Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Blessed Are The Poor

Lock up your daughters, wives, sisters, mothers and bi-curious male relatives too, because Sir MAX HASTINGS is here! Charterhouse School's most famous exponent of both sex and specs is here to lecture us into bed with his unique brand of arousing nostalgia.

Max Hastings is a man that not only took 17 gully catches for the Oxford Second XI in one season, but so far the only man on earth to have talked a woman into bed by quoting from a tediously morose book (his own) on the fall of Berlin. I reckon it's in that silky voice of his, and for any doubters out there, check this out:

Ooooh, spit on me Max!

This week Sir Hastings has elected to put the honeys on the back burner and tackle one of the great questions of our age. “If we are richer and healthier than ever, why are we so miserable?”

It's a good question, and Max decides to start off his column with a pop culture reference to bring the kids along on this socio-philosophical ramble. “'Whaddaya want if yer don't want money?' as Adam Faith famously sang” Right... Adam who? Clearly Max's music taste is suffering serious arrested development. But that's a cheap shot.

Pandering to the kids aside, he gets straight in at the deep end and hits us with the big stick of middle class hubris and the bludgeoning mace of middle class morality. “You may kid yourself that becoming Roman Abramovich would brighten up your day but in reality... by the time you have finished paying for bodyguards... (and) coping with bolshie Chelsea fans, you are no worse off living in a nice semi and worrying about whether or not the car will pass its MOT.”

That must be nice to know for everyone struggling to make ends meet. I'm sure everyone losing sleep over whether they'll be able to get to work next week if their car fails the MOT really appreciate this little pointer. And let's not forget those who can't even afford cars, who can't afford holidays or even basic school supplies for their children. I bet they feel really silly now they know that having Abramovich's billions wouldn't help them after all.

This is just the tip of the iceberg though. Max now asserts that this never-ending quest for money is to blame for... you guessed it: The terminal decline in the moral values of our society. Max rues the fact that “the nation is abandoning DIY, and prefers to pay Poles to wallpaper the lounge rather than make the job a bonding experience at weekends.” Now I'm not condoning the exploitation of eastern European workers to fulfil our own interior design fantasies, but such an idealised view of DIY can only come from a man who's never done any. After 45 hours a week of soul crushing admin. in an office where the blinds are always closed, who can blame you if you don't want to spend your weekend at the top of a step ladder being suffocated by sticky paper.

But Max isn't alone in his despair at the flashy spending of working people trying to enjoy their lives a bit more, no no! He is backed by righteous leigons of Daily Mail letter writers. Apparently this lot treat Max as some kind of guru, constantly asking him: "What can we do?", “how can any one family do things differently?”, “how do you, as a couple, stand out against the rest of the herd?”.

It's pretty simple isn't it? If you've got such a problem with the society you live in, do something about it. Stop blaming your problems on immigrants, young people, poor people, The BBC, American TV shows, “The liberal establishment”, The government, The EU, MRSA, Al-Qaida, the Archbishop of Canterbury, speed cameras or emo music, get off your arse and do something for yourself. Stop waiting for a moral crusader on a white horse to change things for you, no matter how well he wears his specs.

Read Max's Article Here

Also this week....

...Richard Littlejohn pretends to be an American TV reporter. He should know how that lot sound, he lives in Florida most of the year...

...Melanie Phillips lays into our overpaid MPs. Hold your breath, you might actually agree with her...

...Andrew Alexander claims we might need to legalise drugs at some point. You might agree with him too...

Sunday, 6 April 2008

A Tale of Two Gits

Robert Mugabe (left) is a complex character. Once an intensely popular rebel leader and president, the man who's ruled Zimbabwe for over twenty years now looks doomed. What's caused this spectacular fall from grace is difficult to say. Is the man yet another victim of masculine hubris? Is he deluded into thinking he's on some kind of divine mission? Or is he just a desperate politician who's been making his last desperate stand for the past five years.

If you're looking for someone/thing to blame for the ongoing tragedy that is Zimbabwe, then look no further, as STEPHEN GLOVER and his jackbooted colleagues have the answer.

It's the “British Left” Stupid!

Steve gets straight to work this week claiming “Mr Mugabe had his fans on the Left of British politics even when his gallant 'freedom fighters' were raping nuns and killing civilians in the 'liberation war' of the 1970s.” It seems strange to me that when 280,000 white people subjugate six million black people there really isn't any need to put the phrase liberation in inverted comas, but then again you just can't tell those sub-editors at The Mail. And let's not forget the old raping nuns clichĂ©. A timeless classic used to fire up the righteous indignation of the religious, gullible and slightly xenophobic since the dawn of time. Napoleon's regiments supposedly raped Spanish nuns during the Peninsular wars of 1804. The Zulus apparently raped nuns during British attempts to wipe them out in 1879. And obviously the vile Hun raped nuns in France and Belgium during the First World War.

There's never been any need to provide a shred of evidence for the charge of Nun rape, and naturally Steve doesn't. All you do need to do is conjure up an image of a slightly ruffled habit and then relax and watch the army recruitment offices fill.

Throughout Steve's article he portrays Rhodesia as a magical-happy land where the rains never failed and the rivers ran with lemonade. He even calls it “Africa's breadbasket”, just like every other lazy hack who can't be arsed to think up a nickname for themselves. He shows white settlers as a lovely bunch, always helping their black brothers and sisters and quite partial to breaking into songs from hit musicals.

In actual fact, when Zimbabwe was Rhodesia, the government of Ian Smith (right) - butcher's son and uber-racist – refused bi-lateral independence from Britain because it meant they'd have to give all black citizens the vote. Steve also manages to gloss over the laws that set aside 50 per cent of cultivatable land for the whites, who never made up more than six per cent of the population. During the Liberation War during almost every male in white Rhodesia had done a tour of duty within the previous two yeas and anti-communist, anti-equality mercenaries poured in from the USA, South Africa and Portugal to name a few places. Anyone thought to be supporting the rebels was brutally repressed, with villages being burned to teach co-operators a lesson (that one worked a treat in Vietnam) and police firing into massed demonstrations.

You can argue that the liberation fighters, some under Mugabe's command and some not, committed atrocities of their own. It's pretty much indisputable but it's not the point. The left support liberation struggles, especially those on grounds of race, not because they're of unimpeachable integrity but because they're inevitable. Ian Smith's government could have killed three times as many people as it did, ten times even, but it would never have won. The black people of Zimbabwe wanted land, freedom and equality, and the intensity of a struggle for something this virtuous can never be matched by the desire to prop-up the ancient and crumbling edifice of privilege. And that makes it more of a shame to see Mugabe's Zanu-PF party become what it fought so hard to destroy - a powerful elite prepared to use any measures possible, including violence, to cling to its last shred of power . But it also shows Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will eventually triumph and the people of Zimbabwe will have the kind of country they want, because they're prepared to risk their lives to get it.

It is Mugabe's insatiable love of power and pathological fear of losing that's brought Zimbabwe to the terrible juncture it now faces, not a bunch of white, middle-class lefties in Britain supporting a people's right to freedom and self-determination.

Bloody Steve...

Read Steve's Article Here

Also This Week...

...Amanda Platell socks it to Ken Livingstone for daring to try and repopulate the planet outside the strict laws laid down by our Australia God...

...Quentin Letts uses words like "glug" to try and hide the fact he's fresh out of ideas...

... Keith Waterhouse gets his medication mixed up and starts going on about the Blue Peter time capsule...

Monday, 31 March 2008

Shut up Amanda or I'm Telling My Mums

The Name of AMANDA PLATELL's column in The Mail is just one of its many curiosities. It's called “Platell's People” and yet it's never about anyone she likes. In fact a more fitting name would be “Platell's Pariahs” or possibly “Look at these stupid bastards, they can't run a country/run a company/bring up a child/be a role model”.

In this week's life affirming instalment Amanda - on hearing the horrendous news that marriage is at its lowest level for 150 years – gets all John Major on our arses in her defence of “Family Values”. The Labour party is (obviously) to blame and there's no way they're getting away with it on Mandy's watch.

The government's policies on civil partnerships, the need for fathers for IVF babies and the abolition of the married couple's tax break all “Reinforce the wretched principle that any kind of family is as valid as the traditional unit between a man and a woman, despite over-riding evidence that the absence of fathers has devastating effects on children.”

Weird that isn't it. If children need fathers so badly, surely two fathers would be better than one. Yet, any mention of gay couples being allowed to adopt, no matter how long they may have been committed to each other, is anathema to The Mail and its footsoldiers. Why? Because it wouldn't be a “real” family.

“It's even worse” she cries, giving off the distinct impression this entire article was written in her own blood, “you even get more benefits if you're a single or separated parent”. And that's the kind of mindset we're dealing with in a nutshell. Mandy doesn't want state benefits going to the people that actually need them most, she wants them to go tot he people considered most “normal”. And for normal read: The people who most closely resemble The Daily Mail's twisted, neo-Christian idea of a “perfect” white, “English”, middle-class, heterosexual, nuclear family.

The fall in the amount of married couples is neatly blamed for “Teenage pregnancies, binge drinking, escalating violence and disintegrating communities.” Conveniently leaving out poverty, poor schools, overworked and overstretched parents and the “Me-me-me” social ethics that came about in Mrs. Thatcher's selfish 1980s.

But for anyone who still worries that this downturn in marriage rates may yet lead to the total destruction of the society we all know and tolerate, allow me to put it in perspective for you. Last time marriage rates were this low was 1862, and if you adhere to The Mail's standards of what makes a good year, this was a bloody brilliant one.

On January 1st those valiant redcoats of the British Army annexed Lagos island in Nigeria, no doubt helping to feed, clothe and educate the natives while also teaching them the merit of our superior Western culture. This process was going on all over the world too, from Bombay to Sydney to Mombasa to Singapore. Back in Blighty homosexual practices were still illegal and carried the threat of a hefty prison sentence, you could happily discriminate against any minority that took your fancy and the rich held all the power in society because hardly any of those wretched working class oiks could vote.

Surely that's the “Golden Age” they're always talking about.

Read Mandy's Article Here

Also this week...

...Every single columnist made at least a passing allusion to the fact Carla Bruni-Sarkozy has a nice bum...

...Housewives favourite Richard Kay tries to defend Winston Churchill's remark that “"I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes." He fails...

...Melanie Phillips poo-poos talking to Al-Qaeda claiming they must be “Vanquished”. I thought we'd tried that and failed miserably?...

....Oh, go on then.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

I Won't Call You Prig, But I Will Call You A Prick

For those of you that spent this week concerned with news stories that actually affect your life, you may have missed the following gem.

The Mail gleefully reported that on Tuesday the cash machine outside the Sainsbury's in Hull started dishing out twice the amount of cash its customers had asked for. As you might expect, people who didn't even need any cash started using it, eager to double their money.

Standard pub anecdote of no real importance? No! Yet another sign of the moral decay eating away at the heart of our once great nation? Yes, yes and yes again!

TOM UTLEY has decided he is the only man left on this island with the right mix of guts, gall and judgemental piety to take on these ATM bandits, and take them on he will. Tom goes straight for the jugular with the slightly confrontational headline: “Call me a prig - but is it imbecilic to ask why so many people today can't tell right from wrong?”

Now I don't know what a prig is either, but you can tell from his tone that this is one cheesed off member of the not-so-silent majority who work hard and respect blah blah blah. Tom keeps up the pressure with his rhetorical intro, asking “Perhaps I'm becoming insufferably pious in my middle age...” Well, Yes you are Tom, you really, really are.

This piety is exhibited for all to see when the boy Tom seethes: “Nobody appears to have thought it worth stepping into the shop, ringing the number on the machine or contacting the police to report what was happening.” Because that's what you'd do isn't it? I'm sure it's the first thing that popped into the head of every shopper - struggling single mother, means-tested pensioner and father-of-three with a blood pressure higher than David Blunkett's sperm count alike. Never mind the fact they'd just spent over £100 and all they had to show for it was wafer thin ham, Ribena and Skips. Never mind that council tax, petrol tax and booze tax have all just gone up, call in the rozzers and be a good citizen.

As word spread photographers arrived on the scene to document this momentous event in human history, and the demographic of the queue clearly shocked old Tommy. “By no means were all the thieves young hoodies, from whom we've learnt not to expect too much in the way of integrity and public-spiritedness.” Shock, horror and awe, Middle class people were involved too! Young people, being no better than syphilitic dogs, will obviously break the law at the first opportunity, but some of these people looked just like Tom and his fellow DM hacks. Now that must be really scary for them. If people that look like them are moral pygmies, how will they know who to judge on the street? I'd just like to see The Mail's reaction if the same thing happens outside the Waitrose in Chelsea. A tenner says you'll see at least three DM columnists in the queue for dirty money.

Just in case you're not quite following the logic of how these people are dirty, cut-throats deserving of vilification in a national newspaper, Tom clears that up for you. “You don't have to have a very highly developed moral sense to work out that the offence is identical (to stealing)”.

He's right. In fact, the only difference is you're stealing from a bank, not a person. You're stealing money that was probably made by investing your Granny's pension in a white phosphorous factory who's wares are burning flesh from Iraqi bones as we speak. It might have been made in the form of extortionate interest on a loan, given to someone who clearly could not repay it, the vultures in suits and name badges circling all the while. If you're really lucky it might even have come directly from the Bank of England. These are your taxes being used to prop up financial institutions because their privately educated staff don't give a monkey's toss what happens to anyone else, as long as they're on the high-speed link to Paris by 4:30.

So next time you hear about a cashpoint giving out double money, give me a ring.

Read Tom's Article Here


...Mel Phillips blames child illiteracy on people being allowed to have sex with who they want...

...Amanda Platell has a pop at Nicolas Sarkozy for looking like a walking midlife crisis but remains friends with Piers Morgan. Go figure...

...Peter "Voice of Reason" Oborne warns us that we're entering "Terrifying new times". Ever read that in The Mail before?...

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Not Football Crazy, Just Plain Crazy

If, as Ann Widdecombe famously said, there was “Something of the night” about Michael Howard, then this weeks DM hack STEPHEN GLOVER must be made entirely of dark matter.

His sloping forehead, Bobby Charlton comb-over and piercing black eyes all serve to give him a most unnerving appearance. Glover bares an uncanny resemblance to a KGB agent, and you can't help but feel he'd be more at home poisoning dissidents with umbrellas than writing reactionary newspaper articles. The following picture, while far from conclusive, could quite easily be the man himself.

Steve kicks off this week's column under the masthead of “Vulgar, nasty and a roaring success: How football is a perfect symbol of what Britain's become.” So for those of you out there who thought the only people who used the word “Vulgar” were former Smiths front man Morrisey and pseudo-intellectual twats (if indeed there's a difference) you've been proved right.

Like all of his colleagues Steve loves the past far more than the present, and laments the passing of the days when a footballer was “content with a game of darts and a couple of pints in his local pub”. Now e-mail me if I'm being too sensitive, but this rather sounds like the musings of a man who thinks the working-class oiks who make fortunes from football have got a little above their stations. Now that multi-million pound TV and sponsorship details mean footballers can drive Mercedes and live in the same west London constituency as him, Steve is more than appalled. If he's to be believed most modern footballers are “to be found downing £200 bottles of Cristal champagne in the company of slappers, or clocking one another over the head.” I fail to see how this behaviour differs from that of the average Eton school boy, or a certain prince but I think the point might be that they know how to wear a suit from Saville Row and piss through a letterbox with some class.

The astronomical salaries are the root of the problem according to Steve, and he baulks at the idea that some top-flight wage packets “now exceed City levels”. Because of course, City bankers really deserve their astronomical wages. I mean, waving your Blackberry around on the tube for 20 minutes straight is no easy task. The assertion is even made that “Premier League football exemplifies the widening gap in our society between the super rich and ordinary people.”

On a slightly different note here, that pretty much say it all doesn't it? After ten years of a Labour government, The Daily Mail's arch-conservative prince of darkness is showing concern about the wealth gap. Whatever next? Fellow columnist Richard Littlejohn calling for the workers to seize the means of production? Editor Paul Dacre urging the class suicide of the bourgeoisie in a full page headline? It seems the children's tax credit system has failed. Miserably.

Alas, if this was 'Just A Minute' I'd have been buzzed for deviation and Nicholas Parsons would have sadly had to agree. Back to the matter in hand.

After a few morose paragraphs about how English teams have no English players any more so it's not really your local team (although I dare him to say it in the Kop on a Saturday afternoon), Steve draws the link he's been crossing his legs with anticipation about since the first sentence. The influx of foreign players to Premier League makes for better football but weakens the feelings of belonging fans have for their clubs and “Mass immigration is justified on the grounds of greater economic efficiency, one consequence, though, is the weakening of a sense of belonging.”

I'm yet to meet anyone who feels less like they belong in Britain because of “Mass immigration”. Sure, some people have some issues with it, and some people are even terrified about it (Daily Mail readers mostly) but it's my view the British public at large know very well where they belong. You only have to go to Calais to realise you're from somewhere pretty special, and it would be more than a bit tough to grow a moustache, start drinking red wine, get good at sex and emigrate.

What really makes people feel like they don't belong are vital public services being sold off to the highest bidder without a thought for the population, privatised public transport networks that can't get anyone anywhere on time, illegal wars and occupations disagreed with by a vast majority of citizens, and non-doms taking billions of pounds out of our economy every year and paying less tax than a school dinner lady.

Britain isn't like a football league, it's a boxing promotions company, and the weakest keep getting punched in the face by the strongest, and sadly The Mail is one of the strongest of them all.

Read Steve's Article Here

Also this week....

...Bel Mooney advises “Sometimes death is better than staying in a sterile marriage”. Maybe, but death is always better than reading the Mail...

...Peter Oborne calls Schools minister Ed Balls a “Class Warrior” when what I think he means is “Boring, inarticulate, bumbling liability”...

...Deborah Ross celebrates the genius that is Aunt Bessie's Yorkshire puds, assuaging the parenting guilt of aspirational working class readers without time to cook from scratch for their little darlings...

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Unwelcome Ch-Ch-Changes For This Thatcherite

“Help me! I'm melting! I'm melting! My cheeks are turning to molten jowls and my eyes have become a watery liquid!”

This is what I imagine DM columnist Andrew Alexander said when he was thrown into a vat of boiling, corrosive acid by the fourth form bullies at his public school. Either that or he's the bastard child of fiction's most popular acid-burn victims, Robocop and The Joker. If you think I'm exaggerating check out this delightful little snap.

Anyway, to the point. The broadcast earlier this week of the programme in which Michael Portillo lauded Mrs. Thatcher's achievements and whinged about his own failings has given our man at The Mail an opportunity. Andrew has decided the time is right to stage The Mail's monthly exhumation of Mrs. T's political legacy and to get some copy out of it.

Under the headline of “Change for Change's Sake” Andrew puts his horrendously deformed boot into David Cameron and his betrayal of the true Tory faith. He claims the reasons the Tories have lost the last three elections is not that they went on too long and too hard about immigration, crime and Europe, but that they didn't go on about them enough. Move over Fukuyama, someone call MIT, I think we've got some new kind of political genius in the hemisphere! Of course it wasn't the laughably inept leadership choices, the covert “nudge-nudge” racism of the “Are you thinking what we're thinking?” slogan, the bloody stupid “Save the Pound” battle bus, the sleaze or the recession of the early nineties that did 'em over. It was not being right-wing enough! Silly us.

He then lays all the credit for the economy's success over the last ten years at Ken Clarke's door, claiming our Gord was handed an “Golden chalice”. Arch pro-European Ken Clarke guardian of the Thatcherite legacy? Seems like corrosive acid isn't the only kind this cat's been exposed too.

Andrew then embarks on a 14 paragraph journey into a seventh circle of hell reserved for economic waffle and percentage points. But fear not, like all good DM hacks, he ends on a note sure to strike fear directly into the cheque book of anyone with mortgage.

To show how Labour's economic luck has run out and that without a old-school Thatcherite government we'll soon find ourselves rifling through bins and gnawing on the ankles of our social betters in a desperate attempt to procure nourishment, he drops the bomb. “In the last few weeks of 2007, BG (parent company of British Gas) was actually losing money. BG has to procure gas in the international marketplace.”

Hellish as the idea of a massive energy corporation missing out on any kind of profit may sound, there's a few facts worth remembering:

    1. BG's board is packed with foreign interests,leading to large chunks of its profits being syphoned out of the UK, and some into off-shore bank accounts in Lichtenstein and the Caymans.

    2. The company has been almost constantly under attack (at times even by The Mail itself) for continuing to raise prices for consumers even when profits were rocketing by up to 86% (in 2006).

    3. BG has also been embroiled in a massive corruption scandal in Italy over paying kickbacks to secure a contract to build and run a gas terminal.

The only thing left to clarify is who ordered the privatisation of British Gas in the first place and allowed all this to happen?

Oh yeah, it was Mrs. Thatcher. Keep up the good work Andrew.

Read Andrew's article here

Also this week....

...Amanda Platell yearns for the day when more British politicians will show the same level of dignity, integrity and passion as er... Hillary Clinton...

...Keith Waterhouse gets ID cards and sheep dogs mixed up...

... Richard Littlejohn continues to baffle the population at large as to just why he gets paid so much for writing pretty much the same thing every week...

Monday, 3 March 2008

War, "Crackberry" Cocktails, and the Man Who Won't Be King.

This week MELANIE PHILLIPS, non-believer in evolution and wicked witch of Question Time, shows us her softer side. Well, for a little bit anyway.

Unless you have no head you'll be aware that, but for a leak on an American website, Prince Harry would still be fighting the good fight in the mountains of Afghanistan. What's equally clear to all is that Mel felt “Something deep and long-stifled in the British psyche” stir within her this week as she was finally allowed to write a piece about Harry's exploits.

She begins by gushing about our boy-prince's glorious, caterpillar-like transformation from “Nightclub reveller to heroic soldier”. She even complements Harry on his “exemplary” behaviour in the field (She's been watching a lot of News24 I suppose), and she empathises with HRH over the indignity of someone in his position eating “meagre army rations” with the rest of the grunts.

Surely this isn't the same Melanie Phillips who's on film stating that if Palestinian civilians vote for Hamas they can expect to be bombed to death? Or the same one who derides climate change as “utter garbage”? Or the one branded by an expert as “The MMR (vaccine) critic who just doesn't understand science”?

It's the very same. Now I know it's weird, but she really is talking like a person with a soul. She's congratulating a young man on a job well done and celebrating the fact he's managed to turn his life around. Well done Melanie, we're making progress.

But alas, this illusion of a soul is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, a trick played by a God who created the world in seven days and has now taken the deputy editor's job at The Mail. There's nothing on this planet too sacred for Mel to make political and journalistic capital out of, and Harry's meteoric rise in the public's estimations is no exception.

Apparently Prince Harry is a 6ft ginger metaphor for what's gone wrong with British society. On one hand he encapsulates the Britain we all love: A brave soldier riding into battle in a foreign land, flying the Union Jack all the way without a thought for his own safety. Y'know, Michael Caine in Zulu and all that. On the other hand his boozy nights out in west end cocktail bars show Britain's ever-expanding ugly side. “Libertinism, hedonism and selfishness are the order of the day” wails Mel, served with a side-salad comprised of “rampant drunkenness, drug abuse, and crime”, and washed down with a hefty glass of "decadence".

And this is where it all goes a bit mental. Mel now starts talking about how whichever side of Harry gets the most picture pull-outs in The Sun, Jekyll or Hyde, will “determine which Britain our children and grandchildren will inherit.”

What? It's not 1542 for God's sake. The actions of the bona fide sovereign have about as much influence on the current state of Britain as Mick Hucknall's, let alone the third in line. When Harry becomes too old to order any more air strikes he'll spend the rest of his days opening summer fĂȘtes in Kent and attending sporting events courtesy of the tax-payer. I know The Mail's always banging on about “The golden age” but Tudor times is a bit extreme even for them.

At one point during this half-digested, fur-ball of a polemic Mel even feels compelled to mention Britain's “rampant cynicism”. I can't think of anything more cynical than her article. Getting from one human being putting his life in danger in a seemingly vain attempt to bring freedom to people in a war zone to a cheap, knackered, scaremongering rant pushing your own socially conservative agenda: It requires a special talent.

Let's pray no one else is born with it.

Read Mel's Article Here


...Editor Paul Dacre decides he can get a few more column inches out of slagging off Tony 'n' Cherie just for being obscenely rich (doesn't bother him about Lord Ashcroft though). Housewives' favourite Richard Kay is more than happy to oblige...

...Both Peter McKay and Amanda Platell bang on about how Prince Harry's tour of duty was a PR coup for the army. Ring each other before you leave home in future, yeah?...

...Max Hastings dons his mortarboard and gives us another exhilarating lecture, this time on China's "middle class revolution" and how they'll all have toasters soon. Cutting edge commentary!...