(to the tune of Jerusalem)If you want to have a go, you can find the details, such as they are, at the bottom of the page detailing the winners of their last competition.
And did the Brits
In Ancient time
Pinch all your country's wealth from you?
And did we pinch
Your words as well
To add to England's language true?
We shall pretend the world is ours
By some divine right or something
But really we're the bestest thieves
You see we even nicked this tune
The picture above is an excerpt from DCM's standard terms and conditions for accepting advertising. They have been this way for a year or so, when they were changed to remove "party" from before "political" after so many people in Scotland complained about the Yes and No referendum campaign adverts. You will note that the small change I mention happened before the CofE even thought about filming their advert.
I am sure you are all aware of the maxim that one doesn't talk about religion or politics in public because someone is bound to get upset? DCM have this policy for that reason: whatever religion (or lack thereof, you'll note) is mentioned, someone is bound to get upset, demand their money back from the cinema, start protests, whine on social media, etc, and it's just not worth it. From a commercial point of view, if the money you make from accepting an advert doesn't cover the cost of the trouble the advert will cause, why would you even bother? As Ian Dunt points out here, it's not like the British Humanist Association, among others, haven't fallen foul of the same policy*. How anyone can claim with a straight face that this is discrimination is beyond me.
- the CofE are not being discriminated against: this policy applies to groups of all religions and none. As LegionsEagle put it earlier, it's a category-based exclusion, not a content-based one.
- this is not a new policy, nor should it have been a surprise to the CofE, nor was it suddenly brought in for some nebulous reason to do with muslims (try not to let your naked islamophobia show there)
- The church of England is not some persecuted minority. They have a reasonable percentage of the legislature of the country all to themselves
I've spent half the day telling all and sundry from BBC Radio Leeds to everyone on twitter that this is a big fuss about nothing, is being massively misrepresented by the church for whatever ends, and it annoys me that the media are falling for it like they did for the sodding Winterval Myth; and so now I have typed it all out in a blog post I can just C&P the link.
*it's a shame Ian doesn't make the intellectual leap to apply the same logic to the other frozen peaches he's been trying to stop from thawing recently, but I think Ian and I just fall on different sides of the fuzzy-like-peach-skin generational divide line so eloquently described by Andrew here
You'll note that while the piece contains a hefty lift from my blog post from yesterday, I am uncredited - despite my name being in big letters on my header bar. I was also not contacted before the piece went live (or indeed, after) and the piece does not abide by the terms in my creative commons license, which is there in the sidebar of every single post including this one. Now I suppose they could argue the percentages and say they were quoting me, but it's usual when quoting someone, to use their name, at least in my experience.
Meanwhile, Alisdair's comment to that blog post is also quoted, but he gets name, rank and serial number. Also, both of us are said to have emailed Tim Farron, despite both of us having emailed Sal Brinton with Tim Farron copied in. Does it strike anyone else that there's a smidge of sexism there? We're assumed to have emailed Tim because Tim is more important; Alisdair gets named because he's more important than me, even though I am (politically, at least) his boss.
As you can probably tell, I am somewhat annoyed by this. Is there anything I can reasonably do about it? My creative commons license says that anything quoting me should be attributed and not for commercial use, and the Fail is definitely commercial use...
Update: editing to add a couple of tweets which have really made me laugh:
There are many ways I'd describe Jennie but "an unnamed woman activist" is not one of them! Wtf! https://t.co/keS3XbtNqX— Holly (@hollyamory) November 13, 2015
@hollyamory "Force of Nature and Nanny Ogg impersonator Jennie Rigg said earlier today that..."— Adam (@pseudomonas) November 13, 2015
"Hello unnamed female activist!" @stealthmunchkin greeted me with. Then, to the dog, "Good boy Gary! You are male and therefore get a name."— Holly (@hollyamory) November 13, 2015
I'm an atheist.
I voted for Tim Farron and I do not regret it.
I don't care what Tim considers to be sinful in the privacy of his own religion. I care that he agitates for my freedom. I care that he wants to end the spousal veto for my trans friends. I care that when I said "if I can ever have a poly wedding are you going to come?" he said he'd be on the first train.
Fuck you, media. I know my leader, & he's not what you're painting him.
While the Lib Dem rule book gives the party’s MPs the main say on whether to approve a new coalition, there will be a special conference of senior party officials that will vote on the deal. Although the decision of the conference is not binding, according to the rules, senior figures say if the conference votes the deal down, Clegg will have to accept defeat.To take the wrong bits in order:
1, "While the Lib Dem rule book gives the party’s MPs the main say on whether to approve a new coalition" - errr, no. Caron wrote a very good article about this a week ago. The MPs get the first vote after the negotiating team has negotiated in consultation with the reference group. The MAIN say, the decision as to whether it goes ahead or not, is taken by special conference.
2, "there will be a special conference of senior party officials that will vote on the deal" - voting reps are not in the sense of the words most people will understand "senior party officials" - not unless you think the vast majority of the active membership are senior. There's THOUSANDS of us. Most local parties don't even fill their quota of voting reps because there aren't enough people who want to go vote on things at conferences, and the only reason special conference is not one member one vote is the almighty cock up FE made of trying to introduce OMOV at Glasgow.
3, "Although the decision of the conference is not binding, according to the rules" - yes it is. This is just a plain factual error. It wasn't binding in 2010, but we changed the rules in 2012.
4, "senior figures say if the conference votes the deal down, Clegg will have to accept defeat." - well yes he will, because the decision is binding. And not only is the decision binding but to agree to a coalition (OR confidence and supply) special conference has to vote in favour by a 2/3 majority or more.
It really is going to be quite difficult to persuade 2/3 of lib dem members to vote in favour of ANY coalition deal with ANY party after the amount of stuff that was in the agreement this time around that the tories reneged on. We voted in favour of an agreement which gave us a good chance of electoral reform and supposedly guaranteed lords reform; neither of those things happened. Without cast iron guarantees of those things, and no shilly-shallying about referendums or anything, there's no way on earth you'd get a bare majority, never mind a 2/3 majority.
Similarly, the idea that any coalition involving UKIP or the DUP would get a 2/3 majority of members voting for it is just laughable in the extreme. I'd be amazed if you could herd the cats long enough to get a 2/3 majority for either of the Labservative parties on their own, to be honest.
I'm reasonably certain that this is why our Cleggy is drawing so many red lines this time around, by the way. He knows he'll not get an agreement past special conference, so he's scuppering it before it gets to that point, then he can spread his hands wide and say "well we TRIED to form a stable coalition but the other parties just wouldn't budge enough".
* I still say we're going to get a minority Labour government that'll collapse in acrimony and infighting within 6 months, and then we'll get another election.
Much is often made* of the fact that our politics in this country is done by the privileged, not just in terms of race and gender, but class; that you need to have money to get anywhere; and that our journalists are from similarly privileged backgrounds and do a bad job of scrutinising the politicians. We need to break down the elites that govern us to truly have a fairer society in which everyone can get on in life**, we are told. Just as an example, there's this piece on Scarlet Standard which I read earlier.
There is certainly an argument to be made that there are too many people in parliament/journalism who haven't the first clue what it's like to be poor, and it's also true that being privately educated means that your parents had some money when you were a kid. But because there is an overlap between those two groups does not mean that they are the same thing***.
The problem I have with attacking people for being privately educated is that people don't fit into neat little boxes with interchangeable labels. Compare and contrast the following two examples:
- A privately educated, able-bodied, cis white person, with post graduate law degree, and family in positions of power/privilege including running a radio station, a famous artist, and headmaster of a school
- A bisexual single mother from a family of socialist activists who abandoned the Labour party after Clause Four was removed, who has never had a job paying much more than minimum wage, and who has often gone without food to pay the rent or feed her child?
I don't particularly resent that; the Labour party is as the Labour party does, and it's not for me to tell the opposition what they can and can't attack me on*****. But me personally? I think every politician is an individual, whatever their educational status, or gender, or race, or whatever, and we should be critiquing what they do, or how ill-informed they are on a topic, not where they come from. If they are unfairly legislating against the poor (or women, or immigrants, or whatever), or if they show breathtaking lack of knowledge on a topic, then attack them for THAT, not for the choices their parents made for them when they were young.
I do, however, object to the lack of diversity in parliament and journalism. Not because it's unfair (although it is) or because it's unrepresentative (although it is), but because the homogeneity of person going into parliament/journalism leads to a homogeneity of thinking, and that leads to poorer parliament and poorer journalism. Study after study shows that diversity increases success in business and in other fields, so it should definitely be encouraged. But the problem would be the same if parliament were entirely composed of poor women, rather than being largely composed of rich men as it is now. The problem is the homogeneity, not the attributes of the homogenous people. That's why we ought to look to achieving diversity, not promote more of one type of person or another.
Acheiving diversity is very difficult, though, which I think is why many try to reduce it to a box-ticking exercise. You don't achieve diversity by having x percentage of people possessing y attributes in a given field and then it's done and you don't have to worry about it any more. Which attributes do you pick for that anyway? Race, gender expression, sexuality, mental health status, physical health status, whether you're a parent or not...? The list is potentially endless. Increasing the number of women in parliament won't achieve diversity if they are all rich; increasing the number of poor people in parliament will not achieve diversity if they are all white; etc. etc..
To achieve diversity, powerful elites need to consciously look outside their comfort zones, and purposefully seek out people who think differently in order to learn from them. Otherwise you end up with recruitment processes like this:
... where no matter how many boxes are ticked, nepotism still holds sway.
*regularly by me, it must be said
**on message, in volume, over time, that's me.
***and even if it did, there is nothing to stop a rich person from truly empathising with the poor, just as there's nothing to stop the poor from reading the Daily Mail and moaning about scroungers.
*****While I do, of course, reserve the right to respond in whatever way I see fit.
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?
For the avoidance of doubt, the correct order in a chart like this should be:
- Colin Baker
- Circa 60 other actors, including Peter Cushing, Joanna Lumley, Arabella Weir, Derek Jacobi and Mark Gatiss
- David Tennant
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.?
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.
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.
- 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.
- Local elections were not held in every parliamentary constituency. This means that any extrapolation to a national result is "projection" - i.e. guesswork
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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:
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:
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 26
Do you buy a newspaper?
Yes, I pay money for a paper-based newspaper
I pick up a free paper-based newspaper
I have a digital-only subscription
No, I do not pay money to any written news providers, but I read their websites
No, I do not consume written news at all
How much longer are traditional newspapers going to be on sale?
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:
- Layers. I am currently wearing a vest, a t-shirt, a long sleeved t-shirt and a jumper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
This photo is a picture taken by of Nick Clegg posing with an Incredible Hulk onesie given to him by Liberal Youth:
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:
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
A small deed, but none the less I think it did some good.
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.
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)
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.”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... ;)
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.”
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: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?
The poor are easier to bash and less able to fight back than the rich.
* He who has the gold makes the rules
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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Why are people so susceptible to believing this sort of rubbish? Every Christmas we get newspaper stories that
theyare 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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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?
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.