Tag Archives: stephen fry

Andrew George joins Stephen Fry in support of returning the Parthenon Marbles

Andrew George, Lib Dem MP for St Ives, joined forces with Stephen Fry earlier this week to debate the return of the Parthenon Marbles. The Marbles – which were stolen acquired from Athens by Lord Elgin in the early 19th century – comprise a large portion of the Parthenon Frieze, the metopes and some of the statues that formed the east and west pediments of the building and are currently displayed in the British Museum. Most of the remaining marbles are displayed in the New Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Here’s how …

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Armando Iannucci and Stephen Fry argue for AV

As I’ve said before, I’ve mixed feeling about celebs speaking out on their political views – they should certainly be free to do so, but unless they’ve got some particular expertise there’s no reason to give their views extra weight over anyone else.

One person who does know a lot about how politics works is Armando Iannucci, courtesy of the detailed research he has done for his famous satirical shows. He’s taken to the Evening Standard this week to put his case for a Yes vote on Thursday:

In the end, I knew I’d make my decision based on which side had the least headbangingly annoying argument, so I’ve come down on the side of voting Yes. This is mostly as a result of David Cameron’s beautifully foolish argument on Sunday that voting for electoral reform wasn’t British. It was so alarming to see him forget all British history from 1832 onwards, where small but steady electoral reform has been a very, very British thing to do (votes for women, anyone?) that I’m now quite alarmed he has any say over how our children are educated.

Also taking up the cause is Stephen Fry, who – like Dan Snow – has the merit of excellent communication skills. He too features in a film for the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign (though I think Dan Snow’s personality comes through better in his latest film that Stephen Fry’s does in this):

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Stephen Fry urges a vote for Lib Dem MP Evan Harris

Stephen Fry, once a staunch Labour supporter, has already dropped hints during this election campaign that he’s thinking of voting Lib Dem … After the rightwing press’s desperate smear tirade at the height of ‘Cleggmania’ he declared “Frankly I’m tempted to vote Lib Dem now. If we let the Telegraph and Mail win, well, freedom and Britain die.”

Well, Mr Fry didn’t quite make it onto the Lib Dems’ list of celebrity endorsements announced yesterday, but he has thrown his weight fully behind one Lib Dem, Oxford West and Abingdon’s Dr Evan Harris. Neil Fawcett’s Liberal Dose blog quotes …

Posted in General Election | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

LDVideo … ‘British papers are rubbish’ special edition

Welcome to this latest LDVideo instalment, featuring three video clips this week united by a common theme – the general uselessness of British newspapers and their inability to report facts.

First up, we have this classic clip from iconic 1980s’ political comedy, Yes, Prime Minister, in which Jim Hacker explains to the civil service who reads the British newspapers:


(Also available on YouTube here).

Secondly, here’s Stephen Fry’s QI - in Call My Bluff mode – exploding a few of the Euro myths peddled by the right-wing media:

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Daily View 2×2: 7 October 2009

Two big stories

Cuts are in the air this conference season, but none of the parties are calling for these ones.  The BBC reports that British Airways is cutting 1,700 jobs and introducing a two-year pay freeze for cabin crew.  Evidently asking employees to work for free, as the airline did a few months ago, didn’t do the trick.

Meanwhile, the Daily Express reports that little seems safe from the Conservatives attempts to out-cut Labour and the Lib Dems.  Ministers’ pay to be cut.  MPs’ jobs to go.  All but the lowest paid civil servants to have their pay frozen.  …

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Stephen Fry pokes fun at Euro-myths

Here’s the “Call my Euro-bluff” section from an episode of QI I stumbled across:

Posted in Europe / International | 7 Comments

YouTube ‘cos we want to: comedy special

Welcome to the weekend edition of our new LDV feature rounding up some of the best/worst/most curious political videos doing the rounds. Or, as with this week, a trio of three politically-related comedy clips.

First up, let’s start with a classic: Peter Cook’s famous satiric ‘biased judge’ interpretation of the Jeremy Thorpe trial as performed at Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Ball. You don’t have to know the full background to the trial to enjoy the performance. (Though it does help, and if you want to know more, read this book).

Next up, it’s Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie enjoying the ‘Young Tory of the Year’ show – some things never change:

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Twitter, #ldconf and Heidegger

At our autumn conference last year, this blog introduced a reluctant world to the concept of hashtags. We coined a cumbersome phrase, “hashtag taxonomy” which has dogged us around the political and technical worlds ever since.

By the end of the conference week, I was regretting the phrase utterly. We’d made a simple technology sound complicated, and in doing so had hidden its value from many people who could benefit.

That bad taste in the mouth was extant up until the start of our Spring conference – and brought home to me once more in the words of our founding editor:

A little jealous of #labour20 – if LibDems attempted similar one-day conf the whole day would be spent giggling about “hashtag taxonomies”

From my dimly remembered German degree, Heideggerian terminology has two terms for tools: Zuhanden and Vorhanden. Vorhanden is when something is strange and new. You can see it, but you’re not sure how it works or what it does. It’s that strange feeling when you are learning to drive of a number of controls in front of you, and no sense of how to use them. But once you have been driving for a while, the car becomes Zuhanden: a tool so familiar that you use it without a second thought. It fits your hand comfortably and has become a part of you, not a separate, strange tool.

And that’s exactly what happened with hashtags and twitter at Spring conference.

Helen Duffett announced before Spring conference began that there would be one hashtag for all future Lib Dem conferences:

#ldconf is the hashtag we’ve adopted for this, and all Liberal Democrat Federal conferences. All tweets with this tag can be viewed together at sites like Twitter Search. It’s handy to bookmark the address and refer back to it to see the story developing, through the contributions of many people.

That last sentence of advice proved truer than I guessed. For when conference got underway, we were staggered at the extent to which people were availing themselves of the service. A brief calculation while I write this suggests that there very nearly 1,000 individual messages.

There has been a big increase in the use of Twitter in recent months, fuelled mostly by newspaper reports of celebrities such as Stephen Fry using the service to keep in touch with their fans. One of the clearest indications of just how many people are joining in is related to Fry: at the start of 2009, he launched a competition to celebrate 50,000 followers. Before the competition concluded just days later, he had over 100,000. Although not on that scale, this week both I and @libdemvoice breached the 200 followers mark.

As a result, there’s a wider community of people to talk to each other on twitter, and this weekend, using the hashtag, that’s precisely what they did. The previously strange technology is now so zuhanden that dozens of people used the hashtag during the conference, generating hundreds and hundreds of short messages. The hashtag even “trended” – that is to say it became so popular that it was amongst the most widely used tags in the world.

Posted in Conference and Online politics | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 17th Sep - 6:28pm
    An informative article. To do my bit for the No campaign in the final hours I will say that I worry a Yes vote will...
  • User AvatarMartin 17th Sep - 6:27pm
    Eddie: it would not even be temporary for the reasons I gave. The standing principle would probably be the treaty obligations that any successor state...
  • User AvatarBenj 17th Sep - 6:25pm
    Here one for you Sara. A quote from you on your LV site "The price of houses is directly linked to lack of supply." If...
  • User AvatarMartin 17th Sep - 6:13pm
    ... elections (sorry my computer blinked!). I simply wish the Party had been less one sided in this debate. If Scotland did vote YES we...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 17th Sep - 6:08pm
    Hi Martin, I meant that the EU withdrawal would only be temporary, but still immediate. I think the whole thing is constitutional naval gazing. It...
  • User AvatarMartin 17th Sep - 6:05pm
    From an outside perspective Denis Mollison's article rings true to me. I am very apprehensive of the Scottish Liberal Democrat's strong identification with the NO...