Question of the day

Is it right for an MP (or their staff) to use time and facilities paid for by the taxpayer to edit their Wikipedia listing to their liking? (Not quick factual updates, you understand, but vanity-edits and/or censorship.)

The reason I ask is that (*ahem*) someone seems determined to remove all reference to the Anne Milton weblog from Anne Milton’s Wikipedia entry, and the most recent change (involving yet another removal of any reference/link to the weblog) tracks straight back to the IP address 194.60.38.10

(Psst! Run this IP address through Wikipedia’s back-end to see who else has been making good use of their your time.)

UPDATE (27 June) – Another data and link deletion from inside the Houses of Parliament at 11:06am. They don’t learn, do they?

UPDATE (28 June) – And the entry has been censored *again* at 9:17am from inside the Houses of Parliament. Bold and arrogant, or just plain stupid… what do you think?








Posted in Anne Milton | 5 Comments

Describe Bloggerheads in two words or less

Tch. I prefer the term ‘freedom-fighting’ and they know it.

;o)

(Heads-up via Wibbler, who also brings to our attention a wonderful way to get shot.)








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“Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job… at taking the heat off me.”

Raw Story – Email to Brown claims Bush was happy former FEMA head was taking heat for Katrina response: An “embarrassing email” leaked by former FEMA head Michael Brown to CNN quotes President Bush as saying at a Cabinet meeting held shortly after Katrina that he was pleased that Brown was taking most of the heat for the federal government’s roundly criticized response to the hurricane. “I’d rather they beat up on him than me or Chertoff,” President Bush allegedly said at the meeting, referring to the head of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. The sender also thanked Brown for “diverting hostile fire away from the leader.”

Related posts:
Sep 5 2005 – White House swings into action…. to shift blame
Sep 6 2005 – Inhuman scum
Sep 7 2005 – Katrina: it is worse than you could possibly imagine
Sep 8 2005 – New Orleans declared public relations disaster area
Sep 12 2005 – Whatever it takes (except sacking my mates)
Sep 13 2005 – Weblogs by (former) residents of New Orleans
Sep 14 2005 – A slightly chilly day in hell








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A few quickies

BSSC – Supporting WMD: So Gordon has announced that he wants the UK to retain an independent nuclear deterrent thus prejudging the “debate” we’re all going to be allowed to have on this. Hurray! Is he Prime Minister already then?

No, he’s not. And he never will be. There, I said it.

For all those who missed goat-face on Newsnight. There are differing views on how this turned out for Coulter/Paxman here.

More SOCPA fun with fraidy-cat Blair.

UPDATE – The UK Today – The Man Who Would Be King: But last night was the final straw, the moment when it was confirmed that saving the Labour Party would be achieved by just the removal of Blair, but would also hinge on stopping Brown from becoming leader… This matter has nothing to do with national security, nothing to do with using state finances wisely, nothing to do with making the world a safer place. This is politics at its most unpalatable. This is Brown standing up and saying “Look at me, I’m hard!”. This is Brown pulling Blairs balls out of the fire. Again. Above all, this is a betrayal by New Labour. This just confirms what I have suspected for some time now; that Gordon Brown must not become Labour Leader or Prime Minister.

Oh, and have another quicky…

BBC – US confirms Heathrow hijack plot: An official US report has confirmed al-Qaeda planned to hijack flights from Heathrow and fly planes into the airport and a Canary Wharf skyscraper. Reports of such a plot had surfaced in the media before but have not previously been confirmed… In February 2003, military vehicles were deployed to Heathrow Airport to deal with a suspected terrorist threat, a move which proved controversial. It is not believed the deployment was linked to the same Canary Wharf plot confirmed by the US report.

UPDATE – And another for laptop users.








Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | 2 Comments

Funding mentals

Observer – Schoolgirls are forced to take off chastity rings – or be ordered out of lessons: Heather and Philip Playfoot have spent almost two years in dispute with Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex, over their 15-year-old daughter Lydia’s ring. While the school’s uniform rules forbid jewellery, they argue that the rings – given to teenagers who complete a controversial evangelical church course preaching sexual abstinence – hold genuine religious significance… Her ring came from the Silver Ring Thing, an evangelical initiative recently introduced to Britain from the US, with which her parents’ local church is involved… The issue has now been taken up by the Tory MP Andrew Selous, chair of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, who raised the wearing of purity rings with the Schools Minister Jim Knight in the House of Commons last week.

Well done, Andrew Selous… you bold Warrior For Christ, you.

The UK Today – The Silver Ring’s The Thing: Silver Ring Thing promotes a highly suspect doctrine, in a manner that is almost cult-like. To try and use legislation in the manner suggested in the article would be to set a dangerous precedent, and I would give my wholehearted support to the governors of Millais School in Horsham, West Sussex.

Seconded.

The Silver Ring Thing is a Christian recruitment drive dressed up as a health initiative. At least, that’s the position they needed to maintain while they were earning federal funds in the U.S. (to the detriment of health and education services involving actual education about health). But when they reach a tricky moment like this, suddenly it’s All About Faith? Puh-lease!

The following cannot be repeated enough… Denny Pattyn, founder of the Silver Ring Thing, is a lying scoundrel and a danger to children.

Here’s proof from the man himself. When he spoke these words, he was well on his way to earning over a million yankee dollars in federal funding on the basis that his was a ‘health and education program’…

Denny Pattyn: “I believe that the end of the world is approaching very quickly and I believe that Christ will come back. I think about that. I think that I might just be living in the Last Days…. We’re not really putting our energy into abstinence as much as we’re putting it into faith. Abstinence is the tool that we’re using to reach children.”

Even with frank admissions like that on the record, it wasn’t until August of last year that this finally happened…

Washington Post – Federal Funds For Abstinence Group Withheld: The Bush administration yesterday suspended a federal grant to the Silver Ring Thing abstinence program, saying it appears to use tax money for religious activities.

Denny Pattyn is not out to protect young children from unwanted pregnancy and venereal disease (remember; this is his lead pitch and the foundation of his former federal funding)… what he really wants to do is get as many recruits as possible before Jesus returns and starts calling the troops home, even if it involves breaking the 2nd, 7th and 8th commandments in the process.

I’m sorely tempted to introduce a special programme for all children who wish to take a solemn vow in opposition to this abuse of faith, with personalised rings that read; “GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY*”

(*Intended as a special euphemistic message to Denny Pattyn, obviously. Let’s not insult the kids by assuming that they’re stupid.)








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Who will rid us of this overspent beast?

Guardian – One answer and many questions: Labour is now demonstrably a party in need of change. It is hard to see how its morale and political fortunes will improve significantly while Mr Blair remains leader. There is no evidence for any such shift of mood in the latest polling. To believe otherwise requires a leap of faith from the party and the electorate in the prime minister, which neither shows the slightest sign of wishing to make. This is not to say that things will necessarily get much worse for Labour, but they seem unlikely to get any better, even if England were to win the World Cup. The longer Mr Blair remains, therefore, the greater the danger for Labour that the demoralisation and political alienation will deepen. Mr Blair’s continuation at the top of his party increasingly appears like an act of vanity.

Or – if you want to put it another way – there’s a job that needs doing, and no-one in the Labour Party appears to have the ability, will, brains and/or guts required to take it on.

People are going to remember that, no matter what change (finally) takes place.








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The signal-to-noise rationale

The Boston Globe – Sending shameful signals: “No question Guantanamo sends, you know, a signal,” President Bush said last week. “It provides an excuse, for example, to say the United States is not upholding the values that they’re trying to encourage other countries to adhere to.” This frank admission is anomalous, of course, because President Bush intends to maintain the prison complex in Cuba indefinitely. And every day that he does so, the signal sent grows louder.

You may recall Bush’s recent press conference with Tony Blair where he ‘admitted’ a ‘mistake’. In context, his primary concern was not about what he had done, but what he had said… and that; “in certain parts of the world it was misinterpreted” (his further nod to the mistake of Abu Ghraib blatantly ignored the mistakes behind it, and included a false claim that the people responsible had been brought to justice).

This is more of the same; an assertion that Guantanamo Bay is not a mistake… but in certain parts of the world it’s misinterpreted.

So what we’re hearing here is nothing but noise deliberately designed to ease minds and pass blame as the true signal becomes harder and harder to ignore.








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Stoppers!

Independent – The ugly truth about everyday life in Baghdad (by the US ambassador)

Juan Cole – US Embassy Document (full text)

BSSC – Our Man In Iraq








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Labour Home: “It was only a beta-test….”

LabourHome.org – the ‘home of grass roots Labour opinion’ – is due to launch soon. The opening post that mistakenly credits me with building Conservativehome.com has been described by the creator as a ‘cunning marketing plan’.

(Don’t feel too bad, Alex; Last week I mistook Labour for Labour because I was scanning documents when I really should have been paying attention to what I was blogging.)








Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | Comments Off on Labour Home: “It was only a beta-test….”

Labour is ‘listening’ again

Go on, have a go. Make a note of what they delete.

UPDATE – Labour have a new wheeze that saves them all that deletion hassle… they only display a certain number of comments (roughly 15 or so). Older comments disappear into an invisible and impenetrable archive… so only the most recent form of mild dissent is visible to the public.

UPDATE – BSSC – “Let’s ask leading questions”








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