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12 March 2007

Big Brother, Mayor Berry and atheism

How a New Statesman blogger will go head-to-head with Ken Livingstone, Simon Munnery muses about fiv

By Ben Davies

Fans of Sian Berry may have noticed that she momentarily disappeared from the blogosphere last week. What happened I hear you cry? Well she was sort of busy, appearing on the BBC’s Question Time and becoming the Green Party’s London mayoral candidate.

Yes that’s Green Berry going head-to-head with Red Ken! She talks about that and much, much more exclusively at newstatesman.com.

Meanwhile, our Faith Column this week has been turned over to an atheist. Each day we will be hearing from Sue Blackmore and what she does or doesn’t believe. In her first entry she wrote: “We live in a pointless universe. We are here for no reason at all. There isn’t a soul. There isn’t a spirit, and we’re not going to live forever.”

Not sure if you want to go on? Then I’d read our natural antidote to despair Simon Munnery if I were you. He writes: “Look at an English five pound note; there’s a picture of the queen and the phrase “I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of five pounds”. I think “What? This isn’t it?”. I like to imagine that if you went up to the queen, gave her a fiver, and asked her to make good on her promise, she’d look at the note, hand it back to you and wink, as if to say “Yes, It’s a con!.””

Meanwhile excitement turned to bitter disappointment in the New Statesman offices this week. Greg, our resident IT guru, filled out an online application form for Big Brother saying he didn’t want to go on the reality TV show. He then got invited along to an audition – I dunno! TV people! They just fire off irony…

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Anyway for a moment there we thought we’d have our very own reality star in the office and a furious bidding war opened up among those of us who wished to be his agent. I still don’t think 85% was too high a commission given the skills I could have brought to the job!

However he went along on Sunday and alas didn’t make it through the second round. On the one hand I’m gutted. It would have been great entertainment and I’ve no doubt he’d have won. On the other I’m delighted because it means I won’t have to watch the dreadful programme.

Finally my thanks to Simon Hooper for overseeing things while I was away in Cornwall although I should stress that I don’t drive a Bentley. The vehicles of choice for rap stars and members of the Royal family … They’re just a bit bling, if you know what I mean.

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