Governed by consent pt II: The reply

July 22nd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Back at the beginning of June Old Holborn asked his MP an interesting question and I wondered what my MP, Nicola Blackwood, would say to it as well.

The question is regarding how to remove ones consent to be governed…

I’m not an anarchist or a troublemaker, I’m just asking you a simple question.
How do I withdraw my consent to be governed?

After one false start, as I forgot to include my address which is MPs’ need so they know they are conversing with a constituent, I have received an answer.

It’s not as interesting as the question…

Dear Sim-O,
Thank you for contacting me. I appreciate your strong views on this subject, and thank you for raising them to my attention.

Is that it? No ‘I’ll get back to you about this’ or ‘WTF? Get to fuck you timewasting troll’. Just a simple ‘Yeah, whatever’.

So. Lets’ try again…
Dear Ms Blackwood,

Is that it? Are you thinking about it? Don’t you know? Can I expect a more substantive reply in a few more weeks when you’ve found out?

I realise it may be one of the more unusual questions you’ve been asked, but you haven’t addressed my question of how I withdraw my consent to be governed, just given me the brush off.


In which I take Huffington Post UK far too seriously about Istyosty and the illiberal liberals that use it

July 21st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I have previously written about and with it being one of my more active posts, I thought I would write about it again, thanks to a Patrick Hayes at Huffington Post UK.

Up until recently, the liberal Twitterati have been faced with a dilemma. By tweeting links of Daily Mail and Sun articles to their followers in order to engage in a collective two minute hate against the idiocy of the tabloid press (and their millions of gullible, easily manipulated readers), they end up sending traffic to the despised article and boosting the tabloid’s web traffic and potentially aiding its advertising revenue.

First off, ‘the Liberal Twitterati’. Who’s that then? I’m presuming Patrick means anyone that doesn’t like the bullshit the tabloids come out with. The dilemma, though, is a very real one not just for Twitterers, but for bloggers and anyone that shares links, like bloggers. Bloggers, or good bloggers, link to the source of their information they are sharing or the subject of their posts. This is so that the reader can either check the facts the blogger puts forward or see what the blogger is writing about so that the reader can go and make their own mind up, even if the content of the source is erm, not very savoury. This is something that newspaper websites very rarely do which enables them to put forward articles that can twist the truth or not tell the whole truth or take things out of context. What’s a blogger to do, eh? Link or not link? Let the reader decide for themselves the validity of their facts and opinions or behave like a tabloid?

It’s even argued that the Mail is intentionally using what’s termed ‘flame bait’ to lure liberals to its site, helping it get 10 million hits more than the Guardian’s website each month. This has led to some claiming they’d rather remain in the dark about the content of Daily Mail articles being discussed, because reading them online could make a small contribution to the Mail’s swelling coffers.

That argument about flame bait is not a hard argument to win.

The choice to remain in the dark and hope the Mail withered away is ok for some, but it obviously isn’t doing anything to diminish the Mail in anyway. Others, though, want to call out the lies and the spin and the abusiveness and so in steps the dilemma.

Now a solution has been found. IstyOsty allows you to link to a cached version of a Daily Mail article (alongside other tabloids) that doesn’t display advertising and won’t register as a hit on the website or appear on search engines. IstyOsty claims this process is ‘entirely legal’.

Yay, Istyosty! What a beautiful, elegant solution it is, too.

The website has also been an immediate hit among the Twitterati, who are beginning to childe one another if they link to the actual Daily Mail website. Times columnist Caitlin Moran, for example, was ticked off by TV presenter Lauren Laverne for giving them [the Daily Mail] the ‘click through’ to an article, prompting Moran to respond: ‘Must. Remember. @istyosty.’

I’m presuming Patrick means ‘chide’ as in to scold or express disapproval, as opposed to ‘childe’ which is a disused term for a child of noble birth, and quite right too. I would hardly say it has been an immediate hit, though (no offence Istyosty). I regularly see bloggers and Twitterers not using it, including ones I presume Patrick would include as a Twitterati, like media bloggers. But then how do I know, I have never seen Istyostys’ stats.

When a Twitch Hunt began against Melanie Phillips on Monday for a Mail article she’d penned attacking the BBC, IstyOsty links were widely used with Twitter users imploring others to deprive the ‘Daily Fail’ of ad revenue. As one Tweet said: ‘Dear Twitter, If Melanie Phillips must be linked to, please could it be through the @istyosty safe link? Thanks. :)’ Another suggested, ‘someone needs to design a WW2-style poster reminding people to use istyosty & not direct-link to the Mail.’

Did you read that Phillips article? No? Well, Angry Mob tears it to pieces as it is a proper piece of WTF-ery, and yes, he links to it via istyosty, so I’m guessing he is a Twitterati too.

If you’re going to say that tweeters are scolding each other for not using Istyosty links, the example Patrick gives is a pretty weak one: ‘Dear Twitter’; ‘Please could’; ‘Thanks’. Ooh! Scary. That’s a serious telling off that is.

The embracing of IstyOsty on Twitter reveals much about the mindset of the liberals that use it. As one Twitterer put it, ‘may I commend istyosty to you? A proxy that enables us to point furiously at evil papers without them getting page hits.’

Yeah, great. Someone’s a bit sarcastic but they’ve hit the nail on the head.

At first glance, you might think that the IstyOsty strategy is for the ‘evil’ Daily Mail website and the like to be starved of advertising revenue and being forced to wither away. It would also be understandable to think that in the eyes IstyOsty enthusiasts, the world would be a better place if the Mail and other ‘nasty’ papers ceased to exist and everyone was forced to read the Guardian by default. (Tellingly a request on its website that IstyOsty also covers the Guardian has so far gone unanswered).

I have no idea what Istyostys’ strategy is. You’d have to ask him (he’s @istyosty, if you couldn’t guess). I think it would be a shame if the Mail and the Sun disappeared. Most people don’t want that. Most people realise that a plethora of opinion in the media is A Good Thing, they just want All. The. Bullshit. to stop. There’s nothing wrong with saying that Britain is going to be over run with foreigners in ten years time, or that eating 0.5grams of cheese a week raised your chances of cancer by 35 times or whatever, as long as it is true, or the studies actually suggest it. If you’re gonna write bullshit, or a spiteful column about someone less than a week after their death, then people are gonna call you on it.

But, here’s the rub: In such a world, who would liberals have to ‘point furiously’ at? Their lives would become dull and empty if there weren’t columnists like Melanie Phillips to Twitch Hunt. Even IstyOsty recognises that the Mail plays an important service in allowing liberal Guardian-reading types to feel smug by ‘point[ing] out how ignorant they are’.

Yeah, yeah. Nice one. People are all one dimensional and don’t have other shit to be getting on with except to be outraged by what ever the right wing press are saying. That is so humourous, oh, hang on. That’s not link bait I’ve fallen for is it? Damn.

And what’s wrong with pointing out how ignorant someone is when they’re spewing bile and bullshit?

Of course, their finger-pointing doesn’t just stop at the ‘ignorance’ of writers such as ‘Mad Mel’, Jan Moir and colleagues. It’s also, by extension, aimed at the Mail’s 4.7 million readers. The brainwashed, ill-educated, Beta minus drones who inhabit Middle England and read papers such as the Mail not to feel superior, but to actually get news.

Yes, fingers get pointed at the Mail. Why shouldn’t someone be called out when they’re being ignorant and spewing bullshit? The ‘brainwashed, ill-educated, beta minus drones’ are not a big part of the mails readership though.

As you can see in the screen shot from the Newspaper Marketing Agency

A upper middle class Higher managerial, administrative or professional
B middle class Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
C1 lower middle class Supervisory or clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
C2 skilled working class Skilled manual workers
D working class Semi and unskilled manual workers
E Those at the lowest levels of subsistence Casual or lowest grade workers, pensioners and others who depend on the welfare state for their income

The column on the right is percent of readers.)

As you can see, the Mails readership isn’t really the ill-educated, supposedly easily led, or beta minus folk, is it? And is it news if it’s not actually true, or presented truthfully? No, it’s bullshit.

When, for example, IstyOsty says those who advertise in the Mail are ‘companies who should know better’, it is implicitly saying that companies shouldn’t be spending their cash trying to raise awareness of their products among the poor thickies that read it.

But the vast majority aren’t ‘poor thickies’, are they? The companies should know better. They should know better than to associate themselves and help pay for the poisonous, divisive, hateful output of these papers.

IstyOsty, realistically, is unlikely to make much of dent to the massive number of hits the Daily Mail gets each month. Even if the whole of Islington, Hackney, Haringey and the small handful of other liberal bastions (i.e. the places that voted ‘Yes’ in the AV referendum), decided to switch to IstyOsty en masse. It’s more a way the chattering classes can ensure that the continued success of these ‘evil’ publications is not done in their name. As well as being a convenient way to differentiate themselves from the dunderheaded tabloid-reading masses.


Using an IstyOsty link is like a 21st century Twitter version of a Masonic handshake. It makes it clear you’re one of the Enlightened Ones and not one of them. On the flip side, however, it is an remarkably accurate identifier of members of the contemptuous, intolerant, masses-hating, clique of illiberal liberals who are – worryingly – becoming increasingly influential in shaping British political life today.

That metaphor doesn’t quite work. The Masonic handshake is supposed to be secret. Istyosty works better the more people know of it and use it.

Oh, what a wit Patrick is. ‘Illiberal liberals’ ho ho. Masses hating, heh. Yeah, of course.

The Sun just got hacked

July 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Hackers have hit The Sun newspaper, and not the sort of hackers to hack your phone.

The URL redirects to with a fake story about Rupert Murdoch being found dead. At the end of the story there is a cartoon which explains it.

h/t to @scaryduck, who I first head if from.

Update: TechCrunch has a little more.

And Again (23.18): The admins at have revoked access, but Lulzsec still have control of the Suns’ site and have redirected it to their Twitterfeed.

And another (23.45) Lulzsec just tweeted that News Internationals’ site, containing a statement about the hack, has been hacked to direct back to Lulzsecs Twitterfeed too.

Excuses, excuses

July 18th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Oh Ellie Mae O’Hagan, stop being a dick about Charlie Gilmore…

Despite the piecemeal nature of sentencing for those convicted of violent disorder (there are currently no sentencing guidelines in the crown court), comparatively speaking Gilmour’s fate seems to be hugely disproportionate and unfair. He simply should not be imprisoned for crimes that hurt nobody. This is a conviction that raises a hackneyed question, so often mooted during the phone-hacking scandal: cui bono?

Cui bono? Erm, yes. Society, probably.

But now the cameras turn once again to Charlie Gilmour, a 21-year-old Cambridge student and scion of the Pink Floyd dynasty who today received a 16-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to violent disorder. Gilmour, now sober-suited, bespectacled and freshly shorn, presented a very different figure to the apparently crazed eccentric who was photographed swinging from a union flag on the Cenotaph during the fees protests last December. He was later seen leaping on the bonnet of a Jaguar in a royal convoy taking the Prince of Wales to the royal variety performance, and was also found have also hurled a rubbish bin at the vehicle.

Violence doesn’t have to neccersarily hurt someone. He jumped on the bonnet of a car and and threw a bin at another vehicle. I would say that is being violent. The swinging from the Centotaph is an act of vandalism. All three instances are violence against property. Guilty as charged.

But, Ellie, what the buggering fuck is this about…?

And certainly Gilmour did wrong although, having admitted that he had taken LSD and Valium prior to the protests, it’s arguable whether he was wholly responsible for some of his more extreme idiocy.


Charlie is still responsible for his actions. Whatever he’s off his face on, he is still responsible for his ‘more extreme idiocy’, as well as his not so clever, harmless moments of the day. Just because someone is bolloxed doesn’t mean they can go breaking the law. That’s why junkies end up in prison for theft. That’s why beer monsters end up in front of the magistrate on a Monday morning after kicking the shit out of someone whilst fueled up on Wife-Beater. You do something illegal because you have taken mind-altering substances, you are still responsible.

As for the harshness of Gilmores’ sentence, Lee Griffin at LibCon shows that te 16 months isn’t that bad

This outrage is bollocks.

You only have to take a look at the sentencing history for “Violent Disorder”, coupled with Mr Gilmour’s nature in court (allegedly giggling at scenes of his actions), tempered by the fact he pleaded guilty and apologised for certain (but not all) actions.

Attacking a police officer by throwing bottles – 10 months
Encouraging others to KILL police officers – 12 months
Revenge attack on property, with “attack” of person, person of good character – 18 months
Taking part in a riot, repetitive attacks on riot police with state of mind to “re-arm” with projectiles, second offence – 3 years

16 months, given that Charlie doesn’t exactly seem remorseful of the main elements of the charge (which is the threat, as little as it was in reality, he put members of family of the head of state under, and the encouragement for others to break the law vandalism of property), seems pretty much bang on all things considered, doesn’t it?

David Camerons’ poor choice of PR agency

July 16th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


The scale of private links between David Cameron and News International was exposed for the first time last night, with the Prime Minister shown to have met Rupert Murdoch’s executives on no fewer than 26 occasions in just over a year since he entered Downing Street.

What the fuck is this all about then? 26 meeting in 15 months? Nearly one meeting a fortnight for over a year? Who the fuck did Cunty Cameron think News International are? A fucking PR agency? What? Oh.

What other company gets to have it’s executives meet with the prime minister every other fucking week, not counting short spells when there may be ideas for a policy being bandied about? These weren’t just reporters getting a statement or interview, these meetings were with people that were guiding and and shaping the direction of the News International. What the fuck were they talking about?

I can understand why Cameron would have 15 meetings with the execs from News International since May this year, they do have to get their story straight, don’t they.

I’ll ask again, in normal circumstances, and that period was supposed to be ‘ordinary’ as both Plods’ and New Intls’ enquiries had come to a close, what other fucking company gets it’s top nobs an exclusive audience with the prime minister once a fortnight?

load of waffly bollocks and an addition to the blogroll.

July 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I said earlier I was going to write a post but now it actually comes to it, like it seems so many other times lately, what do I write a post about?

The News International/News Corp./News of the World hacking scandal (I fucking hate the the term ‘hackgate’)? Well, I don’t have any news that you can’t anywhere else, and be more accurate and more recent too. An incisive bit of opinion that’ll make you think? Not that either.

So what do I have instead? Not a fucking lot. To give my mind some time to think while I type go and check out Septicisles’ musings on the Murdoch situation and Tim is doing his own digging in the archives to give the FBI somewhere to start looking to help bring the Murdoch empire down. Give him some support, would you. (See? even the first two links I have for you aren’t exactly original, are they? What hope have I got of writing an interesting blog post?)

Oh, and Unity at the Ministry of Truth has been kicking the absolute shit out of Nadine Dorries too, which is always a joy.

The PCC are running scared. Uponnothing hits the PCC bang on the head with just why, exactly, they are a bag of shit and are less than pointless and irrelevant using the example of a couple of women, who were raped, that had had their anonymity revealed by a paper. The PCC condemned the actions of the paper and adjudicated against them in, for the PCC, the strongest terms. What was the strongest punishment that could be handed to the offending paper?

[The PCC} contacted the owners so that they could ensure it never happened again. All well and good you might think, but imagine of this kind of adjudication happened in any other walk of life. Would the tabloids be happy if a teenager found guilty of doing something ‘exceedingly serious’ was not punished in any way, instead the judge just passed on his thoughts to the parents in the hope that they could take the appropriate action?

What if the Chief Executive of Trinity Mirror doesn’t do anything? What would the PCC do in that case? What could they do in that case?

And that is the problem with the PCC. It can do fuck all else except point a finger and that doesn’t seem to be stopping the usual suspects and transgressing the code, as the more prominent media bloggers highlight on a daily basis.

Anyway, this post about bugger all has taken me far, far longer to write than it’ll take you to read, and I’m sorry to have wasted your time waffling on about fuck all, so I’ll leave you with a link to a site that should’ve gone on my blogroll ages ago, but you know what sort of waste of space I am. It’s called Stuff and Nonsense, written by jdc325. Enjoy.

Return of the News of the World?

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

A former editor of the Sunday Express is trying to get together a consortium to breath life back into the News of the World.

Susan Douglas reckons…
“I think News of the World readers want the News of the World, and the team that produces it is still extant and haven’t done anything inappropriate or unlawful as far as we know,” she said. “The News of the World’s trouble is really about misdemeanours of management. People talk about prurience and invading people’s privacy but when it’s in the public interest, it’s completely justified. I think there will be mounting public opinion behind anyone who tried to save the News of the World on that basis.”

Well, the current staff may not have done anything unlawful, alledgedly, saying they haven’t done anything inappropriate is pushing it a bit, as Charlie Brooker points out (my emphasis)…

The centre pages consist of a gallery of their “greatest hits”: curiously underwhelming when it’s all laid out. The Profumo scandal and Jeffrey Archer are in there, but so are three “gotcha!” snaps of celebs snorting coke – one of whom, Kerry Katona, was captured by a camera hidden in her own bathroom. Call me squeamish, but I’d say concealing a lens in a woman’s bathroom is worse than hacking her phone. At least voicemails can’t reveal which hand she wipes her arse with.

Also nestled amongst the roster of glorious front pages – JACKO’S DEATHBED: a photograph of the rumpled sheets on which Michael Jackson died. Yum! Proud of that, are they? Why, yes: hence its inclusion in their farewell souvenir. At least they didn’t include a little collectible square of his skin.

The News of the World readers may still want the News of the World, is someone that used to head the Sunday Express and the NotWs’ current staff the best people to revive the title as a “responsible investigative newspaper”?

The NotW readers probably don’t want to read a “responsible” paper anyway.

h/t Jon Slattery

The priorities of Rupert Murdoch

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

As the Wapping Cowboy landed in London he was asked what his priority was. His smiling reply was “this one”, gesturing to Rebekah Wade Brooks who was with him at the time.

What the hell does that mean? Why should Brooks be his priority? in what way is she his priority? To ensure nothing is pinned on her?

I’d have thought his priority would’ve been along the lines of sorting this mess out, repairing the damage to his/News Corps reputation, getting justice for the phone hacking victims (too far fetched?) or even making pots of cash. But Rebekah Brooks is his priority?

What has she got on Murdoch that he wants, almost seems to need her within his empire? Murdoch could cut her loose, not even hang her out to dry, just let her resign with dignity, in their eyes, and a big part of the problem goes away.

Unless, of course, he’s just fucking with our minds… as usual.

Accuracy must not be forgotten with any inquiry

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

As we prepare for the inquiry, we must not let these garish allegations of criminality distract us from the serial vandalism to public debate perpetrated by newspapers which fail to take care to publish accurate information, and fail to correct the record quickly when mistakes happen. Correct that part of press culture and the rest will followblockquote>

Read the rest: – Press culture inquiry must focus on accuracy, not just criminality

Update: yeah, i get the irony of getting the title all wrong. now corrected.

Jeremy Hunt asks for advice

July 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


The culture secretary is seeking fresh advice from regulators on News Corp’s takeover bid for BSkyB, amid the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Business editor Robert Peston said Jeremy Hunt had written to Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) after the 168-year-old paper was shut down.

Our correspondent says the implication is that Mr Hunt could now refer the deal to the Competition Commission.

It might not be what most people want, referring to Ofcom, but Jeremy Hunt asking for advice is a stepin the right direction.

Hopefully Ofcom and the Office of Fair Trading will give the right advice. Whether Hunt takes it or not will be another matter.

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