Thursday, April 29, 2010
I suspect that the Labour & Conservative vote is being accurately reflected in the polls however given the relative uncertainty of Lib Dem supporters to vote I believe that their support will be lower than anticipated.
So I am predicting a wafer thin Tory majority rather than a hung parliament and Lib Dem gains to be under 30 seats, with Labour getting around the same as the Lib Dems in the popular vote but still having around 200 seats.
Conservatives*: 35%, 325 seats
Labour: 28%, 195 seats.
Liberal Democrats: 28%, 90 seats
* Includes Ulster Unionists.
I suppose Brown can be given some credit for apologising profusely rather than doing what Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell would have done which would be to smear the woman via anonymous leaks to the press.
- My problems with my computer have flaired up again, possibly because the shop I took it to previously fobbed me off. Therefore blogging may be light again until Monday.
- It's ironic that one of Disney's most iconic characters, Donald Duck, is famous for being naked from the waist down and yet I have received a lifetime ban from all Disney stores.
- Wetherspoons pub chain offer a bacon roll and a coffee at breakfast for £1.50, isn't that great value?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
The weird thing is I actually feel resentful of the fact that they've changed it even though as I say I haven't set foot in there for almost two decades, because it means that the house that is in my memories doesn't exist anymore in a sense.
It is very inconsiderate of them not to preserve the house as a monument to my childhood.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I am surprised that former employees of aid agencies are willing to use the good names of their former employers for political purposes during an election campaign ('Cameron aid policy about populism, not poverty, say former charity bosses', News). Every major aid agency prizes its impartiality. We don't shy away from criticising any party policy when we think it is wrong and welcoming it when we think it is right.
Organisations such as mine are funded by the public. This money is not given to us for political purposes. When former employees of respected aid agencies use the reputations of their previous employers for political campaigning it has negative implications for all non-governmental organisations working to address poverty in a way that is impartial.
CEO War Child
Indeed. Whilst there may be an argument for public funding for charities and NGOs, not one that I'd agree with, there is no argument for funding partisan political campaigns.
So good luck to both of them and to anybody else who I know that is standing but have overlooked.
In a couple of months it is going to be revealed that the Labour leadership has been tearing itself apart in this election.
Admittedly getting Muslims angry before they fly can have certain consequences which we wish to avoid.
An atheist who left leaflets mocking Jesus Christ, Islam and the Pope in an airport's prayer room has been given an Asbo.
Harry Taylor, 59, from Higher Broughton, Salford, left the anti-religious posters in prayer rooms at Liverpool John Lennon Airport in November and December 2008.
It's somewhat ironic for an airport named after John Lennon to seek to ban someone for expressing views that might be offensive to religious people. Sure, if they asked him not to leave the leaflets in the room and he kept doing it then he is partly in the wrong, but given the enthusiasm of religion for proselytising their beliefs you'd think they would appreciate it.
I suppose as it is an election right now I should look up which party is committed to getting rid of "religiously aggravated" offences, all I know is that Labour supports the idea.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
What is incredible is that he is such a complete moron who can't even troll properly. He posts a number of comments praising himself and trashing his rivals which might be enough to raise suspicions that he might be him. So how did he cover his trail? He used the nom de plume "Historian" as well as "Orlando Birkbeck". Orlando is a historian at Birkbeck just in case you hadn't guessed.
How can anyone that stupid be a professor?
Friday, April 23, 2010
- For all the inevitable talk about 'reclaiming' St George's day and the flag from fascists, it has never been a major fascist symbol. When someone claims otherwise they are articulating an unconcious prejudice that any patriotic display is racist.
- Celebrating St George's day is very un-English. A defining feature of Englishness is not going in for national days, national costumes and all that.
- Shakespeare was born and died on St George's day, which makes his prolific output all the more impressive if he only lived for one day.
By definition this immediately creates a vacancy which if you strive hard enough you can fill. There are many advantages to this line of work:
- The swimming is good exercise.
- The work is challenging and varied.
- It is a job for life.
- The pension plan is rubbish.
- When people hear that you are a human torpedo, you are likely to be chased out your home by an angry mob chanting "No 'Pedos"
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Describing his remarks about Britain's place in Europe and attitude to World War 2 as a "Nazi slur" is grossly unfair to him. If what he said is a "Nazi slur" then almost any comment that tangentially references the War can be a "Nazi slur". I also don't like the reference to his foreign parentage and marriage which seems gratuitous. Churchill had a foreign mother of course and it didn't seem to affect his love of country.
However Nick Clegg's articles on Britain's role in the world are worth airing as they reveal how he views the world. The first thing to make note of is how unimaginative he is with cliches about the "loss of empire" popping up. He churns out the default positions of Guardianistas in the Guardian yet does so in a patronising tone that suggests that he is bravely challenging the orthodoxy. He does not challenge his opponents positions because he doesn't seem to see any need to actually know what they believe because they are so self evidently stupid. Therefore he simply creates a straw man and knocks it down.
This attitude also infuses the Lib Dems statements about other issues, for example on crime they come out with the canard that prisons are "colleges of crime" and try to pass this off as original thinking that contrasts to their opponents more emotive and irrational positions.
In fact it is almost 180 degrees opposite from the truth, the idea that prison doesn't prevent crime was for many decades the policy of both Conservative and Labour governments but when Michael Howard finally made prison a more likely outcome for criminals, crime fell for the first time in decades. There are counter arguments that can be made against this but Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne can't be bothered to understand the position of their opponents let alone refute them, so instead dismiss it as an emotional spasm that is self evidently stupid.
Dogmatic thinking is never appealing especially when it is presented as being the result of open minded and non ideological policy making.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Nina Burridge of the University of Technology in Sydney - said Anzac Day glorified white males.
"It's something about male mateship in many ways to me - it doesn't celebrate the wide diversity in Australia," she said.
"The very fact we focus on Gallipoli means we symbolically exclude others, even if we don't intend to."
Right. The implications of that idea is probably not what Burridge would intend, but her argument that Australia's history can't be remembered because it "excludes" non whites etc, implies that multiculturalism and large scale immigration necessitate forgetting a country's history and customs.
* No, Australian academics is not an oxymoron.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Is there any other profession where the semi literate nature of the hate mail is so inevitable? How can they hope to teach children anything?
One educator, a librarian with a Master's degree, described the cuts as "rediculous."
....."Remember Pol Pot, dictator of Cambodia?" warned another. "He reigned in terror, his target was teachers and intellectuals. They were either killed or put into forced labor
The debate appears to be taking a slightly more civil course lately, especially after the founder of the anti-Christie page was shut out from posting on the site for about a week because of all the hateful comments.
"I have deleted and will continue to delete commets comparing Governor Christie to genocidal maniacs," read a recent post, complete with a typo. "He is not a genocidal maniac. He is a crappy governor."
Nick Clegg deserves the praise heaped on him. He has style and substance and though immersed in the bog of politics still smells of integrity. Last year he invited me to write a pamphlet on the need to develop a progressive national British identity.That was written by Yasmin Alibhai Brown. Someone who decides that a well established extremist like Yaz is the go to woman for shaping our national identity is not some moderate. Yasmin Alibhai Brown is someone with a visceral hatred of the white working class, a racial monomaniac and who applies an absurd double standard that seems to depend on the colour of someone's skin.
Turning to Yaz to draft a report on such a subject, especially after she was involved in a similar effort a decade ago, demonstrates that on cultural matters Nick Clegg is an extremist and any pressure they bring to bear as a coalition partner in government will be to maistream such views.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Jokes about abducted children and suicidal TV presenters don't get on 4 it seems.
I'm not sure they should describe it as live when they edit the more tasteless bits out.
There are upsides to volcanic eruptions, but the economic devastation and food shortages that result are something that we have to plan for.
If a Super Volcano erupts then it is unlikely civilisation will survive in any recognisable form bit they only happen once every few hundred thousand years.
Let's consider the evidence:
- I can't actually see any volcanic ash in the sky, despite the claims in the news that this has caused planes to be grounded.
- I have never met an Icelander.
- Their naming system, a given first name and a surname that is your father's first name with "son" or "dottir" suffixed on the end, means that anyone can create their own Icelandic name is an instant. Quite convenient if they are faking it.
- Their language is quite obviously a children's game, so bank is "banki".
- They are supposedly a modern country yet believe in elves.
- The North Atlantic location is quite convenient if it is bogus, because no one goes there by accident.
- Beer supposedly costs £7 a pint, pah!
- Icelanders are supposed to be nordic, but the most famous Icelander, Bjork, looks distinctly East Asian.
- Googling "Iceland doesn't exist" reveals that others have realised this fact independently. What are the odds that we are all wrong?
- Their military history consists of the Cod Wars, who goes to war over fish yet doesn't kill anyone? Performance artists engaged in a hoax, that is who.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
A firefighter charged with the manslaughter of a farmer who was trampled to death by cows has had his case adjourned until 2 July.
Julian Lawford, 49, from Glastonbury, Somerset, appeared at Exeter Crown Court in connection with the death of 75-year-old Harold Lee. He is on bail.
It is alleged the siren from his fire engine may have frightened the cows.
Maybe there is more to it than meets the eye, they cannot seriously want to send him to prison for using his siren?
Friday, April 16, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
However this isn't really the case, during the first Gulf War Saddam Hussein indisputably had chemical and biological weapons. However he didn't use them despite having done so against Iran and the Kurds. Whilst it cannot be proven definitively it seems probably that the thinly veiled threat of a nuclear counterstrike was decisive in deterring him from trying this.
That threat would not have been credible had a promise not to launch a first strike been in place.
- An end to the worship of the NHS to the point where reforms can't be discussed rationally.
- The cult of high house prices- since when in hyper inflation a good thing.
- Strong local government.
- A change in the culture of education ( I slightly disagree with his proposed solution but his assessment of the problem is correct.)
Update: I've added the missing link now.
If you are reading political blogs you are probably an exception, but most people cannot name more than half a dozen MPs. If you can name several Lib Dem front benchers then you are probably in the most politically informed 5% of the population. If you know what a front bencher is then you are in the top 50%.
The Times reports that most voters have completely misattributed which policy each party has on VAT despite it being the main focus of discussion for the first week of the campaign, this echoes what I found from personal experience in relation to another area of policy.
Basically almost nothing that is said over the next few weeks will have any impact with the voters and what does have an effect will probably not be in the way that might be predicted.
I feel confident in predicting that unless one of the candidates appears on stage in a nappy flinging his own faeces there will be no noticeable difference in the first batch of post-election polls that in the last batch of pre-election polls.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Addicts are being offered up to £200 cash to be sterilised so they do not give birth to drug dependent children.The people funding this, Project Prevention, are doing so out of concern for the babies born to drug addicts but there is another aspect to the project.
There is probably a genetic basis to addiction so preventing it being passed on would be an effective means of reducing the problem in future generations but acknowledging the hereditary basis of negative traits is not considered acceptable, even though more and more human traits are found to be influenced much more by genes than the environment. So no one could propose it on that basis.
I'm not sure why pro-life groups like the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children oppose this though, it isn't as though they are aborting foetuses merely preventing conception. I don't see why it is any different from using contraception from their point of view. Surely even the broadest definition as to when a foetus becomes a child doesn't extend back before conception.
Cameron invokes JFK as he puts Broken Britain at heart of manifestoThe "Ask what you can do for your country" is a wonderful rhetorical flourish but the implication behind it does verge on the sinister- the idea that we are here to serve the state rather than vice versa.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Feminism is the form of women's organisation that is prioritised both in the media and academia, but many black women have turned to womanism in an attempt to counter the ways in which the combined oppressions of race and gender affect our lives.Of course. There are several other sentences in the same article that I could have chosen instead.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
A 'Cadbury's Law' to prevent foreign takeovers of key British firms will be in Gordon Brown's manifesto on Monday.Currently, a simple majority of shareholders can accept a takeover. Labour wants that threshold raised to two-thirds in firms where there is a national interest in keeping a company British.
A Financial Times survey of Tory candidates this week pointed to the scale of climate change denial in the party. Most resist a cap on bankers' bonuses and want less financial regulation: many come from the financial sector, others from PR and marketing, and they want the 50p top tax scrapped. Conservativehome.com finds them rabidly Eurosceptic. All that is radical, a fundamentalist return to Conservative roots. No change there, then.
Doesn't that reassure you doubters?
Thursday, April 08, 2010
"Don't you know who I am", I asked.
Apparently he doesn't, some people are surprisingly out of touch.
Tuesday, April 06, 2010
BECAUSE IT'S THEIR FUCKING HOUSE
Whilst I can understand that some people view the matter differently there surely cannot be anyone who doesn't understand the point that Grayling was making there is a fundamental difference between how a purely commercial establishment operates and how a private house operates, Even if they decide that the discrimination laws should be applicable to both equally no one can be so dense as to not understand that it's a dilemma.
BECAUSE IT'S THEIR FUCKING HOUSE
Incredibly the BBC said it would raise questions over the Tories commitment to 'tolerance'. Does tolerance have some new meaning that I've missed? Tt seems obvious to me that whatever the merits of not allowing establishments to select their clientele 'tolerance' is not an argument that bolsters the case. I wouldn't object to gay people sharing a bed in my home, although I do have a strict no fisting rule, despite what the computer shop may happen to find on my computer. Enforcing the state's standards of morality is intolerant, whether it is a necessary level of intolerance is a matter for debate. Personally I don't believe that it is, in fact I think B&B owners would be perfectly entitled to deny someone entry for wearing mixed fibres if it conflicted with their beliefs.
BECAUSE IT'S THEIR FUCKING HOUSE
If gay couple want to open B & B's and exclude bible reading on their premises that is also ok.
BECAUSE IT'S THEIR FUCKING HOUSE
I don't recall the BBC lambasting the Conservatives for intolerance when shadow minister Alan Duncan threatened to murder US beauty queen Carrie Prejean for respectfully expressing the view that marriage is between a man and woman when asked. Ironically her response was almost identical to Barack Obama's answer to the same question, so if Obama comes to visit Cameron in Number 10, we could well see the first presidential assassination since 1963, if Alan Duncan is in the government. So threatening to murder someone isn't intolerant but saying that people should be allowed to choose who enters their home is.
I've lost a lot of sympathy for gay rights activists over the last 12 months to be honest, they often compare their fight to the civil rights struggle, but they've already won equality in the Western world and are now trying to hype up non issues into major grievances. If a comparison to the civil rights movement is to be made then the activists are more Al Sharpton than Martin Luther King.
The gay rights movement obviously has serious work to do in the 3rd world such as Uganda, where the government wants to introduce the death penalty for homosexuality, but in the West the "civil rights" struggle seems to consist of demanding entry into people's homes, launching hate campaigns against beauty pageant contestants and genarally demanding a right not to be offended in any way.
When Graham Norton can be officially rebuked for homophobia isn't a sign that things have gotten a little bit crazy.
The worst part though is that because my computer more or less stopped working completely, with no warning, I have not had an opportunity to delete anything of a 'sensitive' nature before taking my computer into the shop. Yes, 'sensitive' is a euphemism for 'pornographic'. It isn't that I am a crazed porn freak who has a Glitteresque pornucopia on my harddrive, but I challenge any male computer user who has broadband and access to google video to deny looking at some stuff from time to time. Not an excessive amount, no more than 15 minutes an
The annoying thing is that I was "in the zone" on Saturday and was in the mood to write a very long and funny post, something which only happens once a month and I can't just recapture it.
Friday, April 02, 2010
In any case I don't see how boosting Labour's apparent level of support this close to an election would benefit anyone except the Conservatives. If Labour are thought to be in with a real chance of clinging on then it will do wonders for the Conservative turn out.