Royal Weddings, etc.

April’s big UK wedding is drawing up a few contradictions and various other plainly weird things.  Apparently it isn’t actually a ‘Royal’ wedding in the strictest sense anyway because nobody getting married is a king or a queen or even a Prince of Wales. 

And then there are the commerative plates with no faces, the Facebook ranting bishop, and the erroniously applied ‘Peoples Wedding’ in some of the papers.  Great socialist slogan, folks, but seriously?  I guess royals have people and people have royals just as people have a collective identity and workers rights.

Anyway my favourite thing I’ve seen so far in connection with it was in today’s guardian: a trilogy of graphic novels, retelling the love story from the points of view of William and Kate separately, before a third and final installment.  Some of the usual grumbling, pseudonymed commenters at the bottom of the article seem to think it the ultimate about turn in relation to the press committment after William’s mother’s death not to obtrude into Royals’ personal business.  Erm, what, do they think the script writer and artists had to follow them around on scooters and stick cameras in their faces and bribe corrupt butlers to pruduce this?  Hokum! 

You can read the article here.

Here is creator Rich Johnson energetically discussing his field:

Russian wildfires burn British veterans’ cash

What has Hovis got to do with Napoleon and Hitler?

We all know, after several gruelling, abortive episodes, that it’s a terrible idea to send invading troops eastwards into Russia.  ‘Don’t get involved in a land war in Asia’, you may have heard it said, and we’re lucky indeed that neither Hitler nor Napoleon took heed of this advice, otherwise we’d be living in a Nazi or Bonapartist empire.

And yet the climactic vicissitudes of this very same region have today apparently got the potential to pillory British soldiers’ fortunes.  Remember all those wildfires in Russia over the summer?  The images of suffocating smog which settled over Moscow during that lengthy heatwave?  Well, British Baker, the “baking industry’s food bible,” reports that the summer fires’ disruption of grain supply in Russia and eastern Europe has driven the price of grain up by as much as 50%.

What has this to do with British soldiers, you might reasonably enquire?  Tesco, it turns out, would be damned before agreeing to pass on these inflated costs to its customers and have their cheap basket whatever statistic affected.  As a result of this, Tesco has discontinued the baker Hovis’s Seed Sensations bread range, preferring Hovis to bear the full cost of the grain price change themselves or go to another supermarket.  Naturally, the latter seemed inevitable.

Hovis’s Seed Sensations range’s inclusion of poppy seeds has been seen as an appropriate reason to donate 4p from the sale of every loaf to the Royal British Legion.  Today’s Guardian reports that last year this fund amounted to £130,000 of income for the charity, which is now in jeopardy.

So it turns out that there’s no escaping the Russian landscape, even for today’s British soldiers.  It also transpires, unfortunately, that there’s no escaping Tesco.

Lord of the Vuvuzelas

This little gem was published in’s viral video chart today.  I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I just find it too ridiculous and hilarious to ignore.  (And this is what we do with all things viral don’t you know.)  What a pity The Lord of the Rings trilogy wasn’t originally filmed in German; we might have had hundreds of such clips à la Downfall by now if it were.

Give us a change Nick!

Wow!  So the Guardian is in total, enthusiastic editorial support of the Liberal Democrats and on Friday told us that they would vote that way if only newspapers had a vote.  A little conceited, if you ask me, as surely newspapers account for thousands of votes, but I know what they mean.  Just a bit of artistic license to tell us how they’re officially set for next Thursday’s general election.  Well, the Comely Banking Crisis has received voting papers, and along these lines, I thought I’d write a brief, open letter to the Lib Dem’s great and mighty leader, the one and only Nick Clegg:

Dear Nick Clegg,

This week is election week.  I’m sure you’re very busy running around the country scraping up those last few votes you can beg, borrow or steal – and let’s face it, out of our first three UK ‘presidential’ candidates ever, you’re the one who needs to do the most work.

However, I hope that in the midst of the final tumultuous week on the campaign trail, somewhere between rallying exhausted supporters and eventually having your photo taken at the polling booth on the big day, you might find a minute or two to contemplate the following (Bad Religion songs are, in fact, very short and so eminently suitable for the listening to during a quick breather on the campaign bus):

Yours, etc,

The Comely Banking Crisis

A chance to vent your spleen at electoral candidates in Edinburgh

Make-up backstabbing: the Kennedy-Nixon debate

Tonight’s prime-ministerial TV debate promises some watered-down, reheasred action (unless you consider joining in our concurrant election drinking game).  In the UK we’ve already reluctantly revisited the famous 1960 Kennedy-Nixon debate several times in this morning’s dreary breakfast info-entertainment, but what they don’t tell you as often is, it will be nothing like that!  The days of a) secret make-up, b) being embarassed about TV make-up and c) on-air 4 o’ clock shadows are long gone.  But as this is a first for a UK general election, no doubt we’ll all watch with interest.  I can’t understand why stammering Brown would agree to face those two handsomer, more articulate chaps, but let’s see what happens.

Edinburgh hustings

But moving off the national and on to the local, this morning the GuardianEdinburgh blog reports that a general election hustings event is being hosted tonight by The English-Speaking Union Scotland at its Atholl Crescent gallery in the West End.  Candidates have been invited from the four main parties in Scotland, but alas, it will be to an invited audience only that they will be giving their excuses, making the same old accusations, saying the oil would pay for independence, saying it wouldn’t be enough, etc.

If you’re absolutely gutted and disgusted by this closed-door policy, don’t despair!  GuardianEdinburgh will be tweeting and recording the debate.  But better still, there’s another hustings event with more parties represented and an OPEN-DOOR POLICY!

Look no further than to the Edinburgh University Students Association to deliver when it matters.  Their event takes place on Monday 26th April at 6.30 p.m in the George Square Lecture Theatre, George Square.  The panel consists of Neil Hudson (Conservatives), Ian Murray (Labour), Fred MacKintosh (Liberal Democrats), Sandy Howat (SNP) and Robin Harper (Green candidate for Edinburgh East).  Apart from Robin Harper, all candidates are contending for Edinburgh South and the event will be chaired by Dr Mark Aspinwall, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations.

Questions will be taken from the audience, but should be emailed in advance to:  A higher education agenda will likely dominate the discussion, so if you want to ask about anything else, like “What the f*ck is going with Trident?”, then get in touch.  No doubt tonight’s leaders’ TV debate will give you a few ideas.

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