Top tip.

April 4th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

Cannabis NI

Dont be using empty coke cans for ashtrays. Breaks your heart when ya drop your j in :(

Natural death

April 2nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Back Towards The Locus…

As you might have heard, a man died after collapsing during the G20 protests. This was immediately notched up to natural causes. Yup, natural causes. No doubt about it.

To understand why someone may have been so affected by le cause naturali, one should look at the treatment of the protestors. Yesterday, the police used a tactic called ‘kettling’, whereby cordons are imposed and enforced to stop protests spilling out into the city. This left demonstrators in appalling conditions. There are numerous accounts of “cordon-induced claustrophobia“, with Rowenna Davis and Sunny Hundal reporting that “one woman sat down because she was feeling faint“. Water was scarce and there were no toilet facilities, forcing people to piss in the streets…

I was told by a police officer informed of my bad back that I’d ‘better go and sit on the floor then’ (cos that’s great for your back – sitting in piss on a concrete floor).

Read the rest

Twatty protestors

April 1st, 2009 § 4 comments § permalink

Guardian G20 live blog

More windows reported smashed at RBS, branch and masked people trying to get in. Chants of “Whose bank?” answered by “Our bank” and “We paid for this, rob the bank”.

I understand feelings run high and the adrenaline gets going, but what does fucking places over achieve? Not a lot. Apart from it can feel quite good, smashing stuff up.

And that chant? You’re going to rob yourselves then? Or you’re going to rob every other taxpayer, unless you take something equal to your share of RBS. Like a pen, or a pad of Post-It notes.

And take those fucking masks off. If your there for a noble reason and not for looting, general vandalism or because you just love fighting then show your face, your fucking cowards. Criminals, thugs and crooks wear masks.

Twisted logic

March 31st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Rhetorically Speaking

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.

On banking, business & government. Sort of…

March 30th, 2009 § 1 comment § 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.

Pointless lessons included in school plans

March 25th, 2009 § 5 comments § permalink

The Guardian

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.

Audio bully

March 24th, 2009 § 1 comment § 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.

On sentencing

March 11th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


A man jailed 27 years ago for murdering a barmaid could be released from prison after DNA evidence was reviewed.

Sean Hodgson, 57, is serving a life sentence for killing Teresa De Simone, 22. She was found strangled in her car in Southampton in December 1979.

The case has now been sent to appeal over claims tests on semen found at the scene prove it was not Hodgson’s DNA.

The BBC understands the Crown Prosecution Service will not contest the appeal on 18 March.

This guy has spent 27 years in prison, and now some DNA testing can, it is thought, prove that it wasn’t him that killed this girl. The fact that the CPS isn’t going to try to keep him in prison is a strong indicator that this man will be free and pronounced innocent.

So. Still want to bring back hanging?

Harriot Harmans’ new ministerial position

March 2nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Harriot Harman received a new position in the government this morning.

After making comments yesterday about taking back Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwins’ exorbitant pension without giving the sightest hint as to how, Ms Harmann, currently the Leader of the House, will take on the portfolio of Minister with No Mates. A position created especially for her.

This insistance by the new ‘Minnie’ No Mates was greeted with joyful surprise by lawyers, who have a new hope to get through the credit crunch by drawing out a legal wrangle for years, should Ms Harman press ahead.

Several Treasury Officials, who would be tasked with working out how to claw the money back, were so surprised the cry of “WTF?” could be heard ringing all around whitehall.

Magaret Beckett, a veteran MP and current housing minister, took Harriots’ appointment very seriously by isolating Ms Harman by refusing to comment and even suggesting that the government will do nothing.

The shadow chancellor George Osborne commented…

I’m not sure I know… Harriet Harman… at all.

The Prime Minister speaking at Some Forum or Other was momentarily caught off guard. He excelled himself by refusing to address the question, in a way normally only seen in PMQs’, with an answer that we’re not going to unsult you with by printing.

Vince Cable couldn’t help himself and described Ms Harmon as ‘potty’.

Come one, come all

February 27th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

The Croydonian spotted someting in the Lords Hansard that could be filed under ‘Whoa! I wouldn’t have said that’…

“Baroness Warsi: To ask Her Majesty’s Government which religions and faiths are officially recognised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Equality and Human Rights Commission recognises all religions and faiths“.

Hmm. Let us say that I decide to subscribe to the First Presleytarian Church of Elvis the Divine or define myself as a Jedi Knight, should I then be able to avail myself of the full panoply of protections etc under equality law? Equally well, should the same apply to any ethical / moral system that I cook up which owes nothing to the divine?

As he says, an answer like that leaves you open to a whole world of trouble.

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