Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Doubting Thomas

Psychologist Brian Young believes that the hit television show Thomas The Tank Engine may be upsetting the kids. The number of crashes on the show may frighten them away from going on a real train.

Everything I read from south of the border tells me that going on a train can be pretty horrifying for adults too, even without the crashes. It's not much better up here. Being realistic I think when it comes to a children's show about talking trains which are fixed to rails the dramatic palette you can draw from is pretty limited. If you want that extra bit of excitement there's not much you can do other than engineer a race or a crash. It's not like we're going to get rites-of-passage shenanigans or a tap dancing number.

Professor Young is concerned that toddlers will be unable to distinguish Thomas and company from real trains, but he's worrying too much. The fact that Thomas is a bright blue steam engine with a face that vocalises distinguishes it from the real hulking machines. Plus, the fact that Thomas moves at all is a dead giveaway.

Keep Your Friends Close But Your Enemies Closer

Peter Cuthbertson's Private Eye snippet from the Secret Diaries of John Major puts the Clare Short incident into perpective quite nicely:

Sacking them would be a sign of weakness. The real strength is in keeping them in government in case they cause trouble on the backbenches.

Tony isn't going to take her out onto the lake and shoot her. She'll resign soon enough - hell, she's had plenty practice at it. She jumped ship in 1988 and in 1991 so her latest spat isn't entirely unexpected.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Short Cuts

Okay, that seems to be the double banner thing gone now. Two for the price of one, eh? Actually, now I'm thinking of doing the Movable Type thing and merging my disjointed ramblings here and my dyslexic snippets from elsewhere. We'll see.

Good grief, if a fortnight ago was a rush last week was even worse. I'll be able to do more of this stuff once I actually get a bit more time without distractions. So once again it's going to be light blogging, at least until the shooting starts. I'm thinking that a week where Fidel Castro is invited to write for the Guardian might be a bit beyond parody anyway. Not that this stopped a couple of stalwarts from having a shot.

Clare Short still has a job, after calling everyone and everything "reckless". Apparently she's going to resign if the decrees handed down by the High Pontiff of international politics, the UN, are ignored. Please, will you, Clare? Pretty please?

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