Tits and Press

My CD walkman was playing up this week after spilling water on it last Friday. So yesterday I grabbed The Sun to read on the tube. It isn't a real paper, but it was tabloid size and I thought that would be easier to manage while riding the tube during peak hour. After boarding at Manor House I opened to page three and there staring at me were the two biggest tits in full colour newsprint I had ever seen. People on the tube love to read over your shoulder if they don't have anything so I was well aware these humungous knockers were on full display to everyone. But then I realised it was okay. I was in England. If there is one thing that the punters love here it is Tits... Well tits and poo-poo jokes... I pulled myself together and just turned to the next page which had a full page photo of a dead dog that somebody weighed down and threw into a river and continued my quality read. The Sun is a little at the extreme end of the press but there you can learn a lot about what the English like to read and think:
* If it isn't pictures of tits it is stories about tits and particularly stories about celebrities who don't wear bras and / or like to show off their tits
* Lots of stories about robberies and burglaries... you could be forgiven that is all that happens in this country (as an aside, I looked up the crime stats for my neighbourhood, and except for a nasty terrorist incident earlier in the year when ricin was found up the road, the stats for all major crimes have been going down)...
* There are only two countries in the world. They are the UK and the US
Of course there are the quality broadsheets but I find they reflect this vibe as well but just supress it a little.

U turn, the Tony's not for turning. In a speech that made everyone think of Maggie Thatcher's U-Turn speech, Tony told the Labour party conference this week that he isn't going to do a U-turn on all the things that the unions and backbenchers are thinking to be very un-labour (such as foundation hospitals, education reforms and the like). All told despite Gordon Brown wanting the top job, he is going to have to wait quite a bit longer.

We are not amused say the Royal Family over the latest Belgian adds for the faster new Eurostar service. The ads are running in Belgium and feature the head of royal look-alikes on athletes bodies. The spokesperson for the Royal Family say they never endorse products, but Royal Warrants are splashed over a variety of products ranging from breakfast cereal to deodourant. From morning to night you could spend your day using products that carried "by appointment of HRH..." should you like that sort of thing... Endorsement by some other name.

Gang rape by footballers in London last week has been the sensational news of the week. Their names of those under investigation have been supressed in the papers, but news should be out in a matter of days as to who they are. A quick search on the net can find who the penters think they are. The rape took place in an inner-London hotel last Saturday night. Everyone was caught on CCTV. It appears that the footballers assumed the girl wouldn't mind after agreeing to sex with one that six others could join in... The test today was to see if TV coverage of today's matches wouldn't pick up crowd taunts of the players in suspicion. Apparently it didn't

Palace of Westminster
Today was the last day the Palace of Westminster was open to the public (until next July) to tour both the house of commons and house of lords, so I just had to go. It was great. It was funny that I was touring here before setting foot in Canberra but dirty London would beat sterile Canberra anyday. Entering the house of commons chamber, newly elected Tories for good luck touch the left foot of the statue of Churchill beside the entrance as they go in. It is also the thing to do for tourists to do as well. So I did. It was not as exciting as I thought it would be. But it was fascinating to be in the room where great debates since the 1950s have occurred. WW2 bombing destroyed the original Victorian Gothic building and the contrast is stark. The building was built on the site of the first Palace of Westminster that was destroyed by fire in the 1830s. The palace shows off everything grand about an empire at the peak of its power. The somewhat dour and basic replacement house of commons shows off a nation bought to its knees from a brutal world war. But hey it still shows up nicely on TV.

Now off to Hastings...

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