- Following on from a French counter piracy operation last week the Americans have killed three pirates and freed their hostage. The next few months should provide a test of whether deterrence works, because up until now the piracy has been pretty much cost free. The pirates who downloaded Hugh Jackman's latest film have yet to be punished, but given President Obama's support within the Hollywood community this is just a matter of time.
- There have been a fair number of classy responses to the 'Smeargate' story from various Labour supporters, so good on Tom Harris MP, David T and Neil D of Harry's Place and no doubt a fair few others.It's easy to get stuck in when it is the other side crossing the boundaries of good taste but it takes guts to do so when it is one's own side.
- Last year when Hillary Clinton supporters were spreading rumours of a supposed tape of Michelle Obama denouncing 'Whitey' I dismissed it as a hoax and predicted "the end result of one Democrat trying to smear another will be that the credulous will use the smear as an example of Republican dirty tricks." Well I told you so.
- Is it me or has the NUT's conference been a bit of a damp squib this year? With only a scarf to really express political radicalism.
- The voluntary option has failed, again.
The Railway Mania Bar at the Royal Station Hotel, York
45 minutes ago