Monday, September 25, 2006

A week's worth of posts

OK, maybe I won't link here for every post, some of them are simple link/discuss anyway.

I fixed the template (bloody flash menues hidden in a javascript file), took the piss out of the pope, linked to this excellent post by Rachel, did a bit on blogging generally, partizanship and the New Tory Labour promo that Tim is running for the Lib Dems. Then I found some cool wallpapers and turned a question from the tactical voting post into an explanation of how STV could work in Britain, with some advantages. I've actually got a speech from Lord Trimble saved, planning to go through it, he went through a massive set of reasons why STV is bad, all of them are reasons why I think it's good. A genuine case of YMMV on that one.

Ended the week with a story that repeats from this time last year; they've banned Walter Wolfgang from the Labour conference delegates area, despite him being elected to their NEC. Off to London tomorrow for the week, should be fun.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tactical Voting: Myths and reality - Voting TaKtiX

I've finally broken the block, here's the promised article on tactical voting:
When you vote, do you vote Expressively, or Rationally? Most party activists and committed partizans will vote expressively, and assume that voters do likewise. However, many voters will vote rationally, seeking to maximise the impact their vote will have on the result. It is this tendency, that most activists find hard to relate to, that leads to the phenomena referred to as “tactical voting”. Still with me? Good, let me explain…
Tactical Voting: Myths and reality - Voting TaKtiX

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New blog home - Voting TaKtiX

Right, it's not like I haven't been saying I was going to do it for months, but the new site is up and, sort of, running:

Voting TaKtiX: Because democracy needs an informed electorate

Still lots of work to do, and the template is giving me a headache, I've been styling it nicely all afternoon, it was beginning to look about right,t hen I looked at it in Internet Explorer. I mean, it still needs work, but, well, it's FUGLY in IE. Bill Gates must die for the horrors he inflicts on web coding. Anyway...

I need to change the feeds over, and do a few more tweaks, so in the meantime, I've set the feed from hereto 'full', and will link to any new posts, for a bit. When it's all up and running, I'll finally set this site down, delete the blogroll from here, etc. But for now, we're good. LJ users will find the new syndication here

Why change?

Well, I always did want to blog at my own domain, it makes a lot more sense and gives more control. Also, while I had planned to use the new blogger beta, I did a test install of Wordpress (I need to test it for work) and, well, it's so good.

Those promised substantive articles will follow, promise, I just decided to get re-started at the new place.

Friday, September 08, 2006

British politics after Blair

From new blogger Sammy Morse:
Personally, I doubt Blair will last 12 months or anything like it. Until he goes, civil war will reign in the Labour Party. Unlike Blair, too many people in the Labour Party have an interest in not losing the next election for that to happen. Unless they're really, really stupid. And I don't think they are. ... Brown will be a disaster as Labour leader. If Brown really had the capacity to be leader, he would have become so after the Granita restaurant, after Blair was clearly out of step with the country on the war, after Labour lost 50 seats at the General Election, etc., etc. He didn’t because he has no killer instinct and no real leadership skills. Brown likes to skulk in the corner and avoid difficult issues
He goes on to analyse the state of the parties, the poll rankings, the likely effect on the next election, etc. It's one of those "I wish I'd written that" posts, well worth a read.

In addition, Caramel Betty asks "what's Charles Clarke up to?" and has re read his resignation speech:
However, I do not think it would be appropriate to remain in government in these circumstances and return to the backbenches, where I will be a strong and active supporter of this government and the leadership of Tony Blair for his full parliamentary term.
Do we detect a note of "well Gordon'll never give me a job" in the Safety Elephant's behaviour? In the meantime?

Keep an eye on Jack Straw over the weekend. Have fun in the Middle East Tony...

Technorati tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Taking Power - Tired Tony

I'd forgotten this, oops. Um, online conference involving some bigwigs, cross party, looks like a good idea, started today.
Taking Power - Have your say about how Britain is run

Worth giving a look and getting involved in methinks.

I, um, spent the day with my grandmother, not even mobile phone reception in South Pool, 'tis a lovely place. We didn't turn the radio on in the car on the way back either. So, I'm currently catching up with the news. Initial reactions?

Go Tom! Agree with Bob's assesment. Tired Tony on his way out? Good. However, and this is important, look out for buried news. Blairwatch is already on the case.
I might be able to put together a more coherent reaction, but in the meantime? Yay!
Technorati tags: , ,

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Brian Coleman AM: 'tedious cock'

Well, Mark Thomas' demo seems to have gone ok, shame I couldn't make it. I'm so looking forward to moving to London. Anyway, how about this as a reaction?
But the protest has had its critics, with Tory London Assembly member Brian Coleman calling them "sad, mad and bad".

"Is this really the image we want to give of London - tourists whose income we rely on for the jobs and prosperity of our city?"
Well no you fool. That's the whole damned point!

Ye gods, this sort of thing is bad for the image of London because it highlights the absurdity of the laws that affect London. Remove the stupid law and you're fine. Gah!

As Liadnan puts it:
"Bugger civil liberties, think of the tourist trade?" And in what universe would the tourist trade be adversely affected?

What a tedious cock.
Still busy, distracted and not in the mood for serious blogging. Week off next week, might, hopefully, clear my head. In the meantime, I await the reports of the event from those that were able to attend.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Book censorship on planes

Craig emailed about this earlier, today, I just got around to following the link chain. Murder in Samarkand… Confiscated

Don't bother picking up a poiltical book if you're going flying now, they'll confiscate it. Can we hear it for exceeding authority? I think we can. I suspect the days when I could read Michael Moore on a transatlantic flight are gone (as are the days I could afford a translatlantic flight but that's another issue), we're only allowed populist pulp on board to read now, anything else makes us a security risk?

Or is this a case of idiotic airport staff in need of a good kicking disciplinary hearing?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Amar Ashraf: Asian pilot banned from plane

This is getting ridiculous. He works as an airline pilot, he checks in to his company's parnter airline, gets on the plane, falls asleep in business class. Then he gets woken up and told to leave the plane. Now, of course, he may be being paranoid, but when he gets off the plane, the police are there to question him.
He believes his removal was down to having a "Muslim-sounding name".

Mr Ashraf, 28, a British Pakistani who was returning to his job as a pilot for one of Continental's partner airlines in the US, will lodge a formal complaint with Continental Airlines, with whom he was travelling, as well as with the US authorities.
Mr Ashraf? Good luck. Told a friend in Canada about it. His reaction is here. Summary:

Hey, everyone who's afraid of brown people: Remember the terrorists?

They won, and you helped them do it.

Good job!
Tomorrow, when I go back into the office, I have to find accommodation for two lawyers planning to come study English with us for 6 months on an executive course. Normally, not a problem at all, executive long term bookings are sought after by our host families. Problem? They're from Kuwait. I shouldn't need to have to persuade people to let me pay them money, just because the client is from a muslim country; Kuwait is one of our major allies out there, right?

The politics of fear. I was bored of it. Now I'm getting fucking scared of it. One side wants to kill us "because of our freedoms". The other wants to deny us our freedoms in order to protect us. Excuse me? Why are we letting the terrorists win by default?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Deadly Baby Bottles and other liquid "threats"

Still on the "it doesn't add up" schtick I'm afraid. This email sent to Interesting People is a good analysis, and Craig Murray has more on some of the other elements:
One aspect of the alleged bomb plot which has provided a tremedous boost to the atavists, is the so-called "Baby bottle bomb" ... there is nothing uniquely Islamic about infanticide. Indeed, in the last two days the news bulletins have covered prominently the stories of a British man who allegedly jumped from a balcony clutching his two children in Crete, and the inquest on a woman who threw herself under her train with her nine year old child.

Horrible? Yes. Have Muslims wreaked more horror on the World, either historically or in the last five years, than those professing other religions? No.
The leaks and spin coming from various "sources" bother me as well. If there is actually a plot, if there is evidence, have these guys got a chance of a fair trial? No. You know what that means? No conviction, we can't get the bastards. If they're actually guilty (and every day that if gets bigger), then we need to get them jailed. Trial by media is a bad idea, right?
Technorati tags: , ,

Blogging and stuff

Busy, in case you hadn't figured. In the meantime, I've linked a few times to Steve, who it turns out is randomly a friend of a former housemate of mine and Paul's, although we've never met, small world. Anyway, he now writes for new blog/news site, The Slant, which I'm plugging because, well, it's good. His first article:
Thousands of pupils received their A-level results today, and amazingly the UK seems to be getting more intelligent than ever!

In the spirit of the occasion, the rest of this article will be multiple choice:
Seriously, go read the rest. For the record, he thinks even less of Ruth Kelly than me. Seriously, it is possible. Anyway...

What should I write next?

I've been busy at work (see terror alerts and false flags, all over the newspapers and below), but it's about time I wrote a decent, substantive article. I've got 3 in my mind, fleshed out to a point where I just need to find time to type them up. Which d'you want first?
  1. The Cameron Project: What he's up to and why it should work
  2. Tactical Voting: It's a myth, it doesn't exist (seriously)
  3. House of Lords reform: I missed Lords Reform day on here, but put up a few links on my journal (Blogger went down), I could flesh that out a bit?
Anyone got a preference? Also...

Blogger Beta

I've been playing around with the new version of Blogger (via) here, it does actually seem rather good, so even though there isn't a 3-column option (yet), I'll likely switch when they'll let me, the good bits more than outweigh the bad. Category tags for a start, and easy feed displays &c. So expect a few weirdnesses as I do silly stuff to get it to work. I'm so not looking forward to going back to label every post.
Technorati tags: , ,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Terror arrests timed under US pressure?

A senior British official knowledgeable about the case said British police were planning to continue to run surveillance for at least another week to try to obtain more evidence, while American officials pressured them to arrest the suspects sooner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the case.

In contrast to previous reports, the official suggested an attack was not imminent, saying the suspects had not yet purchased any airline tickets. In fact, some did not even have passports.

Massive disruption to our travel industry, terror alert to "critical", airports at a standstill. Why? Because the US intelligence community wanted to arrest people early when there is no immediate threat.
The British official said the Americans also argued over the timing of the arrest of suspected ringleader ***** in Pakistan, warning that if he was not taken into custody immediately, the U.S. would "render" him or pressure the Pakistani government to arrest him.

British security was concerned that ***** be taken into custody "in circumstances where there was due process," according to the official, so that he could be tried in British courts. Ultimately, this official says, ***** was arrested over the objections of the British.
So, that could even cover arrested without due process and with the possibilty that a trial may not now be possible. I've deleted his name from the US based report as UK law is very strict about possibilities of prejudicing a trial.

I'm at work (see disruption to travel industry, above), so no analysis. Not sure I can be coherent about this one at the moment anyway.