Confessions of a Political Animal

August 19, 2009

Laughing on the left side of your face

udderbellySome things are predictable about the Edinburgh Fringe: it’ll rain, the ticket prices will have crept up again, by the end of your stay there you’ll have seen enough good stuff to not mind the hole in your bank balance and that someone will have a whinge about just how ‘lefty’ the whole thing is.

This year, the honour of providing that final ingredient falls to Mr Peter Whittle, writing in the Daily Telegraph under the oh-so-arch headline ‘Edinburgh Festival to feature smug Lefty Tory-bashing. Again. Yawn.’ This is the first time Mr Whittle’s work had crossed my radar, so I took the opportunity to have a skim through his Telegraph back catalogue. It’s something I’d strongly recommend doing yourself.

Mr Whittle, we are told, is the founder/director of The New Culture Forum. The good news is, that if Peter Whittle’s output is anything to go by, the New Culture will be poorly-written, ill-researched and predictable. Oh yes, he’s that good. When an online article straight-facedly carries the tags ‘Smug lefty comedians’ and ‘Smug lefty Radio 4’, genius is at work.

We could leave aside the school-boy factual howlers, well documented by the commenters on the original article, but given they serve to demonstrate just how heavily rooted in genuine research Mr Whittle’s work is, they are worth running through: (more…)

August 27, 2008

GLAring omissions

Any visitor to London in the past 8 years couldn’t help noticing the ubiquity of the Mayor of London branding on a wide range of publicity for events, services and campaigns run, supported or funded┬áby the then Mayor. Opinions were divided on this – some felt that the ubiquity of the branding smacked of a very un-British egotism bordering on totalitarianism, others, The Animal included, saw it as an acceptable way of demonstrating the priorities of the city government and how public resources were being allocated.

During the election campaign, Boris Johnson made some comments that suggested he was of the former opinion. Fine – this is hardly an issue anyone is going to mount the barricades for. I assumed we had seen the last of the Mayoral branding outside, perhaps, the Mayor’s website. It has remained there, with inevitably the on replaced with an on.

But the branding hasn’t disappeared – it has just become a bit more (more…)

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