Blog : Posts tagged with 'entertainment'

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Realpolitik

In which we can guess how things are going to turn out


The Eurovision Song Contest has left me in a sulk. Not because it’s silly (that’s a given), but because it’s almost too predictable. As Diamond Cartographer Geezer’s map shows, the results are based more on geography than writing or performance. It makes me wonder: what’s the point in scoring? What’s the point in having a winner when being the winner is effectively meaningless? Next year, why don’t we just have thirty top-quality songs and forget about all that expensive* premium-rate phone voting? Oh.

For what it’s worth: France and Georgia had the best songs. Sweden put on the best performance, and probably would have won if it wasn’t for nationalism. The proof of this: I haven’t been able to get the French chorus out of my head all day even though I don’t know what any of the words are. Now that’s proof it’s a good song.

* for the callers, not the EBU

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Had me over a barrel

In which we miss the Eurovision


The plan was to have a nice relaxing evening in, watch The Doctor defeat the Cybermen; and then sit down, watch the Eurovision, and blog about it, sarcastically. A good plan, I thought. For one thing, W and P are coming up to visit next weekend. As they’re both glued to the Eurovision every year,* it would be handy to be able to discuss it with them.

Things didn’t quite go to plan, though. Just as The Doctor was making the Cybermen go all emo, my messenger window went pling! “Are you going out tonight?”

“No,” I replied, “I’m staying in. Definitely. Staying in and watching the Eurovision. There’s no way you’re going to persuade me to go out even if it is to the N&W.”**

I’m a very stubborn, stick-to-my-guns kind of person. Which doesn’t really explain why, a couple of hours later, I was listening to the Eurovision on the radio, whilst zooming along the motorway counting down the numbers to the Wooldale exit. With immaculate timing, the songs themselves finished just as I pulled up in the club’s car park.

So, I had no idea how the scores went, or who won. Not until I got back into my car at the end of the evening, and realised I had a text message from my friend Owen. It said just one word: “ROCKTORY!” – which was all I needed to guess the result. Owen likes his hard rock.

* in fact, they first met at a Eurovision theme night in a bar just off the Strand. And now they’re married. All together now: awwwww.

** The Netherthong And Wooldale Theatrical And Social Club (Not Its Real Name), of course. I really hope the people there don’t mind me mentioning it like that.

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Contestant

In which we look up some rules


Lots of controversy in the news at the moment about George Galloway, the far-left MP currently competing on Big Brother. The Guardian tried hard to find out who was dealing with constituents’ issues whilst George is busy being on the telly,* but could only get hold of his PR agent, who said she couldn’t really help.

Given that whilst he’s on Big Brother he can’t really be carrying out his day job of attending to Parliamentary business, I wondered if there’s anything in the parliamentary rules that specifically says you have to be available and contactable. The MPs’ Code of Conduct says:

Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.

However, I’m not sure if this covers Mr Galloway’s antics. For one thing, although I’d think he could hardly be carrying out any official duties at the moment, “prevent” is hardly the same as “influence”. Moreover, this isn’t actually a rule. It’s merely a General Principle, which “will be taken into consideration when any complaint is received of breaches of the provisions in other sections of the Code.”

The only rule in the Code which might be cover “going on a game show for up to three weeks” is “bringing the House into disrepute”. Which, of course, is a catch-all clause which could cover virtually anything; it’s entirely down to the Standards and Privileges Committee‘s opinion. It seems that, as far as the letter of the law is concerned, there’s no problem with what Galloway is doing.**

* and is out of contact with the outside world, of course.

** and I have no idea of who to complain to if there was.

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