February 28th, 2010 § § permalink
I’ve just had this comment left that, after checking with Tyrone about it’s accuracy, deserves a post of it’s own…
Groucho –V- Murphy
The Groucho –V- Murphy case is now at an end as the Groucho Club pulled out at the very last minute. The Club issued a discontinuance notice on the 3rd November 2009.
This move came just 5 days after a manager from the Groucho Club came forward and made a statement to support Mr Murphy’s case. The lengthy and revealing statement with attached exhibits that included internal e mails and CCTV footage from the club was immediately lodged with the Courts. The manager’s damming statement totally refuted the Groucho Clubs statement of case. Murphy is now chasing the Groucho Club for his costs.
Another interesting development in this case is that the Groucho Club have issued a Bankruptcy petition against Murphy for costs of £5000 on the very same day they issued the discontinuance notice for the failed libel action which will allow Murphy to claim his costs which are over £50,000.
This raises some very serious questions about the Groucho Club’s tactics and overall conduct throughout the duration of this case. The Groucho Club would of course have know that Murphy is entitled to claim his costs (£50k) so why would they then would they make such a dubious move and issue a bankruptcy petition for a much lower amount of £5k . Was this nothing more than an underhanded tactic that was merely done to avoid paying Murphy’s costs in the failed libel action? If so, is this an abuse of the legal process? If not, what other possible reason or motive could the Groucho Club have to make such a dubious move?
There is yet another episode to this dark and lengthy saga – Murphy who at all times has represented himself as a litigant in person (LIP) had taken an action against the Groucho Club in a Wales County Court This was a Data Protection Act case, Murphy’s statement of case was that the Groucho Club had not complied with the Data Protection Act and failed to supply him with CCTV he requested from the evening of the 12th June 2008 . Murphy’s case also stated that the Groucho Club had more than 2 CCTV cameras at the Club on the evening and he was seeking the additional footage from these cameras
The Groucho Clubs position in the case was that they did supply Murphy with all of the footage he requested and that the club had only ever had 2 CCTV cameras, 1 camera in Dean Street and 1 camera in the reception. The Groucho Club stated they had complied with and adhered to the Data Protection Act and provided Murphy with footage in response to 2 separate subject access requests under the Data Protection Act.
Murphy also stated that the Groucho Club CCTV system was not registered with the Information Commissioners Office until a year later 25th June 2009 and any footage that was recorded before this time would have been recorded illegally. Murphy also stated that the CCTV system had no signage in place or a trained or licensed CCTV operator
The footage supplied by the Groucho to Murphy was alleged by the Groucho Club to be from the 2 CCTV cameras in the club, (1) Dean Street and (2) the main reception of the club. This was the Groucho Clubs official position for over a year and the same line was also stated by the Groucho Club in their statements before that were put before the Courts.
The Groucho Clubs Defence to particulars of Claim also stated clearly that the Groucho Club had only 2 CCTV cameras (1) Dean Street and (2) the main reception of the club and that they had supplied Murphy with the footage from those 2 CCTV cameras. In addition a solicitor within the firm of Devonshires, who represented the Groucho Club also stated to Murphy over and over again when he inspected the footage at the firms London offices, “this is the camera from (1) Dean Street and this is the camera (2) the main reception of the club”.
During the case Murphy lodged evidence with the courts that suggested that the footage supplied to him by Groucho club was not at all from the main Reception CCTV camera of the Groucho club but was footage from an obscure doorway at no 42 Dean Street, the other end of the building.
This is where the Groucho Club story changes; they put forward a new version of events that totally contradicted their earlier version. This new and different version that came very late in the case had now stated that the Groucho club did indeed have more cameras than the 2 CCTV cameras as Murphy had asserted, but they said that the 3rd camera was not working on the evening of the 12th June 2008, the footage from the night that Murphy had been seeking.
Murphy maintained throughout that he viewed himself on the CCTV monitor in the main reception of the Groucho Club on the 12th June 2008 and sought an explanation from the Groucho Club as to why he was supplied with footage from a CCTV camera from an obscure doorway at no 42 Dean Street instead of the footage from the CCTV camera in main reception. He did not get a satisfactory answer
Yet another twist in the case, Murphy had managed to procure the old CCTV system from the Groucho Club and he had brought it to the Court as evidence. This included the Video Recorder, Video tapes, a CCTV Switcher and the original CCTV cameras from the club. The CCTV system also included the CCTV camera from the main reception. This CCTV camera is still in good working order
Margaret Levin the managing director of the Groucho Club was in attendance in Newport along with a specialist barrister and a very expensive legal team. The court denied an application made by the Groucho legal team to dismiss Murphy’s case on the grounds it was totally without merit. Although Murphy did not succeed with his application he did however lodge crucial evidence with the Courts that will be used in another action that Murphy is planning against the Groucho Club
When the issue of costs was addressed the Groucho Club sought £21,000 in costs. In addition Margaret Levin the managing director was seeking first class rail tickets for her trip to sunny Newport, Murphy strongly objected to this and stated to the court that he, as a litigant in person and could not afford first class. It was during this stage of the proceedings that the managing director, Margaret Levin lost her temper and blew a fuse. She shouted to the Judge “Don’t be so bloody cheap”
Margaret Levin’s superior demeanour towards the Court and the proceedings was obvious to all who attended. Although they sought £21,000 in costs the Court answers was to award the Groucho the poultry sum of £220 in costs. This was a severe kick in the teeth for the Groucho Club as Margaret Levin’s haughtiness had now cost the Groucho Club dearly
I think what we all forget is that Murphy is one man, a litigant in person who has taken on a very powerful media club and its owner corporation, He has succeeded in the libel case where others have failed and has had he guts to see it through to the bitter end and never back off.
February 25th, 2010 § § permalink
Nadine Dorries seems happy to be seen to have someone making threats of violence against people for her, or so it seems by her silence on the subject. This is position that Nadine is putting herself in is not good, so I thought a she might need someone to have a quiet word in her ear.
Nadine isn’t going to listen to me, obviously, so off went a letter to my MP, Dr Evan Harris…
I am writing because a friend of mine, Tim Ireland, could do with your help.
For a fuller background to the story you will want to read the web pages listed at the end of this letter. It won’t take long, but the abridged version goes like this:
As one of the results of uncovering the source of a supposedly Islamist hit list of high profile people in The Sun newspaper, Tim has received serious threats of violence to him and his family from a group calling themselves ‘The Cheerleaders’. The ringleader of this group, and also of a music band called ‘The Fighting Cocks’ whose members have also been involved in this, is called Charlie Flowers. These groups know where Tim lives and have proved it by publishing his home address on the internet and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity with these threats.
Charlie Flowers has claimed that this campaign of harassment against Tim is being carried out on behalf of, amongst other people, Nadine Dorries, the MP for Mid-bedfordshire.
(the claim is here: http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/friends-of-the-cheerleaders-wade-in-with-evasions/#comment-12040)
Tim has contacted Nadine to get a denial that she is involved but a response is not forthcoming.
What I would like you to do is to speak with Nadine Dorries and maybe explain what sort of position she is putting herself in, and the reputation of MPs in general, by refusing to answer, or simply dismissing, this allegation that threats of violence are being issued in her name. I am quite sure I do not need to explain to you what that position is.
I look forward to your reply.
February 19th, 2010 § § permalink
Tiger Woods has apologised.
Who gives a shit?
What the fuck is he apologising to us for? Did he sleep with my wife? did he sleep with me after telling me he was single? No. Obviously not.
With his adverts, and I must say I didn’t follow them ever so closely so I might not have seen them all, did he proclaim that he was an the epitome of of the monogamous family man? Not from the ones I’ve seen. The adverts I’ve seen him don’t have much talking, by Tiger himself, or many women in them, his wife or any other woman.
So why the fuck is he top of the cunting news? Even my local BBC news had a slot on him this evening!
The only people he needs to apologise to are his family. This is just a fucking media stunt to get Woods’ sponsorship back and the media are complicit in this. Woods plays chuffing golf, for christ sake. He doesn’t need anyone’s forgiveness to play and win tournaments, he needs the publics’ good feelings to get sponsorship.
What a waste of fucking airtime.
Immediately after I published I found, via MamaJunkyard, this flow chart to work out if Tiger owes you an apology or not.
February 17th, 2010 § § permalink
I feel honoured. I feel like my application to a gentlemans club has been accepted. Although membership isn’t as exclusive as it once was, I feel I’ve worked for this and earned it – without being rude or abusive either.
If you’ll excuse, I am now going to don my smoking jacket and settle into a high-backed leather armchair with a big cigar and fine single malt.
February 17th, 2010 § § permalink
I recently saw James Camerons’ Avatar. I thought it was quite good. Excellent special effects and CGI, as we’ve come to expect nowadays, an interesting story, based of the age old line of good vs evil with the underdog winning the day. And, of course, the 3D effects which are sooo much better than the old generation of 3D which was always a bit dodgy and, frankly, used in films that weren’t particularly good in 2D stuffed with moments that were in the film purely to show of the 3D. Avatars 3D is a lot subtler and is more about giving depth to the scene rather than having something lunge at you from the cinema screen.
After the film I expressed my view in a rather shorter version of the above via Twitter and Dnotice replied asking if I had read the Sp!ked review of the film. I must confess I hadn’t.
I have now, though.
Steve Bemner reckons Cameron has taken…
misanthropic perspective to a whole new level of anti-humanism. Its main character, and hero, is so alienated from humanity that he literally disowns his own species. This move requires Cameron to indulge in and reproduce some of the most backward and anti-human development prejudices of our age
I’m not going to give you a bit of background to the story of Avatar, as you either know it already or you can read James’ Sp!iked piece for it. But here is why James’ thinks that James Cameron is a self-hating human. I reckon Steve is reading far too much in to this film and needs to relax a little.
In order for the audience to be persuaded that it is legitimate for one human to join another species and begin to kill fellow humans, Cameron indulges in several fictional conceits that draw upon modern misanthropy. First, the miners and their mercenaries embark upon genocide with no thought whatsoever, despite the fact that humanity has considered genocidal behaviour to be a bad thing for some time now. This allows Avatar to imply that man has not changed since the explorations and conquests of the Middle Ages. There is even a fairly explicit suggestion that the humans are acting in the same way that the settlers of America did and that the Na’vi, whose main weapons are bows and arrows, are equivalent to Native Americans. Here, humanity is depicted as having learnt nothing from the past and as being inherently savage towards that which it does not instantly understand.
Right. First off, if you lump every body on this planet together you could claim that humanity might consider genocide to be bad behaviour, but there are little pockets here and there around the world today, and in recent history that think that genocide is the best thing to get what they want. There is also, still, companies about that think nothing of exploitation of the local resources [.pdf] and people.
Humans, or more specifically the majority of those with any sort of power, do behave in a way that is not dissimilar to settlers and conquistadors. ‘We’ want something from a people that is less powerful than us, ‘we’ try to persuade them to our way of thinking and the people ‘we’ want something from doesn’t or can’t give it to us we go in with the guns. Case in point, Iraq. If the coalition had a chance of getting their butts kicked, the military option would never have been on the cards. In Avatar, if the Na’vi had bigger guns than the humans instead of bows and arrows, the humans would negotiated a hell of a lot harder and longer.
The film focuses on one company. One company that behaves badly in a certain way. That doesn’t imply that the whole of the human race are like that. There are probably all sorts of people with all sorts of characteristics employed with the company, but the film only focuses on a certain group of them.
Second, the Na’vi are depicted as living in an essentially harmonious tribal society. Their society is depicted as a primitive kind of utopia in which all the individuals within it know their role and social conflict does not exist. A central idea of the film is that they also live in literal harmony with the planet, a harmony that the humans, of course, destroy. In its depiction of the life of the aliens we see a kind of green fantasy of how human life should be: primitive technology, a hierarchy in which everyone knows their place, a community at the mercy of the environment. This is also a kind of Western primitivism that advances racially demeaning stereotypes of happy natives living in harmony with the environment, when, in reality, tribal society is much more brutal, and much less harmonious and fulfilling, than those who celebrate it are willing to admit.
The Na’vi society may be depicted as essentially harmonious, but how different is it to other primitive societies, here on Earth? There are tribes in the Amazon that live in harmony with the environment. They take what they need, they do not hunt animals just for the hell of it. Hunting takes energy and time when all you have is spears and arrows. Why waste that effort killing stuff that you’re not going to use? The primitive tribes ‘listen’ to the jungle, they know how it works, when to leave plants alone, where to find certain foods. How is that different to the Na’vi?
The Na’vi also showed that they’re are not all peace and harmony, too. When the Jake and the girl Na’vi (I’ve forgotten the Na’vi names. Sorry) admit that they have mated, the chap that she was going to be partnered with shows jealousy and a fight ensues between him and Jake. This shows that the Na’vi feel the same emotions as everybody else. How many of the other Na’vi are happy with their place in society? We don’t know. Just like every other society the Na’vi are forget their differences and become unified against the threat. What we see is a snapshot of a certain time period. Who knows what happened before the time period of the film, but there are clues there that the Na’vi society operates just like any other.
Cameron’s third conceit is that the planet Pandora has a consciousness. This is necessary in order to show why such a primitive society survives when, in reality, it would likely perish given the potential hostility of the environment depicted in the film. This idea reflects the green notion of Gaia: that is, the belief that all beings are connected into one consciousness and that harm to one being harms the organic whole. The film makes this idea even more explicit with the aliens being able to physically link their minds with the animals and plants of the planet. The humans, meanwhile, are depicted as blundering into, and threatening, this ecological paradise like some kind of inter-planetary plague.
Why is Pandoras’ conciousness necessary for the Na’vi to survive? Why would they perish if they couldn’t ‘plug-in’? Why is Pandora any more hostile than say, the Australian Outback? The Australian Aborigines have been living in the middle of a desert with, on the surface of it, nothing there. With a sun beating down so strong that it can cook eggs. The Aborigines’ can’t just plug themselves into the landscape yet they have been living in that place for millennia by ‘listening’ to their surroundings. The Aboriginal society went down hill rapidly when Europeans appeared on the scene bringing with them tobacco, alcohol, disease and animals that upset the local ecology not to mention what the Europeans did in terms of denying the Aboriginals rights and access to their land and the civil society that was growing up around them. “The humans, meanwhile, are depicted as blundering into, and threatening, this ecological paradise like some kind of inter-planetary plague.” That sounds about right to me.
In fact, this is no specific critique – instead it portrays all humanity as destructive.
No it doesn’t. It shows that a company and people can be destructive. It shows that with no checks and balances capitalism will do what it can to take what it wants. After all, did anyone in the film say ‘Hey, you can’t do that. I’m going to report you to the authorities’? No, because presumably there are none out in space.
This bleak portrait does serve a purpose: only by making humanity uniformly destructive, and the Na’vi holy, can Cameron justify the final conclusion of the film, in which the hero abandons humanity altogether to join the Na’vi.
The final conclusion, for me anyway, wasn’t that the hero turned his back on humanity. Jake became a Na’vi to be fully and completely with the one he loved. He didn’t have the use of his legs and to stay with the Na’vi and his love, he would’ve had to have worn the facemask and been, basically and burden to them. There was a spare Na’vi body and a way of getting his conciousness into, then why not. Avatar finishes on a positive tone for love, not a negative blast at humanity.
By the end of the film, this reviewer felt like rising to his feet and cheering the final human attack on the Na’vi.
Oh, I see, Steve wants’ to see the destruction of the Na’vi because they’re so bloody nice and make us all look like horrid bullies.
Indeed, much of the audience seemed ambivalent – we were clearly dazzled by the spectacular 3D effects and the beautiful rendering of the alien planet, but the unrelentingly bleak portrayal of humanity left everyone more than a little despondent as we left the cinema to celebrate the New Year.
Despondent after two and a half hours of unrelentingly being shown humans are shits? I could believe that if it was a film based on a true story or a documentary, but not such an obvious work of fiction. I never got that feeling from with the audience I watched it with.
Steve Bremner seems to think that just because a film focuses on certain events and certain people that the director is trying to say that everything is like that. That is wrong. The film was two and a half hours long, which some people think it is already to long (it was too long after half an hour in the crappy cinema seats we were sat in). How long would Avatar have been if James Cameron had to show the cuddly, caring side of humans and the “much more brutal, and much less harmonious and fulfilling” side of Na’vi life?
February 16th, 2010 § § permalink
If you don’t want to get yourself reputation for being a cunt, don’t hang around with cunts. It’s quite simple really.
I don’t prescribe to the thought that all Tories are shits. Misguided maybe, delusional possibly, wrong definitely. But when one of the Tory ‘approved’ bloggers goes about business like this, you gotta wonder.
Angry Slug (a.k.a. Unslugged) has the scoop…
These three tweets were posted last night on Twitter by a blogger who calls himself “Tory Bear”. His tweets, and blogs, are generally a series of childish personal insults, smears and innuendo, but even he has sunk to a new low here.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I always felt that mocking politicians was fine, but mocking disability is just cheap and nasty.
Read the rest
February 12th, 2010 § § permalink
The Church of England’s ruling body will close its meeting with a call for more recognition of the compatibility of religious belief with science.
The motion will urge it to fight back in what is the latest move in a public battle between atheists and believers.
The compatibility of science and religion only goes so far.
The scientist that is also a believer may, for instance, recognise evolution and all the current scientific thoeries as true and look deeper in to how the world works, but ultimately, will come to the conclusion that it all started with god.
An athiest scientist will keep looking.
The motion at the General Synod in London is proposed by Dr Peter Capon.
Many religious people feel they are being gradually pushed out of the public sphere by opponents who are using science as a weapon.
‘Science’ itself isn’t the weapon, rational arguement is. And seeing as religion is not a rational ‘thing’*, then religion is on a loser. Science will one day have all the answers. Although it may take a bit of time.
(*I can’t find the link to which religious person said it recently, so drop a link in the comments if you do)
Dr Capon, himself a former lecturer in computer science, says atheists are misleading the public when they claim science and religion are incompatible.
Athiests are misleading the public? Atheists are using evidence and rational thought. It is the religious folk that are misleading the public with stories and assertions and rules that have supposedly come form god but only come from someone or people with a knack for manipulating people and telling a good story.
Think of it this way. Two scientists, one an atheist and one a believer, after rigorous experimentation and testing and research, after following all the evidence they find about the beginning of life, the universe and everything, they end up ringing the doorbell on the Pearly Gates. God answers.
The religious scientist turns to the atheist and says ‘See. I said it was him that did it. Our quest for the ultimate answer has finished.’
The Atheist scientist looks at God and asks ‘So. How did you do it, then?’
February 12th, 2010 § § permalink
Via Gimpy’s blog (this post about homeopaths launching a hate campaign again Dr Evan Harris MP), I ended up at the Homeopathy Heals site. I will admit that I don’t read homeopathic stuff much. Why bother? It’s a load of old wank. I read various skeptics, if that is the right word for these guys that believe medicine should be subjected to proper trials with replicable, provable results, because they’re a good read with various levels of shock/outrage/’wtf-ness’/humour.
I’m not sure why though, but I though I would have a look at this Homeopathy Heals site. There’s nothing here that will surprise you, but anyway here is my tuppence on homeopathy.
You cannot randomly take homeopathic medicines, as they will only work, when carefully selected, for something that needs curing.
If a medicine has an active ingredient then there will be an effect, whether you are ill or not. That effect may not be the desired one, but there will be an effect. So, just remind me again why no one can overdose on homeopathic medicine?
Of course homeopaths know that one dose of however many pills taken together in one go, is the equivalent of only one dose, because each dose is a stimulus and it is the time frame that counts.
Oh, of course. The quantity of the supposedly active ingredient doesn’t matter. One dose of homeopathy is one dose when taken as instructed until someone takes large quantities and then they’re still taking only one dose. What is a dose of homeopathy is elastic, depending on how much you are actually taking.
Presumably then, homeopaths only put a teeny-weeny amount of the active ingredient in their medicine not because only a specific amount is needed or too much will be harmful, but to keep costs down.
But if the dose of homeopathy is a stimulus, it kick starts the body into healing itself, then surely a larger quantity of the bollox-in-a-bottle will stimulate more. Once again, this resulting stimulation may have an adverse effect and make someone iller rather than better, but it would have a effect. Wouldn’t you have thought?
According to it’s practitioners homeopathy is has no side effects. It doesn’t matter how much you take you can’t overdose. It is non-addictive, works fast in acute conditions, slow in chronic ones. Safe for everyone including animals and is cheap (apparently). It has, miraculously, no downsides at all.
It all sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? And we know what they say about things that are too good to be true, don’t we.
Via Le Canard Noir
(all links to the Homeopathy Heals site are rel=”nofollow”)
February 11th, 2010 § § permalink
The worlds fattest man, a Mr Mason is going to write a dieting book. I guessing it’s gonna be a short one that goes something like…
- Stop eating 20,000 calories a day
- Get gastric band fitted
February 4th, 2010 § § permalink
Tory Politico has received a Nasty-O-Gram from an organisation calling themselves Politico…
(click to enlarge)
The letter then goes on to explain how people are going to get confused between an American “media company covering national politics and Washington governance” and a British blogger that talks about British politics from a Conservative angle.
Oh, they also want Tory Politicos’ domain name.
First of all, who the fuck uses Alexia to gauge a website? No fucker I’ve heard of.
Secondly, 57.3% of TPs’ visitors are from the UK, according to Alexia. So, the vast majority then, and even more so for visitors of TPs’ site that get routed through a foreign country for some reason, like AOL. As TP points out…
While I can understand why they are saying only 57% of visitors are from the UK this is a wholly false claim. According to Google Analytics, which has been tracking traffic since the site launched, 85% of readers are from the UK with only 5% coming from within the United States.
Thirdly, what sort of fucking lawyer uses the word ‘presumably’? This smells like a fishing expedition to me.
Fourthly, the word ‘politico‘ is a word that is in common usage, as opposed to a word made up especially for a product or brand, and so is not copyrightable.
This isn’t the first time Politicos’ lawyers have surprised someone…
The College Politico has received a cease-and-desist letter from lawyers for Politico, demanding that he stop using the word “Politico” in his name — and that he give them control of his domain.
It doesn’t look like Politico have won that one (yet) as The College Politico is still going.
But there’s more. And it’s quite shitty too…
Faced with a trademark legal challenge and protracted litigation by the publishers of the newspaper and website ¨Politico,¨we have reluctantly chosen to change the name of our publication, from“La Política” to “CandidatoUSA.”
Politico won that one. The letter continues with how it happened…
The publishers of Politico – launched in January by Washington D.C.-based Allbritton Communications, also owners of seven ABC television affiliates and three other news channel outlets – claim La Politica infringes on their trademark.
The name change odyssey began,without our knowledge, on July 11when Jim VanderHei, Politico’s co-founder and editor, called me.
He had heard of our plans to launch La Política and wanted to know more. I gave him details of
our preparations to launch an electronic trade newsletter on the business of reaching Hispanic voters.
At his suggestion, we agreed to talk again after the launch of La Política on November 5 to explore avenues of collaboration between Politico and our publication.
It sounds promising for La Politica. Not even launched yet and already someone backed by a big news company is interested in working with them.
We did launch on November 5. But next day, instead of a call from VanderHei, we received a two-page aggressive and threatening letter from Politico’s attorney demanding that we “cease and desist” from the use of the La Política name because they hold a registered trade mark in the term “The Politico.”
This is Jim VandeHei. I would post a picture of him but, well, given his history…
The chap behind La Politica wrote to Jim and even offered to go to Washington to talk about how they might resolve this nicely, but no. That didn’t work.
Anyway, because of the money behind Politico, La Politica capitulated and La Politica now points to Politico.com.
I have no idea how this is going to play out, whether TP being British based is going to work in his favour or he will just end up being extradited, or if Politico are gonna leave it and are just trying their luck, but what ever happens, I wish you the best of luck with it, Tory Politico.