Tag Archives: BBC

Bernie’s Brother is EVERYWHERE in England

Larry Sanders. Source: telegraph.co.uk

Larry Sanders. Source: telegraph.co.uk

London   If anyone thinks that they can escape the US-election battles on the 24-hour news circuit, don’t come to England!

Eating lunch with a seasoned political operator often in and out of Labor governments and the institutions that surround them, he asked about the Clinton-Sanders campaign, but even before we got our orders out, he told a funny story about winning a bet with his partner. He had told her that Bernie Sanders’ brother had been leading the news on all media ever since New Hampshire, and he had just about had enough of it. She looked at him with bemused disbelief, and, voila, he turned on the radio, and there was Bernie’s brother bringing a bit of the Bronx to the BBC!

I laughed as well, asking naively if Bernie’s brother lived in England, and nodding and laughing along as he told the story. Less than an hour later, I picked up a free copy of the Evening Standard on the tube in London, and darned if there wasn’t an interview with the Bernie brother smack dab in the middle of the paper.

In the USA we are used to brothers running towards the political flame like moths. We had Roger Clinton and his show during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and of course Jimmy Carter’s brother couldn’t stay out of the news either, and too often it looked like hands were stretched out wide and trouble was a coming. The Bush sons and then brothers populated another world. Certainly stories of Jeb trying to “represent” while the old man was President have been widely reported in various wheeler-dealer moves at the time.

But, a candidate’s brother? Usually, the handlers keep them under wraps for as long as possible. Don’t they?

Larry Sanders, yes, that’s the Bernie brother’s name, just like the old HBO comedy show some years back, either didn’t get the memo or hadn’t hear of this internet thing or the globalization of the news cycle which can take a quote and twist it across mountains and oceans. Or, the Bernie brother has a bit of Trump in him and just lets it sail.

I saw what my friend meant quickly. The interview was “we,”“we, “we,” on one position after another. For example, the newish and controversial leader of the Labor Party Jeremy Corbyn is also old, white, and progressive. Bernie brother assures us that, “There are comparisons with Corbyn and if Bernard wins we will have a special relationship with him.” We? He takes credit for Bernie’s political views. “I used to babysit him and talk about the political books I was reading, so it’s my fault.” Ol’ Larry takes slaps at Hillary for supporting the Iraq war and welfare cutbacks. He claims Bernie didn’t want to run, but did so by default when Senator Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t make the jump.

War, peace, the Clintons, youth, and Bernie’s personal life are all fair game for Brother Sanders in his 15-seconds of fame in Oxford where he was a social worker and former city councilor. He says he’ll vote in the US elections for the first time since 1968. And until then, for better or for worse he’ll give his opinions about his brother and his political positions in England anytime someone sticks a microphone anywhere near his face on this side of the Atlantic.


Commonwealth Games – Sheets & Toilets

Athlete Village at Commonwealth GamesNew Orleans In Delhi 250,000 of our slum dwellers have been displaced in order to allow the Delhi Municipal Corporation and India to preen before the dozens of countries coming to the Commonwealth Games being hosted in the country for the first time.  Tens of thousands of our bicycle rickshaw pullers and other informal workers are being pushed off the streets in order to allow the city and the country to pretend that the poor are nowhere rather than everywhere, making them not only invisible but also robbing their livelihoods file this farce is played out on the world stage.   This disaster led ACORN International to launch the Commonwealth Games Campaign (www.commonwealthgamescampaign.org) to try to win some support and assistance from not only India but to enlist the aid of other countries in making sure that the poor were not run over by the race to the games.  With the games hardly two weeks away the piper is now being paid, the chickens are coming to roost, though little of this is giving much comfort or aid to the displaced still.

Luckily I’m writing about all of this, because if I were talking about it, I would probably be incoherent since my tongue is fixed so firmly in my cheek.  Yesterday, England, Scotland, and New Zealand all stirred the pot with a roar of complaints as they inspected the athletes’ residences (whose construction affected much of the residential displacement!).  The whine to BBC (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/commonwealth_games/delhi_2010/9018515.stm) was unrelenting and included intimations by the New Zealanders that the Games

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