Friday, December 31, 2004

Here's one for Jerome...

It's times like this when you realise who leaders really are. Tony Blair stays on holiday as at least 125,000 people die in the biggest natural disaster the world has seen for 40 years. Labour MPs spring to his defence, saying it wouldn't make any difference if Tony came back. Let's follow the logic of that, shall we? A world leader can't make any difference at a time like this? Everything's taking care of itself, eh? So, is he just a well-paid figurehead who does nothing? Thought so. Maybe he should take 52 weeks of the year off, and we'll get along nicely without him, thankyou very much. Even if work to help people out in this terrible crisis does go on without Tony (and, of course, it does), even if he doesn't play any part at all in directing operations, just out of simple, good old-fashioned respect he should return home. This isn't a time for world leaders to holiday. At all. And yes, it is a token gesture - one that recognises the sheer horror of what has happened. As Clare Short pointed out on 5 Live in an otherwise disappointing message of support for Blair's holidaying, leaders across the globe like to make 'announcements' at times like this. What starts as a global operation to save more lives being lost and to rebuild countries, infrastructure and the lives of those that remain quickly becomes a PR exercise. More power to the people - wonderful that the response of the public in this country shamed the government to up the donation. As for Bush, he's very busy with his four nation tsunami aid initiative, isn't he? Any opportunity to undermine the United Nations, he'll be there. Well done George. It's hardly news, Jerome, but maybe you've missed it: All politicians are liars. Especially during a crisis. I await Tony Blair's return with baited breath and, in the absence of guns in this fine, upstanding country, half a dozen eggs.

Meanwhile, back on home turf, we are spending way too much time playing Puyo Pop Fever on the XBox. It is a hideously addictive game that we picked up for less than a tenner and probably uses a mere 1/100th of the XBox's potential. It looks likely that we will be spending New Year's Eve creating a string of chain reactions to annihilate each other. Now, why is there so much hate in the world?

I feel very guilty that I have sent so much traffic heading to my friend's blog over the last two days (spot the irony of the hyperlink). I was so relieved that he was ok that I felt that others, too, would take comfort in his little story and I opted to share it on his behalf via the Guardian, not expecting that thousands of people would pay him a call and actually break his Bravenet hit counter. I dread to think how much email he'll have to plough through on his return to Japan. Serious news hounds would have charged to the editor of the paper they work for with this wonderful scoop. But fuck that.

Have no fear, lovers of the minutiae of my life, as normal service is about to resume here at Killing Time. Tomorrow, hangover permitting, you can read several dull lists covering the last 12 months. I'm sure my regular reader will really enjoy that. I guess I'm talking about Steve's mum. Have a great one tonight, everyone, let's party for those that can't. See you in 2005.

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