Jacqui Smith isn't stupid, I'm pretty sure of that. Sure, she deliberately ignores experts' advice if it isn't what she wants to hear, but that doesn't make her thick: it makes her a whole lot worse, given that implies either a steely determination to believe that she and she alone has the answers to things she can't possibly know as much about as other people whom she ignores; or on the other hand suggests that nothing other than lowest-common-denominator political grandstanding, even if it goes against the truth, is preferable to being honest and possibly alienating the Daily Mail.
On the day after it's announced that the home secretary is under investigation, you'd expect that story - of one of the most powerful politicians in the land being scrutinised for possible abuse of that power - to be something rather important. Above all, you might be tempted into thinking that it would feature on the front pages of national newspapers. Well, may I offer you the Family Fortunes ehhhhhhhh-urggggggggh noise, my friend. Because we forgot about two things: firstly, the existence of a blonde woman who sings songs about stuff; and secondly, there's an evil Musselman about, and he's been called OSAMA BIN LADEN'S RIGHT-HAND MAN IN EUROPE OR SOME SHIT LIKE THAT and he's going to get TEN BILLION POUNDS OF TAXPAYERS' MONEY JUST FOR BEING EVIL AND IT'S ALL NEW LABOUR'S FAULT AND NOW I NEED A LIE DOWN WITH A DAMP PAIR OF Y-FRONTS OVER MY CLAMMY FACE BECAUSE I GOT TOO EXCITED ABOUT THE SHEER UNFAIRNESS OF IT ALL.
Now, not everyone likes Duffy, I'll give you that. I rather do, I'm afraid. I know my fellow blogger Septicisle will be aghast at this confession, but I've got the album, and I think it's rather good (apart from that whiney one in the middle that goes on forever, they could have done without that, track 5 I think it is). I'm quite glad she won some awards and stuff last night at that thing that seems ever more anachronistic as the time ticks by, the Brit Awards. But even I think some of the bollocks on the front pages is a bit daft. Obviously the 'quality' papers wank themselves into a foaming frenzy over someone like Duffy, so she goes slap bang onto the front of the Telegraph, Guardian and Times:
Yes, because winning three awards is really 'sweeping the board', isn't it? Give me strength, what kind of bloody world is this? Can you imagine a load of cock like this for the male winner of the Brit for best non-blonde non-attractive female? Still, that's rather polite when you compare it to the Mirror
Up the Duffy! What, is she pregnant? No, but it's, oh, kind of, you know? No, not really, you'll have to explain it to me. Anyway, apparently she's Queen of the Brits, for some bloody reason, according to the ever-less-good comic at the Indy
(nice picture of Tiger Woods, mind.) Anyway, it's left to the Mail and Express to do that voodoo that they do so well, juxtaposing the Anglo-Saxon blonde (Celtic?) QUEEN OF POP/THE BRITS with the swarthiness and dark-skinned malevolence of Abu Qatada:
...and still not a sign of Jacqui Smith anywhere, although of course who was it who took great delight in telling the world she'd signed the papers trying to get this Bad Man out of our country and off to a
torture chamber fair trial in the Middle East? Of course it was. Like I said at the start of this rambling nonsense, she's not stupid. Now of course I have no sympathy for someone like Qatada, though all that needs to be asked is that he's treated exactly the same as any other citizen would be in similar circumstances. Is that really the case, when he's described - with no evidence ever to back it up - as being Osama Bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe? If you say it enough times, I guess you make it into a fact; that appears to be the strategy.
But how handy to have a bogeyman you can wheel out when things are getting a bit frisky back at home and your finances are being looked into. If only we all had an Abu Qatada to deflect the news away from us when things started getting a bit nasty. But then, that's why Jacqui's where she is, and that's why we're where we are. We just don't have that ambition.
* What's all this 'guess who pays' business, Mr Mail? You know very well it's AND GUESS WHO'S PAYING?!?!?!! 3/10. See me.