Edinburgh Journalist Wars: the gloves are off

Today’s Edinburgh Evening News carries a story on its cover about Edinburgh Council’s Outlook series of local kinda community newspapers.  Michael Blackley lambastes the freesheets, calling them “propaganda” and rallying local readers to pressure the council to “pulp ‘Pravda’.”  Apparently the populist Evening News would divert the money saved into buying school books for the city’s youth, thus holding the council to ransom by implying some sort of anti-education stance manifested in the publication of the Outlook series.  I must say I find this whole angle particularly right-wing despite its ostensible stance as Defender of the Kiddies’ Maths Books.  The comparison is totally arbitrary.

It’s becoming clear that a huge financial bite will be taken out of UK councils, so all of this may be entirely academic in a year’s time anyway, with Outlook scrapped altogether and an unholy haemorrhaging of the school system looming.

I can’t help feeling like the Evening News is playing spoiled child here, attacking a little brother so, despite said sibling’s revenues coming in a little more easily, from the public purse.  My bias is that I’d like to see as many publications as possible because I’d like to have as many writing options as possible!  And I’m sure all the good chappies working for Outlook will be delighted to see this little ‘Scottish Kiss’ from the Evening News which effectively calls for their outright redundancy.  Happy Humbugging Christmas lads.

Maybe the council should re-evaluate, especially in light of the Cameron-Osborne-Clegg clippers chopping their way northwards, but the Pravda reference irks me to the core.  Public-equals-communist is a lazy, below-the-belt rationale that insults our intelligence.  Great reading!  Am I overreacting?

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):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em8QkRALN_A

Yours, etc,

The Comely Banking Crisis

The Obama Westminster Election Drink Off

Between the Scottish National Party‘s minimum pricing and Labour’s possibly more canny/sleazy, but now dropped tax plans for strong, cheap booze, alcohol policy has been bandied about a lot recently.  While this area will not match in prominance economic and military issues in the upcoming Westminster elections, the debate will surely continue nevertheless.

So to celebrate the ongoing Cameron/Brown rivalry (with a bit of Salmond and Clegg thrown in), I give you the Election Drink Off!!

The game

The rules are simple and flexible.  Teams are formed and each must represent a political party.  The easiest choice is to have three teams: Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems.  Maybe for Scotland you could do SNP, Labour and Lib Dems, it’s up to you, but a good choice depends on the next feature of the game.  

You must choose a medium through which all parties will represent themselves in real time – the obvious choice is the leaders’ TV Debate on this Thursday, 15th April.  Offcom and the Electoral Commission will ensure that the game is fair: political parties will be allowed equal exposure time.  A referee is required.

And now the twist: once you have your disgusting, strong beverage of choice laid out for armageddon/the debate, all teams will listen attentively for political utterances plucked from the vine of Obama spin!  So, for example, drink when you hear any of the following:

change, hope, audacity, audicious.

This blog strongly recommends that your own, no-rules political debate be held in the immediate aftermath of the drinking.  The best bit about the game is that whoever is on David Cameron’s team will end up sh*t faced.

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