Saturday, October 21, 2006

Sarah three times

Ok, I have no idea why Blogger went a bit mental yesterday and decided to post 'Chasing Freedom' three times. You know I don't understand technology. Every time I log into Blogger I place myself in the hands of a nefarious whimsy I barely comprehend. Sometimes it lets me post pictures. Sometimes it doesn't. Go figure, as they say in New Jersey.

I may not understand technology so well, but I do know a piece of out and out craziness when I hear it. So strap yourself in for the latest humdinger from the New Labour government. Can you guess what it is yet? That's right folks:

Escalating prison population causing you problems?

Not sure where to put these troublesome little law-breakers?

Let me guess, you've tried preventative measures - ASBO's, tagging, curfews - and this criminal underclass just keeps on coming back for more?

Well, don't worry. New Labour has it all sorted. Obviously we can't cram any more ruffians into the prisons, it would be damn foolishness to try. We can't afford to build any more prisons, we can hardly afford to run the National Health Service for goodness sake, what with our commitment to occupying, er, I mean democratising foreign oil fields, oops, I mean totalitarian regimes. Ahem.

So! New Labour have come up with a ground-breaking new scheme. Well, actually not that new. We're going to put the prisoners on ships. Then we're going to sail all the really bad ones to Australia and see how they like them apples. Oh. No, the Australia bit is wrong, apparently immigration is an even nastier issue for them than it is for the Daily Mail.

Prison ships. Apparently we only closed the very last one left last year. I thought these went out in the 1800's or something (you're impressed that I know about them at all aren't you? I worked as tour guide for English Heritage for a while and I used to do tours at Fort Cumberland in Eastney - parts of that were built by prisoners who were marched to and from prison hulks in Langstone Harbour each day).

Check out the story at our old favourite, the BBC:

"Brian Caton, general secretary of the Prison Officers' Association, told the BBC that lowering the prison population was the best option. "

You don't say? How come the only part of their promise that New Labour remember is the Tough on Crime bit? How about a bit of income redistribution? Better education in low income areas? Lowering the number of children living in poverty?

When I finished ranting at New Labour - I mean seriously, is this what we're reduced to at the next election? A choice between David Cameron and New Labour?- today has been a very relaxing day.

I'd planned to spend the weekend working on one of my current contracts, but thanks to some speedy work during the week with my personal statistician-angel (can you guess who it is yet?) and thanks to feeling rough as a prisoner on a ship in a storm, I've spent the day sleeping and reading. I won't bore you with my latest malady (I seem to lurch from illness to illness lately, a sure sign that I haven't perfected the work/life balance yet) but suffice to say it involved waking up in the early hours of this morning feeling like I was birthing a cow. It's ok, it turned out that I wasn't, after all.

This evening though, when I finally made it onto the internet to write, I was cheered with an almost immediate discovery of two guys who made the stresses of the next election disappear for me. And I think I've fallen in love with the guy at the front.

My friend at Portsmouth City Council, Dave, who's a youth worker, was lamenting the horrors of YouTube last week when he said, "Anyone can upload their own stuff there, awful stuff."

Yes, they can. but they can also post gold-dust such as the clip I am about to unveil for you here. OK, don't get your hopes up, because I have a feeling that this, like Bill Hicks, might fall into the category of 'acquired taste', but seriously. I love these guys. According to YouTube, they're called 'Two chinese Boys' and they have a lot of other movie clips on YouTube, which is where I'm off to now. You cannot tell me that X-Factor is better than this.

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