Thursday, April 27, 2006

Prescott & Winterton? - Smokescreen, Clarke is the target

So, Two Shags Prescott is apparently a "serial adulterer", and hints are being dropped all over the place about links to health minister Rosie Winterton. You know what?

I don't care!

I agree with Recess Monkey:
why now? A cynical part of Recess Monkey suspects this is a well-timed distraction from Charles Clarke’s current worries.

Charles Clarke is the target, ignore Prescott

It's good to know that not everyone is distracted by what people get up to in bed. Rachel:
I personally think you should resign. You've let us all down. I don't expect that we will meet again in May, but you never know. If we do meet again, I will want to know what you are actually doing to keep people safe. Rehetoric is one thing, deliverables another. You knew there was an almighty disaster waiting to happen, you were warned and warned and you still let almost 300 dangerous people out anyway, and then lost them.
Lifejacket:
The key words and phrases being "Charles Clarke", "Home Office", and "regrettable mistake". I would add a fourth and fifth, "unforgiveable incompetence", and "thumbs up their arses", and possibly a sixth, seventh, eighth … but it would take all day.

Charles Clarke must go.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Resignations, Heckling and Affairs. And all in one day!

I doubt I'm far wrong in saying that this will go down in history as one of Labour's worst days ever.

So let's get this straight; two of them are incompetent, and Prescott is just stupid. I am amazed that Clarke has not already resigned, I would be quite surprised if he doesn't go at some point over the next few days. We'll have to wait and see, but I think that mounting pressure will probably be too much.

Hewitt's decline seems to be a slower one, dying bit by bit at each conference she attends. Her treatment today at a conference for the Royal College of Nursing, out of the ordinary as it was, probably wont be the last time she has to listen to it. From the clips I've seen on TV this evening though, Hewitt came across as nothing but annoying and patronising, completely unwilling to listen to any of the criticisms levelled at her. Thick skin might be a good political trait, but there comes a point where even Patricia Hewitt must realise that with so many people seriously opposed to her views on the NHS, it might be time to admit the system is in chaos.

And then there's Prezza. Now personally, I don't care whether he's had an affair or not, and I doubt it's effected his ability to do his job or anything like that. I also don't care whether he ferried his secretary around in his car - it's just not that important as far as I'm concerned. However, considering that Prescott has been anti Tory sleaze for the last decade or so, admitting to an affair doesn't look too good. Whilst some have suggested it might be a good time to bury the bad news, in my opinion it has only added to the pressure on the Labour party at the worst possible time. In eight days a sizeable portion of the country goes to the polls for the local elections, and there's no way that today's events are not going to have an effect on that.

And of course, it is just another day in the life of the slow steady decline of the Labour Party, eerily reminiscent of the Tories before 1997. It's hard to believe that it wasn't quite a year ago that Labour won an historic third term with a pretty safe majority and a reform agenda for the next five years. That looks to be in tatters now, with the party pretty much set to limp home: the local elections surely to be the first indicator of this.

We will wait and see. However, there is one question that has arisen today which will surely plague British politics for longer than any other. Why would anyone want to sleep with John Prescott?

Tony & Co - out of touch bullies?

Jack Thomas:
Tony, ... understand that what you are doing is not protecting people, its is not making us safer. It is forcing people into a authoritarian relationship. It is a breaking of their sense of self. Just because you have lost touch with yourself, more than likely over the many crimes you have commited, sanctioned and forced onto the nation since you came to power is no reason to drag us into your escape mechanism of authoritarian conduct, submission, unthinking, all consuming, automaton ideal.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

RIP Peter Law and Google referrals

Firstly, while not unexpected, still a loss. Tributes from Peter Black, Bob Piper and others are already online, one of the more interesting results in 2005, here's hoping he's replaced with another strong local politician, in both his roles.

However, on a more cheerful note, the best Google search that landed here today? Charles Clarke Incompetent. For the person in question, if you read this, you want to be using the 'news' or 'blogsearch' functions to find stuff on his most recent cock-up.

But then again, he is the internet kicking boy of choice at the moment. Hopefully, this could force him out. Anyone care to lay odds?

Charles Clarke - Obfuscating arsehole

Tyrell:
Dear Charles Clarke,
Please shut the fuck up and spend your time writing better laws instead.

Dear Journalists,
Please ignore this loser and keep telling it like it is.
Thank you,
Steve.
The rest is rather good as well.

Busy. As usual. Just got back in, not read anything anywhere else, but, well, the pile of crap in todays Indy needed mentioning. Steve's done a pretty good summary of my view. Can we get the slug out of office as well?
Update: Chris Lightfoot gives it a more thorough going over here, Bloggerheads has more here, and Justin is as eloquent as ever. Also Longrider Murky and Qwglhm.
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Friday, April 21, 2006

Happy Birthday Ma'am: The Monarchy (redux)

Well, she's now 80. Everyone is making a fuss about it, the BBC is running specials all over the place, the book(s) of the week are a series of biographies, etc. As I've covered before, I'm a convert tot eh idea of a proper, ceremonial monarch.

The current fudge, where most of the powers of the Prime Minister are really Crown Prerogative powers, and no one is really sure what she can (or cannot) do is, well, messy. Still, at least our lot get the whole point of being Head of State, not Head of Government.

Defining (and limiting) the powers of the Executive as exercised by and on behalf of the Monarch has to be a central objective of constitutional reform. But this former republican is now utterly convinced that it is reform that is needed. Besides, Starkey thinks Blair is the modern Charles II.
who "never said a foolish thing and never did a wise one". For Starkey, Blair has, "the same slipperiness, the same duplicity, the same ability to tell utterly convincing lies".
It was Charles I that got his head chopped off. Maybe we could just chop Blair?

Still, let's not be cynical. Wait, she appointed him. She could fire him as well. Ma'am? Give the nation a gift on your birthday?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Charles Clarke - Incompetent

I wanted to rant about this at length. But, it appears, I don't need to. Language warning. No, not for DK's post, you already know about his language. It's Tim's post that needs the warning. Yup, Tim Worstall is angry enough to title a post "fuck him". More here and here, and doubtless in other places as well.

Message for Mr Clarke

You want to compensate the "victims of crime"? Good. Don't you think the innocent locked away for a crime they didn't commit is just as much a victim as the crimed against*?

You'll save £5 million quid a year. Why not save much more money than that by scrapping the White Elephant National Identity Register? Oh, I forgot, that's needed so the contract can be given to a nice Labour donating company like Crapita, right?
If we as a society get things wrong and imprison the innocent it is our duty, as that very society, to both say sorry and to compensate them as best we can.


*Obviously, context is all here, but the point stands

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Spike the system

People may be interested to see NO2ID's latest campaign against ID cards. They are asking all those opposed to the introduction of ID cards to Renew For Freedom by renewing their passports in May. Hopefully this will create a surge in the number of passport applications big enough to highlight the number of people who are against compulsory ID cards.

Or it might fall flat on it's face, as I'm sure the government will claim support for ID cards if the number renewing isn't particularly high...

Hopefully though, it will provide the catalyst for people who have said "I better renew my passport before then" to actually get around to doing it. Me included.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

25%? don't make me laugh.

So 25% of voters "might vote" for the BNP. So what?

The media have obviously had a field day with this story over the weekend - any story where the media can draw comparisons with the Nazi's and foresee the demise of British politics is obviously going to be too big an opportunity to miss. Cue plenty of commentators rallying against the BNP, and pointing out that it probably shouldn't be blown out of proportion.

The thing is though, I would actually like to see the BNP having more representation, because I support PR. Whilst I think the 'findings' by the Rowntree Trust are utterly pointless, I do accept the fact that the BNP do represent the views of some sections of the electorate, and, like many small parties, these views are not aired adequately under the current system. At the moment, we deal with the BNP in the ways mentioned above - rubbish them as little threat, remind everyone they're just the National Front in smarter clothes, ignore them and their followers.

As Mat has discussed in length here, this is not the way to deal with extremist parties like the BNP. Personally, I think we can be quietly confident in the ability of the BNP to fail all on their own if given the proper pulpit from which to preach. Bring the party out into the open, let everyone really see their views rather than tarring them as some criminal or otherwise shady organisation. Yes, this may gain them a few more voters, but hopefully it will also bring to light the lack of focus on real political issues and the party's real lack of credentials. You never know, engaging the party in mainstream politics may even temper them a little, and make them more palatable if they realise that they will need to be less antagonistic to gain votes.

What we don't want to do is scare everyone into locking up their daughters by trying to make out that a quarter of the population might vote BNP at the local elections. Let's face it, the majority of the people questioned in this survey wont vote at all if previous local elections are anything to go by. And obviously it's one thing to say 'vote BNP' on your doorstep and quite another to vote BNP at the ballot box. British politics is littered with occasions where even the bigger parties have heralded surveys and exit polls as showing a clear win for their party, only to be dashed when the real results are revealed. If only we could have a little less sensationalism in the reporting of voter intentions - it might make good copy, but it sure doesn't make good politics.

That Euston Manifesto thing

Via this by Garry I come to this by Sunny (and I really must add PP to my main feedreader). They're both, tangentially, discussing this.

It's been reasonably well shredded already, my main problem with it is that it tries to do too much, lumps many different issues together, many of which I agree with, others I distinctly do not, and, well, it's a bit verbose.

Actually, it's very verbose. I mean, I go on a bit, but this? Paulie, respect the opinions and all that, but couldn't you have trimmed it a little? Any decent radical knows that you need 6 key points that can be summarised very quickly. This just goes on and on and ... You get the point. Daniel, in rather hyperbolic fasion, made me laugh the most though.

Biggest problem? So many words, so few specifics.
We value the traditions and institutions, the legacy of good governance, of those countries in which liberal, pluralist democracies have taken hold.
Guys?
  1. name one where you believe there truly is a legacy of 'good governance' within a 'liberal, pluralist democracy'
  2. This seems to imply a liking for aspic. Yet you describe yourselves as progressives.

Constitutions and institutions evolve, adapt, and change. Currently, in this country at least, they're being abused, and have been for some time. I had hoped Blair's New Labour would improve things. They've actually made things worse (constitutionally, anyway).
The United States of America is a great country and nation. It is the home of a strong democracy
OK, the first bit, I can't disagree with. The second? You can't get elected without a bankroll that makes the loans for peerages sums look like pocket change. Hanging chads, dodgy Diebold, a two-party duopoly in which both are to what us Europeans would describe as the Right. Incredibly low turnout figures.

That's not a healthy democracy. It's not a strong democracy. It's most certainly not the beacon of truth and justice the Founding Fathers meant it to be.

Criticising the US Govt isn't "anti-Americanism". It's pro-America. You lost me on this one I'm afraid, telling me to accept the way the best challenge to Bush was from a boring patrician with a bank balance larger than many small countries is the sign of "strong democracy"? No. It isn't. Ths US system of govt is failing the people of America even more than the UK system is failing us Brits.

Respecting traditions is fine. When they work. When they don't, we need to change and update them.

The great shame? I agree with all of this:
10) A new internationalism.
We stand for an internationalist politics and the reform of international law — in the interests of global democratization and global development. Humanitarian intervention, when necessary, is not a matter of disregarding sovereignty, but of lodging this properly within the "common life" of all peoples. If in some minimal sense a state protects the common life of its people (if it does not torture, murder and slaughter its own civilians, and meets their most basic needs of life), then its sovereignty is to be respected. But if the state itself violates this common life in appalling ways, its claim to sovereignty is forfeited and there is a duty upon the international community of intervention and rescue. Once a threshold of inhumanity has been crossed, there is a "responsibility to protect".
It's a damn shame that our Govts do not.

I supported intervention in Afghanistan. I opposed Iraq. For many many reasons, mostly the mess they made in Afghanistan, and the very low priority Saddam's regime was compared to, for example, Burma and N. Korea. Also, of course, effectively abandoning Afghanistan has meant the Taliban are still there, the warlords are still there. The intervention I supported failed, and mostly because it was abandoned in favour of an easier target.

The manifesto; some fine ideals, hidden between lies, half truths, and turgid prose. Shame.

I should be right in the middle of their target audience.

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

ID Cards on Trial

Hmm, I'd never heard of the site before, but Silicon.Com has an excellent series of articles on ID cards, the NIR, the potential commercial uses for the scheme, what will happen in the event of serious disturbance, etc.

In addition to this, John Pilger (a journalist I only sometimes agree with) has an excellent, if hyperbolic, article on the implications of ID, the NIR and the Leg/Reg Bill in this weeks New Statesman.
The dying of freedom in Britain is not news. The pirouettes of the Prime Minister and his political twin, the Chancellor, are news, though of minimal public interest. Looking back to the 1930s, when social democracies were distracted and powerful cliques imposed their totalitarian ways by stealth and silence, the warning is clear. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill has already passed its second parliamentary reading without interest to most Labour MPs and court journalists; yet it is utterly totalitarian in scope.
---
Those who fail to hear these steps on the road to dictatorship should look at the government's plans for ID cards, described in its manifesto as "voluntary". They will be compulsory and worse. An ID card will be different from a driving licence or passport. It will be connected to a database called the NIR (National Identity Register), where your personal details will be stored. These will include your fingerprints, a scan of your iris, your residence status and unlimited other details about your life. If you fail to keep an appointment to be photographed and fingerprinted, you can be fined up to £2,500.

Every place that sells alcohol or cigarettes, every post office, every pharmacy and every bank will have an NIR terminal where you can be asked to "prove who you are". Each time you swipe the card, a record will be made at the NIR - so, for instance, the government will know every time you withdraw more than £99 from your bank account. Restaurants and off-licences will demand that the card be swiped so that they are indemnified from prosecution. Private business will have full access to the NIR. If you apply for a job, your card will have to be swiped. If you want a London Underground Oyster card, or a supermarket loyalty card, or a telephone line or a mobile phone or an internet account, your ID card will have to be swiped.

In other words, there will be a record of your movements, your phone calls and shopping habits, even the kind of medication you take.

---
Like the constitution-hijacking bill now reaching its final stages, and the criminalising of peaceful protest, ID cards are designed to control the lives of ordinary citizens (as well as enrich the new Labour-favoured companies that will build the computer systems). A small, determined and profoundly undemocratic group is killing freedom in Britain.
The facts are correct. The conclusions? I'm not sure I even disagree with them either.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Those nasty terrorists and billionaires

Terrorism, glorification and Peter Hain

OK, it came into force. As Garry observes, that means it's now illegal to say nice things about, for example, this guy. In addition, Peter Hain will now have problems writing his memoirs (if/when he finally leaves office), as he's also guilty of acts now defined as terrorist under laws he voted for.

NuLab changing the electoral rules in Wales - they got it wrong last time, they don't win

Of course, Hain's an arse anyway, his current wheeze is an attack on the idea of Regional top-up AMs in Wales. Well, yes Peter, we know they're a crap idea. We told you that at the time. We said use a system that kept a constituency link, but oh no, NuLab had to adopt a system that (supposedly) gave it the advantage. Create a system, then decide it's not working, so blame those that were forced to work within it instead of the system itself. Useless terrorist fool. Peter Black has more; he doesn't like how he was elected, but you do what's needed, right?

Italy, Berlusconi, cheating and stability

On the subject of Governments changing electoral systems in an attempt to give their own party an advantage, isn't Italy watching fun? At least, it would be, if the media were actually covering the story properly. The best coverage I've found hasn't been the BBC, nor any boradsheets, but blogs. The media is simply regurgitating cliches, and lying (or, to be charitable, simply not understanding) the way Italians vote. There's an excellent description, including regional breakdown, here. Silvio tried to rig the system, owns most of the broadcast media, controlled a lot of the rest via the Govt, and still they voted him out (just).

Who would chose a list PR system?

The Italian electoral system, now I've read about it, is even more crazy than the Israeli system. It says something when two countries have system that are actually as bad, if not worse, than ours. Or, are they?

I'd have said yes, but look at those turnout numbers in Italy. Everyone voted, everyone took it seriously, it mattered. More parties than I can count, but everyone gets to vote for what they care about. You most certainly can't say that all Italian politicians are the same. It's still a daft system, but it does show how the "western malaise" supposedly affectig democracy doesn't, necessarily, apply. Friend of mine was at a big trade fair show in Bologna over the weekend. Major stall holders were shutting up and leaving early, from their biggest annual event, in order to get home and vote.

Would us Brits bother doing that? The Italian electoral system (especially the new one that Berlusconi created) is unstable, and no one is seriously suggesting it for the UK. Instead, we want a reformed constituency system. I've gone on about it before, plenty of times, but Peter Blacks post above gives another good series of reasons why list systems are wrong.

The new Liberal Review, and NLE is moving soon

Life is busy, I'm busy, and light blogging mode is on. New project in the works, we'll be moving soon, details to follow when I've got everything sorted out. In the meantime, on the subject of revamped blogs, take a good look at the new Liberal Review. I've been asked to write a bit onconstitutional refor (sorry Rob, swamped), in the meantime, it's taken onboard the Apollo Project team, and taking guest columns, including a pretty good one from Tim.

G'night all.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Britblog Roundup # 60

The weekly best of is up a Tim's place.

I, as usual, am running late, so I'll read the ones I haven't yet seen late.
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Jack Straw's bed - a Google Search

Why is someone in Belgium googling for jack straw bed - Google Search?

And thanks to Katy for making the comment that put that little nugget into the post; another good reason to use a commenting system that puts the comments on the same page as the post, haloscan et al give those awful annoying pop-ups, no thanks.
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Saturday, April 08, 2006

The POWER of party funding

Very interesting discussion over on Strange Stuff on party funding and the Power report, one I've been planning to write about but, as usual, not got around to finishing reading the damned report.

Essentially, I'm not sold on state funding of parties, and prefer instead a mixture of campaign spending caps and free access to more media in a less regulated manner; "party election broadcasts" are dull as ditchwater, but at least they're equitable, let's update and improve upon that model so that parties don't need to spend as much on gimicky adverts, posters, etc.

Alternately, don't give the money to parties directly, book the advertising space centrally, pay for it centrally, and share it out as per PEBs (which are determined by number of candidates fielded and thus fairly allotted to new parties as well).

If we go for state finance directly to parties (and I'd prefer we didn't), it has to be on something similar to the POWER model, wherein we, when voting, also tick a box to allot £3 or similar to a particular party, not necessarily the one we're voting for.

Better that than dodgy loans and party treasurers begging the rich for cash. But better to change the system such that they don't need to send out the begging bowl, in any form.

UKIP 'parks tank' - the world laughs.

So, they've made good on their promise to "park their tank on David Cameron's abandoned lawn"

Well, sort of. Guys? It's not a tank. Even the Telegraph puts 'tank' in quotes. It's an APC of some sort (no, I can't tell what type, although I know some that can).

Politicians break promises during a cheap publicity stunt? doesn't this take the whole level of naffness that seems to surround UKIP to a new level?

Nosemonkey:
Go on UKIP, you morons - keep tilting at the Brussels windmill in a vain effort to "save" this country. Meanwhile the real danger, The Rt. Hon. A.C.L. Blair, MP, is busy looting, raping and pillaging the constitution while your backs are turned. Were UKIP to reunite with the Tories rather than engage in these pathetic public spats, Labour would be in genuine trouble. It'd be funny if it wasn't so damned pathetic.
The problem with Europe isn't that it exists, it's that it follows the same bureacratic centralist model that Whitehall has adopted. Decisions made in secret, enforced by diktat, with no mandate or support from the populace.

To a decentralising democrat like me, it's a godawful mess. But I don't propose to abolish Britain (or even England) because I dislike Whitehall, I propose to reform it and decentralise. Brussels employs less staff than many city councils, it needs to be reformed, opened up, democratised and have it's tasks, powers, aims and objectives clearly defined. The loons that object to being "governed by foreigners" and similar are completely missing the point.

Whitehall does more damage to the Westcountry than Brussels does. Let's reform both, shall we?

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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Do you live in Englefield Green East?

Vote for this guy:
Really pissed off about the vomitous, turdridden herd of diseased bloodsucking rat-swine that masquerades as our government?
Because, let's face it, that has to be the best opening election address I've seen yet. Even better:
while you're here, why not contribute to the campaign? I can spend, I think, up to £600. If there's more I promise to spend the surplus on beer. Now there's a political promise you can rely on.


No2ID - Ebay PR Stunt

This. (Has now been removed by eBay for an unspecified breach. Ah well).

If enough people with an eBay account put it on their watch list, it gets onto eBay pulse. More discussion here at their forums, I just got an email about it. I don't have an eBay account (yet)...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Abuses of Power

So John Reid is calling for changes to the way that the 'rules of war' deal with
a deliberate regression towards barbaric terrorism by our opponents.

Well fair enough, it's certainly an area that needs looking at. Problem is, Mr. Reid has decided to stick with the Blairite line and refer to Guantanamo as an 'anomaly', when of course what he actually means is 'absolute bloody disgrace'. It's a simple mistake, granted, but one which I feel will somehow colour the conclusions that Mr. Reid finally comes to.

Without wishing to state the bleeding obvious, the problems with Guantanamo have absolutely nothing to do with International Law or the Geneva Convention, and just about everything to do with the simple application of power. Petty word games and semantics about 'unlawful combatants' quite frankly wouldn't fly if they were being banded about by anybody else. What we have here is simple Foucault - Power, in that the US can create and maintain such a facility which the international community can do little to oppose, and Control, in that it has spent the last five years trying its level best to convince everybody that terrorism is such a huge and ultimately different threat than before that we are perfectly justified in throwing the rulebook out the window and treating terrorists suspects however we damn well please.

Thing is, we all know that this happens; that in the excise of power the rules don't always mean too much. Not a lot we can do about it sometimes, other than highlight the abuses and see if they make a difference. Which is why it has surprised me about the extent to which the US (and, especially over Iraq, the UK) have tried to apply a sheen of legality to their actions. I mean, would anybody actually be convinced if the Supreme Court actually turned around and said 'yep, all above board'? But equally, why do they need to bother? Guantanamo obviously isn't going anywhere soon, regardless of whether it proves to be legal in the long-run or not. The only suggestion I can make is that the legal cases are just another attempt to Control - but this time aimed at those who may prove less resistant if they believe the action to be legal after all.

Which is why, to be perfectly honest, I think the whole reappraisal of the rules of war is a complete con; misdirection at it’s very best.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Passports, ID cards, NIR - A call to arms

Bastards. I believe, given that the deputy to the sweaty baboon has answered in Parliament that we can renew at any time, that they'd have a hard job of changing the rules now. So the plan to renew next year proceeds apace.

I went to the pub this evening, met up with Chris and also the local No2ID organiser. Get involved. Even if it's just to give up a morning leafletting instead of shopping. If you can't see a local organiser? Any reason why you couldn't get together with friends and become one? This needs to be a campaign on two fronts, one is civil disobediance; renew your passport early, don't register, refuse to register, get fined, refuse to pay, get headlines and the rest.

The second is electoral. I repeat the earlier statement; at the next General Election, ask every candidate:

Will you vote to abolish the National Identity Register

If they don't promise to do so, make sure they're not elected.

Between now and then? Councils across the country have passed resolutions on the issue. Local elections are coming up in much of the country. Make it an issue. Some people (and I'm one of them) have a bit of a problem with national issues effecting local campaigns. But this really does affect everything.

Big picture? I repeat my call. At the next General election, we'll need to ensure we have a strong tactical voting campaign against any candidates that refuse to repeal this Act. Other issues, such as Leg/Reg, etc also matter. But this one, to me, is the big one.

We have to get them out.

In the meantime?

Labour members!

There's still much, much talk of a 'coronation'. The Labour party has a strong tradition as a democratic party. I've voted Labour in the past FFS. Don't let the give Brown a coronation; make sure there's a leadership campaign, make NIR an issue.

We cannot (and will not) submit to a database state. To arms my friends, to arms.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Jack Straw: Pratt

Curious Hamster:
Jack Straw really is an odious turd. Still, it's best to get even, not angry. And it's relatively easy in this case.

Where were all the pro-Condi demonstrators, Jack? I didn't see a single one on the news. If they had asked me... well, I doubt very much I could have done better. There are just so many more people who don't like what she stands for.

Check the headlines Jack
He's right. Jack really is an odious turd.
<a href="http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page1381.asp" 
title="odious turd">odious turd</a>
(Nifty Auto code generator here)

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Tired Tony to go?

Sometimes, News Headlines make me smile a lot.
BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair 'could quit by end of year'

BBC NEWS | Politics | Voters 'want Blair resignation'

But really, given both storied use the same picture, Don't you think Blair looks tired?
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Saturday, April 01, 2006

ID cards & NIR: News from the future

eBay, Blue Peter and market stupidity

Remember when I said this?
on 80% of the issues that matter to me, I'm pretty close to the Lib Dems
Well, some people took that to mean I agreed with the LibDems 80% of the time. Not true. On the 'big' issues (is the ones I write about here), the Lib Dems are the most sound. On others? Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear:
Two MPs have tabled a Commons motion demanding that internet auction sites ban the sale of Blue Peter badges.

Liberal Democrats John Barrett and Andrew George have condemned what they say is an "unscrupulous" practice.
Guys? It's called a Market Economy. If an item gets you priviledges you don't want, and others do, and it means little to you, sell it. If said item will make your life, or that of those you care about, better, then buy it. If you believe it's worth the money, this is called 'positive utility'. It's a basic principle; I understand it, and I'm not an economist.

The BBC chose to issue an item that had not expiration date and no link to one specific person, and negotiate cheap entry deals in many many attractions. Um, can anyone else see the obvious flaw here?

"Unscrupulous"? Maybe. Rational? Absolutely. I have lots of items left over from my childhood and early adult life. There's a huge pile of them by my door. It's getting smaller as I sell bits of it. Some of those bits, I don't want to part with. Others I don't care about. If someone wants to give me money for something I don't want?

That's called freedom.

Note to the BBC. Make them person specific, or stop whinging. Note to the two LibDem MPs named above. Get with it, the whole point of Liberalism is you agree with basic market principles.

(via)

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