Rise of the corporation

December 23rd, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

The Times:

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

The government, which wants to crack down on people who evade debts, says the new powers would be overseen by a robust industry watchdog. However, the laws are being criticised as the latest erosion of the rights of the householder in his own home.

We’re fucked here, aren’t we?

Lets just take one scenario here. You come home from work/holiday/the shops and find your door kicked in. You enter the house to find it’s been ransacked. You enter the living room. The telly, the DVD player. Gone. The draws of the side board are shut, but you know that someone has been going through them. You go upstairs just dreading to what you’re going to find. In one room after another, chests of drawers have been rifled. Someone has gone through all your most intimate items. Your business filing. Wage slips. The jewellery gone as well.

How do you think that’s going to feel? Thinking that someone has broken into your house and stolen your belongings, that’s bad enough, but when in reality the ‘thieves’ have had the law on their side and are allowed to ransack your home, when even the police can’t just walk in, is an abomination.
Now you have all the upset, distress and associated hassle of having to get it all back because it turns out it wasn’t you that owed the bank/loan company/district court money. It was the people that lived where you do previously. Or you just happen to have the same name as some one who owes money. Or it could just be a completely random reason why you have appeared on the bailiffs records.
How does that feel? I bet you’d be feeling a bit shit and angry about it all. Good job you’ve got a strong character and are able to deal with the stress by someones’ typo. How fortunate that you happen to have enough savings to get you by while you claim back everything from the bailiffs. Just remind me, how much do lawyers cost? Because I bet it won’t be a quick and easy process.
It’d be hard but you’d survive the experience. What about the old lady next door? Would she? What’s she going to do when the bailiff sticks his boot through the door?
Or how about the ‘highly excitable’? Ending up being pinned to the ground with a broken arm? Or worse.

I could just about bear it if the Police or Customs burst through the door, with the proper paperwork chasing proper criminals, but these private contractors, for civil debts? No. fuck off. If the state wants to enter my fucking house it can fucking well do it itself.

What the fuck is the world coming to when a private entity is given authority to trample all over the rights of an individual.

insulting a foreign leader

December 22nd, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink

From the Guardian, another piece about the shoe throwing journalist:

Zaidi is in custody and faces up to two years’ jail for insulting a foreign leader.

Isn’t that like ‘following the wrong religion’ or praising the wrong man-with-bombs?

Neither Bush nor Maliki have sought charges, but investigating judge Dhia al-Kinani said last week he did not have the legal option to drop the case.

Right. No legal option to drop charges.

Uday al-Zaidi said his brother told him the apology letter was written against his will because of the torture inflicted on him during his detention, including being doused with cold water while naked.

“He told me that he has no regret because of what he did and that he would do it again,” Uday said.

“The thing that makes you cry and laugh at the same time is that when the prime minister said that that my brother was not tortured and will not be tortured, he was under severe torture by security authorities.”

I’m pretty sure that no-one has the legal option to turture either.

The prime minister said Zaidi admitted in the letter that a known terrorist had induced him to throw the shoes.

“He revealed … that a person provoked him to commit this act and that person is known to us for slitting throats,” Maliki said, according to the prime minister’s website. The alleged instigator was not named.

So he’s not an attention grabbing Afghan-Factor wannabe after all.

The prime minister said his government remained “committed to protecting the journalist in performing his professional duty” and guaranteed him the right to practise his profession “on condition that he does not violate the dignity of others”.

Hahaha! Excellent. I just had a vision of Rebekah Wade up in the dock, for ‘violating the dignity of others’ and ending up wearing a ‘community payback’ hi-vis jacket.

On Thought for the day

December 18th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

I can’t be arsed with the rest of yesterdays Thought for the Day, esxcept for this line:

President Bush invaded Iraq to secure a freedom which some in Iraq applauded and many hated; the shoes were an expression of that hate.

Monkey Boy Bush invaded Iraq to secure a freedom. Some in Iraq applauded it because they had to gain. Many hated it because they knew it wasn’t for their benefit. The freedom the invasion secured was for the US.
Muntadar al-Zaidi threw his shoes because, if it had hit him it would’ve hurt. If he’d thrown his pen, it probably wouldn’t have reached him.

The Guardian:

The brother of an Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at George Bush claimed today that the television reporter was too badly beaten to appear in court, as the speaker of Iraq’s parliament reportedly announced his resignation over the issue.

Dargham al-Zaidi said he was told a judge had been to see his younger brother, Muntazer, at the jail where he has been held since throwing his shoes at the US president during a press conference in Baghdad on Sunday. The television reporter – whose actions have made him a star in the Arab world – called Bush a “dog” and said he was angry at the US occupation of his country.

The family went to Baghdad’s central criminal court expecting a hearing, Dhargham said, but were told the investigative judge had been to the prison and they should return in eight days. “That means my brother was severely beaten and they fear that his appearance could trigger anger at the court,” he said

I know it’s been said before but it really winds me up

December 18th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

On Radio 4 this morning there was Archbish Williams was talking about some stuff and the credit crunch and bankers cropped up.
Rowan said that many of the bank CEOs he had spoken to were sorry and took responsibility but only in private and have not taken responsibility publicly yet. And then, AND THEN says that in a way we are all responsible!! We all enjoyed the fruits of their empty economy inflating exploits.

W T fucking F?

Some of us didn’t know, and are still not quite sure, what happens in those swanky glass offices in London. Some of us wouldn’t have approved of it even if we did know the details of what the spivs were doing. All of had no fucking choice of whether we benefited from those wankers.
That’s the shit of capitalism. You can’t opt out. if you live within a capitalist society you have to play by it’s rules, if you don’t you sink. I am not responsible for what those cunts in ‘The City’ do.
Some people embrace the capitalist ideals more than others, but even the most principled anti-capitalist commie still has to play by capitialisms rules.

If I’m wrong, I will eat Rowan Williams beard. If he’ll let me.

(typo fixed)

C’mon, let’s have some consistency, please

December 18th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink


The government has held talks with Jaguar Land Rover over the possibility of state aid for the carmaker, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson has confirmed.

He said no decision had yet been made – as it was too early to tell if any car firm needed help – and that ministers did not have “an open chequebook”.

What?! Colour me stupid, but isn’t Jaguar Land Rover Indian now?
I’m as idiotic patriotic as the next bloke and would hate the idea of two of the most iconic British names to be relegated to the pages of history, or at least one of those ‘Worlds Greatest Cars’ books that turn up at Christmas.
I sort of understand the reasoning behind bailing out helping out the banks, what with them being such an integral part of the economy that when these private institutions get it wrong and don’t make any money to trickle down to the ordinary public, the ordinary public have to chip in and keep things going.
And I sort of understood why Woolworths got shown the middle. After all, it is a private company and we wouldn’t want to distort the market now, would we?
So why is cunty-chops* talking state aid with a foreign company to keep 15,000 employees in work making stuff that very few people will be able to afford (new, at least), but fucks off a British company that is selling stuff that is out of reach of only the most desperate of people and putting twice as many people on the rock ‘n’ roll?

Tim Almond: Jaguar Bailout

*Sorry for the swear, but he is, isn’t he?

Look at me!

December 17th, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

Mark Steel:

To reinforce his image, his response to the thrown shoes was to suggest that Mr al-Zaidi was “just trying to draw attention to himself.” Yes that’s it. He might say it was a protest about the war and occupation, but really he’s an exhibitionist who was turned down for Iraq’s Got Talent so he threw the shoes as a desperate attempt to get on the telly.

Is Brian Coleman a …

December 16th, 2008 § 1 comment § permalink

tedious cock?


A cultural dilemma

December 15th, 2008 § 3 comments § permalink

The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب:

To throw the shoe, or not to throw the shoe: a cultural dilemma. Don’t you love it when Western reporters explain to their readers differences between their culture and Arab culture? I don’t know about you, but I really love it. Here is from the New York Times: “During the argument, heated words were exchanged and shoes were thrown, a severe insult in the Arab world.” So throwing a shoe at somebody is a “severe insult in the Arab world” but not anywhere else? How exotic. Tell me more, o culture experts of the New York Times. So today, I wanted to test this theory. So I got out of my house with a bag of shoes: I started throwing them, shoe by shoe, at my neighbor, aiming at the face. My neighbor laughed, and could only say nice things to me as a good neighbor. He then explained: you see, o Arab neighbor, in our American culture, throwing a shoe at somebody is not an insult at all. In fact, it is taken as a sign of affection. I returned back to my house, having learned about American culture, what I knew not before. Thanks to you, New York Times (and your intelligent and culturally informed reporters).


December 14th, 2008 § 0 comments § permalink

It looks like the Sun is trying to take the crown from the News of the World with regard to paying to get video footage of fitted up celebrities.

The Sun Lies:

A highly curious but also insightful story into how “gotcha!” journalism works on the Sun has emerged:

“A man who plotted to covertly film a “hit list” of stars, including Amy Winehouse, taking drugs so he could sell the footage to newspapers was jailed for two years yesterday.

Johnny Blagrove, 34, and his girlfriend Cara Burton, 22, sold footage of the singer apparently smoking a crack pipe to The Sun for £50,000, but the video was later passed to police.

In the final scene of the tape, which was viewed by a judge at Snaresbrook crown court, east London, Blagrove laughs to himself after telling his reflection in a bathroom mirror: “You have succeeded. You have done it. You are going places. It’s taken a while, but I’ve finally got what I want.””

What the Guardian article doesn’t mention is that it seems to have been the Sun itself that turned in its source, having previously paid him £50,000, or far more than the average Sun hack will earn in a year. Having provided the police with the footage secretly shot by Blagrove of Winehouse, apparently smoking a crack pipe, they went on to raid Blagrove’s home, where they apparently found additional footage of Peaches Geldof. Rather than keep this evidence for any potential trial, the police, having had their back scratched, seem to have given the video straight back to the Sun

Read the rest

Are you still here?

December 12th, 2008 § 2 comments § permalink


Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has sparked controversy by saying a Palestinian state would provide “a national solution” for Israel’s Arabs.

Politicians from the minority Arab community have demanded she clarify if it means that Arabs citizens will face loss of rights in Israel or expulsion.

Israeli politicians have long grappled with the issue of a growing proportion of ethnic Arabs in the Jewish state.
In remarks to school children broadcast on Israeli radio, Ms Livni’s said her solution for maintaining a Jewish and democratic state of Israel was “to have two distinct national entities”.

“Among other things I will also be able to approach the Palestinian residents of Israel… and tell them: ‘Your national aspirations lie elsewhere.'”

Translation: Fuck Off

Whatever way you look at it, it is a clear message to the Arab-Israelis that they are not wanted.
We think we’ve got problems with [anti-]immigration minister Woolas. At least he only wants to stop people coming in. All the top Israeli politicians want to get rid of a large swathe of existing members of the country. And nearly all of those can claim to be more native than the Israelis wanting to get rid of them.

Where am I?

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