liadnan: (Default)

The day after the noxious Polly Toynbee wrote an unpleasant hatchet piece in the Guardian which probably did wonders for Boris' chances in the London mayoral race, Greyarea points out today's ludicrous piece by Mike Read (and the splendid comments thereon). It's difficult to avoid wondering whether this is a parody, or perhaps some more sinister and cunning plan to bury Boris by praising him. Either that or, err, Mike Read is just a complete cock.

I do find Boris amusing, and am generally of the view that he is far more intelligent than his deliberately constructed persona suggests. But I don't particularly like the man. Trouble is, I intensely dislike Ken as well.

Apropos of something a bit different, Liberal England asks why on earth either a back bench committee of MPs or HM Government should concern themselves with how local authorities satisfy their statutory duty to collect rubbish regularly. If central government doesn't allow local councils to decide how they collect people's rubbish, what will it allow them to do?.


May. 29th, 2007 09:58 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Eh?. What?. Read the second link having particular regard to the comments of David Greene of Civitas on the conclusions of the Rowntree Report in the first link: David Green, director of research group Civitas, said some people in the UK were finding it hard to compete with the newcomers. He said all the extra labour was keeping wages low and making it harder for people to work their way out of poverty.

(When I heard him on Today this morning I confused him with that appalling shit Andrew Green of "Migration Watch UK" and was rather concerned at the thought a mainstream thinktank like Civitas had picked up such a loon. To be fair I don't think he's quite of that order, on the other hand in his Today piece one could be forgiven for being confused between the two.)

liadnan: (Default)

Yesterday Channel 4 News broke the story that on top of the already-known fuck-up over junior doctors' job applications, the new system was appallingly insecure. On Today this morning the government line was "not insecure, leaks".

As today's Snowmail doesn't quite put it, while drawing the obvious line to the threatened ID and NHS information networks: balls.

The junior doctor job application scandal deepens. The government is trying to hide behind the idea that some malicious leaker is responsible for disclosing all the details of those trying to find junior hospital doctoring jobs, and that this is why their personal details were so widely available on the internet.

Our own researches prove that it was the NHS IT systems that were blatantly insecure. Indeed, we have now found other aspects of their IT that are wide open to abuse. Details of a conference attended by consultants and doctors several months ago disclose the addresses, telephone numbers, mobile phones, email addresses, of some of the most prominent doctors in Britain.

It is increasingly obvious that ministers and civil servants have lost control of the security of their own IT systems. The only minister to speak thus far, Lord Hunt, has merely entered his conviction that it's all down to some malicious leaker.

There have been no leaks. There has simply been a wholesale breakdown of security, as Victoria Macdonald will be reporting. But as we shall also be indicating, this raises the whole spectre of the insecurity of ID cards and the IT systems that are supposedly designed to protect personal information.

Strong words, but deserved, I reckon.

liadnan: (Default)

Prompted by Oursin I have just been poking around the Downing Street Petitions site. I finally broke at this one. Although I could have been convinced to sign up for this one.

The British Library one, which sparked Oursin's original visit, I happily signed, incidentally.

liadnan: (Default)

Via The Sharpener:

The Times:

The Prime Minister's wife reportedly left the conference centre in Manchester this afternoon saying, "Well, that's a lie", just as the Chancellor was saying that it had been a "privilege for me to work for" Mr Blair

Assuming she did say something of the sort (and it should be said she is denying it) I am slightly confused by the semantics. It may be, as it seems to have been interpreted, a criticism of Gordon Brown. But it could equally well be a criticism of her husband, no?

liadnan: (Default)

Police call for more "instant justice" powers. Via Eddie on an email list, describing it with some accuracy as "Report calls for police to be more like Judge Dredd".

Craig Murray on last week's terrorist alarms: "Be very, very, sceptical."

Chicken Yoghurt on the historical revisionism implicit in John Reid's recent speech.

liadnan: (Default)

Words fail. (via The Sharpener)

"I don't think Israel is really bombing Lebanon. I think it's faulty construction that's causing these buildings to fall."

Blibble. I think my brain just fell out.

Elsewhere, George R. R. Martin is refreshing (see also his previous post for context).

A thought from another place I read... how long before we start to worry about orally ingested explosives. Or worse: those anal (and vaginal) probes GRRM mentions may be on the cards in the not too distant future.


Aug. 10th, 2006 05:42 pm
liadnan: (Default)

US President George W Bush said the alleged plot was a "stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom."

I am unsure which bit of that to criticise first.

liadnan: (Default)
[Poll #679372]

(Irving, not Irvine, Finegold not Finkelstein. Sorry, mind elsewhere.)


Feb. 1st, 2006 06:06 pm
liadnan: (Default)

Many are aware already that The Religious Policeman, a Saudi dissident, is well worth reading and often extremely funny. But his take on the Danish cartoons story, particularly today, really deserves attention.

ETA: In the meantime, various newspapers reprint them, for which the editor of France Soir is sacked (by the Egyptian owner). And (via Ritu) the New York president of the World Jewish Congress weighs in with a letter to The Times

I have to wonder whether it would be a criminal offence to print the cartoons in the UK, ECHR not withstanding, had the Government managed to reverse the Lords amendments on the question of incitement to religious hatred. I think there would be a real issue there, which to my mind highlights why it was so important the Government lose that one.

Seems to me it's a grave insult to any religion to suggest that it is so weak it requires threats of penalties under the civil or criminal law or of violence to protect it and the faith of its members from criticism, comment, or satire.

liadnan: (Default)

..say Barroso, et al.

Um. Yes, it is. That's how it works when those countries that say no are, both practically and (because it amends and replaces other treaties to which they are parties) technically, necessary parties to the treaty. Go read some fundamental principles of international law, think about why the Dutch, of all people, said no, and stop being so arrogant.

liadnan: (Default)

.. I'm avoiding saying it.

However, interesting things are being said by Joff about the idea of "Chav"*; by AJ Hall about responsibility in writing (see also here) in response to an essay on the same found here; and by Henry on Crooked Timber about the future of European politics.

Yes, this is a poor excuse for a links post, really intended purely for my own convenience, though you should all go and read these wise words of wisdom. Blame it on the boogie. And if necessary, apply the last paragraph of this post by PNH on the new, merged Making Light as general advice for dealing with all problems that may arise.

*ETA: and Spyinthehaus on this comments thread is making me laugh a lot. And agree with him.


liadnan: (Default)

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