Just a quick note commenting on the furore that has arisen in the UK over a juvenile prank played by some minor celebrity broadcasters. Russel Brand and Jonathon Ross, a 'comedian' and a talk show host respectively, have got themselves into very hot water by phoning up the answer phone of a celebrated British Actor (the guy that played Manuel in Faulty Towers) and leaving a stupid message on his answerphone.
Minor news, you may think, but not really. Bearing in mind something a French friend once said to me about' a country has the newspapers it deserves' , this insignificant, pathetic drama has actually been the most important news story over the last few days. It has claimed front page status, not only in the tabloids, but on the broadsheets, and has been the leading story on the major newscasts each evening.
I have lived in Canada, and therefore do know that the Canadian press is not perfect. Similarly, in Madrid, Barcelona and Paris, scurrilous rags exist. The difference is that they are seen as, and treated as the comics that they are, not as publications that set the agenda. The reports in other countries broadsheets may not always be earth shattering, but the level of intellect, information and debate that the British people have been trained into accepting is almost American in it's inanity.
As a protest, I have declared Large Mansions and NIckson Villas to be independent, sovereign outpost of my favourite countries, but because I do not believe in nationalism, this new entity will henceforth be known as the Federal Trans-Continental Canadian-Scouse Republic of Ireland and Mongolia.