March 31st, 2009 § § permalink
Cross posted from The Sun Lies, so leave comments over there.
…I was disappointed when I heard that Mr PETER DOHERTY, a fine upstanding member of his local community, was meeting BBC bosses on Tuesday for a job interview.
And that job is as a writer, apparently. According to Gordons’ source at the BBC, they (BBC) want a pilot episode of a Skins type drama, and if it’s a good ‘un, they’ll commision a whole series. Very nice, Mr Doherty. Best get cracking.
Only Pete isn’t going to be writing a series, or even a pilot show for the BBC.
The Quietus [my emphasis]:
…the Beeb has rubbished the rumours as “completely false”, telling The Quietus that The Sun knew there was “no truth whatsoever” in the story – published in Gordon Smart’s ‘Bizarre’ column today – before they went to print.
I don’t know The Quietus too well and I am very good at making an idiot of myself, so I thought I would confirm what the Corporation had been quoted as saying, by going to the Corporation.
I asked for the the BBC to confirm or deny if i) Pete Doherty is or isn’t going to be writing/co-writing, or in negotiations with regards to writing a drama for the BBC and if ii) The Sun or Gordon Smart of the The Sun knew the story to be untrue before publishing it (if the story is untrue, obviously).
And a spokesman for the BBC confirmed that i) Pete Doherty isn’t going to be writing a drama for them and ii)
They [The Sun] had our response in advance but didn’t put it in.
Gordon Smart/The Sun knew the was story untrue, but still ran with it. Which means they are either compulsive liars and couldn’t help themselves or they ran with it, looking at the language used, just to have a dig at the BBC to keep things ticking over until the Beeb give them a bigger target.
March 31st, 2009 § § permalink
Reiki, an alternative Japanese therapy with a growing band of followers in the west, is “unscientific” and “inappropriate” for use in Catholic institutions, according to America’s bishops.
Guidelines issued by the committee on doctrine at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops warn healthcare workers and chaplains that the therapy “lacks scientific credibility” and could expose people to “malevolent forces”.
The document also claims that for a Catholic to believe in reiki presents “insurmountable problems”.
Bwahahahahaha! An organisation that is built on the myth and legend with no scientific evidence, is scared that some of its’ members might fall for a different set myths and legends that have no scientific evidence.
Ooh, molevolent forces…
…a notion which is of course hugely credible and strongly supported by scientists, particularly those working in Malevolent Forces and Evil Spirits research departments around the world.
And, again from the New Humanist, in the interest of balance…
New Humanist was unable to find a reiki practitioner to comment on the scientific credibility of the Vatican stance on condoms and the spread of HIV…
March 31st, 2009 § § permalink
There’s something about the lede of this story that makes me deeply proud to be British:
Members will this week be shown copies of thousands of receipts and other documents due to be published under the Freedom of Information Act. They will be invited to redact the documents, blacking out information they do not want to disclose.
Other countries have corruption. Other countries have censorship. But we, the British, have a free media which reports that – in the coming weeks – our elected officials will finally be forced to release details of their expenses after a lengthy legal battle, but not before those politicians have been invited to censor their own records.
March 31st, 2009 § § permalink
I said recently about Nadine Dorries opening up her comments again, well, having comments again has just reminded me how incompetent the people looking after her blog are and how her blog is an integral part of her website against the rules.
Yeah, yeah, I know that’s all done and dealt with and I’m being petty but, fuck it.
Can you spot the error?
March 30th, 2009 § § permalink
The Dunfermline Building Society has been bought by Nationwide, the UKs’ biggest building society.
Well, I say it’s bought Dunfermline…
But Nationwide will not be taking on the bits of Dunfermline that are seriously loss-making.
These are commercial property loans and portfolios of buy-to-let and self-cert mortgages – with a gross value of £1bn.
It’s actually bought only the good bits. And where are the bad bits going? Yup, to the treasury. Who’d have thought that would happen, eh?
Being a building society rather than a bank, there aren’t any short-termist-greedy shareholders to blame, probably just plain boring mismanagement.But once again, a private entity shifting it’s crap on to us, the taxpayer.
I realise there is not a lot that can be done about the shit currently hitting the fan, but for the future, companies/business, especially big business, need to be regulated to within an inch of their lives or kept small enough not to fuck everything else up if an entity goes belly up.
Capitalism and neoliberalism is trumpeted to be the the fairest business systems there is etc, but it doesn’t really seem fair to me that a company can take risks and reap the rewards, but then not have to take the consequences when the risks don’t go the way they expected/hoped.
Obviously, the old addage of the private sector doing a better, more effient job than the public sector is a load of old toss, and I reckon has come about because, right the way through from way before PFI to these latest bailouts, the public sector has taken the hit, and the private sector the profits.
Oh and don’t forget, If you fuck everything up big enough, you’ll be asked to advise the government on how to put it back together.
Even recently, when the government made a u-turn with the decision to put a service out to tender (I can’t remember which one) and then because of the uproar decided just to let the Post Office keep providing the service, the minister in charge on Radio 4s’ PM programme refused to answer the question of how much compensation the government had to pay the companies who have submitted tenders, citing commercial sensitivity.
What the fuck is that all about? Paying people because you don’t want them to do the job? You get a few builders round your house to quote for an extension. You suddenly decide that you’re going to move house rather than extend, you don’t pay the builders for loss of work or the time they took to quote, do you?
And commercial confidentiality? When the government aren’t actually getting anything in return? It could be argued for if the government was actually getting something for it’s (our!) money, but when it’s just a fucking payoff? Someone deserves a kick in the face for that.
Try it next time you go for a job and don’t get it. Send the company an invoice for time and travel and preparation of CV, maybe a new suit, see what the response is, because that is what these ‘Captains of Industry’ do when they applied for government contracts.
Nice work, if you can get it.
March 28th, 2009 § § permalink
This is the most important blog post I have ever made. I would be grateful if you could do everything in your power to disseminate a link to anyone you know who has the remotest interest in human rights – or should have. This blog will be silent for a few days now.
Tucked away at Page 15 of its annual Human Rights report, the FCO has finally made a public admission of its use of intelligence from torture. Despite the Orwellian doublespeak about “unreserved condemnation of torture”, this is the clearest statement the government has ever made that it, as a policy, employs intelligence from torture.
Read the rest.
March 27th, 2009 § § permalink
I just spotted that Nadine Dorries has got comments open again on her not-funded-by-taxpayer-and-totally-seperate-from-her-main-website-blog.
I don’t know how long comments have been enabled, but frankly, if an MP is open to the public in this manner, it would be a shame not to make use of it – in a polite and curtious manner, obviously.
It is a little odd though, that with so many visitors, she is getting so few comments. Maybe like me, they don’t know yet.
I wonder if she bothers reading them or if she gets one of her minions to do that as well as the posting…
March 25th, 2009 § § permalink
Children will no longer have to study the Victorians or the second world war under proposals to overhaul the primary school curriculum, the Guardian has learned.
However, the draft plans will require children to master Twitter and Wikipedia and give teachers far more freedom to decide what youngsters should be concentrating on in classes.
*puts head in hands* FFS.
The proposals would require:
• Children to leave primary school familiar with blogging, podcasts, Wikipedia and Twitter as sources of information and forms of communication. They must gain “fluency” in handwriting and keyboard skills, and learn how to use a spellchecker alongside how to spell.
Why do these formats of information need specific mentions?
What is there to learn to use these formats as sources of information? Blogging is no different to essaying or pamphleteering, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, podcasting is TV & radio and Twitter is no different to blogging.
If the intention is to teach ‘how to’ on any of these formats then it is going to be a waste of time. Podcasting for instance, there are so many different ways of recording a podcast that to teach a general ‘how to’, it would become useless. Get a kid to write a story about the school holidays in WordPress on teh internet instead of in a school book and hey presto, the kid is a blogger!
The curriculum, if it is to be teaching this type of stuff, should be teaching about the back end that runs all of it. the principles of databases or programming languages, the stuff that doesn’t, cannot change very easily or quickly. The front end of Wikipedia could be changed not quite overnight, but quick enough to make a lesson about it redundant, but how the internal gubbins, how it references itself and all the other stuff (can you tell I’m getting a little out of my depth here?) is not going to alter for long time. That is the type of thing that needs to be taught with regards to ‘new media’.
handwriting and how to use a pen and pencil should be a priority over keyboard skills. Handwriting needs to be more than fluent, as get the handwriting skills wrong to start with, and the kid is left with poor writing for life. Keyboard skills will improve everytime a keyboard is used.
As you can probably tell from this post, I could probably do with some lessons, but that would be lessons in English, not in blogging.
March 24th, 2009 § § permalink
Jon Gaunt is set to return to broadcasting, according to the Press Gazette.
Jon got the sack from Talk Sport for calling a councillor that wanted to stop smokers from adopting children a Nazi, and since then has only had his Sun column to rage from.
Apparently mainstream radio is run by idiots that are only interested in their bottom line, which of course is nothing like the mainstream press, who do not make up/run made up stories to sell papers, or change the angle of stories to sell as many copies as possible. Mainstream papers are altruistic in the desire to bring the news to the people.
He said: “Mainstream radio is dying because it’s run by idiots who have no interest apart from the bottom line. Now the bottom line is disappearing they don’t know what to do.
“What I love about The Sun is that it is like when I was back having my first job in local radio. They said can you be mischievous, say what you want and have some fun.”
With that in mind, the Sun is giving Jon an internet ‘radio’ phone in show.
With this show Jon has a lot of freedom because…
His new show will not be subject to Ofcom rules on “due impartiality” and “harm and offence” but will instead, The Sun confirmed, be governed by the Press Complaints Commission – which has no rules on taste and decency, or political balance.
Hold onto your hats, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
March 19th, 2009 § § permalink
OK, just humour me, because I have been known to be wrong, believe it or not.
I wasn’t able to watch Stewart Lees’ Comedy Vehicle when it was on the telly the other night, so I recorded it and watched it last night.
When Stewart was saying what Amazon suggested he might like, after buying six Jeremy Clarkeson books, I had to rewind and watch that little bit again.
The first book Stewart says Amazon recommends is Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler. The little Amazon recommend bar graphic at the side of the screen schows a picture of the book, quite clearly, but the sound is edited so that instead of saying the title of Hitlers book, Stewart says…
I originally thought that, being shitty freeview, the signal when originally broadcast was a bit lumpy and my freeview box decided to just skip the bit inbetween the first and last sounds of the book title. But it wasn’t. I also thought it was because of what I had imbibed, hence the disclaimer above. But after several passes I can confidentely claim that the BBC censored the words ‘Mein Kampf’.
The question I have is this: Why is the BBC scared of giving away the name of an important Nazi book to blind people? It must be something to do with blind people as the cover of the book with the title clearly readable was shown on screen.
Are blind people especially sensitive to the thoughts of Hitler, so sensitive that even the mention of the name of his book reduces them to tears?
Are partially sighted people so easily seduced by Nazism, to the extent that if they hear the words ‘Mein Kampf’ they will become right wing fascist thugs, ready to blame their ‘different sightedness’ on immigrants and teh Jews?
Obviously the BBC thinks so.
I also believe that the BBC think blind people can’t use computers as the show on iPlayer (url will probably change once the BBC get wind I’m onto them) has not been doctored (3 minutes in).
I think I might be onto a big conspiracy here. I may be back with more later, if the Coporation doesn’t silence me first.