Local election results 2006

The results of the 4th May 2006 UK local election are pretty much in. There seems to be minor discrepancies between what the various news sources are reporting at present, but it'll settle. The general pattern of what happened is plain to see, whatever the exact figures may be.

176 of the UK's councils were up for grabs, involving slightly fewer than 4500 actual councillor places. In terms of the three "main" parties (Labour, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats), as expected Labour lost quite a few seats, and ended up over 300 down from the last similar election. The Conservatives gained almost exactly this number of seats and the Lib Dems hardly saw a change in numbers at all. Voter turnout was around a less-than-humongous 36%, down a few points from 2004.

BNP still racist non-shock

Griffin: Not very nice at allGriffin: Not very nice at allIt's local elections time at present here in much of the UK. Apart from "critical" seats - where at least 2 parties are relatively evenly matched in terms of number of supporters - the parties seem less than forward in canvassing our votes. The British National Party however do seem a little more keen than the rest, sadly.

From a first glance at the BNP website (if you must), you would think they are lovely chaps and chappesses, with nothing other than the common worker's good in mind. The number of usages of such "trust us" phrases such as hard working, normal and just like you is phenomenal on some literature, with only the odd headline (such as "Labour plans to sell public land to Muslims exposed" and "Can you just sit there and watch as our country is being ripped apart by the forces of multiculturalism?") giving the average reader a suspicion that possibly these aren't the nicest or most inclusive of people; but hey, the Conservatives under Howard weren't much better (*). These guys even wear nice suits damnit!

Slight inconsistency in drug laws found

A legal drug: but why?A legal drug: but why?Well, it had to happen sometime, the only surprise it wasn't weeks ago. No, not the arrest of George Bush Jr for war crimes - yet - but rather an article about illegal drugs appearing on this website.

Whilst reading the Guardian last week, imagine the shock suffered by the Poorhouse upon discovering that the UK drug laws are apparently "riddled with anomalies". Yes, not only are the prohibitionist sides of the laws counter-productive and harmful, but even within the illogical and dangerous framework they exist in they make no sense.

Political payouts

24th century Labour activists24th century Labour activistsPolitics eh? Hot on the heels of the gearing up of the forthcoming local election campaign - which no doubt Labour will somehow win despite being more unpopular than it has ever been in recent times* - comes the Electoral Commission's report on the expenses claimed by political parties during the General Election campaign.

Fear not, it's not as tedious as it sounds. He might look like a bit of a creature of the night, but Michael Howard, former Conservative leader, at least put the effort in. His personal make-up for the campaign rivalled even Lily Savage's most audacious night out, totalling a whopping £3600. Ex-Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy mustn't be quite as scary in the morning despite the rumours, requiring a mere £2000 to get by.

September 11 - true or false?

September 11th 2001- the day the world changed in numerous ways, none of them good. We all know the story: evil Osama knocks down good ole USA buildings and causes much tragic death and destruction whilst doing so. But how much of what we know is fact, how much conjecture, and how much is downright misinformation?

The Poorhouse is reluctant to buy into many of the many "conspiracy theories" about who did what when on that day, including such zany gems as the hypothesis that the passengers in the flights are actually all secretly alive on some island somewhere, unaware of what has gone on. However, perhaps not all the alternative storylines can be written off as inconceivable, because it surely is true that some sort of cover-up type affair has happened. The "investigation" into the event didn't happen for over a year after pressure was applied, its findings are limited and secret and there are reportedly lot of questions it did not even address. It seems almost a level of investigation more suited to a missing bar of chocolate than one of the world's most awful terrorist incidents and the unprecedented international consequences it brought. It's the reason behind this inadequacy that's critical.

Britney Spears naked!

Britney: Bare with bearBritney: Bare with bearBritney Spears, recent mother of Sean, has been seized as a Pro-Life (translation for non-Americans: pleasant way of saying anti-abortionists, because naturally those who favour a mother's right to choose are of course anti-life) icon of today's society. Rather graphically.

Yes, if you're in Brooklyn, New York in the next few weeks, why not head over to the Capla Kesting Fine Art gallery to take a slightly-sleazy ganders at a nude Britney in a celebration of pro-lifery squatting on all fours, and slightly bizarrely grabbing a decapitated bear's head (pro-life presumably only referring to human life).

A dangerous ring

The Ring: Less effective than DurexThe Ring: Less effective than DurexTalking about your shiny new ring in the context of sexual "education" is not an acceptable topic of conversation over most dinner tables. Let's hope it stays that way.

Beware drink-spiking - by the Government

Now and then you hear warnings about being careful to not like your drink get spiked by nefarious criminals, as indeed it is important to do. You don't hear so much about the crime being committed by MI6, Britain's Secret Intelligence Service - home of the fictional James Bond et al.

However in an unprecedented, although relatively modest, payout, MI6 have had to pay compensation to "volunteers" who unknowingly were given LSD as part of some sci-fi-esque experiments done in the 1950s in the hope of learning techniques for mind control and finding a "truth drug". Nearly 50 years after one victim started attempting to investigate what had been done to them it turns out that under the guise of testing a cure for the common cold they were actually given LSD-laced water. This led to some nightmarish hallucinations in an era when the public hadn't even really heard of LSD. The experiments which it turns out subsequently had been officially described as " tentative and inadequately controlled" were stopped when they started finding it could produce suicidal tendencies. No explanation was ever given to the victims until now.

Peppered by Cheney

VP shoots republican donor shockVP shoots republican donor shockA couple of weeks ago one of the Bush administration took their lust for shiny guns and brutal violence a little further than even usual and personally shot someone. US Vice President Dick Cheney - possibly the second most powerful man in the world - got confused between the quail he was on a hunt for, and Mr Harry Whittington, one of his pals who was also after shooting said bird.

In the words of Katharine Armstrong, the owner of the Texas ranch they were hunting on: "The covey flushed and the vice-president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by God, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good".

Racist weapons

This is not new news, but that doesn't make it worth ignoring. Some of the most powerful people in the world apparently think committing genocide is just too arduous at present; but perhaps they can make it easier in the future?

Although under-reported in the mainstream, many people may be aware of a think-tank called the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In their words, their fundamental tenets are such that "American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle."

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