real sense of the bonds forming between our protagonists.
  • Draco Malfoy has finally stopped looking like he is suffering from a wasting disease and puts in a strong performance, much less 'generic weasel' and more 'tormented soul'.
  • Crams a very big book into a good movie story. If you don't know the book, you won't be left wondering what it's all about.
  • Manages to cram in humour and emotion.
  • Definite sense that our heroes have grown into themselves and are much less whiny kids.
  • Maggie Smith now has shoulderpads. This should not be underestimated.
  • Cloaks Snape in ambiguity, just as it should.
  • Permenant shroud of darkness clouding Hogwarts, lending an ominous feel of impending disaster hovering above everyone's heads as life goes on.
  • Excellent sountrack underscores the film brilliantly, holding to the motifs we have come to know and love.
  • Helena. Bonham. Carter.
Reasons why Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is not a good film adaptation:
  • Misses a magical meleĆ© through the halls of Hogwarts as is described in the novel, although this does serve a dramatic purpose in showing the vulnerability of all within its walls.
  • Despite being called 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince', Harry seems remarkably unconcerned with finding out who the Half-Blood Prince is, so when it is revealed at the end, it's somewhat anti-climactic. In fact, by that point most of the audience had probably forgotten about it.
  • They have tried to cram a lot in to the story, but as such never really develop any of the threads fully, so while not leaving anything incomplete, nothing is really explored either.
  • Really needed to see the full depth of Harry's rage - he's meant to be trying to cast unforgiveable curses at the aforementioned Prince as he chases him down, instead he just throws Sectum Sempra at him. Again, this is sort of understandable given that it provides a context for the Prince to reveal his identity, but c'mon!
Most of this is quibbling. I really enjoyed the film on first showing, and I'll be going back for a second viewing to help make up my mind. More than anything else, however, it sets up well for the next in the series.

And Cormac McClaggen is hot.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Up, down, left, right A + Start

We often hear that those of advanced years (old-folk, to you and I) reminisce about the past. Things were better back then, we respected our elders. Cars were made to last, and they knew how to mix a proper bloody martini.

All of it is bollocks of course, the past isn't just viewed with 20-20 vision, it's viewed through a lovely pair of prescription sunglasses with rose-tinted lenses and sparkly glitter on the rims. We all wax nostalgic. Past times are an untouchable refuge from all the things in the present that we don't like or approve of. Back in the day you boys would have been shot for touching each other like that. Really? Well make mine a shot of tequila, thanks.

Our obsession for our younger years is why NOW! compilations from the 60s/70s/80s/90s/00s (delete as appropriate) sell so well. Or used to back in the day when people actually went to a shop to buy music. Ahh, those were the days, when you actually got some service rather than all this one-click-buy nonsense... wait... now... where was I?

It seems a little ironic that many of the people who obsess over the latest iPhone and digital widgets are often the same people who obsess over their childhood music, television and games. For all the latest gadgets and zhuzhy graphics in the latest computer games, we all remember the first ones we played. Often they are enshrined above all others not for their amazing looks, but for the core upon which they were built in lieu of pretty graphics - wit, storyline, or insane object puzzles. Ehm... sorry, as Rincewind once said: Clever lateral thinking exercises. And you needed to play Discworld 2 to get that one.

Simple as games were, we loved them for all those things. As times and platforms have changed, so have the games we play on them. Point and click adventures (such as Sam & Max Hit the Road, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Day of the Tentacle, etc. etc.) have passed into legend (which is odd, since my 286 didn't have a mouse, so I can't see why the interface isn't really easy to translate to console), and the days of the awesome space simulator games (think X-Wing, TIE Fighter, Freespace 2 and the ilk) have no modern equivalents. We hunger for the games of the past but we very rarely go back to play them because we know that ultimately the 8-bit graphics are going to disappoint us, no matter how clever the games were.

I don't think I could tell you with a straight face that the old games were better than those that we play today. Oh, they were good. They were better than good, some of them were groundbreaking and downright amazing. Frontier: Elite II was without par. X-Wing was story-driven space combat in a FUCKING X-WING. The sequel, TIE Fighter had an even better story and the chance to fly for the Empire. Mostly, I admit, against Imperial splinter groups (perhaps blowing up too many of Wedge's buddies was against the LucasArts moral code), but still. Dark Forces was late in its genre but Jedi Knight was amazing. Alone in the Dark was scary as hell. Any point and click adventure from LucasArts (with the possible exception of Full Throttle) was a sock-blowingly hilarious and enjoyable immersion in a world of puzzle-solving genius. The original Civilization. Theme Park. System Shock. Freespace 2. These games set precedents.

Much of what we nostalgic gamers really want is those games back again, updated and shiny so we can play them again with today's technology, or better yet, a continued storyline. We... okay, fuck it, I admit it, I want Freespace 3. I want more Monkey Island. I want more X-Wing.

Fortunately, on one of those points, things are looking up.

LucasArts are apparently more benevolent gods than I had previously assumed. While I doubt I shall ever see another space combat simulation that will grab me so thoroughly as X-Wing, Freespace 1 & 2 and TIE Fighter did, I've been hoping that I would get to see another point and click from LucasArts. My prayers to the Dark Gods of Gaming were answered this month.

Engaging with a company called Telltale Games, LucasArts have released the first installment of a new Monkey Island game: Tales from Monkey Island. Split into five chapters to be released monthly and downloadable through Steam, this is an exciting turn of events for those with fond memories of Guybrush Threepwood, the pirate whose sole talent is that he can hold his breath for ten minutes.

So a new game with old favourites. Nostalgia is indulged, but not sated. As if reading my deepest darkest wishes, the creators of Monkey Island thought: Hey, you know what, we're releasing a new game, but the first one was amazing. Do you think we could make that accessible to a new gaming generation?

The first game in the series, The Secret of Monkey Island, was released way back in 1990. I played it on my 286 - my parents refused to buy me a console, and instead would only buy me clever games where I had to solve insane object puzzles. Sorry, clever lateral thinking exercises. Monkey Island and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis were the first two computer games I played (excepting a demo of Secret Sam or whatever that 8-bit spy-based Platform game was). Monkey Island is cult. LucasArts have re-made it with hand drawn art, new voiceovers, and a good dash of nostalgic love. You can even flick between the original 8-bit graphics and the new hand-drawn one at the touch of a button. It's the same game, but pretty (and cheekily ham-fisted) enough to appeal to the old-school gamer and newcomer alike. Plus it cost me less than £7 from Steam.

We, (well, I) would like more of that, please.

Now excuse me, you fight like a dairy farmer.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Gosh... you can almost hear the tumbleweed rolling across the face of this blog. A desolate strip of packed earth and sand with not a single green shoot poking its head tentatively above the soil. No fresh loam, but coarse and barren land.

I have, for various reasons, been otherwise occupied. Ironically I've had all the time in the world, however for a rationale best understood only by myself, I have neglected my little corner of the world.

Given the past few weeks there is no shortage of ammunition for me to base a few posts on, but if I'm brutally honest, the current affairs of the UK have been somewhat depressing of late. The election of the new speaker, for example, has been a bit of a let-down. A red tory (forgiveable) whose expenses track record hardly screams reformist (unforgiveable) has replaced a grumpy old lefty whose expenses track record was 'take what you can, give nothing back'. Wow. Well, that is a breath of fresh air.

Terribly disappointed that Richard Shepherd didn't get the job - his speech was curt and damning, but then again, perhaps given that it is little wonder.

So, anyway, just a quick one (hello, yes, still alive thanks).

Monday, 8 June 2009

Ehmm... lolwut?



You what?

I mean... really?

Well you won't see me anywhere near Betty's Tea Rooms now.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Purnell turns on his master

I hope you all did your bit for democracy yesterday. I heard a few comments going around that abstention was the only way to register your protest with the system, with politicians, and while I understand their frustrations, I disagree entirely. Not voting, in my view, dishonours the sacrifices that went before you to allow you the ability to vote. Fair enough that you can argue those people fought and campaigned just as much for your right not to vote as your right to vote, but I think in those circumstances, with all the parties available to you, there must be at least one that represents your views enough for you to tick next to their name?

In most things I am somewhat libertarian in my views. Freedom is the highest and most sacred right of all, but sometimes, I think the Australians have got it right, making it a legal requirement to turn up to vote, even if you then choose to abstain. Of course, I disagree on general principle, but the idea holds a certain appeal!

Overshadowing the elections last night, however, was the resignation of James Purnell. I seem to recall a few favourable comments from some of the Labour crowd a few days ago, including some from LGBTLabour on twitter. I bet they're seething now... David Cameron carpe'd the diem with this:

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Some post-match analysis

Overall impression of PMQs was one of disbelief. Cameron had plenty ammunition but seemed on first viewing to lack the stomach to use it. Nick Clegg fired off some good shots, but got laughed down by Labour's backbenchers. I smell some Hubris coming their way. I think Cameron is playing a tactical game here, and from an electoral perspective I can understand why.

Spectator has a pretty good breakdown, which I think makes good sense. What I think they're missing is that Cameron doesn't want a mortally wounded Brown, just a grazed one. I suspect we just saw a calculated salvo aimed not to kill. If Brown has confidence he'll stay in No. 10, and that means a much surer chance of victory for the Conservatives at the next General Election. A new leader means facing Labour in a honeymoon period of sorts, and that might be enough to rescue a few seats.

The fact Brown won't be called on an election shows he still thinks he can turn things around and improve on the polls. He'll hold out as long as he can in the hope his political currency can rise. Cameron wants an election now because that would mean facing Brown, not a new Labour leader. For him, the longer Brown holds out, the greater risk someone in Labour will grow the cojones to challenge him.

Wordle Cloud

Wordle: May/June Blogging

A wordle cloud of the last couple of posts on this blog. Pretty clear what's been on my mind, then!

David Cameron: Why we need a referendum on Lisbon

All the more reason to vote Conservative in the European Elections. UKIP aren't the answer (or WE-KIP, as Jury Team have dubbed them), Libertas seem pretty lightweight, and Labour as we all know don't think you deserve a choice in the matter. Let's not even mention the crazy neo-fascist left wing nationalist party. The signals coming from Hague and Cameron at the moment are the best I've heard with regards to Europe for some time now. Finally, some sense.

Bleary eye'd, but bushy tailed?

So that's it, Hazel 'Chipmunk' Blears has announced her resignation after Gorgon described her claims as 'unacceptable'. Hardly a shocker that he should do so, the man has been looking for an excuse ever since her 'youtube if you want to' moment. Our (vain)Glorious Leader does not take criticism, implied or otherwise, well.

The BBC alludes to her timing as suspect, perhaps an attempt to further destabilise Brown in the wake of Jacqui Smith and Tom Watson's announcements yesterday. Her statement is absolutely loaded. On the face of it, she is simply saying that she feels that she should return to focus on her constituents and their needs, but her wording is nothing short of devastating.

"The role of a progressive Government should be to pass power to the people. I've never sought high office for the sake of it, or for what I can gain, but for what I can achieve for the people I represent and serve."

Her implication is clear. The Government has clearly failed in that role (although as I've indicated before, left wingers never really want to give power to the people, since they know better than the people), and her colleagues who shall remain nameless have sought power for the sake of power. Perhaps a reference to the Son of the Manse? Who can say?

Only hours before an already awkward PMQs, Hazel retreats to the backbenches. I'm sure Iain Dale will be pleased to see his favourite feisty little chipmunk still has some fire. This can only intensify the infighting, and when it comes, it will make it clearer than ever that it is time for a new Government. One with an elected Prime Minister, would be nice.

Belshazzar was SLAIN!

You'll have to excuse the Biblical reference, but it is the Son of the Manse, that great scion of Presbyterian conscience and moral authority, to whom I refer.

Gordon Brown's refusal to confirm whether or not Darling or Blears have a future in the Cabinet was telling. It was the closest he had yet come to announcing that a cabinet reshuffle was indeed on the cards, and while you might perhaps forgive him for letting Blears drift, Darling has been a loyal chancellor - so loyal that he has gained the unenviable caricature of being his sock-puppet. Yet even Darling has on occasion 'overstepped' his master's authority with comments that diverged from the Prime Minister's chosen tune. Perhaps it is not so surprising that past loyalty is no protection when your master is backed into a corner fearing for his political life.

Ultimately, though, the suspense was broken by Jacqui Smith when she announced she would be standing down at the next reshuffle. Admittedly, she failed to fall on her sword as thoroughly as we would have liked by resigning as an MP entirely. With her slender majority of just over two-thousand, however, my suspicion is that she hopes to save her seat by showing some penitence. Smith's resignation could not come too soon, in my eyes. In her two years in the job as Home Secretary she has seen the Government's plans for increased terrorist detention defeated and has presided over massively unpopular plans for authoritarian DNA databases and ID cards. The Liberal Democrat's Chris Huhne branded her a failure even on her own terms. Throw in her expenses, her attempts to make prostitution even more open to abuse (a total lack of appreciation for the law of unintended consequences) and husband's predilection for charging his porn films to the taxpayer, and her position really was untenable.

Her attempt at damage limitation is, as ever, too little too late. What it has served to do is put the writing on the wall for Gordon Brown. If more nails were required for the proverbial coffin, Tom Watson added another with his resignation, and now the SNP are teaming up with Plaid Cymru to use their time next week to force a debate on the dissolution of Parliament . Nick Clegg has thrown his support to the debate, and William Hague has called the SNP's bluff by announcing on Sky News that if dissolution were debated, the Conservatives would be in favour. Should it come to this, Dan Hannan and Iain Martin have both postulated that the Queen might need to exercise her unwritten constitutional right to dissolve parliament. This may yet come to pass.

For all Parties involved, this could be a case of 'be careful what you wish for'. The expenses debacle has battered Parliament, and the European Elections will be a litmus test for voter's intentions. While I doubt strongly that fringe parties would stand to gain much in a General Election, I have found it difficult to divine whether anger is directed equally at all MPs, or if the ire is concentrated on the Government. My suspcion is the latter, if only because the Conservative's reaction to the 'revelations' has been far more decisive, and with the greatest of respect, no one really cares too much about the Liberal Democrats anyway. They are, if anything, Labour-Lite.

From what I have gathered from those I have spoken to, people distrust Cameron simply for being a Tory. They fear he is just another Blair, but blue. Yet if you ask people to take Iraq out of the equation, you'll find a grudging admission that they really liked Tony, at least to begin with. Blair had energy, authority, and anger. He wanted to change things. Watching Cameron, you can see that same passion, and you can sense the barely contained fury as he watches a Labour majority do untold damage to Parliamentary democracy and worse, to the population of Great Britain. In that, at least, he captures the spirit of the nation.

My Labour-minded friends tend to be blinkered in their devotion, it is that classic tribalism which leads them to hold fast to their course even as their ship sails off the edge of the world. Slavish devotion to their party can only be tolerated so long as the party has the best interests of the nation, and of the individual, at heart. As soon as it begins to believe it knows better than its electorate, it deserves no longer to form a Government. That is a lesson Cameron would do well to remember. He speaks now of returning power to the people, a truly libertarian sentiment (ironically, Socialists often claim the same, however what they mean is power to the establishment, because they're smarter than you), and I sincerely hope he means it.

The European Elections will be the opinion polls to end all opinion polls for this Government. Even taking the anti-political contingent out of the equation, I suspect strongly that Labour are going to be pummelled.

As with Belshazzar, Gordon's days are numbered. The writing on the wall is the same now as then, and come election time, this unelected Prime Minister will be told as much: "Thou art weighed in the balance and art found wanting."

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Le quote du jour

"Your ministers have failed you, Ma'am: send for better ones."

- Dan Hannan MEP, The Telegraph

Dan Hannan has suggested, respectfully, in his blog that it is time for the Queen to step in and exercise her constitutional role on behalf of the people of Great Britain by dissolving Parliament and calling for an election. He is right, to my knowledge, that this is one of the few constitutional powers she still has. In a case whereby the population have lost faith in their government and recent economic events have rendered the manifestos on which they were elected obsolete, this would seem to be the appropriate opportunity.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Crock of Brown

I'm not going to say too much on this, and I try and avoid using this blog to rant, but Gordon Brown is really taking the piss over this expenses debacle.

'Gentlemen's Club'? Oh, fine, play your little class-war game. It's nothing like a gentlemen's club, because guess what? They contain gentlemen, who behave as such and seek not to exploit the club and are generally more concerned with fair play and the spirit of the rules rather than their letter. What you're thinking of, Gordon, is a Trade Union, where people seek to get as much as they possibly can at the expense of other areas of the business, and are generally advised to take whatever they can get.

No wonder Michael Martin was so comfortable there.

The only leader who sounds out of touch on this issue is you, Gordon, because you're playing class and party politics. At least Nick and Dave are playing moral politics. You wouldn't have the first clue about those, since your Moral Compass seems to do nothing but spin.

Go to hell, you sanctimonious, misguided, arrogant, fool. Get out of Downing Street before we throw you out.

Maybe it's a sign of the times, but every time you open your mouth I can see his poorly concealed Machiavellian plots to weaken his internal rivals and strengthen his position. I even feel a little guilty calling them Machiavellian, since I think the author of The Prince would approve of his intention but be appalled at his execution. Divide and conquer, sow discord and fear...

Anyway, crowbarring back onto track, an external committee or regulator is not the answer. External regulation destroys the concept of the spirit of the rules, making it all the more about 'what can I get away with'. Creative accounting will become even more the norm, just as it does with tax. Any private businessman with a few beans to his name uses an accountant to maximise his earnings and get away with as much as he feasibly can. Do you really want to encourage that in Parliament?

Of course you do. It makes it look like you're taking action.

Primus inter podex.

Okay, rant over.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Yes yes, I realise I've been a bit quiet lately. Been locked away studying.

I'll be back in a bit, promise...

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Quote of the day

"Gordon Brown has been tested and found in want of almost every attribute a leader needs. Squalid dealings by his poisonous inner circle were exposed to the light of day; yet at the same time he lacks a leader's necessary political cunning. Many hoped that the end of the rivalry with Blair would see Brown cast off his myrmidons. He didn't. In the tussle between his better and his worse selves, too often the lesser man won."

-Polly Toynbee, The Grauniad
That, ladies and gentlemen, is called irony.

Some perspective

Maybe I'm just a little numb to the whole MPs expenses furore, but this little interviewette with Stephen Fry is the most sense I've heard all week.

Don't let it stop you voting. In fact, your vote matters more than ever.