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Europe

UK bloggers lash out at MPs' expense claims

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Latest update : 2009-05-21

The scandal that has rocked the UK's political establishment over expense claims by British lawmakers has proved a big hit among Web users. Also in this edition: finding the world's best swine flu song.

BRITISH EXPENSE SCANDAL  
 

Every second a UK MP escapes poverty thanks to the Kingdom’s tax payers! The ironic message on this video is typical of the many online reactions by UK citizens in the wake of the expense form scandal, which has been shaking the UK Parliament for the last 10 days.

 

And as shown by these images, broadcast online, Michael Martin, the speaker of the House of Commons has had to resign and apologise to the British people.

 

This scandal is fuelling the imagination of net users, who are denouncing the attitude of their own MPs. Some have chosen to express themselves in music, as in these videos. 

 

And Web comics suggest the creation of a new monopoly game - ‘UK Parliament version’. This would allow players to behave like MPs and buy hotels using public funds, for example.

 

Others prefer hard-hitting action. This site is diffusing a video of a man entering the garden of Alan Duncan, an MP accused of maintaining his lawn with public money. He hangs pound notes and other objects from tree branches.

 

Finally, Net users have shared feelings about the punishments that should be applied to these MPs. This man asserts that new elections should be held, as MPs have lost all credibility in his eyes. But some, like this Englishman, feel that if the MPs reimburse what they used, that will be sufficient.

 
 
INFLUENZA A(H1N1) 
 

An online competition is taking place on sharing websites. The aim is to create the best song about the H1N1 virus. The latest ‘chef d’oeuvre’ is a slam, filmed in the streets of the US. The lyrics are: catch it, throw it, kill it.

 

The spread of the virus across the world continues to inspire Net users, as 10,000 cases of influenza A have been confirmed in 40 countries, according to the WHO. 

 

And competition is fierce. Everyone has his own song. Here, US net users have composed a hard rock anthem, dedicated to the epidemic.

 

Others prefer to create more soothing compositions, often accompanied only by a guitar.

 

Many Net users have decided to target children. This video explains to them how to protect themselves and avoid spreading the virus.

 

Advice of all types is multiplying online. These two nutritionists explain how opting for healthy food and stopping alcohol consumption can help you avoid contracting the virus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sh1Y7MjuEEc
 

Finally, many videos have been broadcast on the Web to bear testimony to the situation, particularly in Japan, the latest country to be affected. This Net user filmed his arrival in Tokyo. The plane was placed in quarantine for over an hour and passengers were forced to wear a mask, as a feverish child was suspected of having contracted the influenza A virus. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-Smfrr0_UE
 

The same paranoia is felt in Kobe, where this expatriate explains that not wearing a mask in the street is compared to an insult. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA5eSF6s89A
 
 
CLIMATE GREENWASH AWARDS
 

A group of Scandinavian associations is attacking large companies who claim to defend the environment when in reality, they take no concrete measures. Net users are asked to nominate the company they wish to see win this year’s ‘Climate greenwash award’. The nominees include: Arcelor-Mittal, BP and Swedish energy producer, Vattenfall. The result will be published online next Saturday.

 
 
NO HUNGER MOVIE
 

‘Action against hunger’ is launching an online petition to encourage Al Gore, a former US vice-president, to direct a new film about malnutrition. With this documentary that should be entitled ‘No Hunger’ the NGO hopes to raise public awareness about the scourge that today affects several million people across the world. Over 53,000 signatures have already been collected online.

 
 
VIDEO OF THE DAY
 

This is Marimaran, a 25-year-old Indian man who is about to become a star, thanks to this video in which we see him eating bricks. But that is not all: Mariman can also gulp down sand and gravel. An original diet that according to him, could soon see him enter the world record book.

 

Date created : 2009-05-21

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