Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A roundup, or, a best of Paul's stuff

Right, when I decided I wanted to run a blog, I knew I'd need at least one other person involved in order to keep it going. Having a pretty good friend who I agree with on most issues, who happened to be completing his Masters Degree in Critical Global Studies (which is posh for Political Theory/Philosophy) and a good writer was fortuitous, getting him to agree to post stuff here was cool.

So, on the grounds that I post so often his stuff gets swamped (and sometimes people credit me for the entire blog anyway without noticing the byline), I though, given that I'm feeling all grotty with a cold, I'd do a summary for his stuff.

Generally, it's got a little more substance to it than my rants, which is what I wanted. Anyway, enough from me.

His first post was, understandably, on ID cards, something we both feel very strongly about. After that, we had the whole 'glorifying terrorism' debate with another bit of mis worded and badly designed legislation; how, exactly, do you glorify terrorism?

After that, a nice bit of theory; what is a nation state, and how can it react to the future? Oh, we then go into that nice little controversy, prisoners and voting. Can you believe he actually asked permission to post that? Not a popular view, perhaps, but if you're going to argue for civil liberties, why not argue for all of them? One of our more regularly read pages is next, Fair's fair? For some reason, people keep googling and getting that page. No idea if that's what they're looking at, but the idea of a flat tax is something to look at, even if it is to bebunk it.

I would describe this post, but, well, how about Paul on asylum and Zimbabwe?
It seems pretty clear to me that what people actually want is results, not white elephants or singled-out scapegoats to make everybody feel better. We shouldn't be faffing about with pointless new laws, we should be giving more funding to the police, we shouldn't be introducing ID cards, we should be hiring more police officers in the first place. And we definitely shouldn't be condemning people to torture or death by returning them to their unsafe place of origin just because 'we need to be doing something' about asylum.

How about torture?
So to think that we might allow evidence from tortured suspects, as long as it happened somewhere else, truly does make me laugh. It sounds like the worst kind of NIMBY-ism possible - 'Well, we'd love to do it, and we'll accept anything you get from it, but our electorate's a bit squeamish see. Perhaps if you could do it for us?'

Shoot to kill?
in a clear-cut scenario, I have no problem with the police using any force necessary to stop a suicide bomber intent on killing even more people. But in a situation such as that which happened in London earlier this year, the intelligence possed by the police was obviously not enough to justify the shooting of someone who 'was thought' to be a bomber.

But then again, there are no more terrorists, Mr Blair is protecting us, right? But then, threatening to lock everyone up will clearly work regardless, right? After all, the Burmese junta does it, amongst other things. After that, a post I specifically asked him for, as part of the "let's have an argument about Europe" thing, The Idea of Europe:
The idea of Demos is usually tied up with the German terms Gemeinschaft and Gessellschaft, which relate to differing ideas of community and community association.
See? Odds of me using words like that rather small, but it's nice to feel like you're learning something. So, on that note, his next significant post? A philosophical history of the right to protest, in which we get some constructive comments from Chris from The Stoa; I didn't actually know he teaches the subject at Oxford at the time, show's how much attention I was paying.

Next up? Well, showing his ability for getting much snappier post tiles than me, Badger badger badger badger. Beats more than half of mine hands down. His post on Bob Geldof is already well read, but the point remains true, and his Ramblings about personal privacy is a nice back up to the ID cards discussion.

In January, two posts so far, one on Gorgeous (for which I love the title) and one on Kennedy and the Lib Dems. He takes a much more cynical view than me on the future of the party, I'm pretty sure the party is an essential pivot within the UK polity, he sees it likely to fade into obscurity. They may well do so, but, well, we'll see.

Oh yeah, Paul? Thanks for everything so far, and on the grounds it appears I didn't at the time, many congratulations on your results, especially the distinction on the dissertation. To everyone else; no, I didn't tell him I was planning this one, I forgot on Sunday, he was helping me win at Scrabble. Don't ask me why we were playing scrabble...


PaulJ said...

That's a round up of every post I've made, right? Not too bad really, I thought I'd made a lot less.

It's a shock to see my opinion plugged so blatantly, although considering that people have been nice with the comments they've made so far, obviously not all of it is complete rubbish.

Thanks for the kind words.

MatGB said...

It's not all of them, no, you've done a few short posts and news pisstakes; the CCTC guys getting caught spying by CCTV cameras, for example.

It was going to be a top 10, but, well, I lost the ability to discriminate so it became everything of substance.

Besides, the whole point of blogging is to push opinions, and writing about how great my writing is seems wrong. It's not, of course, merely another attempt to up the page views. Not at all...