John Cleese

Rob Hosking on Key Derangement Syndrome

Rob Hosking?writes at NBR:

Is there a Key Derangement Syndrome?

Yes there is.

In some quarters, there has been one for a while. For committed left-wing partisans, particularly those with a high level of tertiary education in the arts, the Prime Minister has tended to be like ? well, I was going to say a red rag to a bull but perhaps a blue rag to an organically grown and fed goat would be a more apt comparison.

Most of us will have heard, or read, the rants on this: the foaming at the mouth about Mr Key?s diction, his history working in the financial markets, his ?cold dead eyes?, etc.

It is a bit like, a decade or so back, the more unbalanced and nasty stuff aimed at Helen Clark about her childlessness, her suspiciously deep voice, etc.

In the case of Mr Key, it has always seemed slightly odd that he has produced this reaction if you look at his policies.

A lot of it has been a form of snobbery: a relic of a certain generation?s late adolescent identity wars of arts versus commerce and engineering graduate.

But most of those people were never going to back Mr Key anyway.

He leads, for the most part, a reasonably centrist, cautious, and often verging on the bland, National government.

Read more »

Photo Of The Day

Monty Python's Flying Circus, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones & Michael Palin vamp it up for the camera.

Members of Monty Python?s Flying Circus vamp for the camera in this April 1976 photo. From left to right: John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones.

Russell Brand – “most people do not give a f*ck about politics”

Russell Brand’s politics are not my own, but I like the way he wears his politics on his sleeve…I also like the way he hoodwinks people into thinking he is stupid, by the way he speaks and the way he looks and the way he acts…but he is smart…very smart.

He recently guest edited the latest?issue of the New Stateman.?In that issue, he outlines his political philosophy in a entirely TL;DR rant that is also as riveting and funny as it is clever.

Perhaps this is why there is currently no genuinely popular left-wing movement to counter Ukip, the EDL and the Tea Party; for an ideology that is defined by inclusiveness, socialism has become in practice quite exclusive. Plus a bit too serious, too much up its own fundament and not enough fun. The same could be said of the growing New Age spiritual movement, which could be a natural accompaniment to social progression. I’m a bit of a tree-hugging, Hindu-tattooed, veggie meditator myself but first and foremost I want to have a fucking laugh. When Ali G, who had joined protesters attempting to prevent a forest being felled to make way for a road, shouted across the barricade, “You may take our trees, but you’ll never take our freedom,” I identified more with Baron Cohen’s amoral trickster than the stern activist who aggressively admonished him: “This is serious, you cunt.”

A bit too fucking serious, actually. As John Cleese said, there is a tendency to confuse seriousness with solemnity. Serious causes can and must be approached with good humour, otherwise they’re boring and can’t compete with the Premier League and Grand Theft Auto. Social movements needn’t lack razzmatazz.? Read more »

Monday nightCap

Polishing a Turd

I know the Mythbusters proved that you can polish a turd, but there is no way you can polish a turd the size of Palmerston North.

Ok Palmy, let’s just get it over with.

Let’s put behind us the shame of John Cleese and his “thoroughly bloody miserable time”, and the pride at Jeremy Clarkson’s assertion that if God had got it right then “Jesus would have been from Palmerston North”.

Let’s forget about Lord Palmerston, the man who gave you that great name and let’s move on. To Manawatu City.

Yes, you heard correctly, the city at the heart of the Manawatu wants to name itself after the province. Well, at least the deputy mayor does. Again.? Read more »

Tell him he’s dreamin’

This guy is seriously deluded. Personally I think they should ring fence Palmerston North with razor wire and use it as a detention camp for gingas…or medical experiments.


In a four-part series of discovering New Zealand’s hidden gems, Colin Hogg finds that the Dullsville reputation of Palmerston North is busted by a museum with wow factor and a cool city centre.

It has been suggested that a person could go barmy in Palmy. After visiting the settlement formally known as Palmerston North, the English humorist John Cleese went so far as to say it was just the place to go if you wanted to kill yourself.

Hard talk, but part of a pattern when it comes to the famously misunderstood lower North Island city of more than 80,000. Palmerston North has often had a rough press along with even rougher word of mouth. And, of course, it’s all most unfair.

The Best Of Basil

I loved Fawlty Towers…here is a best of Basil.