I’d like to apologise unreservedly

It’s wryly amusing seeing that the Evening Standard has been forced to apologise to Prince Philip for wrongly claiming that he was fighting prostate cancer. Not because of the nature of the illness that the Queen’s husband absolutely and categorically does not have, but just because it’s rare to hear a story that’s not about Philip himself having to say sorry for something he’s said.

Let’s face it, Philip only ever opens his mouth to insert his foot in it. From asking a Scottish driving instructor how he managed to keep locals off the booze long enough to get them to pass their test, to asking a Cayman Islander whether they were all descended from pirates, Prince Philip is the king of the inappropriate comment. After all, who can forget his 1986 comment on a state trip to China, when he told a group of British students that “if you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty eyed.” Or congratulating a native from Papua New Guinea on managing to not get eaten?

He’s an embarrassment to his country. Fortunately his country is Greece, but the British are all guilty by association.

The terrible irony, of course, is that the American equivalent of Prince Philip is the president of the entire country. Given that George Bush is in Beijing at the moment for the opening of the 2008 Olympics, here’s hoping the American embassy has got its crisis management team on 24 hour standby.

17 thoughts on “I’d like to apologise unreservedly

  1. Mike

    He is a horse’s arse. Didn’t he also say something like “do you you still throw spears at one another” to a group of Australian aboriginal dancers? But you are right. Bush is far worse.

  2. Expatmum

    I agree that Bush is worse – he’s elected for god’s sake. At least with the Monarchy we can always say they were thrust upon us, so to speak.

  3. gloria

    NOBODY is as thick headed as GWB. He and his policies have made me embarassed to call myself an American. I’ll never know how he got elected.

  4. Alasdair

    It’s nice to see that “liberal compassion” for the dyslexics amongst us is flourishing here …

    3 for 3 all agreeing that Bush is “worse” and “thick headed” …

    For “thick headed”, try Neil Pillock – or his US equivalent Slow Joe Biden (who plagiarised the classic Pillock speech) … and Biden is being bruited about as a possible VP with Senator Obama …

    Bush, the Younger, is a classic dyslexic – and his speech patterns confirm that …

    Had the above commenters been slightly informed, as opposed to living mostly in their comfy echo-chamber, they would have noticed that the classic “Bushisms” consist of Bush saying something with a word that doesn’t quite fit (like “misunderestimate”), followed by snickering, followed by derision along the lines of “The Chimp said ‘misunderestimate’ whereas *everyone* knows he *meant* to use *this* word !” … so people clearly understood what he was trying to communicate … similarly with “strategery” and other such words …

    His policies have kept this country out of an actual recession, successfully, pretty much – and things didn’t really start to turn south until we got the Congressional control change in January of 2007 … since then, with the current do-nothing investigate lots Congress, unemployment is up, inflation is up, gas prices are horrendous, et cetera …

    By all means feel free to blame Bush … after all, it is distinctly possible that the three commenters may not actually know anyone who voted for Bush … that was a major complaint after Kerry lost in 2004 by only three million votes … and the New York Times reported that it talked to many New Yorkers who said they didn’t know *anyone* who voted for Bush …

    Still, you probably prefer the Sainted Senator Obama – who either forgot of which Senate committee he is a member, or just flat-out lied about it recently … that’s *much* better than being “as thick headed as GWB”, isn’t it ?

    gloria – Bush was elected President because the very best and brightest that the Democrat party could come up with as their candidate of choice was John Kerry … even Neil Pillock would most likely have made a better candidate …

    Dylan – forgive me, please, if I sound bitter … I grew up with the classic UK media bias, and it’s embarrassing seeing other Brits knee-jerk accepting the biased drivel fed to them/us by the US mainstream media … and doubly so when it is so easy to seek corroboration or refutation from other perspectives …

  5. Brooklyn

    Alasdair:

    Although he didn’t have the media appeal of Obama, Clinton or McCain, IMHO Biden was the best Presidential candidate in the field. On the talk shows, Biden doesn’t display class only by his pronounciation, but by logical reasoning. Bush communicates by soundbite, and his conduct suggests that is how he really things. Does Bush actually consider ends and means to find a logical connection between them?

    Considering Bush, how can you hold a little alleged plagiarism (see below) against Biden?

    To say Bush is a bad President for “misunderestimate” is like saying Adolf Hitler was a good Chancellor for delivering a stemwinder at a Nuremberg stadium.

    Bush is disliked for, just name to a few:

    Invading Iraq without the courage to tell the US what it would cost, then doing on the cheap with incompentents, because he believed the fairy tales of Cheney and Rumsfeld as to how easy it would be, and ignoring anyone who didn’t say what he wanted to hear, or permitting them to be marginalized.

    Creating a deficit by lowering taxes on the wealthy despite war spending and letting Republicans go crazy with pork barrel spending.

    Ignoring science when it came to issues liked global warming.

    Dereliction on regulation of industry, such as refusing to impose CAFE standards on SUV’s.

    Presiding over a Justice Dept. that defines torture as conduct leading to death or failure of an organ system. (Maybe someonw should have broken every finger on his left hand and then ask if that was torture).

    Alasdair, if you think Bush was a good President despite, or even because, of all of this, and more, fine, but to suggest that all who oppose Bush do so out of snobbery is to say that all who oppose Obama do so out of racism.

    As for “plagiarism,” Alasdair, it seems Swiftboating is alive and well:

    “Controversy helped derail Biden’s candidacy for the U.S. presidency in the 1988 Presidential campaign. He was found to have plagiarized a speech from British Labour Party (UK) leader Neil Kinnock. The plagiarism was considered all the more serious, because it included details of Kinnock’s life which were not true in Biden’s case. After Biden withdrew from the race, it was learned that he had correctly credited Kinnock on other occasions but failed to do so in an Iowa speech that was recorded and distributed to reporters by aides to Michael Dukakis, the eventual nominee. Dukakis fired the senior aide responsible, but the damage had already been done to Biden.”

    (Dylan, I’m sorry for the length and seriousness of this post, but Alasdair started it.)

  6. gloria

    This statement made by GW Bush has nothing to do with dyslexia – “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.” -George W. Bush, discussing the decline of the French economy with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    Also, sorry to be so petty, but after 8 years in office I wish Bush would learn to pronounce the word nuclear correctly…

  7. Expatmum

    Thanks Brooklyn and Gloria for responding. I don’t think Dylan would have published what I was going to say. I have never heard so much drivel in my life – espeically when you look at the original post, which was only commenting on the gaffs that prince Phillip (and Bush) come out with. Jeez.
    And Alasdair, please don’t be embarrassed by me – I assure you that I give a lot of thought to everything I say, especially regarding politics. And to avoid being fed what I know is biased info in the US media, I take the time to read news pieces from around the world. The only knee jerk I have ever been tempted to give would involve a piece of your anatomy.

  8. Alasdair

    Brooklyn – I am happy to see an attempt at a reasoned response, even if it uncritically accepts the incorrect use of the term “Swiftboating” as a pejorative … the Swiftboat folk have been established to have told the truth in what they said, to the point where Senator Kerry could not sue them for either libel or slander … if the Swiftboat folk had “Swiftboated” Kerry in the sense you use, then Kerry should have been able to sue them for all they own for lying about him … note that Senator Kerry *still* hasn’t released his military records to the public, in spite of promising to do so some years ago … could it be, perhaps, because Kerry’s own records would further corroborate the informatiuon supplied by the Swiftboat veterans ?

    I hold Senator Biden’s plagiarism against Biden precisely because of *what* he chose to copy – more than I do for the actual plagiarism … it is plagiarism because Biden used it without attribution at least once … a genuine and legitimate researcher gives credit where credit is due *every* time … it became egregious given that Biden proudly copied (with astonishingly little modification) a speech whereby not-the-brightest-bulb-on-the-planet asked (my paraphrasing) “It couldn’t be because I’m thick, could it ?” … and Biden duly americanised that very (and very stupid, and apparently self-referential) question …

    Notice that the thing you quoted (without source) agrees that Biden did plagiarise – just not ALL of the time … if he had credited Kinnock each time, it would have been research, not plagiarism …

    And to top it off with the US MSM’s classic refrain of “Our guy did a teeny weeny oopsy, BUT BUSH IS LOTS WORSE” doesn’t help …

    Now I can fully understand why you can consider that “Bush communicates by soundbite”, given that the US MSM seems to only be capable of portraying him that way, most of the time … if Bush is such a poor communicator, what does that say for the best and brightest candidate that the Democrat party came up with – Senator Kerry – whom Bush *BEAT* by some THREE MILLION votes in the 2004 Presidential election ?

    I also agree with you that Bush is disliked for many reasons … for many EMOTIONAL reasons, not backed by rational facts …

    You cite “Global Warming” – rational science says that there are more unexplained things about global warming than there are things for which good science has been produced … little details like the models used by the Cult of Global Warming flat out don’t work according to verifiable science … or that, since 2000, the planet has COOLED by 0.6 degrees C … the temperature distributions in the various layers of the atmosphere don’t fit with greenhouse gas warming effects … and so on …

    We both agree he should have controlled Senate (and House) spending excesses better … he is, however, President – and the House and Senate have responsibility for the Federal Budget – the President just gets to spend it in his role as Executive Branch … Bush walked a tight-rope act that kept the US out of recession in spite of September 11, 2001 … the US economy didn’t start to decline seriously until 2007 when Congress changed hands – petrolgasoline was about $2 per gallon at the end of January 2007 … it’s *back* down to $4 per gallon now, from a high of over $4.50 … and the price of petrolgasoline kept climbing, and didn’t start to fall, in spite of over 2 continuous months of decreasing domestic demand (April and May, 2008) for petrolgasoline until Bush rescinded the Executive Order banning Offshore Drilling on Monday, July 14, 2008 … in the 2 days following him rescinding that Executive Order, the price of at barrel of crude went down $10-15 from its all-time high, and has been gradually sinking since then … it sems like it’s emotionally satisfying to blame Bush for the high price of petrolgasoline, but that’s not based in rational facts …

    I note how, in *your* mind, it is apparently ONLY the Republicans’ fault for over-spending … the innocent Democrats had *nothing* to do with it … the Democrats presumably fought the Republicans’ going-crazy-spending tooth and nail, with every Parliamentary trick known to them, right ? Again, I know it’s emotionally satisfying to blame only the Republicans for over-spending, but that’s not based in rational facts …

    As an individual, you are entitled to respond within Life as emotionally as you wish … I choose to condier things rationally …

    This is long enough, for now … (and I thank Dylan for his patience in allowing me to respond and give rational reasons to counter the emotional expressions) …

  9. Alasdair

    Gloria – “This statement made by GW Bush has nothing to do with dyslexia – “The problem with the French is that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur.” -George W. Bush, discussing the decline of the French economy with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. “

    Permit me to introduce to you an English-language term – Irony … for all his various faults, President Bush doesn’t have the fault of lacking a sense of humour … you may want to consider rectiying that fault within yourself …

    Out of curiosity, how do you classify Senator Obama’s talking about him having visited 57 States during his campaign ? From Snopes “… it is just wonderful to be back in Oregon, and over the last 15 monthswe’ve traveled to every corner of the United States. I’ve now been in fifty … seven states? I think one left to go. One left to go. Alaska and Hawaii, I was not allowed to go to even though I really wanted to visit but my staff would not justify it.” (The Snopes article tries to explain it away that he meant to say “forty … seven” – isn’t it amazing how the (R) after the name means that one committed a sin or an offence, whereas the (D) merely and clearly mis-spoke ?)

    And you have something against that most cute of Amurrican expressions – new-cue-lar ???

  10. Alasdair

    And Expatmum … I know you won’t find fault with me addressing the gaffes (not the “gaffs”) that other commenters made …

    Prince Philip is well-known for ‘foot-in-mouth’ disease … his equivalent over here is Senator Kerry more than anyone else … although Speaker Pelosi came close recently with her “”All you have to do is drive down the street in your car, see the price at the pump, and you know that Americans can no longer afford George W. Bush as President and his Rubber Stamp Republican Congress.”” (in April of 2006 when gasoline was less than $2 per gallon) , and, of course, her adjourning of Congress for the summer recess without permitting votes on offshore drilling, while she adjourned to go on a book tour to promote her OWN book (Amazon.com Sales Rank: #4,746 in Books)…

    I appreciate that *your* best contribution to our rational discussion peaked with a physical threat (which, of course, you only meant as a joke, of course) … you might consider rational refutation, rather than emotional physicality, another time …

    One of the things I have learned in the almost-3 decades I have lived in this country is that, the stronger the negative emotional expression aimed at a US politician, the less the rational thought or facts underlying the expression … and the greater the amount of ‘conspiracy paranoia’ that will be expressed to attempt to justify the strong negative emotional reaction …

    A simple way to find out if a person’s response to Bush is rational or emotional is to ask “Is it a good thing that Saddam Hussein is no longer paying blood-money to the families of terrorists who blew themselves up to kill civilians ?” … a rational response is a simple “Yes” … the emotional response will be more likely along the lines of “Bush lied to get us into Iraq” …

    The equivalent way to find out if someone is rational or emotional about Global Warming is to ask “If the Arctic Icecap suddenly all melted, how much would sea-level rise round the planet ?” … if the answer is more than a few inches/centimetres, the response is emotional … if the answer is “very little, or not perceptibly”, the response is rational … (Arctic Icecap is floating, it merely displaces its own mass of liquid water) …

    Which way did *you* want to answer each of those questions, Expatmum ?

    (Again, Dylan, thanks for your patience in allowing me to respond rationally to Expatmum, here)

  11. Dylan Post author

    You go away for the weekend having written a relatively innocent post, and come back to political badinage…

    I can’t agree with everything you say, Alasdair, but you’ve got every right to your opinion and I certainly wouldn’t deny you your right to say it. All I will point out is that your global warming theory doesn’t hold out in the Antarctic, where the ice sits on land. Which is presumably who you very specifically referred to the Arctic.

    Anyway, lovely weather we’ve been having, isn’t it?!

  12. Alasdair

    Dylan – it was a bit chilly for June, down here … (grin) … still, I have two of my banana plants producing bananas, my mango tree has a couple of dozen mangoes on it (it’s young, yet), and my macadamia nut trees look to have a bountiful crop a little later this year, if the squirrels don’t grab ’em all …

    I intentionally didn’t address the Antarctic because, overall, the ice mass in the Antarctic has been growing … one small percentage section has done what it does most years, and has shed some floating ice which becomes icebergs … on the other side of Antarctica, the mass of ice is documented to be *increasing* on the land part …

    It’s sorta difficult to be convinced about the seriousness of the Global Warming Cult when the planet has cooled over half a degree Centigrade since 2000, and when the overall icemass at the Antarctic end of the planet is actually increasing in size …

    Try this article and/or this article … the latter has an interesting comment string following it …

    Personally, I switch from AGW sceptic to AGW-active-challenger when the Sainted Goracle, Himself, Al of Tennessee, sent out the Pap Al BUll about how He could use all the energy He wanted because He was using Offset Carbon Credits He bought …

    Apart from the fact the the selling of Indulgences was a significant factor leading to the Reformation, and that carbon credits are another name for Indulgences, Saint Al buys his Offset Carbon Credits from a company in which he has a significant financial stake … this article is an example of a write-up which gives documented details …

    (grin) I hope I’m not shattering TOO many of your illusions about the noble Goracle …

  13. Brooklyn

    Alasdair:

    I just returned from a camping vacation out of the US beginning on August 11, that is why this resposne is belated:

    You seem to concede the most egregious of Bush’s faults which I described:

    “Invading Iraq without the courage to tell the US what it would cost, then doing on the cheap with incompentents, because he believed the fairy tales of Cheney and Rumsfeld as to how easy it would be, and ignoring anyone who didn’t say what he wanted to hear, or permitting them to be marginalized.

    Creating a deficit by lowering taxes on the wealthy . . . .”

    “Dereliction on regulation of industry, such as refusing to impose CAFE standards on SUV’s.

    Presiding over a Justice Dept. that defines torture as conduct leading to death or failure of an organ system. (Maybe someone should have broken every finger on his left hand and then ask if that was torture).”

    Your defense of Bush addresses collateral issues such as Biden’s single instance of non-attribution, defense of Swiftboater’s despite eyewitness accounts by Kerry’s fellow sailors supporting him, and the issue of the threat of global warming, as to which the Bush administration appears to have reversed itself.

    As to pork barrel spending, of course Democrats are part of the problem, but Bush and his party, who controlled Congress, were complicit despite lowering taxes on the wealthy thereby compounding their error.

    As to soundbites, the issue is not news coverage: I suggest you listen to Bush response to questions in press conferences (which are not edited) and Biden’s responses on Sunday chat shows.

  14. Brooklyn

    Alasdair:

    I forgot:

    “As an individual, you are entitled to respond within Life as emotionally as you wish … I choose to condier things rationally …”

    Do you consider Ad hominen argument to be “consider[ing] things rationally …”?

    I did not characterize you or your state of mind at all, so this comment does not fall withing the forensic “right of reply.”

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