Archive for the ‘The War on Stupid’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at July 2, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Here’s an extract from a nice letter that I read in the paper on my way into London today:

Don’t help terrorists by spreading fear: Counter-terrorism experts familiar with explosives know these were not the types of car bombs that have exploded in Iraq. Scotland Yard’s use of “carnage” represented unwarranted speculation. Both devices in London showed a lack of sophistication. If they were constructed by al-Qa’ida, it was by the group’s student wing.

Carl, a regular reader, reports that Pg 9 of Saturday’s Daily Mail carried the headline “Why they hate the clubbers” and used a picture of a school disco to help focus the minds of their readers (who, all too often, have a tendency to forget that they are expected to be in a state of fear or rage at all times).

If anyone has a hard copy of that, I’d love a scan for my scrapbook.

UPDATE – Ooh, look… there’s a copy online. (Thanks, septicisle.) If you’re in any doubt about the ‘school disco’ status of the image, check out the kid with the ginger hair and grey shirt on the far right.

Posted by Tim Ireland at June 8, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Taking Liberties opens in cinemas today. I highly recommend it.

Cinema listings here.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 17, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Guardian – Straw backing bid to exempt parliament from FoI laws
Independent – Labour backs Tory member’s Bill to protect MPs’ privacy

But surely if they’ve done nothing wrong, they have nothing to fear…

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 14, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

I went to the press screening of Taking Liberties on Thursday night (YouTube trailer here):

I sat next to Beau Bo D’Or, who thought the issue ordering was a bit shambolic (therefore making the film less useful to the uninitiated). Me, I’m of the view that the many recent attacks on our civil liberties intersect in so many insane ways that it’s a bit of an ask to even try to place them in sequential order…. and damn it, I’m just so happy that this film *exists*!

OK, so I had a few nitpicks myself (the otherwise spectacular animated sequences stray from the narrative/thrust from time to time) but throughout the film I repeatedly caught myself thinking; “Oh, good, they’re covering this. But what folks normally miss about this event/development is that… oh, there it is.”

I came away deeply impressed by that; the people behind Taking Liberties know their material backwards.

It’s also fun watching it with an audience – especially in places when those ‘in the know’ allow themselves a bitter chuckle as the virgins gasp in disbelief.

Well worth a sincere and targeted plug, IMO, so here goes:

Taking Liberties is due for general cinema release on June 8th, it’s the nearest thing you’ll get to a movie version of this category, and I recommend that readers of Bloggerheads (a) plan to see it and (b) take a virgin with them.

Posted by Tim Ireland at May 11, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Bloody hell… it’s Friday already! Where did my week go?

PS – Some ‘Guido’ news here and a summary here.

Oh, and this… you have to see this.

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 26, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Mark Thomas – ‘Tony Blair is a cult’

Applause for that… and this:

Indymedia – Mass lone demo breaks Guinness Book of Records

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 26, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

BBC – ‘No guarantee’ in terrorism fight: The government “cannot guarantee 100% success” in its fight against terrorism, the home secretary says. John Reid said he could only promise “100% commitment” from police, security services and the Home Office as it shifts its focus to security.

I can offer Reid a certainty… he can be absolutely sure that cynical manipulation of the terrorist threat will only exacerbate the problem:

Independent – Anti-terrorism leaks blamed on spin doctors: Tony Blair is resisting demands for a full inquiry into accusations that lives have been put at risk by leaks from Whitehall about police anti-terrorism operations. Peter Clarke, deputy assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner, provoked uproar when he denounced “misguided individuals who betray confidences” about raids on suspected al-Qa’ida sympathisers. Mr Clarke, the country’s most senior anti-terrorist police chief, suggested that those responsible were trying to “squeeze out some short-term presentational advantage” by giving secret information.

When Jo Moore watched desperate people leaping to their deaths from burning towers, her first thought was about burying bad news about councillors’ expenses.

When the police wanted to make a case for crippling Brian Haw’s ongoing protest, they made the absurd claim that terrorists could hide bombs in his encampment.

Major anti-terror operations appear to have been botched not once but twice by those seeking political advantage and there has not been an investigation into either affair.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

It erodes public trust, it creates operational difficulties, and it even creates more terrorists… especially when you use terrorism as a pretext for invasion of another country (more), immediately releasing small arms and explosives before swiftly moving on to produce excellent recruitment material for every trigger-happy dipshit in an already-unstable region.

Oh, and don’t think for a second that getting rid of Blair or even bringing the Tories in will mean an end to it….

Bloggerheads – The New Conservatives: Parallels and Realities: The Conservatives are quite adept at riding upon the level of distrust borne from what has happened in Iraq (and many other callous manipulations of the ‘war’ on terror) without acknowledging their often willing role… And this is what makes Paul Staines so very, very useful to the Conservatives; with what is widely perceived as a ‘take them all down’ attack in a time of unprecedented distrust and distance, ‘Guido’ can pick off individual targets and/or ensure that money this, peerage that or cocktail sausage in the other is what officially brings about their downfall… and not Iraq, torture or the manipulation of fear to further a political agenda. I’m sure you can guess why this would be a desirable development for them.

UPDATE – That Home Office reform plan in full.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 29, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

A busy day today… this managed to sneak up on me… sorry for the late notice (but there is a ‘listen again’ feature on the BBC page linked below).

Remember Red Nose Day vs. SOCPA? Well, I can now reveal that – while I didn’t get answerMark Thomas did!

Mark Thomas – Radio 4 – 6.30-7pm

“And on Red Nose Day I had to apply and receive permission from the police to wear a red nose in Parliament Square. The police advised me that if I wore a red nose without permission I could be arrested for an having unauthorised demonstration.” – Mark Thomas

There it is…. clear advice from the police. So now we can ask them why they’re not prosecuting the people behind this.


Posted by Tim Ireland at March 16, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

This. Lots.

Oh, and this too.

Posted by Tim Ireland at March 16, 2007

Category: The War on Stupid

Well, here’s some new information; For this year’s Red Nose Day, Comic Relief is highlighting issues surrounding mental health.

OK, so that’s raising awareness of poverty, aid, Fair Trade and mental health issues… and you can do all of this simply by wearing a red nose or a Red Nose Day t-shirt.

Can anybody please tell me how this differs from any other awareness-raising campaign?

Many of us know from bitter experience that any form of awareness-raising in Westminster (yes, even of the deliberately w-w-wacky variety) will result in you having your collar felt if you don’t get your permission slips in first and follow the conditions laid down by police to the letter.

But judging by the whopping great display within the designated area that has not drawn the ire/attention of the police, it would appear that an exception has been made for Comic Relief.

The challenge is to get the police to go on the record about that…. and explain why.

You can reach the Public Order Branch on 020 7230 9801 or 020 7230 9805

UPDATE – Hey, I finally got through! Erm… and couldn’t get an answer.

I’ve been referred to Charing Cross Police on 020 7321 7525

UPDATE – And now to the Scotland Yard Press Bureau on 020 7230 1212


UPDATE – I simply cannot get an answer out of the Met apart from the oft-repeated “It’s not a protest!” try-on (i.e. because there is no placard present, no crowd, no hippies etc.). It is at the stage that I point out that SOCPA deals with unauthorised demonstrations (not protests) that the hot potato is swiftly passed on.

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