Counting my blessings.

Back soon.

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Jack Straw declares sunlight to be an enemy of democracy

A heads-up via Carl:

PA – Straw ‘will veto” Iraq minutes: The Government will exercise veto powers to block publication of key Cabinet minutes under freedom of information laws, it has been announced. Justice Secretary Jack Straw said he could not permit the release of records from 2003 discussions over the invasion of Iraq because it would cause too much “damage” to democracy…. For Tories, Dominic Grieve backed the decision to block publication but said it left an “overwhelming case” for a full review into the Iraq invasion.

With a safely narrow remit, I’ll wager.

Well, that’s it, then; the headline to this veto article may as well read; “Tory victory assured – ‘more of same’ to continue”


Meanwhile… (via)

(Jeebus… no wonder Labour wanted a lying cheat in charge of their rabid rebuttal unit. Draper will have to do some serious backflips to dodge any fair/open discussion of this on LabourList.)

UPDATE (25 Feb) – Via mark, two quotes from politics.co.uk:

“The flow of information between the government and people is fundamental to a vigorous and robust democracy. Information empowers people.”

Jack Straw, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice – June 2008

“Freedom of Information can be inconvenient, at times frustrating and indeed embarrassing for governments. But Freedom of Information is the right course because government belongs to the people, not the politicians.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s ‘Speech on Liberty’ – October 2007

But then, I’m sure there are equally-strenuous statements from each of these gentlemen assuring us that torture is wrong and that responsible democracies should do everything in their power to discourage it.

(Gosh, I hope members and supporters of the Labour party/government who are wondering why I’m outside the tent and pissing in are reading this post. It contains *clues*. Oh, and Derek Draper appears to be using the Iain Dale method of conversation censorship; if Draper and his team of tame writers avoid mentioning Lord Ashcroft Iraq or torture in their posts this week, any attempt to start a conversation about Iraq or torture on LabourList can safely be deleted/dismissed as ‘off topic’. Brilliant, eh?)

Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | 1 Comment

Sir Alan Sugar sues over Sun/Jenvey claims

Guardian – Alan Sugar sues Sun over terror splash: Sir Alan Sugar has begun legal action over a Sun front page story that alleged he was named on a “terror hit list”… Sugar… yesterday issued a writ at the high court in London against the Sun’s publisher and News International subsidiary, News Group Newspapers. The businessman and TV star is understood to have been angry at the story, which he felt risked his personal security… A spokeswoman for the Sun had not responded by the time of publication. (via)

I actually had to call The Sun today about a detail regarding the Jenvey story after they’d ignored an earlier email. This recent development might be why they were so shy/jumpy about a simple question (that didn’t get an answer).

No matter. I’ll just press on quietly where I can, leaving Sir Alan (and the PCC) to their business.

Posted in Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | Comments Off

Brother from another plant

The following is a little snippet of an ordinary man’s history that was recently found by a friend in a pile of forgotten correspondence. It was passed from one (blood) brother to another to show what some (blood of the workers) brothers got up to on the Ford factory floor in deepest, darkest Slough, back in what I’m guesstimating to be the late 70s.

I thought was worth preserving/publishing.

(Enjoy/share the following transcript by all means, but please also take the time to appreciate the effort that went into the original notice and many notices like it; desktop publishing is a luxury that too many of us take for granted, and typewriters don’t have an ‘undo’ function or a spell checker.)



Three weeks ago on Phase 1 Minor Line (B Shift), a brother was ordered by his General Foreman to start work without gloves or wear a dirty pair that the General Foreman had picked out of a bin. The brother refused to start work without a clean pair as was one of the 5 dirty jobs one the line that always have got a clean pair of gloves at the start of every shift.

The brother then asked to see a shop steward, but this request was refused. Instead he was told he was off pay and had lost his supplement. While all this was going on, his foreman, who did not know what had happened – was getting clean gloves as he did every morning. When he came back, he issued the man with clean gloves. The brother put them on and started work.

Then the General Foreman came back – ripped the new gloves off our bother’s hands and told him to wear a dirty pair out of the bin. The brother again refused and management called in a senior steward from the next line. This steward agreed he shouldn’t wear a dirty pair and advised him not to start work without clean gloves. The brother was then issued with a clean pair – but he was told he was being disciplined.

For the next 2 weeks at the beginning of every shift, this threat was repeated: wear a dirty pair or be disciplined. As the line had no steward at this time, one was elected. But straight away he was given the same choice – wear dirty gloves or be disciplined.

The shop steward also refused to start without a clean pair. So he was given a clean pair, but also told that he was being disciplined. Management then decided that the first brother was to be given a 3 day suspension and our steward was to be sacked. Meanwhile, before an appeal he was suspended on pay.

After two nights, management changed it to 3 day suspensions for both brothers to be taken Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week. The Convenor asked fro a delay so an official could be brought in. This was refused.

So today, 80 blokes from Phase 1 walked out in support of the two men, as well as another of our brothers who was also suspended for 3 days for refusing extra work. This brother was subjected to racist abuse and was pushed around by the same General Foreman who had been causing all the trouble about the gloves.



printed by Ford Workers’ Group Langley

A scan of the original document can be seen here.

Posted in Inneresting | Comments Off

Gail Trimble will submit to my mighty rage

You may see a smug grimace after each correct answer, but I see a person who is peripherally aware of herself appearing in close-up on studio monitors after each correct answer and – consciously or unconsciously – trying to hide her teeth.

You want to see smug? *This* is smug:

The Sun – Universally challenged: But she came a cropper with questions on subjects like football, movies and the Brit Awards, getting NONE of our five correct.

Shame on Gail Trimble for not knowing about showbiz, sport and The Sun’s sensational scoops. It is right that we should hate her… unless she gets some horrible disease, of course.

OK, now it’s my turn to be smug. Join me in mocking any foolish and ignorant Americans who are surprised to see ‘House’ in the following clip:

/mock mock mock

Speaking of sticky buns covered with human beings the size of amoebas, take a peek at Teh Mail having a go at their own comment contributors (who they describe as “internet bloggers”):

Angry Mob – The Mail vs its own readers: At the bottom of this article the negative comments started arriving from Mail Online readers, nothing unusual here. However, Monday’s print edition of the Daily Mail run this story on the second page and included quotations from the ‘internet’ of people hating this girl… Now, where would the Mail possibly find some ‘internet bloggers’? From the Mail Online comments posted underneath the original Mail article of course! Although these people are not bloggers, and the comments are not even posted on a blog; but the Mail do not normally let facts get in the way of things (and always seem keen to attack bloggers).


Guardian – University Challenge star Gail Trimble adapts to public eye: University Challenge winner Gail Trimble was today getting used to being in the public eye, revealing that she had been approached by a lads’ mag to take part in a “tasteful photoshoot”.

Is that for the lads who think smart=sexy, or the lads who ‘hate’ her? If the latter, who wants to be first to submit ‘grudge-wank’ to Roger’s Profanisaurus?

UPDATE – Melanie Phillips is now having a go at the ‘bloggers’ that she claims are behind any/all vitriol. Meanwhile, the comments posted under the original article that might be used to prove that some of her examples of vitriol were in fact published by the Mail (after being cleared for publication by Mail staff)… have been deleted. Not just the ‘bad’ ones, but all of them. Every single one.

Let that sink in; everybody had their comments deleted, because the Mail doesn’t like to be wrong. Nobody can easily prove where Melanie Phillips might be having us on a bit, because the good people at the Mail have rewritten history (just like Jag Singh, Alex Hilton and their thin-skinned hypocrite mate Paul Staines did did a few days ago).

UPDATE – Ahahahahahaha! 20 minutes after I submitted the following comment to the Melanie Phillips article, comments were restored under the original article:

“For this she has been vilified across the blogs”

Which blogs specifically? I ask because you include as examples of the “bitter onslaught”, text that was published on the Daily Mail website as comments (i.e. not on a blog) after being cleared by your own moderators.

You have since removed *every* comment from under the relevant article but this, if anything, makes things worse, as you now appear to be erasing evidence without admission of error, while claiming that others are guilty of the same act your publication won’t admit to.

(Moderators, I have had unhappy experiences on this website involving some mods who abuse their position and the trust of readers by censoring comments that are – ahem – ‘inconvenient’. Lets not make this one of those times.)

I’m sure it was just a glitch.


Posted in Old Media | 3 Comments

G-bombing YouTube update

Sorry that this took so long:

I also didn’t mean for this silly footage of a wild-eyed lady to out-rank this important footage featuring another wild-eyed lady, but it’s all temporary, and sure to be sorted once Google becomes aware of the glitch.

And on that note, the more overt I am about this, the greater the chances that Google will take steps to fix it, so… something something something Paul Staines darrrrk siiiiide.

Instructions are here if you want to play.

Posted in Search Engine Optimisation | 3 Comments

Young boy younger than young girl who gives birth to even younger baby shock

The good people at The Sun never tire of warning us how child benefits ‘encourage’ teenage pregnancy. In fact, any government initiative involving any kind of money or gain – no matter how pathetic it may be – immediately amounts to a cash reward for bad behaviour in their eyes.

So where does this attitude leave them when they throw fame and/or large amounts of money in the direction of two teenagers who were aged 14 and 12 when their child was conceived?

What benefit to the public emerges from their sensationalising one teenage pregnancy (when hundreds of girls of a similar age get pregnant every year in this country), purely on the basis that the boy being younger than the girl has even more novelty value than usual?

Oh, and what role (if any) do they think all that money and fame played in the sudden appearance of two other young boys also claiming to be the father?

Guardian – Peter Wilby: The press has lost the moral plot
Septicisle – Exploitation by both sides

Rare link to Sickipedia:

New teenage dad Alfie Patten has just joined Fathers for Justice; He doesn’t understand the politics but he does have a Spiderman outfit.

And here’s a picture, boys and girls.

(Psst! The less said about the other media circus Max Clifford is at the centre of this week, the better. All that can teach us is that there’s more than one type of cancer.)

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Prepare to feel good all over

Talent. (via)

Posted in Video | 2 Comments

Labour liars’ love-in goes mainstream

Kissy kissy.

Draper and many bloggers defend strategy

Derek Draper, editor of LabourList, has rejected suggestions that his web strategy is too Westminster-focused. He told PRWeek: ‘There is a massive spread of issues on the website. It should be about the whole country and the Westminster village is part of that.’

He also pointed out that top Labour politicians were onside: ‘When I have asked them to do something for LabourList, not a single member of the Cabinet has been anything other than keen.’

Draper was speaking in the wake of rumours that his web tactics were dividing the party.

One Labour insider claimed: ‘There are lots of people at all sorts of levels of the party very uncomfortable with the Derek Draper ego show.’

But Cabinet Office minister Tom Watson told PRWeek that Draper was doing ‘sterling work’.

Meanwhile, LabourHome’s Alex Hilton said: ‘The one thing that Derek really has brought to the table is that he has delivered buy-in from senior figures.’

Fellow LabourHome founder Jag Singh said: ‘He has done a good job of getting upper echelons to buy into his project.’

Blogging Labour MP Paul Flynn was also supportive, saying: ‘We were underperforming before. It is nice to have a presence at all.’

I’m loving this ham-fisted PR. So reassuring. So organic. So “2.0 without the hype”

I live in hope that Tom Watson’s quote is only two words long because they’re the only two words of praise they could dig* out of his statement.

(*See: Movie/theatre posters)

More love and kisses here. I can’t help but wonder if MessageSpace money was spent on this massage.

(Not that they have much of it. They throw some big names about, but I’ve seen a lot of Commission Junction ads filling their inventory lately.)

UPDATE – Alex Hilton and Jag Singh ‘disappeared’ two entire conversations from their website yesterday without so much as a placemarker (or gravestone). They do this in the name of using the authenticity of blogging to reach ‘normal’ people, you understand, and have no wish to dwell on the hang-ups of ‘anoraks’.

A valid question is being shamelessly dodged here and here, if you’d care to watch. The ‘nutter’ tag just made its first appearance (not far behind ‘obsessive’ and ‘anorak’), and here, I get a lecture about leaving politics to the experts.

(Grass roots, baby. Welcome to 21st century campaigning. Now, shut up and do what we say. … No, don’t do what he said. Besides, he didn’t say anything. … No, he didn’t. Look, here’s the big empty space that proves he didn’t say anything: ___________________ Satisfied? Now run along…)

UPDATE – Not that we’re anywhere near that stage, but wouldn’t it be funny if there were a major division about them trying to ‘disappear’ information about a minor division?

Posted in The Political Weblog Movement | 8 Comments

The Royal Academy of Media Watchery

I’ve noticed on my travels that it’s often the biggest frauds who put the most official sounding names on things.

Like John Beyer, that clown who’s claimed the name ‘Media Watch’ and secured it exclusively for the narrowest of agendas, or a publicity-hungry quack who calls a school for other quacks something like the Royal Global Academy of Alternative Medicine College.

It’s a worrying trend, and I’d hate to be mistaken for any of these people… so I’m calling my new project The Media Watch Rock-a-Hula:

media watch rock-a-hula

Don’t make that face. My mind is made up.

(Besides, I can delete this later… like it never happened.)

Posted in Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch | 2 Comments