Monday, February 19, 2007

Miscellany: 19 February

- Tomorrow's Guardian has a poll showing the Conservatives on a 40%-31% lead over Labour. More interestingly, it apparently shows that lead getting slightly wider if Gordon Brown becomes the next Prime Minister. Perhaps the party needs a more drastic change of direction.

On the other hand, the often-voiced idea that Gordon Brown should call an immediate election in order to get a democratic mandate is pretty silly. For one thing, the UK system is about voting for parties, not for individual leaders. For another, Labour essentially campaigned at the last election on the tacit basis that Blair would resign at some point and Brown would be the overwhelmingly likely successor. So this is exactly what people knew they were voting for.

- Richard & Judy apologise to the nation after their show reportedly gets 32,000 callers to a competition line at £1 a shot, even though the players had already been chosen earlier on. Whoops. This won't do the image of Channel 4, or the TV premium-rate quiz industry, any favours at all. But on the other hand, this is a particularly bizarre one, and probably is a genuine mistake. What's the point of choosing the players earlier on? Why not just do it at the last moment? There's no actual advantage to the broadcaster in cheating here.

Then again, perhaps it's just so endemic in the premium-rate quiz industry that they've started doing it even when there's no point.

- Well, No Way Out was not exactly one of the WWE's more successful shows. A largely dead crowd, and lead commentator Michael Cole losing his voice, to the point where JBL essentially did the second half of the show solo. Frankly, it turns out that Cole doesn't add a great deal. In another example of the WWE's rickety internal co-ordination, everyone on the show was also required to pretend that Chavo Guerrero's appearance in the Cruiserweight title match was a huge surprise, even though it had been announced on their own website earlier in the day.

Putting that belt on Chavo is a very odd move. It's almost as though they're planning to have him and Rey Mysterio feud over the belt, but it's almost unheard of for major characters to waste their time with the Cruiserweight title...