Blog Archives

Well, of Course it Could

November 4, 2012 5 Comments
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Sometimes people state the bleedin’ obvious as if it is some kind of revelation. Iain Duncan Smith has come close to suggesting that Britain could eventually thrive outside the European Union, declaring that such a strong country can stand tall on its own. And that Pope chappie, last time I checked he was a Catholic, wasn’t he? FFS! Britain traded with the world long before it entered the common market…

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Bigot of the Year

October 31, 2012 12 Comments
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Archie Bland knows which side of this little spat he stands. So do I and it ain’t his. You can see why Barclays and Coutts would want to be associated with Stonewall’s annual awards. Backing a gay charity’s efforts to promote diversity is a PR no-brainer for a group with such disastrously regressive associations as the banks. In the past, it was entirely possible to believe that they had a…

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More Law?

October 28, 2012 9 Comments
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Do we need tough new laws to regulate the British press? Unsurprisingly at the time of writing some 82% of Guardianista believe that we do. Unfortunately, that is a nice, pat knee-jerk reaction to what has happened from the hard of thinking. Much as I despise the fourth estate –  almost as much as I abhor politicians –  a free press is essential in a liberal society. The alternative; one…

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Wee Eck in Trouble?

October 25, 2012 5 Comments
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However, a lawyer from Kelso in the Borders, who saw the comment on television news programmes, expressed concern that Mr Salmond’s jibe appeared to be an attack on the English. Colin Shaughnessy wrote to Lothian and Borders Police to complain that it appeared to be “an attack on people readily identifiable to me as English, solely on grounds of race”. One might argue that such silliness demeans political discourse and one…

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Arrest Michael Fish

October 23, 2012 11 Comments
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Mark Robbins comments over at CiF on the convictions of the scientists who failed to anticipate the severity of the L’Aquila earthquake. I find it incredible that people are charged and convicted of manslaughter for what was a natural disaster. Okay, possibly they made a bad call due to incompetence. Possibly. More likely, though, it was a result of the same difficulty that befell weather forecasters in this country twenty…

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Our Jails Aren’t Full Enough

October 19, 2012 12 Comments
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A man who disrupted this year’s University Boat Race has been jailed for six months for causing a public nuisance. Trenton Oldfield, 36, of Myrdle Street, east London, swam into the path of crews on 7 April interrupting the 158th race between Oxford and Cambridge. Okay, so the man is a cretin. And he did endanger himself in the process of his protest and if he had killed himself, my…

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Should’ve Gone to Specsavers

October 17, 2012 22 Comments
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It isn’t Colin Farmer who needs a white stick it seems. A police force has apologised after an officer used a Taser on a blind man whose white stick was mistaken for a sword. Colin Farmer, 61, was stunned by police following reports of a man walking through Chorley with a samurai sword. This sort of story is usually Julia’s territory, but I just had to comment. Fuck me, what is…

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Denis MacShane Totalitarian

October 15, 2012 10 Comments
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If Theresa May means what she says, it will be one small step in the direction of liberty. The government plans to exercise its right to opt out of 130 EU measures on law and order, Home Secretary Theresa May is set to tell MPs later. She is expected to say control will return to the UK in two years under an opt-out agreed by the last government during Lisbon…

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You Were Never a Libertarian.

October 12, 2012 3 Comments
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And what have I thought about CCTV? Like all libertarians, I am alarmed by the proliferation of these cameras, believing their ubiquity to be another example of how the State intrudes into our personal lives. Then yesterday, I had my car broken into. My immediate thoughts ran somewhat contrary to my considered mindset. First, if I had a weapon, I would cheerfully have wielded it – possibly even with grossly…

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Illegal Clothing

October 11, 2012 22 Comments
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Fuck me, but things are getting bad. A man from Greater Manchester who wore a T-shirt daubed with offensive comments about the killing of two police officers has been jailed. Barry Thew was arrested wearing the top with the words “one less pig perfect justice” hours after the deaths of PCs Fiona Bone and Nicola Hughes. Thew, 39, had admitted a public order offence and was jailed for four months.…

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Free Speech is Dead

October 9, 2012 20 Comments
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A man who posted “despicable” comments on his Facebook page about missing youngster April Jones has been jailed for 12 weeks. I don’t suppose anyone will readily leap to the defence of Matthew Woods’ comments. Clearly he has a problem with taste –  but then, who hasn’t made a tasteless remark at some point in their lives? I can certainly recall making dark comments about the dismembered body of a suicide…

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He Was Right the First Time

October 7, 2012 3 Comments
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David Cameron was right about one thing; Twitter. “The trouble with Twitter, the instantness of it – too many tweets might make a twat.” On this, at least, we agreed. I have never liked the medium. A 140 character limit destroys any attempt at nuance and the site has become a vehicle for the mob to exercise its bullying. So, best left frankly. Cameron had second thoughts apparently and joined. David…

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Questions to Which…

October 3, 2012 7 Comments
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…the answer is “no”: Is Ed Miliband the new Benjamin Disraeli? Jeebus! Although as Tom Peck reminds us, Disraeli had an eye on the future: “a horde of selfish and obscure mediocrities incapable of anything but mischief.” Well, yes, indeed… Tags: politics, ed+miliband

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The Infantilising of Politics

September 24, 2012 20 Comments
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In the grown up world, two people may have an altercation. There will be harsh words exchanged. Later, when cooler heads prevail, one or both may well apologise for their intemperate behaviour and that is the end of it. Not in today’s politics. The Police Federation and Labour both want an inquiry, while some Lib Dems were unimpressed by the statement. Okay, so anyone who has read my witterings here…

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So What’s Changed?

September 24, 2012 4 Comments
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That 1920 Save the Children text didn’t just shock, it made moralistic demands: “every British citizen” was “called on to help”. And, for a few decades afterwards, charities continued incanting “duty” and “sacrifice”, and calling for us to “do our bit”. If charities still believed that moralising of this kind would fill their coffers, they’d continue to do it. So, what’s changed? Thus asks Ed Howker. The answer is relatively…

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