Fiercely Independent

This was shared by @JonJonFaull last night, and deserves a blog post all of its own:

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Yes, as Davy C should really know, while Scotland is still a part of the UK, the Isle of Man certainly isn’t, and never has been. And that means that it’s not part of the EU either.

This self-governing crown dependency makes its own decisions, like imposing its own sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea. Yeah. What are you gonna do about it, Vlad?

There are, however, some similarities between Cameron’s place and the Isle of Man when it comes to sport, namely that the Manx cricket team isn’t great (Manx lose to Norway in Euros) and the national football team isn’t great in penalty shootouts (Ellan Vannin heroes lose final on spot kicks).

But that little green dot twixt England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales above is well used to punching above its belt and rightly, it has no problem with telling No.10 where to go.

UPDATE: Downing Street apologises!

“Selfie-gate: Why do Cameron and Obama feel the need to behave like idiots?”

Aside from the rubbish commentary and scandalous supposition around Michelle Obama’s alleged jealousy in that picture from the Nelson Mandela Memorial Ceremony at the FNB Stadium yesterday, something else irked me about the whole situation with Obama, Cameron and Ms Thorning-Schmidt. Something bigger. And I’m not alone: Iain Martin feels the same way.

David Cameron is a well brought up son of the English shires. He knows, I suspect, not to talk too loudly in church, not to help himself to the claret when invited to a dinner party and not to be rude to waiters or waitresses. He can be a bit presumptuous and thoughtless with his own MPs, which may one day have consequences. But that aside, he knows how to behave.

So why did a grinning Prime Minister today lean in to be in a “selfie” with President Obama and the leader of Denmark? She’s Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law, by the way. A dignified Michelle Obama looked straight ahead and refused to indulge in such ridiculous teenage antics at what, after all, was a memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

He’s right. It was juvenile behaviour, it was undignified, disrespectful and wholly inappropriate.

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There will be those who would say that Mandela would have loved their spontaneity, their smiles and the indication that they are human, after all. Others may argue that the whole ceremony was a bit of a shambles anyway, so what difference does it make?

Neither of these is any sort of excuse though. The point is that these individuals were representing their respective countries at one of the biggest single events we’ve ever seen. These are adults. Elected individuals in positions of responsibility and power. And they’re not at a cocktail party, are they? I couldn’t believe it, and neither could Iain:

What on earth is going on? Why do world leaders now behave like this? And at a memorial service?

Perhaps it is just that the current generation – my generation – is so appallingly spoiled that basic notions of decorum have been shot to pieces. The materialistic search for self-gratification trumps all. Why let a fuddy-duddy thing like manners get in the way of a social media opportunity, where we can put ourselves at the centre of everything, clowning around like muppets watching a Lady Gaga concert, grinning at the camera and then tweeting the results?

The worst bit of the whole thing is that the rest of the ceremony was so appalling that now this “Selfie-gate” is the only thing the world is talking about from yesterday. South Africans are talking about JZ being roundly booed (like he cares what the public think), but that’s of little interest outside these borders. And so rather than recalling a celebration in memory of a great man, yesterday will be remembered mostly for Dave, Helle and Barrack grinning into a cellphone camera.

Look, even I’m at it.

The sadness is that Cameron is good abroad. I for one have never looked at images of him on a trip and felt embarrassed or baffled by his behaviour… But I saw that selfie picture and my response was simple and from the gut: what the hell do you think you’re doing man? Whatever it is stop it.

Yes. Exactly. What an embarrassment.

Political Soundbite of the Day

We don’t do politics very often on 6000 miles…, but we are more than happy to share excellent political soundbites like this one whenever they come along:

So all the UK is isolated from is an impending disaster: the eurozone will fragment with countries leaving and debt defaults. It is like being as isolated as a man who failed to get onto the Titanic before it sailed.

That’s from Terry Smith in The Telegraph and comes via Perry de Havilland at Samizdata and is a good reminder that being the odd man out isn’t always a bad thing.

Incoming from the PM

Imagine my surprise:

IMMEDIATE PAYMENT NOTIFICATION

I am The Rt Hon David Cameron MP,Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service British Government. This letter is to officially inform you that (ATM Card Number 7302 7168 0041 0640) has been accredited with your favor. Your Personal Identification Number is [removed]. The VISA Card Value is £2,000,000.00 (Two Million, Great British Pounds Sterling).

This office will send to you an Visa/ATM CARD that you will use to withdraw your funds in any ATM MACHINE CENTER or Visa card outlet in the world with a maximum of £35,000 GBP daily. Further more,You will be required to re-confirm the following information to enable; The Rt Hon William Hague MP First Secretary of State for British Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. begin in processing of your VISA CARD.
(1)Full names: (2)Address: (3)Country: (4)Nationality: (5)Phone #: (6)Age: (7)Occupation: (8) Post Codes Rt Hon William Hague MP.
First Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Email; [email protected]
Tel: +447405277051

TAKE NOTICE: That you are warned to stop further communications with any other person(s) or office(s) different from the staff of the State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs to avoid hitches in receiving your payment.

Yes. David Cameron has taken over as Prime Minister and he’s got cash to burn. Never before has Dave seen quite so much wonga in one place (under the mattress in the spare room at No.10) and he’s having an unusually socialist moment with his mate William Hague distributing it among the masses. Of course, it would be a bit obvious if they were to do it via their official government emails – Nick Clegg might find out – so Hague has cleverly got himself a net-live.org freebie account.
It’s genius.

People said that this coalition government would be bad for the nation, but if this early offer is anything to go by, I’m in for a great 5 years. Who knows how often Dave and Will will throw another couple of million in my direction? I’ve done some rudimentary calculations and I reckon that this first lump sum would be enough to keep me in the manner to which I will become accustomed (at R400,000 per day) for about 2 months.

It’s worth noting that I never got a penny from Tony Bliar and Gorgon Brown in their 13 disastrous years “in charge”.
This is a welcome and promising new dawn for British politics. And for my bank account.