Friday, January 26, 2007

Randomiser #26: 26 January 2007

Today's song: The Detroit Cobras, "Hittin' On Nothing"

From their 1998 album "Mink, Rat or Rabbit" (and, lyrically, this would be the title track). As I recall, I bought this album several years ago because it was cheap and because I was listening to a lot of the White Stripes at the time. And to be honest, I've barely listened to it since. They're a covers act who specialise in doing 50s songs in a garage-band style. Which is to say, they're not going for fifties authenticity, but nor is it a polished, modernised version. It's more timeless.

They're very good at it, but it's the sort of thing I appreciate rather than enjoy.

Also today:

- Clive Goodman, the News of the World's royal editor, has been jailed for four months after pleading guilty to intercepting phone calls. He must have thought he had a half-decent shot at getting a non-custodial sentence, given the week's other major news story. Unfortunately (for him), his judge clearly wasn't paying as much attention to the Home Secretary's memo as some were. Terrible shame.

Clearly, prison overcrowding issues aside, the court was always going to have to come down hard on this one. It's hard to imagine a much more serious case without getting into the realms of industrial-scale fraud. Not surprisingly, the editor of the newspaper has resigned after it emerged in court that they were paying £100K a year to private investigators to perform blatantly illegal hacking - for stories with absolutely no public interest dimension whatsoever.

But tabloid newspapers have been doing this kind of thing for years; it's an open secret. It sticks in the throat, frankly, that the authorities only bothered doing something about it once the NOTW was stupid enough to try it on with the royal family. (And the very fact that the NOTW thought they might get away with that sort of thing demonstrates the extent to which some national newspapers seem to consider themselves above the law.) The interesting question now is whether the data protection authorities finally start enforcing the law properly against the tabloid newspapers in the light of this fiasco, or whether we go back to business as usual after a discreet interval. Sadly, my money is on the latter.

- Sham 69 have split. Hands up everyone who knew they were still together.