miss_s_b: (Default)
So the currently in vogue moral panic is internet bullying. First twitter, and now ask.fm have become the focus of the old media due to tragic events of varying description. What is it about the internet, ask the commentariat, that leads to such disgusting behaviour?

I've got news for the commentariat. It's not the tool, it's the users. A certain number of people have always been bullies. People have always written - and received - poison pen letters, some of them anonymous. People have always been pushed into suicide, scared and alone, because of the behaviour of their peer group. It's tragic, it's disgusting, and it shouldn't go unpunished. But it's not new. The only thing that's different about the internet is that now everyone who turned a blind eye to this sort of behaviour when it was happening before is now forced to admit that actually, it DOES happen, and it happens lots.

Worst of all, somebody has actually done some research (I know! Imagine! RESEARCH!) into problem behaviour online (in this case the community around a specific game, but I'd be amazed if it doesn't scale up) and discovered that most of the bad behaviour comes from people who, most of the time, are perfectly civil and friendly. It's almost as if, I don't know, we're all humans, and sometimes we get angry and blow up at each other? Like, big bad bogeymen don't exist, and actually it's a lot more complicated than that. Who'd have thought? This means that even (say) Suzanne Moore or Richard Dawkins aren't actually evil. I know, that's a big idea to take in. Take a minute.

Most of the people who bully others online don't do it because they are evil, they do it because they have very little power but they want to exercise what little they have at the expense of someone else because other people are always exercising power over THEM dammit, so they're going to do it too! Or they haven't considered how the person on the receiving end will feel, or they think it's funny, or they're bored, or a combination of the four. Exactly the same as all other bullying ever.

Now, the reason this concerns me, and the reason I am writing this post, is that the old media consensus that this is NEW and ONLY HAPPENS ON THE INTERNET and SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TM seems to be gaining some purchase among otherwise sane people. Few people seem to be thinking about why the old media are so keen for this narrative to take hold, and why they are particularly pushing it now.

Now this is just speculation, and might qualify me for a tinfoil hat, but who has the most to gain if the internet in the UK becomes regulated? Can it really be entirely a coincidence that this moral panic has come to the boil at the same time as David Cameron has reheated his plans for internet censorship? First he wanted to apply it to porn, but then all sorts of other websites got added to the list... And strangely the people with the most to gain from regulation of the supply of information are making a huge hue and cry about how the internet is bad and evil and Something Must Be Done TM. I smell something, and it's murine.

I don't condone bullying, and I don't condone mob "justice". But bullying and mob justice are not confined to the internet, and restricting online content for all of us is not in the interests of anyone but the existing media power blocs. If we want to stop bullying we have to create a society in which bullying is not a tool to gain social status. We have to make it less advantageous to bully and more advantageous to be nice. It's not going to be easy, and there are no quick fixes. The Quick Fix of internet regulation will not solve the problem, and the media who want us to believe that it will are not our friends. Let's not drink their kool aid, people. Please?
miss_s_b: (Who: SixAppeal)
[profile] sassyscot pointed me towards this travesty on the Torygraph website.

For the avoidance of doubt, the correct order in a chart like this should be:
  1. Colin Baker

  2. Circa 60 other actors, including Peter Cushing, Joanna Lumley, Arabella Weir, Derek Jacobi and Mark Gatiss

  3. David Tennant
Poor form at the Torygraph, given that their article didn't even mention the best actor to play the role. Still, what does one expect from a rag like that?

ETA: as Andrew quite correctly points out in the comments The Torygraph article is even more of a travesty than I thought because it calls itself "the top ten time Lords" and yet all of the entries are for the doctor. Whither Anthony Ainley, Lalla Ward, Timothy Dalton, Don Warrington, etc.etc.etc.?
miss_s_b: Kate Beckett aiming a gun (Feminist Heroes: Kate Beckett)
So Charles Saachi is divorcing Nigella Lawson because she hasn't come forward to defend him after he was photographed violently assaulting her in public1. How does he let her know he is divorcing her? By printing an article in the Fail on Sunday.

If Charles Saachi wants to stop people speculating that he is a domestic abuser, this is REALLY not the way to go about it. I haven't read the article in the Fail because I refuse to give them my clicks, but just the extracts in the Torygraph2 article linked above reek of the sort of entitled and manipulative mindset typical of the abuser.

I am disappointed that she was advised to make no public comment to explain that I abhor violence of any kind against women, and have never abused her physically in any way. - is clearly meant to imply that he has never abused her, but doesn't actually SAY that. It says he's sad that she's been advised not to say that he hasn't abused her. That could quite easily be read as he HAS abused her but he wants her to say that he hasn't so he can keep on doing it - either to her, or to other ladies - and keep his reputation. If he is not an abuser, as he maintains he isn't, he possibly ought to have worded this differently.

could equally have been Nigella grasping my neck to hold my attention – as indeed she has done in the past - now is NOT the time to start casting nasty innuendo about how Nigella was just as bad as you, Charles, it's really not. That's manipulative. That's trying to make yourself a figure of sympathy when you've been caught in public doing something very wrong. You know who else does stuff like that, Charles? Abusers.

our love was very deep, but in the last year we have become estranged and drifted apart - this is a big change from what you were saying a few days ago. And your story keeps changing, from "playful tiff" to "I was wiping her nose" to "oh all right I'll accept a caution". This looks like the behaviour of an abuser who is fishing to see what people will accept as excuses. If you're not an abuser, Charles, why are you doing what they do? Why are you using the same tactics? Don't you realise that by using and legitimising the tactics of abusers you are making those tactics just that tiny bit more acceptable for ACTUAL abusers to use?

Despite the circumstances of it coming about (in the MAIL ON SUNDAY, Charles? What were you THINKING?) I am actually reasonably glad this divorce is happening. Clearly the relationship is beyond salvage and the press vultures (fed by one party) are loving it, but a divorce will be over at some point, whereas a continuing "troubled marriage" would just be fodder for the vultures for the foreseeable future.

I just hope that Charles Saachi isn't lying, and that he really isn't an abuser. Because if he were an abuser, the classic response of a victim would be for Nigella to go back to him, to beg him not to divorce her, to apologise and say she can change and she didn't mean to show him up in public and she's sorry and it'll never happen again and she loves him and oh please, she can change... And I don't want to think of Nigella doing that, because I've done that, and it's not dignified and it doesn't help either the abuser or the victim.



1 I can say this without fear of being suedbecause he's accepted a police caution for it, and that necessarily includes an admission of guilt.
1 You might think it's strange that I'm happy to give my clicks to the Torygraph but not the Fail - well, it's quite simple. The Torygraph doesn't try to pretend it's anything other than what it is.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
I see variations of the words in the title of this post multiple times a day. Most often they are followed by a link to the offending article, and that really grinds my gears. I never click the link. Never. D'you know why?

Because EVERY pageview is a pageview they can sell to advertisers.
EVERY discussion that mentions them, whether positively or negatively, is buzz that they can sell to advertisers.

Why do you think the Daily Mail is the biggest "news" site in the world? It's not just because people approve of the crap they write. It's because people DISapprove of the crap they write, but still link to it saying "isn't this awful crap in the Daily Mail awful crap?". It's the same reason the BBC keep inviting known racist and bad historian David Starkey back onto Question Time: because every time he's on, twitter explodes with fury about whatever racist stupid inaccurate thing he said this time. It's buzz. It's eyeballs.

Now, I am perfectly happy for the ideas mentioned in Daily Mail articles to be demolished for the illiberal, homophobic, transphobic, racist utter bullshit they most often are. More than perfectly happy; I think it's extremely necessary. But to do that by linking to them, by sending them eyeballs, by creating buzz about them? That totally defeats the object. I want the Daily Mail and it's poisonous worldview to die. For that to happen we have to not only attack the ideas they promulgate, but also stop giving them the traffic they desperately want.

The Daily Mail doesn't care if you read it nodding with approval, or read it in a fulminating rage. They only care that you read it, and that you make them money by so doing, either directly or indirectly from advertisers (and I'm not even going to go into the total illogicality of the people who actually BUY the damn rag to tut over it and say how awful it is).

I realise that I am probably being a bit of a Canute here, but can those of us who stand against everything that horrible organ stands for PLEASE stop giving them what they want? That'd be lovely.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
I am utterly sick of people attempting to read in the entrails of the local election results what might happen in the general election in 2015. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of why such efforts are fruitless bullshit:
  1. People vote differently in local and general elections. Recognising that the local council has very little power any more, people take council elections far less seriously. This means that turnout is derisory and the result is thus distorted by the people who DO turnout being either seriously committed to one party or another, or wanting to "send a message" by spoiling their ballot or voting for a party they know cannot win.

  2. Local elections were not held in every parliamentary constituency. This means that any extrapolation to a national result is "projection" - i.e. guesswork

  3. Time will pass between now and a general election. Political change tends to be evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but sometimes there IS a revolutionary change, and none of us knows what will happen in the next two years. The old adage that a week is a long time in politics still holds true in many cases.

  4. Data which applies to our electoral system is incomplete, verging on non-existent. The only polling data we have which is reliable at constituency level is from previous general elections. No polling company holds/collects data at constituency level, and most of them hold/collect data at a national level. This is USELESS for predicting the results of a general election under the first past the post electoral system, where every single constituency has its own idiosyncracies. We will never get a British Nate Silver or change the woeful quality of political analysis in the media unless this changes.

  5. The pundits in the media are crap. Relying on the proclamations of media pundits is an exercise in futility when none of them even acknowledge that they are guessing from incomplete data.
I'm sure there are other reasons that could be added to this list, but you get the idea. Basically, if anyone tells you that they can predict what will happen in May 2015 after this week's local election results, your bullshit detector should be pinging off the top of the scale.
miss_s_b: (Mood:J'accuse)
I'm composing this on my phone so it's going to be quick and dirty, but I have the following things to say:

1, asking someone to consider what impact their words will have is not censoring them or banning anything
2; being told you have hurt someone is not fun; but it's better than hurting people
3, people with privilege are used to not considering other people's feelings and get upset when they are asked to consider other people. On one level this is understandable because considering other people is work. But it's nowhere near as much work as living with total lack of consideration all the time.
4, if you use a word that upsets people without knowing it will upset people that is qualitatively different from knowing it will upset people and using it anyway.
5, you are perfectly free to say whatever you like BUT THAT IS NOT THE END OF IT. Once you have said what you like other people are free to react how they like and judge you how they like in consequence of what you have said.
6; there is NO point 6
7, All words cause reactions. If you don't like the reaction your words cause it might behove you to consider your words more carefully in future, especially if you're getting paid for writing them; rather than railing at people you have upset for reacting in am entirely predictable way.

This post brought to you by today's twitter storm. Further reading:

http://www.sarahlizzy.com/blog/?p=150
miss_s_b: (mood: not listening)
Mike Smithson posted this image comparing press circulation figures of ten years ago with now earlier:



Now there are some caveats (we don't know if The Times includes digital subs, and the i is not featured at all) but overall that paints a pretty damning picture of circulation falling off a cliff. No wonder the press get so hysterical all the time. Anyway, I wondered:

Poll #13049 Newspapers
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 26


Do you buy a newspaper?

View Answers

Yes, I pay money for a paper-based newspaper
8 (30.8%)

I pick up a free paper-based newspaper
2 (7.7%)

I have a digital-only subscription
2 (7.7%)

No, I do not pay money to any written news providers, but I read their websites
13 (50.0%)

No, I do not consume written news at all
1 (3.8%)

How much longer are traditional newspapers going to be on sale?

View Answers

5 years
7 (29.2%)

10 years
6 (25.0%)

longer
11 (45.8%)

miss_s_b: (Britishness: cricket)
As usual when we get a few flakes in the UK the press and media have gone berserk. There have been some issues with transport, but other than that and the British propensity to moan about the weather whatever the weather actually is, I really can't see what all the journalistic fuss is about. So you save a bit of money by not going shopping and you might get a day off work because the buses/trains aren't running. Neither of these are tragedies. Remarkably few of the journalists who are moaning know or care about people who are freezing to death because of poverty, and the whinging is mainly pointless.

That said, there does seem to be a basic level of ignorance about how to cope with cold weather and snow in particular.

Obviously if you are indoors, you can turn the heating up or curl up under a duvet, but what if you have to go outside? What if, because of the problems with the roads, you have to WALK somewhere?

There follows a list of the things I find invaluable at times like this, with apologies to all those of you who know all this already:
  1. Layers. I am currently wearing a vest, a t-shirt, a long sleeved t-shirt and a jumper.

  2. Polar Buff. Miles better than a scarf, and remarkably thin, thin enough to be an extra layer under a hat for outdoors without being uncomfortable. It's also easy to arrange it so the only bits of your head that are exposed are your eyes and nose.

  3. British Army Long Johns, which you can pick up for as little as two pounds a pair if you can stomach second hand. They're bloody awesome, warm and snuggly and soft and non-allergenic.

  4. Sealskinz socks. They're not as good as they used to be, but thankfully I have a few pairs of the old ones which I have had for over ten years. They're still warm and still waterproof.

  5. Good boots. Anything with a decent cleated sole will help you grip in the slippery snow, and the higher up your leg they go the warmer you will be. I have a pair of these which are marvellous (if slightly girly) - I paid a damn sight less than they are on that website though.

  6. A Good Coat. Mine is a German army one with lots of pockets and a very warm fleecy liner, but there are lots of good coats available.

  7. Good glubs and a warm hat. Being an occasional motorcyclist, I have good gloves anyway - warm, waterproof and flexible. The hat I wore today (over my Buff) was given to me by my daughter. She got it free on Doctor Who Adventures magazine last year, and it's got a reflective Doctor Who logo on it - I wouldn't have been able to wear it sans Buff because the "wool" is scratchy, but it's OK on top of a Buff. It's important to keep your head and hands warm because that's where a lot of the warmth escapes from.
I hope this (slightly patronising) entry helps you poor benighted journos cope in the *checks window* three inches of snow we are currently experiencing in Yorkshire and the reported quarter of an inch you've got in some southern counties...
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
Lets play a game of spot the difference, gentle reader:

This photo is a picture taken by of Nick Clegg posing with an Incredible Hulk onesie given to him by Liberal Youth:

cleggonesie

This photo is a picture used by the Torygraph to illustrate a non-story about one of the people who spoke to Nick Clegg on his radio phone in being a Lib Dem activist:

Cleggcropped

Now, I am sure that the Torygraph just cropped the picture to make the composition better and to make it fit better into the column, and the fact that this has resulted in the black guy and the guy with long hair being cropped off is just a side effect and not a intended consequence, but it does fit into an unfortunate narrative of people who are not white/male being cropped out of photos or replaced in them - and not just by newspapers.

Examples:
http://gawker.com/5027666/sun-throws-prince-williams-black-friend-under-the-boat
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/10/jewish-paper-apologises-hillary-clinton
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8221896.stm
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/01/ikea-saudi-arabia-catalogue_n_1928635.html
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/ford-workers-angry-as-blacks-are-whited-out-1320079.html

What makes the unfortunate cropping worse is that the black guy in the photo of Nick Clegg with his onesie is the guy who asked him to pose with the onesie in the first place, m'friend'n'colleague Lance. They wouldn't even HAVE the picture of Clegg with his blasted onesie if it hadn't been for one of the people they cropped out. What a bunch of plonkers.
miss_s_b: (Fanigrling: Rumpole)
The Facts:
  • The press have behaved atrociously.

  • The behaviour is not all journalists, but is systemic across all the papers, although it's worse at the tabloids than the broadsheets.

  • The police have been reluctant to arrest journalists, even when they quite blatantly break the law.

  • Politicians have been reluctant to offend the press for fear of losing elections.

  • There are lots of laws which could have been applied to most of the situations people have a problem with - both in terms of the stuff that was printed and the corrupt relationships between politicians, police and media - nobody enforced them.

  • The press are losing influence and sales because of the rise of the internet and any system of press regulation which may or may not be put into place right now will be out of date within months.

  • This is making them panic and they think that if they can't keep on perving over the 14 year old daughters of celebrities and lying about people who can't afford to sue them they will lose more money faster - IMHO this is probably true. Far more people are interested in pap shots of 14 year old with budding tits than they are in the minutiae of political corruption scandals.

  • Nobody* thinks that political control of the media is desirable.

  • Nobody* wants the libel laws beefed up because they already encourage libel tourism and the promotion of The Golden Rule**

  • Equally, nobody* thinks that continuing on as before is acceptable and we're all agreed that Something Must Be Done - but all of the proposed solutions have downsides, either giving too much power to politicians or not curbing the ridiculous excesses of the press and nobody is happy with any of them.
You can see why I referred to this as a Gordian knot in the title, amirite? But unlike the previous post, I do actually have a proposed solution. A nice simple solution. A solution that doesn't involve any new statutes***, and doesn't involve letting the press off the hook.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? Possibly it is. I'm sure if there are holes to be picked, you lot will manage it... My proposed solution is this:

Add press complaints to the raft of things which legal aid is available for. At the core of this, it's an access to justice issue. The press will happily defame people who can't afford to sue, and given that probably we're in a triple dip recession, and that legal aid has been cut drastically and repeatedly of late, this is only going to get worse. However, although the entire legal aid budget is set by politicians, they have no say over what it gets spent on. If we're worried about FatCatLawyersGettingRichOffOurTaxes we can always fund charities like CAB to make initial assessments - CAB are VERY good at the legal stuff, when they aren't starved of funds - and it wouldn't involve any corrupt appointments.

If the police refuse to prosecute papers who break the law, let us bring private prosecutions.
If the PCC can't or won't adjudicate on something, or their adjudication is ignored by the papers, let us take them to court.

Let the courts impose fines.
Let the courts impose SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE REMEDIES.
Let the journos and newspaper owners who ignore the law of the land and the rulings of the courts be sent to prison (and frankly I won't lose any sleep if Frazer Nelson is first in the queue).

Of course, the reason nobody is going to go for this is that Leveson is a huge political football which all parties are enjoying kicking around, whilst opining that all they are bothered about is THUHVICTIMS or THUHFREEDUMOFTHEPRESS and I genuinely believe that police, politicans AND press would all be happiest papering over the cracks and carrying on as normal with their corrupt and cosy relationships.

The question is, are they going to get away with that? Again?****



* Nobody with any sense, that is.
** (S)he who has the gold makes the rules
*** possibly a couple of statutory instruments, maybe...
**** sadly I think the answer to that is probably "yes", because of the golden rule detailed above.
miss_s_b: Captain Kathryn Janeway (Sci-fi: Janeway)
When only 2% of sports coverage in the mainstream media mentions women at all, despite the massive successes of our sportswomen;
When Nuts and Zoo are on the judging panel;
When the uniforms for women's sports are specifically designed to cater to the male gaze because that's the only way we can get people* interested in women's sport...

Sports personality of the year really is an illustration of the problem, rather than the problem itself, isn't it? Hopefully this furore might get the media to pay a bit more attention to the stunning successes of some of our female sports stars, but somehow I doubt it. Post-feminist era my arse.

* for which read men**, because of course, women are NOTpeople and who cares if they are interested or not?
** probably young, white, able-bodied cis-gendered, heterosexual men, for that matter.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Being Human - Annie)
There was a headline in the Express (which my boss insists on getting for the pub despite my protests) yesterday. It read "Nearly half of rioters were on benefits". A couple of customers were reading it and tutting about bloody scroungers. I pointed out that it could otherwise be worded as "over half of rioters too rich to claim tax credits, and childless" and they looked confused until I explained that everyone with a child can claim child benefit...

A small deed, but none the less I think it did some good.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
The last week has seen an absolute frothing media frenzy on the tuition fees issue. WILL THE LIB DEMS SPLIT?!!!1 OMG THEY SPLIT!!!eleventy! IS THIS THE END OF THE LIB DEMS????!!!!

Got news for you, bozos. We're Liberals. We accept the idea that reasonable people can (and in some cases should) disagree with each other. The process of debate is one that we actively enjoy in this party; and forged in the fires of Conference, our MPs are bloody well practised at enjoying a good debate.

That being said, the vote has happened, the votes fell as they fell, and now it's time to move on to the next issue. We're not going to have internecine strife between "wings" of the party over this; partly because the "wings" of the party don't fall in the way you think they do anyway. On some issues I'm a total Orange Booker; on others I'm a rabid lefty. But on everything I'm a Liberal, that's my core principle right there, and that means accepting the fact that you can't agree with everyone all the time, but it's still better to agree to disagree on some things, and work together on the things you CAN agree on, than just stand shouting pointlessly at each other.

All this bollocks about party discipline might apply to other (in my view lesser) parties who are full of authoritarian arseholes who can't tolerate discord; we breathe tolerance, we eat argument, and occasionally we shit discord. Get used to it.



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miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
... And this is News because....?

It's perfectly legal. Sure, the health police object, but they object to beer and cake and chocolate too. We're LIBERALS, FFS. If someone is informed of the dangers of an activity and they still choose to do it, THAT'S THEIR CHOICE.

Bloody prurient curtain-twitchers can bog off, in my view.

(posted during my fag break at work)
miss_s_b: (Default)
On my way out of the leader's speech yesterday I got grabbed by a nice lady from the Financial Times. Wasn't expecting much to come of it because she was grabbing LOTS of people, but she picked me out to follow on from Tom Brake:
Tom Brake, MP for Carshalton  and  Wallington, said the speech ticked all the boxes in that it “reminded any doubters the reasons why we went into the coalition” while also setting out the early wins the party had struck in shaping policy. “The mood here is positive.”

Jennie Rigg, a party member, said the leadership needed to keep hammering that message home to voters. “The good point was that it showed we have not lost our soul while we have been involved in the coalition.”
I was really hoping she would use the bits I said about the coalition being just a larger version of what we do at conference every year - everybody makes their views heard, we discuss things, we reach a decision - and she has kind of made it sound like I didn't praise Cleggy's speech to the gills with the way she started the sentence - which I very carefully did LOL - but I'm not unhappy. I mean, the FT! Cthulhu alone knows what the Daily Fail would have said about me... ;)



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miss_s_b: (Politics: FU)
If ever there was any doubt about the fact that the Golden Rule* is still fully in force, compare the media coverage of and political rhetoric about the two crimes I mention in the title of this post. Benefit Fraudsters are scum; feckless, worthless criminals; living immorally off our taxes. Tax Evaders are barely mentioned at all, and when they are they are mentioned in the kind of force-of-nature way that rapists are mentioned in victim-blaming discourse...

Very few people pay attention to the fact that tax evasion costs us fifteen times as much as benefit fraud. Add tax avoidance into the mix, and it costs £95billion, next to the relative peanuts of £1.5billion for benefit fraud. This gets ignored because the rich and powerful, the owners of the newspapers and the politicians who rail the hardest against IPSA, don't want us to know that the stuff they do as a matter of course, that they feel entitled to do, costs the tax payer more than an order of magnitude more than benefit fraud.

Very few people pay attention to the fact that most benefit fraudsters do so to survive, because benefits are not enough to live on. Very few of the people who rant about benefit fraudsters have ever actually tried to live on benefits. There is an especial hypocrisy when a lot of those self-same people go on about poor pensioners, when pensioners get almost double Jobseeker's allowance (note: I am not saying that pensioners are living in clover; they are not. Just pointing out that they get more peanuts than those on JSA).

Even the terminology is damning: benefit FRAUD is a crime, it's despicable, it's evil. Tax EVASION... well, it's something we'd all do if we could, right? It's stepping out of the path of something nasty. Much as I hate to be on the same side as LabourLost and the TUC and lining up against my own party, I have to say that...
If this was really about saving money for the exchequer, we would be chasing the tax avoiders and the tax evaders 63 and a third times as hard as the benefit fraudsters, and they would feature in the news reports 63 and a third times as often. The fact that they don't tell me that something else is going on, and it is this:

The poor are easier to bash and less able to fight back than the rich.
What gets me is why so many people just swallow it and put up with it. Any idea how we can do something about that, oh all-knowing internets?

* He who has the gold makes the rules



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That Express front page

Thursday, July 8th, 2010 09:11 pm
miss_s_b: (Love: Listy and rimsy))


This is ace! Come to Britain all ye gays, we like you! Can we just be this nice to ALL persecuted peoples now, please? That would be fab.

PS: Gove is a pipsqueak, ner nerner ner ner nah



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miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Mitch Benn)
The Now Show tends to be fairly good at spotting newspaper bollocks. Unfortunately, this week's guest didn't. She based her entire slot on the made-up lie that the EU has banned selling things by number. She even mentioned the bent bananas myth.

Why are people so susceptible to believing this sort of rubbish? Every Christmas we get newspaper stories that they are banning mention of the word Christmas or something, and even quite reasonable and intelligent people swallow it. The number of total myths about STV that people believe is incredible.

Why are people incapable of a simple bit of research? Why don't they question authority? To come over all professor Diggory, what DO they teach them in schools these days?



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miss_s_b: (Mood: Destructive)
Poor David Laws. If he had declared his relationship, he could have claimed for a lot more money. If he had declared his relationship, none of this media storm would be enveloping him and his loved ones. He is basically being punished for being gay, and not wanting to come out of the closet to his family. Gaybashing is never dignified, and this is no exception.

I am so angry this morning I can barely think straight. Clearly the telegraph have been fed this by someone with an axe to grind, or they would have run with it during the election. Suspicion points to Alastair Campbell, if only because he held up that picture of David at the end of Question Time with that smug sickening grin of his. Clearly the Telegraph are rubbing thier hands together with glee at the thought of bringing down a talented politician that their editorial line is at odds with. I am reminded of those two facing pages in the paper while the expenses scandal was at it's height - one praising David Cameron for sticking to the rules and claiming for things for his wife; one lambasting Ben Bradshaw for doing exactly the same thing, but with his civil partner, who was referred to throughout the article as his lover.

What is heartwarming is to see twitter explode with #ISupportLaws this morning. This is the dead tree press having its undignified death throes, people, and trying to bring down as many people as it can before it breathes its last gasp. And we're not going to stand for it, are we?

Further reading:

Open Letter to the Telegraph - please go and sign this if you feel like I do.
David Laws - Still My MP - one of David's constituents comes out in support of him.
In Defence of David Laws on ePolitix
I don't give a damn that we paid rent to David Laws' lover by Jerry Hayes on Think Politics.
Sexuality, sickening hypocrisy and CGT by the awesome Sara Bedford.
The Coalition Leaders should stand up and support Laws now on Whirled Peas

For the avoidance of doubt, this is why I am so open about everything in my life. It is sometimes uncomfortable, but if and when I ever get to be a successful politician, at least I don't have to have sleepless nights worrying that my private life is going to be revealed to people I care about. This way, if the papers want to make a fuss about my sex life they still can, but the only comment from my mum will be Yes, I know, and I don't care. It's a crying shame that people who wish to remain private about thier private lives can't do so, and that there is no respect for that decision from the press, but I recognise the fact of it and this is how I choose to deal with it.
miss_s_b: (Default)
This applies just as much to the Dead Tree Press as it does to the other political parties. This morning's headlines show that everybody is now at stage 3. I don't propose to link to any of the horrendous slurs, half-truths and outright lies that the papers have in them this morning; as Cicero says, the Dead Tree press is increasingly irrelevant, and they are only hammering nails into their own coffins.

What I will do is this: I will make suggestions of what you can do if you think this level of sustained ad hominem attack on one man is unacceptable.

  1. Read this post by Steph Ashley. It's powerful, personal, and inspiring. This is how a lot of us in the party feel. You voters? You represent hope for us, and for yourselves. Don't let the self-interested negativity of the Dead Tree Press, who have suddenly noticed their power to mould your minds is crumbling, infect your thought processes. Instead think about what you want and how you can get it. If our policies are what you want (and research suggests that for 49% of you, our policies ARE what you want) then vote for us. If we're not what you want, vote for someone else. Simples.

  2. Don't buy any more newspapaers. Hit them in the pocket for their behaviour.

  3. Complain to their advertisers, like we all did when Jan Moir was so disgusting about Stephen Gately. This also hits them in the pocket.

  4. Show them by positive action that this kind of smear campaign only drives people into the arms of the Lib Dems - Volunteer to help us, join the many facebook groups (one, two, three, four, and there are lots more. I reckon the first is the most important, though), wear your colours on your sleeve (or chest, or car)
The old media and the old politicians can see their cosy little world where they give each other positive press in exchange for knighthoods and influence and mutual money-making slipping away. This terrifies them. They will lose power and they will lose money, and they will lose it to YOU. All you have to do is put a cross in a box in a couple of weeks, and you take power from the elites and back to the streets. The choice is yours.

Stuff

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 05:49 pm
miss_s_b: (Fanigrling: Rumpole)
I'm not going to comment too much on the Jan Moir/PCC thing. Millennium says everything I could have wanted to. I am annoyed to be on the same side as the Egregious Tory Tosser, though, who is holding forth on the radio at the moment.

I am, instead, going to concentrate on good things.
  1. I have arranged for a bit of time off from work next week to use the return train ticket which is burning a hole in my pocket. I shall therefore be in London and surrounding areas Monday evening till Thursday lunchtime. If you live in or around London and want to see me, please take note. It would be particularly nice if someone can offer me a place to crash Monday night, as Duracell bunny won't be around until Tuesday afternoon. All offers gratefully recieved.

  2. Mat and I stopped off at the pipeworks on the way home from work, and got some fabulous discarded old pipes to use as plant pots in the garden. Pictures will be forthcoming when they're planted up.

  3. I have karate tonight YAY!

  4. Plans to get Kaligula up for sale on eBay are approaching fruition. If you know anyone who wants to buy a car, watch this space.

  5. And finally, I want this on a t-shirt:



    And I think it would suit [livejournal.com profile] burlesque_bunny too ;)




My February Sponsor is

To view this post with minimal formatting, click here. To view this post in your own Dreamwidth style, click here.
miss_s_b: (geekiness)
... and nowhere is this better illustrated than in Jan Moir's accusation that the big mean gay who runs the internet, Stephen Fry, has orchestrated a campaign against her on twitter.

This view makes two basic, erroneous assumptions: firstly, that people who follow Stephen on twitter will unthinkingly retweet what he tweets. Twitter is, for want of a better word, a meritocracy. Something will get retweeted by people if they have read it, and come to a conclusion that it is interesting or important. Secondly: that twitter is the be-all and end-all of things going viral. I saw reference to Jan Moir's article on twitter, yes, but also on blogs, on Facebook, in the Guardian, on the BBC, in forums... Now, there is cross-pollination between all of those groups, but many people who are active in one will not be in the others.

The Press complaints commission received more complaints this weekend about Jan Moir's article than they have about all other topics in the last five years. This is not one man mobilising his followers to attack you, Jan. This is democracy and free speech in action. You aired your views, and all the people who disagreed with you aired theirs. It's not an orchestrated campaign, or a witch hunt, or censorship by mob. Nobody wants to see you banned or silenced. They want you to look at the truth and change your vile opinions of your own volition.

It's your choice whether or not you do that, but it's also the choice of the public whether or not to give your bigotry any credence. Whatever happens, your employers will be happy; you've made a big increase in the number of eyeballs hitting their site...



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Mornin'!

Friday, May 8th, 2009 10:21 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
Some random linkage to start off your day:
  • The cartoon in this morning's Graun is very amusing. Lots of Fat Cats showing us their bottoms.

  • May have to watch Question Time. I missed it because I was at Liberal Drinks, but according to the Twitterverse Dorries was something to behold. I particularly like these tweets: 1, 2, 3.

  • As several people have reminded me, today is THE EIGHTH OF MAY, THE EIGHTH OF MAY!!! It is compulsory to give people a Motorhead earworm. Here you go. Also, don't forget that Monday is Towel Day (the anniversary of the death of Douglas Adams), and it's really important that you know where your towel is. I shall be wearing one on my belt loop all day, as I did last year.

  • [profile] esmereldus is pimping out her artist friend, and he is GOOD. Please go and look, and if you have a bit of spare brass, let him have some.
And now I go and have my bath. I probably won't be back online much till the early hours; I have an eight hour shift at work (and Fridays are BUSY) and then the Greetland & Stainland Lib Dem Quiz Night Fundraiser to whup everyone's arses at attend immediately after. You lot behave yourselves while I am gone! :P

About This Blog

picture of Jennie Rigg

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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