No wonder Security Council sanctions against Syria haven’t been successful: the UN can’t even crack down on mediocre-at-best catering companies.
Chartwells have been rebranding Sussex’s various food outlets in a uniquely irritating way. One of the ‘new’ overpriced venues claims to be offering “authentic street food.”
No it isn’t! Pretty blatant violation of the Trade Descriptions Act there, given that the café is located not on an authentic street but in Arts C, which is about as far from an authentic street as can be.
Another building’s outlet will be offering “pure unadulterated flavour” (not adulterated by such sordid concerns as decent pensions for the staff preparing it, for instance) in the form of “artisan stuffed focaccia.”
All of these venues apparently “offer a free WIFI service.” With this line, Chartwells have conveniently forgotten to admit that there was also free wireless Internet before they marched in, and also omitted to mention that the network works all over campus and not just in places where one might feel obliged to buy imitation Italian bread products – artisan or otherwise – as an excuse for sitting there and surfing.
At least they’re not trying to make a profit out of poor students then.
He ought to have a meddle!
Constitutional law professor Vernon Bogdanor has written an article in the Guardian about how Prince Charles should be free to use his privileged status to meet with ministers and influence government policy.
The heir to the throne has been having, on average, one meeting with a senior minister every month: “hardly excessive,” comments Bogdanor. He’s also been writing the Cabinet private letters, which the government is refusing to publish because “there is a risk that Prince Charles would be viewed by others as disagreeing with government policy.”
Anyway, Vernon Bogdanor is reassuring the public that “ministers are perfectly capable of scrutinising critically the prince’s views” (though readers of the Justice secretary’s recent Daily Mail column on why the judicial system should be dismantled might disagree) and I for one am completely convinced.
No place like Rome
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is trying to get down wid da yoof by running an online competition.
“To mark the second year of his Ambassadorial mandate,” their website says, “Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Holy See [Vatican City] Nigel Baker has launched a competition to meet his twitter [sic] followers and answer their questions.”
For the throngs of people anxious to enter this competition, all we have to do is tweet using the hashtag #meetHMA “replying to the question: If you met the British Ambassador to the Holy See, what would you ask him and why?” And why? ‘Because I want to know the answer…’ presumably. (Yeah right.)
But the smallprint to the competition makes the best reading. “Three winners will meet Nigel Baker at his Residence in Rome later in the year. We are unable to cover any expenses for winners travelling to Rome to participate. Should winners be unable to be attend, their questions will be answered on the Ambassador’s blog.”
A lesson for us all
A relative drew my attention to news reports this week about a sixth-form student in Hampstead who was in trouble with his headmaster for running a satirical blog about his educational establishment, in which he compared senior staff to dictators, derided league-table drops, highlighted the school site’s poor facilities and complained that the student voice is ignored.
I don’t know why this relative felt the story was in any way relevant to me, but I can’t help thinking that the head of Hampstead School, Jacques Szemalikowski (crazy name crazy guy), over-reacted slightly to the blog.
He not only blocked school computers from accessing the rogue website, he also reported its author to the police, on a charge of “developing into an anarchist” (yes really) and even ratted on them to their prospective university, Glasgow.
“In the last year he has become more and more enchanted by anti-establishment ways of thinking,” said the highly responsible teacher to a Daily Mail journalist, speaking about the personal information of a named pupil. “I also reported his mad writings to the police.”
Anyway, I’d like to offer the blogger in question, Kinnan Zaloom, a hearty well-done and the very best of luck with his future writings!
Five of the best
- BBC News: The woman obsessed with gnomes – video interview with a woman who believes that gnomes are not only alive but have sensitive feelings.
- David Cameron: Set my words to music – the Prime Minister sets online wits a challenge and they very much rise to it.
- Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner: Female rabbis warmly welcomed at Chief Rabbi installation – so long as they pretend to be men...
- The Brighton Argus: Lying and messy poor send to test our faith, says priest – a man of the cloth has a unique interpretation of the scriptures.
- The Guardian: How US and UK spy agencies defeat online privacy – a selection of leaked documents from GCHQ show that they make heavy use of PowerPoint and therefore their lives are probably as boring as mine.