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I wonder how many decisions David Cameron sold to rich men this weekend? Probably more than you were able to make yourself.
March 26, 2012, 10:20am

UK
LOOKS LIKE DAVID CAMERON'S BEEN SELLING HIS DECISIONS
At intimate dinner dates

(via – sorry Sunday Times, I would have linked to your website, but I'm not rich enough to gain access to it)

A week after announcing that he was going to be taking money from the old to give to the rich, David Cameron's back and winning more friends, as his treasurer revealed to undercover journalists that the Tories have been selling dinner dates with the PM for oodles of cash. Peter Cruddas, the man who clung onto the Conservative party wallet before his resignation on Sunday, told hacks from the Sunday Times that, for the right price, donors could secure one of the secret nuzzling parties with Tory top brass, at which it might be possible for them to influence government policy. The Tories have launched their own inquiry into the matter, the police have been asked to see if any laws have been broken and the Labour party have called for a separate, independent inquiry into the fresh scandal. Cruddas himself has a record as being a generous Tory donor, and was filmed by the Sunday Times reporters saying that £250,000 would be enough to gain "premier league" access to Cameron, the chancellor, George Osborne and Downing Street's policy team. "Two hundred to 250 is premier league," he's filmed telling the journalists, who posed as reps from a non-existent wealth fund. "What you would get is, when we talk about your donations, the first thing we want to do is get you at the Cameron/Osborne dinners." They were assured that, once cosy in Cameron's private apartment, they could ask him "practically any question you want". Cameron himself was quick to distance himself from the claims, saying: "This is not the way we raise money in the Conservative party. It shouldn't have happened. It's quite right that Peter Cruddas has resigned. I will make sure there is a proper party inquiry to make sure this can't happen again." But shit sticks, and as Cameron continues to exude an air of supra-democratic political arrogance, effectively accused now of selling his decisions, it'll be interesting to see what happens now the weather's warming and the angry are lured once more onto Britain's streets. US
TRAYVON MARTIN'S KILLER COULD BE CHARGED WITH A HATE CRIME
George Zimmerman hasn't been charged with murder yet, but if he is, he's likely to be fucked

(via)
I don't know if you've read our earlier reports on the Trayvon Martin case that's currently gripping America, so if you haven't, here's a quick re-cap: "On the 26th of February, a 17-year-old black kid named Travyon Martin got shot dead by a guy named George Zimmerman in Florida. In his defence, Zimmerman cited the state's Stand Your Ground law, which basically gives people the right to use deadly force, rather than retreat, in a situation where they feel threatened enough to resort to self defence. On the evening, Zimmerman was patrolling the streets of Sanford, FL, after appointing himself a guardian of the area." So there you go. Since the shooting, there have been a tonne of protests, and now a former federal prosecutor named David S. Weinstein reckons that Zimmerman could be charged with a hate crime, which is presumably what the majority of sane Americans would like to see happen. The only problem is, they have to prove it first: "They are going to have to show he was specifically targeting this individual based on his race, creed, colour, et cetera," Weinstein told USA Today. "Not that he was chasing somebody down and got in a confrontation that may or may not have been based on that." I don't know how newsworthy this is, really, but it's a v. v. v. important case for US law. Who knows, maybe Zimmerman isn't a massive racist. That's what his family have been telling everyone. I'm just saying that his possible use of the phrase "fucking coons" in his 911 call may provide police with evidence contrary to that. UK
THEY WANT TO BUILD A BRASILIA FOR BRITAIN
Somewhere just to the right of Birmingham

(via)
The government wants to build up to 100,000 homes on green belt land in the Midlands, as part of a plan to deal with Britain's ongoing population boom. The idea was revealed by Andrew McNaughton, who is the chief engineer of the High Speed 2 rail route the government wants to build in order to let everyone else on the British mainland get to London quicker. The Telegraph, who ran the story on Saturday, say that the development would "effectively obliterate" the open countryside east of Birmingham. It's part of wider plans to build two million new homes by 2020, adding 4.4 million – or half the current population of London – to England's population. US
A GUY CLIMBED UP THE NEW YORK TIMES TOWER TO GET A NEWSPAPER
Seems kind of logical if you're crazy

(via)
A man described as "crazed" by NYPOST.com clambered five storeys up the New York Times building on Saturday because he wanted a copy of the paper. In his defence, the building's street exterior is pretty appealing and ladder-like. Three men scaled it in 2008, one making it to the 11th floor, another two up onto the roof. In this case, the 52-year-old wasn't injured but was carted off to hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

FAO: The NY Times employee filming the incident on your camera phone – big look. US
AMERICAN TV TURNS EIGHT-YEAR-OLDS INTO "TOPLESS SHOWGIRLS"
Jesus Christ

(via)
I don't know about you, but there's nothing I love more than to get a gang of eight-year-old kids together, tell them to take their clothes off and make them act like strippers. Oh no wait, I don't love doing that, because that would make me a paedophile. But if I did enjoy doing that, I wouldn't put it on TV, because I imagine it'd make everyone watching it feel like a paedophile, and I don't think that's the kind of positive viewing experience today's audiences are looking for. Perhaps I'm just being a grouchy old curmudgeon about this, and the "Topless Showgirls" episode of Dance Moms that aired on the Lifetime TV network a couple of weeks back is the future of reality entertainment. But there aren't many groups of people alive who are more prone to suffering moral blind spots than "showbiz moms", and even they seem uncomfortable with the premise of this episode, in which Pittsburgh dance instructor Abby Lee Miller attempts to teach the art of seduction to kids. "I like to push the envelope," Miller says in the programme, which, for obvious reasons, was only aired once before being erased from Lifetime's annals. "And this is taking it right to the limit." No shit, you dumb bitch.