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Articles on miscellaneous subjects written by Bill
Young Guardian Input Column 4 - Print Email PDF 
Posted by wackywales 02/01/2008


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The Guardian, November 19, 1986

Young Guardian: Bill Oddie's Input Column


Did you see President Reagan blushing last week? I thought he'd been overdoing the make-up but no, his embarrassment was definitely seeping through the wrinkles. The thing is, he's been caught selling guns to Iran and, the point is, America and Iran are meant not to be friends.

So why did the crinkly crackpot do it? I mean would you give the school bully your catapult when he was likely to zap you with it? Course not. But what if he gave you a quid for it? All right, a fiver. Then mmm ..worth the risk, eh?

Which brings me to the week's most Hypocritical News: 'Weapons order boost for jobs' read the headlines. Britain, it seems, has landed a multi-million pound contract to make all manner of missiles and missile-bashers, and we're expecting orders from lots of other countries. I wonder who's going to buy them? America, Russia, Iran, Libya, the IRA perhaps?

Anyway, the thing is, experts predict employment for 10,000 people and an income of over three billion quid from it. Well that should put good old England back on our feet - if we haven't been blown to pieces first.

Do you know why there's probably never been total disarmament? Because weapons are big business: income and employment figures for governments to boast about, just as this government will no doubt boast about this latest sickening deal. 'Weapons boost jobs'; it should be a contradiction in terms but, alas, no.

Why stop there? How about 'war means work'? Or, 'death means dollars'? No, mustn't give them ideas. I just hope neither Thatcher nor Reagan read the Young Guardian.

Actually I'm still an optimist. I believe even politicians prefer staying alive. After all, it is fun isn't it? Since this is my last week (in the column I mean) let's end with some nice stuff. So, this is the week's good news:

Music. More and more youngsters listening to and playing jazz: No, not the boring old stuff that tootles on for hours and hours with no recognisable tune - 'headache music' my wife calls it - but joyful, inventive, multi-racial, rhythmic and very musical sounds.

Try the Jazz Defektors, The Jazz Renegades, Loose Tubes, and many more ..young music for young people (and me, please). Also ..a new Michael jackson album is due in the new year.

Birds: A new species for Britain and Ireland - the Catbird (no, it's not a cartoon character). One popped over from America for a 15 minute visit to County Cork. A mega-rarity.

Comedy: Very funny episode of Golden Girls (it's on Channel 4 - ridiculously late - tape it). Sport: Ian Botham's century.

Oh final bit ..might as well provoke a few more letters before I go. Subject: Teachers' pay. Basically I reckon all teachers should be very highly paid, but I can't see how they can object to the principle of better pay for better teaching.

I mean, surely you pupils are being told all the time 'the better you do in exams the better jobs you'll get'? You are always being 'marked. ' Why not the teachers? I have to accept it too - if nobody wants to watch my TV programmes: I'll get nothing.

Anyway, here's to happier schooldays for you and your teachers - you all deserve it.

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