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London 2012 backs the coalition

By Andy Mayer
May 19th, 2010 at 11:01 pm | 12 Comments | Posted in Culture


Given the new Olympic mascots Wenlock and Mandeville must have been many months in development the similarities between them and the symbols of the new government are just eerie.

  • Both are men of steel forged in the last gasp of manufacturing under the last Government
  • Both are shiny and claim to be “reflecting the people, places and things we meet along the way as we travel around the UK. You might see yourself reflected if we meet you!”
  • They’re both “novices”, who learn as they go
  • Wenlock looks rather like the Liberal Democrat logo has exploded on his chest.
  • Mandeville the more traditional of the two looks rather like the old Conservative torch
  • Wenlock the Parliamentary constituency was abolished in 1885. It was a multi-member constituency… split between one Conservative and one Liberal
  • Stoke Mandeville is in the constituency of Aylesbury, a seat that has only ever been held by Liberals or Conservatives.
  • The Wenlock Olympian Games are to the modern Olympic games rather like the Liberal Democrat party to the rest. Gloriously amateur, locally focused, and inexplicably still going on largely unchanged after 150 years.
  • The Stoke Mandeville Games gave rise to the modern Paralympics. Originally a contest for old soldiers with crippling limitations, the association gradually grew in scope through troubled flirtations with Europe before accepting the need to look to the rest of the world and accept a wider variety of people with different limitations. Despite that change by the modernisers the core of movement is still going and remains focused narrowly on their original tradition.
  • Ominously Wenlock and Mandeville claim their “final destination is 2012″…

Love not the Hate party…

By Sara Scarlett
April 30th, 2010 at 2:50 pm | 2 Comments | Posted in Culture

If you’re not as big a fan of Marmite as I am you may not have noticed the truly inspired advertising campaign they’re currently running. It centres around the phoney “Marmite election” and there are some complete gems on their Youtube Channel. This spoof of the ‘Hate Party PEB’ struck a particular chord with me, however,  as it completely sums up the bigotted narrative of authoritarians everywhere. You could substitute Marmite for practically any vice and it’d work. Take a peak:

Love Marmite, love liberty!

Chavez: all that fun stuff is “hell”

By Julian Harris
January 20th, 2010 at 9:58 am | 4 Comments | Posted in Culture, International Politics

cigsandboozeFresh from his latest efforts to ruin everything, Hugo Rafael Chavez has launched a scathing tirade on lots of fun stuff.

The Venezuelan despotic nut-job said in his Weekly Address to the Proletariat:

“[Capitalist countries] promote the need for cigarettes, drugs and alcohol so they can sell them.”

Having displayed this unparalleled ability to unravel the evils of ‘the West’, the Dear Leader concluded:

“That’s capitalism, the road to hell.”

Which is funny, because usually when I peer lovingly at a seemingly-perspiring chilled glass of gin & tonic I think: “Bejesus, this is the road from hell. Deliver me to happiness, my sparkling transparent friend!”

It turns out, strangely enough, that the real source of Mr Chavez’s ire is a piss-take of himself–in the form of a video game. So he explained, to gasps (or giggles) of his people:

“Those games they call ‘PlayStation’ are poison. Some games teach you to kill. They once put my face on a game; ‘you’ve got to find Chávez to kill him.'”

Find Chavez? Kill him?

It’s poison, readers, poison.  Vive la revolution.

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Tuition Fee Festivity

By admin
December 22nd, 2009 at 12:00 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Culture, Satire

Liberal Vision have received an anonymous tribute to Nick Clegg! In the name of the seasons festivities it is hereforth published on behalf of the author (who also sends their apologies to Monty Python…).

Bravely bold Sir Cleggy rode forth from Cowley Street

He was not afraid to defy, O brave Sir Cleggy
He was not at all afraid to be say no in nasty ways
Brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Cleggy

He was not in the least bit scared to reverse party policy
Or to have his activists wail and his MPs rebel
To have his team resign and his popularity sink
And his expenses exposed by the Telegraph, brave Sir Cleggy

His leadership fail and his seat go red
And his column axed and his interviews stopped
And his children defect and his wife marry Chris Huhne
And his willy...
   Well that's enough music for now, lads...

Brave Sir Cleggy ran away - No!
Bravely ran away, away - I didn't!
When the FPC said no instead
He bravely turned his tail and fled - No!
Yes, brave Sir Cleggy turned about
And gallantly he chickened out
Bravely taking to his feet
He beat a very brave retreat
Bravest of the brave, Sir Cleggy

How French Women Aren’t “Real”

By Sara Scarlett
December 21st, 2009 at 3:00 pm | 9 Comments | Posted in Culture, EU Politics, UK Politics

I have just returned from happily linking “s-turns” on the slops of the French Alps. Whilst I was there I had the opportunity to speak to a couple of French girls my own age, who were, to my surprise, as politics mad as I am. After discussing everyone from Obama to Sarkozy and letting them know my disdain for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, it was time for lunch.

Now, since French women famously “don’t get fat‘ I couldn’t help mentioning that my political party had decided to pass a motion aiming at making advertisers show to what degree they had airbrushed their adverts…


Well, don’t adverts make you feel ‘inferior’ or put too much pressure on you to be thin? After looking at me like I was a space cadet for good few moment they simply shrugged, “non”. Admittedly they confessed to reading “Vogue” more often than the french equivalent of “Now” or “Heat”. To them Lagerfeld is a modern day ‘Picasso’, it is art. The adverts are simply not considered in the same nature or afforded the same status that Jo Swinson has incorrectly granted them.

As one of our few female MPs, Swinson should be in my big book of contemporary feminist heroes. Yet I completely abhor the “Real Women” campaign and its correlating motion and I continue to object to it on practical, libertarian and feminist grounds. On a practical level the rest of the political community gave a collective sigh of “ah bless”, it made us look twee and amateur. Speaking to Lynne Featherstone after the motion had been passed she described the motion as being about “honesty” and that’s a great thing. However, the Real Women campaign isn’t about honesty in advertising, it’s about honesty in advertising regarding womens bodies only. If it was truly about honesty in advertising then it should have a motion to itself including all advertising (including the degrading treatment of men by some advertisers) and not including any womens issues.

The fact of the matter is that the “Real Women” motion was a shill. It included issues as diverse as domestic violence and equal pay; issues that could (and should) have been afforded meaty motions in their own right. Yet theses more pressing issues were given the half-baked treatment in order to cynically use them as ‘window dressing’ for Swinson’s pseudo-censorship. This alone is testament to the tenuousness of the airbrushing segment; it could never have stood alone.

So where next?! We’re stuck with a poor motion that skims the meaty issues and makes a meaningless gesture at advertisers. You should not need to be told that fashion adverts are not true to life any more that you need to be told a Picasso isn’t figuratively accurate. The “Real Women” campaign is patronisingly maternalistic if nothing else. What women need is to get back to feminist basics. Women need to stop objectifying the women in fashion adverts. We turn them into rods and then proceed to flagellate ourselves with them.

The “Real Women” campaign has  been an orgy of weeping an wailing: completely emotional and irrational. It provides a salve for our self-inflicted wounds but has also granted us a greater capacity to inflict them and never let them truly heal. How women can truly help themselves is by truly ending this masochistic cycle. We need to see fashion as art. Art is useless; if an object has any function other than to aesthetically please it is no longer art. Therefore there is no reason for us to worry about not looking like a Chanel ad. Obviously that’s easier said than done but it is certainly preferable than turning yourself into a perpetual victim.

Placing limits on the human expression of consenting adults is a violation of their intrinsic human rights. It is also completely unnecessary. If you can’t break the cycle of masochistic madness then be an adult and withdraw your consent. Stop buying the products that are advertised in a way you find objectionable an the magazines that advertise them.

Swinson obviously cares about women a great deal. In this case, however, good intentions have not made good policy and done women a disservice in the process. This orgy of self-depreciation has to stop. To end on the words of my French friend: “Of course aesthetics are important but if I’m not fit I’m not free to do the things I want to do.” It’s time to stop being “Real” and start being down to earth!