30 January 2011

How to get on in life

As if we needed reminding that in this world it's not what you know but who, it transpires that Jacqui Smith is to front an investigation on BBC 5live into the porn industry

It's not enough that she's paid handsomely as a 'consultant' (i.e. back door to Parliament) for minimal work, on a gold-plated minister's pension for two years of ineptitude, and is actually being considered for appointment to the BBC Trust but she gets a stint in the media to present on an issue that led to her own downfall

Now it's clear where the production company are coming from, she was hit by a porn scandal and she's known so there's a good angle here, much like the 'Anne Widdecombe meets people she dislikes' documentary, but she is no more an expert on the issue than you or I, and considering her frankly appalling stint as one of the chief lawmakers of the country it seems rather a kick in the teeth that she is handed cushy jobs for simply having a public presence

She is, in short, a metaphor for what is wrong with our political system - she comes through the party system, is quickly promoted because she's a woman, put into a supposedly vitally important and prestigious role under an unelected and unwanted Prime Minister without any sort of qualification or experience for the job because essentially, there's no other candidates left, then f**ks up pretty much every decision and is forced to resign after less than two years due to a combination of ineptitude and revelations about fraudulent claims. She is then one of the relatively few Labour MPs to booted out of her constituency (I believe the appropriate term would be 'flogged') and is she punished for all this...

...no, she is given not only an MPs wonderful pension, but a ministerial one - now I do not mind MPs and ministers receiving pensions (although I'd rather they reflect the reality of the modern workplace) for their public service, but when a person has been parachuted into the role, with no accountability, and is generally regarded to have failed, is it right that they are rewarded for their failure?

Put simply there is no reason not to take these jobs, if the party offers you an important job in the government why not just take it? It's win-win as the worst that can happen is the media criticise you and you might lose your seat, for which you will be paid, there's no punishment, just get up there and do whatever you want

Then, to rub it in to us plebs who struggle to make ends meet, these people are handed consultancy work for large corporations, being effectively paid our yearly salaries in minutes - they have no skill, no experience, just an 'in' to the major parties, while we are told to work hard and be rewarded for our efforts in a 'meritocratic' system, if you get in to the political game all you have to do is pat the right backs and you'll find yourself right at the top being handed jobs you would otherwise never be considered for

sigh...rant over

06 January 2011

It's your fault for not liking it!!

Exciting news, everybody

Stargate Universe has been cancelled

Now, this was actually announced nearly a month ago, so I'm a little late to the party but I just couldn't help checking if the guys that made it were still in denial about how rubbish their show was, particularly after Joseph Mallozzi, one of the main writers, rubbed it in the critics' faces when they got a second season

Ever since the show started it was criticised, and the ratings tumbled throughout the first season as the episodes got more inane and pointless, the defence was that old Stargate fans simply couldn't let something new and interesting happen to their favourite series - I rebuked that, the simple fact is it was a rubbish show, lacking in any real direction, drama, complexity or depth and it has been really irritating to see people like Mallozzi dismiss valid complaints, made by a far wider group than traditional Stargate fans

So it saddens me to see him continue to stick his fingers in his ears, defend the tumbling figures because the tv world is just so different now to when the other two shows were on - less than a million viewers is less than a million viewers

Meanwhile the co-creator, Brad Wright. blamed the fact that SGU was bumped to Tuesdays - because you always see good shows moved from the best slots and then die in a slightly worse one...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not revelling in the misery of others, and I did want the show to be a success, but unfortunately the production team's sheer arrogance in the face of perfectly valid criticism has really annoyed me over the past two years, and I'm happy the critics have been proved right

Happy new year! By the way